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.

March 27, 2015
Frontenac Islands Budget Deliberations Call for Major Decisions

Frontenac Islands many budget meetings provided the opportunity for those requesting consideration for specific projects, community boards or events to do so. Wolfe Island Community Centre Board (CCB) member Paul Hogan and Howe Island’s Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Quinn were among them.
1. With Paul Hogan much of the discussion revolved around WI’s artificial ice pad and the annual Music Festival. It is expected that the CCB expenditures for 2015 (rink, ball diamonds, shed, etc. ) will total some $107,423, with revenues coming from user fees. Donations and the net of fundraising/costs will be placed in reserves. No decision was made with regard to the rink-roof-loan repayment, (a $600,000 grant was applied for; $445,000 was received) although a payment of $200,000 was suggested. The roof cost $542,069. To date there have been interest charges and interest earned on the loan. That will change when repayment begins. Further, with the CCB now fully a part of township operations, all funds formerly held by them ($271,755) mostly donations, user fees and fundraising, were transferred to the municipality as recommended by the auditors.
In an interesting discussion Mayor Doyle spoke of the merits of heavy curtains around the rink to cut wind and snow thus providing better rink and less electricity use. The Mayor believes that since the rink loan was “half a million” and given the low interest rate (and public opinion), it might be better to buy and install the curtains ($90,000) and put the remainder of the loan toward the loan. Councillor Grant favoured returning the unused portion of the loan to the lender to reduce the debt and save or borrow for curtains. Councillor Springgay and Paul Hogan both members of the CCB want quotes for the coverings but no installation until 2016.
Hogan also brought forward a number of options regarding services and maintenance related to the Community Centre grounds and facility, presently done by volunteers or contracted out. He suggested using a township employee and charging the CCB budget. That approach would require the purchase of an industrial mower for overall township use.
**Before formalising the amount to be repaid from the loan for the rink roof, the approximate cost of curtains and for painting and rust proofing the facility will be determined.
With regard to Music Fest, Hogan said that the financial benefit for the event as a fund raiser is about $10,000 , and is very labour intensive for island volunteers, thus runs the risk of their burnout. The Question :Are there other options such as renting out ? C.A.O. Plumley will research options with Music Fest organizers.

2. Howe Island Fire Department Budget.
Chief Quinn provided a summary of the communications issues (in particular pagers-phones etc.) all due to frequency changes facing the municipality related to Ambulance, Police and Fire intercommunication. He also identified increased expenses for a tower relocation and rental fees and additional Bell lines. Vehicle maintenance cost reductions were identified with a long term strategy being developed for their replacement, to be provided to Council for comment.

3. At a March 18th budget meeting an intense review of the Howe Island ferry budget was undertaken and amended with reductions in lubrication, fuel costs and increased spending for its inspection by a marine engineer.

There was discussion regarding MacDonald Park, a boat ramp,(for and against); a revamped possibly re-located Community Garden; Bleachers at the WI Community Centre. Staff will purchase :* a wireless portable sound system; arrange a meeting with XKG re status of Maryville Waterworks EA project. And finally,
*Council hopes to present the 2015 Budget at the monthly Frontenac Islands Council Meeting April 13th Howe Island.6:30 pm.

Coming Events: Saving Feral Cats meeting Sun. April 12th WI Town Hall 1pm. WI Classic 5-10 k races Sun. July 5th,. Online registration @Running Room soon. Check
Around Town: * Breaks in the ice here and there. * Concerns about Wolfe Islander 3 leaving. The sooner gone, the sooner back one can only hope. * The WI Photo Contest returns ! Its all about the Island, 4×6 Photos will be received at the WI Tourist Office from June. 1st- Aug. 15th . (3)Age groups: Children 10 & under; Youth 11-17; Adults:18 & over . For 3 categories: Watch for Poster… Check * May this Blessed Easter Season be a time of Peace, Joy and Love for you and your families.… Alleluia! MK

Posted by M Knott at 10:30 AM
March 22, 2015
Frontenac Islands plans for Fuel Depot

The closure of Mosier’s Gas outlet, the only one on Wolfe Island (WI) has left many islanders strapped for gas. Larger users have personal tanks at their farms, homes and businesses. Residents however have little choice but to travel to the city, using up space on the ferry to have tanks and extra containers filled for mowers, snow blowers, 2nd vehicles, etc., a situation which will only get worse when the Wolfe Islander is replaced by the smaller Frontenac 2 and as the very important tourist season begins and our cottagers return. The good news is that Frontenac Islands CAO Plumley has submitted a funding application (Eastern Ontario Development Program Application) to the Community Futures Development Corporation . The application proposes a lease agreement to house a Card/Lock System for fuel distribution at the WI Municipal Public Works location. The importance of this initiative is seen by the township as a means to sustain, improve and grow Wolfe Island’s economy. (Also an important initiative for ferry demand management.)
And speaking of transportation demand management, a resident at the meeting suggested that who may use the MTO parking lot at the Kingston ferry dock needs not only to be clarified but to be monitored. He also suggested a need for much more MTO parking not only for islanders but for guests going to Marysville.

2. At the March Frontenac Islands council meeting where AECOM’s Guy LaPorte brought news concerning the planned closure of the WI Landfill site (Sept 2015.) and its importance instead as a recycling depot and waste transfer station, he also brought news of the DeBruin Farms organic waste diversion program (brought to the attention of council last year by Kenny Godin.) LaPorte said that with the quick turn around to amend the site’s Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), he has prepared an addendum to the operation plan to allow the waste diversion process to move forward. Godin, responsible for collection and delivery of organic waste to DeBruins already has the extra large bins ready to be put in place at the site. A list of items, acceptable and unacceptable for the bins will be available soon. The program is considered easy to implement and important for the community. FYI Mayor Doyle, Frontenac County Warden has been appointed to the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) Waste Management Task Force as the County Caucus elected representative. Mayor Doyle acknowledged that a lot was going on with regard to waste management at the county level and through the Eastern Ont. Wardens Conference (EOWC) and the province at AMO.. “The hope of EOWC is to work together on a long term collective approach to waste management.
3. Other Business:**Councillor Grant that Half Load Restrictions signs be put in place. Councillor Springgay requests seasonal vehicle /equipment inspections to avoid unexpected breakdowns/costs. *Councillor Higgs wants ongoing monitoring of the Howe Island east side bubbler system and to help remove ice the purchase of a small, support armed backhoe for the ferry. Deputy Mayor Nossal and Councillor Higgs will work together as a Township Ferry committee to determine needs and life expectancy of equipment and plan to communicate with constituents through a Howe Island newsletter.*CAO Plumley clarified that the mandate for the new Frontenac Islands Parks & Recreation Committee for all township facilities. is not yet completed.
Around Town: * A number of WI’s are caring for feral cats and are hoping to have a spay/neuter mobile come to the island through the Kingston Spay/Neuter Coalition. If interested in being part of the newly organized WI committee, call me, Jana Mills, (613-385-2792) re line “feral cats”. or Linda Thomas (613)385-1947. They are planning to apply for grants and funding. “We need to identify the Feral Cat Colonies.” ** Did you know the Canadian Plowing Championships will held on Wolfe Island August 26-29th Pyke View Meadow Farm on Road #95 Those days will include Conventional, Reversible and Junior Plowing. Linda Green is the contact for accommodation: 613-385-1210. * How amazing to watch the snow banks disappearing so quickly and it seems they are melting right into the ground. **Thanks to the Women’s Institutes (both) for the Wonderful St. Patricks Day Luncheon, to Ken Keyes the master of ceremonies, to Joyce and Special Thanks to James Kirkham for the antics, singing and laughter he provided.
Coming events:1. Social Media Workshop Thursday, March 26th 6:30pm - 8:00pm in UTC+09 —2.Restoring Grassland Biodiversity: A talk about the Birds & Bees on Wolfe Island sponsored by the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation. Thurs. March 26th, 7pm at the United WI United Church Hall.— 3. Seniors Housing Meeting , Mon. March 30th 1pm, WI Community Hall. Please Plan on Attending.— 4. Check out Shanti Retreat .

Posted by M Knott at 10:16 AM
March 18, 2015
Busy Days, Major Issues, Transportation Concerns Face Frontenac Islands

The first order of business at the March meeting of Frontenac Islands Township Council was the swearing in of Mr. Bruce Higgs recently elected as a Councillor in a By-election for the Howe Island ward. The seat was left vacant with the resignation of David Jones. Councillor Higgs was welcomed by all members of council and the public.
2. Landfill Site: Guy Laporte / AECOM and and Caitlin Cook/ Golder Associates attended the March meeting to present the 2014 Wolfe Island Disposal and Ground/Surface water monitoring reports. Both reports indicated that the site ( monitored continuously since 1994) is generally operating in compliance with its certificate of approval, and in terms of ground water quality is in compliance with MOE Guidelines.
Laporte also updated council regarding the (2015) closure of the site and the application submitted July 14, 2014 to amend its site’s Environmental Compliance Approval, for a waste transfer station, The Township had determined that the site would take no waste after April 30, 2015 and would be capped by August 2015. (A public meeting to discuss recycling strategy, a Landfill Closure Plan and waste transfer Information was held in August 2014.)

“Processing of the application is going much faster than anticipated,” Laporte acknowledged. “The MOE reviewer has issued a draft ECA accepting everything that was submitted, including the proposed April 30th closure date which is not feasible now, and closing in summer is not desirable.” Guy will recommend a new closing date of September 8 (right after Labour Day) to MOE .A September closing is necessary to ensure re-vegetation of the site before winter.” An extension would require further MOE and neighbouring property owner approval according to Laporte.

3. Last year the White’s (Rob & Erin) held a successful ‘1st Wolfe Island Round-UP’ . Plans are underway for a similar event July 3-5th. With concerns about ferry service (Frontenac II) at that time, their request to council was for priority boarding for trailers (20+ last year), Friday July 3rd 2 trailers per trip, 9:30 am to 2pm; 1 during am-pm commuter times; 2 after 8 pm. Going home, July 5th-, 1 trailer per trip. The White’s offered this request as a way of reducing wait times, moving trailers in non busier times, and in support of Round Up. (MTO welcomes ideas to reduce congestion) . CAO PLumley will compile a list of those who have been granted priority boarding status for MTO.

4. WI resident Jarda Zaborovsky requested Water Delivery Service to Wolfe Island residents. The township offered little hope of such a service but will research the liability issues concerning the request.

Increasing concern over Ferry Transportation led to major council decisions at Budget Meeting March 11th
1. Frontenac Island Council is calling upon Transport Canada to harmonize the definitions of a short run ferry to align at 5 km found in the Shipping Act for making risk assessments for hazardous goods . “What that’s all about is that Transport Canada has two different documents . One says 5km, the other 3.5km. We want to change it back to 5 km on both documents to end the confusion. MP Ted Hsu has been working with us on this,” Mayor Doyle said. The idea is that this would allow MTO to exclude the winter dock from that restriction when the propane gas trucks are on board, and the township would further encourage MTO to allow for an additional 25 persons when the ferry is at the summer dock where the run is greater than 5km.
2. A petition is being prepared for presentation to the House of Commons, by Ted Hsu M.P., that Transport Canada harmonize the definitions of short-run ferry with the Canadian Ferry Operators Assn and Frontenac Islands Township. This again relates to the 5km distance which regulates the transport of hazardous goods on the ferry .
3. The Township of Frontenac Islands is calling upon the Province of Ontario to deem the Wolfe Island Ferry an Essential Service. This in anticipation of a labour withdrawal and the move to the Frontenac II with a 35 vehicle capacity service while the Wolfe Islander III is in drydock, already reducing service by 20 vehicles. Combined with the loss of two round trip runs a week for “dangerous goods” the service would be significantly reduced and create very serious if not dangerous social and economic hardship for the island community. Next Budget Meeting March 18th 4:30 pm Wolfe Island
Coming Events:* Social Media/Technology a fun workshop Hosted by Marysville Public School Parent Council,
Thursday, March 26th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm in UTC+09, 53 Victoria Street, *Restoring Grassland Biodiversity, Biologist Kyle Breault talks about the Birds & Bees on WI (tall grass projects) hosted by Frontenac Stewardship Foundation, March 26th WI United Church 7 pm Contact 385-2289.**WI Classic 5-10K Check it out at the Running room.

Posted by M Knott at 11:05 AM
March 05, 2015
Wolfe Islander III Slated for Servicing in April - What then?

You heard it on the new. There was an ad in the newspaper. Its come up on face book. And now you will read it here. A new urgent approach to reducing vehicular traffic on the Wolfe Island ferry has been announced,
The Wolfe Islander III must go into dry dock for its mandatory 5–year refit, to be replaced in the interim by the much smaller Frontenac 11. Already facing insufficient ferry capacity for present traffic levels, islanders are in various states of anger and panic.
The departure date of the Wolfe Islander is the first week of April to return the end of June. Its departure is dependant upon on weather, ice issues, or dry dock delays, according to MTO.
Looking at the calendar , that means the ferry will/could be gone more than 12 weeks, rather than returning after the six weeks (before the May long weekend) as was initially presumed. As in the past during the Wolfe Islander’s absence, the Frontenac II ferry from Amherst Island will go into service at Wolfe Island. Water levels will dictate whether it will operate from the village dock in Marysville or the island’s Dawson Point winter dock.. However at this time MTO does believe it will operate from the winter dock as it has done in the past. Of course that’s not there is to think about.

The Wolfe Islander is a 55 car ferry, built and launched into service at Wolfe Island in 1976. It’s passenger capacity is 294 plus crew as compared with the Frontenac II’s smaller capacity of 35 cars and 276 passengers. (FYI: The smaller Quinte Loyalist, a boat from the Glenora Ferry Service will serve Amherst Island during this same period.)

Islanders know that the ferry must be serviced. Each time it has gone to dry dock, it has always come back improved in one way or another. The refit this time will include a new, larger bridge according to MTO. All wonderful, but it does nothing to increase capacity or decrease waiting times between ferries. New regulations regarding ‘Dangerous Goods’ transport reduced the number of ferry trips carrying vehicles. Our tourist attractions bring increasing numbers of visitors to the island, golf, corn maze, boat club, horse/agricultural/special events, wind towers, Big Sandy Bay, the important American connection at Horne’s, Community Centre (Rink), shops, restaurants etc., all good by the way, but the Wolfe Islander is unable to meet present demands. The smaller “boat”, the Frontenac II, will mean even longer wait times as it has much less capacity. But what to do?
During the last few years a WI island transportation committee encouraged residents to park at the Sacred Heart Church lot during the week and walk on the ferry if they are able. Or to park a car in the city permanently if it is needed to get to work and walk or bike as an alternative to waiting in a long line up on the island. In other words, it was “a leave your car behind, reduce traffic and walk/bike on to the ferry” approach already.
The present MTO Demand Management group, which includes Frontenac Islands CAO Plumley, has been looking at ways to further reduce ferry traffic line ups. An urgent approach to reducing vehicular traffic on the Wolfe Island ferry was announced: the recent campaign, “Wolfe Island Residents: Stay Calm, Walk/Bike on” encourages islanders not only to park vehicles, bike or walk on the ferry, but to use the BUS when they get to Kingston. Transit Service is available near the Kingston Ferry dock, and the good news is that a new Express Route 601/602 begins May 4th (daytime week day every 15 minutes; weekends- evenings 30 minutes.) with bus stops at the Ferry Terminal, and across from the Rogers K-Rock Centre. Information is posted at
As a small incentive to use the bus, two transit coupons (redeemable at Fargo’s for tickets) are to be made available for Islanders inviting them to ‘Take Kingston Transit’ to commute to work or their Kingston destination.’
Make no mistake, ferry capacity is already stretched “to the max”. A new ferry is years away. Think the Frontenac II. (and imagine a strike.) There is not enough parking space at Dawson point, or in the village There is no public transportation on the island. There is an excellent Paramedic Service with priority. So… Islanders can do no more than ‘Park, Ride, Stay Calm and Give the Bus a Try’…

Around Town: * Winter Fest was wonderful. Great Chili. Thanks to Frontenac players for spending time with us. Proud we are to show off the Rink…. * Bird feeders empty pretty quickly these days. How beautiful the birds look against the pure white snow. * Our Claire in Marysville who is enthusiastic about her new Bluetooth hearing aids wants to encourage others to find out about them.
Coming Events: Shanti Retreat Opens for Spring Season in April. Check

Posted by M Knott at 08:09 AM