Craig Bakay | Aug 12, 2020

Central Frontenac Council deferred making a decision on closing a road allowance (Williams Lane, aka the old Tryon Road) at its regular online meeting Tuesday.

Council had approved the road closure in principle at its meeting May 24 based on a staff report at the time. The road runs through the property of Glen and Mary Stinson and the Stinsons have been maintaining it since 2006.

However, during the public meeting Tuesday, two neighbours told Council that they use the road regularly and would be inconvenienced by the closure.

“We can’t access our cottage via Leggatt Lake Road during the winter as the hill freezes,” said Larry Wood. “It’s a very big deal to me.

“We’ve asked the Stinsons for a right of way to be registered on title and are quite prepared to assist with the upkeep.”

Blair Sheridan said that while he does have access to his property from Tryon Road, he owns 256 acres, much of which he can’t easily get to and has been using Williams Lane to access the back half of his property.

Mary Stinson told the meeting that they are prepared to work with the neighbours but Sheridan said he’s asked for that in the past and been turned down.

Craig Halpenny, lawyer for the Stinsons, said there’s been a “lot of history” there and told Council that there is significant liability for the Township if the road is not closed.

“This is a public road,” he said.

Mayor Frances Smith agreed that it is a Township road allowance but staff confirmed that they couldn’t find any “paper” record of ownership. Still, Smith acknowledged they’d like the matter resolved.

“Is there a way all of the parties can come together in agreement?” Smith said. “As a Council, we’d like to see neighbours getting together.

“But we (the Township) do not want this road.”

Halpenny said he was prepared represent the Stinsons in negotiations with the neighbours who appeared willing to discuss it and come back with a proposal for Council’s second meeting in September.

Generous donation from disgruntled landowner

Council agreed in principle to accept a donation of land from Robert and Karen Craigue. The land in question is about (2.95 acres with 440 feet of frontage on Road 509 just north of the Ardoch Road.

Ina letter dated July 31, 2019 and resubmitted July 24, 2020, the Craigues said: “(We) would like to donated 2.3 acres of our property to the Township of Central Frontenac.

“The property was incorrectly zoned wetland and no one at Central Frontenac will take responsibility for the mistake and no one will even look at the property so I can show them how wrong their zoning lines are that were drawn from aerial photos.

“The property touches the wetland in the northwest corner but the area involved is minor. The zoning can be changed only by spending money to go through the rezoning process and it takes years.

“This has made the property useless and I am paying $150.75 for taxes on it. No one at Central Frontenac takes responsibility for this error and there is no reasonable fix for this.”

Diesel no more

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times but it appears that while diesel vehicles were all the rage a few years ago, the maintenance costs have made gas engines more desirable in this day in age.

That’s why Public Works Manager Tyson Myers asked Council for permission to replace an older ½ diesel pickup with a new gas model and to speed up replacement for two ¾ tons with gas models as supply of gas pickups seems to be short right now.

Myers got the backing of two councillors.

“As a school bus driver, I can tell you that for our smaller vehicles, we’re going back to gas,” said Victor Heese. “The diesel models are just too expensive to repair.”

“And I was at the dealership the other day and they told me they usually have around 50 trucks on the lot for sale,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald. “They had six.”

“Diesel engines last a lot longer but they’re much more expensive to repair these days,” Myers said.

Ballfields yes, halls no

While the ball fields and playgrounds are now open in Central Frontenac, the halls are not, CAO/Clerk Cathy MacMunn told Council.

“The issue is cleaning,” she said. “The Health Unit told us that we don’t have to clean the playground equipment because it’s out in the sunlight but halls have to be cleaned after each use, so it may take awhile before we have that worked out.”

Treasurer Michael McGovern said that while the Township has lost some revenue from not being able to rent out its facilities, it’s been “a wash” because they haven’t been spending on programs such as swimming.

He said there’s a possibility that the Township could lose “up to $8,000” in revenue from not renting out halls.

McGovern said that deferring late payments due to covid-19 has/will cost the Township “about $45,000 in tax revenue.”

Fire calls up

Fire Chief Jamie Riddell said the number of calls this year has been “up slightly over last year but about on a par with 2018.

“But that’s the way our curve seems to go. We’ll be down one year and then up again slightly, the next.”

Bridge repair

Norbrook Contracting was awarded the tender for bridge repair on Fourth Lake Road for $24,500.

Public Works Manager Tyson Myers said he expects the work to be finished this construction season.

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