BV council news briefs

New Plow Truck Down

Eganville – The new township 2023 Western Star Plow Truck has been out of service for a month, Works Superintendent Jason Zohr told Bonnechere Valley council last Tuesday.

“I can’t even…” said Mayor Jennifer Murphy.

The truck has been out of commission for a month because of the radiator, he told council.

“The rad went out of the truck, so it has been down since early March,” he told council.

Councillor Brent Patrick asked if this was the same piece of equipment which was previously down. He was told it was. That time it was the clutch.

“It was also warranty work and it is still out of service,” Councillor John Epps said.

Mayor Murphy said when the clutch imploded in the chamber, she was concerned. At that time, she said vehicles were called lemons for a reason. “I said at the time I hoped it wasn’t a foreshadowing,” she said. “I think it was really smart to buy that extended warranty knowing now what we didn’t necessarily know when we took ownership of it.”

Coun. Patrick asked about the timeline to get it fixed. He was told the truck was in the garage for the whole time. “The rad is in today,” he said.

Coun. Epps said he was told about the rad being broken by a ratepayer before he heard about it from the municipality.

This is the second major issue for the truck, which was purchased new last year. The clutch went down on the truck after only 3,000 kilometres of township use. As a result, council decided to purchase an extended warranty for the vehicle at a previous meeting.

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Zadow Road tender awarded to McCrea Excavating

Eganville – Bonnechere Valley Township received three bids for work on Zadow Road with the lowest tender awarded to McCrea Excavating of Pembroke

The successful tender was for $916,098.91. Other tenders were from Bonnechere Excavating at $1.132 million and Walsh Contracting and Equipment Rentals for $1.4 million. Council awarded the tender last Tuesday afternoon.

Mayor Jennifer Murphy said it was her understanding eight contractors came to the site visit and she mused that only three submitted a tender. Works Superintendent Jason Zohr said there were six who came to the site visit, which was mandatory.

“Out of curiosity with pricing and everything else these days, it is curious to know who is coming to the site visit and actually tendering,” she said.

The project was under the engineer’s estimate of $1.181 million.

The work consists of road rehabilitation and drainage improvements. The work is being done from Silver Lake Road to Ruby Road, a distance of approximately 2.3 kilometres.

Work on Zadow Road was supposed to be done in 2023 but was held over and expanded for 2024.

The report from the engineering firm looking at the tenders noted the bids varied by 54 percent with the tender price varying by approximately one percent to the engineer’s estimate.

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Ditch Clean Up

Eganville – Ditch clean up days in Bonnechere Valley will be on April 20 and April 27, allowing township residents to assist in the clean up of ditches and take the bag for free to the waste site.

“I already have one bag,” said Mayor Jennifer Murphy.

Works Superintendent Jason Zohr said it is surprising how many residents go around and take part.

“It is an early spring too,” said Councillor Brent Patrick.

“And the ditches are dry, which is so unusual,” said the mayor.

“We have been staring at the litter since Christmas,” said Councillor John Epps.

Bags can be dropped off at the Sand Road site.

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Fire Calls Are UpEganville – Fire calls continue to be up for Bonnechere Valley. “Since I tabled my report, we have had three more calls,” Fire Chief Darryl Wagner said at council last Tuesday afternoon. “One grass fire last night, one today.”The department is now up to 20 calls in 2024, with two being in April. “It is really bad,” Mayor Jennifer Murphy said. The township is in a Level One fire ban. “If this continues, we may be in a Level Two and it may hold all summer,” he said. “You have had no snow, no rain, so you are almost in the April, May, June timeframe,” the mayor said. The chief said they have signs up. “We try to do whatever we can,” he said. Last year the department saw more calls than any previous year.

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Restructuring Bonnechere Valley Fire DepartmentEganville – There is no more station one and station two for the Bonnechere Valley Fire Department, but it is just the Bonnechere Valley Fire Department. “There is no more station designation, reason being, most of the firefighters, with the exception of one, are in closer proximity to Eganville than Foymount,” Chief Darryl Wagner told council last Tuesday afternoon. There are hopes there will be more recruits coming to the Foymount area.“Once the paramedics are out, all the training will be done here,” he said, referring to the Eganville fire hall.The chief said this is part of restructuring the department. Recruiting is ongoing and there are people coming forward, he said.“We have had two new hires,” he said. As well, the Junior Firefighters program has been a hit and a recent article in the Leader led to another member. “We have seven, six showed up last Wednesday,” he said. At the job fair last week at Opeongo High School there was a lot of interest, he said.

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Chief Building Official OptionEganville – Chief Building Official (CBO) Darryl Wagner told Bonnechere Valley council he will be at Opeongo High School on April 24 to speak about the job and hopefully interest students in this career path.He said several area CBOs will speak to the high school students about the requirements and path to become a CBO. “That is good, I like that, real life experience,” Mayor Jennifer Murphy said. Councillor Brent Patrick said giving an option is a good thing for high school students. “It is the pathway to get to the CBO spot,” he said.

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MNRF Fire Crews Down Eganville – Bonnechere Valley firefighters may be called to help out more as Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Fire Crews are short staffed.“They are short 50 crews, with that they are short 50 crew bosses,” BV Fire Chief Darryl Wagner told council last Tuesday. “So, they will be relying on municipalities a little more.”Last year they were short staffed which is why the restrictions went on, he said. Municipalities were recently made aware the MNRF fire crews are short staffed in 2024 as well. “They may expand the restricted fire zone,” he said. “They say because the fires are expanding and moving, they may expand the fire zone,” the chief said. When the municipality is asked to come in it becomes more lucrative, he added. However, usually the MNRF tries to handle situations in its delegated authority.“For the most part they are trying to manage it themselves,” he said.As far as forest fire danger, it may be a bad year, the chief said. “They are predicting another year like last year.”

Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader