Jeff Green | Apr 03, 2019
Ken Arney does not expect Central Frontenac Township to pull out the large culvert that they put in to allow water from Dead Creek to pass under the Henderson Road a few metres from his home, just because the culvert and the rocks that are holding it in place are jutting onto his property.
He would like to get paid some compensation for the land that has effectively been taken by the township, and he would also like the township to re-install the fence that was pulled down in order to do the work. But mostly he would like some acknowledgement that the township should have shown him some more respect.
“I never heard anything from before they started, not until I began seeing equipment arriving in the last week of November. Then, I saw that the survey stake that marked the border between mine and my neighbours property had been buried, and that the fence marking the border between his property and the township property was gone. That’s when I started asking questions.”
“When I asked the workers what was going on, they told me that they would remove any of the material that was on my property,” said Arney, in an interview at this house this week.
Arney said that he called Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith the next day on Saturday, December 1st.
Frances Smith does not recall exactly what she told Arney on the phone on December 1st.
“I would have told him then what I told him when he came to council last month. If we did anything wrong, we will make it right,” she said in a phone interview this week.
The old culvert was removed and the new one installed a few days later, just before freeze up. By Friday, December 7, barely a week before arriving, construction crews were gone.
“What was left is a culvert that is wider and a lot longer than the one that was replaced. I have a copy of the permit they got from Quinte conservation, which says the new culvert will be 15 feet longer, but what is there is much longer than that. The permit also says that a sediment screen should be in place until the site has stabilised and there is no screening in place,” said Arney.
The construction took place after Greer Galloway, an engineering firm working for Central Frontenac, obtained a development permit from Quinte Conservation. The permit was granted on the basis of a report on the project prepared by Greer Galloway and submitted to Quinte Conservation, along with a “construction sequence and dewatering plan” that was submitted by Crains Construction.
The permit sets out six conditions, one being that a 27.5 metre long culvert will be replaced by a 31.5 metre long culvert. It also says that “sediment and erosion controls must be properly installed to isolate the work site from the watercourse and must remain in place until the site has stabilised.”
Quinte Conservation may or may not have visited the site before approving the permit. One of the notes attached to the permit says “Quinte Conservation inspects, some, but not all permits.”
When construction was complete, Ken Arney was not happy with the outcome. He called his local councillors, and eventually all members of council, and asked them to come look at the situation. He went before, and presented his concerns in February.
“They did not apologise. I got the feeling that they thought I was making trouble,” he said about the meeting.
He also said that while council is committed to buying the piece of land that they have effectively appropriated, they are not planning to build a new fence to replace the one that was removed.
He refers to a document he obtained from the public works department of the township, titled “notes on 2138 Henderson Road” which says, in part, “we can also investigate the possibilities of providing services in lieu of payment … (ie. repairing of fence or entrance improvements … )”
France Smith said that it is her understanding that Crains construction is going to replace the fence, and that a surveyor is going to be determining how much land is involved and the township will then purchase it.
“But none of this can happen in the winter,” she said. “We told him that. As I said, if we do anything wrong, we fix it.”
She also said that is it her understanding that Ken Arney was seeking a survey of his whole property as part of the resolution.
“We see no reason to do that, we will only survey what we need to survey,” she said.
Ken Arney is not quite ready to put the matter behind him.
“I think a lot of people messed up; Quinte, Greer Galloway, Crains and the township. Someone should look at this. The culvert is longer than they said it would be, and the sediment is leaching into the creek,” he said.