Craig Bakay | Jul 31, 2019
North Frontenac would like to get a handle on how many residents might be interested in renting one of a potential five units, should they access County money and build an “affordable seniors apartment complex” similar to the ones in Frontenac Islands and Central Frontenac.
To that end, at Friday’s regular North Frontenac Council meeting in Plevna, Mayor Ron Higgins asked councilors to decide on one councilor for each ward to become part of a proposed task force that would canvas residents for interest with the hopes of creating an unofficial waiting list.
“Could we fill it, if we build it?” said Higgins.
Higgins said there wouldn’t be any financial commitment like a deposit required from residents, just that they’d like to get an idea of how many potential residents there might be.
A survey on seniors housing conducted in March of 2018 garnered 69 responses, only 27 per cent indicated their preference would be to move to a low-maintenance housing unit. The other choices were to stay in their existing home and access available services (44 per cent) or stay in their existing home as-is (32 per cent).
Coun. Gerry Martin, who also serves as the Township’s second member on County Council suggested earlier projections on the cost to build such a facility might be cheaper than originally thought.
“If we decide to do it, there is a set of plans available from the one on Wolfe Island,” he said. “That would save us a lot of money.”
“Coun. (Dennis) Doyle did tell us we could have them,” said Higgins.
“Yes, and then he added ‘for a price,’” said Martin.
Martin questioned who potential residents for such a facility might be.
“I think people who’ve been here a long time won’t be the ones we get,” he said.
“I thought just the opposite,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I thought it would be affordable housing for our residents.”
“I think there’s a lot of people who would like to rent to stay in the area but still keep the cottage for the kids,” said Martin.
“There’s no reason to rush this,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer.
“It’s a 2020 building project at best,” said Inglis.
“And there’s no deadline on the County money,” said Higgins.
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At the request of Central Frontenac Township, North Frontenac has given its support for Via Rail’s High Frequency Train Service (a direct line from Toronto to Ottawa with a stop in Sharbot Lake).
However Coun. John Inglis questioned what benefits there might be to North.
“I’m trying to imagine a rail system increasing tourism in North Frontenac,” Inglis said. “You’d need car rental agencies or buses at the station in Sharbot Lake for that.”
“But it would make it easier to work in Ottawa and live in North Frontenac if they could take the train every day,” said Coun. Gerry Martin.
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North Frontenac is looking to replace Tanker 521 from the Snow Road Station with one from the Kingston Fire and Rescue’s training facility.
Tanker 521 has been out of service since July 15, when it drove onto a soft shoulder to avoid oncoming traffic and ended up in the ditch.
Few other details about the incident are known and Mayor Ron Higgins restricted Council debate to the matter of replacing the tanker as there are investigations by the insurance company, the OPP and a North Frontenac internal investigation pending.
Fire Chief Eric Korhonen said Kingston has offered to sell North Frontenac a single axle, 1,500 gallon (half the capacity of 521) for $2,850, which is the value of the old vehicle at scrap rates.
• • •
North Frontenac is considering installing video equipment at its waste sites following six incidents since March.
“The last recorded incident was in 2012, now we have this many since March,” said Public Works Manager Darwyn Sproule. “I don’t have an explanation.”
Five of the incidents involved accessing the sites at Plevna (4) and Road 506 (1) after hours to remove recyclables (expired propane tanks, batteries and/or scrap metal. The other incident (at Kashwakamak) involved dumping a large amount of spent fireworks. It is believed that led to a fire to which the Kaladar Barrie Fire Department had to respond.
The estimated cost to repair damage to Township property is estimated at $171 for materials plus seven hours of staff time. The value of the stolen recyclables is unknown.
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