January 16, 2019 - Letter to Alnwick/Haldimand and Cramahe Councils Re Sharpshooter

In light of Lakeport resident concerns and the fact that Sharpshooter is continuing to work on the Lakeport property without an approved site plan, a letter was written to Alnwick/Haldimand and Cramahe Council members to challenge the location of a Cannabis facility in the Hamlet of Lakeport.  The letter is available here Letter to AH and Cramahe Councils

September 21, 2018 Sharpshooter Industries Back In The News

Cecilia Nasmith in an article for Northumberland 89.7 reported that "A home grown cannabis oil production facility will soon open in Lakeport" The article goes on to state "The Sharpshooter company ... has purchased the old Anamet building ... at 118 County Road 31 ...  Sharpshooter took ownership Sept. 10".  Read the full article here Cecelia Nasmith Article

Bill Hornbostel wrote an article for Cramahe Now indicating that the facility at 118 County Road 31 "would be up and running in a few months growing cannabis and processing cannabis oils"  "Sharpshooter is licensed by Health Canada to grow and sell cannabis and process cannabis oil for the medical market"  Read the full article here Cramahe Now Article

Concerns about this facility were previously documented here Lakeport - Proposed Marijuana Facility

In response to the concerns about marijuana facilities being built in an uncontrolled fashion Cramahe Council passed an interim bylaw Interim By-Law.  This bylaw established a one year moratorium on new marijuana facilities to allow the Township to put the necessary regulatory controls in place.  Here is an article on the bylaw by John Campbell John Cambell Article

This brings us to the current situation. Contrary to recent claims, Sharpshooter is NOT licensed "to grow and sell cannabis and process cannabis oil for the medical market"  The company may have a license pending but unlike FV Pharma in Cobourg, Sharpshooter is certainly NOT a licensed business at this time.  They claim that they have received a "Continuation Letter" from Health Canada.

Here is the Health Canada website that lists all the current licensed facilities Health Canada Licensed Marijuana Facilities

Today's announcement by Sharpshooter seems to fly in the face of Cramahe's Interim By-Law covering marijuana facilities.  Any modifications to the Lakeport facility would presumably be subject to the moratorium imposed by the Interim bylaw.

April 17, 2018 - Cramahe Council Meeting

This is from a summary prepared by Gritt Koehl

Development Charges (Public Meeting)

The big deal on Development Charges is that Cramahe has been behind the eight ball for a decade (probably longer). Prior to this current council, the previous council voted to increase Development Charges to just over $5,000 - even though the justified amount was $9,600+ (back in 2013). The reasoning was that Cramahe was only charging $1,500 at that point, so jumping to $9,600 was just way over the top! So, they opted for a "phasing in" option. $500 the first year and a thousand dollars each year after that. Playing "Catch Up!" and the loser is??? Taxpayer!

Tonight, I respectfully asked Council to approve the Justified Amount of $10,326 (approx) per residential unit, and $16.80 per square meter for industrial/commercial to place the costs of development on those that choose to develop and relieve the existing taxpayers of having to pick up the tab. We will await their decision. There is a 20 day posting deadline and another 20 day appeal deadline - so...please pay attention.

Dekeyser Severance Approved

The Dekeysers own a large parcel of land on the east side of Elgin Street. In the future, this is a great location for subdivision development. In the meantime, the Dekeysers would like to build a single home, but required special zoning since no development could occur without hooking up to municipal water & sewer. Well, sewers & water aren't up there yet, so the application was given approval, with the stipulation that once sewers/water are installed along Elgin, the property would be connected. The Dekeysers want to eventually develop the area, so they have no problem with that requirement.

One Year Moratorium On Marijuana Production

Council unanimously passed a by-law stipulating that no existing facilities or lands within the township could be applied for/used for marijuana production. Cramahe Staff is undertaking a review/study of the implications that these types of facilities would have within the township. Thank you Cramahe!

Colborne Public School Drumline Request For Funding

Council unanimously agreed that they would not fund the request. There was no specific amount asked for during budget deliberations over the past few months, and a deadline of May 3rd was given by the school for funding consideration. Mayor Coombs mentioned that he is involved with the Rotary Club of Colborne and that they had not received any request for funding. He and other council members agreed that such requests should be made through Community Groups and not through Council.

February 10, 2018 - Sharpshooter Inc Proposal for Medical Marijuana Facility in Lakeport

Sharpshooter Inc sent a letter to Cramahe Township stating their intent to purchase an existing factory in Lakeport (118 County Rd 30).  Their plan is to convert the factory into a licensed medical marijuana production facility.  The solicitors for Sharpshooter were asking for confirmation that the Township by-laws would allow such a facility in that location.  This raises a number of concerns that need to be addressed by Cramahe Township before approving such a facility.  Based on what we know about this operation, the Lakeport location has too many drawbacks. If Council wants to allow Sharpshooter to build, they should make them go to the Industrial Park. That move makes the most sense, as it would bring more revenue to the township through sale of land, etc.  Details of this proposal are provided in this document Lakeport - Proposed Marijuana Facility

January 27, 2018 Approval Of Lily's Court Subdivision in Colborne

Northumberland County announced the approval of a new subdivision in Cramahe Township. The future subdivision is located west of Durham Street South and south of Streamside Drive in the Village of Colborne.  The property fronts onto Durham Street South and King Street East and will consist of 102 residential lots (65 single-detached units, 14 duplex units, 12 semi-detached units and 12 townhouse units. Of particular note is the comment that "There will be very limited sewage capacity available following the subject subdivision development."

All those persons who commented and/or requested notice will be advised of this decision by the Township of Cramahe.

The presentation to Northumberland Council is available here Approval of Lily's Court Subdivision

September 5, 2017 Council News Briefs

Cramahe EMS/Fire Facility

The final cost to build the shared EMS/Fire Facility in Cramahe Township has come in below budget by $200,000 dollars, as reported by Treasurer Nicole Leach-Bihun at Tuesday’s Council Meeting.  Council went on to pass a By-law to assume a Debenture in the amount of $1,968,000 dollars for the Township’s portion of construction costs of the EMS/Fire Facility located in Cramahe’s Industrial Park.  Total costs to Cramahe taxpayers of principal and interest over the 30 year term of the loan, will be $3,198,000 dollars.  The shared Paramedic & Fire facility was completed in early January 2017.

Cramahe Parks & Recreation Staffing Plan

A report from Cramahe Township Operations Manager Jeff Hoskin, requesting approval for a Parks and Recreation Staffing Plan was brought before Council on Tuesday.  The Staffing Plan originally presented to Council in a closed meeting on July 4th, is intended to change staffing to more full time positions and utilize part time students throughout the year.  The Parks & Rec department presently consists mainly of permanent part time and seasonal temporary positions.  According to CAO Craig Brooks there will be a saving to Cramahe Township of approximately $10,000 but the overall goal is to improve efficiency and staff retention.  Council voted unanimously in favour of adopting the plan.

7 King Street West – Heritage Designation

Robin Young, Chair of Heritage Cramahe Advisory Committee and Researcher Dr. David Good, made a presentation to Cramahe Council requesting that 7 King Street West, Colborne be designated a heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act.  The house was built sometime in the 1830’s or 1840’s in the style of a Regency Cottage.  While it appears to be a single storey building, it in fact has 5 levels.  Original doors, hardware, exterior shutters, wide plank pine floors and five fireplaces have been well preserved.  Council subsequently passed a By-law declaring the Colborne building to be an important cultural heritage asset in the Township of Cramahe, and that the house be designated a Heritage Building.

June 6, 2017 Delegation to Council Regarding Small Bore Sewer System

Alex Saunders presented a delegation to Council raising questions about the Small Bore Sewer system and the extension of the large bore gravity sewer to the Industrial Park. The delegation asked Council to pass a resolution to ask Staff to prepare a report on the issues raised. Mayor Coombs indicated that he had discussed the questions in the delegation with the CAO and would respond by email once he had all the information.

Alex Saunders' June 6, 2017 Delegation to Council

The following handouts about Sewer and Water rates were also made available at the June 6, 2017 Council meeting

Cramahe Water and Sewer Rates 2016 - 2022

Township of Cramahe Water and Sewer Information Sheet

May 12, 2017 - Public Release from Mayor Marc Coombs

It has come to our attention that Mayor Marc Coombs issued a public "release" on May 12, 2017, which is currently posted on the Cramahe Now website. In the release the Mayor takes issue with comments made by Deputy Mayor Sandra Arthur at the May 2, 2017 Council meeting regarding a letter from the Township's financial auditors.

Deputy Mayor Arthur has given us permission to share her response to Mayor Coombs' "release". Her comments below in red.

May 12, 2017

Marc,

Council meetings are, in fact, the forum for our business and discussions.

Raising questions, seeking answers, does not reflect badly on our municipal staff. I have praised them for the work they do and contributions they make.

Our Senior staff knows, or should know, that questions and clarifications of information are part and parcel of the responsibilities of us all.

I am committed to open, honest and professional business dealings, conducted with respect. 

Why are we not having this discussion in the Council forum where it belongs?

Sandra

In the interests of openess and transparency, we have posted a transcript of the comments made at the meeting as well as the audio recording of the comments made at the meeting.  This way members of the public can judge for themselves whether Mayor Coombs' comments are fair and accurately reflect what was said at the Council Meeting.

Audio Recording From May 2, 2017 Council Meeting

Partial Transcription of May 2, 2017 Council Meeting pertaining to Discussion of Auditors Letter - Transcribed May 12, 2017 by Gritt Koehl

Mayor Coombs: Treasurer’s Report 11-17 – Auditor’s Planning Letter – Recommended that the report be received for information and that Council endorses the attached 2016 audit planning letter. We need a mover and a seconder.

Deputy-Mayor Sandra Arthur: I just first of all, I’ve got a concern with this letter still. I know that through a little bit of digging and meeting with a couple of treasurers, we seem to be the only people in Northumberland County doing this, including the County that they don’t have this letter to the extent that it is. There’s no other municipality as stringent with this letter – this has changed drastically in the last two years that we have. And in this letter a lot of it states ‘management recognizes, management recognizes’, but this letter is addressed to us as Council. It’s not us as Council, I mean, it asks us to do a lot of things and there is other  municipalities that will meet with the auditors, senior management, and there’s times that the council is then left to have a one on one with the auditors if need be. I personally thought that was going to happen last week. That got changed, and then we had a meeting last Friday afternoon, with senior staff, the auditors, and I have since put a request in and have a meeting with the senior auditor myself as well. So, I’m uncomfortable signing this until I meet with them, but again, I just find out that it’s, there’s other municipalities that aren’t doing this. Why, why the change? So when I meet with Joanna on Friday, I find that out? But until then, I’m not signing it.

Mayor Coombs: So, the County does have a similar letter and the Warden and past Warden sign off on behalf of council – through a motion of Council. So, it’s not that we’re approving the audit – we’re just approving the audit process.

Deputy-Mayor Arthur – But they’ve asked an awful lot from us as Council, and we haven’t been involved. This letter states that it’s management that’s responsible for establishing, it’s management that’s responsible to detect, but yet the letter is asking for council to sign and it’s addressed to members of council. It’s our responsibility as council to – anyway, as I said I’m not signing it until after I meet with Joanna on Friday. Following that we’ll see how things go.

Mayor Coombs: Okay

Councillor Tim Gilligan: So should we defer it then until…

Mayor Coombs: Well, they need the letter, eh, and they’ve done the work I think (laugh).

Treasurer Nicole Bihun: Well they have, but I think as Veronica spoke at our meeting, at this point they know that a meeting has been held with both yourself and the Deputy-Mayor. They know that the letter has been brought to Council twice, and their view on the reason for this letter is for them to able to document that council is aware of not only what they would be doing during the audit, but what the responsibilities of council and management responsibilities are. It’s more just for documentation on their part to know that it has been presented to council. It’s more of an acknowledgement letter than anything. So then knowing that, they will likely sign off on their file whether it gets signed or not at this point, because they know that the communication has been made.

Mayor Coombs: Right. What’s Council’s wish?

Councillor Ed Van Egmond: Well if the whole process hinges on whether Sandra, you know, wants to meet with the person first. I have no problem signing it right now, and that way we all don’t have to come in for a special meeting.

D.M. Arthur: Well, I don’t think there’s a special meeting needed, if Nicole’s stated – (interrupted)

Councillor Van Egmond: Who needs to sign it? Do we all need to sign it?

Mayor Coombs: Well, we just need  - (interrupted)

Treasurer Nicole Bihun: We need two signatures

Mayor Coombs: Put it on the floor that someone want to make a motion that we sign the letter?

D.M. Arthur: I would put a motion forward that we defer it to our next meeting.

Mayor Coombs: Seconder for that?

Councillor Gilligan: I’ll second that.

Carried.

Councillor Van Egmond: There’s lots of bigger battles. (laughter)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Public & Council Meetings

1. A public meeting was held Tuesday in Cramahe Township, to allow residents to speak to a proposed Plan of Subdivision to be built in the Village of Colborne.

Ruth Aulthouse, from RFA Planning Consultant Inc. described the plan as a mix of single, semi-detached, duplex and street townhouse units for a total of 103 units. Unit prices are expected to range from $225,000 to $350,000 dollars.

The proposed subdivision would be located on a 21 acre parcel of land, south of King Street and south of Streamside Drive, and west of Durham Street.

The Provincial Plan targeted growth for Cramahe Township is 850 people, and approximately 355 units, with 85% of the development to occur in Colborne where municipal services are available. The proposed development accounts for almost 1/3 of the provincial growth target.

General public consensus was that the development would be a benefit to the Township, and in particular to downtown Colborne businesses.

Residents’ concerns revolved around traffic issues at Durham and King, since Durham is the only access point to the subdivision. Currently there is no plan for installation of traffic lights at the intersection. Safety for pedestrians on Durham was also raised, since there are no sidewalks.

Furthermore, Streamside has had no through traffic for 40 years and now the road would become a main access point, for approximately 50 new residences in and out of the proposed subdivision. Aulthouse suggested that a gate could be installed at the closed end of Streamside, allowing access for emergency and service vehicles only. Residents were not convinced that this was a good idea.

The residents have asked that a second access at King Street be considered. While Colborne Creek is an environmentally sensitive area, a properly constructed bridge would ensure no interference with the existing wetland. Subdivisions typically have access from two sides. Colborne Creek is a good example of this. High cost to build bridge is main issue, since the costs would be the responsibility of the developer.

Residents on the south side of Streamside have privacy concerns. Aulthouse showed amendments to the drawings to include planting of trees/shrubs in strategic areas to provide natural screening.

Dwayne Campbell, Manager of Land Use Planning for the County of Northumberland advised that the County is the Authority to approve subdivision plans within Northumberland. The County will discuss all concerns raised by residents with the Township and the Developer and advise residents of decisions going forward.

Construction could begin as early as Spring of 2018.

***
2. Lou Rinaldi, MPP presented his annual report.
- Hydro Rates are expected to be reduced 25% by June or July of this year.
- Free college/university tuition for students in families earning less than $50,000/year is in the works.
- The subject of Emergency Detour Routes (EDR) from the 401 was raised.  Councillor Clark pointed out that Cramahe and Brighton are the only municipalities where the EDR travels south (rather than north) and creating chaos in the downtown areas when the 401 is closed. Rinaldi indicated he would look into this.

***
3. A Draft By-Law Enforcement Policy Directive was brought to Council by Holly Grant, By-Law Enforcement Officer for the Township of Cramahe. By-Law enforcement is “complaint driven” in Cramahe. The Policy Directive provides for three levels of response to complaints, with health & safety issues as number one priority. Complaints must be in writing to the Township in order for by-law enforcement to occur. Grant stated there will be a form available on the Cramahe Website in the near future, allowing complaints to be filed online. Written complaints can also be mailed or dropped off at Town Hall.

CAO Craig Brooks indicated that there is an initiative in the works to align by-law enforcement across the County, which would benefit all municipalities.

***
4. Mandy Martin asked for clarification as to whether or not the Waste Transfer Facility located in the Cramahe Industrial Park has an incinerator. Mayor Coombs stated there was NO Incinerator on the site.

***
5. A Purdy Road resident questioned why the Township was allowing overweight vehicles to travel on Purdy Road, pointing out that the road had recently been repaved and that damage will occur as a result of the overweight vehicles. The other question asked was why the Township was allowing heavy construction equipment to be stored on a site not zoned for that use. CAO Brooks indicated that he was aware of what was happening and that these issues were being looked into.

***
6. Gritt Koehl questioned when installation of the active warning system at the Bellamy Road level railway crossing would commence, CAO Brooks said the Township had not heard from CN yet. Koehl pointed out that funding was in place in 2010 to install the safety system, but the installation never happened, and asked if the township intended to contact CN to get the project going. Brooks stated the project will get done.

December 6, 2016 Council Meeting

1. Property Standards Officer:

Gerald Sproule, CBO was officially appointed the Township’s Property Standards Officer at Tuesday’s Council Meeting. Any questions or complaints should be directed to the attention of Gerald Sproule, in writing if possible. Note that urgent issues relating to health & safety will receive immediate attention, while complaints of a lesser nature will be addressed as time permits. It is hoped that the Township will develop response timelines appropriate to the nature of complaints.  

The CCA is confident that residents’ concerns will be addressed by the Township.

2. Safety at Bellamy Road Level Crossing:

At Tuesday night’s Council Meeting, Cramahe Council voted unanimously to proceed with Transport Canada’s recommendation to install an active warning system, comprised of flashing lights, bells and gates at the Bellamy Road CN level railway crossing.  A study published in 2014 by Transport Canada, rated the Bellamy Road level crossing as the 36th most dangerous crossing in Canada. December 31, 2016 is the deadline given by Transport Canada to receive a commitment by CN and Cramahe to correct the safety deficiency.  Cramahe will be responsible for $66,700 of the $534,000 project cost, while Transport Canada will pay $267,000 and CN Railway the remaining $200,300. 

3. Railway Corridor Evaluation:

Council also directed staff to continue to evaluate the long-term financial impacts of maintaining level crossings, and to explore funding opportunities with respect to the maintenance and improvements of crossings in Cramahe Township.

4. Barnes Road Bridge:

There is still no decision on the Barnes Road Bridge reconstruction.  CN has submitted revised project costs of $2,042,000 to Cramahe to rebuild the overpass. CN had originally projected the costs to be $900,000 in May of this year.  Council directed staff to question CN as to why the costs have increased over 100%, and were not prepared to make a decision until more information is received.  Cramahe Township would be responsible for 15% of the total costs amounting to $306,300, with the potential for more costs to cover road approaches to the bridge.

5. Heritage Designation:

Council approved that a bungalow at 26 Church Street, in Colborne, receive a Heritage Designation after a presentation by Robin Young and David Good of Heritage Cramahe. It is demonstrated that the bungalow has significant cultural and heritage value with respect to the history of Colborne and two prominent families – the Keelers and the Strongs. As such, the property meets the requirements of the Ontario Heritage Act. Notice of the Heritage Designation will be served to the owners of the property, the Ontario Heritage Trust and will be published in the local newspaper. The list of designated properties maintained by the Township will be updated as well.

September 6, 2016 Council Meeting

At the Cramahe Council Meeting Sept 6, 2016, Burke Friedrichkeit President of the Cramahe Community Association, questioned Mayor Marc Coombs as to whether there has been any correspondence from CN regarding the reconstruction of the Barnes Road Railway Bridge. 
The Mayor said they have heard nothing back from CN, even though Mayor Coombs had stated last June that the bridge would be completed sometime in the fall.
Friedrichkeit pointed out that there appeared to be a complete lack of commitment on the part of CN and Cramahe Township to get this project going. He suggested that a better option may be to not build the bridge at all, close the crossing since it has been condemned for four years already, and put the money saved towards other much-need railway crossing upgrades in Cramahe.
Craig Brooks, the new CAO for Cramahe, said that he would be looking into this issue and would consider the possibility of not rebuilding the bridge.

The proposed Northumberland Waste Transfer Facility to be built in Cramahe’s Industrial Park was another hot topic raised to Council. A concerned resident of the Township, Doug Harrison, asked Mayor Coombs to explain how 40 to 50 trucks of “construction waste” could be compacted into 3 or 4 transport trucks on a daily basis, since wood, concrete, drywall and metals are not easily crushed. 
Harrison pressed for information as to what materials the Ministry of the Environment had approved in the license granted to Roger Cheer for the Waste Transfer Facility. 
The Mayor was not able to provide those details. 
Cheer has stated that everything from household garbage and electronics to construction and demolition waste will be handled by the facility to be shipped to the United States for disposal. 
At the Council meeting on August 23rd Mayor Coombs told Council and residents that it was his understanding that it was “construction waste” that was the primary focus of the facility. 
Residents will be seeking further clarification from Council on this matter.

May 3, 2016 Basic Budget Passed - Mayor's Vote Required to Break Tie!

The 2016 Cramahe Township Budget was passed by Council at Tuesday’s meeting, but not without controversy.

The 2015 actual figures were NOT available as expected by Councilors for the meeting.

All Councilors expressed their disappointment at not having last year’s figures to aid in their decision making. Councilor Don Clark stated that due to County deadlines, Council needed to move forward on the budget.

After much heated discussion, the vote was split, with two Councilors voting for and two Councilors against. It was necessary for Mayor Marc Coombs to break the tie, voting in favour of the 2016 Cramahe Budget.

Only one Issue Paper, to hire a Summer Planning Student at a cost of $2,531 was approved out of Issue Papers totalling over $7,700,000.

The 2016 Budget results in a 1.74% tax increase for Cramahe taxpayers, which represents a $34 – 51 tax increase for the average homeowner.

Agenda Highlights

June 21, 2016 Council Meetings - Agenda Highlights

June 07, 2016 Council Meetings - Agenda Highlights

May 27, 2016 Council Meetings - Agenda Highlights