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Fire at Materials Recovery Facility PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kate Campbell   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 15:48

Cobourg, ON – Alnwick/Haldimand Fire and Rescue continues to make progress in extinguishing a fire at the County Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Grafton.


Tim Blake, Northumberland County Mutual Aid Fire Coordinator, has received confirmation from the Commander on scene that the site of the fire has been identified as a loose pile of recyclable materials within the plant. The facility was closed at the time the fire was reported—no injuries have been sustained.  


County officials are on-scene to provide facility details and support to fire crews as needed. Crews have been at the MRF since approximately 10:45 this morning, after being called to the site following reports of smoke coming from the building.


County mutual aid has been activated and fire services throughout the County are collaborating to ensure full coverage in all municipalities while firefighters attend to the situation at the MRF.


More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 April 2014 15:52
Cenotaph committee gathering info PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 00:43

The committee formed to repair the WW I cenotaph needs more information before it can begin work.

cenotaphThe original cenotaph has detiorated and it's time to overhaul the entire monument, from the base up. Taking the monument down to its base, the group has the opportunity to change the design of the 30-year-old support structure set in place by Jim Black. Once that has been established, estimates must be obtained for the work and for the cleaning of the soldier who stands atop the memorial.

Preliminary estimates suggest that the project is too big to rely on donations alone. The Colborne Legion has donated the maximum allowable $1,400 from its Poppy Fund, but there is talk that the job may run over $10,000. Excavation and cement alone will likely cost over $3,000.

There is grant money available from Veterans Affairs, but the project needs to be costed and the money must be matched to local contributions. It is hoped that the Cramahe Public Works Department will pitch in with some labour and equipment, and members of the committee have offered their help, free of charge. Those will be important contributions, as the grant rules allow 25% in kind donations.


The design being considered on April 10 will eliminate seating around the cenotaph, so the group is considering the purchase of matching benches which would face the cenotaph. They come in at about $1,600 each.


The 10 people at the committee meeting led by Pat Westrope looked briefly at the thought of updating the WW II  monument too. That matter was set aside when Legion President Patti May pointed out that they should cost the WW I monument first.


Eager to see some progress, the committee agreed that member Don Clark, with the assistance of John Rutherford, could begin pressure washing the monument before construction of the base begins. Work which is being paid for by the grant cannot begin until grant money has been approved. The last deadlines for application are July 2, 2014, and September 1, 2014.


With only $1,400 assured, and grant money subject to approval, the group will be soliciting donations from the public. They have drafted a letter which they will send out, mostly by email, asking for donations. Cheques can be sent to the Cramahe Township Office and clearly made out for the cenotaph restoration.


More information will be available at the Doors Open celebration held on June 7-8. The theme this year will be WW I, as we are commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the onset of the Great War.


Last Updated on Sunday, 13 April 2014 01:36
Apple Blossom - yum yum! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 22:04

It's a sure sign that the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival is drawing near. At its first April meeting the festival committee reviewed this year's list of vendors - and it's a tasty one.


The ever-popular beavertails, fish and chips, and freshly squeezed lemonade in four flavours will all tempt the palate this year. Also on the menu - bbq beef and pork, roasted corn, frozen yoghurt. Looking for something a little different? Try cabbage rolls, fried mushrooms or fried cheese. 


Years ago you could only get Pogos up north. They're here this year, along with fried chicken, hamburgers, smoothies and ice cream. And if you want to see the profits go to a service group, there's always peameal bacon, being sold once again by the Colborne Masons.


You're guranteed not to go home hungry from this year's Apple Blossom Tyme Festival on May 24-25 in Colborne.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 April 2014 22:12
OPP costs less than billed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:11

When the OPP budgetted for policing costs in Cramahe for 2013 the force requested $1,135,140.


The good news that we must have behaved better than expected. The actual cost for the year was $1,031,530, giving us a surplus of $103,610.


Half way through 2013 the OPP refunded $19,075, so $84,535 will be coming back to Cramahe. Whenever this happens the money is set aside in a police reserve for future use. The OPP Contract Reserve had $114,260 in it at the start of 2014. This year's contract increase is $110,718 over what was requested at budget time last year.

Hawks join new Junior A league PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Friday, 11 April 2014 23:13

hawk league logoThe Colborne Cramahe Jr A Hawks have announced they are leaving the Greater Metro Hockey League to join the Tier II Junior A Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL)


In an April 4 press release, Hawks coach Mike Jeschke stated - 


The Colborne Cramahe Hawks are proud to announce they will be one of the founding members of the newly formed CIHL (Canadian International Hockey League) which will be sanctioned by the American Athletic Union (AAU). The Colborne Franchise will be Joined by teams from; Espanola, Timmins, Sudbury, Wexford, Barrie, Markham, Bracebridge, Collingwood and Milton. The CIHL has also signed an agreement with pointstreak which is a Toronto based stats provider for multiple leagues. Questions regarding the new league and the Colborne Cramahe franchise can be directed to Hawks Head Coach Mike Jeschke by email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


The league announced earlier this week plans for its inaugural schedule for the 2014-5 season. Teams will play 48 games. Two will be played in a College Showcase weekend in Traverse City, Michigian in mid-September, and another pair will be played in a Toronto Showcase in January, 2015. One of the goals of the weekends will be to attract college players to the CIHL. Attracting higher quality talent was one of the reasons the Hawk management chose to bolt the GMHL for the CIHL.


In the first season, the Hawks will play the closest four teams in four home and four away games. There will be one home and one away game with the remaining six teams. Milton, Barrie, Wexford and Markham will likely become regular visitors to the Keeler Centre, as they appear to be among the closest of the teams signed up to play.


The CIHL will be a weekend league. The season will be followed by three playoff rounds and then an international championship in Las Vegas or Boston. Executives hope this will encourgae players to stay focussed on their school work during the week.


The league plans to triple in size in 2015-6 and split into three divisions with one in eastern and a one in western Ontario,. A year later, in the 2016-7 season they hope to have a northern division of ten teams.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 April 2014 11:41
Brighton may follow Cramahe lead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Friday, 11 April 2014 22:21

Brighton may follow the lead of Cramahe Township and begin to digitalize its archival materials. An article in the April 10 Brighton Independent outlines a meeting where the Friends of Brighton Library listened to historian Dan Buchanan as he explained the need and ways to accomplish the goal.


Unfortunately for them, the Brighton Library does not have Mary Norton as its CEO. The Cramahe Library CEO spearheaded the acquisition of grant money and then got an extension from Cramahe Township Council to develop the disparate Cramahe historical records. As a result, we have had two highly qualified technical people digitalizing our records for over a year. They will be continuing for the foreseeable future in a project jointly sponsored by Cramahe Library and Heritage Cramahe.


Oddly, the news article mentions digitalization by the Vatican, the British Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and even a library in Wheeling, Illinois - but not Cramahe, a pioneer in digitalization for small communities.


The Brighton plan appears to be volunteer driven. While that is laudable, it may be fraught, if the people organising the digitalization do not have a clear and orderly system of cataloguing the materials, as we do in Cramahe.


gall book donAnd on that note, Cramahe received a valuable piece of its history on April 5 when the members of the Colborne Art Gallery turned over a book which had been stored in the former County Registry that they call home. The book contains the minutes of meetings of Colborne's first municipal council, elected in 1859. Heritage Cramahe members Lenna Broatch and Jim Williams accepted the register.


Mr. Williams is holding the book in the photo, Mrs. Broatch has another donated artifact and Cramahe artist Irene Osborne stands with them under a historic clock which will remain in the gallery

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 22:52
Standing room only for latest estate auction PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Friday, 11 April 2014 01:00

It was standing room only at the latest Marshall Gummer Estate Auction at the Castleton Town Hall on April 6. auct4 6

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 01:04
Average tax increases show restraint PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bob Owen   
Friday, 11 April 2014 00:03

Tax information released by Cramahe Township Treasurer Mora Chatterson at the April 1 meeting of council show that our elected municipalofficials and staff have made an effort to keep taxes down.


The info released gives the annual taxes for the average residential property in Cramahe from 2010 to 2014 (2014 is not final and could be lower due to late budget cuts).


In 2010 the average home in Cramahe was valued at $205,457. Its total taxes, including county and public school board levies, was $3,082. In five years it has increased only $200. Broken down, the school board portion has gone down by $26. The county portion has increased by  $85. And the township part (which includes the bill for the OPP) is up $141, or about $28 per year. This year's bill will be up less than the average, probably around $25.


Total taxes on the average home, valued now at $231,051 will be about $3282, depending on whether the township cuts any more from its budget.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:04
Ken gets it done PDF Print E-mail
Written by Submitted   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 23:44

Cramahe resident Ken Awender has long been a pain in the side of some Cramahe Township staff. The self-appointed watchdog is a keen observer of township activities and thoroughly researches his complaints. He has been off base in some of his complaints - but not this time. And it is due in large part to his efforts that the kids of Colborne are safer today than yesterday.


Ken keeps us informed of his concerns and, with his permission, we are posting the results of his latest endeavour.


At the April 1 meeting of Cramahe Council, resident John Rutherford raised a serious safety issue that exists on King St. E. in Colborne close to Colborne Public School. The owner of a property on the north side of the street has dug a hole in anticipation of building on the site. Spring melting has filled the hole with about four feet of water. Mounds of earth around the hole make it dangerous to even stand beside the hole. Mr. Rutherford asked council what could be done.


At the time Chief Building Official Natalie Moroz-Cornell told council that the hole was not illegal. She had contacted the owner at least twice with this and other concerns. She was unsure of his response and was uncertain of the township's authority.


Mr. Rutherford told council the obvious - the township should take action on the safety hazard.


But nothing happened.


Five days later, Ken began his work, first contacting Brandon Northrup at the Cramahe Fire Department. At about the same time he considered locating a pump and draining the hole himself. When his efforts contacting the fire department failed to reult in remedial action, he called the Cobourg Police, asking them to contact the Cramahe Fire Chief to inform him of the risk to public safety.


By April 7 he had evidence of a partial, and seemingly inadequate, solution. (see photo) An email from the Chief Building Official advised Ken that the fence had been erected by the owner of the property.open hole


Then he hit the books.


Township bylaws state - "every yard including lots shall be kept clean and free from: rubbish,debris and objects or conditions that may create a health,fire or accidental hazard" section 2.03 Surface Conditions..sub section 1 - "prevent ponding of storm water," 2 prevent instability or erosion of soil, 6 be kept free of ruts and holes...


He had proof that bylaws were being broken.


Then he went to the 1997 Fire Protection and Prevention Act to the section which determines when a fire department can enter a property. We have included the section below -



RIGHTS OF ENTRY IN EMERGENCIES AND FIRE INVESTIGATIONS Entry on adjacent lands by firefighters, etc.

  1. (1)  A firefighter or such other person as may be authorized by the fire chief, the Fire Marshal or an assistant to the Fire Marshal may, without a warrant, enter on lands or premises,

(a) that are adjacent to the lands or premises on which a fire or emergency has occurred or is occurring, for the purposes of fighting the fire or of providing rescue or emergency services; or

(b) that are adjacent to the lands or premises on which there is a serious threat to the health and safety of any person or the quality of the natural environment, for the purpose of removing or reducing the threat. 1997, c. 4, s. 13 (1); 2001, c. 25, s. 475 (4).


By April 10 the storm had grown. He had attempted to make his point at the township office, to no avail. But by now at least two members of council were on the situation pressing for action. As of April 10, we understand the township was having a fence erected around the site.


But Ken hasn't stopped yet. He has filed an official complaint to council. He wants the actions of staff investigated and actions taken if needed. He feels the Works Department and Fire Department did not do enough to mitigate a potentially dangerous situation. He wants a bylaw in place which will clearly allow immediate action by the township on a legitimate threat to life,


It appears that action is being taken, but we wonder why it has taken at least 10 days and so much effort by a Cramahe resident to get action by staff on a potential life threat in an area travelled by children.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 01:44
Flood Watch continues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marilyn Bucholtz   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:27
Lower Trent Conservation (LTC) advises municipalities and the public that a Flood Watch is being continued for the Lower Trent watershed region (area stretching from Quinte West to Grafton, and from Lake Ontario to Rice Lake).  There is the potential for flooding to occur in low lying areas with minor flooding of access roads, backyards and basements possible.


Local creeks have peaked from the snowmelt and rainfall recorded on Monday and Tuesday (averaging about 35mm).

Snow surveys done today, still show snow pack containing 45 millimetres of water. With warming temperatures forecast over the next week or so, the snow pack will continue to melt.  Along with the snowmelt, a forecast of 10 millimetres of rain for Thursday will keep water levels high.

Local stream inputs have contributed to increased flows on the Trent River and water levels are reaching flood conditions from Percy Boom down to Trenton. Lower Trent Conservation will be maintaining regular contact with the Trent-Severn regarding management of the system.


This flood watch will be updated on Friday April 11, as we are monitoring a significant system that is predicted to bring 35 – 50 millimetres of rain on Sunday and Monday next week.


The public is reminded that ice conditions on all waterways, including the Trent River and the Bay of Quinte should be considered unsafe.  Slippery and unstable streambanks, fast moving water and extremely cold water temperatures will create additional hazards.  Areas around dams, culverts and bridges should be avoided at all times.


Lower Trent Conservation staff will be monitoring water levels, snow conditions, and weather forecasts closely as part of its flood forecasting and warning program.  Updates will be provided as conditions warrant. Anyone having concerns about water levels can call Lower Trent Conservation at (613) 394-4829

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:46
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