by Margaret Knott
Recent Entries
Monthly Archives
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003

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

February 10, 2005
Community Receives Big Sandy Bay Update

Frontenac Islands Councillor Jim Calvin had high praise for Wolfe Island’s Big Sandy Bay Stewardship committee at a recent two part meeting, first to update the community about Big Sandy Bay’s (BSB) first season and future plans for the site, and secondly to review the work and plans of the island’s Community Centre Board.

Wolfe Island has assumed the day to day operation of Big Sandy Bay Management Area, an island jewel, from the province for a 5-year period. A Friends of Big Sandy Bay group has been established to protect the area and to raise funds.

Councillor Calvin, chair of the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship committee outlined steps taken to open the site including the completion of Concession Road 3 (the one legal access to the site), signage, passage of a parking by-law, the use of a bus on a trial basis for visitors,(cancelled as not cost effective), a fee structure and staff (dune stewards).

There has been no mass marketing of BSB but it has been promoted as an educational resource (birds, wildlife, environment) by the Friends of BSB. The parking lot, controlled access gate, public toilets, buildings and pedestrian trail were all completed by local businesses, residents and committee members. An MNR shore dune (video tape) monitoring program was set and ‘no go’ areas were identified. The season was from May 24- Sept. 15th with 3000 visitors, (the site can handle 200 a day). A financial costing sheet was issued to the community.

“We held a successful Fox Hound trial by coming up with an agreement that respected the area,” Calvin said. “ But there are still problems with ATV use after hours, industrious beavers, and non fee payment by boaters. We lost money this year ($12,131.)” he said. “We need to have a greater control of costs. We need improved facilities at the dunes, benches along the trail, (not handicap accessible) and a service vehicle with trailer for the ambulance for the 1000 metre trail in and out.”

The question period focussed on environment, extra cars on the ferry, money (when will we know it is cost efficient?), and the use of the annual ($40.) community enhancement fund for BSB. One resident felt that tax payers should have the right to choose where their money goes. The BSB committee is looking for feedback. “Friends of BSB” is recruiting members.

COMMUNITY CENTRE BOARD Councillor Calvin was the spokesperson for the Community Centre Board review. He noted that the CCB sponsors the Family Baseball Tournament, Mixed Slow Pitch, Music Festival etc. The Centre has an active Horse Club, youth baseball and hockey/skating at the rink.

They were involved (with the township) in installing a water line from the main street to the school, new lighting at the B Diamond, improved tile drainage at the A diamond, and the Ernie Allen Playground upgrade with the school board.

The CCB hopes to extend the waterline to the rink, then if possible to the fire hall, create a new parking lot, improve the ice rink., create a new playing field.

The long range plans for the rink (if they had the money) would be a concrete pad, new boards and a top 80’ x100’. If pouring cement the CCB would like to install pipes for a year round facility. Because water is the issue this is a 3-5 year plan.

The CCB submits a budget to council each year, is involved in fund raising and donates many, many volunteer hours to their community projects.

Mayor Vanden Hoek commented that CCB projects are developed at half the price because of volunteer labour and contributions. The question of directing where Community Enhancement dollars are spent was raised again.

ASSESSMENTS, TAXES: Its not often a politician dares talk about taxes but at the same meeting Mayor Vanden Hoek gave it a whirl. He spoke about the dramatic changes in government which began 15 years ago and have affected all communities.

“In the 70’s & 80’s we asked for a lot, got a lot and ran deficits,” he said. “I think at the staff level of senior government they recognized this needed to stop. There was $10.00 of demand for every dollar of revenue. Then began the whole downloading process (ferry, highways, grader).

Ten years ago there would have been a grant for just about everything but those days are gone. If we want anything now we have to pay for it through property taxes or user fees, for example the Howe and Simcoe ferries.” The mayor noted that there is an urban/ rural divide and that surprisingly property taxes in Toronto are lower than on Wolfe Island.

Vanden Hoek said that most property assessments are on the rise “ but in the last five years the shift has been to waterfront. Waterfront properties carry the can and drive the municipality in terms of tax dollars with 2.4% coming from agricultural lands Its like a doughnut as to where our revenues come from. There has also been a 10-12% increase in the Frontenac County Budget which makes up a third of what islander’s pay in taxes, (land ambulance, Fairmont Home). Council will be looking for ways of delivering services more efficiently and for tax revenues from other than property taxes,” he concluded.

Around Town: *Ernie’s is now smoke free on the west side. * W.I.’s scene of the Crime Festival 2005 short story contest opens Feb. 24th (birth date of W.I. crime writer Grant Allen) for previously unpublished writers in crime or mystery genre. Deadline for entries is May 15, 2005. For contest rules visit Winners announced June 30 with prizes presented at the Scene of the Crime Festival, Aug. 13th. For more information contact: 613-272-3591. * Tickets for “Take the Plunge” (the ‘Can you guess when the old van will sink through the ice?’) draw are on sale Feb. 15th. * The new stretcher (purchased through donations) used by the Howe Island Fire & Rescue Team in their van is a Medical Assist Stair Chair/Stretcher for use in moving critical patients from areas where a regular stretcher won’t fit.

Coming Events:

1. Feb. 16th “Stay On Your Feet” (Raising Awareness of Fall Prevention) R.O.S.E. session 1:00 -3:30 p.m. W.I. United Church Hall (Women’s Institute event)
2. Feb. 26th W.I. Snowmobile Poker Run 2 p.m.Contact:385-9958

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:40 AM