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Hockey team gets a break

The November 15th South Dundas council meeting saw a lot of discussion surrounding the Morrisburg Rink rental fees.

The issue was raised due to a letter received by the Township,  sent by Bruce Mullin about the “more-than-double” rate of the ice rental fee for Seaway District High School’s hockey team.

According to Mullin’s letter, last year the team paid $37 per hour for ice time, but this year the rate has gone up to $87 per hour.

The Morrisburg Rink’s rental fees are $125 per hour for adult prime time rental, $95 per hour for children’s prime time rental, and a universal $85 per hour for non-prime rental. All prices are before the addition of HST.

Manager for Recreation, Don Lewis, provided council with a breakdown of rink costs. It costs “$24 per hour for electricity when the compressors are running. When there’s no rental, it costs $8 per hour.”

“The hourly rate for one of our employees (with benefits calculated in) is $29.66 per hour.”

“It’s $53.67 in total. That does not include the natural gas we burn for heaters or the zamboni. These are just two of the key things,” he continued.

In checking with other arenas, Lewis found that Morrisburg’s prices are comparable.

“People think that when the rink’s not being used that it’s not costing us as if it was being used,” said Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald.

The main concern seemed to revolve around two points: what is fair and consistent for everyone; and, what can council do to help support the existence of a hockey team for the local high school.

Councillor Jim Graham pointed out: “They got a rate last year and they were expecting it this year. My suggestion is that we give them a reduced rate on their practice time. This year they got hit with something they weren’t expecting.”

Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “one of the challenges I have is that we went through the budget. We felt they were fair. There’s no expectation to make money. It’d be nice to break even. There’s a lot of cost we haven’t accounted for.”

He pointed out the probability that “if we allow a break on this one” then minor hockey might ask “‘if the high school can get a break, then why can’t we?’”

He later said, “I just think it’s fair that we try to be consistent.”

He admitted that the hockey program for high school students “gets them out and gives them school spirit.”

He said, “we try to be fair and still run our business and try to keep deficits to a minimum.”

Council members each saw the need to be fair and the need to keep deficits to a minimum, but many also wanted to do something for the high school’s hockey team.

In the end, it was decided that for 2011/2012, ice rental fees for Seaway’s team will be $50 per hour for practice ice time and $85 per hour for tournament ice time.  The following years will see the team paying the same price as everyone else.

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Municipal drains to receive some TLC

Several South Dundas municipal drains will be getting some much needed attention now that tendered bids for each of the jobs have been approved.

On November 15th, Manager for  Planning and Enforcement, Don Lewis presented council with work agreements for ten municipal drains asking that council approve the contracts.

Prior to this, municipal drain maintenance tenders were sent out for each drain separately to the following companies: Ault Excavating; Cruickshank Construction; Fawcett Brothers Excavating; Lloyd McMillan Equipment; and, Quintan Products.

Ault Excavating and Quintan Products tendered bids for each of the drains. Fawcett Brothers Excavating tendered a bid for the Howard Mellan Municipal Drain. No other companies submitted bids.

Quintan Products had the lowest bid for the Carkner Municipal Drain project at $38,485.66.

Ault Excavating held the lowest bids for the nine remaining projects, as follows:

Ault Munroe Municipal Drain for $13,482.19

Eva McIntosh Municpal Drain for $18,155.01

Lee McIntosh Municipal Drain for $8,546.83

Barkley Creek/ McKenzie Municipal Drain for $31,218.97

Van Moorsel Municipal Drain for $23,430.26

Glen Becker Municipal Drain for $14,411.26

Marcellus Municipal Drain for $30,420.16

Howard Mellan Municipal Drain for $7,127.28

Landon McInnis Municipal Drain for $11,248.56

Lewis gave a brief overview of each drain project in terms of the length in lineal feet as well as in terms of when the drain had last been maintained.

While the majority of the municipal drains hadn’t received maintenance in approximately 15 to 16 years, a couple of them have been waiting since the 1970’s and1980s.

Once completed, the land owners will be sent invoices to cover the cost of the work done. The province will pay one third of the cost for those drains located on agricultural land.

Council approved each of the contracts as presented.

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Township recognized for grant allocations

Going forward, grants approved in the $ for $ program will now require the recipient to acknowledge the township’s contribution.

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald presented council with the amendment to the program’s guidelines.

The additional clause reads: “The recipient agrees to recognize the contribution of the Township of South Dundas through the installation of a plaque, signage or other suitable means satisfactory to the Township. Generally the nature of the project and the involvement of the Township and the recipient shall be identified.”

The issue was first raised at the November 1st council meeting by Councillor Evonne Delegarde.

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Fencing enforced at Matilda Landfill site

“The Ministry of Environment has notified us that we need to wrap a fence around the Matilda Landfill Site so no other farming work is done on our landfill site,” Hugh Garlough, South Dundas Manager of Public Works, informed council members at the November 15th meeting.

He recommended that council hire Burchell Fencing. 

According to Garlough, “three local companies were notified and two submitted prices.”

Burchell Fencing’s quote amounted to $16,027.21 after taxes, while D&H Fencing’s quote came in at $19,741.45 after taxes.

Garlough explained “the biggest thing with this is to keep the landowners from spreading any manure or waste” on the landfill site, which might, in turn, result in negative test results.

In answer to council members inquiries into the amount of fencing required, Garlough replied, “I hope the ministry stands by their word and we only have to fence the agricultural land.”

The point is “to keep the agricultural community out of our property,” he reiterated.

As for a deadline date for the erection of the fence, Garlough told council that 2011 is the deadline, “but it’s been negotiated and deferred a little bit.”

If Burchell Fencing is able to complete the project this year, “a budget amendment to deficit finance the project would be required,” he continued.

Garlough told council that if Burchell is unable to complete the job before the end of 2011, “they’d get it done in the spring.”

Should that happen, “it will  be included in the 2012 budget.”

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Bringing it home to the township

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Clerk Brenda Brunt recommended that council “authorize the transfer of the Care and Maintenance Funds from the Public Trustee and act as the Trustee of that fund for the Williamsburg Community Cemetery Board (WCCB).”

Councillor Archie Mellan who confirmed that he sits on the WCCB said, “it’s something they’ve been looking at for a number of years. They thought it would be beneficial to bring it home to the township.”

According to Brunt, “the principal and interest earned through investments are a separated entity of the Township and has no budget implications to the Township.”

“The Township is acting as a Public Trustee to the fund to maintain the requirements under the Cemetery Act and provide financial guidance to allow the fund to continually grow.”

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Fashion Show donates to Seaway

 

Students at Seaway District High School in Iroquois are the big winners as River Rat Treasures, Sears and Scotiabank hand over $1,403 to the Seaway Parents Council, the proceeds from a Fashion Show fund raiser held on Sunday, November 6. Funds raised at the event were matched through the generosity of Scotiabank. The money will be put to good use for technology in the classroom. “A huge thank you to Scotiabank Morrisburg branch, and  the community support of Seaway,” said chair of the Parents Council Leslie Disheau. “Candy, Carol and Evonne did another amazing fashion show for us. We are very thankful.” Pictured at the cheque presentation are (l-r) Carol Merkley, Sears Travel, Evonne Delegarde, River Rat Treasures, Candace Menges, owner River Rat Treasures and Sears, Iroquois, Leslie Disheau, Carol Ann Sage, and Diana O’Neil of Scotiabank.  

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Fire Chief retracts statement

The Leader received a letter from Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, lawyers for Christie and Walther Communications on November 16, 2011 “with respect to the article ‘Enhanced response time for fire departments in South Dundas.’” 

The letter said: “the statements published in this article with respect to CWC’s quality of services are false.”

The letter requested: “an immediate retraction of same and a formal written apology to our client.”

On November 21, 2011 the Leader received the following media release from the Township of South Dundas: “Fire Chief Chris McDonough today issued the following statement retracting comments he made with regard to the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville.”

“‘I would like to retract the comments attributed to me regarding the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville. Christie and Walther Communications have provided the Township of South Dundas with quality dispatch services and my comments were in no way intended to be defamatory and/or damaging to them. I apologize for the comments and trust that the professionalism displayed by both parties will continue through the transition.’” 

The Leader offered all parties the opportunity to comment in response to the retraction.

Stephen McDonald, CEO for the Township of South Dundas: “I have no further comment.”

CWC responded via email through their counsel, Alexandra Logvin of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP: “CWC has been alarmed by the Fire Chief’s statements. CWC has proudly served South Dundas’ community and the municipal government for over the last 12 years. Its quality of service has never been questioned. CWC’s employees take great pride in their work, providing the best service to South Dundas’ community. The Fire Chief’s statements are false and damaging to CWC’s business and reputation. CWC finds the occurrence unfortunate, but is pleased to see that the municipality and its fire department took the message and publicly retracted its comments.”

 

OFFICIAL RETRACTION

Fire Chief Chris McDonough today issued the following statement retracting comments he made with regard to the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville.

“I would like to retract the comments attributed to me regarding the transfer of the Townships’ Fire Dispatch from Christie and Walther Communications to the City of Brockville. Christie and Walther Communications have provided the Township of South Dundas with quality dispatch services and my comments were in no way intended to be defamatory and/or damaging to them. I apologize for the comments and trust that the professionalism displayed by both parties will continue through the transition.” 

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Don Graham Trail

Don Graham played a key part in resurrecting the hiking trails that are now owned by South Nation Conservation (SNC) and referred to as Two Creeks Trail.

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “I think it would certainly be fitting if Don’s name be named on one of the trails.”

Byvelds had already approached Graham on the subject and reported that “he said he’d be honoured with that recognition.”

The mayor also “talked with Josée Brizard (Director of Conservation Programs at SNC) and she thought that would be a great thing to do.”

He told council that he was looking for their approval to pursue the request with SNC.

Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke saw the request as “very fitting” and later referred to Graham as a “very very dedicated man.”

Councillor Jim Graham agreed adding, “over the years Don’s done a lot for the community.”

Byvelds said, “I’d like to call it the Don Graham Trail.”

He pointed out that SNC has a trail in Russel named after James Reid so, “we’re not setting a precedent. It’s been done in the past.”

[…]