Yourway January 23, 2014 Vol. 14, No. 3 $1.00 incl. GST. The Furnace Broker 8109 Hwy 38, Godfrey ON Dual Fuel Models Available Complete Line of Paints Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm Sat: 8am-4pm Northbrook 613-336-2195 Your independent community newspaper since 1971 Parham, Godfrey, Maberly face cuts Circulation: 9166 households 613 or 374-2566 1-888-674-2566 South Frontenac Council Canada Post to cut hours in The saga of the Petworth Bridge small outlets by Jeff Green C anada Post is planning to cut 25% of its hours at the Parham, Godfrey and Maberly post offices. The proposed cuts were announced via letters to township councils on January 8, and communicated directly to the postmasters involved by Glen Baldock, the local area manager for Canada Post in Kingston. The changes include eliminating Saturday hours in all three locations, and cutting overall hours from 36 to 27. While the hours are somewhat different in all three locations, the changes would result in later openings and earlier closings on weekdays, with the notable exception being Thursday afternoons, when extended hours are being contemplated. The postmasters at all three locations, Parham Post Office. Closing times to increase. who are unionized employees under a collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA), were reluctant to talk about the proposed changes, but they did say that they were not consulted about the proposals before Glen Baldock came to see them a week or so ago. Without going into detail, they said they did offer alternatives to Baldock, based on their own experience with their customers. They expressed a concern, as did a number of customers we talked to, that the earlier closings in the afternoons, along with the Saturday closings, will make it difficult for customers who work 9am-5pm jobs to get their mail at the post office. If the changes go through as contemplated, it would result in the Godfrey and Maberly post offices being open from 11 am – 4 pm Mondays to Wednesdays and on Fridays, and 11 am – 6 pm on Thursdays. The 6 pm closing on Thursdays will be impossible to accomplish in Godfrey, because the post office is located within the LD Powersports store, which closes at 5:00. In Parham, where the current hours of operation are 9am until 12 noon and 2 - 5:30 pm on weekdays, and 9 am -12:30 pm on Saturdays, it is proposed that the hours will be 9 am until 12 noon and 2:30 to 4:30 on each day except Thursday, when the afternoon opening is to be extended until 6:30 p.m. According to the letter Glen Baldock sent to the local councils, “A careful review has determined that we have a very small number of local customers” during the hours of the day that Canada Post is planning to cut. This review was based on the time of day when most sales are made at the outlets, which is tracked by the Canada Post computer, but the postal employees at the locations said that the data does not account for the use of the post office by customers to pick up their mail, which is not tracked. In his letter to the townships, Baldock indicated that a final decision about the It seems trucks are always running off the Petworth bridge, causing damage. This accident took place in the early 20th Century. No word on who paid for the bridge repair back then. by Wilma Kenny ast year. a truck struck the Petworth Bridge, east of Highway 38, near Hartington. This event brought to light the fact that the County of Lennox & Addington and South Frontenac Township share responsibility for repair and maintenance of the structure. However, Petworth Bridge lies completely within South Frontenac. L&A offered to pay their share of the repair costs on the condition that South Frontenac agrees to take over full responsibility for the bridge from then on. Council agreed in principle to assume this responsibility. How did this strange arrangement come about in the first place? Mayor Davison said that he had heard it was because this bridge provided the only crossing of the Napanee River between Bellrock Road and Colebrook, and provided closest access to what was then an isolated part of L&A County. L More from South Frontenac Council on page 2 changes has not been made yet. “We will be holding discussions with the local representatives of our employees’ associations, the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA) and will communicate the results with you once these discussions have occurred. Rest assured that these potential changes will take our customers’ and your constituents’ postal needs into consideration. We remain committed to providing postal services in urban and rural communities across the country.” The News called Glen Baldock for comment but we did not receive a return call before our publication deadline for this week’s paper. Central Frontenac draft budget – taxes headed north T he draft 2014 Central Frontenac budget, presented by Treasurer Michael McGovern to a special meeting of council on Monday afternoon (January 20), carries an increase of just over $500,000 in the cost to taxpayers for local services, from $6.15 million in 2013 to $6.66 million in 2014, an 8.1% hike. Inflation accounts for just under 1% of the increase, according to McGovern, and there are a number of investments that account for the rest. On Monday afternoon, the public works and fire departments presented their departmental budgets, and later in the week the other departments, including the corporate, IT, building, and planning departments will present their own figures. Among the more expensive additions to the 2014 budget is a $200,000 contribution to the fire department capital reserve fund, which is earmarked for a new fire hall in Parham, slated to be built next year. There is also a $75,000 cost for a new emergency first response foam crew cab truck for the Henderson Fire Hall. “The plan is to move the existing pumper truck from Henderson to Arden, and have something more applicable for our Henderson crew,” said Fire Chief Bill Young. Aside from completing the $1.77 million Wagarville Road project, which is mostly covered by a grant from the province, Public Works Manager Mike Richardson proposed that $640,000 be put towards a reconstruction project on the four-kilometre stretch that runs north from Henderson. “The Henderson Road is causing us a great deal of grief in maintenance,” said Mike Richardson. “The base is falling apart very quickly in sections; $640,000 does four kilometres - the worst four kilometres - of that road. We will have to entirely rebuild that road.” The other major public works project in 2014 is the Johnston Road bridge, which will cost $330,000. In terms of equipment replacement, the 2014 budget includes $210,000 for a new tandem truck and $165,000 for a new loader. The budget also includes the $10,000 purchase of an electronic speed street sign, similar to that which South Frontenac’s road department has placed at the north end of Verona to encourage drivers to slow down before they reach Prince Charles Public School. “We plan to put the sign at Crow Lake for several months and then maybe move it to some other location,” said Richardson. All of the road and bridge projects in the township, as well as equipment replacements, are being done in line with five-year priority plans that are updated annually. Mayor Janet Gutowski proposed that councilors refrain from making any decisions about changes to specific budget items until all of the presentations have been made, which will have taken place by the end of this week. “Once we have heard all the presentations, and asked for clarification of all the numbers, we can get down to cutting or add- Leonard Fuels Ltd. Hartington • 613-372-2112 • 1-800-543-7884 Since 1948 email@example.com ing items,” she said. Council will meet on Monday (January 28) and two days later if necessary to finalize the budget. “All things being equal we will bring the budget to our regular council meeting on February 11 for approval,” said Chief Administrative Officer Larry Donaldson. As the budget stands, Michael McGovern said the impact on the average ratepayer will be significant but not too substantial. “Taking the median family income in the township, which is about $61,000, property taxes would represent about 4.7% of household income. The average house value in 2013 was $220,000 and the increase would be about $130 in 2014, as it stands now,” he said. There were seven members of Council in attendance at the first budget meeting. Councilor Frances Smith was away due to a death in the family and Councilor Bill Snyder was ill. Huge Blowout Your One Stop Comfort Shop • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) • Forced Air Oil • In-floor Heat • Dovre F750 Oil Stoves • Duct Design • Heat Loss/Gain • Water Heaters • Central Air Conditioning by Jeff Green Used Chainsaws starting at 8109 RD. 38 Godfrey, ON K0H 1T0 613-374-5604 firstname.lastname@example.org $75.00 All Makes. Reconditioned & Ready To Go!