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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.

November 25, 2017
Preserving History - Improving Accessibility- Pondering the Future

Preserving History - Improving Accessibility- Pondering the Future : by Marg Knott

‘Preserving History’ became an interesting topic at the recent Frontenac Islands Council meeting when Terri-Lynn Brennan, representing the WI Historical Society, and Paul Banfield, Archivist Queens University, encouraged council to begin (again) to store township historical records at the Queens’ Archives. The township already had a contract with the them, initiated in 1988. The WI Historical Society has availed itself of the service. In her presentation Dr. Brennan noted that “ the township has environmentally inadequate, limited storage space, nor accessibility for local public archival research. The Queens’ Archives, located in Kathleen Ryan Hall, provides storage space and storage vaults for documents, etc., a conservation lab, and the Frederick J. Gibson Reading Room for research. It is recognized as the best medium size archives in Canada,” she said.

And, of course, anyone who knows the WI Town Hall can easily recognize the building’s space limitations, as well as the effort required to retrieve council documents from its upstairs space. Recent renovations at the town Hall may make that a little easier and does provide a little extra storage.
At the meeting, with the reinstatement of the 1988 agreement, between the University and the Township, for the transfer of documents, , CAO Plumley will coordinate with the Archives for the transfer of township documents to storage at the Queens University facility early in the new year, and for 8 years thereafter .

The Wolfe Island community is proud of its history maintaining, much of it at the Old House Museum, at the local library, and through the Historical Society. As well as through the island’s many story tellers, writers, artists and artisans. Perhaps islanders need to think about what they have hidden away and for the sake of history, set up an agreement as well to localize it and save it for posterity.

  • Thinking about Accessibility: Frontenac County’s Manager of Legislative Services Jannette Amini presented the Frontenac Accessibility Advisory Committee report to council. It is the nitty gritty of the report that is important to the community at large.
    The County’s Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) assists both county and township councils in enabling the disabled to access all opportunities in the county, the workplace and the community, as encouraged and outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.(AODA) Amini outlined the duties of the Frontenac County’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, of which you may not be aware. One specifically states that the committee review the site plans, and drawings, from the townships as they relate to accessibility, section 41 of the Planning Act. The report highlighted the new Wolfe Island Seniors Apartment Building, a project geared to accessible living. And, Mr. John Weatheral is the recipient of the ‘Frontenacs 2017 Accessibility Award’, for his donation of land for that project.

“ Creating barrier free communities through accessibility planning will enhance the county’s goal of sustainability in both the social and economic pillars of the county’s sustainability plan. And, for this community as well” Amini said. The full report is available on the Frontenac Islands website: frontenacislands.ca

In other council business: 1. They extended their agreement with the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA)to provide environmental plan review services to the municipality until the year 2020 focusing on the natural hazards, heritage and water quality. 2. A new schedule “F” is being prepared for the WI Transfer Site relating to costs charged to events requiring an event application form for waste bin, haulage, & tipping fee.
3. Pat Sanford will once again operate her Stone Heron Gallery from June 15th to September 9th, 2018 at the WI Township Community Hall. Hall Rental fees are up for 2018 budget deliberations. 4. Additional hours added to Simcoe Island ‘s ferry service extending it to midnight, Sundays only.

Around town: ** Very quiet on Wolfe Island these days. But the ferry is generally full. ** It was chilling to read in the Frontenac News that during Frontenac County’s budget deliberations a cheaper ambulance service for Wolfe Island came up. Suggested was that the ambulance stationed on Wolfe Island could be replaced with a cheaper option using a single paramedic and a first response vehicle coming from Kingston. And when asked Paramedic Services Chief Charbonneau, agreed that that scenario was a good fit for Wolfe Island and would serve islanders as well as the phased-in traditional ambulance located on the island . Nothing came of it. However, that was one week after Chief Charbonneau ‘s clarification of the WI Paramedic Services three-year phase-in process with the island staffed 365 days a year beginning January 1, 2018 ?

COMING EVENTS **VON Exercise Wed & Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall ** WI’s Christmas Craft Market Sunday, November 26th, WI Fire Hall-.10 am-3pm. **WI Christmas Parade, Dec. 9th at 1pm

Posted by M Knott at 01:50 PM
November 15, 2017
Frontenac Islands Always a Busy Agenda

Prior to the November meeting of Frontenac Islands council, a special meeting was to held to receive an overview of the Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe Island and Ferry Docking Improvements to date. This was given by MTO’s Tina White, Senior Project Manager, and Sharon Westendorp, and little has changed since the last public presentation on Wolfe Island. It was noted that changes incorporated into the designs will allow for a free flow of water around the Marysville terminal to prevent water stagnation. Concerns remain at the lack of parking at the Kingston and Marysville terminals, also concerns with the safety of the proposed pier at Dawson Point. Many questions arose about ferries, provisions for the handicapped on ferries, and at terminals. To a question about the possible cost of docks, White said “the cost of a dock can go from $25millions upwards to $50millions.” A TESR report must be approved before the EA can be considered complete and you move on to design. The detailed design may happen in July 2018. The public will continue to be consulted and kept informed.

At the regular meeting of council that followed, there was an agenda item with exciting news of the reconstruction work identified by MTO for the road from the Marysville terminal to the Dawson Point terminal. The road is not suitable to carry any added construction traffic on it, and MTO has offered to support speeding up the township’s rehabilitation of the roadway on its current platform. They will provide funding for the design, supervision and construction of the rehabilitation, if the township leads the environmental assessment process. The township passed a resolution to enter into a “Work By Others Agreement” to be drafted between the Ministry of Transportation and Frontenac Islands Township. It states that MTO will provide funding for the design and construction of the rehabilitation to happen in 2018 and will offer a project manager to work with the township following their direction, the use of the Ministry’s design service provider currently on retainer to complete the design work, as well as a construction administration service provider to oversee the rehabilitation work during construction. The design work is to proceed in parallel with the negotiation for the Work by Others legal agreement. “ great help from the province” and “there no is question that portion of the road from Dawson Point to Marysville certainly requires major work,” residents commented.

Wolfe Island Fire Chief Hawkins, in full uniform, was on hand to address council concerning the purchase of required breathing apparatus, specifically the MSA Breathing Apparatus, at a cost of $84,797 plus taxes, payable in Feb. 2018. Chief Hawkins explained the need, was authorized to proceed. How the expense will be dealt with by the Fire Department will come up during 2018 budget deliberations.

WI Resident Astrid Muchella presented a case for the township to take the lead in the eradication of noxious vines, such as Dog Strangling Vine, along with the many others she identified as invading the township. Astrid, and many other residents, are working at removing the vines which can destroy trees and shrubs, disrupt the life cycle of birds, and butterflies. Her original request was for a bag collection pick up. Her presentation will be posted. This township-wide issue will also come up during budget talks.

Councillor Bruce Higgs had written a letter to council members with regard to the legal case, as initiated by certain HI citizens, of agricultural vehicles boarding on Howe Island, and he spoke to the letter at the meeting. He is frustrated with the statement from the October council meeting that the Township of Frontenac Islands, Howe Island ward, was to pay the legal costs of $18,000, which could rise to $30,000. “ Howe Island should not be involved in paying legal fees. We were not involved in the decision nor did we hear a word from the solicitor that led to that decision. I believe the legal fees should be paid by Frontenac County, not Frontenac Township. I understand the solicitor for the county and the council are the same. I think we need an independent lawyer’s opinion as to who will ultimately pay the costs of the ongoing lawsuit based on a county decision to board agricultural vehicles on the ferry,” he said . The Mayor said, ” I agree with you on that,” and said so at County Council with no success.

CAO Plumley will seek out the assistance of an independent solicitor. The November meeting of Frontenac Islands council came to a quick end with all business covered, to allow off island attendees from Howe Island) to catch the ferry. . Much more next week.
Coming Events: ** Lunch Bunch. Nov.22nd, 11;30 am WI United Church”Western Canada **´SENIORS Apartment Opening Sat. Nov. 25th 2pm **VON Exercise for older adults Wed & Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall ** WI’s Christmas Craft Market Sunday, November 26th, WI Fire Hall-.10 am-3pm. **WI Christmas Parade, Dec. 9th at 1pm ** finally. November is Fall Prevention Month, so be careful..

Posted by M Knott at 01:41 PM
He Came He Listened - He Delivered !

Last week, good news was delivered on behalf of Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca by MPP Sophie Kiwala, at the WI Ferry Terminal in Kingston. She announced that the Ontario government had awarded a $61-million design/build contract to Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands. It was for two ferries, one for delivery to Amherst Island (300 passengers/40 vehicles) in 2019, and the other for Wolfe Island (399 passengers/ 75 vehicles) in 2020. She was joined by Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands, Mike Bossio, MP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, and she was introduced by MTO’s Eastern Regional Director, Kathy Moore. From Holland, Leo Postma, representing Damen Shipyards, was also in attendance.
REMEMBER? Minister Del Duca came to Wolfe at the behest of MPP Sophie Kiwala to hear about about the extremely difficult situations caused by an inadequate ferry service at Wolfe and Amherst Islands And their grief and frustration, “how much longer can we wait?” they asked. And he said at the time. “I hear you.”
MPP Kiwala said “These new ferries will help transport more than 850,000 passengers and 420,000 vehicles per year from WI to Kingston, and approximately 290,000 passengers and 36,000 vehicles to and from Amherst Island . They will also take advantage of the new propulsion technology, and they will run a cleaner and quieter service than the existing ferries. The Frontenac 2 will serve as a back-up ferry for Wolfe Island and Amherst Island. These new ferries will ensure interruptions are minimized when ferries are out of service for periodic maintenance, or in drydock for the 5 year inspection. Every one in this room knows all about that. Others are still recovering from it. These larger ferries will have a very positive effect on the residents, the economy, recreation and tourism. I am absolutely delighted to bring you this news and to see the continued expansion of infrastructure in our region.”
A surprise announcement that the Federal Government will contribute one third of the cost of the ferries up to “as much $30 million” came from MP Mark Gerretsen. “The Wolfe Island ferry brings so many to people to and from Kingston as well as a huge tourism component. This announcement today is in line with what the Canadian government is doing, rebuilding the infrastructure in our county where it can be done and supporting our provinces and municipalities”. And “This is a fantastic announcement. How do we build sustainability? This is exactly how it should be done,’ said MP Mike Bossio at the closing of the meeting. He added “Wonderful for Amherst, a wonderful community and the whole region . “
Damen’s Leo Postma commented that the ferry design work will be done in the Netherlands, with construction in Romania at Galati, on the Danube. The new WI ferry will sail on her own keel down through the Black Sea to Canada, while the smaller Amherst ferry would be transported on a heavy keel ship. “We have built many ships for Canada”, he added.
Later, Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle talked at length about the years that led up to this day. “ This is indeed a great milestone and I am very pleased that our new 75 car ferry has finally been ordered.“ The Mayor had high praise for the many people, both on council and private citizens, who had lobbied the province very hard for over 20 years to provide improved transportation to Wolfe Island. “ I would like to thank them for there efforts to convince the province we needed improvements, as well as MTO’s Kathy Moore and her staff, who patiently listened to our lobbying and for their participation in many meetings on our behalf held over the years with MTO ministers.”

Doyle referred to a meeting with Senior MTO staff in 2007 by organized by then Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek where it was agreed that a full Environmental Assessment was needed, and they were then asked to support the outcome of this time expensive process. “Many options including a bridge from Wolfe to Howe and onto Kingston were fully explored along with many other ferry and bridge solutions, and, the 2011 EA Planning report recommended a new 75 car ferry operating year round to be supplemented by the Wolfe Islander III in the late spring, summer and early fall busy periods.” Mayor Doyle acknowledged that not all residents support this solution. “But it certainly goes a long way to solve our transportation problems for many years to come, and now that the ferry is ordered, I hope that everyone will get behind this project. Council will continue to stay close to MTO’s ongoing work on this project. (docks, roads, amenities).” he concluded

Coming Events: ** Lunch Bunch. Nov.15th, 11;30 am WI United Church ”Peru & Bolivia” **VON Exercise for older adults Wed & Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s 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 ** and November is Fall Prevention Month, so be careful..

Posted by M Knott at 01:33 PM
November 01, 2017
Wolfe Islands Paramedic Service --Gets Better with Time

It was a very busy summer on Wolfe Island. Between the incredible numbers of people who boarded the Wolfe Islander III walking on, or in a vehicle. Along with the countless service and agricultural vehicles as well as trucks, busses, trailers carrying equipment, construction materials, etc., it was all good for the community. As well, islanders travel to work daily and for a myriad of other reasons. For the most part all of this ferry travel has gone well although the wait times and lineups have been consistently long, with delays at times.
Sometimes an ambulance call will delay the process, either because there is no paramedic on the island, or the ambulance is off the island delivering someone to hospital. In both instances the ferry must wait in Kingston for an available paramedic crew to go to the island, or for the island’s ambulance to return, leaving ferry traffic on both sides waiting. But, causing anxiety to both the island patient and the family waiting with them. Of late there has been some concern expressed by islanders regarding the inconsistent Paramedic Service, when only one paramedic is on the island, or there are no paramedics at all, and there is an emergency call. This concern was brought to the attention of Frontenac Islands Council at their Sept. 11th meeting, and has since been brought to the attention of Director of Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS), Paul Charbonneau. Council is seeking clarification from him as to why the inconsistencies in service happen, and how soon will they be remedied. They also want an activity report of all calls and wait times for a paramedic, or a vehicle as well, and the response times and service levels of other communities as a means of comparison in the report.
You will remember the transition of the Wolfe Island Ambulance Service from a volunteer operation to a regular unionized paramedic service occurred as of Feb, 2016, with a certain amount of public concern, until the transitional process was fully explained. Statistics indicate only 2% of all calls require immediate hospital admission. The philosophy now is that the ambulance brings the hospital to the victim, and the new, 8 hr. shift and 16 on call staffing, reduces ‘chute’ i.e. response times . To clarify how the service operates presently, the $145,000 cost of the ‘service model’ chosen by Frontenac County Council for WI, resulted in the county’s plan for ‘a phase in’ of staffing days over a two year period. First with 265 days of full service during 2016, then 315 days during 2017, and finally 365 days a year beginning January 1, 2018. Island Firefighters attend every call in their Emergency Service vehicle, assist the paramedic(s) as required, and are First Responders when necessary. Provincial regulations allows only paramedics, or police, to drive an ambulance. The ambulance is always based on the island except when transporting a patient to the hospital.
Around Town: 1. The Township of Frontenac Islands has extended an invitation to the community to help celebrate the Grand Opening of the 5 unit Senior Apartment Complex, on Wolfe Island The celebration will be held on Sat. Nov.25th with the Opening Ceremony at the site at 2pm, followed by tours of the facility till 4:30 pm. Guests include John Weatherall (Scarthingmoor Farms), members of council, staff from Frontenac Islands and Frontenac County, WI’s Seniors Housing Committee, contractors Wemp and Smith Construction Ltd, Hulton’s Construction, Greenwood Plumbing, and Architect Colbourne & Kembal Inc.
2. The Frontenac Howe Islander ferry left for a mandatory four year ‘out of water’ inspection on Oct 29th with an expected return of November 20th. . It is replaced by a non-cable ferry, the MV Quinte Loyalist. It is affected by the wind, as a result relying more on the Captain’s expertise. Please note that during the hours of 11:30 pm to 6:30 am , the Frontenac Paramedic Services will locate an ambulance crew on Howe Island. During the day emergency services will access Howe Island as they normally do.
Coming Events: ** Lunch Bunch. Nov. 8th, 11;30am WI United Church-‘ GREECE’ **VON Exercise for older adults Wed & Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall **Remembrance Day Nov.11th is at the WI Town Hall 10:45 am ** WI artist Debra Krakow presents newest art work at an Opening Reception, at Studio 22 on King Street E, on Sat. Nov.11th. 8:00-10:30 pm ..Join her. **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 **and November is Fall Prevention Month, so be careful..

Posted by M Knott at 01:29 PM