Literacy services at North Kawartha Library
by Doug Hutton
Pat Powell, from the Native Learning Program gave a presentation to North Kawartha council’s September 17 meeting on literacy programs.
The training is done in Lakefield on a one-to-one basis so the class is only about six students. Most of the students are attempting to achieve their Grade 12 equivalency certificate.
Even though the program offers $0.40/km for travel, many of the students do not have reliable transportation so programs close to home are more effective.
Ms. Powell is considering the viability of offering the program at the Apsley library beginning in January.
Council stated that it was in favour of the program and referred the matter to the library board to work on the specifics of the request.
Council is interested in having septics re-inspected as they have been in some other parts of the province.
In the 1990s, the septics in the former Townships of Burleigh and Anstruther were inspected while the ones in the former Chandos Township were not.
The province has made septic inspections in the Simcoe Basin and near municipal well-heads, mandatory, but neither of these conditions applies to North Kawartha.
Mayor Jim Whelan said that there are three possible options to implement inspections; (1) in-house with current staff and students, (2) through the county’s Health Unit and (3) utilizing private inspections services.
He commented that any process would be a “big budget item” depending on how many inspections were done each year. Costs of inspections vary, but are often around $200 per household.
Although staff is still investigating how to recover the cost, it appears that the charge cannot be put on the individual’s tax bill: it has to be shared by all of the taxpayers.
Kristy Gibson, from a private inspection firm, GENIVAR, gave a presentation to council explaining her company’s complete, professional-grade service with technically trained inspectors.
Two of the firm’s 32 Ontario offices are located in Peterborough and Bancroft. Their service includes everything from arranging for the inspections to the final statistical reporting.
She stated that the inspections are only trying to detect failed systems. An inspection can reveal major health-risks, or minor issues that need repairs.
Often a repair can just involve part of the system so that the homeowner does not incur a huge cost.
Councillor Carolyn Amyotte asked about the situation where a system needs total replacement, but the homeowner cannot afford the cost.
Ms. Gibson said that sometimes the homeowner might have to use the septic tank as a holding tank until they can afford a new septic installation.
Council thanked Ms. Gibson for her presentation and said that they are going to continue to consider how to implement this program.
Mayor Jim Whelan said that Trent University is asking the county for a $1 million contribution towards a new 87,000 square foot building for trade’s training.
Although Mr. Whelan believes that this is a worthwhile venture, he said that he will be voting against it.
He said, “The County is struggling to provide even core services. We’re (the county) $30 million behind in road repairs alone.” He said that he doesn’t “want to put any more on the backs of the property owners.”
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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