Memories of the SDG council: support for private cemeteries

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At the last regular 2021 SDG council meeting on Monday, the council discussed a letter from Prince Edward County that highlights the expenses municipalities incur in maintaining private, closed and abandoned cemeteries.

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In the letter, the county noted increasing financial and operational pressures due to current legislative obligations. It is the responsibility of the municipality to acquire ownership of the cemetery land if the owner or volunteers are no longer able to maintain it. The municipality must also perform any important maintenance work to keep the environment safe and perform annual maintenance, while there is no financial support available or income possibilities involved.

“There is a lot of money that is involved in this and we think the province should look at this as well, so we ask ROMA to take care of that,” Coun said. Jamie MacDonald, explaining that the letter calls on the Rural Ontario Municipality Association (ROMA) to act collectively to approach the upper levels of government.

“I can understand that when the cemetery comes to the end of its life, it’s done, and (the companies) say ‘there is no more money, don’t touch, here it is the municipality: you can mow it and do whatever you need to do ‘; it’s fair enough because we are legally obliged to do it, ”said Coun. Steven Byvelds. “But these are the ones that are active… and some of them are very large cemeteries and may end up being, like the Council. MacDonald escaped, dear… I just don’t want to see the boys in the cemetery taking the easy way out and if anyone else has to help the province should step in, because technically they regulate them heavily. That’s where he should be focusing, not us and our property tax base.

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The letter, which council voted to support, suggested two considerations: that a grant program be established to provide seed money, and / or that legislation be amended to provide monetary relief to rural municipalities regarding cemeteries. relocated.

Approved logging plan

The Council approved the proposed county forestry plan, which will be in place from 2022 to 25. It was reported that between 2017 and 21, SDG acquired 86 acres of property and successfully harvested nearly 60,000 $ of materials over five years.

“If completed, the five-year operating plan envisioned by the board will result in harvest revenue for SDG,” read a statement released Monday in the board’s report. “Some low-value harvesting activities are also planned based on a long-term strategy of forest growth and maturation to improve the overall value of the timber. “

It was noted that from 2022-25 ash recovery is planned for three blocks with ash composition greater than 40 percent in SDG (a total of 50.4 hectares) due to the threat of l emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle. Once harvested, these forests will not be eligible for harvest for 40 to 50 years.

The plan also describes SDG has entered into a maple syrup operating lease for one of the seven SDG compartments which have proven to have maple syrup operating potential. SDG will seek to rent other sugar bushes for additional income and will offer local producers the possibility of increasing their production.

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“Proactive thinning at potential sites is recommended to increase the development of sugar maples,” the report read.

New position

SDG will be hiring a construction supervisor for its bridges as council approved funding for this position on Monday.

According to Benjamin de Haan, director of transportation and planning services at SDG, the position, classified in job class 5 (earning $ 70,800 to $ 80,900 per year) will ultimately save money at SDG.

“Although the creation of the position represents a direct cost to the organization, this cost is offset by the fact that this type of (work) would generally be outsourced to consultants who frequently charge more than $ 100 per hour,” plus expenses. The actual costs for this position are accrued in the various projects that this employee will oversee. In other words, there will be no perceptible impact on the budget or the salaries because the cost of this post is already integrated in the various projects that this post supervises ”, indicates a press release in the report.

“If you look at it from an asset management perspective, I see it as a savings for our organization in the long run,” de Haan said.

“I was a little surprised by the small size of (this department) which manages (several) million dollars of projects carried out by the counties. I think sometimes you have to spend money to save money, ”Coun said. Stéphanie Jaworski said in support.

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