The Town of Greater Napanee’s regular Council meeting Tuesday, June 28, 2022, had a packed agenda. This resulted in a packed meeting room with multiple chairs being brought in for the overflow crowd of citizens wishing to voice their thoughts and feelings.
First up were two special awards of recognition. Judy Smith was awarded Greater Napanee Senior of the Year for 2022. Mayor Marg Isbester said of Mrs. Smith, “You could have probably been the junior of the year, the mid-amateur of the year, and the senior of the year; I know how hard you have worked on so many, many things.”
Councillor John McCormack, who nominated Smith, explained, “When any one of us look around in the community and we try and think of deserving people, for me, Judy was at the top of the list… of all the volunteering that she had done, there was so much, it was really incredible. Most notably, Judy was one of the spearheads herself the first recycling program in Greater Napanee, and that’s a story by itself! I’m very proud to be involved in recognizing Judy for this award this year. And thank you very much for agreeing, Judy.”
Smith thanked the assembly, then said, “I’ve always liked belonging to organizations in my community and even abroad and things that take part in my own church,” Smith said, thanking those assembled and noting that her motto is, “Don’t count your days, make your days count.” Smith remarked on her pride in her family who have supported her and showed up in droves to see her efforts recognized in the award.
Next, Tim Nimigan was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee for his contributions to Greater Napanee, including 30 years teaching art, his cartoon ‘Our Town’ and his dedicated efforts to create the Town public art initiative known as the ‘Pallet’able Art project – a total of 30 art installations that form a tour trail across the community.
Nimigan thanked the past and current members of Council for their support of the projects he’s been involved with over the years, as well as Town staff and members of the committee.
Next on the agenda was a Public Meeting to hear comments on potential road closures.
James and Sarah Wynn, in accordance with the Town’s Road Closing and Sale Policy, have asked that the lane near 9576 Loyalist Parkway, described as between Lots 11 and 12 and Concession 1 in the Geographic Township of Fredericksburg, be closed and sold to them. It is currently not maintained by the Town, and the Wynn’s have encountered many issues with trespassing, destruction of garden areas, and rubbish dumping of dangerous waste by members of the public. They own the abutting lands and run an agro-tourism business — a flower farm that will open next month for the public. Currently, the issues they are experiencing create a safety risk to their visitors.
Five members of the public spoke to the fact that they use the road as a boat launch to Lake Ontario (it should be noted that there is no professionally constructed boat launch at the location), a place to source water for their farms in times of drought, and other various water access issues. They would like to see the road remain in the Town’s ownership.
Complicating things, due to a new survey, it has come to light that the path members of the public are travelling is, in fact, on Wynn property and not the property owned by the Town, which has become completely treed as people used the “path of least resistance” over the years. The Wynns indicated that their goal is to live in harmony with the community, and they are not accusing all people of disrespectful actions, but there are enough disrespectful people to cause concern. The Wynns expressed that they are most willing to work with their neighbours and the town to find solutions.
Council decided that more information was needed before a decision could be made at a future meeting. Public input is still welcome and can be sent to the Town Clerk Jessica Walters.
Much of the rest of the meeting was used to discuss the purchase of a new administrative building at 99 Advance Avenue.