Not to be left at the starting gate Frontenac Islands Council has submitted a letter of intent for two fire related projects to the Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure fund.
The project is a new Fire Hall for the Howe Island district, the second, a generator and water line to the Fire Hall for the Wolfe Island District. The decision to submit the letter was made at a special meeting of council held on Aug. 26th.
In attendance at that meeting was Bob Foulds of Harvan Consulting who presented a “first draft of an Organizational Review” for Frontenac Islands undertaken to determine ways of stream linning the township’s operations. Frontenac Islands is perhaps the only township with two districts Howe and Wolfe Islands, separated by two ferry rides and many highway miles between. The final draft of the Fould’s report will be presented at the November meeting of council.
In light of the news that the 15 Community Futures Development Corporations in Eastern Ontario will share $10 million through the Eastern Ontario Economic Renewal Fund, Council prepared to submit applications through this initiative (CFDC’S) at a special meeting held Sept. 8th also attended by Linda VanHal, Special Projects Coordinator.
The applications include first a request to do a study to review the economic and operating viability of establishing a Wolfe Island lagoon and local sewage hauler and… if economically viable to prepare a business case. (Wolfe Island’s lagoon and local hauler ceased operation two years ago.)
Another application related to the OSTAR program. Special Projects Coordinator Van Hal was authorized to request an extension of the OSTAR Program in 2005 and based on that extension council will apply for $26,500. to cover administration and clerical costs associated.
Council will also support an application by thw Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association for a Wolfe Island Marketing Plan and Advertising Campaign.
Some of the regular meeting of council held Sept. 13th was taken up with an application made by Donald and Carol Doyle (first heard in November 2003 and deferred)with one change to the original plan. Mrs. Ruth Bryson spoke in opposition saying that there are actually four new lots proposed not two and and all are too small to comply to the zoning by-law. Neil Bryson said approval would set a precedent for non conforming lots. Council did not approve the application and will deliver a written decision at the October meeting.
The Township will engage a road engineer to evaluate the upgrading of Fuller Road on Howe Island for a Limited Service Access Road and will use a consultant to determine the cost allocation between the Township and Graveleys/Lipperts for the road improvements.
Pumpkin Weigh-In: The wonderful 5th Annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-In and Autumn Social takes place on Wolfe Island on Sat. Oct. 16th at the Town Square at 1 p.m. Many categories from biggest, smallest, best colour, shape, decorated, carved. Make a Scare Crow, a pie or write a poem. A Looney for every entry. Registration 11-12. Come for lunch, wagon rides, bake tables. David Smith’s Marionettes perform at 11:30 a.m. followed by our own Robert Graham’s Musical Entertainment.
About This and That:1. While the Frontenac II is in service at Wolfe Island the M.V. Quinte Loyalist equipped with a new passenger shelter will be put in service at Amherst Island. 2.Why not check out W.I.’s Alston Moore Golf Links 2005 special membership offer. Call:613 385-2461. 3. Be in touch with Barbara (WALL) LaRoque with family stories, anecdotes or histories of W.I. buildings to help complete an unpublished history of the Island at firstname.lastname@example.org 4.Congratulations to Acacia Gold Golden Retreiver breeders Pat Downing and Tom St Laurent who were guests of Film Maker Bruce Weber at the Toronto Film Festival. Where one of their dogs is the star in a film entitled A Letter to True. True was purchased from Acacia Gold by Weber. Check out acaciagold.com or bruceweber.com. 5. Wind & Water an art exhibit by W.I.’s Kim Woodman is being held at Queen’s University’s Duncan McArthur Hall, West Campus Tuesday –Thursday 11:30 - 1p.m. until Oct. 22, 2004. 4. Frontenac County has issued its first Quarterly Review , a newsletter for all elected and appointed officials at the local level, staff and to others interested in the County’s activities. The first addition talked about the soon to come Howe Island Ferry, Fairmont Home, local services realignment etc. It announced a new director of Emergency Services Paul Charbonneau for Frontenac Paramedic Services replacing Shawn Carby.
UP, UP & AWAY: An interesting renovation of a 100 plus year old house is underway on Wolfe Island. The land and the trailer on another part of the Marysville main street property was purchased by Don Chisholm originally from British Columbia now working in Toronto. Chisholm resides in the trailer home. The house was considered just a throw in to the land and trailer purchase but the new owner determined it was worth salvaging and renovating. This route does perhaps avoid some of the fees etc. required for new construction. Dolly Hogan, a long time employee at the General Wolfe Hotel in the ‘50’s lived in the house for many years. Island residents and visitors to Wolfe Island have been watching with interest as the two storey house was raised some 8 feet into the air with steel beams embedded into the bed rock to hold it up The poured floor and cinder blocks to the ground level, insulation and construction of a walk out main floor basement has begun. The renovation of the two floors (the original house) above will follow. Visually it has been quite a picture and has offered a different consideration to a tear down, start over concept.
On a personal note: My thanks to the Community of Wolfe Island and the many friends and associates in Kingston/Frontenac County for their support through the long and serious illness of my husband Walter Knott. My family, (children and grandchildren) and I will be forever grateful for the prayers, love, continuing concern and the many unbelievable kindnesses shown to us during this long 9 weeks. It is not over yet but we continue with hope for Walter’s recovery, forever cherishing your support.
Oct. 9th-10th WIBTA BOOK SALE at the Old Fire Hall 10:00am-5:30 pm Early Bird’s Friday Oct. 8th 3-6pm
Oct .16 The Great Pumpkin Weigh-In Wolfe Island Contact Doug/Rose Corrigan 385-2760
Oct. 30th Wolfe Island United Church Turkey Supper Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Frontenac Islands has been seeking answers and firm direction from the Province regarding what tax revenues the township can derive from commercial wind farms on Wolfe Island.
In June a letter was sent to MPP John Gerretsen to make sure he was aware of the concerns as to what the tax revenues would be which he passed on to the Ministry of Finance since this really is an MPAC issue . In August the township did receive some information indicating what the Minister of Finance had in mind for assessment. “First of all they have called wind towers industrial and they have capped the assessment at $40,000 per mega watt of power,” according to Mayor VandenHoek. “So you have to go to the tax table to determine what that is but when you are looking at taxes there are two others who get there hands on the money, the province the education portion, the county gets piece and the municipality gets what’s left that is the area rated portion that comes in plus a small administrative component so it is not a lot of money,” he said. “If you look these turbines which are either 1.5 or 2 mega watts depending upon which developer you are talking to the tax revenue is maybe four or five hundred dollars per tower into the municipality. The actual tax the developer pays is much more than that, but the net benefit to the municipality is very low.”
The township has sent a letter to the Minister of Finance Greg Sorbera requesting a meeting. “However,” according to the Mayor, “we have heard that some of the infrastructure (underground cable, sub stations etc) that support these towers are all taxable but we don’t know what that is and it will take a long time to thrash out. While the tax benefit per tower is minimal we will have to reserve judgement on the projects until we have the whole picture. We have to be realistic. These projects have a long way to go. even environmental assessment work which Wolfe Island is certainly familiar with in terms of timing. But it is not just benefit to the township that we have here. It is lease agreements with property owners, and a broader perspective on alternative energy. However the most important part for council is the industrial tax assessment that comes in.”
In the other business the mayor said that he attended a meeting organized by the Wolfe Island Wild Life Association where they brought forward areas of concern as part of their agenda. ”It was an opportunity for a candid discussion on those areas and to make sure the township was aware of them.”
The Canal Project: “I don’t think there is any consensus in the community about what they want to do and we don’t control that agenda,” the mayor said. “The property owners will dictate the project. There are a number of factors that will have to be dealt with. Any project that goes forward will have to have some highway improvement, culvert or whatever and that is the only capital portion that the township is responsible for. We can bring forward issues with regard to the benefits of water flow, wildlife, benefits or lack of benefits depending on your position regarding boat traffic but strictly speaking we are responsible for its 80 feet. That’s it,” he said.
A Fire Engine Arrives at the Foot of Wolfe Island
A 1968 Ford with a Thibault pumper and a 1000 gallon tank has arrived on Wolfe Island courtesy of Roly Jansen and Cathie Harroun. Roly purchased the truck “in near perfect condition” in ’Otonabee Township near Peterborough from a gentleman whose wife was anxious for it ’to be out of the front yard.’
“This is not just a boy hood dream,” Roly said. “ We are 25 miles from the village down here and there are a lot of big homes here. By the time the Fire Department is alerted about a fire and the volunteers get on their way, a lot of time has gone by and of course everything is going to be lost. So I decided for a little protection we would have a fire truck down here ready to go. I have let the township know that they are welcome to use it. Volunteers living down here could get here pretty quickly. I’ll store it indoors in a heated shop and it will be full of water and ready to go.”
Roly is hoping for some help in equipping the truck with input and out put hoses, helmets, rain coats, ladders etc. since it came with no accessories not even a ladder. “I am sure the W.I. Fire Dept. will help us with some hoses,” Roly said. “If you can get this truck to the river and run hoses from it, it is capable of pumping 650 gals per minute. My shop is 400 feet from the shore for instance. I’m hoping our fire insurance rates will come down a little down here once it is recognized as a REAL fire truck.”
(There are also plans afoot to purchase a defibrillator for that end of the island. More about that later). If anyone out there has equipment to offer for the fire truck call Roly at 385-2041.
The Corn Maze: The W.I. Corn Maze on Hwy 95, 3.2 km is in full operation. It is a thrilling experience and a walking challenge with its trails that change direction many times, dead ends, oasis rest stop for snacks and refreshments and so much more. For more information call (613) 385-1998.
Wolfe Island history project: Barbara La Rocque, daughter of Charles Wall is completing a history of Wolfe Island, a project started by her father, 25 years ago. For information Barbara LaRocque’s webpage, http://members.rogers.com/wolfeisland/.
1. Sept. 25th WIBTA PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS EVENT at the W.I. Community Hall
2. Oct. 9th-10th WIBTA BOOK SALE at the Old Fire Hall 10:00am-5:30 pm Early Bird’s Friday Oct.7th 3-6pm