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Mallaig School hoping to access grants to replace playground

County of St. Paul briefs from July 14 regular council meeting

ST. PAUL - The Mallaig School Parent Fundraising Committee is working to replace the playground structure at the K-12 school and requested a letter of support from the County of St. Paul as the group moves ahead with applying for grants.

The playground needs to be replaced by September of 2021. A new structure has been selected, and will cost about $100,000. So far, the group has raised $25,000. 

The current playground structure at the school is about 17 years old and does not meet the Canadian Standards' Association safety standards. The playground is becoming unserviceable and will soon deteriorate to the point where it could compromise student safety, according to a letter from Mallaig School Vice Principal Yvette Moisey included in the County of St. Paul's July 14 agenda package.

The group plans to apply for a variety of grants, in hopes of making up the remaining $75,000.

Coun. Laurent Amyotte noted the double standard in how the wooden structure has been deemed to be obsolete, yet there are not government funds to help replace the playground. Amyotte made the motion to approve a letter of support for the project. The motion was carried. 

Golf course support

The Mann Lakes Golf Course will once again receive a grant from the County of St. Paul to help cover some of its property taxes.

While the original amount requested was $4,707, administration recommended to approve a grant in the amount of $3,895, which is the municipal portion of the property taxes. 

Reeve Steve Upham said the golf course was originally set up as a community golf course, despite being privately owned. The current owners do still offer free golfing to children 10 and under, which helps encourage interest in the sport at a young age. 

A motion to approve a grant for $3,895 was approved. The owners also requested 20 yards of gravel, but that request was denied.

Road concerns

Concerned county resident Ken Denega approached council on Tuesday with concerns about Township Road 560 in the Lake Eliza area. Denega said he felt the road had some obvious safety issues, and it was only a matter of time before something serious occurred.

He noted that there have been no upgrades to the road in 60 years, yet nearby Richland Road has had work done on it multiple times lately.

Denega referred to the safety issues on the road as "a very serious matter."

Director of Public Works Daniel Reid stated that while he wouldn't classify the road as "code red" he did say there was work that could be done to the road, such as cutting hills and brushing. He noted it is a very narrow road. The road is located on the edge of Divisions 2 and 3. 

After the delegation, Reid agreed that the road could be put on the books for future improvements. 

"It has been in the queue for quite a while."

Lottie Lake

A complaint from a Lottie Lake resident was recently received by the county regarding trees that were removed on a reserve lot in the hamlet. The enforcement officer that attended the site confirmed that a number of trees had been removed by a nearby landowner.

The area in question is near where the county used to own a lot that bordered the public beach area that was once used by the Lottie Lake Community Association. The county sold the property a few years ago, and the lot has since been sold a second time. The now-private lot was previously used by residents in the area as a way to access the beach.

The new landowner who cleared the trees was not aware that he needed a permit to do so, according to information in the July 14 meeting agenda. The landowner did say he would replant trees on the reserve lot, if required to do so. A gazebo also sits on the reserve land, which he has agreed to move. 

Kitz said it sounds as though the new landowner has been allowing residents to access the beach area through his private land. 

Coun. Maxine Fodness noted that she didn't feel that access through a private lot was a solution to the issues of accessing the beach area. Reeve Steve Upham noted that a narrow walking path does exist to the beach, accessed near the water treatment plant. There is also some parking space in that area.

A motion to direct the landowner to refrain from removing anymore trees was carried, along with a motion to have the resident move the gazebo onto his own property.

Seed Cleaning Plant

The St. Paul Municipal Seed Cleaning Plant is experiencing issues in the facility's yard due to rain, heard council. A request for the County to take elevation shots south of the seed plant yard to help determine the drainage issues was put before council on Tuesday.

The work is estimated to take about one day, and has a budget implication of about $1,800. The request was approved.

Zamboni loan

The County of St. Paul has approved the first reading of a bylaw for a $50,000 loan for the Mallaig Ag Society. The funds will be used to assist in purchasing a used Zamboni for the local arena.

The Mallaig Ag Society has requested that the loan be for a 10-year term.