by Margaret Knott
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Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

February 28, 2013
The end of an era for WIBTA, Wolfe Island's Business & Tourism Association

With barely a whimper the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association's many years of operation came to an end at what was the last AGM of the organization. Chairing the meeting was WIBTA president Kathy Rothermel who had assumed the role for a one year period. WIBTA was formally established November 18, 1987 with the passage of a resolution which read simply “that the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association be formed.” WI “s Hank (Hendry) Connell who was instrumental in its original establishment was in attendance for its dissolution.

The current board of directors will remain in place until the end of May 2013 when it is anticipated all details of the dissolution will be concluded.

Following an overview of the year's activities by VP Curtis Ireland, the presentation of 1812 dinner video and financial statements by Treasurer Linda Van Hal, the distribution of assets began. By May's end and a final audit , remaining funds and equipment (tents, etc.) are to be turned over to the township's WI ward. ( will continue.) The township takes over the Information Centre (Washrooms) and at Victoria Street. The Wi Historical Society will assume much responsibility for brochures, bicycle maps etc. with availability at the “Old House Museum as well as the plaque project in Marysville. They will also hold book masters, interviews etc The future of the bicycle rental business has yet to be clarified by the present operator.

The WI Community Medical Clinic president Liz Crothers and the board will take over the annual WI Classic Road Race (July 7, 2013). ( Hank Connell, was the original Race Director (1981-?)

Councillor Springgay looked for clarification on ownership of Victoria Street facilities and other issues. Mayor Denis Doyle thanked WIBTA for their efforts on behalf of the community for so many years and past president Linda Thomas for her long service.

2. Frontenac Islands Budget Meetings Continue

WI Historical Society members Denis Cherquitte and Judy Greenwood Speers described a project the association is undertaking at the WI's ld House Museum. and made a request for $10,000 from the township to make repairs to the house. Speers made a major purchase of wood siding at considerable savings to put over the existing exterior of the building. and the job needs doing. Springgay sees much value to assisting in the project. “We own the building she said. “We have not offered support in the past (insurance only), They have the required bids and selected one.They are prepared to fund raise,” she said. Cherquitte noted possible safety issues ( (bees in the walls ).' Labour has to be done now to be ready for May 2 seasonal opening. ,” he said . “The House beautifully located is gaining in popularity, “..according to Speers “We hope to have memorabilia, material available for self initiated walking tours, as well as other community brochues, books etc. etc. and take over other tourism material. It will All tie in very nicely with a renovated Island Grill.”

Councillor Norris reminded council that at time of purchase of the building and land that it was determined there would be nor more money spent on it by the township. “Howe Island with its Historical Society will be affected by this,” he said. Councillor Springgay on the other hand said, “I can't imagine buying a building and walking away from it. The Medical Clinic has received money and it is supposed to be self sufficient.”

Deputy Mayor Jones encouraged the WI Historical Society approach the County's Anne Marie Young (Sustainability) for assistance ((Community Sustainability Initiatives) “Much of which is presently directed to central Frontenac. Sharbot Lake is a big winner.” He also suggested they look to the Community Improvement Plan project. “Even though you don't get money I think it is appropriate that you ask because I get this perception at the county that you guys never ask, you don't have needs. Put something together and get it before them,” he said. ” We need a share of that money that is in reserves at the county…” (NB- April 16th is the date set for the next Community Improvement Plan meeting (CIP) on Wolfe Island.)

Roads Superintendant Leo Greenwood was on hand to discus further budget allocations to roads which is a never ending situation it seems with so many of them. He commented that during a recent storm one truck made a round trip of all Wolfe Island ( township) roads which added up to 400 km's, a round trip to Ottawa.

FYI- Mayor Denis Doyle has announced that with the retirement of CAO Terry O'Shea, the township has been able to enlist the services of former South Frontenac CAO Clerk Administrator Gord Burns (retired ) in the interim, until a permanent CAO is selected. Mr. Burns is already on the job.

Around town: The Scotties Tournament of Hearts was a special event for Daniel White (13) and family (James & Heather). Daniel, a grade 8 student at Sacred Heart school is a curler at the Kingston Curling Club. He entered an essay contest. The topic , about curling. He won. The prize was to be part of the Opening Ceremonies of the Tournament at the K Rock Centre where he carried the flag for the Yukon and North West Territories. He and the family received tickets for the event. Congratulations… *Islanders take exercise seriously. Great to see Joan and John O'Shea out walking. +Although Mike & Rebecca Kinnie are not quite living on WI yet, (they will be very soon), but they are already involved in the community with WITTY (WI Theatre Training for Youth), Chili at Chilifest and, check out the Wolfe Manor website…. where they will hang their hats along with year old Madeline..

Coming events:1. Drop-in Badminton starts Thursday Feb, 28th (until May 9th). 6:45 - 8:15pm at Sacred Heart Catholic School Gym 2. HOWE ISLAND WINTER TALES FROM THE PAST CENTURY 28 February- St Philomena's Hall, 7:00pm

Posted by M Knott at 10:41 AM
February 21, 2013
Many big issues for small township of Frontenac Islands

Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan attended the Frontenac Islands council meeting to review where the township stands with regard to its Official Plan (OP). The draft OP was submitted for approval to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) and returned with 47 plus recommended revisions.

“We went over all of the MMAH changes at a special meeting on January 15th,” Gallivan said. He had provided members with planning opinions on each of the proposed changes. ” You endorsed all of the modifications ,with the exception of the two policies that deal with private roads.. resulting in the submission of an alternative policy. Tonight you have a resolution to consider recommending that you endorse the revised decision with the 2 (roads) exceptions.. Gallivan noted that private roads on Frontenac Islands are not a major issue like those in the County's cottage country in the north. “On the islands the topography is flat, the roads relatively short and straight. There is room for continued private road development.” Council passed the resolution formally required by MMAH . A possible approval is expected by the end of March. ” But will MMAH be back for us to agree with them?,” Mayor Doyle wanted to know.

According to Gallivan MMAH is the final approval authority right now until Frontenac County's own Official Plan is approved( by MMAH) at which time the County will have authority to approve Official Plans. “Until then, when MMAH approves Frontenac Islands Official Plan the township can appeal or stand down, not go to OMB on the private roads issue until the County official plan (expected in 2014) is in place at which time the County would deal with the private roads issue across the Frontenacs,” he concluded. FYI - The OP clearly states that the township has no intention of assuming private roads.

In other business : 1. The WI Community Centre Board's , Paul Hogan brought council up to date on developments regarding the rink and to seek their endorsement. “We were not successful with the Federal grant request” wrong colour tie perhaps.” The CCB is applying for a Trillium grant . Another from Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation, (FCFDC) $50,000 (engineering/planning.) Both applications are for grant money to be directed to the construction of a roof only over the rink. We have 3 quotes for that, ranging from $500,000 to $840,000. Hogan said. The lowest bid would require volunteer participation in the construction.. Paul has been in touch with KEDCO's Geoff Garrah, and Barry Sullivan from Kingston's Construction Association, noting both like to be involved if project goes ahead. Council passed resolutions in support of both applications. The CCB has also applied for a FIT program (solar on the roof). Councillor Springgay reminded council of their resolution supporting the roof and wanted confirmation that it would be on the next Budget Meeting agenda . “It would be a better discussion if we got a grant ,”Mayor Doyle said . “A grant is one thing,” Springgay added. ” But the CCB is looking for a significant amount of money from the township , borrowed or whatever. We have to move forward on this.”

2. Frontenac Islands supported a resolution presented by the township of North Frontenac that Frontenac County automatically provide (the total) Federal Gas Tax it receives to Lower Tier Municipalities, based on assessment (the same way in which the County levy is paid) for infrastructure. The North Frontenac resolution has been circulated to South and Central Frontenac as well. At the present time 50% of the Federal Gas Tax money is kept by the County. according to Mayor Doyle.. “We support the resolution and 100% of the gas tax dollars be distributed, and become a regular part of the budget process.. I will move for that at the County,” he said.

3. Mayor Doyle announced that Wolfe Island's Fire Chief James White had resigned. Deputy Chief Tim Hawkins has been appointed Chief.

4. A 2nd Wolfe Island “Community Improvement Plan” meeting will be held in April. Watch for a date to be confirmed. Councillor Springgay commented that too few people had attended the first meeting . More next time.

Tonight, Feb. 14th by Press Release: Frontenac Islands CAO Terry O'Shea has retired effective Feb. 15, 2013. No further info at this time.)

Posted by M Knott at 10:37 AM
February 14, 2013
Wolfe Island's Dr. George Merry receives a " 1st " medal

The Jubilee Medal Presentation followed an Eastern Region Ducks Unlimited-Canada (DUC) Volunteer Workshop and Appreciation Day in Kingston. with a reception at the end of the day held in their honour. The two recipients are among the thirty DUC members from across the country chosen to receive a the Jubilee medal

In his remarks prior to the medal presentation Jamie Fortune, DUC Chief Operating Officer, spoke of DUC's pride at receiving a call from the Governor General's Office suggesting that the organization submit names for the medal. “We are delighted to have George and Rick, two people from the area, chosen to receive the medal, both who share a passion for the outdoors and play key roles in the organization, which obviously means a lot to you.”

Gary Down, DUC-Oshawa, went on to outline the accomplishments of Dr. Merry's 32 year membership with DUC, as a leader in many areas of the organization (leadership, advice, vision, and generous land donor. And those of Rick Robb, a DU worker dedicated to youth programs and the objectives of the organization. “Both humble and generous, both with amazing ability in creating strong interpersonal relationships between staff and volunteers and giving both work and volunteer hours”.

Interesting to note that following the presentation of the medals by Mr. Down, and the pinning of them by Greg Weeks, Robb and George both acknowledged that neither “had ever received a medal before,” noting instead in their 'thank you's the accomplishment of families in the medal category.

Dr. Merry thanked this family for their support, and especially his wife Catherine, for “putting up with smelly dogs, bird feathers mud and more banquet tickets than one can imagine”. Harkening back to his childhood, he remembered telling his mom when he brought in the milk bottles and put them in the fridge, and his Mom saying 'So… you want a medal'. “She would have loved this,” he said. In his gracious thank you, George also acknowledged fellow medal recipient Rick Rob for his tireless years of work for wetland conservation.

Rick Robb, in his thanks to family and friends, acknowledged DU as one big group, one big family, and his ongoing commitment to it. He was obviously overwhelmed at being chosen for the medal.

Speeches over, thanks conveyed, the reception continued, along with picture taking and the cutting of a 75th Anniversary cake. Presentations of the Queen's Diamond (60 year) Jubilee Medals, coinsided with Ducks Unlimited, founded in 1938, celebrating it 75th Anniversary, ” of conserving critical wetlands including marshes and ponds. (6.3 million acres and 9,000 habitat conservation projects .”

Around Town:

Of interest to local history buff the Howe Island Historical Society wants you to know about an event on HOWE ISLAND “WINTER TALES FROM THE PAST CENTURY

Thursday, 28 February 2013 - St Philomena's Parish Hall, 7:00 come out and

share lore and personal experiences related to living through a winter on Howe All Islanders and friends of Howe Island are welcome. The meeting is an an opportunity to recall the impact of the cold and sometimes extraordinary weather conditions on daily life over the past century during the winter months. Bring along photos, news clippings or other artifacts. The Wolfe Island rink is one very busy place, learn to skate, public skating, hockey, broom bal etc. etc. In spite of cold and snow, enthusiasm is overwhelming. * Work is underway at the Island Gril. Exciting time… Wonder how it will look The WI Pub & Pizzaria has been the place to go to see friends and neighbours through these days of winter and no ferry in the village. *And of course , the Simcoe Ferry is NOW out of service. It was an 'on again, off again' situation for awhile.

Coming events:

Wolfe Island's Chilifest 2013 will be held Saturday, February 23rd at the Wolfe Island Community Centre Rink grounds. It will run from 12:30 - 4:00 pmThere will also be public skating, hayrides, hot dogs and of course the ever anticipated Wolf(e) Tails!

Posted by M Knott at 10:31 AM
February 07, 2013
Frontenac Islands catch up

Frontenac Islands catch up
In a recent article outlining actions taken at the of Frontenac Islands January Council meeting, there were items omitted , which perhaps even at this late date, may be of interest. For instance, the township's planner (Frontenac County's) Joe Gallivan, who attended the meeting to comment on a land use issue, and outline the results of a County Seniors Housing Community Pilot Project”, was accompanied by South Frontenac Deputy Mayor John McDougall , Frontenac County's representative on the Kingston Housing and Homelessness Advisory Committee. He attended the meeting to update council on City and County initiatives, and his township's Community Improvement Program.

With regard to the presentation made on behalf of “year round” cyclists. They outlined their safety issue concerns regarding the WI winter ferry dock and road, as presented by WI resident Debra Krakow. She also provided council with a copy of the Ministry of Transportation draft “Cycling Strategy”. She also reminded council of possible funding opportunities from the Ministry of Sport and Recreation for road work design. The Council determined that Mayor Doyle and Councillor Grant should meet with MTO

Darrell Niles, owner of WI's Septic Solutions (sewage waste hauling), had a Wastewater Treatment Facility feasibility study undertaken by AECOM, with assistance from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation. (FCFDC Executive Director Anne Pritchard attended the meeting in support of the presentation. Staff was directed to Ii investigate funding opportunities for construction of a lagoon, and to review requirements to amend Development Charges By-Law, to include sewage disposal as a Designated Service.

The annual application for Lottery Licence made by the Wolfe Island Ploughmen's Association was approved.

Councillor Norris wants a resolution prepared for the February meeting requesting that fees on the Howe Island ferries be waived for those vehicles doing business on behalf of the Township of Frontenac Islands.

With regard to the Green Energy Act, there will be an update on the process for compliance with it , also at the next meeting. The Mayor is expected to provide information concerning municipal property assessment payments for energy retrofits.

In their submission to the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) Asset Management Program the Township certified a review of the existing asset management plan, and is committed to the development of a Comprehensive Asset Management as outlined in “Building Together: Guide for Municipal Asset Management Plan” as a priority. Council meets next on Howe Island, Mon. Feb. 11th at 6:30 pm.

Mayor Doyle offers Frontenac County Budget UPDATE: Mayor Doyle said that the Frontenac County budget showed “an increase of well over $300,000, or a nearly four and a half percent increase over last year ” and that council members general agreed it had to be cut (budget meeting Jan. 17th)

Doyle said that activity on the County's Green Energy Task Force and Sustainability Committee had grown so much that staff had requested an additional person to handle the work. He pointed out that in his many years in the business world, “before you add people, you always looked at the work and eliminated low value activities,” and moved to eliminate the Green Energy Task Force, “as it delivered little net tangible benefits to the taxpayers across the county.”

It was also proposed that the Sustainability Committee also be shut down, if necessary, to avoid hiring an additional county personnel. Doyle said that it was decided that some work processes would be changed instead, without an increase in staff. “With these and other reductions over $100,000 was cut, but more work is needed to get down to an acceptable budget,” he said. Both Mayor Doyle and Deputy Mayor Jones represent Frontenac Islands at Frontenac County Council.

Coming Events: * Drop In Program, WI Community Medical Clinic, Friday's 1-3:30 pm. * CPR & AED (defibrillator) Training, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at 10am at St Margaret Hall. call Wilma Sjonger at 385 2672. * WI Boat Club AGM is Saturday, February 9th, 6:30pm, at St. Margarets Hall *WI Business & Tourism Association AGM Feb. 12th 7pm , WI United Church Hall *Wolfe Island's Chilifest 2013 Saturday, February 23rd, WI Community Centre Rink grounds. 12:30 - 4:00 pm Public skating

Posted by M Knott at 10:26 AM