Frontenac By-Law Enforcement Officer Ken Gilpen is a man who likes his job. That was clearly evident as he described what he does at the May meeting of Frontenac Island Council. An independent contractor,(22 years experience) his work in bylaw enforcement through much of Eastern Ontario includes trailers, animal control, property standards, traffic ticketing, etc.
According to Gilpen each municipality or town deals differently with safe property standards, parking, trailers or whatever. “Some municipalities are proactive, others- reactive. In a proactive community at the request of the township we go door to door regularly to deal with safe property issues. In a reactive situation we operate on the basis of a written complaint but in these situations there is always concern about repercussions. In fact the complainant is protected under the freedom of information act,” he said. “Orders are issued for a clean up in 30 days, perhaps with an extension and if the order is not carried out it gets done at a cost.”
Regarding trailers Gilpen noted that in some places people pay a $1500 retainer for a trailer during house construction, returned upon completion and the trailer removed. He also commented that since trailers use the same services (roads, landfill, etc) as other residential properties there should be a licensing fee “Why should a person using a trailer for the summer months pay nothing.” (The trailer issue last came up in 2005 when the public presented reasons to council why rules governing trailers in the municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law 28-2003, should be changed..
Mayor Vanden Hoek said he was unaware that a complaint could be held in confidence by the Chief Administrative Officer. He also noted that the residential use of trailers is getting out of hand with people using all township amenities but paying vacant land taxes. with a loss to township revenue. Councillor Norris sees the reactive approach as the better way to go rather than hitting a community all at one time. Regarding trailers he said that even prior to amalgamation licensed trailers on Howe Island paid a monthly fee and were subject to other requirements. He would like the bylaw rewritten to allow trailer parking but not on waterfront property. The Mayor asked about the possibility of a resolution that Frontenac Islands become proactive about trailers. “We have hundreds of trailers. What I was hoping for tonight was a resolution enforcing the existing bylaw related.”
At this time however it seems members of council prefer the reactive approach. CAO O’Shea will put information together related to the amalgamated Official Plan and Zoning bylaw, existing trailer bylaws, legal documents and freedom of information material in advance of June meeting when bylaw enforcement will again be an agenda item.
Heritage Fund: As Frontenac Islands prepares to receive amenities agreement funds, council has begun to consider the best use of those funds. To that end, based on a suggestion from the community, members of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, Diane Kelly, Chris West and Scott Miller were present to discuss what the Community Foundation does and how a Heritage Fund using revenues from the WI Wind Plant Amenities Agreement could be set up. It was determined that further on in the public process about the funds the Community Foundation would be invited back.
Howe islander Heather Lippert ‘s request that council authorize snowplowing of the first 70 metres on Fuller Road, a limited service road, was denied. Canada Post had asked the Lippert’s to move their mailbox from Howe Island Drive to Fuller Road resulting in their request to council.
Wolfe Island Music Festival: Once again the township will allow overnight camping one night only (Aug. 8th) at the WI Community Centre grounds during the annual Music Festival. A vendor’s village will also be allowed for one day. An interesting discussion arose regarding the funds raised from the music festival intended for the township’s Community Centre Board’s ongoing projects. Some ofwhich are used as seed money to organize the annual festival. Councillors Doyle and Grant stated that better controls concerning revenues from all fund raising projects are needed in the future.
According to Mayor Vanden Hoek, “from a tourism perspective , it makes all the sense in the world to have the music festival on the island , but it is the precedents we set now that could lead to trouble down the road.” A further resolution was past to close a portion of Marysville’s main street on Aug. 8th for the festival’s Hootenanny.
Other Business: In response to a letter from the HI Ratepayers Association regarding the Official Plan Review the Township is waiting for a reply from Tunnock Consulting. Some land use issues have yet to be resolved.. A request for re-imbursement for car damage on a WI road has been referred to Canadian Projects Limited. Councilor Doyle outlined a Community Centre Board’s request to bid on a “Zamboni for the rink” available in Kingston. He also noted that Big Sandy Bay is now staffed and open weekends till June 15th then full time until Labour Day. Doyle asked about road work to be completed particularly at the foot as he is in receipt of a lot of complaints. . Councillor Fiene talked about Sustainability noting all kinds of options (40 initiatives) in Kingston . “How can Frontenac Islands get in on the action.” Councillor Grant asked that thanks be extended to WI Business & Tourism for a successful Pitch In Day. In reference to that he said far too much plastic (chairs , toys etc) going over the side at the landfill site… bad .. very bad.. (Plastics will be on June agenda.) Council meets next Howe Island June 8th at 6:30 pm.
Around Town: The WI Community Centre Board issued a newsletter indicating that fundraising for the new rink is ongoing with a “chilling unit” and roof high as priorities.
Frontenac County’s Paul Charbonneau says: there was some response to appeal for new WI ambulance Volunteers. Information meeting ASAP. Training CPR/First Aid over summer(hopefully)with Emergency First Response course in September.
Whirling Wind towers bringing many visitors, by boat, by bus, by car, walking, cycling, hiking.
Coming Events: *Marysville Make Over Garden Competition begins June 1st *6th Kane- Mosier Golf Tournament June 13that the Riverfront. * Big Sandy Bay- OPEN weekends. Fulltime June 15-Sept.7th. *WI Barrett’s Bay Regatta June 21st at Island Grill. *WI Lobster Fest June 27th Watch for details. * Friends of BSB Book Sale June 26TH 5-8 pm. Sat. June 27th 10 a.m.- 5 p.m
Wolfe Island was busy over the last days with meetings that could affect the future of the island . Residents were treated to a first Public Information Centre regarding the Marysville waterworks Class Environmental Assessment undertaken by XCG Consultants. The meeting brought out residents and business owners to talk about water in the village, or not. The community does not have a secure drinking water source and the township is investigating options for a reliable long-term drinking water supply. Most village residents rely on bottled water for drinking
A list of 7 potential alternatives was outlined. The preliminary evaluation ranked alternatives: 1. Construction of surface water drinking water supply with a distribution system. 2.Construction of a distribution system with water coming from Kingston. (Kingston Water is trucked to schools and residences now) 3.Upgrade existing water supplies. The next phase of the EA includes identifying the preferred alternative, continuing consultation with public and review agencies, developing alternative design concepts and future public information centres and, if supported, maybe moving forward. A vigorous question period followed. Why a water system and not sewage system was a concern. Others were about the size of the assessment area which extends out of the village proper, about who pays what is expected to be an exorbitant cost to village residents, and the need for an opting out clause. One resident sees moving forward with water without sewage as ludicrous. “Easy access to water means more pump out costs.” A final comment came from one resident who strongly declared, “ Our problem! deal with polluters first.” For further information or to submit comments contact Kingston’s XCG Consultants.
COUNTY MEETING: Frontenac County held a special public council meeting on Wolfe Island . Its purpose was to look at the makeup of County council and how it could be changed. Present was Warden Janet Gutowski (who is also Central Frontenac Mayor), North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire, South Frontenac Mayor Gary Davison, and Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek Also present County CAO Elizabeth Savill and Treasurer Marian Van Bruinessen . County Council has been holding meetings in all of the townships to seek resident input. Doug Armstrong, of Armstrong Associates, presented his County Council composition report and offered the following recommendation : that the county continue to include the County’s four township mayors but add three members elected from two new county wards. It is County Council’s intention to pass a bylaw to that effect at their next regular meeting. In response to a question whether this approach had been tried before, Armstrong said it is in process in Kawartha. At the same meeting the members considered 3 applications to the Building Canada Fund and the HRDC Enabling Accessibility Fund, a South Frontenac Ambulance Centre with 2 bays, a Fairmount Home auditorium renovation, and a Fairmount Home new entry way. It was at this point that Mayor Vanden Hoek brought forward a request that Director of the county’s Paramedic Services, Paul Charbonneau, submit another application to the Build Canada Fund immediately, for a facility to house WI Ambulance Service volunteers. By resolution, council agreed to adding the application as one of 3 to move forward and to removing the Fairmount Home auditorium project at this time.
CONTAINER HOMES: Intermodal Steel Building Units & Container Homes. WI resident Mrs. Judy Greenwood Speers invited builder Thomas Mohr and his son Shawn Mohr to speak to a number of residents about his desire to find an island location and financial assistance, to establish a manufacturing company that would recycle, restore, and convert, steel containers into homes using green products, systems and insulation techniques for heat and cooling. Mohr, noting that the concept is not new, pointed out that at the outset they would establish a research and development division that would also be responsible for acquiring raw containers. Mohr believes his approach can provide cost effective, safe, secure. housing, buildings and shelters in any number of situations. During the question and answer period Mohr stated that he had no specific plans at this time but is hoping to move forward. (see www.containercity.ca for more information.) AND along with all the above, difficult Township Budget meetings continue.
Around Town: The Canadian Hydro WI Wind Project began commissioning the first of its 86 wind turbines with 7 now turning, and is on target to begin commercial operations by the end of June. All the required infrastructure and testing has been approved. Once operational, the facility will generate landowner and community income through royalties, taxes, and the Amenities Agreement.
To verify the predictions made in the ERR, a comprehensive Post-Construction Follow-up Plan for bird and bat resources (PCFP) is being developed among Environment Canada, CWS, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ducks Unlimited Canada and CREC containing provisions for “adaptive management strategies” should significant adverse environmental effects be identified during the monitoring works. It is the intent of the PCFP, currently in draft form, is to mitigate any such effects so they do not become significant and may be viewed on the project website. Canadian Hydro is also planning to develop a visitor centre at their property on the 5th line. You will note many of the workers, the barge, and much of the equipment has left.. At the same time the number of visitors to the island to view towers is already on the increase.
While on Howe Island, the Garden Buds will design and plant a garden around the new Fire Hall. But sadly on WI, newly planted trees at Big Sandy Bay have been taken. As well, a small Blue Spruce at the end of the 11th Line (planted by a grieving family following a death on the road) had made it through the winter, but now is no longer there.
Tourism took a step forward with new sidewalk pavement put in place along the ferry-line-up route in the village. Plans are underway for a public wash room facility close by. This may seem somewhat trivial but public washrooms are at a premium. WIBTA has purchased directional as well as information signs (with FCFDC assistance) also for the benefit of tourists.
Coming Events:* The Annual ‘FISH FRY” & Plant Sale at the WI United Church Hall, Sat. May 16th Doors Open @ 4:30 pm * WI HORSE SHOW DATES at the Community Centre Grounds all on Saturday’s at 9:30 am, May 23rd, June 6th, June 20th, July 4th, July 11th *WI’s Barrett’s Bay Regatta Sunday, June 21st