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.

August 24, 2017
Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking EA Moves Forward

At the invitation of the Ministry of Transportation, and Morrison Hershfield Ltd., Wolfe islanders attended a third, and final round, of Public Information Centres (PICs) on Wolfe Island, and in Kingston. They were held to provide the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review, and discuss, the evaluation and selection of the preferred docking alternative for each ferry terminal, Marysville, Dawson Point, and Kingston, with members of the MTO and the Morrison Hershfield Ltd. Project Team.
Morrison Hershfield Ltd. has been conducting the $1.8 million environmental assessment of the potential for adding a 75-vehicle ferry to the route and rebuilding the three ferry terminals, both on and off shore, including changes to the marshaling areas, larger dock & mooring facilities, improved pedestrian and cycling facilities, terminal facilities etc. The Aug. 23rd& 24th PIC’s followed a “drop-in” format. This is also the first time the MTO has conducted an EA for the addition of a second ferry to an existing route.
A steady flow of Islanders dutifully lined up to read the content and view the pictures on the boards set up around the Sacred Heart School gymnasium outlining and updating the study material. It included content from the 1st & 2nd PIC meetings and the accepted plan for the three docks, along with the usual graphics and artists renditions. At the 1st and 2nd PIC’s many were unable to visualise all vehicular traffic accommodated on the ferry dock itself, with no traffic lined up on the Main Street of Marysville. T here were requests for improvements to the road to the Dawson Point dock seen as dangerous , too narrow etc.
This time round, an impressive computer generated video, with animation, of the proposed three new docks in Marysville , at Dawson Point and in Kingston was available for continuous viewing. It contained some text but no audio and the visuals were spectacular. And watch it they did, more than once…. As Case DeRuiter put it, “the video sure helps get all this in perspective.” For those not able to attend check the website..
Some people were anxious. Others annoyed and frustrated with the process. “It all seems too much,” some said. “all we need is a second boat,” said others, and of course comments about a bridge came up as well. “Wouldn’t that be cheaper….?” Others are excited about the future.. and what it could mean for tourism, the business community, economic development and possible growth. “It’s progress, not ours to reject,” was the sentiment from some older members of the community who have always just wanted MTO to recognize that time was as important as capacity and two boats operating on the half hour was what they see as the best solution, now and into the future….as it was way back when. Members of the community are divided on the use of Dawson Point, maintaining that both ferries must come into Marysville year round. Others suggest Dawson Point for trucks, agricultural and service vehicles, primarily going east or west and avoiding the village if that is not there destination. Others concur with use of both.
The study indicated that at the Marysville dock all parking and marshalling to be built for the new 75 vehicle ferry would extend into the water. The Dawson Point terminal requires some land purchase for parking and an extended pier out into the water to give some protection against wind and current fluctuations. The Kingston dock shows vehicles loading at the east end of the dock with wider passenger waiting areas on the dock. A land purchase may be required. No parking remaining is shown at the city dock.
Funding… With regard to funding, it was confirmed that the costs have been profiled (written in) to the long range plan for spending in the province. Which means all this could really happen. Not guaranteed, but really could happen.
MTO is looking for feedback on the new docking proposals, see the above website, and encouraged everyone to submit their comments, and to complete a short survey at: Letting of the contracts for the two ferries, one for Amherst Island, the other for Wolfe is expected this fall, as told to Mayor Doyle at the AMO conference.
It was a good gathering. While concerns remain, there was a sense of optimism and excitement in the air and a continued willingness , in fact an eagerness, to continue participating in the process and to cheer on the Project Team… as they move into the next phase.
FYI-Upon completion of the Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) 30-day public review period, the formal Environmental Assessment process will be completed allowing the Project Team to proceed to Detail Design and ultimately to construction.
Around Town: Marysville continues busy with guests and visitors, in spite of wild weather spurts. * Horne’s Ferry had a bad time for a couple of days but is back fully in service. ** The WI Gift Shop open until Labour Day.
Coming events: **Wolfe Island Plowing Match September 9th at the Henry and Janine Posthumus Farm.** WI River Front Golf Course, for Info: 613-385-9978 **The Corn Maze is now open, for Info call: 613 385-1998

Posted by M Knott at 10:07 AM
August 16, 2017
All About Water-- Swimming in it, surrounded by it, ferrying over it !

In the midst of all that has been going on throughout the township this summer with many, many, tourist friendly events, Senior Apartment construction, community garden projects, intense farming/gardening, and music music music, the township of Frontenac Islands held its regular August meeting of council, this time on Howe Island.
Much of the meeting revolved around the issues that affect the municipality most during the summer months, the ferry and, particularly this year, water levels & sewage contamination. And it was in that spirit, and in light of Waterkeeper’s Kingston and Wolfe Island Cultural Festival, a celebration of Great Lakes Voices, and their ongoing focus on water quality, that council supported MPP Sylvia Jones (Dufferin-Caledon) private members Bill 141 ‘to report all instances of sewage bypasses to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and to make that information available to the public no longer than 24 hours after being reported. ‘
Frontenac Islands is located at the extreme east end of Lake Ontario, and all the water upstream from the Great Lakes flowing to the Atlantic Ocean passes around the islands. And, more importantly, it is that water islanders depend on for residential use through shore wells accessing Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, as well as for recreational swimming and fishing. Any debris and contamination, from any sewage bypass material, that enters the water from communities upstream contaminates islanders’ water supply. In home water treatment equipment is a requirement with shore wells and cisterns. The village of Marysville does not have a water tower.
Mayor Denis Doyle spoke of the water as “our most precious resource”, reminding council members of Water Keeper’s mandate to inform the public about water issues, e.g. sewage bypasses as they happen, and the need to capture and treat sewage in order to protect health, provide information and decision making opportunities for “swimmable, drinkable and fishable communities.” A letter in support of the private members Bill 141 will be forwarded to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, to MPP Sylvia Jones and MPP Sophie Kiwala, to Eastern Townships bordering on the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall, and Lake Ontario Waterkeepers.
FYI: Waterkeeper Mark Mattson and WI’s Rick Lindgren, of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, worked together to draw attention to the impact sewage pollution was having in Kingston, as well as Wolfe Island. That was 10 years ago. As of May 18th, Kingston Utilities with its combined sewer system is the first to have the new sewage overflow alerts “Know Before You Go” website, a tool for protecting public health on the water.
In other business, public meetings are required under the Planning Act for a Zoning By Law amendment for the Senior Apartment building, to recognize it as a permitted use . Also for an Official Plan Amendment regarding Private Road Development, Frontenac County Council approved a roads planning study analysis in July(2016), now formally recognized in the County’s Official Plan it is being implemented in the four townships. The private road policies will affect development on both Howe and Wolfe. The Public Meetings to receive public comments on the proposed Township Official Plan amendments, to provide land use policies to control development on private roads are: Wolfe Island Monday Sept. 11th at 5 pm in advance of the regular September Council meeting (6:30 pm) and *Howe Island, Mon. Oct. 10that 5pm in advance of the October Council meeting.
FYI: Mayor Doyle met with Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca and ministry officials at AMO, to discuss when the order for the new 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island would be made. In a quick call, Mayor Doyle indicated that the ministry could not promise a contract by the end of September 2017 “but they are close and we were assured it would happen sometime this fall so we look forward to seeing the signed contract between September 21st and Dec. 20th 2017,” he said. “We had a good discussion on moving the Frontenac II to Wolfe Island to operate on the opposite schedule of the Wolfe Islander III during the busy summer season, once the new Amherst Island ferry is delivered. They could not give an answer on that but will see what they can do.” None of which is dependant on the (long drawn out) Wolfe Island docking facilities EA. “The transition of the roads from Dawson Point to Horne’s ferry back to MTO is still under discussion and is included with a number of similar requests from other municipalities according to the Minister Del Duca,” Mayor Doyle concluded. He encourages residents to attend PIC’s to voice opinions on dock development.
Coming Events:** MTO is holding two final (PIC’s) Public Information Centres, one on Wolfe Island Aug. 23rd 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart School, and in Kingston Aug. 24th, 4 -7 pm at Holiday Inn, Kingston Waterfront Bellevue North Room, with regard to the Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking \Improvements study undertaken last year. **Wolfe Island Plowing Match September 9th . ** WI River Front Golf Course, for Info: 613-385-9978 **The Corn Maze is now open, for Info call: 613 385-1998

Posted by M Knott at 10:03 AM
August 10, 2017
PIC’s Coming up for Wolfe Island Ferry & Docking Improvements Study

It has been awhile since Wolfe Islanders heard from MTO (Ministry of Transportation) with regard to the Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking \Improvements study undertaken last year. The good news is that MTO continues to move forward toward greater capacity for the Wolfe Island ferry service. MTO will be holding two (PIC’s) Public Information Centres, one on Wolfe Island Aug. 23rd 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart School, and the second in Kingston Aug. 24th, 4 -7 pm at Holiday Inn, Kingston Waterfront (Bellevue North Room).

This final round of PIC’s provides the public, and stakeholders, the opportunity to review and discuss the EA process with the Morrison Hershfield Ltd /MTO Project Team. And to provide input on the evaluation and selection of the preferred alternative for each terminal Kingston, Marysville, Dawson Point and all that includes, and perhaps to talk about the ferry service itself and the promised ferries. A Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting will be held sometime in September after the PIC’s.

Islanders will remember also the public visit of Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca to Wolfe Island, with MPP Sophie Kiwala, in October 2015 at which time he talked about the EA process for a second ferry to increase capacity with a design process beginning in 2016. It was good news indeed to be informed that MTO would move on the process of procuring two new ferries, one 40 car ferry, requiring no EA since it does not increase capacity, for the municipally operated Amherst Island Ferry Service, and one 75 car vessel for the Wolfe Island Ferry service.

MTO issued a request for qualifications (RFQ), for the design-build of the two ferries, going forward as one project in the procurement process and running concurrently with the ongoing Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe island ferry dock improvement project. That EA is scheduled to be completed in this year. The ferry procurement process to acquire the design-build firm could take up to 10 months, and should be (?) completed this year as well. When a short list of qualifying shipyards is developed, the second stage of the procurement process, the (RFP) Request for Proposals will be issued. Minister Del Duca came back last year to the region to let Amherst Islanders know that the contract for their new 40 car ferry would be awarded and, when complete and in service, the Frontenac II would become the back-up ferry for Amherst and Wolfe Island, a promise he made on his original visit to Wolfe island. That decision alone means there could be two ferries operating at Wolfe Island in 2018 or 2019, maybe? But -According to a Provincial Government website, designing and building the new ferry for Amherst Island is expected to take approximately 24 months, while the 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island will take an additional 12 months. Approximately one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles travel between Wolfe Island and Kingston each year, while approximately 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles travel to and from Amherst Island annually. And I understand the contract may be issued this fall.

Its been quite a summer for Wolfe Island. With the closure of Big Sandy Bay due to high water and damage at the site, revenues are down with fewer people coming to the island, one would assume. Not so. There are more and more walk-on’s, with cyclists also on the increase. All great for business but most ferry runs leave vehicles behind. There is no doubt Wolfe Island needs a second ferry. With the water so high it is expected that the Wolfe Islander III may continue running from the village indefinitely. But the ferry line in Marysville can be quite dangerous with the curve in the road, its narrowness and trees causing passing difficulties for people coming into the village from the east end of the island, and for large trucks attempting to get into the lineup. Also for those determined to speed their way into and through the village. The MTO students, for the most part, are conscientious about moving cars forward to fill in spaces in the lineup
But they can’t change the road the cars are on.

Around Town:** The Winners at the Family Ball Tournament, 28 teams competed. “A” team Winners: Kyle Team. “B” team winners: A. Lollar Team. Debbie Knox Trophy to Bolton Family team(sportsmanship); Rietzel Trophy to the E. Hulton oldest mixed team; F.Lollar Volunteer Trophy to Harry & Mary Hulton. Congratulations to All. ** Hops growing well at Jason LaSalles’. ** Looks like a new hops site is developing on the 16th line? **Wonder if anyone is signing up to raise goats or considering dairy? ** Kingston’s Mayor Patterson was asked if he would like to see goats at the PRISON Farm. “I wish,” his answer. ** Great fun , great music all around town during the Family Ball weekend.
Coming Events: ** WI Boat Club 12th Annual Barrett Bay Regatta, Sun. Aug. 20th, 8 am- 6 pm **Wolfe Island Plowing Match September 9th. ** WI River Front Golf Course For Info: 613-385-9978 **The Corn Maze, Info call: 613 385 1998

Posted by M Knott at 09:59 AM
August 03, 2017
Wolfe Island Senior Apartment Project – Then & Now

Any one driving along Road #95 North can’t help but notice a new building under construction behind the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic and the Paramedic Services and Fire Hall (Emergency Services) Building, at the end of Division Street. It is close to the Community Centre Grounds, on land gifted to the township by landowner and friend John Weatheral. It is in sight of a developing new community garden.
The building is the first Wolfe Island (5 unit) Seniors Apartment Project under construction in response to a community survey some years ago, that confirmed a strong interest in and need for senior accommodation on the island. What residents said they wanted was a facility that was affordable, in the village, operated locally and offering safety, independence, socialization and the opportunity to remain on the island.
Three years ago Frontenac County decided, in its Strategic Plan, that one of their top three projects over a five year period was to see a five unit senior apartment building in each of the four townships in Frontenac County. They hired a consultant and approved $335,000 for each of North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands Townships, to help them move the projects forward. At this time, the Wolfe Island project is the first actually under construction.
A Frontenac Islands, Wolfe Island Ward, Senior Housing Committee of Council was formed to finalize the building design and construction schedule. It includes Mayor Denis Doyle, Councillor Wayne Grant, Brian Scovill, Kathy Horton, Mikaela Hughes, Walter Knott, & CAO Darlene Plumley (secretary), with advisor Patrick Thompson.
All of their many meetings, open to the public, led to the first call for Expressions of Interest from Design & Build Contractors . Division Street, to the site was completed, as well as the required land survey. The formal acquisition, transfer and clearing of land given by owner, John Weatheral (Scarthingmoore Farms), was also completed. A water line was set in place. In December 2016, the RFP (Request for Proposals) was issued outlining in detail the type of energy efficient approximately 4,500 square foot building, with four 1 bedroom units, one 2 bedroom unit and a common area, which the township was seeking. They would finalize the design and drawings based on the committee’s specifications.
A contract to build was signed with Wemp and Smith Ltd., in early 2017 ensuring construction would begin in early spring. A ground breaking ceremony due to heavy rain held at the WI Community Hall in Marysville, provided an opportunity for the public to get a sense of what to expect and to meet Frontenac County staff, including key members, the WI Senior project committee members, and Wemp and Smith Construction company representatives. Rental applications for Wolfe Islanders were, and are, available at the WI Town Hall. The non smoking facility will have floor heating throughout. The estimated $1,000.00 monthly rental (one bedroom) and $1,200.00 (2 bedrooms), includes heat and hydro. A refrigerator, stove and other amenities will be provided for each. For information contact CAO Plumley at: 613-385 -2216.
Construction of the facility began in late May, and Wemp & Smith vehicles and trailers continue on site daily. What is the status of the project now? Construction is moving forward quickly with completion possible by late summer, on schedule and ready for occupants in October.
FYI: With the $335,000 from the County, the township as owners and managers of the facility, intend to finance the amount to complete the building and recover it from rental fees, thus not requiring any tax dollars to cover costs, and a mortgage to that effect is being arranged.
Around Town: **The WI Inn mural continues to take shape. ** Much activity around the WI Boat Club and township dock. ** Trailers already arriving for Family Ball Tournament. **Flowers looking lovely in the Village. ** Many more people walking on the ferry. Wolfe Island parking at Sacred Heart of Mary Church within walking distance to the boat. ** Did you know John Posthumus (and his spinning wheel) is at the WI Old House Museum Tuesday and Fridays?

Coming Events: **Kingston Wolfe Island Culture Festival final week —Closing Ceremonies & Great Lakes Pledge signing promise to protect a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future for all, hosted by Lake Ontario Water Keeper Wednesday, August 9 at 7 PM - 9 PM @ Kingston Yacht Club. **Wolfe Island Plowing Match September 9th. Location to be determined. ** WI River Front Golf Course For Info: 613-385-9978 **The Corn Maze, Info call: 613 385 1998. ** WI Music Festival Aug. 11& 12 WI Community Centre Grounds. For

Posted by M Knott at 09:56 AM