Wolfe Island’s use of Amherst Island’s ferry, the Frontenac II while the Wolfe Islander III is in dry-dock has caused a ripple effect across the islands and at Glenora where only one ferry is in operation throughout the busy tourist season. (However, there are alternate routes.) But Amherst Island is suffering, operating as they are with Glenora’s Quinte Loyalist as a side loader pending future dock work. The smaller ferry size, along with the attached pedestrian cabin reduces the number of trailers, and vehicles able to board the ferry.
Amherst Island, like Wolfe Island has an annual Music Festival, called The Emerald Island Festival held this year Aug. 7th -8th -9th at a 100 acre Amherst Island farm with 600 feet of breathtaking waterfront facing the north channel of Lake Ontario. The music includes a large range of styles, Country, Celtic, Blue Grass and 50’s Rock and Roll. As one island resident put it, “The Emerald Music Festival will be whammied by the size limits of the ferry we now use - most trailers will be unable to cross. But please come. All the groups are booked and paid for. Bring your lawn chairs, your coolers and your visitors. Check out the Emerald Music Festival web site.
2. **And speaking of the annual Wolfe Island Music Festival (Friday Aug. 7th & Saturday Aug.8th), All is in place for a sell out weekend. and another incredible festival with four separate stages on Friday night, and the main stage in full swing on Saturday. Camping, Vendors, Food and Music. Extra Friday and Saturday evening shuttle bus runs from Dawson Point have begun. Check the schedule (wolfe island.com). This year once again, the Music Festival has hired an Express Boat with Free Passage included with each Wolfe Island Music Festival Pass beginning Aug. 7th leaving on the half hour till 12:30 from the Kingston (opposite the Frontenac II ferry dock) beginning at 5:30p.m. and also Saturday Aug. 8th beginning at 12:30 pm. (The Express Boat departs Wolfe Island on the hour Friday from 6 pm to 1am which is a new extra run.) Welcome…
3.** FYI Regarding the Wolfe Islander III: According to MTO steel was ordered before the ferry left for the dry-dock where the contract, tendered in 2014 included having the wheel house pre-built in the months of January to March, ready when the ferry arrived in April. The wheel house plans were sent to a third party approval agent in November, for under a new Transport Canada process. The tender closed in December and was awarded in early January 2015. According to MTO Transport Canada has implemented new inspection and approval processes for the marine industry across Canada with the Wolfe Islander the first of MTO’s vessels subject to them, and, as with any new procedures, there was some delay in approvals. The contractor received the approved wheelhouse plans March 24, 2015 and little construction was undertaken before the ferry arrived April 9th thus delaying completion of the dry-dock contract (originally anticipated for the end of June) now hoped for September..
4,** Card Lock Fueling is coming to Wolfe Island. Since that dreadful day Mosier’s Service Centre announced the closure of their gas pumps on the Main Street of Marysville, Island residents have travelled to the city for gas for their vehicles, lawn mowers, boats etc. Many families now have personal tanks on their properties. But the questioned remained, what to do? A committee was formed. A survey was done. A need was demonstrated. Interest was sparked in moving forward but how.? Public meetings were held. The Township became involved and finally it was decided the Township would move forward, spend money and enter into an agreement with McKeown and Wood Fuels to offer “ Folks on the Island the ability to fuel their vehicles offering them a quality of life enhancement, lessen traffic on the ferry, and satisfy needs of visitors..
Supplying fuel is in keeping the townships broad vision to provide infrastructure and public services to accommodate growth and long term economic prosperity.” The automated fuel system location at at the Municipal Public Works Yard 1516 Road 96 will be operated by McKeown and Wood Fuels Ltd. Remote monitoring technology will ensure there are no environmental impact concerns. A flyer describing the two ways to access fuel and payment procedures (credit card, setting up an account) was sent to all households. For more information contact township: 613-385-2216
Around Town:* Diverse Opinions about Feral Cats of Wolfe Island. More about that next time. * Three extra Shuttle bus trips Friday and Sat. only (no dogs allowed) Marysville to Dawson Point dock:10:20 pm. 11:20 pm & 1 am; & from Dawson Point dock to Marysville:10:40 pm, 12:00 & 1:15 am… “ Nurse Practitioner Sparrow Tuesdays 2:30 -6 pm, Thursdays 9 am-11:30, WI Medical Clinic. *Changes continue at dump. *Question asked: How come no one selling stuff at winter dock???
Coming Events: Coming Events: Fish Fry St. Margaret’s Hall July 31st , 4:30- 7:00 pm Adults $15.00 Take Out. Cash only at the door.*WI Music Festival Aug.7-8 Check website * Specimen Collection Aug. 7th *John Sands Concert, WI United Church Sun Aug. 9th $10. Barret Bay Regatta Aug. 16th Check WI boat Club on Facebook ** Have you taken a picture yet for Photo Contest?
The July 13th date arrived and with it as promised, news of the Wolfe Islander III from MTO. Not the news Wolfe Islanders , (Amherst or Glenora for that matter) wanted to hear announced within minutes of receipt of a press release, says it will instead return, “the week following Labour Day….”
That of course means much of the tourist season so important to Wolfe Island Businesses, the success of events, recreational activities, festivals, galleries, historical sites, local craft sales and the, not often mentioned Riverfront Golf Course, the Corn Maze, WI Wind Farm and Horne’s Ferry to the USA will continue to be affected by the delay in the ferry’s return one way or another….. But the ferry’s delay in returning might lead MTO to put in place, further creative ways to bring visitors to the island. How about Kingston Trolley buses going to Marysville as part of their route occasionally.
Frontenac Island’s Mayor Denis Doyle is discouraged with the delay and broken promises. “While I don’t want to dwell on this setback, we were concerned when told by MTO the ferry inspection would be done in the spring of 2015 not in the fall of 2014. We insisted the ferry had to be back for the May long weekend. A new bridge for the ferry was to be built during the winter and be ready for installation when the ferry arrived in Hamilton and the old bridge was cut off,” he said. On a visit to the drydock June 2nd Mayor Doyle noted very little bridge work and was told the steel required had not been ordered prior to the ferry’s arrival. “None the less it was hoped the ferry would be back in service by the end of June, or the July long weekend, then mid July and a week ago the end of July, in time for Family Ball, and Music Fest the next weekend. “You can appreciate our disappointment when informed , not to expect the Wolfe Islander until after Labour day. We don’t know what to believe.”
Doyle noted that with MTO’s track record of not meeting any project dates, the greater concern is with the EA for a new 75 car ferry, confirmed by MTO in Aug. 2014, and now underway with a consultant hired to carry it out. “It took until late June to get that far, and now they are saying 18 to 24 months to complete. We will continue to lobby for the 18 month time frame (early 2017) with a new ship by 2018. Mayor Doyle commented that islanders can’t wait much longer. Previous studies over the last 20 years have shown the Wolfe Islander is under capacity. “We will try to stay positive and work with the province to speed up the EA for the new ferry and to get over this latest, delayed return of the ferry from Hamilton.
2. The Wolfe Island Waste site will close September 8, 2015 It will be capped and seeded before the ground freezes. Beginning Sept. 9th bagged waste (no loose garbage permitted) must be deposited in waste bins. … if it doesn’t fit into a bag, it doesn’t go in the bin. The Township urges residents to reduce, reuse and recycle to reduce the amount of garbage going into the bins. Take advantage of the Organic Compost Bins at the waste site - thus reducing the amount of waste that needs to be transferred (off the island). Countertop Organic Waste Containers can be purchased at the Waste Site or Township office*As of August 15, 2015, shingles can no longer be disposed of at the waste site. ** Brush will only be accepted on Saturdays from 10 am until 5 pm.
3. During this busy summer season and in the absence of Dr. Deanna Russell the WI Community Medical Clinic is offering a Summer Walk-In” Clinic with Nurse Practitioner (NP) Bonnie Sparrow 2 half days a week, Tuesdays: 2:30 – 6:00pm & Thursdays: 9-11:30am.( June 30 until September 3) Canadians of all ages can be seen by a NP without interfering with the doctor to whom they may be rostered. American summer residents are welcome and are encouraged to make use of this (no charge) service. NP’s can diagnose illness and injuries, perform physical check-ups, order and interpret diagnostic tests, provide treatment, order procedures, refer clients to other health care professionals, prescribe medications and provide care to individuals of all ages, Manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, COPD and asthma
*The Medical Clinic bears all costs associated with Bonnie running this service, so there is no charge to see her and no charges to the Ontario Health Care system. The WI Medical Clinic Board encourages you to visit Bonnie have a health issue. To offset some of thecost to the clinic, donations are graciously accepted.
4. Laurie Hogan, daughter of Sharon and Owen Hogan is is at the Pan Am games participating as a Judge for the Men’s Field Hockey Team. Her love of the game began at Regiopols Notre Dame in the 90’s where she played for 5-years. During that time she started a league at the new dome complex that included girls from Regi and local high schoools. She also played Varsity Field Hockey during her 4 years at Carleton and remained active at the Canadian University level for the next 11 years. The Canadian Association felt she was ready for the international level and nominated her as an official with Pan Am federation and accepted in the fall of 2014. In May, Laurie attended a 3-day conference for judges from North and South America and the Caribbean held in Los Angeles. Exciting Times Laurie.
Coming Events: Fish Fry St. Margaret’s Hall July 31st , 4:30- 7:00 pm Adults $15.00 Take Out. Cash only at the door.*WI Music Festival Aug.7-8 Check website *John Sands Concert, WI United Church Sun Aug. 9th $10. Barret Bay Regatta Aug. 16th Check WI boat Club on Facebook ** Have you taken a picture yet for Photo Contest?
Wolfe Islands Tourist season is now fully Open for Business with island events and activities coming up weekly. Canada Day has come and gone…along with the US Independence Day weekend. Registration for the annual (August) Family Ball Tournament was held last week.. The Stone Heron Gallery opening hosted by owner Pat Sanford was a beautiful success. The gallery is open for the season as is the WI Information Centre. A Strawberry Social and a Canada Day Pancake Breakfast were held. The Pancake Breakfast offered WI’s Ken Keyes the opportunity to promote the Canadian Plowing Championship to be held on Wolfe Island prior to Frontenac County’s Anniversary festivities. And for WI’s Jim VandenHoek, vice chair of the County’s Anniversary Committee, to encourage attendance and participation at Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith, August 28th – 30th. www.FrontenacCounty.ca/150.
And, as the interest in horse events on the island gains momentum, the 2nd annual “Round Up” was held last week, as was the 35th Annual 5k-10k road race/walk in support of the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. .
The Boat Club has a full roster of programs, a book sale on the go, and their 10th annual wind & water festival takes place Aug. 16th. Bicycle rentals are available. The WI Historical Society welcomes visitors at the Old House Museum. The Wolfe Island Music Festival is eagerly anticipated as is the Ball Tournament and, of course, there is Big Sandy Bay, the Corn Maze, & the Wind Towers. Cyclists take advantage of the island’s rural roads and visitors enjoy travel on Horne’s ferry, going to and coming from Cape Vincent NY. And so it goes. One thing after another. AND…… of course everyone loves THE WOLFE ISLAND RIVERFRONT GOLF COURSE
2. It is a difficult summer for Wolfe Island businesses with the ferry service operating from the winter dock at Dawson Point until the return of the Wolfe Islander III. But the Ministry of Transportation(MTO) has provided shuttle bus services, increased its hours of operation, and has provided extra amenities at the dock as well. The Frontenac II is fast and, in spite of extra time involved in loading (to maximize its use), operates on time, but there are long lineups.
However it is the fact that the ferry is NOT operating from the Marysville dock that has village business owners and community event coordinators deeply concerned, particularly at this time when water levels are high enough.
MTO answers why not: “MTO has received inquiries from residents and others pertaining to water level and the ferry service,” according to MTO’s Brandy Duhaime, Regional Communications Coordinator, in reference to an MTO release that indicates the water level at the Marysville dock has increased by about seven inches in the past three weeks. “However, as in past years, the levels are expected to decrease into July and August,” she said. “Due to concerns expressed by the Wolfe Islander III captains regarding water levels and safely docking in Marysville, and the Ministry’s responsibility for offering a safe service, the Frontenac II will continue to dock at Dawson Point until the return of the Wolfe Islander III from dry-dock, anticipated the last week of July with possible confirmation by Monday, July 13th. If we risk docking the Frontenac II at Marysville and happen to damage this boat, there are no other ferries available to service the island while the Wolfe Islander is at dry-docking,” according to the MTO release.
But MTO is also aware of business loss concerns due to the ferry docking at Dawson Point raised by Marysville business owners. The ministry has a business loss claims policy and advises business owners wishing to discuss it to contact: Nancy Sinclair, Head of Property at 613- 545-4739.
**Further to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Regular Passengers: MTO was issued a Temporary Department of Transport (D.O.T.) Certificate valid until June 30, 2017, allowing regular traffic/passengers on ferry trips with gas trucks to begin when ALL D.O.T. conditions have been met. (Heritage July 2nd) MTO can not commit to a specific date for the first run carrying dangerous goods and regular passengers. MTO will provide a one week notice before it begins on the existing Thursday schedule. Wolfe Island ferry operating costs have been consistent for the last 2 years at $4.8 millions which includes staffing, fuel and other related costs.
Around Town:**Fr. de Souza, Pastor Sacred Heart Church, appointed Chair of External Advisory Committee (EAC) on religious freedom advising to the Office of Religious Freedom, Office of Foreign Affairs.** Lots of activity at the WI Land Fill as preparation for its closure and change to transfer site continues.** Work underway for gas tanks.
Coming Events:* John Sands concert at the Wolfe Island United Church August 9 at 7:00 p.m. His keyboard expertise allows him to create musical moods that foster peace and gladness. Reception. Tickets $10. For information: Margaret Pyke 613 385-2900.