The April meeting of the Frontenac Islands Township Council held on Howe Island may have been the township’s shortest but it was not without interesting issues and others of some concern, all offered here in no specific order.
*Council passed a resolution of congratulations , thanking everyone involved in the Wolfe Island Hockeyville campaign as well as all those involved in organizing events. It included a special thank you to the five ladies who drove the island’s bid, Toni Vingar, Julia Crosier, Lisa Posthumus, Sharon Kane, and Michelle Joy which resulted in WIsland being named one of the top five communities in Canada. Also acknowledged for their efforts were Paul Hogan, Doug Corrigan, James Kirkham, Rick Lindgren and Dick Posthumous. “Most of all we would like to thank the people throughout Kingston and the Islands, across Frontenac County and around the world who supported Wolfe Islands bid with their votes”, the resolution states.
*The Frontenac Islands payment voucher caused a stir at the April meeting when Deputy Mayor David Jones once again questioned payments in the voucher to Thomson Jemmett, Commercial Brokers, to the Municipal Insurance policy with Cowen Company. (Cowen is known to be the only company that will bid on insurance for Frontenac Islands although another Company was asked to quote and the quote is pending.)
The Municipal Insurance proposal with Cowen Company was on the agenda of the January council meeting at which time the Deputy Mayor first noted a 2.7% cost increase for insurance but a decrease in coverage with a diminished benefit in a number of cases. He also queried the ‘one bid’ only and asked about a township procurement policy . The subject was deferred to the February meeting but the representative from Thomson Jemmett was unable to attend. At that meeting Jones reiterated his concerns regarding procurement policy and was advised the township was waiting for another bid.
At the April meeting the Deputy Mayor was clearly frustrated, “this payment looks like to me ‘set and forget’. three months have elapsed. As I recall a proposal was put to us in January, it was deferred and now its paid. We were backed into this” he said noting a number of other items in the voucher that concerned him as sole source procurement.
”The payment was paid to meet a deadline,” Mayor Doyle said, “with the understanding that the 2nd quote can be looked at when it comes in. But next year we will want to do a more formal tendering and we need to look at our procurement policy.” The payment voucher was approved for payment with Jones voting against. CAO O’Shea will provide copies of the procurement policy, and council will begin a formal review and update (of the policy) as required.
*Howe Island’s Jim Mills, Chairman of the Howe Island Proclamation Committee made a request for a change of venue to the Howe Island Fire Hall property on the baseline road for the island’s July 16th Proclamation Event. Council had no objections to this request. The event was originally to be held at the island’s ball park. However according to Mills the site has insufficient parking resulting in roadside parking, raising safety issues for attendees coming to and from the event. It was noted that the island’s Fire Fighters are partnering with the events of the day and would manage a licensed bar facility at the Fire and Rescue Building with all proceeds going to support the Fire Department.. The fire hall location means the event will happen rain or shine and offers extra facilities including electrical service. A tent will also be raised on the grounds. Mills added that General William Howe (or his facsimile) along with his Pipe Band and a Musket Brigade will attend the Family event. He also reminded council of the committee’s funding request (to purchase a plaque) submitted for consideration during council’s budget deliberations.
*The Stone Heron Gallery, owned and operated by local Wolfe Island artist Pat Sanford will re-open at the WI Community Hall on June 18th closing Sept. 5th. Sanford has operated the Gallery for seven years and carries business tenants insurance. Over time Sanford was responsible for building the ramp entrance, interior painting, floor finishing as well as securing the windows with bars. In her letter of request to use the facility, Sanford noted good attendance and Gallery success.
*The Nine Mile Point Lighthouse Preservation Society (NMPLPS) requested council’s support in their effort to ensure that the lighthouse on Simcoe Island remain an active aid to navigation and continue to be owned and maintained by the Government of Canada. According to the NMPLPS the Lighthouse Protection Act protects only those lighthouses federally owned and requires that surplus lighthouses are transferred “to a person of body” suggesting that the intent is to not protect surplus lighthouses but to off load their responsibilities for maintaining them. Council passed a resolution in support of the Society’s efforts to ensure the Nine Mile Point light ( the oldest operational lighthouse in the Great Lakes)is never extinguished and that that it continue to guide boaters through the Lower Gap “as it has done for 178 years and counting.”
*Council also supported the South Central Ontario CAA and the Good Roads Association request that the Ontario Government direct some HST revenue charged on gasoline and diesel sales to a new funding mechanism for municipalities to invest in transportation infrastructure.
* WI resident Ed Kenney who is appealing his property assessment with MPAC (May4-5) asked questions of council:
. Why has the township council hired a lawyer to represent them at the hearing? Was it a council decision? Has council ever hired a lawyer before to oppose a request of MPAC? Any portion of (my) taxes paying for the law firm, legal costs to date and is Trans Alta reimbursing those costs to the township. Council will research the information requested. The Kenney’s believe their property has been devalued due to the island’s wind power project. Council meets next at Wolfe Island, May 9th, 6:30 pm.
Around Town: * Pitch In Canada Day on Howe Island organized by HIRA (HI Ratepayers Association) takes place Sat. April 30. Rain Day Sun. May 1st. Gloves & Garbage bags available from the Township Office. * The Island Grill will re-open soon.* The General Wolfe has re-opened. * As the holy days begin, A Blessed Easter to ALL.