Broad topics discussed and debated at Napanee Town Council meeting

Telecommunications, Santa Claus, traffic, and transit were all topics of interest as the Town of Greater Napanee Town Council held its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.

Napanee Town Council. Photo courtesy of The Town of Greater Napanee

Warming centre funding secured

Brandt Zatterberg, General Manager of Community and Corporate Services, presented an update on the warming center, stating that on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, Prince Edward-Lennox and Addington Social Services Committee held their regular meeting, and passed a recommendation that “Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Social Services Committee direct staff to develop a funding agreement with Morningstar Mission for $104,166 for immediate financial support through an existing funding envelope for a [winter] 2021/22 Warming Centre in Greater Napanee.”

There is a committee, formed of 18 community members, who will be meeting every Monday night until the warming center is open and it is expected that there will be an outreach for volunteers and training. The warming centre will be located at Morningstar Mission and open in December.

Proposed Xplornet tower in Selby

A telecommunications tower build proposed by Xplornet for the hamlet of Selby brought the owners of Selby Creek Stables to present their concerns to Council. Matt Fennell, Jessica Tyner, and their toddler son, Jackson, appeared before Council in hopes of keeping the new project from damaging their riding and boarding business.

“First off,” Fennell said, “we would say that we are not opposed to updating infrastructure; we understand that it is an important need in the community and especially as things grow within the community.”

However, he explained that they have concerns with the close proximity to their property line, especially the front paddock that they use for boarding horses. “Some borders have also come forward who are unsure how comfortable they will feel boarding horses next to the proposed tower location, whether there are any health risks,” he said, noting that they may be at risk of possibly losing some borders, as well as that it is to be in close proximity to their home and riding ring where Tyner gives lessons.

Fennell pointed out that he was aware the Council had received another tower proposal, “where the location was going to hinder the use of a neighbouring property and Council opted to vote no on that. I’m just asking for the same consideration.”

He also stated that it isn’t necessarily that they don’t want the tower on the neighbouring property at all, but that it could be better placed, away from the property line, further away from their home and paddock.

Council later moved to draft a letter to Xplornet asking for a conversation about the proposal, and indicated that they would work for a compromise, as better internet infrastructure is important, but not at the cost of local businesses and citizens.

Parade of Lights

Deputy Mayor Max Kaiser reported that, “we’re well underway to making a great parade for December 4. So, I just need to make a request that we can authorize in the neighbourhood of $3,500 to cover all expenses. It may go as high as $5,000.”

He explained, “I have assurances from our General Manager of Finance that within the Events area of the budget, there’s enough lack of activity this year that there’s enough wiggle room there that we should be able to make that happen, without any negativity to the budget as a whole.” A motion was passed to cap the parade budget at $5,000.

Mayor Isbester noted that “there have been a lot of registrations for floats and people to take part, so that that’s great. And we’ve just got to pray for a little bit of snow and no rain.”

Tomlinson’s traffic

Councillor Ellen Johnson requested that the Town prompt the County to ask for an updated traffic report from Tomlinson with regards to their quarry on County Road 2. 

“One of the subjects that were brought up [at a recent public information session held by Tomlinson],” she explained, “is how much more traffic there is on Palace Road now, as compared to the study that was quoted from 2016. The information presented by Tomlinson has clearly indicated this is going to be an ongoing quarry operation and that traffic is not going to ease and, in the event that they do not succeed in having the asphalt plant located within the quarry, they’re going to have to move additional materials to feed the asphalt plant [located elsewhere].”

“So,” she continued, “the extra traffic that people on Palace Road are currently seeing is not going to go away anytime soon. And one of the things that were asked early in this term of Council was for the county to consider a sidewalk or a safe passage for people within that section of roadway. And I think a current traffic study would be key in bringing that forward.”

CAO Pinsent said he would check with Staff and inquire with the County about how to go about doing this.

Return of transit services post COVID-19 pandemic

Councillor Bob Norrie expressed that some seniors in town had been inquiring about help with transportation and asked that when staff look for grant money, they explore if “there’s any way we can get some assistance for some of the seniors at least, because SOS (Seniors Outreach Services) has nothing anymore. The Federal government’s big on green energy, so maybe there’s something that will help people out with towns that don’t have public transit?”

Town Staff indicated that they had been working with the County on transit ideas, and are in the process right now of collecting data from the public. The concentration is on commuter traffic at this point, as in moving people from Napanee to Kingston. But they had already reached out to Seniors Outreach Services to discuss what they would like to see happen and would report back to Council in the next month.

“Thank you, all the seniors I know appreciate it,” said Norrie.

Visit the Town’s Agendas & Minutes page for more information about all past and upcoming Council and Committee meetings. All Council meetings will continue to be live-streamed so the public can watch the meetings online from home via the Town’s YouTube channel.

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