As Wolfe Islanders attempt to adjust to the much smaller Frontenac II ferry while the Wolfe Islander III undergoes its 5-year re-fit, Howe Islanders are delighting in their new ferry, the Frontenac/Howe Islander.
The $1.5 million ferry built by Heddle Marine Service in Hamilton arrived at Howe Island on October 12th with MTO and Coast Guard officials present and it is now operating for the public. The 15 car ferry (six more spaces than the old ferry) has two smaller engines and can carry a 45 ton truck as opposed to a 30 ton and in low water as little as 24 tons. The Ministry of Transportation, Frontenac County and Frontenac Islands Township-Howe Island Ward split the costs of the ferry with Howe Island contributing over $350,000. There was no official christening of the boat but there will be an event of some kind in the future according to Mayor Vanden Hoek.
“You have to give credit to the province, the county, the ward members and the residents of Howe Island,” the mayor said. “Negotiations for a new ferry only began in 2003 and Howe Island came up with something like 40% of the capital costs. The county also provided much of the expertise and background work regarding funding. On Wolfe Island we think we are the only ones with divisive issues but that’s not the case. Everyone including Howe Islanders have differing opinions about where the ferry should run, if there should be a shorter route, a bridge etc. but as a community Howe Island managed to get through all that, put the money in place, make an agreement and deliver the boat in less than 2 years. I feel a certain amount of pride for the ward folks and the residents of Howe Island. As far as I am concerned it is one of the most successful projects I’ve been involved in.”
Interesting to note however that the new ferry has not ended Howe Island’s efforts for a bridge which hit a snag with Kingston’s call for a detailed environmental assessment (bump up). When planning for the new ferry began Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor Pat Norris said, “ the new ferry is needed now but a bridge will be needed in the near future.”
Wind Farm Review: Bob Clark and Ms. Jennifer Current of Clark Consulting Services presented a review of the CREC (Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation) and GAIA Power proposals for wind farm development on Wolfe Island at the October meeting of council. Both have made application for Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments.
“Now the Ministry of Finance has given us this what I call tax template to work from or to set the ground rules for tax revenue from wind farms,” according to Mayor Vanden Hoek.,”and we have given Bob Clark direction to go back and look at the financial impacts to the municipality both in terms of tax revenue coming in and the other issues that a wind farm may bring in terms of financial trade offs before he goes any further with the official plan amendments.”
According to the mayor the template is not very attractive. ”This is something of a moving target. Every time you think you have it figured out it changes. The ministry said in August they would cap the assessment on wind towers at $40,000 and we have heard from a variety of sources that maybe that there are other bits and pieces of the infra structure that may be assessable (access roads, underground cable) but any time we have gone to see if there is tax revenue to be had we haven’t been successful so we have also added this to the Clark Consulting list of things to do regarding the proposals.”
Both companies had to initiate the process for Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments before they could present their Wind Farm bids to the province.
Organizational Review: Council received the Organizational Review report prepared by Bob Foulds of Harvan Consulting to stream line the township’s operations. “We had to do something,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “Let me put it this way the reporting criteria that the province expects of municipalities is no different for Frontenac Islands than it is for South Frontenac or any other township. The fact that we happen to be the smallest township doesn’t get us away from all the paper work required. On top of that we have the situation where we have a staff person on each island and the residents expect a fairly high level of service. We have these two senior staff folks buried in work.” Continuing the mayor said, “no other municipality is running with the skeleton staff we do. It is only because that they have extensive local knowledge they have been able to keep it running.. If we lost either one it would take 3 people to replace them.”
Council members will digest the Foulds report and make decisions for change in the new year.
Big Sandy Report: Councillor Calvin, Chairman of the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee presented council with a report of the first season of operation of the Big Sandy Bay Management area. The final report will be shared at a public meeting later in the year. Most comments received about Big Sandy Bay thus far have been favourable in spite of unfavourable weather. Next Council meeting Wolfe Island, Nov. 8th, 7:30 pm.
About This and That:* Council designated October 27, 2004 as “Child Care Workers & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day in Frontenac Islands Township,* Road surfacing has been completed on Reeds Bay Road * Watch for a public meeting about the W.I. wetland corridor (canal).* Sacred Heart’s pastor Fr. Lebelle has announced that he must reduce his work schedule on the island due to health issues.* There is much muttering about this year’s municipal tax bills with ever increasing assessments and a higher mil rate. More to follow.*The W.I. Medical Clinic is closed due to the illness of Dr. Westenberg. *Place orders for Old Fashioned Plum Puddings($6-$8) with Connie at 385-2648. Available at the Anglican Turkey Supper Nov. 20th.
1. Oct. 30th, Wolfe Island United Church Turkey Supper Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
2. Bizarre Bazaar, (hand crafted imports) at The Factory, Wolfe Island Oct. 30 & 31st 10am-5pm
3. Flu Shot Clinic Nov. 20th 9am-11:30 am at the WI Medical Clinic.
With the departure of the Wolfe Islander III to Hamilton for its 5-year refit, the Frontenac is now operating at Wolfe Island from the winter dock at Dawson Point. The M.V. Quinte Loyalist equipped with a new passenger shelter is in service at Amherst Island. It is expected that the Wolfe Islander will be away from 6-8 weeks. It has given 5 years of uninterrupted service, with very few exceptions.
The Frontenac draws more water which accounts for the move from Marysville. While local businesses are frustrated with this early move to the winter dock, there is concern by MTO that if the Frontenac is damaged in some way due to lower water there is no back-up ferry and islanders would be left stranded.
Dawson Point looks like a Park& Ride facility with cars filling the lot and lined up daily well past the Whitmarsh gate. At this time there is no talk of a passenger ferry into Marysville until ice-in nor is there any known plan for a commuter bus to pick up islanders (the majority of whom work off the island or those without vehicles) in Marysville for transport to and from Dawson Point.. With ample parking in the village, (Sacred Heart) both options (passenger ferry or bus transport) are viable options for the Township to consider.
Frontenac Islands Submits Letters of Intent: Not to be left at the starting gate Frontenac Islands Council was to submit letters of intent for two fire related projects to the Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure fund.
One project is a generator and water line to the Fire Hall for the Wolfe Island District. However based on certain new criteria the second project, a new Fire Hall for the Howe Island district has been set aside for the time being. The decision to submit the letter was made at a special meeting of council held on Aug. 26th.
In attendance at the same 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 lining 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 will submit applications through this initiative (CFDC’S).
The applications include 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.)
Special Projects Coordinator Van Hal was authorized to submit a request for an extension of the OSTAR Program in 2005. Based on that extension council will apply for $26,500. to cover associated administration and clerical costs.
Council will also support an application by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association for a Wolfe Island Marketing Plan and Advertising Campaign.
An application made by Donald and Carol Doyle (first heard/deferred in November 2003) was presented again with one change to the original plan was not approved by Council. Mrs. Ruth Bryson spoke in opposition saying that there are actually four new lots proposed not two and all are too small to comply to the zoning by-law. Neil Bryson said approval would set a precedent for non conforming lots. A written decision will be delivered 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 Robert Graham’s Musical Entertainment.
PADDLE FOR AIDS: A number of Wolfe and Simcoe Islanders paddled around Wolfe Island in an effort to heighten awareness for AIDS and to raise funds to help fight this devastating disease.
Some of the paddlers are hosting A POT-LUCK LUNCHEON Oct. 24th at 11:30 a.m. at St. Margaret’s Hall. Fellowship and presentations include a word from the paddlers and a video by Stephen Lewis on Aids in Africa. Beverages, dishes, cutlery napkins supplied Donations large or small to support the work against AIDS are welcome. The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund of the Anglican Church of Canada – Income tax receipts available.
About This and That:*.Why not check out W.I.’s Alston Moore Golf Links 2005 special membership offer. Call:613 385-2461. * Take a look at the wonderful photos is Fargo’s & Mosier’s windows, winners as judged by Jack Chiang, in this year’s photo contest. *Congratulations to Acacia Gold Golden Retriever 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.. *. Wind & Water an art exhibit by W.I.’s Kim Woodman continues at Queen’s University’s Duncan McArthur Hall, West Campus Tuesday –Thursday 11:30 - 1p.m. until Oct. 22, 2004. * Frontenac County has issued its first Quarterly Review , a newsletter for all local elected and appointed officials, staff and interested individuals. The first addition talked about the new Howe Island Ferry, Fairmont Home, local services realignment etc. and announced a new director of Emergency Services Paul Charbonneau for Frontenac Paramedic Services replacing Shawn Carby.
1, Oct .16 The Great Pumpkin Weigh-In Wolfe Island Contact Doug/Rose Corrigan 385-2760
2. Oct. 30th Wolfe Island United Church Turkey Supper Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
3. Oct. 16th 17th Scene of the Crime on TV Ontario’s (TVO) Imprint at 3:30 p.m.
4. Oct. 24th A POT-LUCK LUNCHEON, 11:30am St. Margaret’s Hall Contact Chris Carr, 385-2648