by Margaret Knott
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Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

July 27, 2003
More About July Council Meeting

More About the July Frontenac Islands Council Meeting

Along with passing the 2003 budget (The Heritage July 30th) Frontenac Islands Council at their July meeting authorized the Memorandum of Understanding with the Province of Ontario and Frontenac County for a new Howe Island ferry subject to provincial approval and with certain conditions. A primary condition, the continued Provincial County Ferry funding commitment as in the past as well as all costs associated with maintenance, repair, capital replacement parts, etc.
Since then, while it seemed that Kingston City Council would not vote for a “bump–up” request for a detailed environmental assessment for the proposed bridge to serve Howe Island in the long term, IT HAS which came as no surprise to Deputy Mayor Pat Norris. (The Ministry of the Enviroment had withdrawn its bump–up request.)

Zoning By-Law: A request for a zoning bylaw amendment to rebuild a boathouse on Howe Island and add a second storey returned to council for a decision. Paul Beseau, a resident continues to object the approval of the application. “The By-law should restrict the square footage of the dwelling and require a registration of the Site Plan Agreement,” he said. Mr. Michael Hickey representing the Murray’s stated he had no problem with the latter two requirements. Council amended the By-law to include a square footage restriction and the registration of a site plan.

Road Restrictions: Howe Island residents were present to speak in opposition to a By-law (read a first and second time) to impose load limits on certain Howe Island roads. They were Wm. Gravely, Mrs. H. Lippert, C. Lippert, Mr. & Mrs. F. Huebel, J. Kaljian and Ms. K. Samuels. Council received letters of objection from Pauline and Clifford Snyder, Norm & Jane Vincent, Peter and Richard Cliffe and G. Hobbs. It is their view that restricting road use to two axle vehicles will prevent farm equipment and service vehicles from using the roads and they oppose year round load restrictions. There was much discussion regarding seasonal and full use roads, the historical use of the road as a farm road, road maintenance etc. Council agreed to review the by-law and to have an amended version available for public review by August 20th . Residents feel they are ill informed about such issues and want better communication with council.

Manco Recycling: Barry Weaver presented the first results of the recycling audit performed by Manco Recycling. He noted that much more could be done on the islands noting a community awareness program could increase recycling. Composting should be considered as well as the implementation of a voluntary blue box system.

Emergency Medical Services: Frontenac County Deputy Clerk Catherine Erikson and Shawn Carby Frontenac County Director of Emergency Services made a presentation concerning GIS Mapping and GEO Smart Funding. Council passed a resolution supporting both EMS requirements, GIS information sharing and a central GIS system to house the information as well as the Frontenac County GeoSmart application for a strategic plan. Council meets next on Howe Island Aug. 11th.

Around Town: *Work proceeds at the Big Sandy Bay Conservation area. A 50-car fenced parking lot is complete. The 3rd line has been extended by a few 650 feet. A walk through gate is in place. Signs, no trespassing, etc, are next. Two staff and volunteers are on site. * The W.I. Music Festival Aug. 9th will be held at the Community Centre Grounds up from the General Wolfe Dock. Music ( The Rheostatics, By Divine Right; Matt Barber & the Union Dues; Beef; Buck Jones; R.W.J. Band; The Buzz) begins at 5 p.m..*The W.I. Medical Clinic is temporality closed until another doctor is found. A very trying time for Islanders who rely on the clinic, particularly many seniors. *A very successful Golf Clinic for Kids &Teens was held at the Alston Moor Links in conjunction with Riverfront Golf Course. Its amazing to see the numbers of golfers boarding the ferry for the island. Where are you Bud? * Congratulations to Dawn Wallace whose digital film about the effects of prolonged sitting is going into production. Volunteers needed. * W.I. Fire Chief James White, announced that Morgan Merotta was the 50/50 draw winner and gave back half of her winnings to the Fire Dept. The $750 went toward the cost of the new breathing apparatus. Regarding the Golf Tournament and dinner Chief White encourages those who do not play golf to come for the dance ($15.00 per person). Contact Joe Taggart, 385-2233. *Busy Days, Busy Weekends, lots of events, full ferry, many ambulance calls. * Frontenac County passed a resolution supporting the on-going effort to bring wind power to Wolfe Island.*I’ve always said the Wolfe Island ferry is one of Kingston’s greatest tourist attractions. Last Saturday The Whig’s Greg Berliuk said it too adding, “and it’s free to boot”. While we want tourists, we certainly need improved transportation. Let’s hope the recent survey proves it.*Can’t help wondering how the debate between Frontenac County and Kingston will work out. More importantly what would a re-negotiation of the arrangement mean for us financially? More about that next time. * Congratulations to the island’s emergency services, ambulance and fire, the OPP and all those who in a concerted effort found and assisted the 3 young women lost on the island.

Coming Events
1. Aug. 7 Artisans Silent Auction /Wine & Cheese 7-10 p.m. at Wolfe Manor. In support of Early Years Centre Call: 385-1589
2. Aug 9 Howe Island’s Summer Steak Fry Dinner Contact Carol Dwyre 542-3217
3. Aug. 9 W.I. Music Festival at the Community Centre Grounds Advance Tickets: $7 At the gate $10:00 Music begins at 5 pm. Contact Sara 385-1562 Tickets: Fargo’s, Mosier’s also at Zap Records, The Grad Club in Kingston.
4. Aug.13,14,15 & 20,21,22 Summer Dance Camp, girls & boys, ages 4 & up (dancing, crafts, swimming, fun) Wolfe Island Community Hall 9- 4 p.m. $25 per day (6 days/$125.) Contact Jill 385-2452
5. Aug. 16th The Wolfe Island Horse Association “Family Western Horse Show” at the Community Centre Grounds 9:30 a.m. Contact Kevin Hulton 385-2480
6. Aug. 16th W.I. United Church Pork Barbecue. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
7. Aug. 23rd Scene of the Crime Writer’s Festival. events all day. Dinner St. Margaret’s Hall 6 p.m. For details: www.
8. Aug. 23rd W.I. Fire Dept. Golf Tournament @ W.I. Riverfront Golf Course. Dance following. Contact: Joe Taggart 385-2233

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:37 AM
July 22, 2003
Frontenac Islands Passes 2003 Budget

Frontenac Islands Council approved the 2003 By-law to levy taxes at their July regular meeting. For Wolfe Island the total taxes to be raised is $1,465,683 million ($1,303,000 in 2002) residential/ commercial/industrial/farmlands of which $530,000 is area rated to Wolfe (roads, Simcoe ferry, fire), $133,707 is the Frontenac Islands levy for joint services (e.g. police/administration). The payment to Frontenac County is $370,551 and to the province for education $431,239.

For Howe the figures are $744,157 ($616,000 in 2002) residential/commercial/farmlands split $170,775 local, $86,856 joint services, $240,710 for Frontenac County and $245,817 for education. Wolfe Island has reduced its draw on the remainder of the road reserve from $200,000 in previous years to $100,000 this year leaving $692,000 in the fund, which means a smaller tax decrease than Howe Island. At that rate the fund could last 6 plus more years. Howe Island will spend $60,000 more on roads for paving.

However the effect of the budget on individual properties (waterfront/inland) will be quite different. The mill rates as a result of the budget and assessment charges have changed. For Howe the rate is down 5.3% and for Wolfe 5.1%. This means that if your property assessment dropped or remained the same, your tax bill will be lower. However for the many who have seen property assessment increases (especially waterfront) this will not be the case, and your tax bill will be larger.

Howe Island residents will continue to pay a $90.00 per household special levy for garbage. The special $40.00 per assessment for community development and transportation enhancement continues on Wolfe Island not including Simcoe Island. An area rated $200. Per household levy for a Simcoe Island Ferry pass has been put in place. Howe Island residents continue to purchase annual passes/tickets for the County Ferry and the Township ferry.
Next time much more about the July Council meeting.

Wolfe Island Host Families Needed For Canada World Youth Exchange Program
Canada World Youth is looking for Wolfe Island families to host 4 youth from Canada, Mozambique and South Africa from September 2nd to December 5th in a CWY exchange. CWY is a national, non-governmental organization, which has coordinated international educational exchanges for youth since 1971.

In Kingston as the host community nine Canadian youth, 17 -21 will join nine young people from Mozambique and South Africa. Paired, they will live in host families and volunteer three days a week in work placements. On Wolfe Island the students will fulfill job placements at Marysville Public School and at the Outdoor Education Program- Sacred Heart School.

" We need Wolfe Island host families because it is important for the youth working on the island to live on the island with local residents,” according to Wayne Greenway, CWY project supervisor. " This is important for both the participants and their hosts,” he said.

Greenway noted that if the 12-week period is too long for host families, the time could be cut to 6 weeks with other families picking up the last 6 weeks with the students. "What 's important," he said, "is that youth are not considered guests but are integrated into the family assuming every day tasks in an environment where everyone gains. We need two or four Island families willing to welcome them into their homes."

Following their time in the Kingston-Wolfe Island area, the eighteen member team will travel to Mozambique where they will contribute an equivalent 5000 hours of volunteer work during a further three month period. Willing to Host? Contact Canada World Youth Project Supervisor Wayne Greenway at 541-5010, ext. 4666. It’s Urgent

The Wolfe Island Classic:
The Wolfe Island Classic at 22years is the Kingston area’s oldest running race, a 5k run or walk/ 10 k run. This year the race increased in numbers by 56 per cent from last year, to a new high of 420 participants. The Wolfe Island ferry was filled to near capacity with the runners boarding the 8:30 a.m. ferry trip from Kingston for the race. Doug Knowles organizer of the first race in 1981 was this year’s official starter. He also ran the 10 k course finishing best in his age category.

A major sponsor, The Running Room had experienced and new runners registered for the race. Sportstats recorded the official results. The W.I. Ambulance and the OPP were on hand.

The course follows a challenging route along the north Shore of Wolfe Island overlooking Kingston ending at the home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent. There, water, drinks, fruit, and bagels were offered to the participants, many of who cooled off by jumping into the lake. The Acacia Gold new puppies were a source of delight for the runners waiting for the presentation of prizes. It was a hot day. It is a tough course. Great people. Volunteers came out in droves to assist Race Coordinators Sandy Hunter and Barb Theman. All proceeds will be used to promote tourism on Wolfe Island.
Congratulations to Mayor Jim for running the 10k and losing by only 3 minutes to his challenger Stella Couban. Not too bad for, dare I say, an old guy.

High School Graduates. Recently I named one graduating student, who in spite of adversity had accomplished much. I named no others. Every year I do acknowledge the recipient of the Baker Award (a made on Wolfe Island Award) presented to a Regiopolis Notre Dame High School graduating student. The double cohort meant Sara White graduating from Grade 12 and Brad Quist, an OAC graduate both received the award. Other Regi grade 12 graduating students included Kerri Lynn McAllister, Jenn Ogilvie, Kaitlin Woodman, and OAC students Alex McLaren and Katie McDonald. KCVI graduates include Erica Posthumus, Andrew Vanden Hoek, Matt Kane, Michael De Ruiter, and Megan Van Noten. Many were the recipients of very significant awards and scholarships. Most are going on to University or College. Congratulations to All. And to the students who crammed 5 years into 4, you are this year’s heroes. Have I missed anyone?

Coming Events
1. Aug. 2-3 Eclectic Palette Art Show, W.I. Community Hall 10-5p.m.
2. Aug.2, 3,4 Bizarre Bazaar 9-5p.m. W.I. Business Centre Hwy. 96
3. Aug. 2nd Trinity Anglican Bake Sale 11 –1p.m.
4. Aug. 7 Artisans Silent Auction /Wine & Cheese 7-10 p.m. Wolfe Manor
5. Aug 9 Howe Island’s Summer Steak Fry Dinner Contact Carol Dwyre 542-3217
6. Aug. 9 W.I. Music Festival Contact Sara 385-1562

Posted by Margaret Knott at 03:01 PM
July 15, 2003
Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

More than 100 Howe Islanders gathered to hear the options proposed for the County ferry which had been outlined to Frontenac Islands council at their regular June meeting. Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded them that they had asked council to look at ways of improving the County ferry service.
“We referred the request to the County who in turn asked MTO to come up with options and they did. The ferry service is 80% supported by the province. The remaining 20% is through fares and passes,” he said. (The province also covers fuel costs and ferry maintenance.) “We need to hear from the people and make a decision now before the ferry’s 5-year maintenance in September. This whole issue is on a fast track."

Two ferries currently serve Howe Island, the County ferry and the Township owned & operated single cable ferry at the east end of Howe presently out of service for repairs. A Howe Island Bridge EA has been filed but major challenges still exist.

Kam Technology engineer, Kevin Yik presented a detailed outline of the options. The first to lengthen the ferry to 15 cars (32 tons truck load capacity) estimated at $385,000 or a ferry conversion to 15 cars but with a 45 tons truckload capacity estimated at $535,000. And, thirdly a new 15-car cable ferry, estimated at $1,518,000 if built in Ontario suitable for a 45-tons truckload with a gross tonnage of about 128. The projected life span of extending the current 25-year-old ferry is 25 years. The lifespan of a new ferry would be 50 years. Frustration was expressed because residents didn’t have the information in hand before the meeting.

Frontenac County CEO Elizabeth Fulton summarized the Allan& Partners Inc. report outlining possible combinations of service improvements and impacts on residential taxpayers.- costs were annualized at 6% over 20 years.—and the taxes were based on assessment data not on population or number of properties. The report also addresses fare increases. Mayor Vanden Hoek fielded questions relating to costs, fare increases, property assessment and taxes noting that both reports were available at the Township Office.

And speaking of Ferries: Marine Surveyor Jonathon Watson was there to present a further update on the Township ferry. “You never know what to expect with an old ferry. We have encountered some problems. The old plating just won’t take a weld and must be replaced.” He estimated that the ferry would be delayed a further 4 weeks.

A Major Council Decision On June 25th Council met again to decide what was the right option for improved ferry service to Howe Island based on public comment and the reports they had received. It was noted that the population (496 permanent residents 2001 census) of the island has grown 300% since the installation of the present service in 1974 causing long line-ups with low water conditions causing truck-loading restrictions. In their resolution Council requested Frontenac County to initiate a vessel replacement program with the Province for a new 15 car ferry (noted as option 3 in the report commissioned by MTO). Howe Island Ward is prepared to commit $570,000 based on continued global provincial funding (2003 dollars) adjusted annually. They will meet the commitment through a combination of tax adjustments and subsidy transfer from the Township Ferry to the County ferry.
So there you have it. Quite a decision.
Council next meets on Wolfe Island July 14th 7:30 p.m. to adopt the 2003 budget.

Around Town: * Sunday Mass Sacred Heart Church 9 am for the summer *Open Houses both from 4-8 p.m. Sacred Heart School July 8th, Howe Parish Hall. July 10th to review draft of the new Zoning By-law and implement the Official Plan * Congratulations to Howe Island Fire & Rescue 25th Anniversary. * How sad Howe Island lost the historic Nokomis Lodge to fire.* WI Land Fill site open Sunday’s, July & August.*Amazing response to the golf course on Wolfe Island. The breeze off the river keeps it cool, the view makes it beautiful. * Our Man about Town Ken Keyes once again is out seeing to the hanging flower baskets, also decorated with flags for Canada Day and is not too proud to pick up the trash others leave behind. As always, Thanks Ken. * The Island’s wonderful strawberry season is in full swing. *Congratulations to our W.I. graduating High School students. * Special congratulations to Miriam, 18, daughter of Abeda & Gilliani Ghiacy who has been accepted into Queens (Commerce). She is the recipient of many awards. The family fled Afghanistan 5 years ago and became Canadian Citizens in 2001.

*A recent editorial in The Whig suggested if golf and tourism generally take off on the island, Islanders will have to decide whether they really want change and if they do what about transportation?
Islanders know that unless Kingston gets its transportation act together particularly regarding a bridge over the Cataraqui River and there is a change in attitude by the former Pittsburg Township about a bridge from Wolfe Island or a ferry running into their former township, improved Island transportation doesn’t stand a chance. The shorter ferry route option into Kingston with the ferry operating on demand from the winter dock does not have the full support of either Islanders or down town Kingston for that matter since the ferry at its present location is a free Kingston tourist attraction during peak seasons. As it stands, the Howe Island Ward of Frontenac Islands made a decision about their long-term transportation needs (a bridge) and about their immediate needs, (a new ferry). As we faces long line-ups, an overfull ferry beyond the peak seasons, steady new construction and population increases, and new tourism opportunities, isn’t it time for Wolfe Island to do the same? With an election coming, is it time to put the question?

Coming Events:
1. Aug. 2-3 Eclectic Palette Art Show ,W.I. Community Hall 10-5p.m.
2. Aug.2, 3,4 Bizarre Bazaar 9-5p.m. W.I. Business Centre Hwy. 96
3. Aug. 2nd Trinity Anglican Bake Sale 11 –1p.m.
4. Aug. 7 Artisans Silent Auction /Wine & Cheese 7-10 p.m. Wolfe Manor in support of Early Years Program
5. Aug 9 Howe Island St. Philomena Parish Council Summer Steak Fry. Dinner 6-8 p.m. Tickets Parish Council members. Contact Carol Dwyre 542-3217
6. Aug. 9 Music Festival General Wolfe Hotel Dock. Contact Sara 385-1562

Posted by Margaret Knott at 04:57 PM