Progress: the Frontenac Islands Senior housing project is at the “waiting to move forward stage” at this time. The Board of Directors, (a committee of council) has been meeting regularly, almost weekly, issuing first an EOI (expression of interest) followed by an RFP ( request for proposals) in December, describing the type of energy efficient building the township was looking for, as stated in a previous article, “a building, approximately 4,500 square feet, with four one bedroom units, one two bedroom unit and a common area for people to meet and socialize. One contract will be awarded to a design-build firm for the project.’
At this time, a preferred contractor has been chosen from among three very competitive bids for the Wolfe Island project with details presently being worked on. However, there are further issues to be resolved, not least among them the formal acquisition, transfer and clearing of land given by owner John Weatherall, land close to the WI community Medical Clinic and the WI Emergency Services (Ambulance & Fire Hall) building . It is at the end of Division Street with the Community Centre Grounds and the WI Community Hall at the other. And, so the committee waits for those issues to be finalized before they move on to the next steps, the final design of the project and construction specifications. It is the committee’s intention, if the above issues have been resolved, to submit a request to council at their March meeting to issue a contract for construction of the WI Senior’s Apartment project, with a projected fall opening date planned. Committee members include Mayor Doyle, Councillor Wayne Grant, Brian Scovill, Kathy Horton, Mikaela Hughes, Walter Knott, & CAO Darlene Plumley, as secretary, and advisor, Patrick Thompson.
FYI: Senior Housing was chosen as a priority by Wolfe Islanders a number of years ago. What residents said at the time was that they wanted a facility that was affordable, in the village, operated locally and offering safety, independence, socialization and the opportunity to remain on the island. In its Strategic Plan, Frontenac County. Council chose senior housing as the first of 3 projects to focus on over a five year period and to build one five unit seniors apartment facility in each of the four townships in Frontenac County. County Council approved the hiring of a consultant to assist in moving forward and subsequently approved $335,000 for (each of) North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands-(Wolfe Island) Township. Public meetings were held throughout Frontenac County to determine need, and Marysville was chosen for a first seniors housing project under the auspices of Frontenac County.
2. Pruning Workshop on Wolfe |Island 10 am-2pm, March 4th Horne’s Orchard.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to prune your own trees? Come to the island for a workshop on the basics of pruning.
The (OWA) Ontario Woodlot Association (Limestone Chapter) will host an Apple Orchard Pruning Workshop at Bruce Horne’s orchard. Justin Smith, Certified Arborist, will instruct participants in a hands-on workshop and ensure that all go home well prepared to tackle their own pruning job. Participants are encouraged to bring a pair of pruning shears and to dress for the weather as this is an outdoor event. The workshop is on Saturday, March 4 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and the location is Horne’s apple orchard at 2041 Hwy. 95 (just before the U.S. ferry dock) on Wolfe Island. For mainlanders, the Wolfe Island Ferry departs Kingston at 9:30 am. Or consult the Ferry Schedule at http://www.wolfeisland.com/ferry.php A chili lunch will be provided. The cost of the event is $10.00 for non-OWA members, and free to members. All are welcome. Preregistration is required: please contact Kevin Hansen (President of the OWA – Limestone Chapter) at: 613-449-0732 or email@example.com .
To learn more about the Ontario Woodlot Association, visit www.ontariowoodlot.com The Ontario Woodlot Association, through its network of Chapters across the Province, brings people together to share ideas and learn about forest management. To ensure the viability of non-crown land forests, they promote sustainable forestry management and advocate on behalf of woodlot owners.
And about Bruce Horne’s Apple Orchard. Every year since 2007, Peggy Smith and Bruce Horne give over their apple orchard at 2041 Rd.#95 for a Wolfe Island Early Years Centre Fundraiser in late September. It’s a pick your own apples and bring your own bags affair and more… Great Family Fun.. Watch for it……
Around Town: **Do buy a ticket for the Medical Clinic’s fund raiser, a play “Village of Idiots” at the Domino Theatre March 8, at 7:30 pm. Tickets $20. from WI Clinic board members ** A Massage Clinic is opening on WI at the former hair salon in Marysville, staffed by Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) Brooke MacDonald and Judy Gerber-van Vliet, who are working together to provide the service and are accepting new clients. ** Notice to truckers and shippers 2017— Half Load restrictions expected to start March 6th on All Frontenac Islands roads. (Date could change in the event of extreme rain) www.frontenacislands.ca
Frontenac Islands Council had a Busy Day on Howe Island by Marg Knott
It was a long day for the Frontenac Islands council members and staff. First there was a budget meeting held in advance of the regular monthly council meeting . Council’s budget deliberations had the objective to hold the tax increase to 1.75 % to 2% , as agreed upon at a preliminary meeting. That of course is without consideration of the policing costs, which by themselves will cause a 2% municipal budget increase, beyond the control of the municipality.
Council focussed budget deliberations on the needs of the community, as determined through previous priority setting. There was a line by line review of the revenue and expense documents. beginning with administration, including Howe and Wolfe Island building improvements, emergency management, planning, WI roads, waste, recycling, culture and recreation..
Council reviewed a budget, with some minor amendments, presented by Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn that includes the replacement of two vehicles within a defined price range, and completing the asphalt surface of the fire hall driveway with funding. Regarding Wolfe Island Fire and Rescue, Council considered the purchase of a used vehicle that was available and that fits with the WI emergency vehicle replacement schedule. Funds from the sale of surplus vehicles would be placed in the equipment reserve fund. The next, and perhaps final budget meeting, will be held on March 13th at the WI Town Hall at 1 pm, where the Howe Island ferry and all of; Wolfe Island Community Centre Board, building, wind, roads, waste, recycling, culture, and recreation figures will be reviewed, for the passage of the Frontenac Islands 2017 budget at the March monthly township council meeting.
2. Wolfe Island Music Festival Organizer Virginia Clarke attends Council Meeting
Virginia Clarke attended the meeting to outline plans for an August 11-12, 2017 festival after a one year absence. The Music Festival ran into trouble financially when the Wolfe Islander III ferry was out of service the entire summer of 2015, and the smaller Frontenac II did not land in Marysville resulting in lower attendance and higher costs, which included the rental of a commercial passenger boat. Those troubles and the many festivals in the area resulted in the cancellation of the 2016 festival. During the last year and into 2017 Clarke organized a number of fund raising events locally and in Toronto and is ready now to plan for a 2017 Music Festival. “The environment for festivals has changed a lot since we began 18 years ago,” Clarke said. “But there is a lot of support for this festival and a lot of people who want to see it happen. After the crippling financial hit incurred in 2015 I am asking for a break…to get wind back in our sails…”
Clarke is asking for use of the usual Community Centre grounds location for setup and take down from Aug.11-13th and access to the community centre building for storage of goods as well a request for amendment to the noise bylaw as usual. She proposed a different arrangement however with the bar, food, licensing and insurance provided by the festival including, as in the past, set up and cleanup. She noted that the festival provides security at the site and shares policing costs with the township. A discussion regarding a fee for use of the grounds, followed with no decision. The township will request that the Frontenac County Economic Development analyse the economic value of the Music Festival to Wolfe Island, with financial input from the township, to establish a rental fee for the grounds. Ms. Clarke’s request will be back on the agenda for further discussion at the March 13th meeting of council.
2. Economic Development: Mayor Doyle invited Richard Allen Frontenac County Manager of Economic Development to address Council. “ Its been an incredible couple of months working for the County and it is my pleasure to be here to tell you what we are working on,” Mr. Allen said. He highlighted among other things the Brand (IN-Frontenac ) Ambassador Program, its ambassadors and the excellent work of the County’s Vanderveld. “It is amazing how businesses are making the brand their own. IN-Frontenac Program will have a web portal which will include a business directory, a commercial and agricultural land inventory and much more to be added over the next months with wings to the townships.” The county is also undertaking an accommodation review. Allen continued with reference to the development opportunities in agriculture in cash crops, dairy and specifically the proposed goat milk industry development for Kingston and the region. Council meets next : March 13th
Around Town: Pancake Supper Sat. Feb 25th, 4-7pm St. Margaret’s Hall sponsored by the Anglican Parish of Wolfe Island. Cost: $5.00 **Do buy a ticket for the Medical Clinic’s fund raiser, a play “Village of Idiots” at the Domino Theatre March 8, at 7:30 pm.Tickets $20. *Don’t forget the “SOCK IT TO US” campaign to Feb. 25th. ** Take note that a new Massage Clinic is now open on WI at the former hair salon in Marysville staffed by Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) Brooke MacDonald and Judy Gerber-van Vliet who are working together to provide the service and are accepting new clients.
Ever since my appointment to the Frontenac County Accessibility committee (which requires for membership, that you have a disability) and well aware that my disability is progressing to an even more awkward stage, I have come to recognize ever more clearly the difficulties the disabled face in our society. And I refer not only to the physically disabled, but include those without sight or hearing, and so much more. I dare to look at things in our society that I previously would not have defined as disabling. The AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) uses the same broad definition of disability, “ any degree of physical, developmental, mental or learning disability that limits a person’s movements, senses or activities,” as does the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHR).
With the AODA, accessibility is associated with the design of products, devices, services and environments, and includes laws through the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Ontario Building Code. It addresses barriers in customer service, information and communication, employment, and transportation and public space design, all with an objective of improving accessibility opportunities for people with disabilities. AODA defines a barrier as a “circumstance or obstacle that keeps people apart, taking many forms for the disabled listing communication, physical, policy, programming, social, transportation and attitudinal.
It is this latter, attitude, that caught my attention recently. Quite a number of years ago someone in our community provided a pair of shoes for a disabled person. I knew that person needed the shoes, it was obvious, but I did nothing about it, a non-act I regret to this day. I could have, should have, but didn’t, and the question I have to ask myself was why, was it attitudinal ?
The kind of society we have today, with regard to all forms of disability, is much better than the one in which I grew up. In those earlier years, people with disabilities experienced abuse, exclusion—they were hidden away, neglect, discrimination, and racism. They had no supports, they were stared at, jeered at, had little access to education, or work, or housing. Even worse if a person of colour, or indigenous,. And even more horrendous was sterilization of the disabled, severe restraint of the aged, or disabled, within a severe institutionalization structure. There was no awareness of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disabled were even prevented from coming to Canada. Some of the effects of all this remain with us today.
The Law Commission of Ontario has stated: “Disability” continues to be the most frequently cited ground of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) in human rights claims made to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO).” The OHRC noted: “A person’s experience may be complicated further when discrimination based on a disability intersects with discrimination based on other Code grounds, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, age or another type of disability, etc. “ Today, 15.5% of Ontario’s population has a disability and this number will continue to grow as the population ages”.
All of the above to say, the Frontenac County Accessibility Committee will continue to mentor for the disabled and promote the AODA, its aims and objectives. At the same time Frontenac County is working on an “Age Friendly “ Project that includes older persons.. Watch for more to come.
Around Town: ** On again off again weather, but we still have great skating , many visiting skaters and teams coming to our shores. **Members of Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic, and Wolfe Island Friends of Ferals, invite you to buy a ticket from them to their fund raising event, a play “Village of Idiots” by John Lazarus at Kingston’s Domino Theatre on Wednesday March 8, at 7:30 pm. Come join their evening out: Tickets are; $20. Each ** May have more positive information about the WI Music Festival after this week’s Township Council Meeting. ***Wolfe Island is looking forward to welcoming everyone to the 37th Annual Wolfe Island Classic 5 & 10K Run/Walk, JULY 2nd at 9:30 am.. All proceeds of the race go to support the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. Last year the Clinic was pleased to be able to offer a Nurse Practitioner walk-in Clinic which they are hoping to expand in the near future. The Wolfe Island Classic is part of the Kingston Road Runners Association (KRRA) race series. Visit their website - wolfeislandclassic.com
***And finally take note that : Local first responders are joining forces and will collect socks during the “SOCK IT TO US” Kingston campaign February 19 to 25. Collection boxes will be in all participating paramedic stations, fire halls and headquarters for the staff of Frontenac Paramedic Services, Kingston Police and Kingston Fire and Rescue Services to donate new socks. *Note: While local first responders collect socks through their internal campaign, there will also be collection boxes for the general public at Kingston Police Head Quarters, as well as the County of Frontenac’s reception area in Glenburnie. Watch for other locations perhaps on the Islands.
Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle returned from the ROMA conference satisfied with the conference, and pleased, for the most part with the extra meetings he and CAO Plumley had with officials regarding particular island issues .
“ We were very pleased with our meeting with Minister Steven Del Duca, (Transportation), Eastern Regional Director Kathy Moore and MTO staff,” the Mayor said on his return to Wolfe Island. . “Our briefing notes sent in advance of the meeting outlined for the Minister some community concerns with the high cost of the proposed ferry docks in Marysville and our hope that some of the money could be spent on our transportation link on connecting roads. We were able to present our case to the Minister with regard to Road 7501, that’s the road from the Dawson Point dock to Rd #96 and on to Road 95 to Alexandria Pt. (& ferry to the USA), our transportation link which was the main point of our discussion ,” Doyle said.
These roads were downloaded during the 1997/98 restructuring agreement. Rd 7051 built in the 6o’s with a sand base has badly deteriorated over the years, more so since all construction vehicles, equipment and materials travelled the roads to build the 86-tower wind farm as well as its heavy use to the present.
“ We requested that MTO take them back as they are an international link between (Kingston) Canada /USA and suggested when rebuilding the Rd 7051 portion it should be rerouted more directly to Rd 96 and include a bicycle path throughout,” Doyle added.
“And finally since the new 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island is not expected until 2020 we also requested that when the new Amherst Islander goes into service in 2019, that the Frontenac II be put into service along with the Wolfe Islander III on the Wolfe Island route during the busy summer and shoulder months. We received a very positive hearing from Minister Del Duca and MTO staff who will consider our requests,” Mayor Doyle concluded.
*** Winter Fest : At last, the ground is covered with snow on Frontenac Islands. Hopefully the snow will remain for Wolfe Island’s ‘Winterfest’ coming up Sunday February 12th.
‘Winterfest’ formerly known as ‘Chili Fest’ has been part of Wolfe Island’s winter season fun for many years . In the past it was held at the Old Fire Hall in Marysville, located behind Fargo’s Store close to the Wolfe Island Ferry dock. There, in the spirit of the winter season, outdoor activities were the focus of the day's events along with the popular varieties of chili that brought out the islanders. As the Chili Contest was underway, close by dependant on a frozen bay there was skating and sleigh rides and wind surfers, and those simply enjoying a winter day. It was a great event in those earlier years, and it is now. In 2012 for the first time Wolfe Island’s Chili Fest was held at the Community Centre Grounds in Marysville beside the new NHL sized rink, with its icemaking machinery. That year, as it does every year, Chili Fest brought together island chefs with their special recipes vying for the title of “best chili cook” and a continuous stream of visitors ready to vote.
The new rink provided the location for the presentation of an award by the Township honouring the WI Hockeyville Committee of volunteers for their community spirit. Through their efforts the WI community became one of 5 Canadian communities to compete to become the $100,000 winner in the 2011 CBC Kraft Hockeyville Competition. (Wolfe Island did not win the grand prize but was the recipient of $25,000.)
Since that time, with the support of the township, the Wolfe Island Community Centre Board and its many volunteers continue to FUND RAISE to make improvements to the rink which now has a roof, excellent lighting, etc., and to provide amenities to make the Community Centre the “Go To Place” on the island all year. The Centre also has 3 baseball diamonds and a corral for horse races etc. Winterfest Wolfe Island takes place Sunday, Feb. 12th beginning at 12:30 pm with members of the Voyageurs Hockey Team on the ice. Family Skating at 1:30 and of course.. the Chili Contest…And continues as a great annual event.
Around Town: Wishing Rev. Mike Bohler , Pastor at the WI United Church a speedy recovery from recent surgery. ** Frontenac Islands Council meets next Mon.Feb.13th at 6:30 pm on Howe Island **The Island Grill. Open Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm \ Sat. 10am to 10 pm. http://www.wolfeislandgrill.ca call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at events.com. Early bird prices in effect until April 30th.