| May 08, 2019

Brenda Crawford and Pam Redden came to Council on behalf of the Harrowsmith Beautification Committee with a proposal for improving the landscape of the new village traffic light section, along with other community upgrades. Crawford assured Council that none of the additions, and the list is impressive, would cost the Township money. The Public Works and Building departments will, however, have to review and approve the projects, which include a (fully accessible) gazebo with a cement base, placement of stones and possibly a fence, several benches, installation of recently-commissioned metal poppies and removal of dead tree and brush. She also listed a bench for the children's play area at Centennial park, and a flagpole on Road 38 near Alton Road, in memory of Roy Leonard. All the work and materials for the items and improvements have been donated by individuals and businesses in the community. All donations will be recognized by (locally designed and also donated) plaques.

Mayor Vandewal asked that the flagpole be located where a local resident could take responsibility for raising and lowering it as appropriate, and complimented Crawford for her energy and considerable skill at fundraising. Council unanimously agreed. Crawford noted that the Beautification Committee and Harrowsmith S&A were looking toward working in cooperation to continue making Harrowsmith an attractive and comfortable community in which to live.

Staff Changes and Additions
Council formalized Christopher Beeg’s appointment as Building Inspector: Beeg is an experienced carpenter, has worked in the building supply area, and as a site supervisor for Guildcrest Homes overseeing construction of new factory built homes.

Interviews for the position of Township CAO are slated to take place within a week.

Strategic Planning
Faced with competing demands to: enhance services, reduce costs and protect the environment, Council plans to seek public input to help with choosing priorities. CAO Orr brought the chosen timeline and a proposal for an online survey to be used as a framework for discussion at open houses in each of the districts later this summer. Councillor Ruttan expressed concern that there needed to be more focus on values, rather than a list of concrete actions. Mayor Vandewal noted that this was not meant to replace the updating of the Official Plan, which would be a major part of Council’s task in the coming year, and would include an in-depth review of the Township’s goals and values, again with public input. This StratPlan is to more to guide the Township’s current day-to-day work, within the budget that has been set out for 2019.

Dates for the district Open Houses (at which the new CAO will be introduced to the public) are: Thursday August 01 Bedford; Wednesday Aug 7 - Storrington; Tuesday Aug 13 - Portland, and Tuesday Aug 20 - Loughborough.

Women’s Institute Week Proclaimed
Council proclaimed the week of June 17 to June 22 to be Women’s Institute Week in South Frontenac. This year is the Sydenham Women’s Institute’s centennial: there will be a special celebration on Saturday June 22, at Grace Hall. Over the past hundred years, this group has made important and lasting contributions to Sydenham and its surrounding community. More info on this later!

Regional Roads
Council reviewed proposals by the County for finding a way to access funding through the County for regional Roads, particularly the former Provincial Highway 38, which was downloaded to the individual Townships at the time of amalgamation. At that time, the County had dissolved into a management committee, so there was no way, once the County re-formed, for it to access any funding support for the shared highway, now known as Road 38. Currently, South Frontenac’s road system is in good condition, but the other three Townships have smaller populations, and need more money than they have been able to raise for road maintenance and repair.

Of the five proposed options, South Frontenac Council cautiously preferred the third: to take a regional approach, with contracted engineering, and limited County involvement. They voted to endorse it, on the condition that any business plan for this option would require unanimous consent from all four Townships.

Waste Management in Frontenac County: Options
In response to a county report of waste management, Councilor Sutherland noted that while recycling depends heavily on provincial policy, diversion of organic waste from our landfill sites lies well within South Frontenac’s reach. Because half of the current Township waste stream is composed of organics, diversion could considerably extend the life of our landfill sites. As well as composting, either locally or centrally, Sutherland listed other creative approaches: the upcoming Repair Cafes (May 26 in Bellrock, June in Perth Road); roadside or landfill swaps, etc.)

The report was referred to the Public Services Committee for recommendations.

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