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.

March 29, 2004
Frontenac Islands wants Volunteer Ambulance Service Recognized

A request has gone to both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance requesting a policy change that recognizes the value of the volunteer component of the Wolfe Island land ambulance service and further that that value be redirected back to Wolfe Island in the 2004 budget year through the Community Reinvestment Program.

The Island’s Ambulance Service has a 30 year history and is held in high regard by the community. It is the only volunteer service and contributes savings to the county in excess of $500,000 annually compared to a fully paid service.

Some time back concern was expressed about upper tier assessments to Frontenac Islands. Land ambulance appears to be one area where the relationship between the islands and the county was different and required investigation. “On this issue particularly we feel there needs to be some recognition that the volunteer effort does go back to the home community,” Mayor Vanden Hoek noted.

In other business OPP Sergeant Ed Hickey presented the Leeds County Detachment 2004 Business Plan.
Hickey said that calls, break and enters, mischief incidents and false alarms were up. The fire at Howe Island’s Nakomis Lodge is being investigated as arson. Deer incidents are down. A case of home improvement fraud against an elderly person on Wolfe Island was investigated.

He advised that residents, particularly seniors should be cautious when signing contracts with some home repair companies and encourages neighbours and family members to be vigilant. The OPP issued a press release to that effect.

Hearthmakers: Fr. Brian Hart and Samit Sharma, Gaia Power provided an update of the Wolfe Island Wind Power Development Feasibility Study and Business Plan. They noted significant hurdles for the proposed 36 mega watt wind farm co-operative. Specifically the Kingston connection and the high cost per kilowatt of 10 ½ cents.

Hearthmakers believes a provincial RFP (request for Proposal) for power will happen soon and it would be to their advantage if the municipality partners with the co-operative, leading the province to buy their premium priced power.

Fr. Hart said they will talk to the other island wind power development businesses to see if there is a way to partner but what they are asking of the Township is that the township access low interest loan funds through FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) to purchase shares in the co-op and work to sell the power.

Mayor Vanden Hoek asked Frontenac County’s EDO (Economic Development Officer) Karen Fisher who was in attendance to study Hearthmakers business proposal, tax benefits etc. “We have supported wind power development all along but because of the way this has been presented we have to be sure we do not trip on our own feet either with CREC or OPG. which is why we need some time and information,” he said.

Appointments to the Big Sandy Bay Management Area Stewardship Committee include Chair Jim Calvin, Nadine Greenwood, Everett Hogan, Duncan Pyke, Craig Hulton, Dan Hogan, Craig Hulton George McAllister, Friend of Big Sandy Bay Rep. Maggie Crothers and MNR Rep. Terry Eccles.

Island resident Patricia Sanford, (Stone Heron Gallery)has entered into an agreement with the Township to rent the W.I. Community Hall for an art gallery operation from June 25th to Sept.8th, 2004 for a fee of $500.

The rental is conditional on security and insurance indemnification, renovations and a cost review by the CAO. Sanford pointed out that such a location is needed to display the work of the many artists and craftsmen from Wolfe, Simcoe and Howe Islands and would create another tourist destination with the gallery open daily for July and August, and staffed by two local part- time employees.

She said she would assume costs for improved building security, lighting and insurance as well as making the facility handicap accessible and hold 3 receptions showcasing artists accompanied by local entertainment. Sanford’s request was supported with letters from other artists.

Council will enter into a lease agreement for use of a part of the Sacred Heart Church parking lot for a period of one year, purchase the required curbs and make arrangements for line painting and signs. A comprehensive parking by-law for the Township is under discussion.

Council approved Terms of Reference for the Wolfe Island Canal Committee. It also agreed to a proposal by Bell Canada to provide a 9-1-1 Public Emergency Reporting Service.

Daniel Lee has been hired as Howe Island’s Recycling Operator Sat. 9:45 a.m.-12 noon, and from May 31st to Sept.30th, Thursdays 5:45p.m. to 8 p.m.
A new Howe Island ferry work schedule has been drawn up for 2 full time and 4 part time employees. One position was declared redundant.

Letters from island Fire Chiefs, Mike Quinn and James White express concern regarding the immediate extra work involved in the Mandatory Fire Protection Information Survey ( required of all municipalities) but moved up for Frontenac Islands by the Fire Marshall’s Office because of a concern expressed on radio by a Howe Island resident. Council will monitor.

The Township must provide a public slip at Simcoe Island. Next Regular Council Meeting Howe Island Tues. April 13th 6:30 p.m.

Around Town: * WIBTA announces June, “Art in the Garden Tour.” * New water regulations causing much concern. * Much activity at Big Sandy Bay with building construction, Gate House ready and trail upgrades planned. A pass system, signs, toilets etc. in the works says Councillor Calvin. * Slow Down signs erected at both Wolfe Island schools. The Seniors Lunch hosted by the CWL had many volunteers helping to make it a success. * Try the Island Grill’s Open Mike Friday evenings if you want to sing, play. *What a sight watching Winfield Woodman sail the river in his (hand crafted) ice boat. * Dr. Hans Westenberg will see patients every Thursday 2:30-8 p.m. at the Clinic Evensong is the 28th not the 24th as listed in event Calendar.

Coming Events:

1. Last Euchre March 29th.St. Margaret’s Hall but continues Thursday’s, 7 p.m.,United Church Hall
2. Don’t forget “Listen to the Whispers,” at Sacred Heart School, March 25th, 6- 8:30 p.m.
3. “Evensong” at Trinity Anglican Sunday March 28th at 4 p.m Guest Choir
4. W.I. Early Years “Beach Party” Dance, March 27th, 9 pm – 1 am at W.I. Community Hall Tickets $6.00. At the door $7.00
5. Ecumenical ‘Good Friday’ Service Sacred Heart Church 3 p.m. April 9th

Posted by Margaret Knott at 09:01 AM
March 24, 2004
So What was in the Transportation Discussion Paper?

The Township of Frontenac Islands is calling upon the Minister of Transportation, the Honourable Harinder Takar, to direct MTO to address the need for ferry capacity enhancements for Wolfe Island.

When Mayor Vanden Hoek put forward the resolution requesting an MTO initiated Environmental Assessment of the ferry service, and a feasibility study of a passenger service between Marysville and the downtown area of Kingston, he reminded council of the discussion paper regarding transportation needs which has been in the hands of the ministry since July 2001.

Maybe it’s time to be reminded about what was in the discussion paper. Its introduction outlines a brief history of ferry service on Wolfe Island until the 1960’s, when it was taken over 100% by the province, to the 1994 IBI Study which defined ferry capacity deficiencies that were confirmed in the 1999-2000 Phase 1&2 municipally commissioned environmental assessment.

The discussion paper says enhanced ferry service is the only cost effective option for the foreseeable future. It also says that the capital costs associated with a bridge cannot be justified. The matter of ferry capacity was left unresolved as no agreement could be reached on options or cost sharing between the user and the province.

The paper describes what improved ferry capacity will do for the community (development for one, improved competitiveness etc.) pointing out that while the province may look for “fiscal neutrality”, the island’s economic conditions may make that impossible, however it says that it is reasonable for the user to make a contribution to better service.

The township’s objectives and proposed action plan included the reinstatement of 1 trip by MTO (done); negotiating key service elements with MTO; the acknowledgement that better service is unlikely unless some contribution comes from the user; that should a transportation agreement with MTO happen, that monies from the annual Community Development fund ( started in 2001) could be used for planning and development, using Howe Island’s pass charge as a guide for setting rates; develop with MTO a plan to derive money from transient traffic to be dedicated 100% for service enhancements; identifying the Dawson-Vimy corridor option in its Official Plan (done) and that the Kingston transportation plan reflect the same. If MTO agrees to begin the process Wolfe Islanders have much to consider … .

Wind Power Meeting with CREC

photo: Margaret Knott

When CREC’s (Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation) president and Chief Operating Officer Ian Baines comes to talk about wind power for Wolfe Island, every one listens.

This time about the proposed 200 mega watt wind farm project worth $400 million dollars with a substantial economic benefit for the island and possible lease payment to landowners of approximately $900,000.

What’s new is that landowners have optioned 3000 acres to CREC and CREC is now looking for 3000 more at the head of the island. CREC plans to erect further anemometers ( two 60 metre) for more accurate wind data and to lay out the first optioned 3000 acres for the 80-100 metre high windmills spaced 1/2 kilometre apart with a sound level of 40 dba’s set back 200 metre’s from every home.

photo: Margaret Knott

A major challenge has been the inadequate underwater connection to the Kingston grid, and other problems which they believe have been resolved. CREC has applied for a high voltage underwater connection to the grid (230 kilovolt, 300 megawatt), a $30 million transmission line, which is a key point for the 3000 more acres and at least 100 windmills needed to justify the connection. According to Baines, Hydro One wants to see a 230 kilovolt connection to Wolfe Island.

CREC is completing the engineering plans for the transmission system, island infrastructure and the actual wind farm. They will have spent by June of this year $ 500,000. “We are serious about moving forward,” Baines said. “Our goal is to justify having this connection to the mainland.”

He went on to explain that they have a commitment for more investment and have brought in a 50/50 partner, a major Alberta public energy corporation whom they cannot name until officially announced. CREC will be the constructor but the Alberta company will share half the risk, funding and considerable experience in what it takes to build a wind farm.

Between March and August, they plan to acquire water access on both sides, bring equipment across by barge, apply for zoning amendments with the Township, plan road improvements at CREC’s cost, do wind farm layout, talk to landowners, make sound level determinations, complete detailed transmission line engineering plans, wiring and hydro poles, prepare formal lease agreements, seek municipal input.

“ We have to prove what we do. If all goes well, the construction of the first “Vestas” windmill will begin in late 2004. The Liberal government has said they will buy the power. We will bid it, win it. The Wolfe Island project is our highest priority,” Baines said.

The presentation was followed by an informative question and answer period. For further information and first come-first serve land optioning, contact Fred Siemonsen at CREC in Kingston at 548-3256.

Around Town: Trinty Anglican’s Lasagne Dinner March 20 th cancelled.* Scene of the Crime 2004 short story contest deadline for unpublished mystery/ crime genre writers is May 15th. Check:* Flying with Greg over Wolfe Island Larissa saw the words “Will you marry me,” in bright red carved out in the snow on the Rose’s W.I. lawn “I hope that’s for me from you”, she said. And of course it was . She said YES.Only 20 W.I. ferry calendars left at Fargo’s. *Simcoe and Howe’s Township ferry’s are back in service. *So when will that van sink?

Coming Events:
1. Howe Island, Pot Luck Supper March 21st. Social hour 5p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m.
2. W.I.’s Annual Seniors Luncheon St. March 13th at Sacred Heart School at 12 noon.
3. Trinity Anglican’s “Evensong” 4 p.m. at the church March 28th
4. Euchre Monday’s 8 p.m. St. Margaret’s Hall & Thursday’s, 7 p.m. W.I. United Church Hall
5. “Listen to the Whispers,” a health happening to create awareness about ovarian cancer sponsored by the W.I. Women’s Institute, Sacred Heart School, March 25th, 6- 8:30 p.m. (sandwich supper)
6. W.I. Early Years “Beach Party” Dance, March 27th, 9 pm – 1 am, RWI Band, Cash Bar at W.I. Community Hall Tickets $6.00 each available from Linda Vanstrien, Danielle Hogan, Ernie’s and Mosier’s Grocery. At the door $7.00

Posted by Margaret Knott at 01:40 PM