On Saturday, 16 teams from across South-Central Ontario participated in the 58th Annual Merchants Bonspiel held at the Lakefield Curling Club. The event was supported by 70 local Merchants.
by Terry McQuitty
The newly elected Peterborough County council will see more money in their bank accounts this coming year. At the Thursday meeting county council voted themselves a 79 per cent pay raise.
The previous council had given preliminary approval to a pay hike which was passed by the sitting council on Thursday. The reason for the pay raise is that council pay had not been addressed over a ten year period and it was discovered that Peterborough pay was substantially lower than municipalities of comparative size.
The one exception of lesser pay was the warden. The Peterborough County warden was actually being paid more than his peers. Last term the warden was paid $55,700 while wardens of comparable municipalities were earning $46,504 which is a difference of $9,196 per annum. Peterborough county voted to lower the wardens wage to $50,600 from $55,700. One of the reasons for not matching the average wage is that new legislation was passed January 1 which eliminates a federal tax break once received by municipal councillors which covered one third of the councillor’s income.
Deputy warden Andy Mitchell will see a pay increase from $18,839 to $25,839 which works out to a 37 per cent pay increase.
Councillors earned $9,448 prior to the Thursday meeting, but will have an annual pay increase to $16,926 following the vote.
A public meeting was advertised and held prior to the council meeting to field questions or concerns regarding the proposed remuneration package, but nobody from the public attended.
The 79 per cent increase seems quite high, but the fact that remuneration had not been addressed for a decade made the hill a little higher to climb. According to a report, staff compared Peterborough County to 14 other municipalities (upper tier) of similar size. The average pay in the comparable municipalities was $16,152. Peterborough county was at the bottom of the pile with a councillors income of $9,448.
Peterborough county chose to pick a pay package in the middle of the pack.
Last Wednesday Peterborough MPP Dave Smith visited Hospice Peterborough’s construction site to confirm the Provincial Government’s commitment and support of the community hospice palliative care sector. Locally the Ontario Government is partnering with Hospice Peterborough to help build more hospice beds, which will provide individuals and families in our community with compassionate palliative and end-of-life care closer to home. Hospice Peterborough will receive $534,000 from the Ministry of Health to help fund furniture, fittings and equipment for the new Hospice Peterborough Care Centre.
“Everyone should have access to dignified end-of-life care that respects the wishes of the patient and their loved ones,” said MPP Dave Smith. “That’s why I am proud our government is committed to improving access to comfortable, end-of-life care in communities across the province, especially here in our riding of Peterborough-Kawartha.”
In December the Ministry of Health confirmed that they are committed to providing compassionate care for more people across the province nearing the end of their lives. The announcement confirmed the PC Government will honour plans laid out prior to the election. In addition to the $534,000 Hospice Peterborough will receive $1.5M in one time Hospice Implementation Funding. The timing of this funding is currently being finalized with the Central East Local Health Integration Network.
“Hospice Peterborough has continued to move forward with the project to build a Hospice Care Centre during the government’s financial review process. We have been steadfast in our commitment to our generous community and our mission to provide the best palliative care possible.” said Executive Director Linda Sunderland. “We are thrilled with this funding confirmation and are excited to announce that we will open our Care Centre doors in March. We hope the whole community will come out to visit their new hospice.”
by Marnie Clement
A contentious issue that dogged the former municipal council in Trent Lakes resurfaced at Tuesday’s council meeting when Mayor Janet Clarkson proposed a motion to direct staff to report to Council on rehabilitating the Galway Depot.
That motion was defeated, but in a 3-2 vote council decided to review the Galway Depot issue at the next budget meeting.
When presenting her original motion, Mayor Clarkson told council she wants to start the process “to do whatever needs to be done” to rehabilitate the Galway Depot.
Councillor Carol Armstrong said that she was confused because last July the former council voted to make temporary repairs to the Galway Depot so that it could be used this winter and council would revisit the entire depot issue in the spring of 2019.
“Rehabilitate the depot to what level?” Councillor Armstrong asked. “To a fully operational heated facility?”
Councillor Kim Letto suggested the matter be discussed as part of the 2019 budgeting process.
CAO Peter Avgoustis told council that he understands the municipality will have to hire an engineer too look at the depot and estimate what needs to be done. But he said staff need more direction on what council wants the depot to be.
Councillor Terry Lambshead said the municipality needs a strategic facilities master plan to decide where the municipality is going to go and when they can set aside the money to do it.
The municipality has been operating using three depots: one in Buckhorn, one in Bobcaygeon (known as the 49 depot) and the Galway Depot in Kinmount. Council spent more than $60,000 on studies that eventually recommended a new centralized depot.
But the depot decision became an issue when council first received a report in April 2017 from an architect for a site and depot building design costing $5.15 million.
At the next council meeting, members expressed concerns with high cost and decided to establish a committee to try and find a more cost-effective solution.
As a result of the review a number of alternatives were suggested for the new depot. Staff asked Greenview Environmental Management to develop plans for a 21,500 square foot energy efficient building with four maintenance bays and 10 vehicle storage bays, as well as administrative and meeting space. Greenview submitted plans for a depot that would cost an estimated $4.65 million, less that the earlier $5.1 5 million design submitted by the first company.
By this time councillors were hearing from local residents concerned about not only the cost of the single depot, but about where it would be located to best serve such a large municipal area. Council held a special public meeting to hear public concerns.
In December 2017 council voted to look at other options including:
• the suitability and costs of building the proposed new public works depot on property owned by the municipality near the intersection of 36 and 507
• having a report prepared on the existing Galway Depot clarifying the health and safety issues with the building, consider putting up temporary winter shelters for the vehicles, get costs estimates for demolishing that building and removing debris, and investigate third party options for plowing in that area
Council also suspended the tender process that was underway for constructing the new building
Council then hired Cambium Inc. to do a location analysis for the depot or depots. The company reviewed five options including status quo (maintaining all existing depots), a new single depot at highways 507 and 36, a new single depot across the road from the municipal office, a new depot at 49 yard location plus use of Buckhorn depot as cold storage, or a new depot at 507/36 plus use of Buckhorn and 49 yard as cold storage.
The Cambium report concluded the two best options were a new single depot at 507 and 36 or a new depot at 49 plus using the Buckhorn facility for winter operations and summer storage.
Another public meeting was held to hear comments on the Cambium location analysis and presenters expressed concerns about the costs, the number of depots and the location. Many insisted that a detailed in-depth needs analysis is needed before any decisions are made.
By mid-May, council decided that a centralized public works depot was not a viable option (at that time) and directed staff to “provide a report to Council that identifies the necessary repairs, costs of repairs and recommended improvements costs for the Buckhorn and the Bobcaygeon depots to meet operational needs now and for the future which may include additional equipment storage space; and further that Council directs staff to provide a report to Council that identifies solutions and estimated costs for a seasonal structure for Galway to meet operational needs now and for the future”.
After that meeting, staff met with WSP Canada who reviewed the structural condition of the Galway building. WSP said in order to use the Galway Depot as a winter shelter the repair work needed to make the building structurally sound would be approximately $12,000 plus $2,000 for design. This work was done and this winter three bays in the building are being utilized.
Then in July council passed the motion directing staff to “advise the Incoming Council (2018-2022) to engage & hold in-depth review(s) with Public Works Department Management team to identify the optimum use of funds for Repairs, Upgrades & Improvements to Public Works Depots to meet current & future operational needs and to allocate the necessary funding in the 2019 budget and for the works to be done ASAP.”
Peterborough County council to receive 79 per cent pay raise
MPP Dave Smith confirms funding for Hospice
Trent Lakes Depot back again
In this week's print edition
Festive R.I.D.E. Program wraps up
Douro-Dummer reduces waste
Distracted driving laws
Local start-up company
ORCA seedling program
Public Health history & future
PolarFest sponsor Precision Sunrooms
Savage Ams celebrates 50 years in Lakefield
ReFerame turns 15
Crime StoppersLakefield Curling Club Merchant Bonspeil
Regular Columns and Features:
Editorial by Terry McQuitty
Bird Column by Rachel Lancashire
Mature Living by Terri Williams Kinghorn
Book Review by Barry Mutter
@yourlibrary by Kacie Gardiner
Story Time at the Buckhorn Library
Golden Years Club Update
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"Unheralded" chronicles a week in the life of "The Lakefield Herald", a local newspaper published in Lakefield, Ontario. Whether writing about dog shows and 100th birthdays, or telling stories of citizen opposition and community loss - local news reporters have a difficult job, especially when the readers are their neighbours. "Unheralded" is an NFB-TVO Calling Card production.
Unheralded the documentary