Sun, Sand and Cycling

Spring has sprung on South Frontenac Council with sun, sand and cycling high on the agenda.

Sun: South Frontenac a Solar Energy Powerhouse?

In the last month three proposals for large solar energy projects have been presented to Council.  Sun Edison, a large American multi-national power company, is the potential developer of the two most serious proposals: one located on Florida Road (15 MGW), and the other Alton and Highway 38 (31 MGW).  .  Council has asked for community consultation beyond the minimum required, expanded setbacks from the wetland on Wilton Creek, and a beneficial monetary agreement.  There will be public meetings on both projects within the next month or so.  If you are interested or have concerns please come out or give me a call.

The province’s new renewable energy program prioritizes larger projects awarded on a competitive biding basis.  Most of the site plan conditions are provincially mandated but the Township’s power comes from the fact that bids with higher points for community consolation, a resolution of support from the Township Council and a financial agreement with the Township, are more likely to win and be paid more.  Ontario Sustainability Services estimates that a developer of a 20 Megawatt project could earn an extra 20 million dollars in revenue over 20 years if they maximize their community points.

While I am happy to see expanded solar coming to South Frontenac if the province favoured projects run by local organizations and residents more of the benefits would go to area residents.

Sand: “The Point Park” Renovation

A lively public meeting was held in Sydenham on changes to The Point Park.  The message heard loud and clear was that having sand close by the water is desired.  As the consultant pointed out sand beaches on points are not usually natural and ours is not.  The beach only has sand because loads of sand are dumped yearly into the lake.   Also, the Conservation Authority has said enough is enough: come up with a plan that stabilizes the shoreline. By the end of the meeting a general compromise was emerging that the in-water beach would be smooth pea gravel and close by, but separated from the water by a barrier, would be an upland sand beach where kids can play.  This had support at the Committee of the Whole and will be coming forward to Council.

On a related note, there is still no formal agreement on the repair of the football field.  A letter from The Mayor to the Chair of the School Board prompted a response that an agreement is being drafted and the School Board is moving forward with plans for a tender to fix the field.  The main concern is that construction start in time, by mid-July, so that only one season of sports activities is missed.

Cycling – June 7 Cycle Fest

South Frontenac Rides is now a formal committee of Council. On June 7, from 10-3, at the Loughborough School SF Rides is planning the first annual “Tour de South Frontenac Cycle Fest”: a family friendly festival of cycling events including a bike rodeo, cycle routes and a free BBQ, parking lot.  Bring you kids, family and friends and enjoy a day of community cycling.  Over the next year you can also help develop a complete system of cycle routes around the Township and suggest changes to Council to make cycling safer and more accessible.

Upcoming

Sydenham Water

A consolidation of the bylaws on the Sydenham water plant will be coming to Council in the next couple of months. This will present an opportunity to revisit the rate structure. Any comments you have on the way forward are very much appreciated.

Waste Diversion / Recycling Rate – 14%?

The annual consultant’s report on our dumps said that the volume of material being recycled is declining and our recycling diversion rate is between 4% and 14%.  This figure was disputed by the public works manager who will be bringing a report back on our waste diversion efforts.  Even at twice the rate reported (28% diversion) the figure is unacceptably low.  The current projected life span of the dumps is: Loughborough 9 years; Portland 29 years; Bradshaw 12 years; Green Bay 21 years and Salem 11 years.

The Official Plan

A schedule for public comment on changes to the Township’s Official Plan will be coming soon.  Please send me any changes you think are needed. While arcane, the Official Plan is a crucial document shaping how our Township will look in the future.

I welcome your opinion on any of the above issues as well as any other concerns you may have.  Please give me a call, 613-532-7846, or send me an email.

I look forward to seeing you around the township.

Ross.

p.s. You have received this email it is because we have discussed Township issues. If you do not wish to receive more emails please send me a note and I will take you off the list. I plan to send about one report a month. Also, if you know of someone who might like to receive this information please pass along their names.

About Ross Sutherland

nurse, researcher, public health care activist, councillor South Frontenac Township
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