In a letter to Frontenac Islands Council the Easy Lane Association asked for consideration regarding a number of issues.
The first is a gate blocking access to Wolfe Island’s 2nd Line Road erected by Long Point owner John Weatherall to protect his property. The residents understand his reasons but dispute the location of the gate they believe should return to its original location behind the 2nd Line Road. The road provides them access to the water.
The second a condemned house on Easy Lane has become dangerous to residents particularly children, because of large pieces of steel roofing flying off and landing on the roadway.
Finally regarding Big Sandy Bay development, residents want trees and brush on the 3rd Concession cleared back to create a line of sight for traffic on both roads; a large sign erected at the corner of Easy Lane and the 3rd Concession directing people to Big Sandy Bay; a STOP sign for exiting 3rd Concession Road traffic.
Mayor Vanden Hoek left his chair to Deputy Mayor Norris for the discussion citing certain conflicts of interest.
In the first instance a letter will go to the property owner requesting that the gate be moved off Township property. Councillor Grant said he thought there were two gates, “but I haven’t been there for awhile because I was kicked out last time.” Councillor Hobbs also visited the site.
The Building Inspector will revisit the condemned property, communicate with the owner and in this case a demolition order may be issued. The issues relating to Big Sandy Bay will be referred to the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee.
C. Leonard of Simcoe Island requested township snow ploughing on Nine Mile Point Road to the Light House property where she now lives permanently.
“We have not provided maintenance to this 2 1/2 km of unimproved seasonal road in the past or authorized ploughing and there are no records of payment,” according to Mayor Vanden Hoek
photo: Maragret Knott
“If council decides it wants to provide service, the road will not carry the Township’s equipment and to do so comes at significant cost. We recommended to Ms. Leonard that she hire Sydney Eves to plough but she is not happy with that solution.” The Coast Guard leaves in early December and the road is ploughed up to a cluster of homes.
Both Councillor Hobbs and Norris noted that there are problems with existing seasonal roads on Howe Island as well and that a policy should be established. Councillor Calvin noted that the property owner has to share responsibility. Council will seek legal advice on roads as a whole and seasonal unapproved roads specifically and past practices.
In the meantime the decision for “no ploughing” stands.
Mr. Brent J. Burns, C.A. was present to review the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Township for the year ending 2002 which indicate Frontenac Islands was in good financial shape at that time.
Burns offered suggestions and recommendations including the development of an investment policy to safe guard Township assets providing a guide for the Treasurer with regard to the investments council would endorse.
He encouraged the regular monitoring of delinquent accounts.
He noted that with amalgamation, the downloading of services, changes in provincial financial reporting requirements, etc. Township staff are required to provide increasing amounts of information making it difficult to maintain records on a timely basis and recommended that the Township review staff requirements with a view to adding a part time person to assist the Treasurer and CAO.
He further recommended that the Township begin now to develop a Procurement Policy(good& services) as required by the Ontario Muncipal Act by 2005.
Based on the auditor’s recommendation the township has prudently put surplus funds into area rated reserves for future year uses.
In other business:
Minor variance applications approved for D. Mullin, K.White and the Incorporated Diocese of Ontario dependant upon 20 day appeal period. The S. Christ application was again deferred.
The Frank Cowan Company municipal insurance bid ($49,309.00) was accepted for 2004.
Council also accepted the Reed’s Bay Municipal Drain report.
Councillor Calvin’s report about citizen’s concerns expressed during his election campaign, ( road conditions, Hwy.96 line painting, sewage, contaminated shore wells, etc.) was accepted for discussion at the next meeting.
Council has accepted the Provincial Community Reinvestment fund for the benefit of taxpayers according to the terms set out by the Ministry of Finance.
RFP’s for Howe’s new County ferry will close soon. The Mayor noted if no objections the project will move forward with a possible July delivery.
Sydney Eves 2003- 04 snow blowing quote ($35.per hour) for portions of Township roads on Simcoe Island was accepted.
Council meets with MTO Jan. 20th to go through and review the process for an Environmental Assessment and technical issues required for whatever changes/enhancements will happen regarding the Wolfe Island ferry service. “Its next in the queue,” the mayor said.
There will be a councillor orientation meeting with Township solicitor Tim Wilkin, and the Hon. Peter Milliken, MP, has arranged a day for Frontenac Islands Council members to meet with different Federal Ministers in Ottawa, March 5th.
Council next meets Feb. 9th, 6:30 p.m. Howe Island.
photo: Maragret Knott
Around Town: *Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association is holding a “New Logo Contest” which will run for one month, open to all Wolfe Island residents for the development of a LOGO which will permanently identify the association (publications, website etc). The prize is a Digital camera. Watch for release of dates, rules & regulations. * Simcoe Island ferry out of service ‘till spring. Permanent residents now walk, use air boats and snow mobiles for travel. *Snowny & Short Eared Owls have arrived.*Marysville Public grade 5/6 classes received a grant from the Limestone Learning Foundation for their Boat Building Project.
1. Euchre Every Monday 8 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Hall
2. Chillifest, Sat. Feb. 7th Marysville 12 noon till 5 p.m. Good food, good fun for all, skating in the bay, sleigh rides and more.
3. A Valentine Dance Sat. Feb. 21st Sacred Heart School Tickets from Parent Council members.
4. Howe Island, St. Philomena’s Hall Pot Luck Suppers Jan. 18th, Feb. 22 & March 21st. Bring a favourite (main, side, desert) dish, cutlery, dishes, beverage other than tea, coffee, water. Social hour 5p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m.
Frontenac Islands Council has launched an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board against a proposed development of a five storey hotel on the pier behind the Tim Hortons on Ontario Street next to the Wolfe Island ferry dock.
The original plan for the site was for a smaller hotel and a restaurant.
The township followed the provincial notification and appeal process originally submitting comments regarding the new proposal to the City of Kingston.
Photo: Margaret Knott
Mayor Vanden Hoek attended a Kingston planning committee meeting where no acknowledgement was made of Wolfe Islands concerns. The zoning by law change was approved by the committee and subsequently by council. This triggered a scheduled process whereby the city had to give Wolfe Island notice and for the island to appeal.
“Wolfe Islanders and people travelling to the island need to be sure that any development that happens in downtown Kinston does not compromise their ability to get on and off the ferry and that is what this is all about,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said in a year end interview. ”If we missed the opportunity to appeal there is no other avenue to deal with our concerns. We have an obligation to protect the interests of ferry travellers. If the streets are further congested we are obliged to have a discussion with the city about the complications on the Ontario, Barrack Street corridor and how they can be mitigated.
“I share Mayor Rosen’s view that we can solve the issue but we must continue the discussion. This is a very legitimate exercise to go through.” (The township did not have any discussion with MTO prior to assessing the situation and filing the appeal.)
“Why no appeal with the original application for a hotel and restaurant a number of years ago? I can’t recall but perhaps now Frontenac Islands is more engaged in the Township’s transportation issues.”
“If you take a look at the line ups here on Wolfe Island in the morning and getting back to the island, its pretty clear that while MTO operates an excellent service there isn’t enough service,” he said. “Something has to happen to serve Wolfe Island’s commuting public. “
“We need more spaces or we need to turn the boat around faster.” Vanden Hoek noted that of all the ferry services in Eastern Ontario, the Wolfe Island ferry service is the only service where 1995 IBI study recommendations have not been implemented. At the time the City of Kingston supported the IBI recommendation for a larger ferry.
Council needs flexibility to make choices in how it proceeds with the Wolfe Island ferry service according to Vanden Hoek, “We have been down this road before. The options are few. When council has all the information there is a good chance that the only option we can implement is the lengthened ferry. But, Council may decide a shorter route is best for a number of reasons,” he said. “And without support from Kingston, we can’t go forward. No matter which option we choose Kingston has a large voice. “
“In the discussion that has to take place, does the city still support the lengthened boat resolution or doesn’t it because we are competing for space on Barrack and Ontario Streets. My understanding of the process is that when recommendations do come forward, the city staff looks at them in a very technical manner and will make a determination for or against based on the additional traffic etc.”
“Given the history of this service a relocated ferry is going to be a challenge. We are going to end up with the same dynamics in 2004 we had 30 years ago, those islanders opposed to relocation and no support from the Kingston, KEDCO or down town businesses.”
“Wolfe Island, a small municipality with fragmented support pursuing a controversial project which in the eyes of our large municipal neighbour will have a very large impact on their community. So the question I would ask is what is the likelihood of success?”
“In 2001 we issued a discussion paper to MTO indicating readiness to go forward even on controversial issues such as user contributions,” he said. “The city has been engaged in island transportation issues. We commented on Kingston’s transportation plan. City staff should be acutely aware of the capacity problems of both islands (Howe/Wolfe) and reflect on that in their planning process.”
Photo: Margaret Knott
“In 2004 Wolfe Island is going to come to grips with what the real options are and what their decision should be. We are there, ready to go forward.”
“I understand the frustration the city and the developer may have but this has been in the works a long time. A million passenger trips a year come into the city. Do they want the ferry there?. Do they want to relocate commercial traffic? I don’t think they can be mute on the issue. Where do they stand today.”
“I’ll support a relocated ferry or a lengthened ferry for more capacity but what can be accomplished? The city says the ferry is integral part of the downtown area. Wolfe Island can make either option work.”
“Relocation demands village tourist attraction development. The lengthened boat may be more of a challenge. Both come with a price to islanders.”
“MTO does an outstanding job,” he said. “But there is no silver bullet to solve the issue. Understanding where the city stands is really important because when all is said and done after we plan and consult with the public we may very well default back to where we were in 94/95.”
Further into the interview Mayor Vanden Hoek spoke of the progress regarding the Big Sandy Bay Development , the canal project, improvements to the community Centre Grounds on Wolfe Island and the successes achieved with regard to ferry services including the plan for the Howe Island County ferry.
Around Town:*Many white swans and snow geese seen on Wolfe Island. *A beautiful Christmas tree appeared in front of Wolfe Islands Town Hall as well as a Creche put there by Craig Pitts a skilled religious art artist in honour of his grandmother, the late Mrs. Kay Greenwood * The only sign of snow are the snowmen decorating many spots in Marysville.*with no ice in the bay, the ferry continues to operate from the village.*To all a Happy New Year 2004.