Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The public “REVEAL” of the proposed county developments on the property up the airport road took place this morning (May 10, 2016).  The highlights were:
Phase 1: 
  • The portion of the Administration building that would house the Ag services and Public Works departments
  • Salt/sand storage facility
  • Chemical storage building/gate house
  • Service shop
  • Heated storage building
  • Two cold storage buildings
Note:  Only the top three buildings were mentioned during budget deliberations in February, along with the design/concept plans and site preparation.  The last three sets of buildings were publicly revealed in the documents of this May 10th agenda package.

Phase 2:
  • Construction of the balance of the Administration building that would support Corporate Services, Planning and Development, Community and Protective Services, and Council.

In the administration building floor plans it is noted that in all (Phase 1 and 2) there are a total of 81 offices/”work stations” for current use and an additional 39 offices/”work stations” for future use.  The administration building will be 43, 560 sq. ft. in size. Aside from the offices there are rooms for filing, copy rooms, storage, lunch room, meeting rooms, and six sets of washrooms. 

The total cost for Phase 1 is $21, 989, 500 and the cost for Phase 2 is $6, 532, 500 for a total of $27, 522, 000.  This is based on a “projected mid to low $200/sq. ft.” building cost estimate provided by the county’s consultant.

Phase 1:
$8, 665, 768 will come from reserves(sewer reserve, high speed internet reserve, county facility reserve, public works capital reserve, and paved roads reserve).  $10, 559, 185 will come from MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative, provincial grant money), and $2, 764, 547 from last year’s surplus.  
Phase 2:
$4, 500,000 will come from the sale of current building assets, $632, 811 from the projected 2016 operating surplus, $313, 207 from Public Works Capital Reserve, and $1, 086, 482 from the Tax Rate Stabilization fund (a fund set up by the county to off-set a budget shortfall and prevent a large spike in property tax).

There is reasonable concern with the budgeting of large amounts of money to be spent based on provincial grant dollars as these are never guaranteed.  Also, it is a concern to be taking money from specified reserves.  What happens if there is a serious need in one of these areas and the reserve has been depleted?? Also, is it fair to be taking money from sewer reserves, for example, to pay for a questionable building project when there are residents in hamlets(e.g. Withrow) with sewer needs???


  1. THE “REVEAL” --- The Tuesday, May 10th county council meeting will provide taxpayers with their long awaited “REVEAL”… the concept plan, schematic design, and projected costs of the proposed developments on the land north of Rocky. Noted highlights in the agenda package sent out on Friday, May 6 are:
  • 43, 560 square feet of administration building space
  • $28, 522, 000 budgeted cost for phase one and two
  • November, 2018 proposed completion of both phases

  1. A  Clearwater Action Committee was formed at the April 14 CCTA meeting.  This is a joint committee of CCTA reps. and community members whose purpose is to provide information to taxpayers on the county’s proposed developments.  Action to date includes:
  • The setting up of a web-site which gives information and allows for comments.
  • The hosting of a public meeting on Thursday, May 5 at the Leslieville Elks’ Hall .  Councilors were invited and given a list of questions we had hoped they would address.  They chose not to attend. The evening was well-attended and excellent comments/concerns were expressed.  A general consensus was that this is not the time to be spending huge amounts of money on unnecessary projects.  Money should be concentrated on projects more beneficial to the people.

  1. CRUCIAL ACTION   It is absolutely crucial that councillors hear the voice of the people on these building plans.  It is the opinion of the people paying the bills that council should be giving greatest attention to.  Let them know what you think.
  • Phone your councilor
  • Write a letter/send an e-mail
  • Attend up-coming meetings:  May 10, 9:00 AM County Council; May 30, 7:00PM, Dovercourt Hall, Open house on these project proposals

ROSES   Wednesday, May 4 was National Firefighters Day and it seems appropriate to send a huge bouquet of roses to all the volunteer fire fighters in Clearwater County as well as our Fire Chief and Deputies with the Clearwater Regional Fire Services.  Their unwavering dedication to providing not only fire fighting services but also emergency medical response is a most valuable service.  They certainly deserve our utmost appreciation.
RANT   It seems quite ironic that county officials chose to host a public information meeting to gather community opinion on the possible amalgamation of the Leslieville/Condor fire departments and construction of a single new facility.  This was definitely a welcome effort.  What’s ironic,however, is that this project would be a “drop in the money bucket” compared to the huge expenditure for the county’s north developments. This comparatively small project warranted prior consultation while the “Taj Mahal” plans have been proceeding in guarded secrecy.  Where’s the logic???

Coming Events  Tuesday, May 10, 9:00AM  County Council Meeting, County Office
Thursday, May 12, Regular CCTA Meeting, 7:30PM, Leslieville Elks’ Hall
Monday, May 30, 7:00PM, Dovercourt Hall, County Open House re. building plans
Thursday, June 19, Regular CCTA Meeting, 7:30PM, Leslieville Elks’ Hall (Note: This is
one week later than normal due to Rocky Rodeo.) 

Quote of the Month   The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.  Mark Twain