Once again the level of noise that might be generated by the Canadian Hydro Developers wind plant during its construction and operation was a topic of discussion at the March meeting of Frontenac Islands Council. Representing WIRE (Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment) Lynn Moore returned to council seeking answers to questions she has asked about health issues and noise at a number of other meetings and to ask for a noise by-law, a request she said had not been addressed.
However Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded Ms Moore that on at least one occasion and perhaps twice he asked council if there was a mover and a seconder for a noise bylaw and nothing moved forward.
Ms Moore said council had referred the Grey Highland’s amendment #10 to the Official Plan to Planner Bob Clark for an opinion whether it was good policy to include in the island’s official plan along with a similar resolution regarding noise since there are no provincial guidelines in place .“What came back was that the province was continuing to accept requests for proposals from developers,” in spite of what she said were flawed regulations. Moore said her objective in coming to the meeting was to ensure that a noise bylaw is in place, enforced by the municipality, (no trucks early morning hours etc.) and that noise compliance is adhered to. To do that she asked that Council request that staff establish a committee to research noise issues and bylaws that have been developed by other municipalities and develop their own. Moore referred to the transformer noise problems at the Can. Hydro Melancthon 1 Wind Project and quoted the OMB adjudicator as having little confidence that Can Hydro can resolve the issue. She also reminded council that at the February meeting Councillor Doyle had talked about the need for a dispute resolution protocol.
Jennifer Current, from Clark Consulting, provided information concerning the provincial Ministry of Environment’s review of their existing noise policies and wind turbine bylaws, guidelines and timelines for implementing changes . She indicated this is not a quick and could take months, years.
Rob Miller from Canadian Hydro Developers said it is up to the developer to meet requirements and resolve issues. The lengthy discussion continued.
“Is it fair to say,” Mayor Vanden Hoek asked, “that on a lot of these issues such as noise that the many agencies and ministries inside government dissect the ERR prepared by the developer. The municipality can’t assess the whole thing.” Councillor Doyle noted that Grey Highlands is waiting for provincial guidelines and is also preparing a dispute protocol. Doyle presented council with a document outlining a Dispute Resolution Protocol, that he said would not only cover the noise issues but others that might come along noting that “there is not enough money in the bank to develop a noise bylaw.” While the Mayor acknowledged the council’s authority to pass bylaws and he believes residents know who to call when they have a concern, council will review both Ms. Moore’s noise bylaw request and Councillor Doyle’s proposal and bring the matter to the April meeting.
In other business: Wolfe Island residents Ken Keyes and Dennis Mosier informed council that the Canadian Ploughing Championship will be held on Wolfe Island, Aug. 27-30th along with the Frontenac County and Wolfe Island Ploughing matches.
Normally the championship passes from east to west across the country but the Ontario host community was unable to do it and Wolfe Island’s bid to host it was accepted. Keyes acknowledged that while not at all on the scale of the International Ploughing match, the Canadian Championship will bring provincial ploughing match winners to the island in what should be an exciting event. He acknowledged that local people have been great sponsors in the past but said this is a much bigger event requiring more money to host it. Keyes asked that council consider a request for a $2000 grant. He will be seeking financial assistance from the County, off island businesses, as well as sponsorship, grants and donations for certain events, for major advertising tools and to fulfill certain requirements, etc. Mosier said they need such things as markers and flag poles; they will be looking to all organizations to hold events and they will hold live auction to pay for the Canadian winner to compete in the World Competition.
For further information contact Wilma Sjonger, 613-3852672.
The Stone Heron Gallery will once again open for the summer season in the Wolfe Island Community Hall (June 21-Sept.4) at a fee of $600. and gallery owner Pat Sandford will repair and paint the downstairs interior of the hall. The Craft Shop, operating out of what was the original library in the same building will be asked for a fee of $100. if they wish to use the space this year.
Island resident Don Chisholm was advised that before he submits an application for consent to sever a lot in Marysville and sell it, he should consult with Tunnock Consulting, the Township’s planner
The Township will petition the Ministry of Transportation for 2007 subsidy for the Howe and Simcoe Island ferries in the amount of $ 165,097.09 and $ 184,146.18 respectively.
Councillor Fiene , a member of the Cataraqui Conservation Authority committee, spoke about the discussion paper regarding terms of reference for Drinking Water Source Protection Planning. Mayor Vanden Hoek advised that this material be referred to Tunnock Consulting so that future planning is retained locally.
Council meets next Monday, April 14th 6:30 pm on Howe Island.
Around Town:* Frontenac Islands Council is in the midst of budget deliberations.
* As part of the musical entertainment at the W.I. St. Patrick’s Day Seniors Luncheon, Alex Miller, 12, played a medley of songs on his banjo. By the way, Alex also played at the “Jitka Virag Fundraiser.
*Special thanks to the Road Crews for dealing with all the snow during this rather exceptional winter and to MTO, the Captains and crews of the Wolfe Islander III for keeping the ferry on schedule.
* WI is forming a First Impressions Community Exchange committee, a program of OMAFRA.. For info contact Betty Doyle 385-2763
* WI’s Rick Lindgren has been appointed environmental association representative on the Cataraqui Source Protection Committee.
* March 26th Hear Gene Manion “Ski-Plane Air Services” 7:30 pm WI Town Hall
* April 19th Trinity Anglican Ham Supper 4:30 – 7:00 pm.
* A Blessed Easter to All.
Chilifest was a GO on Wolfe Island this year. And it took place on what was one of winter 2008 most beautiful days, blue sky, sunshine, and not too cold. A day perhaps reminiscent of winters past on the Island. While chili was being served skaters played hockey on a rink equipped with lights (for as long as the ice can be maintained) while others happily skated on another rink that extended well out into Barrett’s Bay at the Marysville ferry dock. There were those on skis, others on snowshoes and still others sitting at the summer dock enjoying the day and the sunshine, while snow mobiles (not seen much over the past few years) flew by. White’s horse drawn wagon rides were a highlight for adults and children alike. And of course while the wonderful outdoor fun was going on, the chili presented by the Island Grill, Wolfe Island Business & Tourism, Riverfront Golf Course, Fargo’s, Stone Heron Gallery, General Wolfe Hotel, Brown’s Bay Inn and a number of other venues was superb. In the final “Taste Test” vote for the BEST chili, The Island Grill won. Always a great hit were Wolfe Tails offered by the Community Centre Board sponsors of Chilifest. It was a great day for all.
Butterfly Migration :Following regular business and elections at Friends of Big Sandy Bay (FOBSB) annual meeting, President, Linda Van Hal introduced guest speaker, Dr.Barrie Frost, Director of the Visual and Auditory Neurosciences Lab at Queen’s University, a man with extensive credentials. His topic was the “how” of the legendary 3500 km migratory journey of Monarch butterflies from Canada to their over-wintering grounds in Central Mexico including information about some of his more recent research findings .
Most exciting about Dr. Frost’s presentation was his incredible enthusiasm for the subject as he shared freely what his many studies have brought to light. Originally Dr. Frost pioneered research into how human brains see and hear. Later using radio transmitters (now GPS) he studied how migrating birds come back year after year. He planned on building a bird flight simulators but chose instead to work with the Monarch butterfly and building smaller simulators using a garbage can with filtered sunlight and a wind tunnel created by a fan that blows the air straight up that the butterfly, with a tiny wire glued to it must navigate. A small camera captured the direction the butterfly would fly if free to do so. Changing the light, etc. did not redirect them. Using a slide presentation, Dr. Frost spoke of the life span of the butterfly (born summer & fall); the milkweed that is their food containing a poison that makes birds sick; butterfly “tagging” programs; their use of the sun as a compass; migratory restlessness; clustering and its importance and the D3 phases of migration: the long distance phase, the funnelling by geography phase and the olfactory and visual (uv) homing phase returning them to the same place. And there was so much more. A complete overview of Dr. Frost’s presentation will become available on the FOBSB website www.bigsandybay.ca at a later date. The annual report, financial statements, gift presentations etc will also be posted.
Wind Power concerns: Before the close of the meeting President Van Hal announced that FOBSB has remained neutral regarding the CREC wind power project, while waiting for the completion of the ERR review. However a member, Dr. Barry Gilbert, has apprised her of letters from the Ministry of the Environment which raise concerns about certain towers proposed for construction near Big Sandy Bay. He suggested a committee be formed to serve as a conduit with MOE to monitor the process. Van Hal needs to know if there is sufficient concern by members for FOBSB to strike a committee. A number of members see the need, including Dr. James Day. The board will study the issue, and stay in touch with the membership. ”We need to build bridges between MNR, MOE and Friends of Big Sandy Bay. We need to understand the issues, the planning and the mitigation process,” Van Hal said . Officers include : President Linda Van Hal, Vice President Nancy Steele, Sec. Leanne Cunningham, Treasurer Linda Thomas. Directors Elise Huffman, Tim Seitz, Vicki Johnson.
Frontenac County Information: I was drawn to a recent article in the Frontenac Gazette EMC (Mar. 4th) as it refers to Frontenac Islands. In the article South Frontenac Deputy Mayor Bill Robinson spoke against the makeup of the County at a joint meeting of councils. He sees a need for more representation. Robinson is also quoted as saying that there are three islands joined as one township, and three mainland townships (North, South, Central). He said the islands have more in common with Kingston than with the north. Another member took the opportunity to register dissatisfaction with Warden. Vanden Hoek’s proposal for an Economic Development Fund .supported by the 4 townships through taxation. The proposal has thus far received little support.
Around Town:* A licensed Daycare will open on Wolfe Island in September (preschool/toddler spaces), owned and operated by Valerie James, an island resident who currently runs the licensed Rubber Duckie Day Care in Kingston. For information contact her at 613-385-2139.
* The Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association has nominated Wolfe Islands John Posthumus for induction into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame. *Canadian Hydro developers, Inc. has established a more visible presence on the island setting up an office in space at the Scott Industrial Services Building on the island’s Highway 95.
*Congratulations to the island’s Mish Millar and Megan Fawcett, members of the 1st place KASSAA championship winning Regi co-ed cheer leading squad. * The annual Seniors Luncheon will be held Sat. March 15th St. Margaret’s Hall at 12 pm.
* Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation invites input from island residents, businesses and organizations regarding local priorities for community economic development. Join FCFDC at the Wolfe Island consultation, Tues. March 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm United Church Hall, Wolfe Island * Do you remember when islanders drove across the ice to Kingston? When the snow was so high they couldn’t? The Wolfe Island Historical Society invites you to hear Gene Manion, who was there, on Wed. March 26th at 7: 30 pm at the WI. Town Hall.
*Sacred Heart school extended thanks to the CWL and to all who contributed to the cost of new play structure.