Community Support Increased
The Township passed its 2019 budget, 2019 Budget Package – February 19 2019 , with a nominal 2% increase in property taxes. Twenty thousand dollars was added to community grants with the understanding that it would include support to festivals and other ongoing community events and initiatives.
In the past Council has given organizations ad hoc support, like donations to South Frontenac Community Services, New Leaf link and the Inverary Youth Club. Donations to groups were also provided through a small community grant program that was over subscribed last year.
Your input is welcome on how the Township should support the softer services that build community, develop social connections and provide needed services.
Many of us are involved in some form of community group, what is needed? Sponsorships; base funding; grants; more Township equipment, like speakers, tables, canopies, photocopying; or something else you think would help. The discussions are about to start and any suggestions are welcome.
Advisory Committee for Sydenham Water
Council has passed a resolution that a community engagement plan be developed for the Sydenham Water System. The engagement plan is to be in place before any new initiatives are undertaken.
I have asked to make a deputation to the March 21st Public Services Committee on the plan and would welcome any suggestions you have.
As well as more information meetings and input on specific initiatives, one suggestion is that the Township establish a permanent water advisory committee made up largely of those that pay for the system. The committee could meet a couple of times a year and go over reports and policy initiatives, help inform the public and make recommendations.
One of the tensions with the water system is that a relatively small group of people pay for, and use, a service that is controlled by people that do not use it. A committee of users who had ongoing input into the operation of the system might help bridge this gap.
Water System Capacity
One ongoing question has been, how much extra capacity is there on the Sydenham water system? We are closer to an answer.
Utilities Kingston reports, Sydenham Capacity 01-2019, that there are 159 properties currently making full use of the water system. It also reports that there are still 68 properties not connected, 22 that are connected but have no water consumption and a further 29 that are connected with “unusually low consumption”.The population within the service boundary is 695 and there are 20 vacant lots within that area.
Utilities Kingston calculates that, if all the current potential users in the service area made full use of Township water a further 52 residences could be added to the system. This number could be increased if the 290 cubic metres of water that is lost in the operation of the water plant was reduced, or if average water consumption per household used in the calculations was lowered.
These figures are important because they will play a role in any discussion on further development in the Sydenham area.
New Official Plan
Steps are actually being taken to write a new Township Official Plan. Our planning department staff is up a full capacity: two planners and an assistant. There is money in the budget for the initial studies. And, the Development Services Committee is discussing a timeline and process of community engagement. The project is expected to take two years and it will play a major role in how the Township develops for the next few decades.
If you have any initial comments, particularly on how to maximize public input, now is a good time to make them.
Milk Lake Residents Win at OMB
Two years ago residents of Milk Lake challenged a Committee of Adjustment ruling that allowed a new building on a vacant lot to be built 13.1 metres from the lake, within 15 metres of the “top of the bank”, a regulation to protect slope stability, and too close to Buck Lake, a highly sensitive Lake Trout Lake. The ruling took a strong stand supporting South Frontenac’s 30-meter buffer protecting lakes.
The ruling, PL170550-FEB-11-2019-Decision, found the variances were not minor, that the environmental studies did not show that water quality would be protected and that there were other suitable building lots on the property that would have met the set back requirements. Congratulations to those that funded and worked hard on the appeal.
Desert Lake Causeway
Reworked plans for the Desert Lake Causeway rebuild will be coming back to a public meeting for one last round of comment on Tuesday, April 30 (tentative) with the project going out for tenders in June.