The long held dream of having a NHL sized rink on Wolfe Island has been all but fulfilled through donations and good and services by the community, Canadian Hydro Developers (TransAlta), fund raising events and hours of volunteer work by members of the Wolfe Island Community Centre Board and dedicated islanders. All that is missing is a refrigeration unit, which the rink is set up to accept, and a roof .
But there is much more to the dream, as Frontenac Islands’ council heard at their regular August meeting. Paul Hogan, Chairman of the Wolfe Island Community Centre Board (CCB), presented a business plan for a Wolfe Island Community Centre. It was prepared over the last 9 months by the Queens University School of Business, at no cost to the CCB or the township. (The plan is available at the WI Town Hall)
“We have found it to be very complete with suggestions for proceeding with our vision,” Hogan said. Acknowledging Wolfe Islands vibrancy, he spoke none the less of those things the island does not have, including a facility that promotes a sense of community and spoke of one that could answer community needs. “ From physical activities to large function (with industrial kitchen), to special events, and maybe including new municipal offices and meeting space. The possibilities are endless,” he said. “But to arrive there we need the support and the commitment of the municipality.”
Hogan said that the CCB contacted fund raising people from a number of large organizations who stated that before a fund raising campaign can begin there needs to be a business plan and a letter of support from the municipality. “You have the business plan in your hands and we are asking for a letter of support that includes a financial commitment.” He asked that the township direct $100,000 per year from the wind power amenities agreement money for the next five years, to be used as leverage funds for approaching the federal and provincial government for further financial assistance.
“With the municipal dollars plus a sound fund raising campaign and the work already done on the ice pad it would be hard for government to turn us away, “ he said. Paul added that there are donors willing to commit to large sums to the project as well two construction firms willing to act as project advisors when and if the project moves forward. “We are asking three things from you: 1. A motion to accept the plan; 2. A motion to commit $100,000 per year for 5 years; and 3. A motion to issue a letter of support including financial support.” Hogan acknowledged that council’s hands are tied (lame duck due to coming election) when it comes to initiating large expenditures but said accepting the business plan, providing direction and supporting the fund raising campaign is one way to start the process.
After some discussion, council received the business plan as ” information” only. The mayor announced a letter from a donor about the CCB’s work will be on the September agenda and asked Hogan to attend. “We do not want to lose sight of Paul’s ask,” he said. The Mayor and Councillor Grant sit as the council representatives on the CCB.
(It should be noted that at the outset of the meeting Mayor Vanden Hoek commented that this is an election year. “I would like to tighten meetings a touch, contain debate that yields no results. We have been very casual. Under new business we also need to keep things tighter, with a mover & seconder, or file notice of motion,” he said.)
Other Business: 1. Howe Island resident Austin Page, Chairman of the School House Committee, delegated to study the merits/possibilities/costs of restoring the island’s old school house as a meeting place and historical site, presented his report. “ We need to do an engineering study (feasibility) to determine the building’s integrity, such as was done on Wolfe Island by Patrick Thompson, form a Historical Society , determine community support/ funding opportunities, and we require a letter of support from council to proceed,” Page said. “We thought we had a community meeting place with the new Howe Island Fire Hall but council or someone reneged on that one.” He asked the township to initiate an application for the study by Sept. 1st. Council received the report as information only and will sign an application to the Local Initiatives Program of the Eastern Ontario Development Program ( $ 5,000.00) to cover the estimated costs for a review of the Howe Island building. The mayor noted the work of Linda Thomas, WI Business & Tourism president with regards to application writing.
2. A bylaw was passed amending a budget item re: WI roads relating to a capital figure that included the value of stockpiled gravel delivered in 2009, and an increase in WI Recreation& Culture. This bylaw amendment reduces the capital for WI road work and reduces the transfers from the WI wind reserve. “The good news is we are going down by $70,000 reducing the amount from wind power reserves,” Carol Dwyre, Treasurer/Planning Coordinator said by way of explanation. “The net result being an extra $70,000 in the capital reserve fund.”
New Business: *Councillor Grant had requests for special boarding on the Wolfe Islander which led to two resolutions, one, asking the Ministry of Transportation to provide priority boarding to Frontenac County Paramedic Volunteers traveling from Kingston to work at the Wolfe Island Ambulance Service. The second, that MTO grant priority boarding for agricultural commodities on the Wolfe Island Ferry in the same manner as in 2009.
*Regarding the green Energy Task force, Councillor Fiene said they are trying to get each municipality to explore roof top solar system under Micro Fit program. Council supported a request for a Microfit system under the County umbrella and Green Energy Task Force solar system for roof top 10 kw with township participation.
Councillor Doyle continues to have concerns about some roadwork beyond the 11th Line on Road #96
Council meets next on Wolfe Island, Mon. Sept. 13th at 6:30 pm.
Coming Events:* WI HISTORICAL SOCIETY AGM Wed., Aug. 25, 7:30 pm , United Church Hall. Guest John Posthumus, Dutch immigrant to Canada after the Second World War.* Taste of Wolfe Island (hourly) Farm Tours Sunday Aug. 29th from 2-5 pm. Farm directions available at Kingston tourist office, Kingston Farmer’s Market, WI Tourist Office. www.tasteofwolfeisland.ca. * WI Community Euchre, Thursdays 7 pm, United Church Hall. Everyone welcome.
Taking a break from a busy week, of workshops and the business challenges , the 185 youth leaders of “Junior Achievement of Canada 40th Annual Next Generation Leaders Forum” arrived on Wolfe Island for a day of fun and togetherness. The youth came from around the world to attend the forum, including the Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, India, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Jamaica, Norway, Romania, Senegal, and the United States.
The very distinct group of young people filled the upper decks of the Wolfe Islander III for the trip to the island, led by Stephen Middlemiss, Director of Student Events JA Canada, accompanied by group leaders and volunteers .
The young people and their leaders were welcomed to the island by Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle and Walter Knott, Treasurer of the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association, where they filled two busses and four of White’s large horse drawn wagons.
Split into two groups, their itinerary for the day included tours of the Wolfe Island Wind Farm conducted by Trans Alta’s community relations coordinator, John Forster, the Wolfe Island Corn Maze, owned and operated by Garth and Maryann Walker and family, where all 185 would gather for lunch before finishing their day at the Big Sandy Bay Conservation area where they would also have a swim at the beach before returning to mainland Kingston.
Considering the days of muggy weather, rain and heat the region has been experiencing this day was bright, sunny and hot but cooled by the wonderful wind that has of late made the island famous. The Corn Maze too was at its best , green and tall and the students delighted in the place where not only did they wend their way through the maze, they had an opportunity for some quiet time, to play games, get to know the Walker’s and to enjoy the lunches prepared by them.
Tired but happy this diverse group returned to Kingston grateful perhaps that their sponsors recognized the value of play.
Next Generation Leaders is a Junior Achievement of Canada (JA Canada) global forum that provides business skills taught by business leaders to youth so they can lead organizations of the future. Sponsored by Scotia Bank and Xerox Canada, and hosted by the Queen’s School of Business, it brings Junior Achievers together who are award winners and participants from their local JA Company, Titan and Globe programs whose post-secondary ambitions include an interest in business-related careers. For further information contact Stephen Middlemiss at Junior Achievement, Toll Free: 1-800-265-0699 Direct: (416) 622-4602 x.239 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Sunday, Aug.15th was the 35th anniversary of the Wolfe Islander III’s christening in the Port Arthur shipyard, just before she was sideways, launched in 1975 by Mrs. Molly Apps, the wife of MLA Syl Apps for Kingston & the Islands.
Captain Brian Johnson decorated the ferry with green and white balloons for the occasion and the Wolfe Islander carried the ORIGINAL FLAGS she flew that day! Pictures of her launching were posted on the ferry. For more info; www.wolfeisland.com
* John Posthumus will speak about his experiences as a Dutch immigrant to Canada after the Second World War at the AGM of the WI Historical Society on Wed., August 25, at 7:30 pm at the WI United Church Hall. John eventually settled on Wolfe Island and by 1958 his brother and two sisters and their families had also become Islanders. In 2009, John had the honour of being nominated for induction into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame. During the War, John learned to spin wool and will give a demonstration of this skill. By the way, have you visited the Old House Museum yet?
* Four Weddings were held on WI over the weekend. Busy, busy place. Guests were transported by bus in some cases and large party tents dotted the island and, for the most part the weather held.
* Howe Island’s Summer Steak Fry Sat. Aug. 21st, St. Philomena’s Hall, Social Hour 5-6pm Adults $15. Children’s menu and prices., Tickets in advance Jim 546-4893, Marilyn 545-3988
* The Howe Island Ratepayers Association Annual General meeting will be held Wed. Aug. 25th at St. Philomena’s Church Hall at 7pm.. All welcome.
* The “ Gertrudes” host the release of their new album, Dawn Time Riot, Friday, Aug. 27 at The Island Grill. Rueben deGroot will also perform.
* With much better access to the new village dock a second year of children’s sailing is underway. The session was filled before it was even advertised. Lots of enthusiasm for more boating experiences.
* Voting day for the 2010 regular municipal elections is Monday,October 25, 2010. Nominations close Sept. 10th at 5 pm. Nomination forms are available for candidates at the municipal offices. To be elected for Frontenac Islands: 1 Mayor, 4 Councillors,( 2 from each of the Wolfe Island/Simcoe and Howe Island wards). The new council term begins Dec. 1st The incumbent mayor Jim Vanden Hoek and Councillor Dennis Doyle have both filed for the position of Mayor. No further candidates have filed for that position or, for councillor positions (at this time). Have you given this some thought?
Ferry traffic to Wolfe Island, including walkers, cyclist, and vehicular continues extremely heavy these days but perhaps was heaviest during the weekend of the island’s 25th annual Family Ball tournament. The weather did not fail. Though hot and humid, light winds drifted across the 3 playing venues (Sacred Heart school and the Community Centre grounds) where 31 teams played elimination games Friday evening and all day Saturday, completing the last games before 9 pm which determined the winners in the A& B Division.
In the A Division Radtke-Reitzel Family team was victorious.
The DeVette Family Team won in the “B” Division.
The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team: McKenna Family Team.
The Bill Kyle Sportsmanship Memorial Trophy was presented to the Kaye Fawcett FaTeam by Karen Kyle sporting her bright red Cow Boy hat.
The Wolfe Island Family Ball tournament, played by teams made up of equal numbers of men and women using a larger ball known as a Mellon ball, is among the last of such tournaments in Ontario. For Wolfe Island the tournament brings scattered island families together in maybe greater numbers than at any other time of year, a fact the island’s Fr. De Souza spoke of in the parish bulletin where he said, “there are islanders who played in the first tournament who are now retired while their children and grandchildren take their places,” noting also a well attended church service.
Following what was a well attended Open House on Howe Island (45-50 persons) regarding the township’s draft Official Plan update, a mandatory special public meeting of council required under the planning act, was held on Wolfe Island Aug. 5th. All members of council as well as CAO O’Shea, Carol Dwyre, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer and Township Planner Glen Tunnock and David Wellwood of the firm of Tunnock Consulting Ltd. were present. Two (+2 who left) Wolfe Island residents plus four from Howe (none from Simcoe) attended the meeting. Copies of the Official Plan Draft Amendment – 5 year Review were available for sale. Residents were encouraged to fill out comments sheets.
The purpose of the meeting, outlined by Mayor Vanden Hoek, was to review the revisions in draft amendment and engage the public in the process for the approval of the Draft Official Plan- five year review and its authority. The mayor said consideration will be given to written comments/submissions of the public before the OP amendment is adopted and urged residents to do so, before council seeks provincial approval. (Following Notice of a decision and a 20 day appeal period follows).
Planner Tunnock began his review of the Official Plan noting the key themes including well managed growth, environmental integrity, conservation of natural resources including water, green energy and energy conservation, transportation services and consistency with provincial policy. “So it is not just the policy of the local municipality to protect food lands for production, but the province, so we have made adjustments to reflect provincial policy,” he said.
He note the township’s aim to maintain its own identity through well managed growth and sustainability as well as its strong movement towards more alternative forms of energy systems on individual properties while at the same time acknowledging that the Green Energy act has taken much of the decision making out of the hands of the township. He made reference to growth on the islands, particularly along the shoreline, the ongoing WI water study for Marysville, as well as the MTO transportation EA, “The province would encourage more development in established areas,” he said.
He noted a policy in the official plan that makes some provision for private roads. “What’s in the plan is a policy that can provide for the takeover of private roads based on affordability, road requirements and advantage to the township.
Throughout the meeting there were areas of concern for both Howe and Wolfe island residents. Both communities question the agricultural land use designation and the difficulties surrounding severances and believe the province should look at things differently and see the need for more rural land designation. The plan indicates no further severances of prime agricultural except for agricultural purposes.
Tunnock acknowledged that the Township does not agree because the community is looking to small home businesses and market gardens to support and supply the food industry “Do you really need 40 hectares to do that ? The township is not comfortable with the Ministry of Ag & Food’s policy,” he said.
Natural habitat, wildlife and its protection is also a provincial policy concern as it relates to future development.”What the township will probably do if someone is granted a shoreline plot is to ask that they enter into an agreement that states they will maintain or reinstate the first 30 metres to its natural state,” Tunnock suggested, adding that the township sees forest as well as shore line management with public access to the water as important issues. A resident felt this was an opportune time for the township to develop a policy to protect for everyone’s use unopened road allowances particularly those leading to the water.
An amazing number of questions and concerns were expressed by the small audience who also offered some very clear insights into the planning process.
For a complete review, the draft official plan amendment will be posted on the Township of Frontenac Islands website and is also available for purchase at the township offices.
*It is interesting to note that the Howe Island Ratepayers Association has already submitted their concerns to council with regard to the Plan (suggesting in their letter) that it is not specific “to island life”, particularly Howe Island, a residential/ agricultural island without retail trade, and sees the draft amendment as a lost opportunity to identify the Wolfe Island and Howe Island, while one political unit, as economically and socially different. In their submission, the association brings forward concerns about transportation, agricultural land designation, shore line development (strip development) , certain housekeeping corrections and has requested that council hold off approval of the draft amendment until they have read the comments of HIRA and others. The subject is bound to come up at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council.
Around Town: The longest line up of cars yet leaving Wolfe Island recently extended all the way to the gate of the Land Fill site. At this rate MTO may have to provide ‘porta potties’ along the route since people are waiting at least an hour plus for the ferry. *One lucky fellow missed a house in a fast run around a corner recently, ending up in the water with some damage to a flower bed , to the car but not to himself. Now that the road work is complete, more and more cyclists are choosing Wolfe Island. *The township has a “no littering” bylaw at their July meeting. * Have heard only good things about the WI Music Festival since I was not an accredited reporter for the event. I hope someone else was.
Coming Events: * The Scene of the Crime Festival takes place on WI , Saturday Aug. 14th .Guests will be Michael Blair, Vicki Delany, Susanna Kearsley, James W. Nichol, Grant Allen Award honoree Gail Bowen and guest lecturer, reporter Rob Tripp. * The Kingston Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association is gearing up for their 3rd Annual Cycling for Celiacs Sat., August 14th on Wolfe Island. Cyclists range in age from 21 to 71. *The WI Ploughing match will be held Sat. Sept. 11th For further info contact Wilma Sjonger 385-1791. * The Wolfe Island Association announces the annual Dog Trial event to be held Sept. 10th, 11th & 12th. The Bench Show will be held at the WI Fire Hall, Sept. 9th. For information call Erin Brown 613-284-0177.