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.

October 25, 2017
Summer Over, a Different Pace for Fall

This is the time of year when Wolfe Islanders turn to their community, relishing time spent together, looking forward to hockey games, waiting for the rink to open, a less busy ferry with time to chat with friends and neighbours when on route to Kingston, for whatever the reason. Many boats are already out of the water. The hunting season is underway. Gardens have been cleared. Soy bean crops are regularly leaving the island while it appears the corn needs more time to dry.
It is also a time of worry for those concerned that the Wolfe Islander III will move from Marysville to the Dawson Point dock due to low water levels, and how they will get to work and home again at the end of the day without a vehicle, or a bus available.
The end of the summer is emphasized when Horne’s ferry shuts down for the winter, to open again next May 1st. The Bakery closes along with the Stone Heron Art Gallery. Although with the frequent sunny warm days since school started in September, the ‘Wolfie Café’ at the General Wolfe Inn dock, the Bakery and the Coffee shop opened on the weekends, as crowds of people continued coming, and still do. ‘Lunch Bunch’, the annual fall series of travel adventures presented by island residents continues until Nov. 22nd and has been great fun. The Corn Maze remains open to mid November, and Riverfront Golf Course ‘till ? Maybe until it is too cold to hold the clubs? And WI Bicycle Rentals continue. Of course the island has The WIPP, The Island Grill and the General Wolfe Inn. The Island Grill is now into fall hours, that is closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, reopening Thursdays for dinner with regular hours through Sunday. Interesting to note The Grill prepared and served dinner for the 2017 Ducks Unlimited Dinner held at the WI Fire Hall Oct. 20th, and what a crowd there was on that occasion. The General Wolfe Inn is open daily and, at this time, is taking reservations for Christmas, and has opened the dining rooms for booked events, e.g. wedding receptions.. And, as noted, we are so fortunate to have The WIPP open daily, and James as host. Now is the time that islanders think of Turkey Suppers, Remembrance Day, the Christmas Market , & the WI Historical Society, and special fall and winter community & church and school events.

Recently a Seed Saving workshop was held at the WI Community Garden (WICG) attended by teachers and senior class students from the schools, Marysville public and the Sacred Heart Catholic. It was led by islander Kathy Rothermel, of Windkeeper Farms and the KASSI Kingston Area Seed System Initiative; Cathy Christie, Science Education Teacher, Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, and chair of the Community Garden Committee of KASSI; and Janette Haase, School to Garden Program Coordinator of the WICG. WICG volunteers Kayo Murakami-Woodand & Donna Ivimey were on hand to assist. According to a Face Book release- “The workshop provided an interactive, hands-on learning experience that explored concepts in biology, ecology, math and social sciences. Students shared their knowledge of family farms, food and plants and they saved seeds which they can plant in the spring.” The WICG Project is supported by: Marysville Public School - Parent Council; WI Community Medical Clinic; Community Foundation for Kingston & Area,; WI Records; and individual donors! Another garden is planned for an area near the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic and the Senior Apartment project.

Around Town: Sacred Heart of Mary Church services continue at Sacred Heart School during the renovation of the church due to a fire. Noted in the parish bulletin, ‘the church built in 1917 and was wired for electricity, but electricity did not come to the island until 1938’ . However, the wiring now is being updated to the year 2017. A long wait!

Coming Events: ** Lunch Bunch. Nov. 1st, 11;30am WI United Church-‘ INDIA’ **VON Exercise for older adults Wed & Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall ** Flu Shot Clinic, Sat. Nov.4th, 9 am to 12 pm, WI Medical Clinic

** Take Note: Remembrance Day Nov.11th is at the WI Town Hall **WI’s Anglican, Old Fashioned Turkey dinner, St Margaret’s Hall, Sat. Nov 18. 4:30 pm.-7:00 pm.. ** WI’s Christmas Craft Market Sunday, November 26th, WI Fire Hall-.10 am-3pm.**WI Christmas Parade, Dec. 9th at 1pm **November is Fall Prevention Month

Posted by M Knott at 01:24 PM
October 19, 2017
Too Much Last Week, This Week’s News!

Important issues from last week’s Frontenac Islands council meeting are the focus for this week. And, there are quite a number.
In response to a letter from the Howe Island Ratepayers Association, to investigate their request for the installation of internet connected cameras at each terminal and related ongoing financial costs, Deputy Mayor Natali Nossal noted other large ferry related items are to be considered as well during the 2018 budget process. “As a community we also have to prepare to pay the legal costs for an action (raised by 4 Howe Islanders) about agricultural vehicles accessing the County ferry,” she said. “ The legal costs for 2017 are estimated to reach $30,000. How to raise the funds will be part of the budget process and could be included as a separate line item on the tax bill. And I doubt the cost of cameras would be assumed by MTO at part of their agreement with the township.”

Further issues include keeping the Howe Island foot ferry in working order. The Township intends to rehabilitate the deck and the hull to satisfy Transport Canada requirements, with the Township’s portion of the costs covered by reserves that have been put aside through taxes.

Council received a copy of Frontenac County’s letter of support for a change in how the Provincial Gas Tax Funds can be used. Currently the province provides two cents per litre on a per capita basis to local municipalities for the purpose of supporting local public transit systems, of which the county has none. And this will rise to 4 cents per litre by the year 2022. The resolution, adopting the Ont. Federation of Agriculture’s position: that the Provincial Gas Tax funding criteria needs to be aligned with the Federal Gas Tax funding criteria. This resolution originated with the Eastern & Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus. The Federal Gas Tax program provides municipal funding on a per capita basis without restriction, on a wide range of infrastructure programs. Frontenac Islands supports the Frontenac County’s position that the province should change its grant purpose to the same as that of the federal grant in order to receive such support for the townships.

And speaking of grants, council also received a copy of Frontenac County’s support for a change in how the federal grant for “Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure funds is distributed. Currently the $2 billion fund is for “rural” communities of 30,000 or more. The county stated that this definition of “rural” will eliminate most counties, and rural single tier municipalities, in Eastern Ontario. The resolution to the Province of Ontario requests that they modify the definition of rural for this fund from the federal government to include municipalities of less than 30,000 population, as it is the province that defines “rural.”

The township received the billing for the OPP services for the year 2018. For the first time it does not include wind turbines in their calculations. However, the cost per property has increased by $45.12 (or 21.6%) from $208.35 to $253.35. The total for 2018 will be $352,918.00. For comparison purposes, the billing for year 2015 was $156,490.00 when the OPP began the phasing in of increased costs.

The Township of Frontenac Islands is rezoning the Wolfe Island property where the Seniors Apartment Project is situated to what is legally described as the Community Facility Exception Zone One. That project is rapidly approaching completion with occupancy expected before the end of the year. Council also set the date of December 11th for a Public Meeting concerning the official plan amendment for the St. Philomena Roman Catholic Church property on Howe Island.

Council indicated support for the KFL&A Public Health/ Fluoride Varnish program for children at risk for dental caries. According to Mayor Doyle, the KFL&A Board Chair, “ no one in our region fluoides their water and over half of the people think we do, so it’s a dilemma, but we can get around it with this wash.”

Howe Island Councillor Bruce Higgs brought forward a request for Frontenac Islands to consider “twinning” with a village in Nepal. “I have been involved with this community for over 20 years. Our Rotary built a school there, providing training classes and help. Their children have been educated and many have gone on to university. Now they would like to twin their village of Phulbari, Nepal with our township. It is not about money. It is about knowledge and information. They have a web site” he said. Council welcomed the concept and looked forward to receiving more information from Councillor Higgs and moving forward.

Coming Events: ** Lunch Bunch. Oct. 25, 11;30 am WI United Church- Switzerland **VON Exercise (older adults) Wed & Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall **WI United Church TURKEY SUPPER, at UC Hall, Sat Oct. 28th open 4:30 pm ** Flu Shot Clinic, Sat. Nov.4th, 9 am to 12 pm, WI Medical Clinic Free **Remembrance Day Nov.11th at the WI Fire Hall **WI’s Anglican, Old Fashioned Turkey dinner, St Margaret’s Hall, Sat. Nov 18. 4:30 pm.-7:00 pm..** WI’s Christmas Craft Market Sunday, November 26th, WI Fire Hall-.10 am-3pm.

Posted by M Knott at 01:04 PM
October 12, 2017
Much To Do About Planning, and Other Things

The impact of waterfront development, the evolution of seasonal homes to permanent ones, and the impact of cottage, i.e. private road development, became a concern provincially in the 1970’s. And, according to Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan at the public meeting on Howe Island, is of concern in the townships . He was fulfilling the requirement for public meetings on Wolfe and Howe, to explain the reasons for a proposed official plan amendment regarding, and much needed, Private Lane Policies . “I should point out that Frontenac Islands has the highest rate of permanent residential housing on private roads in the county,” he said. The amendment, expected to be passed by Frontenac Islands Council in November, will be forwarded to Frontenac County Council for review and approval and release by February 2018. The study was undertaken to look at road standards, condominium roads, and road construction standards and policies.

Moving on to the regular Howe Island meeting of council, planning was again on the agenda where two island consent applications, and a minor variance, were approved as presented by Planner Megan Rueckwald. However a difference of opinion arose between Mayor Denis Doyle and County planner Joe Gallivan regarding concerns raised by Theresa Schneider, a Howe Island land (with waterfront) owner. It was with the township’s assessed value/parkland bylaw passed in 2013. “It comes down to what is the interpretation of what is in bylaw.” Mayor Doyle said. “Is it assessed on the severed lot, or is it on the severed lot and the ‘remaining’ lot ?

According to Gallivan, water front property in the Frontenac’s had been highly undervalued over the years, and in a policy review the 5% value is based on the value of waterfront property now as one parcel. There is a dispute resolution clause in the bylaw that allows a township to get an independent land appraiser, and receive a value at that time, the day before the severance is granted. If the applicant does not agree with that, they can appeal to OMB or alternately council can make its own decision to what is fair market value. Gallivan’s own opinion with the present application was that dispute resolution might be required “because no value has been established,” he said. On the other hand Mayor Doyle said ”what is in dispute right now is what we are charging the 5% on. The way I’m reading this we can only charge on the parcel severed off. The applicant offered a description of the property noting difficult water access and no intent of further severances.

“What determines what part we do choose?” Councillor Nossal asked.” If we choose ‘and’ it is one way, if we choose ‘or’ it is another,” questioning the clarity of the 2013 bylaw. CAO Plumley recommended that the Township have an evaluator available to provide unbiased evaluations. The applicant will provide a recent evaluation to Deputy Clerk Dwyre, and a motion was passed that Parkland Fees be to the severed property, not the property as a whole, and the bylaw document will be reviewed and clarified. As Councillor Hobbs noted “ in the future with the 40 acres of the property in question retained, if it comes up for sale, to be subdivided or anything else, will we get the 5% at that time, not now, but then?” and received a yes answer.

Further council business included the passage of a number of bylaws: The rezoning of the Seniors apartment project to Community Facility, and the 2018 Howe Island Ferry System Fees/Fares Schedule. Concerning the later, Deputy Mayor Nossal said that the information and comments received from the public is enough to form a committee with finance staff, to determine their possible benefits. Councillor Hobbs thanked Deputy Clerk Dwyre for the balance achieved. The Howe Island price of an annual pass for a single vehicle is $260.00.

Public Works Manager Dillabough presented his Actions Pending report. He said challenges continue with the Simcoe Island dock repairs. Regarding ‘Dog Strangling Vine,’ he will look to the 2018 budget for spraying. It is all over the county. CAO Plumley drew attention to the WI community Centre Board minutes (Sept.!8). “A number of people no longer wish to remain on the board and maybe we have to restructure how that board is operating, perhaps more like a committee of council,” she said. The WICB next meeting is Oct. 23rd.

Councillor Grant asked that a letter be sent to MTO, requesting that the Wolfe Islander III be kept docking in Marysville for as long as possible. Deputy Mayor Nossal commended Howe Island Fire and Rescue Fire Prevention Week contest, and the KFL&A Fire Prevention Committee. Citizen W. Knott expressed concern with Road 7051, its lack of lighting and ditch depths. Next week I’ll report on: a ‘twinning request’, a health request, and legal costs in the lawsuit against the township, which were raised.

Coming events ** Lunch Bunch. Oct. 18, @ 11;30 am WI United Church- Ireland and Iceland **VON Exercise (older adults) Wed &Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall **WI United Church TURKEY SUPPER, at the UC Hall, Sat Oct. 28th open 4:30 pm ** Flu Shot Clinic, Sat. Nov.4th, 9 am to 12 pm, WI Medical Clinic Free ** WI’s Christmas Craft Market Sunday, November 26th, WI Fire Hall- Contact: Pat Sanford 613-385-1585.

Posted by M Knott at 01:11 PM
October 05, 2017
Dog Strangling Vine – Have You Noticed It ?

Recently , Wolfe Island resident Jean Cruickshank informed me that there is European swallow-wort, most commonly known as Dog-Strangling (DSV) vine around the island. The vine, a member of the milkweed family is an invasive and destructive plant, a risk to native plants and habitat. Deeply concerned, Jean having seen damage already done near her home, wondered how that information could be spread widely to the island community as well as the townships. You may have seen Jean removing vines, gathering the pods and bagging it all.
The vine is of equal concern to her husband David Cruickshank, who has written to Frontenac Islands Township in advance of the next meeting of council to be held on Howe Island. (Tues. Oct. 10th). In his letter to council Cruickshank states that “Dog Strangling -Vine strangles not dogs, but trees, bushes and plants near which it gains a foothold. Its root structure rob nearby plants of nutrients - it is a vine it rapidly and eventually, wraps itself around and slowly chokes what ever host it is on.” He notes the Trinity Anglican Church cemetery is full of the vine, as is the sumac growth east of the church on Road 96, some of which has already died. “Unless something is done the vine will eventually kill lilac stands and anything else in an area to which it spreads.” David offered the following advice for vine removal and a cautionary note. “The vine produces seed pods in the Spring. These burst in the Fall, each one disseminating thousands of seeds. If these pods are removed over the course of the summer, and a rigorous programme of cutting back the vine followed, the weed will be controlled and eventually eradicated. To ignore this threat and do nothing is to sentence the greenery of the Island to extinction.”
For more information visit the Ontario Invasive Plant Council website also that of OMAFRA

Have you been giving much thought to the future of Frontenac Islands specifically Wolfe Island, more specifically Marysville? Many people are wondering how things will change with the hoped for new larger boat and a second one operating from the Island. Certainly more people will visit but, will they choose to live here? And how about the Secondary Plan now under consideration with the possibility of changes to Frontenac Islands Official Plan which could and should or is it ‘Only Might” increase the population of Marysville. A secondary plan can provide the policies governing such things as land use, and infrastructure for areas identified in a township’s Official Plan in this case Marysville, on topics such as development, land use, size, infrastructure, transportation, the environment and possibly design. Marysville does not have sewer and water. If the size of the village was extended East to lets say just beyond Rd. 7051 along with village infill, it could happen. No more trucks on the ferry. Increased interest in island living, affordable housing, more families with children to attend local schools.
For example… The main street needs widening with bike lanes through the village and on the roads (once highways). We need an industrial park, public access to the water, a hard look at local forms of public transportation. How are we dealing with accessibility? We need increased LIHN/Public Health family services, home care, urgent care on the island with with a special concern for seniors and the home bound. We need to be open to new businesses. excited about finding ways of presenting the island as open to growth, with concern for the environment and climate change. Does anyone remember when John O’Shea said , “We should be self-sustaining.” ? We need people and infrastructure and the will to do it. The secondary plan discussion along with an improved ferry service offers an opportunity to determine how and if we can. What do you think?

Around Town: Wonderful party for Claire on the occasion of her 90th Birthday. . ** Very quiet in the village during the week, and sunny days have kept people coming weekends. ** Frontenac County Paramedic Services Chief Paul Charbonneau has received the OAPC President’s l Award of Excellence at the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC) Awards Gala, given to any person for service in advancing the discipline of para-medicine. “Chief Charbonneau has been an unrelenting supporter of Paramedic Services in Ontario for over four decades” said OAPC President Neal Roberts. Congratulations Chief.

Coming events ** Lunch Bunch. Oct. 11, @ 11;30 am WI United Church- topic “ Russia” **VON Exercise (older adults) Wed-Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall ** Flu Shot Clinic, Sat. Nov.4th, 9 am to 12 pm, WI Medical Clinic Free ***WI United Church TURKEY SUPPER, at the UC Hall, Sat Oct. 28th doors open 4:30 pm ** WI’s Christmas Craft Market is: Sunday, November 26th, at the WI Fire Hall. For information contact: Pat Sanford 613-385-1585.

Posted by M Knott at 12:16 PM