Council update

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The regularly scheduled meeting of North Dundas Council on September 19 began on a very positive note. Bill Smirle, North Dundas’ own South Nation Conservation Representative, provided an update on the fishing camps run by SNC this past summer. He reported that the camps were very popular and that no one was left behind despite the demand. About 80 children took part in the camps, with the most popular camps happening at Cass Bridge just south of Winchester town limits. 

Eight university students helped run the camps this year, and funding from the government helped make the camps possible. Bill also discussed other programs and projects in his presentation to Council. He brought the welcome news that since SNC’s beginnings, the organization has planted about four million trees – an astounding feat. Bill’s presentation was an upbeat start to a Council meeting that was otherwise mostly filled with mundane, routine municipal business. 

There was one other presentation following Bill’s by Inspector Marc Hemmerick, Detachment Commander of the SD&G OPP, who gave an update on the local policing situation. Inspector Hemmerick explained that the number one call for service for local police is for traffic enforcement. Specifically, officers have been out ensuring safety on the local ATV and snowmobile trails. 

As with many other industries, the OPP has faced some difficulties with staffing, and has benefited from the important work of auxiliary officers, and from a partnership with the Cornwall Police Department. Inspector Hemmerick discussed some issues affecting areas outside of North Dundas limits as well, taking the opportunity to speak with Mayor Tony Fraser, who is also the Warden for the United Counties of SD&G. One example is the efforts of the OPP to increase the safety of provincial Hwy 138, which runs from Hwy 417 near Moose Creek to Hwy 401 in Cornwall.

Finally, Inspector Hemmerick broached a sombre topic – that of increased violence lately toward OPP officers. “The level of violence that has been acted upon against the police in the last 18 months has been unprecedented,” he told Council. The recent murder of a police officer in Bourget, and the injuring of two other officers in the same incident, was cited as an example of this violence. 

The routine business that followed focused on internal Township policies and community requests. The internal policies included those relating to Township staff vacation, personal days and bereavement leave, and the part time wage scale. Some by-law and zoning issues were explored next, including one to allow Phase 3 of Wellings of Winchester to proceed. There was a road closure request for the next scheduled Garden Party Market, as well as a Lions Club request for a 5-year agreement allowing gratuitous use of the Joel Steele Community Hall for organizing and distributing Christmas hampers. 

The meeting ran for over two hours before adjournment. There has since been another meeting, on October 3, that could not be covered by deadline, but will be covered in the next issue of the Times. 

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