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.

August 22, 2006
Concerns Remain About Keyes Quarry on Howe Island

Following an overview by Jennifer Current, Clark’s Consulting Service, of the Howe Island, Keyes Quarry expansion application for an official plan amendment and zoning bylaw, a concerned and sometimes vigorous question period followed.

According to Current while there was an unlicensed quarry on the property before, this new quarry on 12.89 hectares requires both an Official Plan amendment and a zoning bylaw amendment. Until about 15 years ago pits and quarries on Howe Island did not have to be licensed , however the property was zoned to permit a quarry. A portion of it is zoned agricultural only, now requiring an Official Plan amendment. The Keyes application does meet the 2005 provincial policy addressing the protection of mineral and aggregate resources.

The application for a Class B licence is limited 20,000 tons per year, the lowest amount one can apply for. In fact the application states that it would take 50 years to empty the area to be licensed, according to Current. The applicant is also seeking a licence under the aggregate resources act (MNR).
The applicant Dan Keyes and his planning consultant, Greg Minion presided over the question period along with Bob Clark and Ms. Current. The questions to them indicated concerns about elevations, aquifer, water table, ground water, wells, dust, noise, additional ferry use, berms, truck use, road use, etc. Apparently the quarry involves no excavation below the water table; there are existing walls around the exterior; blasting etc. will take place below ground level with equipment on the quarry floor; all aggregate now comes to the island by ferry while this quarry could service local market; berming and landscaping are required; crushing 1-2 weeks per year; remediation is part of the license etc. But significant areas of major concern remain including the lowering of property values and possible well water contamination, both quality of life issues. A special council meeting , already scheduled for another matter, will be held at the Howe Island Municipal Building, Wed. Sept. 13th at 7:30 pm and will include further quarry discussion. (Parish Hall only if numbers warrant).

In Other business: Bob Clark (of Clark Consulting) provided a brief update regarding the Wolfe Island Wind Farm noting that the Official Plan amendment has been submitted to the province for processing and that they met with proponents Geoff Carnegie (CREC)and John Uliani (STANTEC) to discuss a single zoning bylaw for each property and their request to zone all of the optioned land, recognizing not all optioned land will have a turbine. A review of transmission lines relative to zoning is ongoing and the proponents request for an increase to 350 metres for major set backs on non-site plan residences. Clark said that the release of the screening report may happen at the end of September or the beginning of October.

Ferry Report:Council received a Howe Island ferry report regarding operation/safety concerns of both ferries prepared by an island citizens group and presented by Jim Mills. Major concerns include: need to notify 911 if one ferry is down; the need the foot ferry operating all year with an operational bubble system; better emergency signs on the County ferry; fire drills and training for the ferry crews; signs promoting no smoking and no engine idling; more concern for placement of school bus on the ferry.

Wolfe Island Land Transfer: Council members appeared ready to come up with a selling price for the .3 acre of land which according was originally Bolton property that the family wish to acquire, to make up the acre needed for a building lot. Council was unaware of two letters received by the township since its notice was posted indicating the township was considering the sale of the surplus property. The notice did not request expressions of interest.

Penny McAllister, present at the meeting, said she had called the township office indicating her interest in the .3 acre piece and wanted the matter discussed. She is ready to make a bid and wants the sale of the property to go to sealed tender. Maggie Crothers, also present, does not want the .3 acre piece sold but used instead as a village park. The Bolton family was dismayed. After further discussion the matter has been deferred to the September meeting when staff will bring forward a report. Council hopes to conclude the matter at that time.

Howe Island Garden Buds: Council passed a resolution supporting a proposal by Howe Island Garden Buds presented by Shirley Burgess to use township land at the east end of the island adjacent to the foot ferry for a waterside park with a grass area, shade trees and benches and their request to move the Welcome sign into a new garden closer to the foot ferry. Garden Buds is prepared to work with the township to develop a plan and offered financial support to the project.

Driscoll Road: There was a request for grading, gravel and maintenance of a seasonal road on Howe Island by Kitty Samuals who said no maintenance had been done this year. Deputy Mayor Hobbs said that road work had been done to the Baseline but the rest is designated as an unopened road which he said is in the wrong place. The question of opening a road is a bigger challenge which Ms Samuals will look into.

Howe Island Cemetery Fence: Adjoining owners had put in fill and posts. Township will erect the fence.

Limestone Board: Council granted the Limestone board permission to store a new portable on Marysville school property on Wolfe Island to meet a budget date requirement, although new septic work still has to be completed.

Howe Island Fire Chief Storms Out of Meeting
Howe Island’s Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Quinn stormed out of an “in camera “ session, part of a regular Frontenac Islands council meeting on Howe Island and made his way out the door of the township building through a crowd of residents waiting for the session to end. Most were there at the invitation of Chief Quinn to lend their support to his dispute with council over what he calls “a flawed 2006 budget process,” his remuneration as Chief, and the Fire and Rescue Service.

The Howe Island Firefighters Association, the Fire & Rescue Auxiliary and the Howe Island Rate Payers Association received the letter originally sent to council and the fact sheet which included an invitation to attend the council meeting.

While waiting residents worried about Chief Quinn and discussed the pros and cons of the amalgamation of Howe and Wolfe islands, many suggesting it was time to sever the tie that should never have happened. “It’s always 3 against 2 on every issue …Howe Island would be better on its own, etc…..”.

(The Chief’s letter to council spoke of the time and energy put into the budget process, his need to provide the rationale for it with council representatives and no opportunity to do so, council’s concern with the Fire Chief’s hours and honorarium, the passage of the budget with honorarium divisions remaining and the mayor’s suggestion of possible downloading of some fire service work to municipal staff. The letter also speaks of the training required to do the Chief’s job and the insult and disrespect reflected by possible downloading.)

Prior to the first of two “in camera” sessions Mayor Vanden Hoek explained that following a final budget meeting he and acting CAO Carol Dwyre met with Chief Quinn about issues surrounding his compensation as Fire Chief and to try to create a compromise on the differing issues existing at council. Wolfe Island councillors heard the results for the first time in the closed money issue session with Chief Quinn.

Quinn on the other hand said he was at the meeting to discuss a flawed budget process which he had described in his letter to council. “ If you want to talk about money I suppose I can hang around a little longer,” he said.

Prior to the 2nd “in camera” session (which the chief so abruptly left), Quinn said he was not satisfied with the budget process and how it unfolded. He spoke of his effort in preparing the numbers for the Howe Island Fire and Rescue and the excellent meeting with the new Treasurer Chistina Lott. “ I want to thank her publicly,” he said.

According to Quinn there were differences about the budget at the council table but he was not invited to come and clarify the numbers which he found frustrating. Being the lead on the service , he said he expected a little more respect.

Councillor Calvin commented that budget meetings are open to everyone, that every budget gets trimmed a little and is not a Machiavellian process.
Mayor Vanden Hoek said the island communities are small and it was the responsibility of the department heads to stay in tune with the budget process as it moved from island to island. “I am prepared to wear some of the blame but I think it is a two way street.” he said . “In all my time on council I don’t recall any level of disrespect for either paid or volunteer department heads. We strive to be a good employer. I am a little frustrated with the language that came forward in the two documents but we will talk about that in the closed session,” he added.

” Something tells me,” Quinn said in response, “as we move through the budget year, if we have exceeded a budget line, council would be calling right away and inviting me for a discussion. Our budgets are based on what we consider the priorities for the next year, we put those numbers on paper and as a department head I would think that I would have an opportunity to talk about that . Now I am not going to chase you around from island to island,” he said. “Nor I you,” said the mayor…. “Then we have a real problem,” Quinn replied. I would appreciate a call or email to say a meeting is being held and I would be there.”
Comments from the public requested that in the future, department heads be informed of meetings. No information from the “in camera” sessions is available. The regular meeting of council continued.
Next Council Meeting: Monday,Sept. 11th at 6:30 p.m. Wolfe Island.

Around Town: *Well organized Cancer Society Ride’n’Stride fun day event was held on Wolfe Island. Attendance and pledges down.
* Family Ball tournament a great success story.
* Howe Island Terry Fox Run Sept. 17th. *Municipal Elections: Nov. 13th. Last date to file nomination papers: Sept. 29th.
* Mayor Vanden Hoek has filed .

Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:06 PM
August 11, 2006
The 2006 Wolfe Island Family Ball Tournament Another Success Story

Once again the August long weekend saw family members and friends from far and wide return home to Wolfe Island for the annual Family Ball Tournament now in its 22nd year. And it was not easy. Heavy traffic, long line- up’s and a full parking lot, saw people carrying their gear, scramble to get on the ferry to meet their game schedule.

And once again in perfect weather, a record number of twenty-eight teams played in the A & B Divisions beginning Friday evening and throughout Saturday cheered on by family, friends and hundreds of spectators. (It’s a wonder the island didn’t sink under the weight of it all.)

The make up of the teams has changed over the years with grandchildren taking over (the Bolton and the Hulton Junior teams) with an improved model of play according to members of the Community Centre Board, sponsors of the annual event. On the other hand it should be noted that a few 70 year olds ran the bases.

Everywhere interest was high. For instance, Rev. Chris Carr biked up several times during the tournament to check the score board and watch a game. Fr. Stewart Laverty, home from the States, spoke of the importance of families, friends and visitors spending time together in his Sunday homily, and the ball tournament as a unique example of real community, an example to the world.

Winners: In the A Division, the Reitzel/Radtke family team was victorious over the Mattson’s who had earlier defeated defending champions, the White Family Team.

The Eves Family Team won in the “B” Division.

The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team was presented to the Kay Greenwood Team.

Ida’s Reds,( the Lollar family team) received the Bill Kyle Sportsmanship Memorial Trophy.
Teams consist of 9 members each plus back-up. Four women must be in the field at one time. A larger (Melon) ball is used for play.

Thanks to the Ambulance Service and the Fire department, both with personnel and vehicles on hand for a fairly injury free event.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 11:59 AM
August 10, 2006
16th Annual Acacia Gold Puppy Reunion on Wolfe Island

People came from New Jersey, New York City, Upper New Yor, Toronto, Ottawa, St. Catherine’s and other parts of Ontario to attend the 16th Acacia Gold Puppy reunion on Wolfe Island.
One Hundred well groomed Golden Retrievers and their owners boarded the ferry for the ride to the island for the reunion at the home of Pat Downing and Tom St. Laurent, owners and operators of Acacia Gold Kennels. Driving over was nearly an impossibility, traffic was so heavy.
And of course while the dogs played on the grounds, and swam in the lake, the owners shared stories about life with their pets. For many it was a return visit.
According to Pat, “there was not a bark, growl or snarl from any of the dogs either leashed, on the lawn or loose at the water. It was quite a sight,” she said, “and we have had good weather for these reunions every year since we started having them.”
Acacia Gold, registered with the Canadian Kennel Club has been breeding Goldens since 1991 and was the first home of the visiting dogs and their home for seven weeks after their birth.

Photos: Bill & Karin Gorham

(This article was not published in The Heritage)

Posted by Margaret Knott at 01:14 PM
Howe Island Memorial Honours Veterans

Frontenac Islands Council was the recipient of a unique memorial honouring all Howe Island veterans presented by Mrs. Joan Fawcett, a Howe Island resident at the July council meeting.

The memorial is the result of a project undertaken by Ms. Fawcett during the (2005) Year of the Veteran. to compile a complete list of Howe Island veterans who served or gave up their lives in the defence of Canada during the Great Wars, and as Peace Keepers.

In calling upon Councillor Jim Calvin, ( Colonel retired) to accept the memorial Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek commented that Colonel Calvin had commanded Canadian troops in Bosnia and engaged in the largest conflict (1993.Medak Pocket) before Afghanistan. “Out of respect for the work you have done for the Canadian Armed Forces I would ask you to accept the memorial from Mrs. Fawcett on our behalf,” he said.

Completing the project was a bigger task than anticipated according to Joan, “but as far as I know I was able to find and record all of the veterans from Howe Island, and with the help of Anne Marie Norris, Councillor Pat Norris’s daughter who did the calligraphy, the Veterans Memorial is finally ready to present.”

In accepting it, Councillor Calvin acknowledged that he was overwhelmed. “As the Mayor said, I commanded 500 troops under shell and grenade fire and one of the things that truly allows us to fulfill our duty is knowing we are supported. I congratulate you on your effort and I recognize the contribution made by the small Howe Island community,” he said.

The large framed memorial will hang in the Howe Island Township office.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:50 AM
August 08, 2006
Frontenac Islands Submits Official Plan Amendment for Final Approval

The first orders of business at the Frontenac Islands July council meeting was a report presented by Bob Clark (Clark Consulting services ) with regard to the Official Plan Amendment calling for policies permitting commercial ”Wind Farms” on both agricultural and rural land designations of the municipality. The report includes the text of comments and questions from the public meeting held in May, written agency submissions, a letter from CREC (the applicant) and their detailed response to the report.

“With regard to the Zoning By Law we are waiting for the release of Environmental Study Report and the Siting Diagram from CREC expected August or September,” said Clark who will be meeting with them soon. Clark recommended council approve the Official Plan Amendment.

Following some council discussion, but prior to the vote, Mayor Vanden Hoek left the chair to speak to the issue “In terms of timing we need to be very pragmatic about what will be the end result for the developer and keep October 2008 in mind as well as the many things the township has to deal with like zoning, site plan control, roads,” he said. “The Official Plan Amendment only brings the Official Plan in line with provincial policy. I would have to say that the municipality and its team (legal council, consultants) have demonstrated considerable foresight in the process and scope of this project and I am in support of moving forward.”

Council passed the Official Plan Amendment which will be submitted to the province’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval. Clark’s report is available for review.

Garden Buds: Faye Muller, on behalf of the Howe Island Garden Buds and Residents of Howe Island, submitted a written proposal to council for financial assistance and permission to erect a plexiglass covered Message Board for meeting notices, for sale/lost items, etc. on the North Side of Howe Island Drive in the existing flower beds installed, maintained and partially paid for by the Garden Buds. Another such board was also proposed for the nearly completed landscaped area at the east End of Howe Island near the Township ferry. ( Estimated costs $1000.- $1500.) Council agreed to the plan and will cover half the costs (noting that Wolfe Island also needs such a message board). Since the boards will be on township property all messages, posters etc. must be approved by the township prior to posting.

W.I. Landfill Site: Steve Sexton from Totten Simms Hubicki was present to discuss a legal matter (which required council to go in camera) pertaining to the 2004 annual Landfill Site report, off site concerns and a request for a meeting with the Ministry of the Environment.

Howe Island Fire Hall: The project committee has reviewed the Expression of Interest proposals received for a new Fire Hall. A recommendation will come forward regarding the issuance of an RFP at the August meeting at which time council will also discuss how the project can be funded.

W.I. Ambulance Hall modification: Council accepted the report from Patrick Thompson of Thompson Management Services re proposed modifications to the ambulance hall to cost $24,500. Council will meet with the ambulance management team following their review of the report.

Parking Tickets: In an effort to keep the ferry lanes on Wolfe Island free of cars parked overnite or parked empty during the loading/unloading of the ferry, council will continue to call upon the services of the bylaw enforcement officer from time to time as occurred recently much to the consternation of those who were ticketed.

2006 Budget: The 2006 budget and bylaw to levy taxes for Frontenac Islands was passed. Overall tax rates for Wolfe Island are down 3.43% and 11.26% on Howe. It doesn’t mean taxes are going down as assessment values increased on Wolfe 15% and 34% on Howe. The tax rate for Wolfe Island is 1.149477 % (down from 1.275997) and .799831% for Howe (down from) .976589.

In other business:
1. A public meeting is scheduled prior to the next council meeting on Howe Island, Aug. 14 regarding aggregate and quarries
2. Joan Fawcett presented a Howe Island Veteran’s Memorial to the Township. 3. Council accepted a plaque presented to the municipality by the Canadian Futures Development Corporation in recognition of municipal projects funded by CFDC.
4. Council met the new township planner Glenn Tunnock of Tunnock Consulting Limited . Tunnock sees no conflict with Clark Consulting. “We see our role as a catalyst to people fulfilling dreams, as advisors in what are often complicated processes and as educators.”
5. High speed Internet services will be at both island libraries soon.
6.There was some discussion about the removal of fencing around a cemetery bordered by Lippert property on Howe Island. “We are talking about a cemetery here, a place to dignify our ancestors. I think it was a mean spirited act to take down fence without informing us,” Councillor Calvin said. Councillor Norris suggested a survey of the cemetery property.
7. The emergency vehicle was used at Big Sandy Bay to take an injured person to the gate house.
The Council Meets on Howe Island, Mon. Aug. 14th at 6:30 p.m.

Around Town:
* Sacred Heart of Mary parishioners welcomed their pastor Fr. Ray deSouza at an outdoor gathering recently.
* Beautiful organically grown cut flowers from the gardens of Peggy Smith and Stephanie DeBruin are available at the Summer Dock Studio.
* Big Sandy Bay opens daily 9:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. Guided Tours available Wednesday to Sunday 1:30 p.m. at the gatehouse. Group tours upon request.. * Walter Sepic, Canoe Guide Instructor offers day, overnight and wilderness canoe trips.( 613-544-4451), .
* Wolfe Island’s 21st Annual Family Ball Tournament is the long weekend in August (4-5)
* Wolfe Island’s Annual Summer Music Festival Aug 11th (evening) Town Hall & 12th Community Centre Grounds. Call Sarah McDermott 613-385-1562 /
*For Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Festival, Saturday, August 19th info:, re costs/ registration, Call 613-385-2540 /
* The Canadian Cancer Society’s Wolfe Island Great Ride ‘n’ Stride Aug. 13th Walk, run or ride your bike for a great cause. Register on line For more info: Linda Thomas 613-385-1947.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:46 AM