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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.

April 21, 2005
Wind Farms, Oil Spill, Land Fill Site, Water & Sewer Reports Make for Busy Agenda

Bob Clark and Jennifer Current of Clark Consulting Services presented an update on the status of the two Wolfe Island wind farm applications (GAIA Power and (CHD) Canadian Hydro Developers) for Official Plan and Zoning By Law amendments at the Frontenac Islands April meeting.

Clark said that comments received to his inquiries from agencies were based on the understanding that the project was municipally initiated when in fact it was proponent driven. He also noted they had received from GAIA Power their land options. He noted concerns (from Kingston Field Naturalists) about the proximity of wind turbines to natural features and from CHD comments suggesting a much lower separation distance than recommended. Clark stated, “We recommend maintaining the separation distances.”

Financial issues were reviewed with both council and the township lawyer. Clark Consulting will advise both applicants of the failure to receive certain agency comments and their financial impact analysis. (A recent letter to Wolfe Islanders indicates that for every 1.5 MW turbine the township will only receive $404.40 annual property taxes.)

In other Business: 1. Paul Shibata of Shibata Bio Consultants presented an update regarding the March fuel oil spill at the W.I. Town Hall, which affected 13 locations. Also present were Dan White and Jim Mahoney of MOE.

“ The document is a summary of the correspondence particularly with regulatory agencies directly to the municipality, identifying some of the problems, what we have done and the positive impacts we have had,” Shibata said. “

The second part outlines details of our recent reports to the Kingston Health Unit identifying a clean bill of health to Ontario Water Standards.” He outlined the extent of the spill and all that was done to deal with it. “Now we have turned the corner on the abatement of this spill but one thing that has surfaced is the water systems per se,” he said. The two east and west wells do not meet new legislated standards. The east well with two pumps one to the municipal hall and 4 residents, making it a small municipal non residential system and the west well also with two pumps and collectively 8 residents, (a small municipal year round system) now have new requirements. The residents will be notified.

Testing will depend on the type of water purification systems installed. The recommendation is to do “at the source” purification of the water supply.

2. Totten Sims Hubicki’s Guy Laporte provided a preliminary overview for establishing a municipal water and sewer system in Marysville. (150-200 families)

“You have to identify the problem, show that a communal system is appropriate, that there are 40% non standard systems (which might allow for priority funding). Get water samples from all of the homeowners plus survey septic systems to see if they are up to code. ($10,000),” he said noting that Water and Sewer is a scheduled C Class environmental assessment to determine best solution to the problem. (Up to $150,000)

For a system with 5,625 metres of water mains and sanitary sewers the cost is in the range of $11million. Laporte mentioned the COMRIF as a possible funding source. Ball park costs are $17,500 per residence, plus operating costs $85,000- $100,000 x 2 (for water & sewer) plus a requirement to set aside money ($300,000) for replacement spread over 200 families.)

Laporte noted advantages on waterside for residents but the sewage side is difficult to justify.

During the discussion Mayor Vanden Hoek said, “we may need to think more creatively (something less costly; smaller scale, different types, smaller pieces, a default option) but I don’t think the municipality can just close the file,” reminding council that in 2001 Sewer & Water was part of the development review.

Councillor Grant commented that it takes time to digest such a plan. Councillor Calvin expressed concern over ongoing costs. “Money is going to be a big issue,” he said. Paul Shibata said it is important to identify shortcomings of present systems and determine what is required for immediate compliance by residents. Staff will review and refine the information for presentation at the next council meeting.

3. Laporte continued with a progress report of Wolfe Island sewage haulage and disposal and study of options undertaken with CFDC funding assistance, (local haulage/lagoon ended a few years ago).

And, Ms. Emily Vegers, Totten Simms Hubicki presented the annual W.I. Waste Disposal Site report She said the site is operating well, with 80% waste diversion, good records, 27 trips per year per resident and a conservative 13 years left for the site. If trends continue the site could last to 2027. Provincial water quality objectives are being met. (It’s a good read.) The report will be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and the neighbouring property owner.

Howe Island’s Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Quinn said in reference to the possible use of an Air Rescue Boat that it requires an in depth analysis which because of the work the department is involved in with “Air Ambulance or alternate Search and Rescue” it is quite low on their priority list at this time. The Howe Island Fire Prevention committee will not participate in the 2006 fire prevention calendar but will focus on other projects.

Council adopted an Emergency Response Plan and will appoint a Community Emergency Management Coordinator. They have entered into an agreement with the Kingston Humane Society to provide pound services.

Two proposals for high speed Internet have been deferred because of concerns raised by Councillor Hobbs. He also presented a brochure of Howe’s Cultural committee; is concerned about lack of signs for County ferry and information regarding truck use on the ferry.

Council will seek funding from the County for repairs on Howe Island Drive. Budget meetings are underway.
Next council Meeting: May 9th, Wolfe Island.

Around Town:*St. Lawrence Women’s Institute will host the annual Frontenac District meeting & Blue Hat Challenge at St. Margaret’s Hall on Tuesday May 24th.* Summer Dock Studio opens weekend May 1st. * Every 2nd Sunday beginning May 1to Oct.9 Anglican Services will be held at Christ Church at 9:15 a.m.

Coming Events:
1. May 21st Wolfe Island United Church Fish Fry Doors open 4:30 p.m.
2. Euchre Thursday’s Wolfe Island United Church 8 p.m.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 06:56 AM
April 19, 2005
And Now Itís His Turn as Deputy Mayor

There was no contest when a resolution came forward to appoint Howe Island’s Councillor Geoff Hobbs Deputy Mayor of Frontenac Islands at the regular May council meeting. It is now half way through the mandate of the present Council and Hobbs will complete the last 18 months of the 3 year term as agreed following the 2003 election.

At the time the appointment of a Deputy Mayor became a contentious issue between Hobbs who had received the most votes and had campaigned on certain issues and Norris who had held the position since amalgamation (of the islands) and wished to continue in the position to see projects related to transportation through to their conclusion.

Pat Norris was appointed Deputy Mayor for the first 18 month period which saw a new County Ferry for Howe Island. Frontenac Islands newly appointed Deputy Mayor Geoff Hobbs looks forward to serving the community in his new capacity.

In other business council acting as a Committee of adjustment heard 3 applications for consent, one to sever an existing residence from farm property, another for a lot addition and subsequent ownership of a right of way and a third for a severance of seasonal residential lot.

There were questions concerning the fragmentation of farmland, agricultural land, tile beds, right of ways, road allowances, and Zoning By-Law requirements for lot frontage. What is interesting to note is that all three applications have been referred to the Town Planning Consultant Bob Clark. “The province says we must deal appropriately with agricultural land,” Mayor Vanden Hoek said. “At a recent OMB meeting it was clear that new regulations are very strict. We can’t answer all the questions so once again we’ll defer to Bob Clark before we make any final decisions.”

2. Each municipality has received a $50,000 grant to support fire department programs, initiatives and equipment (not previously budgeted for by municipalities) from the Ministry of Community and Correctional Services. Howe Island Fire Chief Mike Quinn wanted to know how the grant will be disbursed noting H.I’s priority is for equipment. The disbursement will be done on an assessment (60/40) basis.

3. Council will not sell an undeveloped road allowance in Lot 9, between Concession 18 and 19 on Wolfe Island which separates two properties purchased by Gene Manion of Shore Acres Ltd. ”This is not something we want to do,” the Mayor said.

4. By laws were passed to appoint the Howe Island Social, Cultural &Recreational Activities Committee and the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee.

5. The municipality has accepted the tender bid from Mike Prior Home Improvements to construct a new 10’x12’-$17,200. + GST ferry building on Howe Island in a cost sharing agreement with the Ministry of Transportation.

6. Deputy Mayor Hobbs will look into a permit request to take water from parts of lots 18 & 19, Concession Road North Range on Howe Island from 7 ponds for wildlife conservation on a year round basis. There was concern that the creation of the ponds might disturb water tables.

7. At the last council meeting there was talk of next steps in the water and sewer issues for Marysville. In a letter to council Mayor Vanden Hoek recommended that the township begin a monitoring program to assess the quality of surface water at the edge of the village bay in proximity to numerous shore wells. And that the west and the east well including the Town Hall be consolidated into one water source providing potable water. The larger water and sewer file will not be closed as cost estimates for installation etc. and how costs would be passed on must be determined before anything further is done. Council meets again June 13th on Howe Island.

VE DAY: On the 60th Anniversary of VE Day Ladies from the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute arrived at the library where President Maureen Lollar presented a book on their behalf entitled Fighting for Home & Country, Women Remember World War II to librarian Sharon Hogan to mark the occasion. “While none of the stories were written by island women many are reminiscent of stories island women have to tell,” she said. A display honouring the Year of the Veteran and VE Day was on display.

A Howe Island Fire resulting from an unattended fire pit caused significant damage to the D. Kirkley home. Winds picked up, embers were blown into dry grass and spread in all directions catching the exterior of the house through the first and second floors. Howe Island’s Fire & Rescue held the fire (which also threatened neighbouring cottages) before the home was destroyed. Kingston Fire & Rescue assisted.

Around Town: Kane family members (who had raised $7000.) recently walked for Breast Cancer Research.*Joshua son of Linda and Dale Sutherland completed a circumnavigation around the world and is heading home. Watch for the red sail of his boat. Barbara (Wall) LaRoque (completing a Wolfe Island history) will be staying at a Taggart cottage this summer. Be in touch with her with family stories, anecdotes or histories of W.I. buildings at 385-2656 or barbara.laroque@rogers.com * A first historic mural is now installed on the side of Fargo’s General Store.. The Ont. Government will ease drinking water testing and treatment requirements for sites such as churches, camp grounds, community halls. By (fall) 2006 Health units (for an annual fee) will assess safety of drinking-water systems, develop monitoring and treatment plans based on contamination risk. * OPSEU is looking to achieve a better wage/benefit deal so there is concern about the ferry. * Wolfe Island’s ecologically significant Big Sandy Bay (BSB) re-opens to the public Victoria Day weekend operating weekends only until June 17th. A small admission fee is payable by visitors, with free vehicle parking at the BSB entrance gate, along with racks to secure bicycles

Coming Events:
1. Natural Forces, an artwork exhibit featuring the work of Maggie Crothers-Stuart and Debra Krakow opens Fri. May 27th 7-9 pm; May 28th 10am-6pm; May 29th 10:30 am- 5pm at St. Margaret’s Hall, Wolfe Island (a short walk from the ferry).
2. HOWE ISLAND COMMUNITY YARD PLANT & BAKE SALE sponsored by H.I. Garden Buds, Sat. June 4, 2004 9:00am - 2:00pm at St. Philomena’s Church Hall
3. W.I.’s Art in the Garden Tour, Sun. June 26th 10 am-5 pm. Contact Diane Kerbel 385-9917

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:16 AM
April 15, 2005
Sewage, Syringes Land on Wolfe Islandís Shore

It is great living on an island by the water. But it is not so great when you are confronted with tampon applicators and syringes floating by and with raw sewage spreading out along more than kilometre of shore line.

That happened to Wolfe Island resident Collin Mosier as he was walking along the shore near his Brophy’s Point home, downstream from the City of Kingston.

It happened after a heavy rainfall which led city of Kingston officials to discharge sewage and storm water into the Cataraqui River (whitch flows into the St.Lawrence) bypassing pumping stations and treatment plants hoping to prevent further damage to the city’s old water pipes.(52 million litres The Whig April 6th).

Mosier did everything right. He gathered and took pictures of the debris, collected water samples, notified the Ministry of the Environment, Lake Ontario Keeper (a Toronto-based group concerned with protecting the waterfront community) and his neighbours who also walked the shoreline to view the mess for themselves, to gather evidence and to take adequate precautions including water testing.

Although Mosier and his neighbours with shore wells have water treatment systems, UV lights etc. and have the water tested regularly, no one is drinking the water. It would not be the first time that after a Kingston sewage and storm water bypass residents have had water tests come back indicating sewage contamination.

While Kingston has not acknowledged that the debris is the result of the sewage bypass, a crew hired by the City of Kingston’s Utilities Branch spent many hours collecting the bio-hazardous material.

Ministry of the Environment officials were quickly on the scene after receiving calls taking many water samples etc. Their investigators will attempt to find out where the debris came from and how it landed on Wolfe Island. Of grave concern to both the residents and MOE is the effect of the sewage on the shore wells which of course is also a major concern of the Health Unit.

Island residents are anxious to know whether this could have been prevented. They want help from MOE and answers from the city. They want to know if charges could or should be laid. They want to know the environmental impact to the island, its people and its fishery.

Lake Ontario Keeper’s president Mark Mattson who owns a cottage on Wolfe Island noted on the LOK website regarding the incident:

“Two issues remain outstanding: 1) Who will hold the city accountable for dumping raw sewage with no notice to downstream residents, no monitoring to ensure no environmental impact, and no automatic clean-up measures in place?
2) Who will ensure that these three measures (notice, monitoring, cleanup) are taken every time a bypass occurs in the future?”

Historic Murals to make the Scene on Wolfe Island:

A trio of Wolfe Island artists has begun a project to develop a series of ten large historically based murals for Marysville. The artists include free spirited Pat Sandford, owner and operator of the island’s Stone Heron Gallery, Kim Woodman, creator of large and spectacular oil paintings of Canada and Linda Sutherland, whose work in both glass and oil is well known in the region. Stained glass windows created by Linda grace the W.I. United Church. The latter two artists, are graduates of the Queen’s Fine Arts Program. Their work is displayed in the Stone Heron Gallery. Kim and Linda are responsible for the “Welcome to Wolfe Island” signs.

The first mural is expected to go on the side of Fargo’s Store. “The agreement that we have with the Fargo family is that they look at the mural and approve it before it goes up on their building on the May long weekend. We want their input,” Pat Sandford said.

“We are very excited about the first mural. It is a scene made up of several old pictures put together. It looks down the street from Fargo’s General Store to the ferry dock and includes what once was the ferry terminal . The building was eventually moved and became the LaRush home in Marysville,” she said. “It will include the Steamer Wolfe Islander ferry (1904) at the end of the street where the dock at the time was just grass and a sidewalk since there were no cars boarding it then. As well there is an old push cart with milk jugs going over to where the ferry is being loaded with goods and, of course, the picture will include people.”

To get the project started Linda, Kim and Pat have built a frame to hold three, four by eight foot sign painter’s boards which make up the 12 foot wide by 8 foot high mural, screwed them down, sealed the seams, sanded and primed it with many coats.. The frame is located in the Wolfe Island Business Centre on highway #96 where the artists will continue their work using acryllic paint in old sepia and cream tones. “We will hand tint certain parts of the picture like the old hand tinted photos. Full colour for a historic picture would just not look right, “Pat noted.

They were able to gather photos from quite a number of island people not only for the first mural but for future ones as well. “We have a nice bank of old photos all scanned in right now,” Sanford said.

The first mural is sponsored by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA). The association will pay for all the materials and for its installation. There is no other funding.

The artists will give of their time and talents as a gift to the community. “This is something we want to do for the island. It’s a labour of love,” Sanford said.

While there is no sponsor for the second mural the team has decided its focus will be “The Scene of the Crime” and will probably include of Ardath Chateau ‘the old castle’ and Grant Allen, Canada’s first crime writer. The artists will not proceed with the second mural until the the first is installed on the May long week-end.

Around Town:*The ferry is back in Marysville.*Sacred Heart’s School’s Fun Fair 4:30-8 p.m. May 4th.* Sacred Heart Catholic and Marysville Public join together for the annual Community CleanupApril 22nd, 10 a.m.

Coming Events:
1. April 23rd Trinity Anglican Ham Supper 4:30- 7:00 p.m. St. Margaret’s Hall

Posted by Admin at 08:13 AM