Township News

Municipal Elections: October 22, 2018

In South Frontenac there are 3 individuals running for Mayor:  incumbent Ron Vandewal vs challengers Mark Schjerning and Phil Archambault.  In the Bedford district which covers a portion of Bobs lake, incumbent Pat Barr has been declared elected.

In Central Frontenac incumbent Frances Smith has been acclaimed as Mayor.   In Olden district, there is one incumbent running Victor Heese .  The other nominees are former Reeve Elwyn Burke, Dan Cunningham and Bill Everett.

In Tay Valley, there are 3 candidates for Mayor:  incumbent Keith Kerr, Brian Campbell and Susan Freeman. 

Housekeeping Amendment:  South Frontenac:

In March 2016 the Township of South Frontenac proposed a “housekeeping amendment” to the Townships Official Plan.  The stated purpose of the “amendment”, which was brought forward in the middle of winter without consultation, was “to have buildings set back from water bodies to ensure protection of our lakes”.  This “environmentally responsible” initiative had a major flaw at the onset.  It was a threat to all nonconforming or grandfathered cottages within the 30 M (100 ft) set back from the high water line.  The “housekeeping amendment” put forward by the Township would have effected over 30% of the cottage properties on Bobs and Crow Lakes which may require structural repair to remain safe and functional in the future.   Your Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association joined the Waterfront Coalition (a group of lake associations in South Frontenac) to oppose this amendment and to encourage the Township to enter into a dialogue to:

1.) Maintain a property standard that was fair to all property owners and recognize ‘grandfathered’ domiciles;

2.) Ensure individual rights and property rights and

3.).  Increase environmental protection.  

After the Township refused to enter into a dialogue with the Coalition, the TSF brought forward, without feedback, a revised amendment.  The Waterfront Coalition put forward an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.  This appeal challenged the “housekeeping amendment” adopted by Council.   On numerous occasions the Coalition was thwarted by the Township in their attempt to enter
into a negotiation prior to the OMB hearing.  The OMB hearing was initially set for September 2016
and the Township asked for an extension.  A second date was set for February 2017 and was again postponed at the Townships request.  Finally a hearing was had on May 25, 2017.  The OMB ruled in favour of the Coalition in January 2018.  The ball is now in the court of the Township of South Frontenac to revise the amendment in accordance with the OMB ruling.

Septic Re-inspections: Central Frontenac:

The Township of Central Frontenac set up a Septic Re-Inspection Committee in the spring of 2014 to
address an action that could be taken to make persons aware of their responsibilities as septic owners and to encourage a program of regular septic pump outs.  This group listened to what people were saying concerning septic systems, they brought in experts in the field, researched and read numerous septic initiatives across Ontario, Canada and in other jurisdictions.  

After considerable discussion the Septic Reinspection Committee achieved a significant change of direction. Instead of recommending a mandatory re-inspection program they recommended a licensing regime. The key players in this regime would be the property owner and the pumpers/haulers. As professionals the pumper/haulers would be licensed by the Township and would work cooperatively with property owners and municipal government at little cost (outside the pumping fees) to gather essential information on septic systems across Central Frontenac.  Then, after five years the proposal calls for mandatory inspections of unreported properties and failing systems. It was suggested, through data collected by other Townships that were researched, that he number of systems that needed attention could be 2-3% or 100 to 150 septic systems of which a handful would require significant work.

When this proposal went to Council a flurry of misinformation and dis-information was circulated
on Facebook, in opinion pieces, in letters to the editor of the Frontenac News and through word of mouth. The Council of the TCF listened to this ’fake news’ and delayed a decision to move forward on this innovative approach to addressing septic systems in TCF.  The GBCLA will continue in its efforts to promote local government programs that are reasonable, fair and support efforts to maintain the current water quality of lakes in the region.  

Flooded Septic Field