A request from the Too Far, Too Fast organization for Addington Highlands to declare itself an ‘unwilling host’ for any marijuana distribution operations once it becomes legal July 1 seemed to garner the most discussion at Council’s regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Flinton.
“Is there any point to declaring ourselves unwilling?” said Coun. Tony Fritsch. “The government did say municipalities would have some input but we haven’t heard from them yet and they likely wouldn’t listen to us anyway.”
“A lot of things are like that,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.
Clerk-treasurer Christine Reed said she understood that the 14 municipalities who would have sales outlets have had some input.
“It used to be with alcohol a municipality could declare itself dry but who’s to stop somebody from going to Kingston or Belleville to get it?” said Dep. Reeve Helen Yanch.
“And what’s in it for us?” said Hogg.
“You mean other than cost?” said Fritsch.
“They’re not telling us anything,” said Coun. Bill Cox. “Will they be giving us anything?”
“I’d like to have some input if it’s available in our area,” said Fritsch.
“Our only option might be to wait until they say ‘hey, Addington Highlands, we’re looking at this in your area,’” said Reed. “We have had a couple of calls about zoning and where you could put a greenhouse.”
“When a taxpayer starts his own business, they call it a ‘grow-op,’” said Cox. “When the government does it, it’s a ‘greenhouse.’”
Community Transportation grant
Clerk-treasurer Christine Reed sought out and received Council’s approval to begin drafting an application to the Community Transportation Grant Program for a five-year grant that would lead to the implementation of of a twice-monthly bus service to various locations such as Napanee, Belleville, Renfrew and Bancroft for various services. The service would be available to the general public and there would be a fee.
She said the funding would be used to cover staffing and administrative costs as well as the busing costs.
Reed said the actual routes are still being determined in consultation with Land O’ Lakes Community Services and the community to determine interest in such a program.
“Thought would have to be given to the sustainability of the program at the end of the five years when the funding was depleted,” she said.
“So, the assumption we’re making is that after five years the fund could be zero because nobody can afford to administer it,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch.
“There used to be bus service every week but we just couldn’t sustain it,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.
Clerk-treasurer Christine Reed presented Council with a draft newsletter.
“A lot of people don’t notice the newsletter and it’s been the same for about 10 years so we’re trying a little different format,” she said.
“There’s no mention of my phone number anywhere on it,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.
“It’s on the website and people can call the Township for it,” said Reed.
“They usually call me to find out the Township number,” said Hogg.
“I think it would be wise to put the Council members’ names in,” said Coun. Bill Cox.
“But no pictures,” said Hogg.
“I guess they know who you are since they voted you in,” said Cox.
Roads/bridges supervisor Brett Reavie got Council’s approval to change winter hours of operation at Township dump sites to eliminate operating in the dark.
Although it won’t be immediate, Kaladar will change to 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
“There’s no lights and after dark it becomes a safety issue,” Reavie said.
He’s also looking at changing the winter and summer hours at Vennachar and summer hours at MacKavoy for the same reason.
He said they’re still working on snow removal at Weslemkoon and “it’s probably going to be April when we’re done.”
Still with dump sites, Reavie said the Ministry has asked for information on two of the dump sites that were closed.
“They asked for information on Denbigh and Kaladar and that’s what I gave them,” he said.
“There’s a house on one of them,” said Coun. Bill Cox.
Reavie said he has yet to receive any negative feedback on the previous recent changes to dump procedures and fees.
Construction is now underway for a third gas station located near the junction of Road 38 and Hwy. 7.
The project is being undertaken by Gama Engineering of Woodbridge, and company President Wajid Mansuri said that work on the site is progressing quickly after late fall start, but much of the outdoor work will soon come to a halt and will have to wait until March or April to get underway.
The building on the site, which used to house The Junction in recent years, is being renovated to accommodate a convenience store and a take-out fast food operation.
“It will have Pizza Pizza or subs or something like that,” Mansuri said, but the details of that end of the business are still to be finalised.
“The gas station will not run 24 hours a day.” Mansuri also said.
The property was sold two years ago, but it has taken time for the new owner to obtain the planning approvals necessary for opening the new use on the site.
Before getting underway, they needed a minor variance for a diminished number of parking spots, 14 instead of 18, approval from the Health Unit for a septic system, a building permit, and tentative approval from the Ministry of Transportation for the construction of an exit ramp off Hwy. 7.
Mansuri said that the exit ramp, which will be built by the ministry and financed by the applicant, will likely be in place well before the business is ready to open.
“Construction needs to be completed, a manager for the operation needs to be hired, the owner has a lot to do before opening and the ramp should be in by then. If not we will have to work something out with the ministry,” he said.
The owner of the new business is Darmesh Shah, according to information provided by the township of Central Frontenac. He is from the Toronto area.
In his verbal report to Council about this year’s Good Roads convention in Toronto, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal touched on two aspects that caught his attention — waste management information and the idea of incorporating ride-sharing apps such as Uber into the county transportation system.
“There have been 4,000 studies on waste and recycling and they say they don’t have any hard data,” Vandewal said.
But he was more optimistic about the potential part ride-sharing might play in rural transportation systems.
After attending a seminar featuring Uber Canada’s public policy manager Chris Schafer, Vandewal came out with a feeling there may be a part for ride-sharing apps to play in rural Ontario.
“It could be huge for rural,” Vandewal said. “How simple it could be.
“I don’t know that it would work but I thought maybe it made sense and it could broaden our transportation system.”
Uber already operates in Ottawa and Kingston. There is also a system in place in Summit New Jersey whereby the municipality subsidizes from its transit hub in a ‘first-mile/last-mile’ concept that frees up parking spots.
Uber also has public transit agreements with San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Alamonte Springs, Florida, has “totally replaced its public transportation with subsidized Uber rides” according to The Verge website.
“I’m not in favour of a county-wide transportation system - yet,” said Vandewal. “But we looked at Ottawa and systems where people ride the bus to the end of the line and have Uber meet them there to take them the rest of the way.
“We do have some land north of Kingston that could be a potential hub if Kingston would be open to sending a bus out there.
“There could be municipal opportunities in the sharing economy.”
One issue though, as always, is cost.
For example, from Uber’s Kingston website puts the price of a ride from Glenburnie to KGH at “$21-$27.”
Frontenac Transportation Service (FTS) has been providing rides to medical appointments and other services for residents of Frontenac County for a number of years. The not-for-profit service, which is operated by Northern and Southern Frontenac Community Services to serve their own clients and others, has recently been looking at expanding its services using a ride sharing model.
Frontenac County provides $90,000 in annual funding support to FTS to help cover administrative costs and to subsidize medical rides for residents in need.
Gail Young, who manages FTS, said a recent ride from the Perth Road area to a chiropractor on Princess Street cost $11, which was further reduced with a subsidy from South Frontenac Community Services. Young said that using services like Uber may be something for the future, but for now, FTS is looking at increasing ride-sharing and continuing with volunteer drivers.
“It’s important for us to look at different models, and the professional driver option may work better in the south,” she said. “(But) we use volunteer drivers which means much different insurance rates and with ride-sharing, that is marrying up people who are going to the same place, the costs can be further reduced.”
Feature article May 5, 2005LAND O' LAKES NewsWeb Home
Contact UsMuddying the Mitchell Creek waters
by Jeff Green
Three people appeared before South Frontenac Council this week, urging the township to stick to its guns and insist on a simple repair to the Mitchell Creek bridge rather than cede to the wishes of the Federal Department of Transportation and build a larger 1.5 metre high bridge.
While the Council listened to the presentations, Public Works manager Steve Archibald responded for the township by saying I would like to coordinate a group of concerned citizens to deal with mitigation [of the effects of building the higher bridge], which the township has already been moving towards.
While two of the three presenters did talk about mitigation as a last resort, all three exhorted the township to bring the Department of Transportation to heel, and force them to justify their refusal to allow the bridge to remain basically as it is, a one lane bridge that is only high enough for canoes or small boats to pass under.
Lori Gordon spoke on behalf of the Friends of the Mitchell Creek. She outlined a litany of concerns, including the danger and inconvenience the two-month road closing will bring to residents on the far side of the bridge, and the threats to species, notably loons that could come with larger, faster boats on the creek,. As well, she talked of the safety concerns posed by increased driving speeds over a two lane bridge, and of the fact that the footings for the new bridge might eliminate the Mitchell Creek Canoe Launch, which is how campers access some campsites in the adjacent Frontenac Park.
Robert Lovelace then spoke as a representative of the Family Heads Council from the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. He said that Mitchell Creek was important to Algonquin peoples because it is unspoiled land, land that contains evidence of occupation by Algonquin peoples going back 2,000 years, and we seek to work with our neighbours to maintain the integrity of this territory. He said there are some plants that are important to Algonquin medicines in Mitchell Creek and in the lakes that it leads to, and said the Federal government is forcing what he called incremental development on South Frontenac Council, which is what happened to the Algonquin people 160 years ago, with devastating impact on them.
He then said, You are being indianized by the Federal Government, and urged Council to resist.
Finally Ross Sutherland addressed Council. He brought their attention to section 10 of the Navigable Waterways Protection Act, the very Act being cited by Transport Canada in their insistence that access to the Mitchell Creek waterway be improved with a new bridge.
Section 10. (1) of the Act reads Any lawful work may be rebuilt or repaired if, in the opinion of the Minister, interference with navigation is not increased by the rebuilding or repairing.
It is time to insist that Transportation Canada send a representative to a public meeting to explain why this section of the Act does not apply. It seems to justify repairing the bridge exactly as it is, which would maintain navigation exactly as it is now.
Sutherland exhorted the township to go slow, and said the cost of waiting would not increase the cost of the project in any substantial way.
On this point Public Works Manager Archibald disagreed, pointing out that Timing is a concern. If we dont repair the bridge this fall, it might mean further weight restrictions on the bridge, perhaps meaning limiting use to cars and light trucks. This would be a health and safety concern if ambulance and fire vehicles had to detour around the bridge.
The township has completed an environmental assessment, and plans for commencing construction of a 1.5 metre steel arch culvert in line with Ministry of Transportation demands on September 4 is considered the preferred option at this point. The public has 30 days, from April 30, to request a further environmental impact study from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on the proposed construction project.
Before the issue was laid aside for Council to proceed with its agenda, Deputy Mayor Hahn told the assembled supporters of the Mitchell Creek activists that he would be presenting a notion of motion later in the meeting, informing Council of his intention to ask them to request a visit from a Transport Canada official to explain to Council and the public why the Mitchell Creek Bridge must be made bigger and not simply repaired.
Feature article May 12, 2005LAND O' LAKES NewsWeb Home
Contact UsTransportation study underway
by Jeff Green
Sheila Sim has been making the rounds of council chambers in the past week seeking input for a transportation project she has taken on for Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS).
Sim was in Sydenham last week; appeared before Central Frontenac Council on Monday; and will be in Plevna on Thursday. She explained to Council that transportation to small and larger centres to deal with social, medical, and other needs has long been recognised as a challenge for poorer residents in the northern Frontenac area.
Although Northern Frontenac Community Services has limited, volunteer-based transportation programs for both adults and children, Sim has been given the mandate to look to other agencies and to the townships to seek transportation solutions for the community as a whole.
So far various models have been considered, and at this point Sheila Sim said she is thinking the program will require a person to do some driving and some organizing. This person would co-ordinate with organizations that have some funding for their volunteer driving services to augment the fee-based service.
Sim told Council that We will be looking for funding to kick start the service, probably through an application for a Trillium grant. She was not looking for money from Council, but said she might come back to Council at a later date looking for a motion of support. In the interim she wanted to hear Councils ideas about transportation.
Council was receptive to Sims presentation, and she was encouraged to contact the Sharbot Lake Medical Centre, the Legions in Sharbot Lake and Arden, and the Lions Club.
One of the reasons cited when the Sharbot Lake Medical Centre was named as Family Health Team were the transportation issues people face having to travel to Kingston and Perth for treatment and diagnosis, said Mayor Bill MacDonald, but it is still 50 km from Plevna to Sharbot Lake, so transportation remains a concern there as well.
A survey had been circulated to Councillors with a request that they fill it in. Well do whatever we can for you, MacDonald said as he handed in his survey, short of spending any money. I might even volunteer to drive, but not until the end of this term of Council.
OTHER COUNCIL NOTES:
Trees at Cenotaph: Council has gratefully accepted a request by Legion Branch 425 that the Legion be allowed to plant hardwood trees on either side of the Cenotaph in front of the Oso Community Hall.
Harassment Policy: A policy designed to ensure that all municipal employees enjoy a work environment that is free of personal and sexual harassment has been adopted by Council. the policy defines different kinds of harassment, and bullying as well, and outlines informal and formal means of rectifying abusive situations.
Building permits up in April: A report from Ian Trickett shows a marked increase in building permits for the month of April as compared to 2004. There were 32 permits issued this April, for a construction value of $1,094,000 as compared to 17 permits for a value of $548,000 one year earlier. However construction activity in 2004 dropped from the level in 2003, when 25 permits were issued for a $961,000 construction value.
So far in 2005, 49 permits have been issued for $1,759,000 worth of construction, which is 40% higher than this time last year and 15% higher than 2003.
Feature ArticleFebruary 23, 2006
RuralRoutes gearing up for spring launch
by Jeff Green
One of the biggest challenges facing rural people of limited means is transportation. For people without a vehicle, or people who are no longer able to drive, it is hard to obtain the necessities of life. Medical and social services appointments, which are crucial for so many people, require timely transportation, which is often hard to arrange.
For years, rural social services agencies in Frontenac County have been struggling to provide transportation for their clients, using whatever limited resources they have been able to come up with.
The situation should begin to improve in the coming weeks and months.
Since late last fall, staff at Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS), co-ordinator Jane Drew, and a collaborative of social agencies have been working behind the scenes to develop Rural Routes: The Frontenac Transportation Service.
At first, the new service will be taking on some of the existing transportation services already offered by groups like NFCS and the Learning Centre, but Rural Routes will soon be developing new transportation services for people in Central, North, and parts of South Frontenac.JaneDrew in her office at the Village Courtyard, 1095 Garrett Street,SharbotLake Through a grant from the Ministry of Health, two new vans will be purchased, and co-ordinator Jane Drew is hoping to develop weekly trips to Kingston , Perth and Smiths Falls for various purposes.
Rural Routes will be providing transportation for various programs, such as Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Supports Program (ODSP), but the new vans should enable cost effective transportation for the general public as well.
“It is expensive to arrange a trip to Kingston for a single person in a car, even with volunteer drivers; but by bringing several people the cost to the individual can come down to a reasonable range, perhaps $20 or so,” Jane Drew said when she talked to the News about some of the preliminary costing that has been done in looking at potential services that Rural Routes might offer.
Already lessons have been learned. In December, a scant few weeks after Jane Drew was hired to start up the program, she attempted to organise a bus trip to Belleville for Christmas shopping, only to find few takers. After she decided to scrap the trip for lack of interest, “people started calling” Jane Drew recalled when interviewed at the Rural Routes office in Sharbot Lake earlier this week. “So, when I began planning a bus trip to Canada Blooms, I made sure people knew they had to book in advance.” So, far, 35 people have confirmed for the Canada Blooms bus and this trip will be going ahead.
Rural Routes will looking for input from the public as it works to develop public transportation in Northern Frontenac County . The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation has supported Rural Routes with a start up grant from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, and the Trillium Foundation has provided funding to maintain an administrative office for two years. This will give the service enough time to establish itself in the community. After that time it will need to be self-sustaining.
Similar kinds of services are up and running in Napanee, Carleton Place and Bancroft, under different funding models. Jane Drew is planning to make presentations to the local councils and Frontenac County in the not too distant future. At some point, the agency may indeed be looking for municipal support.
Rural Routes is an ambitious program. If successful, it will provide a host of transportation opportunities for rural people for everything from medical services to leisure time activities. To survive, it will require the support of the public and a commitment to use the service.
The service will start operating very soon, and a grand opening is tentatively scheduled for later this spring.
Back toHomeFeature Article - September 28, 2006
RuralRoutes Transportation update
by Jane Drew
In November of 2005, the Ontario Trillium Foundation enthusiastically agreed to fund a two-year pilot project to establish Rural Routes Transportation Service, presently operating under the umbrella of Northern Frontenac Community Services. It is located above the Frontenac News office at 1095 Garrett Street in Sharbot Lake .
In April of ’06 the Community Support Program began sharing the services of their 25 drivers with Rural Routes. Since that time, although some of the original drivers have moved on to other things, ten names have been added to the volunteer driver roster, including four who are also van drivers. In March of this year Rural Routes was able to purchase two Honda Odyssey vans through a grant from the Ministry of Health. The vans are used on a daily basis in addition to the volunteer driver program.
Rural Routes provides personal transportation through the volunteer driver base if you need a drive, call the office, a driver will be booked and the arrangement confirmed with you. Several agencies have agreements with Rural Routes and in some cases can be billed directly for your transportation. Please call the office for more information.
Transportation is provided for children who will benefit from attending day care and nursery school programs, as well as parents who are interested in attending parenting workshops to provide them with the skills required to nurture happy healthy children.
Seniors who are no longer comfortable driving the long distances to city shopping centres can enjoy a day away, lunch with friends and shopping for items not available locally. These trips are extremely enjoyable for those who participate. Rural Routes also enables residents to attend medical appointments in surrounding centres when necessary. It enables people to stay in their homes, and not be forced to move to where specialized medical services are available. Every resident has equal opportunity to get to and from personal appointments, social, cultural and recreational activities, as well as access to other personal services available within a daily driving radius.
Regular van trips to Napanee, Smiths Falls , Perth and Kingston have been advertised, and more success with these trips is anticipated as the weather changes. However, a van trip to Kingston is booked for October 3, at a cost of $20/person, or $12/senior. Please call the office if you are interested in booking a seat.
A trip for four or more friends can be arranged through Rural Routes, with the cost being based on the distance traveled. Several groups have gone to different destinations in Ottawa , Lanark and Perth , as well as an adventure in Prince Edward County ! Other ideas for these trips are 1000 Island Boat Cruise, Westport Studio Tour, Pembroke, Merrickville , Upper Canada Village, the list goes on and on let your imagination be your guide!
Successful bus trips have already taken place to Canada Blooms and Montreal Botanical Gardens to please the gardeners among us, and on October 28 a trip is planned to the Canadian Home & Garden Show in Toronto, which is a show by the publishers of ‘Cottage Style’ magazine offering design ideas for creative country-style living. Admission to the show is $10, $9/seniors, and the bus is $50 per person. The final trip for 2006 is on November 25, to the Toronto Skydome Pow Wow, an amazing display of First Nations talents and crafts, at a cost of $48. Admission to the Pow Wow is $10/person.
Rural Routes has seen steady growth since its inception. In March, just 1,200 kilometers were driven, and by August that number had ballooned to 18,780. Stats show a total of 199 new clients and 1,233 trips provided as of August 31. Statistics prove that Rural Routes has been extremely well received by the population it serves and comments from clients indicate their satisfaction.
If you are having difficulties getting to where you need to go…call Rural Routes Transportation Service at 613-279-2044 or 877-279-2044. We’re here to help.
AND YOU CAN HELP US! During the month of October, volunteers will be contacting drivers, clients, agencies, and members of the general public to determine whether or not Rural Routes is meeting all the transportation requirements of this community. Volunteers are needed to conduct interviews and gather information as part of the evaluation process. Please call the office for additional information. Volunteer drivers are always needed in different areas of our catchment area. Call for information about mileage paid, etc. It has come to our attention that volunteer drivers who transport children would benefit greatly from an extra pair of hands during trips. If you are interested in accompanying a volunteer driver to assist with the needs of the children, please contact Rural Routes.Other Stories this Week View RSS feed
Back toHomeFeature Article - February 15, 2007
Frontenac County approves 2007 budget with minor revisionsby Jeff Green
The Frontenac County budget has been passed, and county ratepayers will see an increase in their levy of just under 3% (2.94% to be exact).
The bulk of the budget had been approved on January 24th, leaving only three items outstanding, totalling less than $120,000 worth of expenditures in a budget that will see the county spend over $35 million on programs and services in 2007. Of that, $8.5 million will come from Frontenac County ratepayers.
The two major services that the county budgets for are the Fairmount Home for the Aged, for which the county increased the municipal levy by 3%, and the Frontenac Ambulance service, for which the county has decreased the levy by 1.5%
The issue that dominated the discussions at the final budget meeting was a proposed $46,500 contribution to the Rural Routes Transportation Service.
Rural Routes is based in Sharbot Lake and provides public transportation for a fee, using volunteer drivers, to residents of Central and North Frontenac, as well as the Bedford District of South Frontenac.
Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek had expressed concern at the January 24th budget meeting over the implications of the county taking on public transit. The mayors all met with Rural Routes in between the two budget meetings, and as the debate started on February 12th, Vanden Hoek said he was willing to support the $46,500 expenditure, provided it was made clear that the money was clearly defined as transitional funds only.
“As part of county council, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I am willing to talk every year about transit,” he said. “I’m not willing to support the budget with Rural Routes in it, but if this can be done as a one-time grant in some way, then I won’t oppose it.”
Central Frontenac Mayor Janet Gutowski and County Warden Ron Maguire from North Frontenac both wanted to keep the door open for county funding in future years, while South Frontenac Mayor Gary Davison’s position was aligned with that of Jim Vanden Hoek.
Further complicating the debate was the question of eligibility for provincial transportation funding, and a protracted discussion ensued, with a variety of proposals concerning the money being brought forward
Finally, Mayor Vanden Hoek was fed up.
“I’m concerned enough at this point that I think that Rural Routes should be deleted from the 2007 budget.”
A final compromise was then reached. The Rural Routes line item was deleted from the budget, but a contingency line for $46,500 was added, under the heading “place hold project”. Whether or not that money will go to Rural Routes or into a reserve fund is to be considered at the March 12th county council meeting.
Two other issues, a $50,000 business continuity plan for the county and the four townships, and a request for $22,000 from RURAL VISONS in Sydenham for a homelessness prevention initiative, neither of which would impact the final outcome of the budget, were also deferred for later discussion.Other Stories this Week View RSS feed
Back toHomeFeature Article - March 29, 2007
Rural Routes receives county funding, but future is still uncertainby Jeff Green
Frontenac County council spent more time discussing a $46,500 expenditure directed towards the Rural Routes transportation program – an expenditure that represents fractions of a percentage point of the more than $14 million county budget - than they did on any other item during this year’s budget process.
The issue was so divisive, with councillors split evenly on north-south lines, that the issue was put aside until the meeting following the passage of the budget itself.
The issue seemed simple enough at the start.
Rural Routes is a transportation program that was set up over the past couple of years to consolidate transportation services offered by various agencies serving North and Central Frontenac and parts of South Frontenac. It was a response to a needs study that was initiated by Northern Frontenac Community Services, which serves that particular region. Rural Routes’ main objective is to provide rides to medical and social services. The rides are funded by the social agencies, or by the riders themselves.
It received a series of start up grants from the Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation, but as those grants ran out, Rural Routes followed the lead of other similar programs in rural Eastern Ontario by seeking funding at the municipal level. The County of Lanark and the County of Hastings both fund rural transportation services that operate on a similar model, so Rural Routes approached Frontenac County, seeking $46,500 in 2007, and as well hopefully making themselves eligible for provincial gas tax funding totalling up to $35,000, which requires that they be considered a municipal service.
The complication for Frontenac County councillors lies in the fact that Rural Routes does not serve most of South Frontenac Township and is unheard of in the Frontenac Islands.
When the budget was being discussed, Mayor Gary Davison of South Frontenac and Mayor Jim Vanden-Hoek of the Frontenac Islands made it clear they would only consider approving the $46,500 allocation if it were explicitly called a one-time grant to help the project get off the ground. They wanted to close the door on any possibility that Rural Routes would be back knocking at the county’s door in 2008.
Mayors Janet Gutowski from Central Frontenac and Ron Maguire from North Frontenac both resisted this pressure from their counterparts from the south, saying that the money should be given on a pilot basis, with the possibility of future funding as the program perhaps expands to include more of South Frontenac.
To bridge this impasse, the matter was deferred. County staff prepared a report, which was presented to County Council last week, on March 21st.
The report, prepared by Deputy County Clerk Susan Beckel, outlined three options. The first would see the county take Rural Routes on as a county program, and allocate the $46,500. This option was never even discussed at last week’s council meeting.
The second option, which was initially favoured by Mayor’s Davison and Vanden-Hoek, would see a “one-time grant of $46,500 with no further county involvement.”
The third option, which was recommended by staff and was well received by the northern mayors, would see an allocation of $36,500, “reserving $10,000 for the county to undertake the development of a business plan” for the service.
This plan, County CAO explained, would look at the viability of the service, taking the transportation needs of the county as a whole into account.
Although the staff recommendation included the statement that this funding would carry no commitment on county’s part beyond 2007 unless council makes that decision, Mayor Vanden-Hoek sought further assurances.
First, he said that if indeed transportation was the number one issue for North and Central Frontenac they should consider looking into their own budgets in the future. He then added a proviso that county staff be given the task of seeking outside funding for the service, and he insisted on an amendment, which stated that any future county funding for Rural Routes be raised only from those regions that make use of the service.
At this point, everyone was happy. Rural Routes receives $36,500, subject to certain conditions, the northern mayors don’t have to worry about it when they work on their own 2007 budgets, county staff have a business plan to prepare, and the southern mayors have the assurance that their own taxpayers will not be on the hook for the service in future years.
As to what will happen to Rural Routes in 2008, the phrase “yet to be determined” springs to mind.Other Stories this Week View RSS feed
Back toHomeFeature Article - March 1, 2007
by Jeff Green
The Child Centre in Sharbot Lake provides many services for children in Portland and Bedford District, and in Central and North Frontenac, but services are of no value if kids can’t get to them. The staff at the Child Centre try to help kids get to Child Centre programs, and to medical, pre-natal and specialised appointments in Kingston and beyond, by helping with transportation costs.
To help fund their transportation program, the Child Centre will be hosting their third annual Travel for Tots dance and silent auction on Friday March 23rd at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston .
This licensed event includes refreshments, games and door prizes galore, a Foozeball tournament where the winner gets to keep the table, mini-raffle items, as well as dancing and a spectacular silent auction.
This year the silent auction items include an overnight trip to Niagara Falls (including tickets to Marineland), an overnight in Gananoque (including boat cruise tickets), dinner and movie tickets, and much more.
In advance of the event, the Child Centre has been raising money by collecting pennies and Canadian Tire money, as well as cash donations, so that all of the costs for the Travel for Tots are now covered. This means that every penny raised at the event will go directly into transportation. Three thousand dollars was raised in the first year of the event, $4,000 in the second year, and organisers are hoping to go even higher this year.
Tickets are $15 in advance, and $18 at the door. Can’t make it to Kingston on the 23rd? Buy a ticket anyway, and you will be entered in special draw. For information and ticket purchases, phone 613-279-2244 or 279-2260.Other Stories this Week View RSS feed