Recently Wolfe Islanders received a notice from the township in their mail boxes, issued June 27th, about the upcoming long weekend, commencing with Canada Day on Friday July 1st, and the events that that will take place on the island that will be over when you read this. The reason for the notice, while extolling the events, had more to do with the ferry service and what we were to expect as a result. It called for our patience during the busy weekend and for all to enjoy what the weekend had to offer.
The Canada Weekend is to include a ‘Pancake Breakfast’ on Canada Day, itself July 1st, and the 3rd annual Wolfe Island ‘Round Up’ on July 2nd and 3rd. The notice reminded us that the trailers coming for the ‘Roundup’ would begin arriving on the Friday a.m. ferry throughout the remainder of the day, with one given priority each trip from Kingston, and on the Sunday the ferry would be busy transporting trailers home.
Much more was planned for the weekend with a “Dance under the Rink Roof,” our wonderful winter skating facility with ‘Little California’ slated to play. And of course on Sunday July 3rd there is the Annual 37th Wolfe Island Classic 5-10 k road race which will draw hundreds of people to the island, all encouraged to leave behind cars (if they can) and to walk onto the ferry that lands in Marysville where the race begins. And of course it is also the American long weekend which means friends and family coming to their island cottages from far and wide via the Wolfe Islander III and via Horne’s Ferry from Cape Vincent.
Also on the same date June 27th, a notice was issued about ferry boarding etiquette particularly when travelling from Wolfe Island to Kingston. On Wolfe Island, Marysville’s delineated ferry line extends along the northerly limits of Road #96 and is identified for the exclusive use of vehicles waiting to board the ferry. Vehicles are not to block driveways or intersections and are required to pull up to pavement hash marks directly behind the last vehicle in line closest to the front of the ferry line leaving no space vacant for someone to slip into. Summer students direct ferry traffic in the line. However, the line up is not visible from one end to the other and requires the cooperation of all who join it at its northerly end, wherever it is . The exceptions of course are medical emergencies and specific boarding priorities.
Expectations were high following last summer’s ferry service crisis and late return of the Wolfe Islander to Marysville. So with the importance of summer for tourism, business and development to Wolfe Island, the island welcomes tourists, guests, travellers and workers, coming and going whether by car, bike, walking , or service vehicle in ever increasing numbers causing some delay and longer wait times. What was forgotten since then, is that we lacked ferry capacity with the Wolfe Islander long before last summer, (initiating the present WI docking and ferry EA), and we are lacking capacity so much more Now… Amherst Island has been promised a new ferry sooner than later. Maybe when that happens the Frontenac II could operate along with the Wolfe Islander III to provide some of that much needed extra capacity for the Island. In the mean time, expect delays, be patient, listen to the summer students and as always, Welcome to Wolfe Island..
Frontenac Islands June Council meeting was held on Howe Island. Always a pleasure to go over, particularly by way of the foot ferry at the east end of Howe along the shore line where from there Wolfe Island doesn’t look so far away. And at this meeting as always on Howe Island the chairs for the public were filled with interested citizens.
While there were no planning applications, during the approval of minutes a question came up about the development charges meetings held in May. A resident was concerned about two aspects of the Development Charges – firstly, that the charge was not high enough, and secondly, that he did not understand or agree with the weighted allocation of potential development charge revenue to particular areas of application. To the latter, Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal mentioned that this allocation could be altered if council deemed it necessary.
Council formalized the discussions that took place in May with the passage of 2 bylaws, the first to establish
to establish development charges for the township; and the second was to amend the parking by-law specifically for Marysville under parking infractions, more specifically for vehicles waiting in a ferry line (no driveway/intersection blocking, must park directly behind the last vehicle closest to the front of the ferry line leaving a maximum of a metre from the vehicle in front) the latter recommended by Councillor Grant, instead of the .5 metre originally considered. With regulations, it will be much easier to call upon the by law enforcement officer to issue tickets if necessary.
Council received, as information from the Howe Island ferry committee, 2 recommendations, one to establish a contingency fund for the winter operation of the Howe Island foot ferry, and secondly to allocate funds set aside from development charges for a study to determine full year operation options for the ferry.
WI Senior Housing Development Project- The Township has posted on their web site a public invitation to those interested in serving on Wolfe Island ‘Senior Housing Board of Directors’ to submit an application. The deadline for submissions is July 4th. Applications are available at the WI Town Hall or the township’s web site: municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca
For your information: The township has authorized that the 11 pm curfew at the Community Centre grounds can be extended from 11pm to 1 am on 3 different occasions this summer: First- The Community Centre Dance (WI Round UP) Sat. July 2nd Next- The Volunteer Appreciation Dance Friday July 15th . and 3RD—The Community Centre Board Dance Friday Aug 26th . The CCB will operate a fund raising cash bar on that occasion.
A letter has gone to Kingston councillor Richard Allen on his election to the Caucus of the Ontario board of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.
A reminder: during the Kiddie race, Sunday July 3rd , part of the Wolfe Island Classic race, Road 96 is closed from the General Wolfe Hotel to the WI Town Hall from 9:00 to 9:10 am.
It was Mayor Doyle’s Birthday so the meeting ended with cake and the singing of Happy Birthday.
Council meets next at the Wolfe Island Town Hall, July 11th at 6:30 pm
Around Town: Beautiful flower pots springing up around Marysville these days thanks to our ‘Bloom’in’ Gardiners. **Wonderful to see the island ladies at the United Church hall for Afternoon Tea.. WONDERFUL HATS.** Received photos showing the Gen. Wolfe Hotel Dock filled with boats and remembered our daughter Chris telling us THAT when she was a student working with the Canadian Coast Guard how she and crew, when patrolling the waters in a Zodiac between Kingston and Brockville, would often stop by for lunch. She knew about the island long before we did. Great to see so many boats coming to the Island Grill, many kids swimming at the Boat Club dock . The Art Gallery is Open. The Old House Museum so busy. Congratulations to the WI Historical Society on the recognition they received from the Historical Society of Ontario..**The Riverfront Golf Course is lush.. The smells from the bakery. Oh so sweet… The trees , so amazingly full. No tornado for us, just the wonderful rain that was needed.
Coming Events: Canada Day Pancake Breakfast July 1st 9 - 11AM Wolfe Island United Church hall $5.00 per person. ** Wolfe Island Classic , July 3 at 9:30. You are encouraged to walk if you cannot run. Come join the fun. And Happy Canada Day to all..
Since its inception, the Wolfe Island Historical Society has played an important role in the community bringing to light the many stories of the island’s people , their lives, their history and the situations that one previously could only imagine island communities like Wolfe and Simcoe Islands could tell. Recalling the day the Society was born is easy.
An invitation went out to the community inviting anyone interested “in forming a historical society” to a meeting at the General Wolfe Hotel. It came from a relatively new resident , the late Victoria Stewart, and Theresa Broeders . “Vicki” , a Canadian history enthusiast was fascinated with Wolfe Island’s stories. Theresa (MacDonald) Broeders, is island born and raised. And people came. They too interested in island history.
An executive was formed and plans for the future were discussed. Named to the executive: President-Captain Brian Johnson; Vice President-Hank Connell; Secretary, Vicki Stewart; Treasurer Brian MacDonald. John O’Shea, and Donna Ivy were among others attended. The proposed mission of the society was “ to protect, promote and preserve the heritage of Wolfe Island.” The immediate areas of interest , which remain today, included genealogy of island families and general island history. Now also included is accumulating heritage items for the “Old House “ Museum which itself came about in the intervening years, as well as the WIHS’s wonderful publication ‘Windword’ and its many,“ WIHS Presents” events.
Recently WIHS president Hank Connell called to say the WIHS was to receive the annual Scadding Award of Excellence, from the Ontario Historical Society at their AGM at Queens Park, Toronto on June 11th (The WIHS was recommended for consideration by Islander Ken Keyes). Here follows what was read by Rob Leach (OHS) on that occasion:
“The Ontario Historical Society is pleased to present the 2015 Scadding Award of Excellence to the Wolfe Island Historical Society. The Award is presented to a historical society or heritage group that has made an outstanding contribution to the field of history. The WIHS was founded in 2005 by a small, but dedicated group to protect, preserve and promote the heritage of Wolfe Island. The Society, in cooperation with the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, has focussed on the Island’s history because of its prominence in lumbering, shipbuilding and transportation. The Society has made significant contributions to the history of the Great Lakes through its lecture series, the restoration of heritage monuments and the annual publication of Windword, a journal dedicated to the heritage of Wolfe Island. That this group continues to conduct activities like this , along with walking tours and making their newsletters publicly accessible from a population base of only 1200 people is truly remarkable. The group has presented talks on genealogy, cemeteries, the War of 1812, Light House preservation, the history of Carleton Island and James Wolfe. The impact the Society has had on the Island is notable in the people it attracts to visit and tour the Island. The Society’s collection of artifacts is housed in a facility owned by the Township of Frontenac Islands and is a well respected and much-visited facility. (Old House Museum). In addition to everything else that this dynamic group is doing, it has an arrangement with the Archives of Queen’s University for the deposit of important historical documents. The Wolfe Island Historical Society is truly deserving of the Ontario Historical Society’s 2015 Scadding Award.”
Present to Receive the Award : Hendry “Hank” Connell, Brian MacDonald, Brian Johnson and Ken Keyes. COULD WE BE ANY PROUDER!
If Wolfe Islanders had any reservations about the ongoing Morrison Hershfield’s WI Ferry and Docking Improvements Preliminary Design and Class EA Study, or the value of their attendance at second (CAG) Community Advisory Group meeting , they were not evident. The CAG consists of a broad cross-section providing a community perspective for MTO .
Morrison Hershfield’s Mike Bricks, Environmental Planner, gave a summary of the first CAG meeting, and overview of the Public Information Centre (PIC) Meetings held in Kingston (30-35 people) and at Sacred Heart school in Marysville attended by 110-130 people, where most were interested in how the service would be operated. “ The focus of this CAG meeting is to look at (docking) alternatives so that we can refine the positive and the negative options and make a decision.” Participants were invited to rank ( not rate) the impacts of the alternatives based on environment transportation and finally cost. Some one asked, “Under cost we are assuming the fee schedule is the same as it is today” to which meeting facilitator Glenn Pothier, replied “that’s the assumption.”
Hershfield’s Edward Yi outlined the docking scenarios (including Kingston) The SS 4 option : (Dual Ferry Operations-Year Round Access to Marysville), drew many questions related to Marysville businesses and what ferry goes where, when? What SS4’s “year round access” means in this case is the proposed docks can receive whatever ferry comes to Marysville. Dual ferry operation means one ferry operating from Marysville and one from Dawson Point. MTO will determine what will serve the community best. The docks will provide the flexibility for 140 cars per hour. “We are looking at the new vessel’s power specifications at the same time, so that we can maintain the hourly schedule.” Heather Roebuck noted the extra dock in Marysville for ‘emergencies “so there is always an operational ramp available. It is our hope never to use it. If we don’t build it now it is never going to happen.”
CAG members and observers studied the ferry dock scenarios for Marysville, Dawson Point and Kingston, offering yea’s or nays, suggestions, ideas and possible changes. All feedback, received will be evaluated based on the criteria leading to the technically preferred alternative. One note stated, “save the Kingston terminal.” To a budget question, MTO’s Tina White said, “the government has funded this project. We are working with a naval architect so, as we do boat specs, we are sure our docks will accommodate and vice versa. Building a boat is a design build process different from the dock improvement process. The goal, is complete integration of all the vessels, Frontenac 2, a new 40 car ferry and the proposed 75 car ferry”.
Mayor Doyle noted feedback he was receiving was concerned with costs. And so it went.. The 2nd PIC is tentatively set for winter 2017. NB- The Project Team is anxious to hear from the public.. Find the PIC/CAG Round 1, reports at: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca/, and submit comments, concerns, or contact team members directly.
Coming Events: 1. On Saturday and Sunday June 25th and 26th, the Kingston Amateur Radio Club will hold it's annual Field Day, an emergency preparedness exercise, at 1558 Road 96, Wolfe Island . See how amateur radio, known as 'ham radio,’ works and how local ‘hams’ prepare to communicate via radio during emergency situations. Come, check it out. (Local 'hams' worked closely with official emergency service organizations during the 1998 ice storm). For further information contact Radio Club president Paul Taenzer (VA3LX), at 613-385-1226. FYI Vice Pres. is Carlyle Crothers . 2. WI Talent Night with Chris Brown , WI United Church Sun. June 26th at 7 pm. Amateur/professional talent. Call Margaret to participate 813-385-2900. 3.Strawberry Social, June 26th 1pm- 3pm St. Margaret’s Hall $6 pp. 4.W I Road Race July 3rd 9:30 am start.
Open and Transparent Ferry Improvement Discussions Underway If Wolfe Islanders had any reservations about the ongoing Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking Improvements Preliminary Design and Class EA Study, or the value of the second (CAG) Community Advisory Group meeting they were attending, they certainly were not evident. The CAG consists of a broad cross-section of the community providing a community perspective for MTO
Morrison Hershfield’s Mike Bricks, Environmental Planner, gave a summary of the first CAG meeting, and overview of the Public Information Meetings held in Kingston (30-35 people) and at Sacred Heart school in Marysville attended by 110-130 people, where most were interested in how the service would be operated. “ The focus of this meeting is to look at (docking) alternatives so that we can refine the positive and the negative options and make a decision.”
Participants were invited to consider the impacts of the alternatives based on environment ( socio economic , natural, cultural, (including churches); transportation (vehicle-vessel operation; active transportation operations; constructability) and finally cost, and submit the evaluation form then or later. “It’s a ranking not a rating, 1 to 7 in the spots available.” From out of the crowd some one said, “Under cost we are assuming the fee schedule is the same as it is today?” to which Independent Facilitator Glenn Pothier, who the fielded questions leading the group through the meeting agenda, replied “that’s the assumption.”
Hershfield’s Morrison’s Edward Yi outlined the docking scenarios (including Kingston) all of which will allow access by both boats. MTO’s Project Manager Tina White and MTO team members also answered questions.
The SS 4 option : (Dual Ferry Operations-Year Round Access to Marysville), drew many questions related to Marysville businesses and what ferry goes where, when? What SS4’s “year round access” means in this case is the proposed docks can receive whatever ferry comes to Marysville, the Wolfe Islander 3 or a new 75 car ferry. Dual ferry operation means one ferry operating from Marysville and one from Dawson Point essentially, and MTO will conduct an operational study to determine what will serve the community best. The docks will provide the flexibility for 140 cars per hour. “We are looking at the new vessel’s power specifications, at the same time so that we can maintain the hourly schedule.” Heather Roebuck noted the extra dock in Marysville for ‘emergencies’ “so there is always an operational ramp available. It is our hope never to use it, If we don’t build it now it is never going to happen.”
Following the presentation CAG members and observers enthusiastically engaged in looking at the ferry dock scenarios presented for Marysville, Dawson Point and Kingston, offering brief yea’s or nays, clear suggestions, ideas and possible changes to each of them by way of post-it notes placed on the enlarged docking plans mounted for that purpose. All of the feedback, notes, letters, emails etc. received from the public will be evaluated based on the criteria (as above) leading to the a technically preferred alternative. One note stated “Save the historic Kingston terminal.”
All will be gathered and considered.
There were questions:” Is there a budget.? MTO’s Tina White said that “the current government has funded this project. What we need we will build .” What about the new boat? White said, “We are working together with a naval architect so as we do specs for the boat we are sure our docks will accommodate and vice versa. To build a boat is a design build process different from the dock improvement process. “ What about Amherst Island ? “Docks will be built to accommodate the Amherst Islander, Frontenac 2, the new 40 car ferry with side loading, and possibly (?) the 75 car ferry The goal, is complete integration of all the vessels.” Mayor Doyle said the feedback he was receiving was concern with costs. And so it went.. many questions and answers. The 2nd Public Information Centre is scheduled tentatively for winter 2017.
NB- The Project Team is anxious to hear from the public.. Please review the Public Information Centre Round 1, 2016 reports at: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca/ and submit comments, concerns, or contact team members directly.
(This study is different from past studies. MTO formally initiated the Environmental Assessment (EA) Process.which when completed allows them to proceed to the next step and ultimately to construction.)
Around Town;* The Wolfe Island Historical Society will receive the the Ontario Historical Society 2016 “Scadding Award of Excellence” June 11th at Queen’s Park according to WIHS President Hank Connell. The Scadding Award, recognizes a historical society or heritage group that has made an outstanding contribution to the field of history. Congratulations. More next week (I hope). https://www.ontariohistoricalsociety.ca ** Its all about Ham Radio:On Saturday and Sunday June 25th and 26th, The Kingston Amateur Radio Club will be holding it's annual Field Day, an emergency preparedness exercise, on Wolfe Island at 1558 Road 96. Come and see how amateur radio, known as 'ham radio,’ works and how local ‘hams’ prepare to communicate via radio during emergency situations. Come by and check it out. (Local 'hams' worked closely with official emergency service organizations during the 1996 ice storm). For further information contact Paul Taenzer (VA3LX) at 613-385-1226. FYI- Paul is president of the Radio Club. Another islander Carlyle Crothers, is vice president.
Coming Events: WI Boat Club 4th Annual Open House & Try-It Day! Saturday June 18th, 2016 from 11:30 - 3:00 ** WI Classic Road Race, Sun. July 3rd 9:30 am start. **The WI Round UP is the same weekend..
Wolfe Islanders had their first look at what might happen to the ferry docks in Marysville and at Dawson Point (as well in Kingston) with the addition of a new 75 car ferry, and the continuing operation of the Wolfe Islander 111,, at the first Public Information Centre held at Sacred Heart School as part of the environmental process for this massive project.
While there was no public presentation Ministry of Transportation (MTO) personnel were present along with the Morrison Hershfield team (retained to complete the preliminary design and class EA study for the WI Ferry and docking improvements including Kingston), to answer questions, explain the process, the alternatives and to hear the opinions from members of the public . They encouraged the public to submit their comments, concerns, ideas, etc. in writing before leaving the open house, all to be added to the study report and posted. And very many did, some happily, others not so much. The result of this study will lead to a technical alternative, and the environmental requirements . Then its MTO’s turn with a completed EA to proceed to detail design and construction , for what is expected to address long term needs. ( For 20, or maybe 40years?)
Perhaps what was surprising for everyone was the massive expansion of all 3 docks, along with parking and marshalling areas identified in the board drawings arranged around the school gym. Nor was the idea of the 75 car ferry going to Marysville in the minds of Wolfe Islanders originally. The 2011 study led us to understand that the Wolfe Islander 111 would dock at Marysville, and the new larger 75 car ferry would dock at Dawson Point. The change to that scenario comes with docking plans providing the flexibility for both ferry’s to access Marysville . It identifies a dual ferry operation with year round access to Maryville and the flexibility for both ferries to access both island ferry terminals. In both cases requiring dredging in Marysville. What is clear in these alternatives is that if both ferries were to use the village dock, massive infrastructure would be required.
The design pictures are daunting for the amateur ( like myself), but all four dock plan scenarios for Marysville include space for two ferry dockings. All the parking and marshalling of vehicles are in the dock area, nothing on the street or in the village. These Marysville scenarios require major extensions into the water and significant dredging . Three of the scenarios for Marysville show a signalized intersection light for leaving the boat. The 4th does not. No change to turning right or left into Marysville.
At Dawson Point, four scenarios require the acquisition of land for parking and marshalling while two show most parking and marshalling into an extended dock into the water. The documents indicate different marshalling patterns for large trucks and smaller vehicles, and different locations for amenities (waiting rooms etc.).
For the Kingston dock there are 3 three scenarios, indicating changes and all parking /marshalling east of Ontario Street, requiring major extensions into the water. The Kingston Public Information Centre was held on June 2nd.
What’s next is the evaluation of all the alternatives (feedback received) and based on the socio economic, natural, and cultural environment, transportation factors, and cost, and to select a technically preferred alternative. The 2nd Public Information Centre is scheduled tentatively for winter 2017.
NB- The Project Team is anxious to hear from you. Please review the Public Information Centre Round 1, 2016 report at: www.wolfeislandferryea.ca/ and submit your comments.They are important to the process.
Around Town: 1. The WI Medical Clinic held its AGM at which time Bev Sherman and Jim Vanden Hoek were elected to the Clinic’ s Board of Directors. Completing terms were Susan O’Reilly and Hugh Cowan (with thanks). There was a special update on Lyme disease and information regarding VON’s Meals on Wheels and SMART exercise programs expected to begin on the island. The Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic provides Wolfe Island residents with access to a family doctor, including a weekly. walk in clinic; a Nurse practitioner walk in Clinic, the Para Medic Wellness Clinic, bimonthly Blood Services , VON Foot Clinics, and a Flu Clinic (200) also for 9 seniors at home. The Clinic’s major fund raiser is the July 3rd Road Race . “Our 5k part is part of the Runners Choice series with a 3 island component Howe Island ( May 7th), ours is July 3rd and Amherst Island in August.” said Pres. Linda Thomas.
2. Donna Ivey, a former WI resident is the guest speaker for the Sir John A. Commemoration at the Cataraqui Cemetery June 6th. Donna, a member of the Kingston Historical Society, also shared a copy of her new book “From Parlour to Parliament: Sir John A's House on Rideau Street,” about the house she owns where a young Sir John A. lived . Congratulations Donna.
3. June 11-12 at least 6 Amphicars will be on the island for a Swim IN In the early 60’s 3500 German amphibious cars were built with maybe 600 remaining. “So don't panic if you see a car floating in the bay,” says David Field.
Coming Events: ** WI Boat Club Try It Day! Saturday June 18th, 11:30 - 3:00Free event to drop in and check us out. Registration open for all our programs. All Summer Book Sale on Now www.wolfeislandboatclub .** Frontenac Islands Council Meeting June 13th 6:30 Howe Island.