Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle made the point at the July council meeting that “it is good to set meeting dates with the community when summer residents are here on the islands.” And two community meetings ARE planned with Frontenac County Community Planner Peter Young, to discuss the Townships Zoning ByLaw Update and Mapping along with other issues relevant to each of Howe and Wolfe islands According to Planner Young, the Township is proposing to amend its Zoning By-law to improve the mapping in the by-law, make technical corrections to the by-law, and to implement Official Plan setbacks from water bodies and wetlands. “The Township will also be asking residents how it can improve the by-law in the future, and follow up with a formal public report at the September Council Meeting,” he said.
Meeting dates regarding the Township’s Zoning By Law Update and Mapping along with other issues relevant to each of Howe and Wolfe islands have been confirmed.
The Howe Island community meeting will be held Thursday August 21st at 5:30 pm , and will precede the Howe Island Ratepayers AGM. The Wolfe Island meeting date is Thursday Aug. 14th Sacred Heart School at 6:30 pm. AECOM’s Guy Laporte will also join Planner Young to bring the community up to date about WI’s Landfill site and its future.
The auditor’s for the township reported on the 2013 year financial results. Vicki Leakey, CPA, CA, of the firm KPMG stated that they were able to provide a ‘clean’ audit report, meaning there were no major issues, and all information requested was provided to them. She noted that the taxes receivable at year end of $415,000 had increased by 10% from the prior year. Since the township issues tax bills for some $3.2 million, but remits nearly $2 millions to the county and school boards, it means that this amount was a cash shortfall on the township taxes. Thus the township has to use reserve funds to make up the difference. In the notes to the statements she identified the reserves set aside for specific purposes totalling $3.2 millions for such as dollars for the closing of the waste disposal site, the funds committed to the arena roof, roads, ferries, recreation, and wind investment, etc. She reported that the repair and replacement of the capital assets of the township, mostly roads and equipment, is a concern as the amortization (depreciation) exceeded the additions made last year. This apparently is common throughout the province. Auditor Leakie extended thanks to staff for their good work and cooperation throughout the process.
By-Law Deferrals: A by-law prescribing regulations for fences and gates around privately outdoor pools and another by-law respecting construction, demolition, change of use, permits and inspection were deferred to the September meeting of council.
Motorcycles: Frontenac Islands has submitted a request to MTO that four spaces be designated at the front of the ferry line up for motorcycles, and that the first four park there, and all others line up with the cars. The township is further requesting that the motorcycles be loaded first and parked in each corner below the stairs, in space not useful for cars. MTO made changes to how motorcycles are now being loaded, causing consternation to islanders who have chosen bicycles and motorcycles as their mode of travel to make space available for automobiles, but with the new line up procedure behind cars, they are often left behind and the space not used.
Under other business the question of enforcing Municipal By-law’s/Trailers was on the agenda. However the lateness of the evening allowed little time for discussion and members need time to refresh memory’s and to determine whether they have been lax about it.
Township newsletter: A newsletter will be included with the next tax bill in August. Council meets next: Howe Island, Mon. Aug. 11th.
Around Town: *Handicap washroom in place at WI Information Centre. ** Are YOU on the Voters List? Did you know that our council authorized the use of Internet and Telephone in conjunction with paper ballot for 2014 Municipal Elections. Visit the township website: municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca/?q=township_council Once there look for 2014 Elections. **MPP Sophie Kiwala, will be the guest at the HI Ratepayers Association AGM meeting on August 21st.. ** Come play the lovely WI Riverfront Golf Course. It wintered well and is enjoying a good season.. ** The WI Historical Society has issued its annual journal. Great stories/ pictures. ** The WI Ploughing Match is Sept.13th. Free Space is available for Vendor Market Place. Great opportunity for group fund raising Contact Wilma. ** WI Specimen Collection 8-10am & Wellness Clinics 8:30 - 12:30 pm Friday Aug.1st. ** The dedication of the WI Library to the late Timothy O’Shea. takes place: Sat. August 9th at 10 am. ( Looking for me? If not The Heritage try the Frontenac Gazette)
Coming Events: From the city?? Consider leaving car behind for village events. Walk on ferry.** WI Family Ball Aug. 1. -2nd C at the Community Centre.** Book Sale at WI Boat Club Sat.-Sun. Aug. 2-3. Volunteers needed. **Wolfe Island Music Fest Aug. 8-9th Exciting Time *** Anglican Parish Fish (by M. Mundell) Fry Fund Raiser . St. Margaret’s Hall 4:30-7 pm Take outs ** Barrett Bay Regatta, Sun. Aug. 24th. Check Out events at: www.wolfeisland.com
Wolfe Island Ball Tournament all about Family
Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle welcomed the visit of Frontenac County Warden Bud Clayton to Wolfe Island, where he formally introduced new Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender to council. Mr. Pender acknowledged the warm welcome he has received since assuming the position. “ I look forward to working with you all,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Jones posed two questions to him concerning county issues (prominent in the news) related to high taxation, excessive reserve funds without capital plans or investment strategies, and absenteeism within Frontenac Paramedic Service and Fairmont Home. Jones asked, “what assurances, goals and plan can you offer constituents that these issues will be corrected under your administration,”
In response CAO Pender said, “The first steps have been long term financial planning. In September we will be looking at our asset management plan currently underfunded by $850,000. Part of that discussion is going to be how much county council is going to borrow going forward and establishing parameters around that. With more debt tolerance, the lower your reserves need to be, Having said that, you still need reserves for operating purposes but those decisions county council will make this fall, and as we finalize our long range, debt tolerance, and cash flow balancing, and in that comes lease-buy decision financial planning. As we deal with changes like the province downloading more to us, we will build a model that allows you to see the effects of tax rate changes. Our auditor has recommended that we complete our long range strategic plan as soon as possible.”
“ Regarding absenteeism, since May there has been reporting monthly. What’s reported gets managed. What gets measured, gets managed. While not as much as I , or council, would like to see, we have begun to see a downward trend. That is not to say that legitimate illness is part of the equation .We have made it very clear to management and union that we expect absenteeism will be within ranges that are reasonable within the health industry,” Pender said. “Obviously working in a long term care home there will be a higher absenteeism rate than in an office where one is not in touch with the flu virus for instance.”
Frontenac County CAO Pender & Warden Bud Clayton
The Simcoe Island Lighthouse: Dave Scott, representing the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse Preservation Society, (NMPLPS)was present to ask again that the township acquire the lighthouse in partnership with the NMPLPS who would raise funds to preserve and maintain the site. “DFO is waiting for council’s response, one way or another, to take ownership. The Society has petitioned for a historic designation for the lighthouse, has incorporated as a not for profit organization to raise funds, and will apply for charitable status”. They submitted a business case before the June 13, 2013 date, with the Township listed as the Acquiring Organization, hoping it would be forthcoming.
Scott called upon council to support a resolution confirming its willingness to acquire the Simcoe Island Lighthouse property from Fisheries and Oceans Canada if satisfactory terms of transfer can be negotiated.
“We need your commitment to move forward,” he said. “And time is of the essence.”
A discussion followed among council members, NMPLPS and members of the public who value the lighthouse, and its preservation. Council received the NMPLPS presentation as information, but was not prepared at this time to indicate their willingness to acquire the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse until certain legal contractual and liability obligations plus environmental issues are answered to their satisfaction. There was obvious frustration and some anger among lighthouse supporters with this delay.
A 2nd presentation regarding the Nine Mild Point Lighthouse was made by Mary Miskell, a Simcoe Island summer resident since the late 1970’s. She and her husband purchased the land surrounding the lighthouse from the Crown in 1991. They have a positive relationship with the Coast Guard in maintaining the property and keeping them aware of any difficulties with the structure itself The Miskell’s submitted a Business Plan to DFO in December 2012. and were advised DFO would work with them to develop a more comprehensive plan if there proposal was accepted as more viable. DFO requires proof of funds that show ability to sustain their plan to maintain the lighthouse and property, provide access to the Canadian coast guard, respect the tranquility of Simcoe Island and accommodate public access to the lighthouse. Miskell’s concerns relate to the ferry and policing. Council received the presentation as information.
#Frontenac Islands CAO Darlene Plumley will ask the Federal Government for the availability of a sample (existing) contract for taking over historic sites before seeking legal advice, if required. The CAO will also seek an environmental engineer’s opinion regarding a past report about the site and possible risks going forward. In conversation with Mayor Doyle about the Lighthouse, he noted the fiduciary responsibility council has to understand the issues before proceeding in taking on something that could burden taxpayers and property owners. “It would be irresponsible for us as a Council to make a decision without knowing, and fully understanding what we are getting into.” A case in point the Tourist Centre used to be run by WIBTA (not for profit)group in partnership with the Township. With WIBTA shut down, the Township assumed full responsibility for its costs of operation.
Lots more for next time…
Frontenac Islands announces: Public meetings dates re: Zoning by-law Up Dates & New Mapping
** August 14, 6:30 pm Wolfe Island - Sacred Heart School (to be confirmed) The Wolfe Island meeting includes a 2nd agenda item : a discussion with Guy Laporte regarding the future of the WI Waste Disposal Site.
** August 21, 5:30 pm Howe Island - St. Philomena’s Parish Hall
Event: *Wolfe Island Wind 5th Anniversary event at WI Community Centre 1-5 pm. July 27th.
*** The 2014 Opening of the Stone Heron Gallery for the summer season at the Wolfe Island Community Hall brought together local artisans including Kim Woodman, Jan Fitch, Linda Sutherland, Debra Krakow and Pat Sanford owner/operator the Gallery, among many others, displaying watercolour, oil and acrylic painting, wood carving, fine metal work, glass and more.
**Book Signing Authors at the WI Gallery Opening:
Author, Jennifer DeBruin UE signing “Shadows in the Trees”
Author, Tudor Robins signing her Wolfe Island inspired “Appaloosa Summer,” a book for young adults.
**The Wolfe Island Classic Road Race saw more than 300 participants of every age come out to Run or Walk in the 5k- 10k race to raise funds in support of the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic . The Clinic operates through donations, fund raising and with some assistance from the township. The Clinic important to the island.
**The 2-day Wolfe Island Round Up an exciting cowboy competition was held at the WI Community Centre grounds. A round up involves two riders, sorting a handful of cattle. Many teams were on hand Sounds easy? Teamwork is what it’s all about. Have a look at: Facebook @ Wolfe Island Round Up.
Wolfe Island has a lot of things going for it. One of them is Big Sandy Bay, a 404 –hectare day-use Management Area with its environmentally sensitive, rare coastal ecology identified as an area of Natural and Scientific Interest. Many people know it only as having a beautiful and secluded sand beach. However BSB is also all about conservation, a place where provincial and regionally significant birds, rare trees and rare plant species flourish at the beach/dune complex reached by way of 1.3 km walking trail through wetlands and woodlands..
This year the Kingston Field Naturalists held their 16th annual BioBlitz at (BSB) Big Sandy Bay where with its variety of habitats, provides living space for a diversity of plants and animals. And sixty-six field observers including 6 children spread over the BSB property from 2:00 pm Friday, June 13 to 2:00 pm Saturday, June 14 collecting information and identifying plants, butterflies, frogs, birds, moths, dragon flies, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
The idea for the BioBlitz, (described as an biodiversity inventory of as many living things as can be identified within a 24 hour period) came originally from the Canadian Biodiversity Institute. This BSB event was open to the general public.
Among the participants was Wolfe Island’s own Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Barrie Gilbert a member of the BSB Stewardship Committee. Dr.Gilbert lobbied with the Kingston Field Naturalists to hold their 16th BioBlitz on the island at Big Sandy Bay having received permission from the Township of Frontenac Islands.
“ On the day of the BioBlitz at Big Sandy Bay I was also allowed use of the BSB Kawasaki “Mule” to ferry people out to Bear Point and to carry my canoe and launch it for folks going around Black Lake.” he said. Barrie also noted that a fish biologist attending the event said she had seined and released 5 species of fish: sticklebacks, yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, killifish and Northern pike. “A few people saw and photographed a Least Bittern in the cattails, a species listed by MNR as ‘Threatened’. There were bank swallow nests and birds; a Blanding's Turtle on road, travelling to a nest site perhaps (this turtle takes 25years to mature and may live to 75 years in the wild); and a rare Upland Sandpiper, all recorded,” he concluded.
Interesting to note that BSB habitats include wetlands (including the bog on Black Lake), woodlands and open areas (including the dunes, beach and grasslands on Bear Point). The BSB event included marsh monitoring, moth baiting, bat observations, owl calling along with some sky gazing as well as fishing were part of the BSB event. Night time activities allowed the addition of those species more active after dark. Special permission was granted for overnight camping at the Base area.
Guided walks were available to the participants on a variety of natural history themes throughout the event for those wishing to participate and learn about the ecology of the area, according to Anne Robertson, coordinator of this year’s BioBlitz. Topics included bird identification and snake hunting as well as moth, butterfly and dragonfly listing. Specially adapted beach plants were also discussed. Anne noted several other special sightings of species including the Least Bittern Bobolink and the Southern Arrow-wood and High-bush Blueberry , found growing.
“The best dragonfly was judged to be the Painted Skimmer and the best butterfly the Arctic Skipper. The masses of Ground beetles found in the pitfall traps were astounding. Tree frogs were the dominant sounding frog in the evening together with the Willow Flycatcher and Swamp sparrow in the wet areas,” she said.
“We had very good attendance, good weather, an interesting location and lots of fun while collecting information for this twenty four hour record of the biodiversity of the area.” A BBQ was held at noon on Saturday and prizes were presented for answering quiz questions.
All observed species were noted from the very common and invasive to those on endangered species lists. Plants varying in size from trees and shrubs to grasses, sedges and other flowering herbaceous species were added to the tally. Altogether, it is estimated that between 400 and 500 species were recorded for this one day inventory of the Big Sandy Bay property. For further information Kingston Field Naturalists Contact Anne Robertson 613 389 6742 or email@example.com Visit Big Sandy Bay: municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca/?q=big_sandy_bay
Around the Township:* Township wood chipping is now completed. * Road work under way with dust control happening. *WI’s Stone Heron Gallery a wonderful place to visit as is Craft &Gift Shop . Both at WI Community Hall.*Plans underway to honour the late, long time WI Reeve Tim O’Shea. Dedication Ceremony of the WI Library at 10 am Aug. 9th. **Until Sept. 9th the Dangerous Goods schedule reduced to one run Tuesday’s at 11 am (then back to 2 per week). *WI Tourist Info. Centre Open 9-5 pm daily to Labour Day.
Coming events:** Ambush Concert and Fund Raiser , WI Community Centre July 18th, 8 pm. Check WI Community Centre on Face Book **Date for Barrett Bay Regatta, Sun. Aug.24th To register: http://www.wolfeislandboatclub.ca… **The 3rd Annual Wolfe Island Fibre Fest! September 13 & 14, 2014