While not the first by law of the evening, a bylaw to levy taxes for the year 2012 passed at the May meeting of Frontenac Islands council. Taxes for Frontenac Islands are set out at a different rate for each ward, Howe Island and Wolfe/Simcoe Island based on need, and include County and school taxes.
“I should point out,” Mayor Doyle said, “there has been some questions and much discussion going back and forth about the tax rate in the WI/ Simcoe ward because of the wind plant money,” adding that an earlier document had indicated a 4.05 % increase but, on its own it did not mean that the average rate payer will be increased by 4.05%.“Information from MPAC indicates some $33,000 coming from new construction will help to offset the total tax increase of $79,914 for the general public. WI/Simcoe taxpayers should expect on average an increase in the range of 2.4 %,” he said.
The MPAC numbers on Howe indicate extra to be collected of $12,044 coming from new construction offsetting the total $27,000 . Taxpayers on Howe Island can expect an average increase of 1.4%. Take note however, that actual changes in tax bills are dependent on MPAC assessments.
Some budget highlights: for Howe Island a Transportation study and dock at the island’s east end . On Wolfe Island, surface treating WI’s Road #95 (Base Line to Pykes Corner), re-doing Holiday Point Rd. , also Joy Road; a culvert on Victoria Street; a 5 ton truck, wood chipper, air pipes at Simcoe Ferry, a furnace (Community Hall) and an oil tank at Fire Hall. Savings came through Insurance COST reductions, (County and local). No decision has been made on use of $26,000 from County.
Dep. Mayor Jones echoed Councillor Grant’s appreciation to staff members Treasurer Carol Dwyer and Theresa Quist, and from the County Marian Van Bruinessen for their efforts particularly in light of CAO Terry O’Shea’s absence due to illness through much of the budget process. “I think this is fiscally responsible budget,” he said noting that with a procurement policy council will continue reviewing large expenditures and develop a comprehensive and capital plan “so that our reserves are targeted for future purposes as Councillor Grant alluded to,” Jones said. He commended Mayor for driving the budget and getting it done. Mayor Doyle also had high praise for staff.
Council passed a second bylaw designating the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic as a Municipal Capital Facility and as such, taxation exempt effective Jan.1,2012 for as long as the facility provides health services, and entered into a agreement with the “Clinic”, that it is not responsible for any costs incurred to operate, maintain, repair, renovate etc. the facility. The agreement contains certain other requirements. Present was Medical Clinic Board President, Kathy Gilbert, Walter Knott, treasurer, and County Planner Joe Gallivan.
“Kathy, Walter and Joe have been working on this for some time,” Mayor Doyle said. “When the old clinic (which never drew taxes) burned down and new clinic was built, it began to draw taxes (triggered by the building permit) which was not the intent. As a Municipal Capital facility it will be exempt,”
Knott informed council that MPAC had advised the Clinic Board that this was route to take and would not change the Clinic’s status otherwise, which led to the preparation and vetting of this by-law. The township will send a copy of the by-law to MPAC and the school board. (The WI Community Medical Clinic, a not for profit charity facility, is owned and operated by an elected board of directors. It depends on fundraising, donations, etc. to remain open and operates according to requirements as defined by LHIN. A doctor comes to the island to see patients registered with her and a foot clinic is also provided, along with health programs.)
And then there was a 3rd by-law passed to regulate the construction of fences in the township. The by-law deals with zones for fences, types of fences (electrical, barbed,etc.), height, general fence provisions, maintenance and contravention. For or against a fence, well worth a read .
A policy for the Procurement of Goods and Services by the Township was the 4th by-law passed, at the meeting. The new by-law amends a previous bylaw with regard to township purchasing. Council will look for further clarification on certain specific clauses (discretion, disciplinary action etc.)
And in other Business: 1. The payment voucher in the amount of $181,152.42 (including price of chipper $15,264) was approved.. 2. $1414.00 in Livestock damage approved. 3. The Township will respond to G. Manion’s concern with having two Howe Island Ferry Road’s advising him that since the roads are in Kingston and Leeds and the 1000 Islands they should be contacted.
4. WI resident Larry Bolton was present to defend his letter requesting the township consider a by-law that would ensure that all household garbage accepted at the Waste Disposal Site is in garbage bags and at the same time encourage more recycling. Larry voluntarily maintains the roadways from the 7thLine to the winter dock keeping it free of debris and litter.. Councillor Springgay asked if a by-law was passed how could the site be monitored. “Before a bylaw, education,” Councillor Norris suggested. The Waste Management Committee will meet. L.Bolton was invited to join. A notice encouraging better waste management/recycling to be included in a newsletter with tax bill.
6. Dep. Mayor Jones praised HIRA’s Pitch-In Day success. Cheers on Howe Island’s Garden Buds and their Plant sale June 2nd at the Howe Island Municipal Building.7. At the request of Councillor Grant the Wolfe Island Investment Fund will be on council’s June agenda. Council moved to an In Camera Meeting. Council meets next on Howe Island, Monday, June 11 at 6:30 pm
Around Town; *Congratulations to Therese Greenwood ,founding member of WI Scene of the Crime, who won CBC Canada Writes, Crime Writers of Canada Fiction Contest for her story about Sir John A.*WI’s Trinity Anglican to join others at K-Rock Centre, June 3rd to celebrate 150th Anniversary of the Anglican Archdiocese. * We welcome back to MTO’s summer students. who keep the traffic moving.
Coming Events: *Kane/Mosier annual Golf Tournament Sat. June 9th, WI Riverfront Golf Course *WI United Church Yard & Bake Sale , Sat. June 16th. All event Information at: www.wolfeisland.com *Euchre, Thursday’s WI United Church Hall, 7 pm
Members of the Frontenac District Women’s Institute gathered at Wolfe Island’s Trinity Anglican Church for their annual district . The district includes Glenburnie, Harrowsmith, Joyceville, Murvale, St. Lawrence, Sydenham and the Wolfe island branches of the Women’s Institute.
Following an 830 am ferry ride to the island, members were welcomed by Pastor, Rev. Canon Chris Carr . He spoke eloquently about the origins and role Women’s Institutes have played in Canada, local communities and about their history of supporting family life. The Mayor of Frontenac Islands Denis Doyle brought greetings from the Township.
The business meeting was chaired by District President Anne Levac assisted by the secretary Erma Bracken. Treasurer Linda Van Hal presented the financial report. While the all-day meeting was mostly spent taking care of business and the hearing of reports, it was also an opportunity for members to hear first hand what’s been happening in the district.
Special guests included Helen Thompson, Women’s Institute (WI) provincial Board Director; Joan Walsh , Kingston area voting delegate; Beryl Jacka, president of the Lennox and Addington District WI..
Special guest speaker Holly Knowles from Correctional Service Canada in Kingston presented an overview of the correctional service and a snapshot of community participation. She outlined the life of a person she called Johnny and his road to crime, in and out of prison, and described his needs educational, cultural, mental health and the programs available including work programs as well as the partnerships with community stakeholders. She also spoke of the many volunteers who commit much time to prison inmates. “I think it is absolutely remarkable,” she said “ They escort prisoners, offer programs, work with them and offenders are grateful. Many have no one else in their lives and we have an opportunity to change lives. That’s the business we are in.”
A program highlight was the presentation special pins to Frontenac District Past Presidents in acknowledgement of their service to the Frontenac District WI. They included: Penny Mac Naughton, Barbara Stewart, Anne Levac (out going president), Joyce Watson, Joan O'Shea, Connie Harrris and Doreen Joslin. Presenting the pins honouring the past presidents were Helen Thompson and Joan Walsh. Past presidents unable to attend: Marjorie Thompson, Mary Howes, Marie Thomson, Brenda Draper, Jane Adamson, Diane Dixon.
A wonderful luncheon was served by Trinity Anglican’s Women’s Guild at St. Margaret’s Hall.
During the luncheon Wolfe Island’s Kevin Hulton Frontenac County 4H Association president, presented an enthusiastic report declaring 4H as the BEST of All Youth Opportunities and credited his mother Linda Hulton (his 1st 4H Club teacher) for his continued involvement.
Musical Entertainment was provided by Wolfe Islanders, Rob Douglas, his daughter Laura and son Liam along Alex Millar and Brody Virtin. (keyboard)
Throughout the day the island’s Tweedsmuir Books offering an incredible history of Wolfe Island were on display
Interesting to note that the Wolfe Island and the St. Lawrence Women’s Institute’s are celebrating 85th Anniversaries this year. Both Institutes were established “one at the head and one at the foot of the island” in 1927. They are always looking for members. FYI- Maureen Lollar , Wolfe Island Women’s Institute takes over as Frontenac District President.
Budget Deliberations in every community in Ontario are no doubt nearing completion or are already completed and by-laws to levy taxes for the year 2012 have been approved and passed. In advance of the passage of the Township of Frontenac Islands budget it seemed like a good idea to remind islanders of the budgetary process itself. There are two parts to the process, one - where do you have to spend money and where do you want to spend money. The second part is of course is where does Frontenac Islands gets the money it wants to spend.
For Wolfe and Simcoe islands the money comes from Wolfe and Simcoe tax payers primarily. Money also comes from the province of Ontario for a significant operating portion of the Simcoe Island ferry and the Township receives wind power money as a contractual grant every year with TransAlta . For Howe Island money comes from Howe Island taxpayers, also from the province for the Howe Island (foot ferry).
Of the money collected a portion goes to Frontenac County, a portion collected on both islands goes back to the province for school boards. Frontenac Islands administrative costs are divided 70 percent from Wolfe Island and 30 percent from Howe Island. And of course there is revenue from other sources listed under fire, ferries, roads, waste, recycling, culture and recreation building including organizations, etc. (fundraising, donations, reserves) There are major expenses in all of those areas to be considered.
Frontenac Islands spends the bulk of its money on roads, and the two ferry operations. A new expenditure includes power costs for running the ice plant at the Wolfe Island rink and how to deal with that into the future. Every year the township sets aside money for new equipment (provincial requirement and other), as well as dollars for the eventual closure of the Wolfe Island Landfill site and for any major road or environmental crisis or specific study. ie. water. Policing is a major cost for the islands. As well there is everything else listed under a raft of headings… Of interest also may be some of the requests and expenditures that came up and were dealt with during the budget meetings. They included high costs of vehicle maintenance, furnace for WI Community Hall, Playground equipment at Marysville Public School,St. Lawrence Street drainage on WI,, WITA concerns re public washrooms, etc, signage, road painting, review of land and cellular phones, building maintenance at WI town hall and library.(painting etc.), repairs at info centre, spider spraying, among many, many other budget items and including council remuneration. The budget bylaw comes up in May..
Around Town: * A wonderful Birthday Party was organized by the O'Shea family to celebrate the 80th Birthday of John O'Shea, father, grandfather, and friend to absolutely everyone he knows. And they came, relatives, friends, neighbours -co workers from different periods in his life, MTO, Council, his coffee klatch, organizations parish members, etc., etc. to the event held at the WI United Church Hall where people fill the hall all afternoon to extend best wishes and of course to exchange memories and stories. John, born and raised on Wolfe Island is a raconteur , a man with a story for every occasion, a memory for absolutely every detail and a sense of humour like no other. An islander through and through, he is a faithful husband and father, a loyal citizen, a fine human being, an exceptional Canadian and a good friend. Best wishes now and always John .
Coming events: Sacred Heart School ANNUAL SPRING FLING May 16th 5:30 - 6:30 pm…*Annual Fish Fry, WI United Church Hall, May 19th Doors open 4:30 pm. ** Stone Hero Gallery Opens Friday, May 18th at 6:00 pm at the WI Community Hall , not many STEPS away from the ferry dock
Once again council remuneration was on the table at a Frontenac Islands special meeting held to finalize the townships 2012 budget. Dep. Mayor David Jones led the discussion. “Have you received many comments emails about council member salaries,” he asked , adding that he had sent out 50 circulars referencing an (EMC) article on the subject, to which he had received 12 replies.
Councillor Sprinngay said she had faced a number of direct inquiries about the issue. “When I explained that a councillor receives what amounts to $43.50 a week, people say that can't be right,” she said. ” Described that way, they say it is not enough.” All Council members noted similar for and against responses. Councillor Grant said there was a need for short term committee to look at the issue. Mayor Doyle also noted a dislike for the percentage increase concept and reminded members of the many volunteers who receive nothing, not even mileage, noting other areas such as per diems etc. that should be considered. Councillor Norris reiterated his concern regarding the ripple effect the discussion would have on volunteer groups. “In almost 40 years of service I have never asked for a raise and I won't now,” he said
Howe Islander Austin Page speaking to the issue that council members should be properly remunerated.. “I know it is a delicate subject politically for council to deal with and suggest a committee of residents from both islands to look at it”, The Mayor suggested that for budgeting purposes a dollar figure should be considered now and also the formation of an ad hoc advisory committee.
Jones continued outlining some of the (supportive as well as negative) responses he received regarding remuneration, concerns about a percentage increase, and the need to review inequities including those of volunteers. He concluded that any increases would be “More than covered by the economic initiatives taken by the Doyle administration at the county, (0% tax increase, gas tax, KP Trail, etc.) and including local township savings “already achieved.”
CAO O'Shea, (welcomed back after an extended period due to health issues ), reminded council that more than council's pay had to be looked at . “This came from the staff review” he said, adding that “there is a by law that defines what you get for attending meetings, per diems, mileage, for which meetings, for which conferences, pensions, etc. that also needs to be reviewed,” he said. “It is more than one issue.” (The Human Resources review was awaiting for the CAO's return to be completed.) Following some further discussion, the issue was left in CAO's hands, who with the assistance of the County's Colleen Hickey, will bring it all together (staff, council) for council including whatever recommendations might come from an ad hoc advisory committee.
Confirming a budget figure for a Howe Island ferry study to be directed by the County planner, assisted by MTO brought forward real concerns about growth on the island and the adequacy of the service into the future from Deputy Mayor Jones, Councillor Pat Norris and Howe Island ratepayer Austin Page.
“There is nothing to say if we continue to issue building permits that we wont end up waiting for an hour to get on the ferry. A study would correlate population and transportation on an off the island,” Jones said.
“Nothing to do with improved ferry service,” Norris queried Jones? ” Stagnating growth and no new tax money would greatly impact the municipality.”
Page noted that the island has constituent farmers who want to sub divide land, and sell, the (Frontenac) Howe ferry is not the one contracted for and foot ferry is out of date. “We have to look ahead, he said suggesting a permanent standing committee be set up.
“This study will allow all three, MTO the County and the township to be involved,” Mayor Doyle declared. “Everything will need to be looked at. We need the county planner to get back to MTO.” Councillor Norris reminded council that Howe Island was to have been included in the Wolfe Island ferry study surveys but was excluded. As well , he noted the present Howe ferry, had already lost 3 percent capacity due to an unannounced and unexplained design change when it arrived. County Planner Joe Galivan will lead the study
*Les Voltigeurs de Québec a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces is coming to Wolfe Island as part of War of 1812 activities the weekend of July 21-22nd. Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association (WIBTA) member Martine Chercuitte attended the meeting to request closure of the Main street in Marysville from Fargo's, Saturday July 21st to Sunday, July 22nd for a dinner for 300 held under tents along the street. Guests will include a contingent of the Voltigeurs de Quebec. Sunday morning, Les Voltigeurs and invited guests will be welcomed at the Town Hall by Mayor Doyle before moving on to Sacred Heart Church for further events and a service. While permission was granted for the road closure Councillor Springgay was adamant that the street open as early as possible on Sunday morning.
Also on hand from WIBTA was Carlyle Crothers who made a presentation regarding the efforts of Kingston, KEDCO, Wolfe Island and Horne's (ferry operation from the island to Cape Vincent NY) to market the area as an “experience rather than a destination, as a the region rather than 3 individual destinations” building on the Linger Longer logo long used by WIBTA. focussing on what the region has to offer. (Originally Wolfe Island concerned about extra cars on ferry). Our focus is visit “with bicycles for a whole lot of reason.” A sign going up on Hwy. #81 (a field of daisies with a person on a bike saying “Linger Longer”) and at the bottom saying Cape Vincent, Wolfe Island, Kingston will change seasonally offering people the opportunity to think about coming to the Region in the future. Crothers request was for $3000. to update cycling maps to include local business advertising. Mayor Doyle noted Kingston's support for a 2nd ferry to the island and acknowledged the focus on bikes rather than extra cars on the ferry.
Budget deliberations were completed at this meeting . The Budget and what it means will be presented at the meeting of Frontenac Islands Council , Mon. May 14th , Wolfe Island.
Wolfe Island’s United Church congregation is without a full time minister at the moment. Their minister, Rev. Erin Burns, is on maternity leave and not due to return until July 1,2012. Her absence however has not shut down the church.
In fact, Rev, Burn’s joyful situation offered members of the church’s Ministry and Personnel committee an opportunity to consider different ways of offering Sunday Services (supply ministry) for the small but faithful church community, a congregation not unfamiliar with change.
The history of the United Church on the Island came about through change culminating in 1925 when the island’s Presbyterian and Methodist congregations fully joined together, associating themselves with the United Church of Canada.
Supply ministry has been arranged until July 1. Many of those conducting the services are Queen’s students , working toward their Master of Divinity degree. They included through April, David Colwell,
Janet Kennedy, Tom Watson, Elizabeth Amirault, Janet Kennedy (May 6th) and Robert Lawson (May 27)
Among that number are mature students who have come to the ministry program from previous careers.Rev. Mac Stienburg, retired from a career as prison chaplain will lead the Mother’s Day (Communion) service May 13 and the Victoria Day weekend service, Sun. May 20th.
Through the Sundays of June a series of ‘alternate faith’ guest speakers has been planned. While the services will be conducted by the Ministry committee of the WI United Church, the guest speakers have been invited to give insight into their different faith /religions. They include: June 3- Alia Hogben (Muslim); June 10 –Michael Rumack (Orthodox Jewish); June 17 Paul Carl (Aboriginal); The alternate faith speaker June 24th will be a representative of the Baha’i religion.
The WI United Church congregation invites you to join them for Sunday morning worship at 9:30 am. The church is located a pleasant walk east from the ferry and right at the church sign, up the hill.
(FYI—A Presbyterian Church, St. Andrew’s, was built in 1879 on the site of the present location of Marysville Public school . In 1886 a brick Methodist Church (WI UNITED) was erected where both congregations gathered, with St. Andrew’s serving as the Sunday School and hall. In 1951 the hall was moved and adjoined to the United Church serving as a church hall, open to the whole community.)
Around Town:*Fr. Raymond de Souza pastor of WI’s Sacred Heart Church is the keynote speaker at the annual National Prayer Breakfast ( Protestant in its roots) of the broad Parliamentary Community in Ottawa, brought together to consider the role of faith in common life. The title of his talk: Faith in Our Common Life: Why Politics Needs “Religion”. “It is an honour for me and for Catholics,” Fr. De Souza noted in the parish bulletin.. The Howe Island Ratepayers Association thanks volunteers for picking up their roadways during Pitch-In campaign weekend April 28/29. Much less litter than in previous years. *Join in for Thursday Night Euchre WI United Church Hall 7 pm. For more information regarding all of the following notices visit : www.wolfeisland.com 1.Frontenac County Paramedic Services seeksVolunteer Paramedic for Wolfe Island; 2.Benefit Dance for Jonathon Eves, May 5th; 3. Mothers Day Walk Big Sandy Bay May 13th; 4. Scene of the Crime Short Story Contest Deadline May 15th; 5. Spring Fling at Sacred Heart School, May 16th; 6. WI United Church Annual Fish Fry May 19th,