The Howe Island ferry service moved to the top of the agenda when a record crowd (which also included representatives of Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. and Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE), filled Howe Island’s municipal building for Frontenac Islands monthly meeting.
The township ferry at the east end of Howe island was out of service for 5-weeks waiting for parts and the County ferry experienced shutdowns, including one during a medical emergency. Residents came wanting confirmation that the township ferry would operate all winter and the role Howe Island will play in a transportation plan (recently identified as a possibility). HIRA’s (Howe Island Ratepayers Association) Gary Nichol was there looking for answers to a series of related questions.
According to Mayor Vanden Hoek Frontenac Islands has had little success in advancing a municipal transportation plan initiative. But there is an initial action from the Ministry of Transportation driven by the Wolfe Island service to do an EA (environmental assessment) and to include the Howe service. “We are just starting the long process and then you have to find the money for the preferred option,” the mayor said. (A current history of the ferry service was commissioned by the township for eventual submission to MTO.) “The township service also has short term options on the maintenance side and the drive issue on the county ferry to resolve. If we had known how long it would take to get parts things would have been done differently,” he said.
The ferry is now operating and will operate all winter, weather permitting, from Jan.1st. CAO O’Shea said MTO was advised of council’s resolution to operate the ferry because the enhancements to the county ferry were not what they were supposed to be, particularly in these last months with its breakdowns, problems with township ferry and medical emergencies. There is ongoing action to build and purchase a new ferry drive and pump and to submit a plan for council approval and “submission to MTO.
Howe Island’s Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Quinn clarified the protocol for medical emergencies and specifically a statement attributed to him that “an air ambulance would be called” in a medical emergency. “We must be clear, an air ambulance COULD be called. That decision falls to the Central Ambulance Communication Centre (dispatch) who look to the local service to define other possible options based on the condition of the patient, severity of an injury, etc. and then decide.”In this instance, an air ambulance was not required and a private boat carried the patient to a waiting ambulance .
In other business: 1. Jennifer Current from the firm of Clark Consulting presented a bylaw to designate Frontenac Islands as a site plan control area for the development of a wind plant. She noted a few very simple word changes (ie. “set backs” to “distances”) for purposes of clarity which came up at the last minute and are not yet vetted by legal council. Councillor Fiene questioned the inclusion of Howe Island in the bylaw. Doyle wanted passage of the bylaw deferred to January. Ms. Current noted that there are no lands on Howe Island designated for wind turbines. Any plan for Howe Island would require an official plan amendment and a zoning bylaw amendment, environmental screening etc. She reiterated that the word changes were minor. However passage of the bylaw was deferred by resolution to January.
2. Wolfe Island seasonal resident Lynn Moore representing WIRE noted that they have been waiting for the provincial focus group’s review report of the Province’s regulation 116.01, not yet released policy statement particularly as it relates to noise. They are concerned and want proper protection and safeguards for residents living close to wind turbines. Ms Moore asked council to approve a resolution for submission to the Minister of the Environment stating that until there are provincial noise policies that give proper setbacks and protection to people, that the wind plant project be put in abeyance as premature. She cited the Grey Highlands Municipality as having submitted such a resolution. “The ERR has been released without those policies and we need the municipality to ensure our rights are looked after,” Moore said. She noted that in July, WIRE had submitted a request that Frontenac Islands pass a noise bylaw in light of the wind plant project.
The Mayor commented that legislation is always under review and changing. In response John Uliana from Stantec Ltd. said it was his view the agency responsible for noise is the MOE and it is to MOE that applications should be made. Ms. Current said applications are dealt with according to existing policies., and ultimately it is for MOE to determine if the policies are being met. Moore said that WIRE is dealing with MOE but is looking for council support. The material submitted by WIRE will be reviewed by Clark Consulting for council by Dec. 31st in advance of the Wolfe Island ERR comment extension date of Jan. 4, 2008.
3. Presentations and requests for support and follow up were made by
1.) Don Grant of the firm of Jacques Whitford re: Integrated Community Sustainability Program.
2.) The designation of the St. Lawrence River as a Canadian Heritage River by the 1000 Islands Residents Association’s Peter Macklin & Pam Bliss.
3. Following a presentation by a disgruntled Gene Manion, and further input by Frank Vellone regarding blocked, private and public ditches, water courses etc. on Howe Island, it was decided that staff and council will meet with the affected property owners.
4.Council will submit a request to MTO for an extra 4:45 am ferry run from Wolfe Island with No Alteration to the present schedule.
6. Mayor Vanden Hoek wants the cost of doing an EA to begin the process for providing water in Marysville included in the 2008 budget. “If you want to apply for funding to resolve the issue, you have to have that work done. You can’t one day say we are going to put water in the village, but if a plan is there the municipality has done due diligence and the Federal and Provincial partners will have to come to the table. It will be a contentious issue but we have to move on with it,” he said. An EA is good for 5 year and renewable. Staff will look into EA costs. Council meets next Wolfe Island, Jan. 14th , 6:30 pm.
Warmest Greetings to All for a Blessed Christmas & A Happy 2008
Review Period Extension for an Environmental Review Report
Wolfe Island Wind Project
Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation (“CREC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc., is proposing to build, own, and operate a wind plant on Wolfe Island, Township of Frontenac Islands. Key components of the project include 86 wind turbine generators, access roads, electrical collector and transmission lines, pad-mounted transformers, transformer station, operation and maintenance building, and interconnection facility with the provincial grid.
On 19 November 2007, CREC released the final Environmental Review Report (“ERR”) after several years of extensive consultation and intensive study. In compliance with the Ministry of the Environment’s (“MOE”) Guide to Environmental Assessment Requirements for Electricity Projects, March 2001 (“EA Guide”), a Notice of Completion was published in local newspapers and delivered to those who had expressed an interest in the project. As stated in the Notice of Completion the review and comment period was scheduled to conclude on 19 December 2007.
In recognition of the comprehensive nature of the ERR, the long history and evolution of the project, and ongoing stakeholder interest in this renewable energy initiative, CREC has voluntarily extended the comment filing date to 4:30 p.m. on 04 January 2008. The ERR continues to be available on the project website (www.wolfeislandwind.com) or in hard copy form at the following locations:
Township of Frontenac Islands Office, Wolfe Island
Highway 96, Wolfe Island
Township of Frontenac Islands Office, Howe Island
50 Baseline Road, Howe Island
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Wolfe Island Branch
10 Highway 95, Wolfe Island
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Howe Island Branch
50 Baseline Road, Howe Island
City of Kingston, City Hall, Clerk's Office
216 Ontario Street, Kingston
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Central Branch
130 Johnston Street, Kingston
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Isabel Turner Branch
935 Gardiners Road, Kingston
Village of Cape Vincent Municipal Office
127 E. Joseph Street, Cape Vincent, New York
Ontario Ministry of the Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A, Toronto, Ontario
Ontario Ministry of the Environment
1259 Gardiners Road, Kingston, Ontario
All comments and correspondence should continue to be directed to:
Mr. Robert Miller
Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation
c/o Stantec Consulting Limited
361 Southgate Drive
In accordance with the EA Guide stakeholders must first attempt to resolve any outstanding issues with CREC during the Notice of Completion review and comment period. In the event that issues cannot be resolved with CREC during the review period, the concerned party may make a written request to the Director of the MOE’s Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch at the address noted below to elevate the project to an Individual Environmental Assessment. A copy of the elevation request must also be sent to CREC at the address above.
Director of Environmental Assessment and Approvals Branch
Ministry of the Environment
2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A
Elevation requests must be made in accordance with the provisions set out in the EA Guide and be received by the MOE’s EAAB Director and CREC no later than 4:30 p.m. on 04 January 2007. Additional information on the Notice of Completion, ERR, and project is available on the project website.
The Toronto Globe & Mail (Nov.17th) published an article entitled “An Ill Wind Blows!” The article talks about the Canadian Hydro Developers (CHD) Wind Power Plant for Wolfe Island. It seems to be written by someone who has probably visited the island two or three times, sees it as utopia and is totally unaware of its history or its people, and more recently what has gone on for the last number of years with regard to the island wind power debate.
While one can deal with certain errors in article, it is impossible to accept references that suggest islanders are stupid: ”The island is ideal for CHD because a lot of people here are old, naïve and impressionable. Someone comes to their door and offers them money and it is hard to resist.” or “Companies like CHD target communities that are poor and easily influenced.”
The truth is that islanders, people of the land and water, have witnessed many changes, have endured much and now wisely see that the wind that blows on their island and across their land offers some small hope not only for their future but ours as well. And, they are well aware that human activity can affect the environment, positively or negatively. Thus their “yes” to a wind plant is their gift if you will, to help stop the destruction of the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels and the abuse of water, our most sacred commodity. (It has always seemed logical to me when I see from our home, the wind and waves pounding against Milton Island that that wind could be harnessed to generate electricity just as the derelict wind mills once drew water.)
The prevailing wind in Southern Ontario is from the south west. Thus coastal areas and highlands are a natural place for wind towers. Eastern Ontario, New York State and that part of Ontario on Lake Huron including part of the escarpment are where wind towers are being proposed. However, every proposal draws out, not only those who are FOR wind power generation, but also those who say they are not against wind turbines per se, yet have many reasons for saying NO. Wolfe Island has been no different.
The release of the long awaited Wolfe Island Wind Plant Environmental Review Report (ERR) www.wolfeislandwind.com by Stantec Ltd for Canadian Hydro Developers offers residents the opportunity to review the report from 19 November to 19 December, 2007 and determine if the company has fulfilled all that is required to move forward. That is the siting of the towers, land use, environmental commitments, protection of birds, visual impact, noise, potential environmental effects, protective and mitigation measures, and follow-up programs.
They are to direct any comments to: Robert Miller, Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation c/o Stantec Consulting Limited, 361 Southgate Drive, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 3M5.
So here we are at the cross roads, a turning point in Ontario’s need for new, renewable electricity generation capacity. The ERR identifies whether Canadian Hydro fulfilled the various regulatory requirements and is now out there. It presents and assesses the eighty-six, 2.3 MW Wind Turbine Plant for Wolfe Island (setbacks from environmental features, technical considerations, compliance with the various municipal, provincial, and federal setbacks, regulations, and guidelines, etc.). The ERR is a reminder of the many environmental advantages of the island’s wind (clean source of energy, does not produce harmful air emissions, waste, greenhouse gases, sulphur or carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, heavy metals and offsets coal , natural gas emissions, reduces smog and acid rain) but also of the project’s many economic advantages (employment, direct land owner funding, amenities agreement, plus many indirect advantages and tax revenues). We also know that the wind power plant on Wolfe Island will generate enough power for 75,000 homes, and represents one small step in reducing use of non renewable energy in Ontario.
With regards to the ERR, members of WIRE (Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment) are worried that all residents will not have access to the report. WIRE is seeking an extension to the review period from Canadian Hydro Developers, more public consultation, and want site and noise maps, notice of Information Meetings, (rather than open house sessions) mailed to all residents including seasonal (receptors and non receptors of towers). Their ongoing concerns are setbacks, the changed island viewscape, use of land, noise, turbine lighting, affect on wildlife, migratory birds, bats and property values. They want to be heard.
For the last 30 years or more islanders have watched the island change. Some of the changes have been difficult, others are a sign of progress. Children from the island’s farming community have left the island to be educated with no thought of returning to the hard life their parents have experienced. And in truth that is what their parents wanted for them, but the result has been in many cases, there is no one to take over the farm. Much of the land is now left barren.
Islanders who have embraced the development of the Wind Plant have placed their trust in Canadian Hydro Developers, they believe, that in spite of it being for-profit, the company will attempt to mitigate their concerns whether land use, set backs, noise, turbine siting, transmission line routing, avian mortality etc. and that they will bring to this project all that they have learned from other projects.
Our country is facing environmental disasters in a world where CO2 emissions and use of fossil fuels continue to go up, water levels are going down, the earth is ravaged, drought conditions inch across the land and there are no more rivers to dam. Coal, gas fired generators and nuclear plants produce waste, pollute the air and consume non renewable resources,and cause global warming.
Wind power offers hope for the future, a future which at the moment looks pretty grim, if no one is willing to take steps to change it. As difficult as it may be, islanders are willing to take those steps, to accept the dramatic changes a wind power plant will have on the face of their island, to ensure its future and perhaps in some small way that of the universe. Who was it who said, “One Small Step?
Around town: With too much going on, the important Snow Flake Fling, a fundraiser for Mack O’Coin who is battling Leukemia, got missed. Fun for too few. Disappointing for Grandma Lori Minten for whom community is family, and the family didn’t come.
Once again, at their November meeting chaired by Deputy Mayor Pat Norris, Frontenac Islands Council denied Simcoe Islander Carol Leonard’s request to have Nine Mile Point Road ploughed to her home. Leonard has approached council with the same request on at least eight occasions since 2003 when the township stopped ploughing Nine Mile Point Road from the ferry to the Light House ,where her home is located.
Leonard has owned her property since 1990 and has been a permanent resident for 5 years. Prior to her arrival the road was ploughed the entire length when requested by the Coast Guard and after her arrival until 2003 when the road designation was changed to Limited Service (OMB decision) on township maps, resulting in the snow plough turning around 1 km away from her home or/and leaving her to pay the annual bill for the last mile “ $550 one year, $750 another and $350 last year.” Hers is the only home on the township road not ploughed out. “I pay my taxes. It’s not fair,” she said.
Leonard believes the map changes happened without notification of a hearing and were based on false information. “ I implore you to take this opportunity to make things right,” she said. Councillors Fiene and Doyle felt road should be ploughed all the way., but a motion to instruct the Township to plough to the Light House was defeated. Leonard asked that she receive all documentation related to the road designation change. “I thought common sense might prevail,” she said.
In other business: Councillor Doyle brought council up to date on the interim Big Sandy Bay management plan noting a few ‘species at risk ‘changes. They are seeking a longer term management plan. Further meetings with Ducks Unlimited, Nature Conservancy and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) are required with a “Go Forward” Public Meeting to be held in early 2008. Doyle said that there are problems with illegal ATV drivers on the beach. They are also looking at ways (money) to build a tower to overlook Black Lake.
In letter from MNR noted they had received inquiries about Big Sandy Bay, rules pertaining to its use, access, etc. and to that end, have developed a map for public distribution including information about the property, basic rules around use and access, obstruction of legal hunting, trapping, or fishing etc. The maps will be available at the Wolfe Island Town Hall and /or distributed by flyer.
*Letters from citizens requesting additional Wolfe Island ferry trips have been forwarded to Roger Harrison at MTO ,owns the service.
* A new agreement for summer rental (June-Sept. 2008) of the Community Hall for the Stone Heron Gallery offered to owner Pat Sanford.will include a rent increase and further changes.
*A meeting will be set up with WOW Document Preservation. Many old (1800’s) documents books have begun to fall apart.
* A number of issues on Howe Island need to be dealt with (land sales, ditches).Need to stockpile parts for Township ferry.
* Councillor Grant questions removal of “ no hunting signs” (8th,11th ) on Wolfe Island.
*Letters to congratulate M PP John Gerretsen, & thanks to Maureen Lollar, Remembrance Day planner. Council meets again: Dec. 10, 6:30 pm on Howe Island.
Remembrance Day: In his opening prayer and reflection at Wolfe Island’s Remembrance Day Service Fr. Raymond De Souza, pastor at Sacred Heart of Mary parish spoke of the death in Afghanistan of Kingston’s Captain Matthew Dawe and his funeral in Kingston. Fr. De Souza and Rev. Canon Chris Carr from the island’s Trinity Anglican had led that funeral service held at RMC. Speaking of that day and referring to scripture, where it is says, ‘one cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals and to cherish the hope God gives of being raised again by him,” Father Raymond said, “If you have nothing to live for, you will have nothing to die for.”
Islanders listened as Connie Carr and Anna Lindgren, flanked by RMC cadets, read the ever growing island list of those who have died, served in the wars, peace keeping and ongoing conflicts. They heard poems of remembrance, watched the laying of wreaths including those by Colonel Jim Calvin ret. and Major Keith Walton ret., Merchant Navy veterans, R.F. Fawcett and Vern Yott, and observed two minutes of silence with the Last Post and Reveille played by student Celina Walker. The Closing prayer was offered by Canon Chris Carr. CEO Terry O’Shea led the ceremony.
Thank you’s were extended to event organizer, Maureen Lollar, and members of the WI Womens’ Institute.
Prior to singing O Canada and the reception that followed, Brian Johnson, President of the Historical Society presented the First World War medals of Sgt. George (Bruno) Spoor (late of Wolfe Island) to Councillor Wayne Grant, on behalf of the island. Spoor, born on the Island in 1894 joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 146 Battalion serving in Canada and England before his transfer in France to the 12th Battalion, Canadian Railway in 1917.
The medal collection was purchased on E Bay by Captain Sheldon Maerz, serving in Afghanistan at the time, who later was in touch with the Kingston Whig Standard’s Jordon Press, who in turn contacted the Wolfe Island Historical Society about the medals and the island connection. The society decided to purchase the medals, pictures and memorabilia and present them to the Township for preservation and safekeeping. An interesting aside is the fact that Captain Maerz served with Colonel Calvin in Bosnia.
Coming up: Snow Flake Fling, Santa Parade , Advent Readings & Carols, Christmas Arts & Crafts Sale, Darts, Euchre. Check www.wolfeisland.com
Of Special Interest: Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) released and made available for review and comment the Final Environmental Review Report (ERR) for the Wolfe Island Wind Power on the Project’s website: www.wolfeislandwind.com from 19 November to 19 December, 2007. During review period copies of the ERR are available at the: Howe & Wolfe Township Offices; Clerk’s Office, Kingston City Hall; Frontenac County Public Libraries; Cape Vincent Municipal Office; MOE offices in Kingston & Toronto. All comments regarding the Wolfe Island Wind Project and/or ERR must be received no later than 4:30 pm on Dec. 19th and directed to: Robert Miller, Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation c/o Stantec Consulting Limited, 361 Southgate Drive, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 3M5.
Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation, (CREC), a subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers was recently granted an application from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to proceed with the construction of an underground and submarine 12.1 kilometre electricity transmission line and associated facilities, connecting its Wolfe Island Wind Plant to Kingston’s Gardiner transformer station.
The Board found the transmission line to be in the public interest.
The single circuit 230 Kilovolt (kV) transmission line will extend from a new transformer station located on Wolfe Island to the Hydro One Networks Inc. (Hydro One) connecting with existing Hydro One 230 kV transmission grid to transport power.
According to Project Engineer Rob Miller, Canadian Hydro has considered the concerns of the community for the proposed underground transmission line and its routing east and north of the Water Treatment Plant and (southwest) outside of Paterson Park. “ This will create the least amount of interference with existing land use and roads in the City of Kingston.”
CREC successfully bid in the Ministry of Energy’s 2005 RFP for 1,000 MW of renewable energy and entered into a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority to construct and operate a 198 MW (86 turbines) wind farm on Wolfe Island.
The OEB approval for the transmission line is one of many permits that Canadian Hydro is working to obtain as part of the Environmental Assessment process for the Wolfe Island Wind Plant.
These have been busy, last of summer, fall is here and winter is coming, kind of days for Frontenac Islands. On Howe Island the long awaited NEW Fire Hall was officially opened in October. It is located adjacent to the island’s Municipal Building. The Township of Frontenac Islands
Howe Island Fire & Rescue was established in 1977 through the determination of dedicated volunteers, whose persistence and hard work was the foundation for the exceptional force and the strong Firefighters Association the island has today.
Howe Island Fire & Rescue is also a recognized Ministry of Health “Certified” Emergency Response Team, able to provide rapid response and offer medical assistance when required. It operated out of a former one room school house until the official ribbon cutting announcing the Grand Opening of the beautiful new building. Cutting the ribbon along with Fire Chief Mike Quinn was Frontenac Islands Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek and Deputy Mayor Pat Norris.
Ongoing problems with the Howe Island County ferry recently led Frontenac Islands council to inform the county that they would continue to run the small township ferry through the winter months in spite of an agreement for it to be out of service annually during the winter months . For more about the island and events, the Howe Island Ratepayers Association maintains a community website at www.howeisland.org .
On Wolfe Island the low water level has led to the annual move of the ferry from Marysville to the winter dock. The ferry, Wolfe Islander III maintains the same schedule but departs from Dawson Point some 3 km east of the village. The move was delayed because of issues with a leaning dolphin requiring some work.
The Dawson Point area including the ferry ramp has not escaped the ugly handiwork of the inevitable graphiti artists. A heated MTO trailer with a telephone serves as a waiting room, adjacent to a parking lot that is too small for the increasing numbers of island commuters who work in Kingston, and are forced to park side by side many metres back up the road. There is no transportation service to pick up commuters during the peak morning periods from Marysville or in the evening from the winter dock.
Which means, with an hourly ferry schedule, commuters need to arrive at the dock in good time to guarantee getting on, and in severe weather and heavy winds, so prevalent there, leave their engines running in the line up and (to avoid icing) on the ferry. All are no, no’s, in this new age of environmental concern.
And of course the ferry move, along with the winter shut down of the local bakery, Horne’s Ferry, the tourist information centre and the departure of cottagers, results in fewer visitors to the island, or for that matter, islanders using the local village services. But that in no way puts an end to island events.
*A Business Mixer hosted by the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association at the General Wolfe Hotel brought out OMAFRA’s Brian Ritchie, Frontenac County Economic Development Officer Deanna Bratina and from Frontenac CFDC Ann Prichard to mingle with business owners and operators, to hear about new initiatives and to simple enjoy the evening.
*WIBTA’s Information Centre coordinators Betty Doyle and Linda Bruckman hosted an afternoon event at the Doyle’s family home attended by Mayor Vanden Hoek to honour the many volunteers (37) who served at the centre throughout the summer. WIBTA relies on these enthusiastic volunteers to greet and welcome visitors to the island.
* Wolfe Island’s Darrell Niles owner and operator of Septic Solutions was an award winner for Frontenac Islands at this year’s Land O’ Lakes Marketing Vision Awards banquet spearheaded by Land O’ Lakes Tourist Association (LOLTA). The awards recognize businesses that help the entire area to prosper. Nominated by WIBTA, the award was presented by Linda Van Hal.
*Of particular significance to the community was a Book signing event with Jane Hall, author of “The Red Wall - A woman in the RCMP”., a true story look inside the RCMP. Originally from Wolfe Island, Jane Hall, the daughter of the late Carmel and D.J Greenwood, now resides in Langley, B.C.,but is still a frequent visitor to her family home. The event was hosted by the Wolfe Island Historical Society, supported by the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute. Sacred Heart school children created the beautiful banner and decorations for the hall.
*Don Sleeth of Camera Kingston was on hand to announce the 2007 Wolfe Island Photo Contest during the island’s annual Pumpkin Festival which in spite of ‘Iffy” weather was a great success. First prize winners only : Youth: Avery Walker; Historical Buildings: Peter Bowers ; Traditional Modes of Transportation: Maureen Kane; Big Sandy Bay: Deanna Mason; General Interest: Marilyn Grise. Look for more winners and Pumpkin fest news at: www.wolfeisland.com..
*The Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE) Bus Tour of a wind farm is slated for Nov. 17th. leaving from the Kingston dock at 12:30 pm. WIRE’s Information building is closed for the season but a WIRE Information Board is planned for Marysville.
*About now about the environment. The issues are many. The concerns are great. The water is low. Pollution fills the air. Sewage pollutes the water. Some want wind power. Others don’t. Some are for nuclear power. Many are opposed. Still others are for conservation. Others don’t see the point. To our long standing MPP John Gerretsen , good luck and perseverance in you new role as Environment Minister for Ontario.
Clark Consulting Ltd.'s Bob Clark and Jennifer Current attended the Frontenac Islands October council meeting. They presented a draft Site Plan Control Bylaw for the 86 wind turbines planned for Wolfe Island for council’s consideration. Rob Miller of Canadian Hydro Developers was also present. The presentation came in advance of the CREC Environmental Review Report (ERR) expected to be completed and released to the public by the end of October or early November.
Clark reminded council members that the official plan amendment was approved; the decision from the Ontario Municipal Board is pending the final report of the ERR; and a couple of zoning issues have to be addressed with regard to the addition and subtraction of lands.
“The site control bylaw is adopted under the Planning Act,” Clark said. “No notice is required for council to adopt the by law and there is no appeal to its adoption, however upon application there is opportunity for appeal by the applicant. The draft has been reviewed by the Township solicitor Tim Wilkin and by Tim Birmingham , solicitor for Canadian Hydro. Our purpose in coming tonight was to offer you the opportunity to see the bylaw. We are not expecting you to adopt it at this time perhaps waiting for the release of the ERR for public comment.”
The principles Clark Consulting have used in developing the by law are: that we want a site plan and a bylaw to come before council that provides proof of compliance with the ERR and the zoning bylaw and, that it contain construction details for each turbine so that council understands all construction implications. With regard to the voluntary public notice and public meeting Clark suggested because of the number to be dealt with it might be worthwhile to schedule not only a formal public meeting but an informal open house on the same day to hear and answer concerns etc.
MS Current walked council members through the draft bylaw noting that all lands zoned for the use of wind plants, turbines, facilities etc. must obtain a site plan approval which addresses environmental requirements, complies with the ERR, and the Environmental Assessment act (monitoring, identification, colour, hedge rows…etc.) Rob Miller said CREC is targeting the end of October first week of November for the completion of the ERR followed by 30 days of formal public feed back and possible request for “bump up” which would result in further delays.
In other business: Three property zoning amendment applications were approved after much discussion about high water, flood plain and up rush levels, aggregate review requirements and the question and value of local knowledge regarding certain land issues. A further application of consent was also approved.
Council approved the appointment of a Frontenac County “Closed Meeting Investigator” effective Jan 1, 2008. This permits any person to request the investigation of a meeting or part of a meeting of a municipality or local board that was closed to the public and may be contrary to the Municipal Act.
Councillor Dennis Doyle spoke to the annual Big Sandy Bay Management Plan report and received council’s endorsement that he, one member of staff and Rick Lindgren (BSB Board member) present the report, including councils amended feedback, to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In the course of the discussion there were questions about land use permits, parking, operating budget, fees, who represents Ducks Unlimited, and the extent of MNR’s responsibility for monitoring programs.
Doyle also brought forward the Wolfe Island Information Centre Report, a request for funds, information re volunteer hours etc. which was set aside for the time being until a review can be had with the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association.
Township treasurer Christina Lott presented further information regarding the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation proposal (2/3 cost) to supply best possible broadband (internet) coverage (2 towers) for the township (1/3cost). She said that 3 service providers have expressed an interest in having space on the proposed towers. Mayor Vanden Hoek noted that businesses have indicated broadband is important to them. Staff was directed to enter into a funding agreement with FCFDC and come back to council with a plan for best coverage and financing.
*Council will establish a committee made up of two councillors (one from Wolfe, one from Howe) and 3 or 4 community representatives involved in tourism, to work with OMAFRA on the First Impressions Community Program. *Councillor Doyle has been nominated as an alternate to the Central Region Cataraqui Authority Source Protection Committee.
*Council also supported a City of Cornwall resolution asking the province to re-assume all provincially mandated Social Services and Court costs. *On Howe Island, all possible services hydro, etc. will be cancelled at their old Fire Hall. This follows the formal opening of the new Fire Hall.
*Problems still exist because of a blocked culvert on Howe Island Drive. *Councillor Fiene wonders why speed signs requested for Howe Island Drive are not there.
*Council wants small Howe Island ferry operating 12 months a year because of the problems with the island’s County operated ferry and are looking at ways that might be accomplished (MTO? County?).
*Council meets next on: Mon. Nov.12, 2008 on Wolfe Island 6:30 pm.
The following was NOT published in this week's Heritage
For your information:.* The Ontario Energy Board has issued an order granting CREC, (Canadian Hydro Developers) permission to construct the transmission facilities and 12.1 kilometres of single circuit 230 Kilovolt (kV) and sub marine electricity transmission line, which will be underground, connecting the Wolfe Island wind plant to the Hydro One Networks Gardner Transformer station. The OEB found the transmission line to be in the public interest. It’s approval is one of many permits Canadian Hydro is working to obtain for the Wolfe Island Wind Project.
*The free bus tour to see a wind farm in Lowville NY, via Horne’s Ferry organized by WIRE (W.I. residents for the Environment) and open to anyone who may or may not have seen a wind turbine was cancelled but will be rescheduled..
*The official opening of the NEW Howe Island Fire Hall took place recently. According to Mayor Vanden Hoek it was a wonderful event and brought out the whole community, guests and friends..
* The 8th Annual Wolfe Island PUMPKIN WEIGH-IN and AUTUMN SOCIAL, Photo Contest Winners Sat. OCTOBER 27th @ 11:00am at the Town Square. For Further Events: www.wolfeisland.com
The site of the 2-day , 51st annual Wolfe Island Plowing Match held this year in conjunction with the Frontenac County’s Plowing match, at the island’s Pykeview Meadows farm was spectacular with its incredible view of Lake Ontario at one end, and rolling slopes to a view of Kingston in the distance at the other. The weather was perfect. People came from Lunenburg, Elgin, Osgoode, Kingston, Inverary, Portland, Napanee as well as Wolfe Island to plough. Judges for the event were Don Dodds of Seaforth & Ross MacGillivray of Dalkeith. Special thanks go out to the many businesses and individual sponsors of the event .
Men and women, younger and older came to plough with horse and tractor on newer models and antique. Friends, neighbours and island visitors came to cheer them on.
New this year was an Open Market Place offering opportunities to a group of enthusiastic vendors to sell, show or demonstrate any number of things. Farm machinery was also on display. And of course there was food. One booth sponsored by the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute served muffins and homemade pies, an island favourite. Also Frank Van Hal’s ‘Corn Chucker’ was a favourite for the kids at this successful Island Ploughing Match.
The upcoming Ontario election brought NDP candidate Rick Downes and PC candidate Dr. John Rapin to the island. Dr. Rapin, raised on a farm, also took time, perched on a wagon to chuck hay into an antique threshing machine.
Trophies and awards, donated by businesses, industries & the W.I. Plowmen’s Association were presented to: Class #1 Horses:1.David Guitierrez 2. Marwin Antoine 3. Elswood Gamble; Class # 2 Juniors (under 14 years): 1. Hunter Chown 2. Jeremy Posthumus; Class # 4 Two-furrow: 1. Lee Grant 2. Everett Hogan 3. Dick Posthumus; Class # 6 Three-furrow: 1. John Posthumus 2. Tom Berry 3. Henry Posthumus; Class #7 Four-furrow: 1. Tom Woodman 2. Dave Woodman 3. Adam Pemberton; Class # 8 Ladies: 1. Rebecca Woodman 2. Wendy Grant; Class # 9 Antiques: 1. Jim Hulton 2. Peter Myers 3. Ben Greenwood; Class # 10: 1. Cole Chown 2. Reed Chown 3. Peter Van Hal; Youngest Plough person Reed Chown;
Oldest Plough person: John Posthumus;
Safety Practiced During Match: Frank & Linda Van Hal;
Best Dressed Horse: Marwin Antoine;
Best Plough Team: Kaye Fawcett;
Best Finish-Horse: Leo Greenwood;
Best Finish-Tractor: Jim Hulton;
Best Crown: David Guitierrez;
Champion Land of The Day: Jim Hulton.
*Apple Fest: hosted by Wolfe Island Early Year Centre, raised well over $1000. It brought out many families, friends and visitors from away to pick apples, fly kites, play games, press apples for cider and generally have fun on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Apple Crisp and Pies, both island favourites provided by the WI Women’s Institute were a crowd pleaser. Apple Fest was held at Peggy and Bruce Horne’s Orchard on Hwy 95. Watch for it next year.
*A Book Signing on Wolfe Island with Jane (Greenwood) Hall, author of “The Red Wall- A Woman in the RCMP”, sponsored by the Historical Society, will be held at island’s Community Hall Sunday, October 14th 1:00-4:00 p.m. The book presents a true story look inside the RCMP. Jane Hall, daughter of the late Carmel and D.J. Greenwood, graduated from Queen’s University before joining the RCMP in June 1977, retiring in 1998. Hall resides in Langley BC but is a frequent visitor to her Wolfe Island home.
*Living at the Barricades: A live taping of the CFRC 101.9 FM radio show ‘Living at the Barricades’ hosted by Lake Ontario Water Keeper Mark Mattson took place at the General Wolfe Hotel on Wolfe Island. Mattson interviewed Sarah McDermott and Peggy Mattson of Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE), there to express their environmental concerns regarding the proposed island wind power plant and the agreement reached at a recent OMB hearing with Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation to mitigate those concerns.
Chris Brown, producer of the CD “At the Barricades”, which reflects efforts by artists committed to the fight for clean water, also was interviewed. Music followed with Chris Brown & the Citizens Band.
*And speaking about WATER: Water levels on Wolfe Island are, as of yesterday were below chart datum which means that the charts showing rocks, shoals, shorelines etc. are not accurate for boating purposes and more caution is required.
Whether there is enough water in Barrett’s Bay for the Wolfe Islander III to remain in the Marysville is always a contentious issue because a move to the winter dock affects the village. With water levels this low the ferry might have been moved. However there are problems at the winter dock which have to be fixed. ( At our house we have more beach area than we have ever had.)
This summer we had three granddaughters with us, city kids, accustomed to turning on taps and water flows, long showers, daily hair washing, laundry whenever etc. etc. Young people with no concept about wells, dug or drilled, shore wells or cisterns, having to treat water or buy water (except bottles for $1plus, frequently left unfinished), about water tables, or water levels in lakes and rivers or ponds drying up. Nor about the effort required to bring water to livestock or irrigate crops away from the water surrounding Wolfe Island, or for that matter about septic systems.
What a learning curve for them as we dictated a few rules. Short, timed, showers, not every day… imagine…. laundry once a week often in the city, use as few glasses and dishes as possible and accumulate for a single dishwasher load, no tap running for teeth brushing, fewer flushes, etc. etc. and BRITA water for their flasks. It wasn’t easy but they did it. Hopefully they will continue to understand, not only the importance of conserving water but be willing to fight to protect it.
As I look around the island and feel the heat of the sun day after day, see trees that are stressed from lack of rain, algae forming in the bays, land and rocks I have not seen before, and hear about the daily contamination of our lakes and rivers I, like you, am concerned. We all know clean water is the staff of life.
Very soon Frontenac Islands Council will deal with the question of water for Marysville. May their deliberations be sound. Best wishes to all this Thanksgiving 2007.
Frontenac Islands Council was reminded at their September meeting that the Planning Act, requires an Official Plan Review in 2008. Township Planning Consultant Glenn Tunnock said official plans must be reviewed, (not replaced) every five years and must be consistent with the latest Provincial Policy. A review would be considered a ‘comprehensive review’ if it authorizes certain revisions to the existing document.
Tunnock reminded council of certain issues, for instance, that the law does not allow severances on agricultural land and perhaps some unused land should be rezoned rural; that a continued demand for shoreline use requires access routes and public access (fire, ambulance); possible alternate energy directions; sustainable long term shoreline management including setbacks and retaining original state. He pointed out that a review requires many meetings and a time line of 6 months to a year to complete. Tunnock will provide the township with a budget estimate. Council will begin their review in the new year.
Acting in their capacity as Committee of Adjustment council, approved an application made by Brian and Kevin Coffey to sever a lot. The alignment of the road which accesses a serviced Township road must be modified so that it extends north-south along the western limit of the land to be severed. Planner Tunnock pointed out that a new standard for private roads requires they be brought up to a level to support fire and emergency vehicles. However in this case the severance was approved with the condition that any future development would require the construction of a road to a standard acceptable to the municipality.
The Henderson application for consent was approved as a lot addition with a minimum 20 metre road with right of way at this time.
Wolfe Island resident Trevor Van Allen was at the meeting to once again request that the township assume Emma and Elizabeth Streets in the Woodman subdivision. This time Van Allen came bearing a copy of a letter dated 1988 which indicates that “the subdivision plan has been complied with and is in good standing.”
According to a report from Township Solicitor Tim Wilkin there is a $6000. balance with the township (plus interest?) to cover the cost of the works which he believes would be inadequate to complete the roads. Council will send the 1988 letter to Solicitor Wilkin with a request for further legal information. The issue will be further discussed at the October meeting, if the requested information is available.
Wolfe Island resident Corliss Piasetzski wants changes to, what she referred to in a letter to council as the 9-5 pm bankers hours at the island’s Waste Disposal Site to accommodate islanders who take the ferry to work off-island, before the site opens and return after it closes. This leaves them “gearing their whole weekend around getting to the dump on Saturday.” Piasetzski presented a petition (245 signatures) requesting that the landfill site be opened one day a week from 11 to 7pm or noon to 8 pm.
Mayor Vanden Hoek apologized for the sudden 1st Friday closure which occurred on the August long weekend. It was concluded that the hours could not change for reasons of lighting and safety at this time of year but would be reviewed in 2008. Piasetzski was invited to sit on the Landfill Site committee.
Gail Kenney, representing Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE), was present to follow up on a request for use of the MPAC tax assessment roll. It would be used for mailing information from WIRE to landowners to alert them to certain property setbacks for wind turbine development before the Wind Plant goes forward and what that means specifically for landowners of vacant property.
During the discussion Mayor Vanden Hoek vacated the chair (assumed by Deputy Mayor Norris). The Mayor views the release of the mailing list as a major step out of the norm for the township noting that the WIRE information contains opinions. He sees the need for legal advice. A resolution by Councillors Doyle and Fiene, to provide WIRE with the labels for all Wolfe Island and Simcoe Island taxpayers, at no cost to the municipality, was defeated.
The revised Howe Island Waste Management proposal read by Councillor Fiene generated much discussion. Proposal priorities were not identified or costed. A meeting will be held to work out proposal details and be back on Council’s October agenda.
Council supported a resolution by the Town of Kingsville that the Province ensure that volunteer and part time firefighters are defined as “firefighters” and are treated equitably. Council also acknowledged two Howe Island firefighters Pete Marsh and Scott Presley recent award recipients from the Attorney General and the OPP respectively.
- Road closure Bylaws for the Aug. 8-9, 2008 Wolfe Island Music Festival will be considered at the June 2008 meeting of council. A request for overnight tenting has already been approved.
*Bruce Mellon will rent ($150.) the W.I. Community Hall to hold a ‘solo’ art show Nov. 30th, Dec.1-2, 2007
*Frontenac Islands will apply for funding to Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation(FCFDC) to develop two broadband towers and a Marysville “hotspot” that will allow local internet providers to rent space and provide residents with broadband services presently unavailable.
*Frontenac Islands will register as a First Impressions Community Exchange with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a process that reveals the first impressions a community conveys to outsiders, (tourists, investors, retirees).
*The City of Kingston has been asked to advise the public of exit changes to happen at the Barrack Street dock because of Ontario Street road work taking place in October, through ads in The Heritage and the Kingston Whig Standard.
*The Howe Island Garden Buds have been authorized to spend an additional $100 plus tax and the remainder of their budget balance on a footbridge.
Council meets next on Howe Island TUESDAY Oct. 9th at 6:30 at which time council will also consider two land use zoning bylaw amendments, both requiring public meetings.
One item identified in my August council review needs clarification. Canadian Hydro did ask if the Wolfe Island Info Centre might be available for rent in the “off” season. Council did not see a conflict at the time and said they would consider the request with a signed lease provided certain issues were resolved. However Canadian Hydro has so far, NOT pursued the idea.
For Coming Events: Check the WIBTA web site www.wolfeisland.com
The Stone Heron Gallery, located in the Community Hall, closed on Labour Day after another successful season marking, the end of summer 2007. The gallery houses the works of many island artists and artisans including Kim Woodman, Linda Sutherland, Pat Sanford, Jan Fitch, Maggie Crothers, Debra Krakow, Bruce Melon and many more, opened on the May long weekend and has seen a steady flow of visitors and return visitors all season long.
The island boasts two other studios in Marysville, the Summer Dock and Ferry Lane Studios as well as a Crafts Centre also located in the community hall.
Then there is beautiful Big Sandy Bay, now closed for the season, which has become a significant destination not only for local residents but for visitors seeking the wonders of a conservation area and the beauty of a beach like no other anywhere.
Throughout the summer there have been numerous events, well advertised in the community, in Kingston, on the ferry and on the Wolfe Island web site and all were very well attended, but they receive very little post event coverage.
The events included the Classic 5k –10k Road Race (and separate Kiddi Race) which annually draws 450-500 plus runners mostly from Kingston, other parts of Canada as well as the United States.. The 5-10 k races ends beside the St. Lawrence River where runners frequently take a dip before prizes and medals are distributed. Winners in the 5k: Charly Allan, Wolfe Island; 2nd Dylan O'Sullivan, Harrowsmith; 3rd Joe Turner, Brighton and in the 10 k: Cody Murray, Sydenham 2nd James Brady, Carthage, NY; 3rd Jeff Taggart, Kingston.
Another prestigious event on the island is the Scene of the Crime Festival, a two-day event focusing on Canadian crime writing. It celebrates Wolfe Island, the birthplace of Grant Allen, Canada's first crime writer and brings together a record number of authors of the crime genre, budding authors and crime readers. The event, now in its 6th year, was founded by Kingston historical crime fiction writer Therese Greenwood, who grew up on Wolfe Island, author Violette Malan and islander Maureen Lollar. This year’s recipient of the Grant Allen award was Erik Wright, scholar, author of many short stories and books including “Death in the Old Country”; “The Night the Gods Smiled”; “The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn” and “Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man.” The event always closes with a famous island church supper.
And of course this summer’s ever growing, very popular Music Festival with its Friday Night Hootenanny and a Saturday filled with a variety of musical groups, including a surprise visit from Sarah Harmer, was attended by more than 1500 people for what turned out to be a perfect weekend of music, fun and sun. Established in 1999, the MusicFest, coordinated by Sarah McDermott and Virginia Clark, Flying V productions, has been committed to bringing the best of independent Canadian music to Wolfe Island, with proceeds going to the Wolfe Island Community Centre.
Other popular events on the island include the Family Ball Tournament which this year saw 30 teams representing 30 island families playing, the Small mouthed Bass Derby, the Annual Puppy Party, Barrett’s Bay Regatta, the Annual Plowing Match, Pumpkin Fest and incredible church suppers and bake sales. Wolfe Island also hosts the Wolfe Island Day Camp.
With two golf courses, the Alston Moor Golf Links and the Wolfe Island Riverfront Golf Course, both par 35 9-hole operating on the island, players come by ferry and are shuttled to the courses and cooled by the winds off the St. Lawrence River for tournaments or a round of golf with friends.
The local stores and businesses, B&B’s, hotel and restaurants operate at peak capacity serving not only the island’s full time and summer residents but the thousands of people who come seeking the quiet of the island and the closeness to the big city. The ferry is always filled, its upper deck offering respite from the heat.
Cyclists, walkers, seniors, parents, children and students come in large numbers just for the ride, a bakery treat, ice cream, or a trip to the Information Centre, the galleries or to see the local murals, visit the churches & cemeteries, pick strawberries, go to the Corn Maze or for a ride in a White’s carriage.
All that to say that Wolfe Island is a place people come to and is recognized for many reasons, not the least of which is the Wind Plant project spoken of so often in this column. But TOURISM is fickle, dependent upon the value of the Canadian dollar, job security, the state of the world we live in, (think passports!), the free ferry, weather as to who comes and will they come again.
So the question is, what will Wolfe Island look like in 20 years?
Can or should Wolfe Island become as self sufficient as it once was ? Can we or should we grow and raise the food we eat? Should we invite strangers to come and raise and grow food on small properties? Can we power our own community by storing wind power in fuel cells? Can we build the structures we need to process the food we grow and raise? Are we ready to provide water and sewage treatment in Marysville so that we can consider new facilities like a senior’s home, health facilities, a training centre, a centre for higher education perhaps, an observatory, a theatre/arts/music centre, business centre, sports centre? Encourage new businesses or a new industry to come to the island, and what kind? What can we do for our farmers? And then there is the whole question of transportation and of course, our landfill site. If we can’t do any of this, tourism will eventually fail without local access to proper services. Does Wolfe Island risk becoming more of a bed room community ever more dependent on Kingston for its survival?
Take note: The 2-day Wolfe Island and Frontenac County Ploughing competitions take place Friday & Saturday, Sept. 14th & 15th at Pykeview Meadows Farm on Road #96, (approximately 5kms South of the Village of Marysville) beginning at 10 am. Everyone welcome. * Wolfe Island Business& Tourism Association meets at 7 pm Tues. Sept. 18th United Church Hall. Everyone welcome.
There were smiles all round outside the Wolfe Island Town Hall when members of the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston distributed four, $3000.grants from the Henrietta Whitmarsh Greenwood Fund.
The fund, established in perpetuity in 1998 by Francis Whitmarsh Casterton in memory of Henrietta, annually supports four island charities designated by Casterton.
“We have not been able to do that for a few years although there is a substantial amount in the fund coming to each of these four groups,” said Glen Stresman, Community Foundation Executive Director. “So this year rather than send cheques, we wanted our board members, Diane Kelly and Michael Greenwood, both with an island connection to present them, in person.”
Also present was Grants Manager Andria Coward and Anthony Greenwood, son of the late Henrietta Greenwood. He is a member of the island’s Volunteer Fire Department.
Nadine Greenwood representing the Ambulance Service Volunteers of Wolfe Island noted that they look after all donations received ”While not affiliated with the island’s Frontenac Paramedic Service we try to provide those things not provided by government,” she said. Sally Kane, the island’s Paramedic Services supervisor noted they need a projector for teaching purposes and a larger TV.
Volunteer Fire Chief James White acknowledged that there is always something they (Volunteeer Fire Fighters) are in need of while
Fr. Raymond De Souza, Pastor at Sacred Heart of Mary Church expressed gratefulness for the donation. “How we use it will be discussed with the parish council but the church does depend on donations,” he said.
And finally Wolfe Island Medical Clinic president Mildred Hawkins Walton indicated the donation would be used for its maintenance.
“The clinic (founded in 1972), is a registered charity solely dependent on donations and gifts for its operation. We presently are operating in the black ,” she said.
Look for CFGK board members Michael Greenwood and Diane Kelly around the community. Frontenac Township CAO Terry O’Shea attended the proceedings.
A first order of business at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands Council was the presentation of a framed photo to Deputy Mayor Pat Norris by Mayor Vanden Hoek. The photo was taken at the 2006 Ontario East Municipal Conference during a presentation where Norris was recognized for his over 25 years of service on municipal council.
A long time dream held by Wolfe Island’s Community Centre Board is for an outdoor rink with refrigerated ice. They have even bigger dreams for the future development for a covered rink and community facilities. CCB Chairman Dan Hulton and Board members Scott Hulton, Steve Fargo and Bill Joy presented a case for proceeding based on a report (requested by council) prepared by Thompson Construction Management Services as well as a financial summary prepared by Allan & Partners Inc. of Community Centre Options (basic refrigerated ice rink; enclosed refrigerated ice and refrigerated ice with Community Centre). The estimated costs range from $1.7. to $4. million plus GST.
“After discussion we are not in a position to do the whole project but we have to do something,” Hulton said “Our thought is to determine architectural and engineering requirements for a 180’x 80’ refrigerated rink with boards (also for summer use), getting solid costs and holding a public meeting.” The CCB has the funding for the study, an offer for free architectural work and the engineering component at cost and want to proceed now. They will be looking for further direction from council later.
“If they (CCB) are out fund raising we have to be clear about the project. I haven’t heard this council say to what extent they would go, a million dollar rink or a 4 million. “If you are asking me to go ahead and spend $8000. I’d rather have the debate and the acrimony now but council has to find a way of dealing with the issue,” the mayor said.
Hulton said the $8000 would be for determining the hard costs on the rink surface, the boards and the roof . “We want to pour a slab with curbs lines for freezing,” Bill Joy said. (refrigeration equipment from Queen’s could reduce cost. ) “We’re talking about doing the project in phases, and doing the roof later,” Steve Fargo commented.
The mayor wondered if there was anything in the criteria for niche tourism and a multiuse facility to which Fargo commented that the roof could be designed to accommodate the music festival and perhaps collapsible. In the end council authorized the Wolfe Island Community Centre Board to spend up to $8,000. for architectural drawings and engineering for a 80’x180’ outdoor rink as a first step.
In other business Howe Island residents Carl & Heather Lippert asked council to remove the restricted hours for heavy trucks now in place on the Howe Island ferry. Carl Lippert said the restrictions hindered his business, that he had notified the County and received no response. ”It’s up to you,” he said, and asked why a car and boat can load while their empty truck cannot. A lively discussion ensued. Deputy Mayor Norris remains against any change to the bylaw while Councillor Fiene wanted a compromise, better ferry loading. ”there is a bigger problem here, it’s not that simple,” he said. The ferry has been a bone of contention in the community for some time, running very slow, difficult to load etc.
Council will recommend to Frontenac County that travel restrictions on the ferry be amended to allow tandem axle trucks access to the ferry with ‘gross weight limited’ allowing the ferry to be filled with other vehicles during all hours of operation. In a recorded vote there were 2 nays and 3 yeas. The yeas have it in spite of opposition from the Howe Island Rate Payers Association. Their letter will be posted.
Another citizen concern came under scrutiny, not for the first time when Wolfe Island resident Trevor Van Allen again asked council to take over Emma and Elizabeth Streets in the Woodman subdivision. He maintains there is a provision in the subdivision agreement allowing the township to do the work to bring the roads up to standard and charging the Woodman’s whom he says failed to fulfill the agreement. Van Allen said the existing roads are not up to standard and drainage ditches are bad but that Dave Woodman views them as satisfactory. “I have tried a number of avenues to sort this out. Its not happening and 20 years is too long,” Van Allen said.
According to the mayor the township has tried to determine responsibility for the road, and solicitor information indicates no further obligation on its part suggesting instead that those who purchased the land should have sued the developer. “There was a plan of subdivision way back,” he said. “And if the roads were brought up to a certain standard the municipality had the obligation to provide service. That was not done. We stand by this position.”
Van Allen suggested it was time for the township to right a wrong, to bring the roads up to standard and bill the developer. The mayor countered saying previous requests have been denied, and all legal planning issues have been exhausted. “It really is a political decision whether the municipality wants to pursue this.” Council members requested more information. Van Allen’s request is deferred to the next meeting.
A resolution passed in July concerning use of municipal equipment was revisited. It now says that at the Road Superintendent’s discretion, road equipment and operator can be hired at current market prices, but there must be a completed township work order with rates charged when the equipment goes out.
Canadian Hydro Developers is seeking a temporary facility Oct.-May. Council agreed that they can rent the Information Centre and that a lease , (at the going square foot rate and including utility costs.) be prepared by the township for signing.
*Question regarding use by Howe Island Rate Payers of new Fire Hall deferred.
*Councillor Grant proposes camera at the recycling center.
*Road Superintendent will inspect ditch problems on Howe Island Drive.
*There is legal recourse through the building code act regarding a house built without a permit on Howe.
*A current TS Hubicki Associates letter will go to land owners affected by the 500 meter influence area from the Wolfe Island landfill site outlining D-4 Study requirements.
Next Council Meeting Sept. 10th, 6:30 pm. Wolfe Island.
Coming events listed at www.wolfeisland.com (Corn Maize in full swing, Plowing Match, Bicycle Poker Run etc.)
Wolfe Island: Canadian Crime writer and teacher Eric Wright was presented with the 4th annual Grant Allen Award in honour of Canada’s crime writing pioneer, at the 6th annual Scene of the Crime Festival on Wolfe Island. (Grant Allen born on Wolfe Island in 1848, is recognized as Canada’s first crime writer.)
Wright who arrived in Canada in 1951 from England (his birthplace) started out in Churchill , Manitoba where he was ‘Canadianized’. He graduated from the University of Manitoba, pursued graduate studies at the University of Toronto, and taught Enlish at Ryerson (1958-89). The recipient of many writing achievement awards, he is the author of Death in the Old Country; The Night the Gods Smiled (twice optioned for TV0); The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn as well as short stories and his early life memoir Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man. The Grant Allen award created by local artist Linda Sutherland takes the form of a uniquely designed kaleidoscope. In this case it contains 10 shards of glass representing Wright’s children was presented by Festival Board member Rev. Canon Chris Carr.
During a lively interview conducted by Therese Greenwood, author and Festival Founder, Wright said “when it comes to the Governor General's Literary Awards I think that overlooking the serious and really important novels that come under the heading of crime literature is a disgrace.” He commented that it is recognized in other places. “It has got to happen here.”
Island librarian Sharon Hogan accepted the annual donation of books from this year’s guest authors including Giles Blunt, Peter Clement, Lyn Hamilton; Edward Hoch, Maureen Jennings; Vicki Cameron. The library has a cabinet built to house and display selected works from the Grant Allen collection, including a first edition, donated by literary historian David Skene-Melvin.
The guest speaker at the closing church supper (hosted by the Women's Guild of Trinty Anglican Church) was Rev. Rod Carter who spoke about Restorative Justice.
For more information on Grant Allen & Scene of the Crime Festival: www.sceneofthecrime.ca
The Scene of the Crime Festival was just one of the many well attended events on Wolfe Island the same weekend including the Music Festival, the Acacia Gold Puppy Reunion, and a local Horse Show.
THIS ARTICLE WAS NOT PUBLISHED IN THE HERITAGE
While Wind Power has had a way of taking up much of the agenda at Frontenac Islands council meetings many other important issues have been dealt with including the 2007 budget. It was passed at a special meeting on June 27th. and resulted in an overall tax rate increase of 4.06% on Wolfe Island and a 3.46% increase on Howe Island. At the same meeting new criteria (regulations, fee schedule, hours of operation, etc.) was approved for the recycling depot on Howe Island and the Wolfe Island Recycling Centre.
A resolution was carried that township equipment is not to be available for use or used on private lands unless authorized in the case of an emergency. (However this will come back to council in August for further discussion). Transient fares on the Simcoe Island ferry are increased, a round trip to $5.00 per car and $12.00 per large truck. And finally, a bylaw was passed to designate ‘a Head of the Municipality’ for purposes of the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act.
During an informal discussion during budget deliberations, Mayor Vanden Hoek spoke of the wind plant amenities agreement and how those revenues might be dispersed between the two island wards, Howe and Wolfe. He said the subject often comes up and is a political hot potato, “but how those future revenues are dealt with is a council decision.”(Wolfe Islanders believe all wind power revenues should remain on Wolfe Island).
I put the question to my husband, Walter a retired C.A., who looked over the budget and concluded that it makes little difference if the anticipated annual $645,000 from the Wind Plant went into general revenues or was distributed through area rating. This assumed that area rating was applied, or not applied, to both revenues and expenses. In either case he figured Wolfe Island became the major beneficiary due to the differing levels of costs between the islands, e.g. roads.
The regular July council meeting included the citizen presentations regarding the Wolfe Island Wind Plant reported in The Heritage, formal bylaw passage of the 2007 Budget, Simcoe Island transient fares and criteria changes to Wolfe Island’s landfill site which now includes a financial control protocol (mandatory receipts for all disposal site fees to be paid before off loading items); changes to hours of operation; non acceptance of construction materials, other than asphalt shingles.
Ms. Lisa Webb presented recommendations from the Howe Island Waste Management committee “We have come up with a two pronged approach,” she said. “One aspect deals with current waste problems including improper use of the facility. The other involves waste reduction which means education.” She noted improper dumping at the site, and elsewhere, particularly of large items and the need for more frequent pick ups (mattresses, etc.), new signage, also for Kimco & recycling bins, a yard waste site with a chipping program and free mulch distribution, disposal bins at the ferries and elsewhere, units for bottles, cans, waste. Long term goals include fencing, staffing more hours, site re-organization and no dumping signs. “We are asking to be involved in Canada’s Waste Reduction week in October and some financial assistance with for instance, yard waste controls.” Councillor Fiene is a member of the committee.
In other business Simcoe Island resident Carol Leonard’s recent letter to council once again requested that all of 9 Mile Point Road (Simcoe Ferry to Lighthouse) be fully reinstated as an Improved Public Street. Only the last 1.2 kilometres of the 6 kilometre road was demoted to a Limited Service Street making that portion ineligible for 4-season service. She bases her request on 2003 map showing 9 Mile Point Road as an Improved Public Street. Councillor Doyle felt she is owed an explanation. The Mayor polled council and it was the consensus (3 to 2) that no action be taken.
There was a request for the Women’s Institute flag to fly at the township building or have a banner inside. Conclusion: an inside banner was the better approach.
Larry Bolton and Jarda Zborovsky were present to hear whether there is a way of dealing with Interim Control bylaw which controls development in the 500 metre waste disposal assessment area and includes the Zboroskvky building lot and what planner Glen Tunnock Consulting Ltd. and Totten Simms Hubicki’s Guy Laporte had to say. Councillor Doyle said that both suggested the process (a release mechanism) could be simple. “Under the circumstances maybe we should pay for it. “The Mayor however said that an (engineer driven) peer review is required. The applicant Zborovsky is not eager to pay an independent engineer what could be $5000 or much more depending on the criteria. Guy Laporte will be asked to quickly prepare criteria for the peer review and pass it on to the applicant who said “we’ll talk about who pays later.”
Councillor Grant would like to have a public assessment meeting. The Mayor wants the Bylaw Enforcement Officer over as often as necessary to deal with parking violations. Council dealt with a Howe Island land sale/ acquisition, In Camera.
Since then Island (ers) received a township newsletter with their tax bill outlining island issues, for instance the completion of a new Fire Hall on Howe, bylaw enforcement, dog tags, building permits, the updating of the www.municipality.frontenacislands.on.ca website, culture, recreation and parking as well as a separate sheet outlining changes at the landfill site on Wolfe Island, (also on web site). It also spoke of the recent OMB hearing which concluded after 3 days with a settlement (also on the web) including modifications to the Zoning Bylaw.
Around Town: Two plowing organizations, Frontenac County & Wolfe Island will hold their annual matches together on Wolfe Island, Friday & Saturday Sept. 14 & 15 at Pykeview Meadows Farm on Road #95. Plowing matches provide opportunities for fun in competition, the best judges to decide winners and excitement for the spectator.
New this year, organizers are planning an “Open Market Place,” at the event, a venue for anyone who wants to set up a table to Sell, Show or Demonstrate items such as produce, arts, crafts, garage sale items, books etc. No setup cost. What a great opportunity. For further information contact Wilma Sjonger at 613-385-2672 or email@example.com
*For your information the wonderful Wolfe Island Corn Maze also on Road #95 is in full swing. For info call: (613) 385-1998.
It was a waiting game for islanders who came out to see what response legal counsel’s for the Frontenac Islands Tim Wilkin, Canadian Hydro (CREC) Peter Birmingham , Township Planner Bob Clark would make that could satisfy the appellants Dr. James Day and Sarah McDermott represented by Lawyer Peggy Smith. Their appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) related to the premature passage of Zoning By-law (Nov.2006) for the Wind Plant on Wolfe Island in advance of the Environmental Screening Report (ESR).
The bylaw allows CREC to build 86 turbines at the western end of the island and define their setbacks from buildings, roads, wetlands. The appellants contend that these setbacks are not enough. Would the issues be solved amicably? Could islanders resolve their differences?
But on day one of the hearing which brought OMB member Marc C. Denhez to the island, residents and witnesses on both sides of the issue sat apart at Sacred Heart school.
Addressing Denhez, Township counsel Tim Wilkin, outlined the process to date (official plan, zoning by-law amendment, holding provision, release of draft Environmental Review report by CREC). “There is no indication in the appeal that council did not adhere to the planning act,” he said. He had concerns however with appellants’ witnesses statements, and asked for a motion (not granted) to exclude evidence not related to the appeal (ERR, conduct of council, new issues about life and property). He said there had been no appeal of the Official Plan amendment but environmental issues required a longer process which led to passing the zoning bylaw amendment and holding provision in advance of the Environmental screening report. “All done in full accord with the planning process,” Wilkin said.
Lawyer Smith said,” it was never our (the appellants) intention to stop an island wind plant.” Smith asked, “was the passage of the zoning bylaw, allowing the development to move forward premature?” The bylaw set minimum turbine setbacks (350 metres) from homes, roads etc. The appellants, McDermott and Day in their notice of appeal to the OMB wanted the township to rescind the bylaw. Denhez frequently reminded the lawyers of OMB considerations.
Smith did not agree that testimony from her witnesses would include information outside the appeal’s focus, but after the lawyers consulted, four of her witnesses were excused. “It is not my intent to delay proceeding,” she said.
Planner Bob Clark stated what had happened from 2004 regarding wind farm plans by CREC and GAIA Power, to today’s Canadian Hydro Developers Project Documents and maps were available. And that, was day one.
On day 2 of the OMB hearing, following procedural matters regarding witnesses, Ms. Smith with McDermott seated beside her, outlined a series of requirements contained in the planning act and posed the following questions: was there sufficient information at the public meeting: to allow appeal? to determine whether the zoning bylaw complied with official plan? Did the township ensure compliance with official policy statement? “This appeal,” she said, “ is about good planning under the planning act. If the bylaw was premature is everything protected (grassland, birds, natural heritage feature) with the holding designation? Expert witnesses will provide those facts.”
Smith said rescinding the zoning bylaw was an extreme remedy that would send the bylaw back through the planning process. “My clients are willing to consider alternatives like amending the zoning bylaw.” A consideration she said had been touched upon with the other lawyers. If this were to be agreed upon Smith suggested that public meetings for a new zoning bylaw take place after the Environmental Screening report is released to the public.
With this new “sidebar” it seemed a break was in order for ‘lawyer talk’. However Smith called her first witness, Sheila Allan, acting head of the Environmental Assessment Branch of Environment Canada. Through questioning it became clear that Environment Canada is involved in the project through its different departments and agencies. Wolfe Island is identified as a sensitive area for grassland birds, song birds, water fowl other wetland birds owls and raptors, Allan said, ”we have an obligation to protect migratory birds. and have been fully engaged with the provincial process and will be with the Federal. It is reasonable to assume we will continue to advise.”
The meeting adjourned to reconvene at 1:45 pm. However it was 4:15 before Solicitor Tim Wilkin arrived to say that the lawyers and all, were meeting privately, that there was no agreement and for people to go home. During the long wait, chairs had been re-arranged and spectators were mingling and talking together. That was day 2.
After a long wait at 3pm on Day 3 Solicitor Wilkin announced that the parties had arrived a settlement and a modified zoning bylaw had been passed by council that will deal with environmental issues through the Environmental Screening Review (ESR) process, before the holding symbol is removed.
As Miss Smith read from the settlement which seeks an early OMB decision and no order until the ESR is completed and calls for the establishment of a 4 member Community Liaison Group, a look around the room said it all. There were those openly weeping and smiles from even the most stoic.
The settlement includes references to turbine shadow flicker, icing safety and maintenance aviation lighting etc., setback increases from 350 metre to 600 to village residential, public and separate schools, a 120 metre separation from wetlands, 400 metres for sensitive receptors (home for aged, hospital).
The project is for 86 turbines only and Canadian Hydro (CREC) will request deletion of the holding designation on Simcoe Island and lands not needed for turbines or accessory buildings. The ERR will contain all siting elements of all the towers.
Planner Bob Clark reviewed the zoning bylaw changes line by line. In turn OMB’s Marc Denhez accepted the agreement which he will include in his decision. “I approve in principle what has been going on. I commend you all on your ability to reach a decision. You have connected the dots and I take my hat off to you.”
Are their still major concerns about the environment?. Yes, both Dr. Day and Ms McDermott believe there are. Will those concerned,continue to remain vigilant?. As WIRE member Gail Kenney said, “We are happy with this outcome but it is just the first step.” Will Canadian Hydro take heed ? Yes. As CREC’s Lawyer Birmingham said, “we have a much better understanding of each others positions.” Was this good for the community? Yes, if only to heal some hurts.
Well known Wolfe Island resident Maureen Lollar was the recipient of Frontenac Islands 1st Annual Volunteer of the Year Award.
Mayor Jim Vanden Hoek presented the award at the regular meeting of council which had drawn a large crowd including many of Maureen’s family members, for whom there was standing room only outside on the steps of the town hall. “Sometimes council meetings are not just business but good things as well,” the mayor said “Presenting this Volunteer Award to Maureen happens to be one of those occasions. “
He went on to describe Maureen’s ongoing involvement in the community where she was born and raised. President of Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Women’s League, member of the CWL Diocesan Council, the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute as well as 2nd Vice President of the District Council of the Women’s Institute, & District Coordinator of the ROSE programs, founding member and president of the Scene of the Crime Festival, Coordinator of Wolfe Island’s Remembrance Day Service, coordinator of WIBTA’s Annual Photo Contest, member of the Sacred Heart School Council as well as Sacred Heart of Mary Parish Council.
In his tribute to her the Mayor remarked that he has known her all his life and when something is happening to promote Wolfe Island you can be sure that Maureen will be involved contributing, not only time, ideas and effort, but also preparing and coordinating good food. (She was associated with food guru Bonnie Stern for some 20 years, and at Chatelaine in Toronto.) She is employed at Dansk in Kingston.
A totally surprised Ms Lollar accepted the award joyfully “not just for myself but for all the people in the community who volunteer along with me. This is beautiful,” she said.
“I grew up here, one of 14 children and although I have travelled the world, there is no place like the island. In that word community is Unity and that’s Wolfe Island,” she said. Maureen was feted by many friends and family following the presentation.
At the same meeting, Margaret Knott received the Municipality’s Senior of the Year Award in recognition of contributions to the community after age 65.
It was a full house at the recent Frontenac Islands council meeting where once again the proposed Wolfe Island Wind Plant took up much of the agenda. Two Island residents were there to speak in favour of the project, two others to question it. Present also were Township Solicitor, Tim Wilkin and Planner Bob Clark.
Mayor Vanden Hoek set the meeting standards, announcing that he was looking for order and decorum, no more abusive comments directed at staff and council members, that loud outbursts would not be tolerated during the presentations and any could result in adjournment.
First up, former councillor Jim Calvin said “a substantial amount of money will impact the 50 to 60 extended families who will be hosting wind turbines,” pointing to an island map and naming a few, “ Sjongers, Pykes, Hulton’s, O’Shea’s , Broeders. Is there a tougher piece of gristle on the island than Jack Broeders, who got that way because he has been a good steward to hundreds of acres of land without a lot of help?”
Calvin spoke of trials farmers had to deal with like the BSE scare when, overnight, herds became worthless. “Did anyone step forward to help these people who soldiered on without even help from the province? Times haven’t been good for them and along comes Canadian Hydro ready to offer substantial money for use of their land every year for 41 years, a fact which council must consider.”
Calvin also noted how little is left in the township budget to improve quality of life. “It took 10 to 12 years to pay off the $200,000. debenture for our 14 year old library,” he said. “With the amenities agreement of $650,000 a year flowing into the community, you would have to build six hundred, $300,000 houses to match that in taxes.” The wish list included the rink project , village water, refurbished town Hall.. “ Not a bad scenario. Maybe turbines are not perfect but perfection is the death knell of what is possible,” he said noting enough energy to power Kingston. A loud, negative outburst compelled the mayor to put the question “Adjourn? “to council. Clapping greeted their decision to continue and order prevailed.
Marysville resident Nancy Steele questioned the process. “There are those pro and con and there are those who feel we are not getting enough information,” she said. At the last meeting she asked about the amenities agreement, “perhaps I was out of order but why has it taken so long to release the information about content of the agreement?” She questioned its detail, insurance, fees, the possibility of more turbines, etc.
“There is a lot more to this than what has been said and that bothers me. Did council go through the draft ERR, submit comments? How will the money be prioritized? Has council considered a committee to oversee it?” She asked that council to pass a motion for a full Federal Environmental assessment. “ You have spent much time on the money and not enough on health, welfare, safety, bird issues which is why we need a full EA.”
Liz Crothers, expressed support for council’s decision to permit a Wind Plant and faith in the planning process. She spoke about environmental issues, shortage of hydro, air pollution, etc. and the bad news about Great Lakes fish contamination due to coal fired hydro facilities.
“I and other supporters of the project have not said much before. We have been relying on the democratic process to work. We elected this council knowing they were in favour of the wind plant which represents a good opportunity for the entire community.”
Lynn Moore representing WIRE said they got here because the provincial government tried to unravel the Planning Act and the Environmental Act under Bill 51 which she said offers no protection for people or environment and has no written policy.
“It is not that we are against wind turbines. We need the province to do their job and give guidance to the municipalities not just on Wolfe Island but all over the province regarding set backs, environmental issues. We want council to petition the province to get proper legislation in place. Also because the ERR sets a higher level of setbacks we want you to recind the zoning bylaw.”
WIRE is also asking council to support them in asking Canadian Hydro Developers to deliver on Federal Environmental Report requirements. She submitted a further 53 individual petitions and presented two motions, one for a Noise By-law and the other that Council request CHD conduct a Federal EA
A letter from Jane Scanlon opposing the wind plant process was read by the Mayor. New material from Bob Clark answering questions raised by Gail Kenney and Lynn Moore was distributed and is now available at the town hall.
Clark outlined the process to date regarding the planning process and the zoning bylaw which sets minimum standards for set backs etc. “It is not unusual to have other agencies come in and establish more stringent or larger regulations if you are looking at setbacks,” he said.
Wilkin and Clark will represent the township at the OMB Hearing which he (Wilkin) said, is a quasi judicial procedure, conducted with the formality of almost a court proceeding, and chaired by an OMB member.
“Dr. James Day and Sarah McDermott are being represented by Lawyer Peggy Smith. Canadian Hydro Developers will be there with legal representation and professional witnesses.” The Board has the jurisdiction to allow the appeals in whole, in part or to deny. It is the final arbiter, without appeal, and will decide whether the zoning bylaw is properly implementing the policy of wind turbines on Wolfe Island .”
There were questions and comments about the Holding Requirement, the real adequacy of windmills, the superficial nature of the ER Report ( regarding birds, wildlife, endangered species etc.), setbacks for non participating residents. There was an expressed regret by one person, that people were offered money first (leased land contract) when this should have been about more important issues. Gail Kenney thanked council for the opportunity to ask and receive answers to questions “but some 50 or 60 others remain unanswered.”
Islander Beth Caldwell commented that she has not been happy with some of the information that WIRE is circulating. “This is not just about birds, and wildlife, it is also about people. What is WIRE’s environmental solution if this project is shut down? ” she asked.
The OMB Hearing begins July 23rd, 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart School & is open to the public.
Enthusiastic land owners, farmers, friends, neighbours and supporters of renewable energy attended a gala barbecue and pot luck supper held to express their support for Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) wind plant plan for Wolfe Island.
The barbecue organized by Jason Pyke (Pykeview Meadows) was hosted by Chris & Sophie Angenent at their home situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and came in advance of the imminent OMB Hearing beginning July 23rd (to hear 2 appellants against the project.)
In attendance was MPP John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing, NDP candidate Rick Downes and a representative for the P.C. candidate John Rapin. All were invited to see for themselves that there is strong support for the wind plant on Wolfe Island and for Ontario’s desire to increase its use of renewable energy . From Canadian Hydro Developers were Project Engineer Rob Miller, John Forster and Steve O’Gorman.(Calgary).
The event marked only the second time that the wind plant supporters gathered together as an identifiable group outside of public meetings.. The first was at the July Frontenac Islands council meeting where they came to show support for two island residents speaking in favour of the wind plant proposal.
To date the supportive residents assumed the democratic process was well underway through the various council and public meetings and ongoing Environmental Screening review.
Island resident Jim Calvin addressed the gathering commenting on the process to date, the decision of council to support the project , the importance of the wind plant to individual landowners and the amenities agreement. He spoke of the needs of the community, the lack of money to work with etc. He said Canadian Hydro dealt fairly with individual land owners in their leases, had worked closely with council to meet their requirements and in the end entered into an amenities agreement initiated to benefit whole community. Calvin spoke of other projects that were not accepted by the community, emphasizing that this one was, and commended Jason Pyke for bringing people together and keeping them informed.
Chris Angenent provided an informative and rather entertaining approach to some of the fears about wind towers. He put into perspective the fear of ice flying off blades, the numbers of dead birds, of health issues and such.
Perhaps it was Minister Gerretsen who said it all, when he indicated the support of government and his own personal support for wind power as well as for local municipal government and the democratic process. He said the province is committed to Renewable Energy and energy conservation. He noted that Frontenac Islands council has approved the wind plant plans to date, but some citizens disagreed and are using the legal option of appeal to the OMB to have the process reviewed, ”and that is as it should be,” he said.
Before leaving everyone was invited to sign a petition of support for the Canadian Hydro Developers (CREC) Wind Plant.
This article was not published in The Heritage
In a tremendous show of support the residents of Wolfe Island came out in large numbers to a Canada Day benefit concert and silent auction to raise money for an island couple who had lost their home to fire.
The event for Leanne and Murray McNeely, featured music by OFF Limits, Kyra & Tully and a host of local talent, including the island’s Ecumenical Choir dressed in red and white. The silent auction items came from local artisans, businesses, B&B’s, organizations, the churches and individuals including summer resident Don Cherry.
The musical event held at St. Margaret’s Hall, was initiated by Rev. Chris Carr, pastor at the island’s Trinity Anglican, where Murray is the organist. David Clark, an immediate neighbour and friend of the couple, organized the silent t auction. All together $9,625.57 was raised, ($3,300 from the auction and the remainder from personal donations.) All costs were waived.
Murray and Leanne took to the stage and thanked the audience, the performers and all those who had so willingly contributed to the auction. “ I am overwhelmed and grateful for the generosity of the community on our behalf,” Murray said.
The McNeely’s are planning to rebuild. They are presently living in a trailer on site at their property.
At the request of Frontenac Islands Council, Janet Noyes and David Casson from ECG Consultants Ltd., returned to the June meeting to present an assessment of the tactical approaches to supplying water in Marysville (149 houses), possible funding options, EA and next steps in the process. They reviewed the provincial policy statement which requires in most situations similar to Marysville, that both waste and water treatment be undertaken, which makes some sense but makes the whole situation critical in terms of cost, according to Casson.
Using the possible risk to current drinking water sources and the limitation of village growth however, could make a case for water only. Casson went on to talk about agency jurisdiction with DFO as most important. The total capital cost of the project is estimated at $1,410,000.(water only).
They offered funding scenarios where the village would bear 85% of the costs (capital & operation) and the balance assessed to all on Wolfe Island. XCG recommended that the township continue with the Phase II portion of the Class EA (plus public consultation, project initiation with MOE etc.) and continue looking for funding sources. Council received the report, deferring any decision or next steps to the July council meeting.
Wolfe Island resident Larry Bolton came forward to speak about the Interim Control by-law which controls development in the 500 metre waste disposal assessment area established in the Official Plan. He and his family were not made aware of the assessment area when they were negotiating to buy a .3 acre from the township to create a building lot on property owned by his mother.
“I find the 500 metre area excessive,and I am frustrated with what has happened to Sherry and Jarda (daughter &son in law) with regard to the lot they recently purchased.” He is also concerned about his mother’s home as well as his own property. “Can any of this property be sold with this bylaw? If not, is council ready to compensate for the value of property?” Bolton asked.
Council will consult with Totten Simms Hubicki’s Guy Laporte, also with planner, Tunnock Consulting Ltd. Council is looking for a mechanism whereby they can selectively allow development within the 500 metre area, though all properties in the assessment area will have hoops to jump according to Mayor Vanden Hoek. He extended an apology on behalf of council for the difficulty the situation has caused noting their hope that a way is found to release the property. “It won’t be next week and it won’t be free,” he said. Councillor Doyle wants the process speeded up in time for July meeting.
The proposed sale of a township owned waterfront lot (declared surplus) on Howe Island with the money going to help finance the island’s new Fire Hall was cause for some energetic discussion. Deputy Mayor Norris has always wanted it sold to help pay for the hall. Councillor Fiene who does not, said it was designated for recreation, the community expected it to be used that way and the township owns little waterfront property.
Councillor Doyle suggested that a percentage of dollars from its sale could go toward recreation. Norris suggested 15%. Fiene could support 40%. In a recorded vote the lot will be listed for sale with 25% of revenue going to a Howe Island recreation reserve and the balance to the Fire Hall debt. Councillor Fiene’s was the only nay. He was very disappointed with the decision.
Howe Island resident Heather Lippert informed council of her intent to ask Frontenac County to lift regulations limiting the hours trucks can use the County ferry. Lippert said trucks are restricted from 6:30 to 8:30 am, going off the island and 4-6 pm returning, which she believes is discriminating, unreasonable and affects all trades people causing much frustration. She has waited up to 3 hours to get on the ferry. “We have as much right to get home or to complete a day’s work.” After a bit of to and fro between council members about the two most obvious options , stay with the present policy or remove it, they determined they would talk to the operators as soon as possible and ponder what realistic way they can resolve the problem. There has been ongoing concern with the slowness of the ferry, ever increasing wait times, as well as weight (tonnage ) problems.
A By-Law to govern the proceedings of Council, that is the conduct of its members, the calling of meetings , proceedings, motions/rules of debate, By-Laws etc. was passed.
The township allocated $10,000 of the recently received Communities in Action Grant towards materials for a floating dock that Frontenac Marine has volunteered to build. Staff will also work with Peggy Smith, who along with Bill Henderson, spearheaded the grant application for land and water activities, to ensure the additional floating docks she needs will attach to the original one.
*Two regulatory “Slow” signs will go up on Wolfe Island’s 18th Line Road as a result of requests by residents concerned with speeding in the area. *Councillor Fiene was appointed the township’s representative to the Cataraqui Source Protection Authority. Council will continue to work with Environment Canada to get back the 18 hunting days lost due to Frontenac Islands ‘No Sunday Hunting’ policy.
* Howe Island is looking to make some changes to their Waste Management process.
Next Frontenac Islands Council Meeting Mon. July 9th 6:30 pm Wolfe Island.
So what’s Going On around Town: *A fire destroyed the McNeely home on Wolfe Island.
Island hearing specialist Peggy Plunkett and “Sound Sense” facilitator, presented the program geared for young people “save your hearing” to students at Marysville Public School.
*Strong winds blew open a hatch on the Frontenac Marine barge at the Wolfe Island ferry dock. Overnight it filled with water and sank. Work began immediately to bring it up.
* Wolfe Island’s scenic/ ecologically significant Big Sandy Bay (BSB) area has re-opened to the public to hike, picnic, bird watch and swim the natural sand beach daily 9am-7 pm. There is an Admission fee. Free parking. Guided tours Wed.-Sundays 1:30pm. For information contact Rick Lindgren (613-385-1686), or go to: www.bigsandybay.ca.
* WIRE (Residents for the Environment) has opened a Wind Turbine Information office across from the General Wolfe Hotel where infomation outlinning their opposition to and concerns about the proposed island wind farm are distributed .
* Stone Heron Gallery, all new “Images of the Island” Opens June 30th- Sept 2nd , 10-5pm.
Wolfe Island was the scene of a devastating fire on Holiday Point Road that completely destroyed the waterfront home of Leanne and Murray McNeely. No one was at home at the time of the fire.
The fire, visible from the roof of the house was spotted by neighbour, David Clark, who called the Wolfe Island Volunteer Fire Department. Clark attempted to save the two dogs he knew were in the home but was unable to do so. One, an older dog, died in the fire, while the second, a Lab, was later found alive under a lower section of the house.
Despite the best efforts of the Fire Fighters the house and its contents could not be saved. However, and in spite of the prevailing wind they were able to keep the fire from spreading to the neighbouring homes and stayed on many hours spraying the propane tanks in the area to keep them cool.
“I was really impressed with the efforts of our Fire Department,” Clark said. “We are very fortunate to have such a well trained and dedicated group of Fire personnel on the island.”
The McNeely’s, who are presently staying at Brown’s Bay Inn remain in shock over the complete loss of their home.
And, as is so often the response of the island community to family tragedy, Wolfe Island’s Anglican Parish and friends of Leanne and Murray are organizing a benefit concert on their behalf, to be held on Sunday July 1st at St. Margaret’s Hall 3:30-5:30 p.m. featuring Island musicians and friendly bands. The afternoon will also include a Super Silent Auction, as well as an opportunity for a Freewill Offering at the door.
For more information regarding donations: 613-385-2648
Lynne Moore, a seasonal Wolfe Island resident representing WIRE (Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment) returned to the June meeting of Frontenac Islands Council on Howe Island. Ms Moore was looking for answers to a series of questions (amenities agreement, landfill site, environmental, transportation etc.) related to the proposed 86 tower Wind Power Plant and answers to the many questions regarding the process (Official Plan & Zoning By-Law Amendment) she submitted to council at their May meeting.
Moore said this approach was recommended by MPP John Gerretsen who suggested WIRE make council aware of their issues and ask for a response so that they can determine if council is acting in their best interest and not in the interests of the Canadian Hydro Developers. Moore read the content of a petition WIRE is circulating calling upon council to immediately rescind the zoning bylaw amendment because of certain alleged irregularities in the process. She presented petitions with 150 signatures to Mayor Vanden Hoek. (“with more coming”).
Supported by a number of vocal Islanders she said she had a legal review of the recently released ERR ( Canadian Hydro’s Draft form Environmental Review Report) and certain issues in it have not been addressed in that review. She noted lack of openness by the proponent regarding the island as an Important Bird Area requiring the highest level of scrutiny; the visual impact of the towers; the 256 non participating receptors (residents) who have NOT been involved in the process; skewed time lines by the proponent, insufficient information re the economic benefits, the amenities agreement split, ferry transportation, landfill site, sound levels, etc. with the most important environmental issue, the impact on the bird population left unaddressed.
In response Mayor Vanden Hoek said that the amenities agreement was shared information and there should be no confusion about what the community will receive. He said no council decision has been made as to the split of the general revenue outlined in the agreement. “But the suggested 56/44 split is wrong, inaccurate. I take exception to the notion that we have misled the public. This project has been before us since 2001. Every one has had the right, the privilege and the opportunity to interact in the process. In terms of leadership in this process we had a team of professionals advising us ,” he said.( professional planners, corporate lawyers, accountants)
The mayor expressed displeasure with some of the misinformation in the community noting that the zoning bylaw amendment was not ‘proponent driven’ but was something council wanted done. “In terms of the environmental issues, you have the opportunity to appeal the ERR. Certain issues are not the municipality’s, but rather the responsibility of MOE.”
Angry comments followed Moore’s presentation, with calls for the Mayor to rescind the by-law, answer the questions and resign , along with mutterings that the community had been left uninformed.
Long time Island resident Gail Kenney spoke against the 86 wind tower plant questioning certain items in the ERR. She also was looking for answers to long standing questions submitted to council and Canadian Hydro. (Her major complaint has been that individual questions posed at public meetings were not answered). She said that if the wind plant project proceeds she and her husband will have 28 turbines within 2 km (1.25 miles) of their house. She expressed amazement and horror that since joining WIRE, members have been called radicals, nimbys, tree huggers, hypocrites and “my husband and I, non participant receptors.” The question, “Is it radical to expect our elected council to faithfully and impartially exercise their office?” was accompanied by yeas from the crowd directed at the mayor .”Is it radical to express one’s feelings? Is it hypocritical? Since when is, not in my back yard a 4 letter word?”
Kenney said 256 ‘non participating receptors’ will be affected by the Wind Power project , noting letters addressed to Canadian Hydro Developers (Stantec), Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments received few or no reply’s. “What is it I have to do to get answers from this council? When I asked I was told they didn’t know the answers. How dare you change the environment of these islands when you changed the zoning from agricultural residential to industrial without knowing the impact of this mega project. How dare you dismiss our concerns as tree hugging , radical, hypocritical. to disguise the fact that you don’t know the answers. You did not practice due diligence if you can’t answer. At the last meeting Mr Tim Wilkins defended the project as legal but he did not say anything about appropriate, .moral or ethical,” she said.
Mrs Kenney said questions regarding the 86 wind tower plant ( eg.- burying of cables, setbacks, transmission wires, emergency services , ferry transportation, construction, sound levels) needed to be answered. She presented council with a copy of her intervention as well as letters from Environment Canada concerning the islands sensitive bird habitat.
The mayor encouraged the use of the ERR appeal process as one way of having questions answered which are not in council’s area of expertise.
There was a request to have the complete presentations included in the minutes. Clerk O’Shea said that was impossible and not legally required. Councillor Doyle said that he had heard many good points and some answers will come at the OMB hearings in July and through ERR appeal process “but at this point you have to go through the documented process of the Municipal Act.”
OMB hearings regarding the process and the environment begin July 23rd.
Angry words, some personal, and loud shouts of, “ Do you have insurance?” “What’s your step- out clause?” “What are they paying You?” “What were you thinking signing something like that?” were directed at the mayor. Many in the crowd said they would continue mounting pressure against the Wind Plant Project. One island citizen in attendance expressed dismay at the abuse inflicted on council.
The meeting moved on to other agenda items.
Around Town:* A Retirement Farewell - Open House for Long time teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Bates – Wed., June 27, 2007, 5:00-7:00 pm at Marysville Public School. Colleagues, past and present, parents, students, former students, friends and community members are invited to attend.
*The 2007 annual meeting of the Wolfe Island Medical Clinic will be held Thursday, June 21st at the Clinic at 7:30 p.m. For information call 613-385-2461
While a large part of the Frontenac Islands May Council meeting was taken up with the concerns about the process around establishing a wind plant on Wolfe Island, other items were on the agenda.
A major zoning issue has put the plans of a Wolfe Island couple hoping to build their dream home on hold once again. Sherry and Jarda Zborovsky had gone through a difficult 18 month process regarding land owned by the Bolton family and to acquire a small piece from the Township so that the property could be severed into two building lots. Mayor Vanden Hoek summarized all that has gone on with the property since the fall of 2005. “Now this property and a number of others are identified as part of a Waste management Assessment area,” he said.
Mrs. Sherry Zborovsky spoke about the most recent turn of events regarding the property they finally purchased in March 2007. “We are disappointed and bewildered that the township did not notify the Bolton family or any other property owner about the zoning bylaw, approved in 2005, creating a 500m Waste Disposal Assessment zone,” she said outlining their costs to date, building plans, septic assessment, etc.
“Specifically my husband and I have been paralyzed since we requested a building permit and were informed that no buildings may be built on our property. Why didn’t we know. Why didn’t anyone else know,” she asked. She called upon council to abolish the assessment zone and to study the information provided in the most recent Totten Sims Hubicki and Associates report on the Wolfe Island Landfill site to make it happen and correct the problem. She noted that 16 other property owners are affected by the assessment zone.
Speaking to the same issue was Peter Bowers owner of a property, zoned for a single family dwelling between the 7th Line Rd. and Going Street fears he might also fall within the assessment zone, something his lawyer was not made aware of. In this case Bowers asked the township to move quickly to resolve the issue so he can move ahead since he sold a house in Kingston, paid for building plans, and made financial commitments that impact his family’s future.
The Mayor advised Mrs. Zborovsky and Peter Bowers that council will discuss their situations and seek the advice from the Township Solicitor and their Planning Consultant and be in touch as quickly as possible. ”The debate will be how do we make it work,” he said.
In other business Brian Ritchie of the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, presented his report entitled “Looking Forward, Frontenac Islands 2007 & Beyond, the result of a community consultation process on both islands to identify 4-5 community priorities and/ or projects that might be acted upon by council in the future.
“A challenge was identifying priorities that were common to both islands,” Ritchie said. “One that bubbled up was the use of public lands and the creation of walking trails, public parks, access to the water and enhancing cycling routes.” The report recommends that council establish a committee of council to spearhead the development of a comprehensive inventory/assessment of all township public lands, (suitable for recreational purposes or for sale with proceeds used to develop other properties). A second priority is the need for enhanced recycling programs which could be considered and proposed to council through its newly formed Waste Management committees.
The quality of life for the elderly was identified as a significant issue but the prospect of Senior’s home is unlikely since water and sewer were not identified priorities. It was recommended that a committee of council research innovative solutions and services (safety & security) to prolong quality of life for its most senior residents.
According to Ritchie, Wolfe Island’s community centre is a major priority The report asks council to consider the results of the feasibility study they commissioned. The revitalization of Marysville through a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) a Planning Act mechanism allowing Council to offer incentives to business owners to improve properties was suggested. Also that the township consider First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) program supported by OMAFRA. Ritchie said the County’s Economic Development Department is completing a Business Retention and Expansion exercise that included Frontenac Islands businesses. It might identify priorities that did not surface in the consultation. He also suggested independent groups might be interested in partnering with council or to take the lead on priorities. (HIRA, WIBTA, etc.)
A touch of humour was added to the meeting when David Hurley, a Simcoe Island property owner asked council to refund the $225.00 special Simcoe ferry charge added to his tax bill. He has no land access to his property, only by boat. “I wish I did, it would make my land twice as valuable,” he said. “But I don’t and my neighbour has gracefully declined land access to me.” Council agreed to the refund but a further request to build a small accessory building on the property was denied.
Council received the report of the WI Recycling and Waste Disposal Advisory committee presented by Councillor Doyle . The report includes recommendations for further recycling items, changes in fees etc. and is available for review at the W.I. Town Hal.
Howe Island will appoint a Social, Cutural , Recreational Committee and a Waste Management Committee. The Stone Heron Gallery will open at the WI. Community Hall June 23-Sept.3rd.
Next Council meeting - Howe Island, June 11th , 6:30 p.m.
Wolfe Island resident, Janet White believes she was misquoted in an article about the W.I. Wind Plant written (by me). Correction: “For 6 years, 3 companies have knocked on our door and we have said no. No means no. In this day and age of zero tolerance I feel I have been bullied by this council and by these companies with there ‘done deal’ attitude. Jim, if you didn’t follow procedure, rescind the bylaw. If you don’t do that, then that is anarchy.”
Around Town: *The Environmental Review Report (ERR) / Environmental Impact Statement (“EA”) for the proposed Wolfe Island wind plant is NOW available in DRAFT form for review on the Project’s website (www.wolfeislandwind.com) with hard copies at the WI. Town Hall & Library, Kingston City Hall & libraries, Cape Vincent, etc.) Send comments to Stantec on or before 4:30 p.m. on June 29, 2007. *It’s picture taking time for 2007 Wolfe Island Photo Contest (watch for details).
Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation (“CREC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc., is proposing to develop a wind plant on Wolfe Island, in the Township of Frontenac Islands, near Kingston, Ontario.
As proposed, the Wolfe Island Wind Project will consist of 86 wind turbines, strategically placed throughout the western portion of Wolfe Island, and will have a nameplate capacity of approximately 198 megawatts. Key ancillary features on Wolfe Island and City of Kingston include access roads, transformer station, operations and maintenance building, interconnection at Hydro One’s Gardiners Transformer Station, and collector and transmission power lines.
CREC has retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. (“Stantec”) to complete the Environmental Screening Process (“ESP”) for a Category B project, as required under Ontario Regulation 116/01 of the Environmental Assessment Act (http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/gp/4021e.pdf). CREC and Stantec are also in the process of working with federal authorities to ensure the project fulfills applicable federal permits and approvals as well as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The purpose of this Notice is to inform you that the harmonized Environmental Review Report / Environmental Impact Statement (“EA”) is now available in DRAFT form for stakeholder review and comment. Stakeholder comments on the DRAFT EA will be received by Stantec on or before 4:30 p.m. on 29 June 2007. The DRAFT EA is available for public viewing on the Project’s web site (www.wolfeislandwind.com) and for hard copy viewing at the following locations:
Township of Frontenac Islands Office
Highway 96, Wolfe Island
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Wolfe Island Branch
10 Highway 95, Wolfe Island
City of Kingston, City Hall, Clerk’s Office
216 Ontario Street, Kingston
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Central Branch
130 Johnston Street, Kingston
Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Isabel Turner Branch
935 Gardiners Road, Kingston
MP Peter Milliken Constituency Office
Suite 14, The LaSalle Mews, 303 Bagot Street, Kingston
Village of Cape Vincent Municipal Office
127 E. Joseph Street, Cape Vincent, New York
Although not required by the ESP, CREC is providing the DRAFT EA for public and agency review in recognition of the high level of community interest in this renewable energy initiative. This approach provides stakeholders with the benefit of an additional four weeks of consultation on the EA, beyond the formal ESP requirements, and continues to demonstrate CREC’s commitment to undertaking a rigorous and transparent ESP. CREC is working hard to ensure responsible wind development is brought to Wolfe Island and to address the interests of all stakeholders and the community.
Comments received from stakeholders will be addressed in the EA as appropriate. However, individual letter responses to stakeholder comments are not planned. Following the DRAFT EA review and comment period, CREC will release the FINAL EA to all stakeholders for the formal 30 day Notice of Completion review and comment period required by the ESP.
To provide the study team with your comments, or for further information, please visit us at www.wolfeislandwind.com. All comments and correspondence should be sent to:
Stantec Consulting Ltd.
361 Southgate Drive
Information will be collected and used in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and solely for the purpose of assisting CREC in meeting environmental assessment and local planning requirements. This material will be maintained on file for use during the studies and may be included in project documentation. All comments will become part of the public record.
More people than the small Wolfe Island council chamber holds were at the regular May meeting of Frontenac Islands council to hear 4 residents speaking in opposition to the Wind Plant Zoning By-law amendment.
The opponents claim lack of information, due diligence, transparency, no debate,and faulty process in council’s passage of the Official Plan Amendment, the Zoning By-law amendment and holding provision in advance of the ESR (Environmental Screening report). Council is also in receipt of letters for and against the wind plant. Also present was Township Solicitor Tim Wilkin and Clark Consulting Services Jennifer Current. Mayor Vanden Hoek commented that Frontenac Islands was well down the road in terms of process as he opened the meeting.
”We are here to take issue with that,” said Lynne Moore, a seasonal resident representing Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE) . Moore said that the impact of wind turbines is being felt with cottage and home plans being shelved, properties up for sale, and residential growth in jeopardy. “WIRE is mobilizing to ensure that the wind plant does not go forward as planned by Canadian Hydro Developers. Its time to ensure the ESR is provided to the public.” She said WIRE met MPP John Gerretsen who was surprised at council’s lack of response to their concerns. ”Shame on you for not representing your constituents better.”
She presented a list of 21 issues with resolutions and solutions that included rescinding the Zoning By-law amendment, an independent feasibility study of the project, an all taxpayer referendum, etc. noting petitions are being signed and legal action and referral to the Ombudsman is under consideration.
Resident Janet White representing herself and her two sons spoke passionately about the possible effects of the wind plant to health and safety. “ I have been bullied by CREC. For 6 years we have said no. I don’t want to live under a turbine with a 45-75 decibel sound for the rest of my life,” she said. “ People will be suing about health and safety. If there wasn’t due diligence, rescind the bylaw or there will be anarchy.” She also expressed concern about the effect of the project on the ferry.
Resident Lisa De Angelis spoke of feelings of divisiveness, hostility, anger and fear that now exist. “Regardless of the outcome relationships are being irrevocably damaged.” She noted unanswered questions (health & safety, size, birds, noise, bargain basement equipment, property values, etc.). “Our concerns are well founded. Wolfe Island is not dying but it is changing from agricultural to residential… “ she said.
Mayor Vanden Hoek read into the record Ms.Hilary Dempsey’s statement (unable to attend) Dempsey (not present) who echoed much of what had already been said about process stating her building plans are on hold. The mayor called upon Solicitor Wilkin and Ms Current to offer comments.
With regard to process Solicitor Wilkin said, “Council has adhered to all the procedural requirements that are laid down in the planning act (now in effect) and its regulations in terms of timing , notices, to whom and so forth. Whether council should have done more is not a legal issue. I have seen nothing from Minister John Gerretsen to either deny or corroborate statements attributed to him. What I can tell you is that while council adopted the Official Plan amendment which established the principal for developing this part of the island for wind turbines, it did not come into effect until it was approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and that’s Mr. Garretsen. That’s the process in the planning act and that was the process that was followed.”
With reference to the ESR and whether it should have been completed before the zoning bylaw, Wilkin said council passed the zoning bylaw but imposed a holding symbol meaning that none of the turbines can be built until the ESR is completed noting that zoning issues are raised in the appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board and OMB will have to decide.
“There is nothing in the legislation, nothing in the regulation that says an ESR has to be completed first. There are 2 pieces of legislation at play, the Environmental Assessment Act and the Planning Act, both completely independent and neither speaks to one occurring ahead of the other,” he said.
With reference to the appropriateness or the adequacy of the setbacks to adjacent properties, Willkin said there are ongoing discussions between the appellant and the proponent about the setbacks. “Whether they will result in a resolution I don’t know but if not, it will come before the OMB for a decision.”
With regard to the Amenities Agreement, Willkin said that it is a contract between the developer and the township and has nothing to do with the proponent and the individual land owners how the money that flows to the municipality directly from the developer will be divided, (if at all) between Wolfe Island and Howe Island “The agreement is very much one sided in your favour and outlines the duties and responsibilities of the developer to the municipality both financial and non financial (infrastructure: roads, ferry, etc.), ” Wilkin concluded.
Ms. Current said the Official Plan amendment was approved Dec. 2006 by Municipal Affairs,. the zoning bylaw amendment generated two appeals and the appeal process for the ESR is not under the Planning act but rather the Environmental Assessment act. The developer will release the ESR, (upgraded to a Environmental Review report), for a 30 day public review process. “The developers started with a broad canvas of optioned land which they then had to narrow down (flight paths, wet lands , dwellings etc.) until they were left with the area where turbines could be placed Any member of the public can call for a “bump up” to the Director of MOE. If the director does not agree, one further appeal may be made,” Current said. The Mayor added that the municipality had the authority to set setbacks, but MOE is responsible for habitat, flight paths, wet lands etc. and those setbacks overlay on the zoning bylaw.
There were demands from the public to rescind by-laws and for Mayor Vanden Hoek to resign as well as shouts of support for the Mayor and the wind plant as the public left. The council meeting continued through a long agenda. (Five days of OMB hearings are scheduled to begin Mon. July 23rd at Sacred Heart School)
HOWE ISLAND COMMUNITY YARD, PLANT & BAKE SALE, Sat. June 2, 2007, 8:30am - 2:00pm St. Philomena's Church Hall, Sponsored by the Howe Island Garden Buds
It is not unusual for Wolfe Island to be chosen for military field trials and war games with its many isolated, easy to get lost in, fields and back roads. Recently Frontenac Islands Councillor Dennis Doyle agreed to participate in one such simulated search and rescue operation organized with the Canadian Search & Rescue team located at Trenton. They along with the Canadian Coast Guard provide primary search and rescue (SAR) in Ontario, Quebec and the far North.
SAR must always be in a state of readiness to respond to a downed plane. To do that 424 Squadron flies a helicopter and a CC-130 Hercules.
For the last 20 years all aircraft in Canada carry an emergency locator transmitter (ELT), a low powered radio transmitter usually located at the tail of the aircraft and activated on impact or by a switch.
Councillor Doyle , a pilot with his own plane agreed to activate such a device from his plane located on land near his home. This action then would initiate a SAR Operation allowing squadron members to test their skills. “First they had to hear the transmitter which indicates a downed aircraft, send out the very low flying Hercules to locate the exact spot of the transmitter on the ground, and flying across the area a number confirm the downed aircraft,” Doyle said. “They then dropped streamers to test the strength of the wind, and accurately dropped a small hand held radio hoping that the occupant in the plane could use it.
Flying at a 300 foot altitude they dropped a larger kit, (food water, medical supplies, stretchers etc.) no further than 50’ from the plane. Jamie Baldry, the son of one of the SAR organizer took on the roll of the downed, hurt pilot, who could not retrieve the radio.” Doyle continued. “The plane climbed to 1500 ft., more streamers with weights on the bottom for wind testing which simulates the weight of skydivers and where they should be coming down.
Two took a run off the plane ramp, opened their chutes and landed on the ground , checked the situation, stabilized the victim, and then called for a helicopter (which was ready to go as soon as the SAR began)
and within a short time landed at the site and boarded the victim. It was all very real.”
Doyle commented that the military always go through an exact procedure and evaluation process for every situation.. “These guys are standing by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year just to respond to any real life emergency. Because they don’t get all that many calls, they carry out frequent simulated practices in isolated areas further north. In populated areas people see an incident and call 911. This was a great experience,” Dennis concluded.
SPRING HAS FINALLY ARRIVED: Right on queue two serious cyclists, carrying filled saddlebags, prepared for what appeared to be a long trip, disembarked from the Wolfe Islander III and made their way to Horne’s Point for the May 1st reopening of Horne’s Ferry to Cape Vincent, NY. The Horne’s have operated a seasonal ferry service from Wolfe Island to New York State since 1802. It was a sure sign of spring, and a clear indicator that the summer tourist season on Wolfe Island has begun in earnest.
That is also confirmed daily since the return of the ferry from the winter dock to Marysville by the number of service vehicles coming to the island, the boats and trailers that have already begun arriving and the vehicles carrying furniture and the like for cottage re-openings and the fishers at the dock.
There is much activity at the Wolfe Island Bakery where some interior renovating is underway in advance of the May long weekend which sees the formal opening of the island’s Tourist Information Centre and the beginning of the many events planned for the season all outlined on the Wolfe Island Business & Tourism web site at www.wolfeisland.com.
To begin the season a Bicycle 20K – 40K Poker Run will be held on Sat. May 19th beginning at the Wolfe Island Town Square at 9:30 am. The $25. cost includes a T-shirt, a BBQ lunch and prizes of course. Why not grab your bike and take the 8:30 a.m. ferry from Kingston and join us for this fun event.
Also on that day, there is a Bake Sale at St. Margaret’s Hall and later a Fish Fry & Plant Sale at the Wolfe Island United Church. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.)
Major summer events on the island include, the Summer Music Festival, Scene of the Crime and the Bass Derby among others.
The 27th Annual Wolfe Island Classic 5&10K walk/run takes place Canada Day, Sunday July 1st beginning at 9:30 a.m. A Kiddy Run is part of the day. Did you know that more than 500 runners come from many parts of Canada and the US, to take part in this annual event. For on line registration check the WIBTA web site or register directly at The Running Room.
This year in conjunction with the Road Race, a local Canada Day Market is presently in the planning stage. It is proposed for the Town Square from 10 am to 4 p.m. and it will include local produce, vegetables and flowers, (much organic), probably too late for strawberries, but you never know, arts and crafts and more. The galleries will be open and bicycles will be available for rent. If anyone wishes to Showcase their product on that day call Linda at: 613-385-1947.
Around Town:* A recently formed group, WIRE (Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment), their purpose to ensure that the proposed Canadian Hydro Developers Wind Plant does not proceed as planned. They are calling for letters and are circulating a petition asking Frontenac Islands Council to rescind the Zoning By-Law asserting lack of proper legal and environmental process. WIRE, Box 218, Wolfe Island, K0H 2YO
- FYI the Wind Plant Environmental Review Report is expected any time soon. Also with regard to the two current appeals, they will be heard by OMB beginning July 23rd.
- A 3rd mural depicting the laying of the bubble system is nearly ready for mounting on the side of Mosier’s Convenience.
- Registration for the Wolfe Island Day Camp is underway. For further info call Sue at 613-354-5093 Ext.31 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At their regular April meeting Frontenac Islands Council declared April 23-29 Pitch In Canada Week on the islands and will invite all citizens to show their civic pride and concern for a healthy environment by actively participating in “Clean Sweep” projects to keep the communities clean and beautiful.
Councillor Matt Fiene spoke of Howe Island’s annual clean up day scheduled this year for the 28th or 29th of April as part of the week, while local school children on Wolfe Island participate in an annual village clean-up.
Committee of Adjustment: There were letters of objection as well as a petition opposing the construction of dwelling by Rebecca and Paul Soudant, over the maximum height allowed on Howe Island The application was deferred until the applicants can confirm the exact height as recommended by Township Planner Glenn Tunnock.
In other business: The members of council had in hand a comprehensive Wolfe Island Wind Plant project ‘Site Plan Control Area draft by-law’ prepared by Clark Consulting Services which they will review and comment on. The proposed by-law applies to all lands in the municipality, all wind turbines and plants/facilities including small scale wind turbines (such as one proposed for to Sacred Heart school).
Consultant Bob Clark outlined the process regarding the proposed ‘Site Plan Control Area by-law.’ He outlined the status of the site plan application noting that the Zoning bylaw (ZBA) is under appeal, also that the “Holding” provision removal requires an approved site plan. (The site plan control requires a by-law and a process to review and approve individual site plans either on a turbine by turbine basis or on property leases. Agreements can be registered through title.)
The Environmental Review Report (ERR), providing details of environmental issues and their resolution will be circulated with agencies (later this month) by CREC and will be included in the application. A building permit requires site plan approval and the removal of the “Holding” provision. The Site Plan Control bylaw itself is not subject to appeal and can proceed before the resolution of the ZBA appeals “ The by-law sets in place the approval process, it is not approving the development. All comments will be collected for any revisions. We are also proposing a public meeting for a site plan review.” Clark said. Council members will review and comment on the proposed bylaw. (All Information presented at the public meeting held by Canadian Hydro Developers in March is available at www.wolfeislandwind.com)
Council accepted the 2006 report for the Wolfe Island Waste Disposal site prepared by the firm of Totten Sims Hubicki authorizing its submission to the Ministry of the Environment and to Mrs. T. James , a neighbouring property owner. Guy Laporte presented a site plan and statistics. While the site is in compliance and there is good diversion and recycling by residents, Laporte said that the site is not being covered as often as it should be but with good stewardship and continued improvements, the longevity of the site could be extended another 10 years. He noted also that the well water testing including the resident's well are okay and surface water samples are good. He suggested that the township should begin planning for the site closure expenditure ($140,000) now. Mayor Vanden Hoek said that residents are looking for more recycling opportunities. “We are waiting for a creative report from the land fill site committee,” the mayor said. A brief in camera session related to the site followed.
The Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee operating budget was approved for 2007 and calls for $22,300.00 in revenues and $21,705.00 in expenses.
Staff will contact Greg Caldwell, who was unhappy with a letter from the township which did not correctly spell out what was expressed in a ferry options presentation by him in February, and they will confirm to him that MTO will include all options in any Environmental Assessment of Frontenac Islands transportation.
Mrs. Rosa Hession, a Howe Island resident wants council to install “Children at Play” signs as well as to reduce the speed on a portion of Howe Island Drive. Councillor Norris agrees with Watch for Children signs near park area but questions lowering the speed limit. Councillor Fiene supports a 60 mph speed limit (which would require a bylaw). It was concluded that the present Children at Play sign will be freshened up, the situation will be discussed with Roads Superintendent Leo Greenwood, a decision will be arrived at and Mrs. Hession will be informed of the results.
Staff will advise Howe Island resident Gene Manion that Council has no objection to him repairing the culvert in front of his driveway but he is to use his own materials.
At this time members of council were invited to bring forward items for consideration. Councillor Doyle commented that a substantial donation was made by Don Cherry for the community centre project on Wolfe Island.
Councillor Fiene is looking for members for the Howe Island recreation committee.
Mayor Vanden Hoek noted that the Howe Island ferry is not running properly. “We need to find a strategy, a way of solving the problem,” he said.
The Mayor also wants to see a budget prepared with “Area Rating” and another prepared with “No Area Rating.” And finally, A resolution was passed instructing staff to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the Howe Island link (bridge) is included in any Environmental Assessment undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation for Frontenac Islands.
Frontenac Islands Council meets next Monday, May 13th @ 6:30 pm on Wolfe Island.
Coming Events: *The Frontenac Stewardship Council & WI resident Dr. Jim Day are sponsoring a free lecture to help raise awareness of the habitat requirements and grassland management needs of the Bobolink- a unique bird. Thursday, April 26th, 7:00 PM at the Wolfe Island Community Hall. * Wolfe Island Women’s Institute presents Spotlight on Africa , to raise awareness of the social issues in Africa, Thursday, May 3, 2007, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., WI’s Sacred Heart School, presented as part of the Rural Ontario Sharing Education (ROSE) initiative of the Federated Women’s Institute’s of Ontario.
* On Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13th the Friends of Big Sandy Bay are hosting a Mother’s Day Walk at WI’s Big Sandy Bay from 1-3 p.m. (All info is posted at www.wolfeisland.com)
Many people attended the Public Meeting held in March regarding the Wind Power Plant proposed for Wolfe Island .
The progress of Wolfe Island Wind Plant project to date and information about what has yet to be completed along with a number of maps showing the proposed sites for the turbines as well as the makeup of the Ammenities Agreement was all displayed on large readable panels throughout the meeting room.
The entire panel presentation presented at that time is available on the Canadian Hydro Developers website at:
You will notice that web site is also cited in a recent event listing
CREC, a subsidiary of Canadian Hydro Developers, held their most recent Open House on Wolfe Island from 6 to 9 p.m., where island land owners, residents (full and part time) and interested visitors from Kingston and Watertown, N.Y. drifted in and out of the gathering to see and to hear what was new regarding the Wind Farm proposal for the island. At its height about 200 people filled the Fr. O’Reilly Gym of Sacred Heart School.
Canadian Hydro personnel, many of whom islanders have already come to know very well, included Canadian Hydro CEO John D. Keating, C.A; John Forrester, liaison officer for Canadian Hydro Developers; Geoff Carnegie, Manager, Ontario Projects, and many others prepared, ready and willing to answer the many questions, some new, some that have been answered before and some which will be answered as soon as the answers can be confirmed.
Quite a number of maps of the island showing the locations of the proposed 86 wind turbines towers were on display through out the gym. As well, a series of display panels lined the walls describing the project, what has happened to date and what must happen before it is completed. (For most islanders it was the first time they saw the proposed turbine locations.)
As most everyone knows by now the Ontario Power Authority awarded a Renewable Energy Supply contract to CREC in 2005 for the Wolfe Island Wind Plant which will consist of 86, 2.3 MW Siemens wind turbines, located through agreement with local landowners, estimated to generate 537,000 MWh per year of renewable electricity and is expected to cost $410 million with construction to happen sometime in 2007. Once the project has gone through all the hoops required ( environmental screening, environmental review, further approvals, appeals etc.), commercial operation is expected in October 2008.
The project will also include other facilities, for instance an operation and maintenance building, access roads, electrical lines, (planned as much as possible underground) as well as a transformer station and an under water transmission cable linking it to the Kingston grid. (Wolfe Island has no grid.)
What’s in it for Wolfe Island? At one time Wolfe Island with its 30, 000 acres of land was defined as an agricultural community. There were many active crop and dairy farms, much of the land was cultivated and employment was created because of it, including the Kraft plant which is now closed. Dutch immigrants came to Wolfe Island to farm in the 50’s and again in the 70’s. Since those days however much has happened.
At the present time there are only 7 dairy farms and perhaps 20 farmers who support their families through farming ONLY. Farmers have retired, many with no one to take over. Much of the land at the head of the island, the primary location for the wind farm is zoned agricultural , is inland as opposed to waterfront and as such is difficult to sell with the general restrictions on the agricultural designation. While a great percentage of the land remains cultivated with corn, wheat, barley, soy beans and a lot of hay, grain crop prices are inconsistent, beef prices have dropped and milk quota is very expensive. Many islanders raise beef, grow selected crops and livestock, and carry on with commercial fishing but work at other jobs on and off the island.
Their wives and partners work, many off the island as well. Taxes are high particularly for waterfront properties whether farms, cottage or residential. Economic development has been slow coming to Wolfe Island or opportunities have been missed entirely over the years. So when CREC came along with a wind plant proposal it offered island jobs, income from the land and the opportunity for Wolfe Island to become a possible leader in the production of alternative energy, the project was hard to reject particularly when the amenities agreement offering benefits to the whole of the island was negotiated. The entire project will be situated at the head of the island.
The material presented at the meeting offered the following benefits: job opportunities for local area workers and contractors in construction ($64 million in income and 252 person-years of employment) and operation services ($2.4 million annually in income and 26 person-years of permanent, skilled jobs). Landowner royalties $1,300,000; property taxes $552,000; amenities agreement $645,000 all of which is essentially net new income or revenue.
Continuing the tour around the gym and the information boards which dealt with birds, bats, lighting, towers, etc., an artist’s rendering of what the project will look like from a number of different locations including Kingston, was the final offering.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder so what people thought remained between themselves. Suffice it to say the size of the project became a reality although the pictures themselves, based on set backs etc. appeared inaccurate.
Was every one happy? No. Concerns remain with regard to many issues: birds, size of the project, visual, poles, under ground wiring, set backs, lighting, location of the towers, process, road noise, dust, property values, etc. etc. Two appeals have been filed. (Regarding property values, those closest to proposed tower installations wonder if anyone would want to buy a property close to a wind tower.) Is the project a sure thing? Is anything these days?
If there is anger or anxiety in the community, is it villager versus new comer versus farmer versus cottager versus retiree versus major land owners, versus environmentalists versus green power? No voices were raised. No one group was pitted against another on this night, at this stage in the process.
One very interesting question did come forward. Why would Howe Island receive any of the amenities agreement money, when they will give up nothing for the project? And how is the Township of Frontenac Islands (Wolfe & Howe) going to resolve that issue if the project is successful?
Refreshments provided by Canadian Hydro, were prepared and served by the Wolfe Island Women’s Institute.
Around Town: *Due to Easter Holiday, the April Frontenac Islands Council Meeting was held Tuesday, April 10th on Howe Island. * WIBTA’s regular meeting will be held April 17th, Wolfe Island United Church 7 p.m. *As of Good Friday the ferry returned to Marysville. *Pastor Terry and Anne Wood are grandparents. Congratulations *Best wishes for a Blessed Easter Season.
On Wolfe Island, Marysville residents and business owners have been waiting for the return of the ferry from the winter dock to the village. They are gearing up for a busy tourist season of events and festivals. Locally they are looking forward to new summer sports activities in the planning stages. The Wind Power project is on their minds following the latest round of open houses. And Easter is coming.
All of which would have been eagerly anticipated by Marysville resident Margaret (Foley) Woodman, Wolfe Island’s FIRST Woman member of Council. But Margaret died March 21st, leaving a big void on the island and in Marysville particularly.
Margaret maintained a keen interest in everything island, its people, young and old, its joys, sorrows, activities and events (who will forget the watermelon cutting she took great delight in doing every year at the Island Classic Road Race) and its local government while maintaining a close relationship with family and friends in Kingston from whence she came when she married the late Bruce Woodman. She was a devoted wife, mother grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend to all.
Marg had a way of welcoming new comers to the island, bestowing on them her good humour and broad smile, urging them to become involved. She herself was involved at a pace that was distinctly her own. When you heard the word W…E…L.. L.. you knew you would get a straight answer to any question.
Knowing her it did not seem unusual, but perhaps it was surprising that a small community like Wolfe Island would elect a WOMAN to serve on council. Margaret was elected for the first time in 1973, again in 1975, 1983, 1991 and finally in 1994. Following her retirement from local politics she continued her interest in the community. A consummate Councillor, never out of touch, she welcomed visitors to talk about things, to offer opinions or to share a laugh from her perch on the porch of her home on Main Street.
A full church bade Margaret Woodman good bye and at the reception, friends and family set aside their sadness to tell instead the wonderful stories about Margaret’s life and times. The Wolfe Island community extends sympathy to Wendy and “the Boys” and to her extended family.
THIS ARTICLE WAS NOT POSTED IN THE HERITAGE
The Frontenac Islands March council meeting looked at a major issue confronting Wolfe Island. In 2005 a small heating oil spill at Wolfe Island’s town hall and its effect on two shore wells brought Water to the forefront in a big way. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) during the clean-up presented 6 different scenarios to deal with the more difficult of the two , suggesting that the municipality take it and possibly the other over. The township decided instead to review the scope of the present problem and to develop a future plan for drinking water in Marysville, engaging XCG & DCA Consultants Ltd. to carry out a preliminary study. Janet Noyes, XCG project Engineer attended the meeting to outline the results of that study.
“Basically we were told to look at two shore wells and to see if the municipality was in full compliance with the issues and to provide some direction regarding your responsibilities,” she said. “The other issue was to look at the larger picture realizing that a safe secure water system was not currently available in Marysville and to carry out a scope for the entire village. With regard to the shore wells, there are two side by side each with two pumps, one servicing the town hall and 3 or 4 households which according to the Clean Drinking Water Act makes a small municipal non residential system and is the responsibility of the municipality. The other shore well serves 8 households and is privately owned system. Because it serves more than 5 households, it is classified as a non municipal year round privately owned residential drinking water system. It has to be registered with the Ministry of the Environment and become compliant with regulations, operation, testing, a big step for 8 or 10 homeowners,” she noted.
According to Noyes different MOE scenarios were explained to the home owners who in turn asked that the municipality take an interest because the MOE could come and force the hand of the private homeowners if they cannot or will not comply with the regulations which could inevitably lead to it becoming the responsibility of the municipality.
XCG met with the homeowners. They also conducted a water survey. (Water supply systems in Marysville include drilled wells, shore wells, direct surface water lines, hauled water and bottled water) More than half of the respondents drink bottled water although most have a disinfection form of water treatment systems. Some are using untreated shore well water. “ I think at this point that with the oil spill and neighbouring municipalities discharging waste at certain times of year these water supply systems are not secure,” Noyes said.
XCG also identified some long term potable water system options for Marysville coming up with a short list and estimated costs (upgrade existing and point of entry systems, communal surface water system with distribution and communal ground water system with distribution) but took a step back from a full Environmental Assessment at this time.. The question of how to pay for any of the high priced options came up . “Obviously you would have to look for funding . COMRIF (federal-provincial) has nothing right now… but whatever you do you need to have ducks in a row and know what you want…”
Council accepted the “Scoping Study For Drinking Water Systems In Marysville” and entered into an agreement hiring XCG Consultants ( at a cost not to exceed $5000). XCG will continue to investigate different water supply approaches for Marysville and identify possible funding options available to the township in their drive to move forward in this process. “There is a very long road to go,” Mayor Vanden Hoek commented.
In other business: Island residents, Linda Bruckman and Hank Connell have been appointed to the Wolfe Island Waste Disposal Advisory Committee together with Councillors Dennis Doyle and Wayne Grant, Road Superintendent Leo Greenwood and Consulting Engineer Guy Laporte of the firm Totten Sims Hubicki. They will review the waste disposal and recycling operations of the “dump.”
1. Council will seek further nominations to the Howe Island Social Cultural and Recreational Activities committee before formal appointments are finalised.
2. The Frontenac Islands Site Plan Control By-Law will now indicate that developers are required identify, protect and repair (as much as possible) unavoidable damage of all existing hedgerows on site and adjacent properties, as well as give public notice of applications for site plan approval.
Treasurer Christina Lott presented a picture of the members of the Peace Support Training Centre and Civil Military Cooperation Operator Course given to council with thanks for the continued support of the Canadian Forces and their exercises. (Wolfe Island is frequently used as a military exercise site) “ I was thrilled to attend,” she said. “For your information based on the last exercise we can handle about 800 displaced persons without severe military support, “ she said.
Ms Lott requested a budget meeting. One will be held Aug. 16th on Wolfe Island.
Councillor Doyle noted that job postings are up for Big Sandy Bay. He also reminded council that residents would like to receive more communication from the township on certain issues. Doyle also wondered about land sales. “At the last meeting we talked about residents specific concerns about public land, its use and sale. I am wondering about guidelines,” he said. Clerk O’Shea commented that within the community development process with OMAFRA’s Brian Ritchie, a committee will assess and compile a public land inventory and make recommendations to council. Councillor Grant reminded council that the tidy up and installation of the no parking signs recommended for the Town Hall square should happen before the ferry returns to the village. The Mayor said all the spaces on the east side have been designated for visitor & business parking. Council meets TUESDAY, April 10th on Howe Island.
Around Town: * There was much anticipation regarding wind farm meeting on Wolfe Island (March 27th). *The same night on Howe Island local ferry transportation and other issues were on the agenda. * The St. Patrick’s Day Social for Seniors was a wonderful event as usual. *Thanks to Jackie St. Pierre’s for her insights into event planning provided at an FCFDC “SPECIAL EVENT SAVY” workshop (sponsored by WIBTA).
Wolfe Island’s Post Master Marilynne Leggett let her hair grow very long with one purpose in mind. To have it cut off and to donate it for the production of wigs for persons suffering hair loss (baldness) resulting from cancer treatment.
The date arranged for the great cut was the day when a winter storm left many homes and businesses on Wolfe Island without power. But not the Post Office. Local hair stylist Debbie Knox , owner and operator of Deb’s Hair Salon, walked to the post Office with the tools of her trade in hand where she carried out the deed.
Marilynne’s Pony Tail, a magnificent 13” length, was cut away leaving her shorn but not bald with a very short attractive haircut.
“I have been growing my hair for the last year with this plan in mind. I think most of us are close to someone who has been affected by cancer,” Leggett said. “My hair will actually go to the Kingston’s , All Hair Alternatives hair donation program. They collect untreated hair, at least 10” in length, to make wigs. It takes about 16 donated ponytails to make one wig, so it all helps.”
She is also collecting pledges for the Canadian Cancer Society. Post Master Leggett travels from Elginburg each day to Wolfe Island’s rural Post Office, one of the busiest in Frontenac County.
THIS ARTICLE WAS NOT POSTED IN THE HERITAGE
At the request of the Frontenac Islands, Brian Ritchie, Economic Development Consultant with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has undertaken a community consultation on Howe and Wolfe Islands to develop an economic and business development plan. It would include possible job creation opportunities which at its conclusion should identify 4 or 5 priorities to help each island community move forward. Thus far, Ritchie has met with both communities on two different occasions, the first to brainstorm and the second to focus on a few specifics, noting that the preliminary focus on Wolfe Island has been on recreational activities and community centre development. It is anticipated that a report with recommendations from each community will come to council in May. (Please note that while transportation is always a priority issue it is not being included in the consultation but has been referred to MTO by the Township.)
And while this consultation with Ritchie is a first for Howe Island it is not for Wolfe Island when in 1999 OMAFRA’s Bonnie O’Neil undertook a similar consultation. Again in January of 2001 a W.I. Development Review Committee of Frontenac Islands council was formed to assess, develop and prioritize development opportunities. The committee produced an extensive report with a 4-component plan referred to as “the cornerstones to success” which included: a Comprehensive Wolfe Island Water And Sewage Management Strategy; Big Sandy Bay; a Multi-Use Community Facility; and the Wolfe Island Canal. In describing each of the four priorities, the report offered short and long term recommendations and consideration was given to direct and indirect job creation, as well as to the long term effects for the community. The 8 committee members were a very diverse group of islanders.
Since then of course, Big Sandy Bay, in spite of all odds, and through the energy and persistence, cooperation and the hard work of many, is now open to the public and is recognised by the Province as an ‘Area of Natural and Scientific Interest ‘ and an island jewel. It is managed by the Township of Frontenac Islands’ Big Sandy Bay Management Area Stewardship Committee. At this time of the year, they are already seeking students to work as Environmental Stewards during the summer months. BSB is supported in many different ways through the volunteer efforts of Friends of Big Sandy Bay. Denis Doyle is Council representative and Chair of the Big Sandy Bay Stewardship Committee. As the news travels out about the Big Sandy Bay conservation area and beach many more visitors are coming to Wolfe Island.
However, the Multi Use Community facility recommended in 2001 is not a reality- YET. But a number of good things have happened and in particular, a water line has been extended to the community centre grounds. And at this time 3 arena proposals presented by the Community Centre Board Committee are being assessed and analyzed through the township. One can only hope this means a proposal will be selected, funding will be sought and fund raising will begin in earnest for the project. It’s a big hope for the entire community.
When it comes to the historic Wolfe Island Canal, it is hard to believe there is any water in it at all. It is now so overrun with weeds. This project was pursued with a great deal of energy by a Canal Committee appointed by council with plans to reroute and repair the road (bridge) over it, install a large pipe and clear it somewhat to allow small craft travel through its waters. However there were differences of opinion, those for it, and those against, and in the end the committee chaired by Councilor Grant was shut down. Alternative plans for the canal without boat traffic never materialized. Interesting to note that the canal came up again at recent first meeting with Brian Ritchie and has made the short list.
Water and sewage of course is the biggest issue facing Marysville as it does so many small communities. Unfortunately a small oil spill affected the water supply to the town hall and a number of residences. Division Street residents are now facing major costs to bring their affected water systems into conformity. Water in the village is drawn from the river by way of shared shore wells and individual lines and is treated for use though systems in each home. Marysville businesses have approved water systems but for the most part drinking water is purchased and “No drinking water” signs are posted in public buildings. (Fortunately the new island business “Septic Solutions” has helped with the sewage haulage problems.)
But solving the water situation could spell the beginning of new economic development. Recently some one made the comment that instead of building and operating a costly water treatment plant for the village, having a water pipe laid from the Kingston water filtration plant would be a far simpler and less costly long term solution. It will be interesting to see what new approaches to economic development and job creation will come from the consultation now underway with Brian Ritchie.
Around Town:*And speaking of laying something across the water, Wolfe Island’s next mural features the laying of the bubble system so important to winter ferry travel.*A notice of Application and Hearing has been filed with the Ontario Energy Board by CREC (Canadian Hydro Development) to construct a 12 kilometres electric transmission line from a new transformer station on Wolfe Island to a new customer switching station in Kingston to connect the CREC Wolfe Island Wind Farm to the Hydro One Inc. transmission system. (Construction is proposed to begin July 2007 to achieve a May 2008 in-service date). For information on how to participate visit the Board web site: www.oeb.gov.on.ca * There is no news yet about the Wind Power project appeals. * “The Gospel of St. Mark” with Kingston actor Matthew Gibson takes place at Sacred Heart of Mary Church March 16 at 7:30 pm. Free Admission.* WIBTA is already planning for the many events to take place during the busy summer tourist season. Information will be posted on their website: www.wolfeisland.com * Howe Island’s “Garden Buds” are gearing up for spring.
Island’s Short Story Contest Honours Canada’s First Crime Writer
Wolfe Island’s Scene of the Crime Festival announced its 2007 short story contest on Feb. 24th, the birth date of Grant Allen, Canada’s first crime writer born on Wolfe Island in 1848.
Introduced four years ago, the contest gives other Canadians a chance to publish their first crime or mystery stories and is open to writers who are previously unpublished in the mystery or crime genre.
“Since Canadian crime writing started with a Wolfe Islander, it seems fitting the Island be a centre for promoting new writers from across the country,” says contest co-ordinator Violette Malan. “Last year we were delighted to see Canadians from the Maritimes to British Columbia turning to crime.”
Stories must be original and unpublished up to the time the winners are declared and must not exceed 3500 words.
For Complete contest rules visit <http://www.sceneofthecrime.ca
Deadline for entries is May 15, 2007. Winners will be announced June 30, 2007, and presented with their prizes at Wolfe Island’s annual Scene of the Crime Festival on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007.
“The Gospel According to Saint Mark” will be performed in its entirety by one man at Sacred Heart of Mary Church on Friday 16 March 2007 at 7:30 hosted by the 3 Wolfe Island churches.
“This play is being offered free, as a gift to the island by the churches as we prepare for Easter,” Rev. Canon Chris Carr rector at Trinity Anglican said in announcing the free event, also supported by Sacred Heart of Mary Church and Wolfe Island United.
“According to all the reviews,” Canon Carr said “the brilliant solo performance by Kingston actor Matthew Gibson, will bring The Gospel According to Saint Mark to vivid life through storytelling and theatre.”
“Further reviews,” he said, ”suggest the focus of the King James version of Mark is a remarkable tale that will capture peoples imaginations.”
A cautionary reminder however, when coming from Kingston to Wolfe Island personal transportation is required as the ferry lands at the winter dock. “But do come and bring a friend.”
Wolfe Islands Scene of the Crime Festival announced its 2007 short story contest on Feb. 24th, the birth date of Grant Allen, Canada’s first crime writer born on Wolfe Island in 1848.
Introduced four years ago, the contest gives other Canadians a chance to publish their first crime or mystery stories and is open to writers who are previously unpublished in the mystery or crime genre.
“Since Canadian crime writing started with a Wolfe Islander, it seems fitting the Island be a centre for promoting new writers from across the country,” says contest co-ordinator Violette Malan. “Last year we were delighted to see Canadians from the Maritimes to British Columbia turning to crime.”
Stories must be original and unpublished up to the time the winners are declared and must not exceed 3500 words. For Complete contest rules visit http://www.sceneofthecrime.ca
Deadline for entries is May 15, 2007. Winners will be announced June 30, 2007, and presented with their prizes at Wolfe Island’s annual Scene of the Crime Festival on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007.
Retired Wolfe Island farmer, John Posthumus was the recipient of the Ottawa Regional Soil and Crop Improvement (SCIA) Award of Merit at the 2nd Annual Harvest Festival hosted by the Ottawa Regional SCIA.
The award was presented to Mr. Posthumus by Jason Pyke, regional Vice President of the Association, also from Wolfe Island. “ John is most deserving of this award. He has always been there,” Pyke said noting that John is an active participant in every farming event that takes place in the county.
The Merit Award recognizes a regional Soil and Crop Improvement Association member who has made an outstanding contribution to both the regional and local Soil and Crop Association and to agriculture in their own county.
Most often the accomplishments of local farmers are only written up in farm reviews and periodicals, information lost for the most part to the larger community, in spite of the fact that agricultural activity continues most important to Frontenac County and Ontario. So to continue……
Mr. Posthumus was among the Dutch immigrant families who began arriving on Wolfe Island in the late 40’s and 60’s to farm on the island. He was named Frontenac County “Farmer of the Year “ in 1976. He has been a member of many agricultural organizations at all levels including the Frontenac SCIA, as president in 1973, the Ottawa Regional SCIA, the Frontenac Milk Producers, Frontenac Federation of Agriculture, Farm Safety, Wheat Producers, the Wolfe Island Plowmen’s Association, and though retired, he is presently active with the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association and the Kingston Agricultural Society.
On a very positive note, two of his sons continue the Posthumus Family farming tradition on Wolfe Island.
It’s a fact. Howe Islanders are not getting what they were promised from the new 15 car Howe Island County ferry. They were promised faster turn around, more hourly vehicle capacity and increased tonnage.
Instead the current ferry moves only 3 more cars per hour than the previous service with longer trip times than the ferry it replaced, and has only one winch drive (which burns out at high speeds causing the slow down) instead of the two described in the original design report.
This all came to light at the Frontenac Islands council meeting where Howe Island resident Wade Coulter presented a analysis and performance comparison between the previous 9 car Howe Island ferry and the current 15 car ferry.
“ Previously the 9 car ferry moved 38 cars per hour based on a 14 minute round trip time.” he said. “The foot ferry moves 24 cars per hour for a total of 62 cars per hour. Without the foot ferry from January to March we move 47 cars per hour. To compensate we would need 1.6 extra trips per hour. And yes, peak period wait times have really increased by 30 minutes,” he said.
“The bottom line is we have a problem,” according to Jim Mills, a Howe Island Ratepayers Association (HIRA) director who earlier presented the results of what he called an unbiased ferry service survey. The returns from 234 full time residents (400 sent) indicate only fair turn around times and increased wait times. Most complaints are based on peak periods. “Taking the 3 car ferry out of service in the winter has a very serious impact especially for commuters.
Mills asked that council to keep the Township ferry in service as long as possible and that they support HIRA’s request for an engineering study of the County ferry. “ How can we get it back up to what we were promised?” he asked.
Mayor Vanden Hoek said the township has been aware for some time that trip times are longer than with the old service.
Council passed a resolution directing staff to continue operation of the Township ferry weather permitting effective Jan. 1, 2008 and to secure the provincial subsidy for its operation through negotiations with Frontenac County.
”The province has had time to live up to what it promised and the township is justified in asking for our subsidy dollars,” Deputy Mayor Pat Norris said. “The ferry we expected was to have two winch drives instead of the one.” Councillor Doyle wondered if reports indicate how to speed it up or is it simply a bad design.
Paul Charbonneau Director of Transportation Services for Frontenac County present at the meeting, acknowledged that the county ferry operates at a slower speed with only one winch drive. “There is no doubt the perception that people have is correct, the ferry is running only 3 trips an hour instead of four and wait times are longer.”
Councillor Fiene thanked HIRA for it efforts on behalf of Howe residents causing laughter from Wolfe islanders, (for whom ferry wait times are a bane), with his mischievous comment that no Tim Horton’s or a village coffee shop is available for waiting Howe Islanders.
Over past months residents of Howe and Wolfe Islands have argued passionately against the sale of any publicly owned lands or the closure or sale of road allowances under any circumstance.
Again Wolfe Island residents attended the recent Frontenac Islands Council meeting where the disposition of an unopened road allowance (Lot 6 Concession 7& 8) running through the Baynes/Smith Ferguson Point property was to be finalised. In January Baynes requested a road closure bylaw and indicated willingness to pay a nominal fee and legal expenses. A notice of the proposed sale was posted.
Before hearing the concerns of Wolfe Island citizens, council held an “in camera” session to discuss municipal property security, selling off of land, and price. Following the “in camera” a resolution to close the road allowance was read a first time. The price agreed upon was $50,000.( $33,784 per acre).
Councillor Fiene noted the issue was before council because it is a road that starts and ends nowhere while Deputy Mayor Norris said a barn has existed on it for many years. Councillor Doyle opposed the sale and the price. Council also was in receipt of letters opposing the sale.
Islander Sarah Balant said that Wolfe and Howe islands have very little public land and these road ends don’t seem to matter much when sold off individually but collectively they represent a shared heritage. “Road allowances represent the very few means of access to the water, a defining feature of an island. A bylaw is needed to protect all road allowances and public lands and prohibit their sale.”
She noted shore wells placed in a village road allowance compromised its use for swimming, another road is gated, and had council sold the right of way to Big Sandy Bay there wouldn’t be public access.
Nancy Steele pointed out there is no public access to the water, no place for a picnic, or to swim or to land. “If you take away it all that you wont be able to draw people to live on the island’s interior lands.”
“What public interest are you serving with this road closure,” Ruth Bryson asked. You will just increase the value of the property for the applicant. If you are determined to sell it, sell it at the going rate of $800. per linear foot, that is 66’ plus 66’ ($105,600) and use that money for a community project.”
There were comments about council’s failure to communicate and decisions not in the best interest of the community from Clare Muller. For Maggie Crothers it was her third occasion to ask that waterfront and public lands not be sold.
Baynes was given an opportunity to speak. “This was not a land grab or for monetary gain,” he said.
Mayor Vanden Hoek left the chair to talk about Big Sandy Bay, boat slips, a public dock, a property inventory, use of money to enhance a property.
Councillor Doyle remained opposed to its sale and the price.
In a recorded vote the motion passed with one nay.
Earlier in the meeting, the sale of a Howe Island waterfront property was debated. HIRA’s (Howe Island Ratepayer’s Association) Brian Humphries presented survey poll results of indicating 59% opposed, 41% in favour. “Council has priorities but selling the lot is irreversible,” Humphries said. He would like council to look at all public lands before making a decision.
Deputy Mayor Norris said Howe had a number of pieces of land and side roads dead ending at the water which will remain in perpetuity noting the the “Garden Buds” efforts. “Using this lot located in the area of million dollar homes for beach or public access could create a liability situation while revenue (all or part) from its sale could go towards to paying for the new $600,000 Fire Hall,” he said.
Councillors Fiene and Doyle both opposed its sale. “Once sold its gone. It is for recreation not for development,” according to Fiene while Doyle said “Howe indicated parks as a priority” to OMAFRA’s Brian Ritchie and suggested a decision be made with him when next they meet.
Mayor Vanden Hoek acknowledged that people would be unhappy either way and suggested council follow Doyle’s lead and wait to make a decision until after a second meeting with Ritchie. The decision to sell or not was deferred until the March council meeting.
In other Business: * Following a compelling presentation regarding the proposed Medical Assist Response program agreement by Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn, “What you have before you are parameters for an absolutely necessary program which makes it absolutely clear whether we should be there.” Council authorized its signing.
Paul Charbonneau Director of Frontenac County Emergency Services commended the Howe Island Fire Department for their efforts.
*Council directed staff to continue the operation of the Howe Island Township ferry effective Jan. 1, 2008 and to secure the provincial subsidy to operate it through negotiation with Frontenac County, because the County ferry is not operating according to the specifications.
*At the request of the W.I. Wildlife Association the Township will ask the Ministry of Natural Resources to reinstate 18 days of goose hunting in December and January.
*Following a presentation by Bill Henderson (Wolfe Island Action Group) regarding recreation grant opportunities, (broom ball, badminton, sailing,rowing,floating dock, etc.), the Township will submit a request for a Communities in Action Fund grant for $20,000 in support of a $25,000 program in co-operation with the community group.
*Council heard Mrs. Rozanne Moizer’s (HI) request for better communication with residents.
*The township will retain Thompson Construction Management Services to provide estimates for the 3 Wolfe Island Community Centre Board arena proposals and Allan Partners to analyze and assess them.
*Howe Island resident J. French has to restore township property he ditched to its original condition or the work will be done at his expense.
*The application for a second level on a garage was denied.
* The Bolton application was approved.
*The Township will collect and issue tax receipts (over $25.00) for the WI Historical Society with donations kept in a reserve fund for the procurement of a statue of General James Wolfe by the Society.
*If satisfied with the inspection of a 1990 Fire Truck WI Chief James White is directed to acquire it ($20,000) by the WI Fire Association with taxes paid by the municipality.
Frontenac Islands Council meets March 12th on Wolfe Island.
The Wolfe Island Town Hall was filled to capacity where Brian Ritchie, Economic Development Consultant with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food was first on the agenda of the Frontenac Islands January meeting.
Introducing Ritchie , Mayor Vanden Hoek reminded council that in the ‘90’s Wolfe Island assisted by Bonnie O’Neil (OMAFRA) undertook a community consultation to develop a strategic economic development plan, setting 4 or 5 priorities to move the community forward and did so with some success. ”It is time to revisit the process and include Howe Island in a new community consultation.” (Transportation has already been identified as a priority and will not be included in the consultation.)
“The five stage consultation process will differ slightly for each community in that this will be a first for Howe Island,” Ritchie said. A special council committee would deliver (for pre-budget deliberations) a report to council by the end of May, with recommendations related to 4-5 priorities from each community. These would have arisen at public meetings, and been prioritized, explored in detail by sub-committees and then consolidated by the special committee leading to the final report. Brian will present a meeting time line for the township to consider. The Mayor noted the importance of economic development including job creation and assessment.
Terry Shea , General Manager Land O’Lakes Tourist Association came bearing maps, brochures and tourism information. “This is a sort of orientation for council,” he said. “Land O’Lakes is a destination marketing organization about economic development through tourism.” They have a 911 compliant map (for police and fire) and “Profile” promoting the region with the “Let’s Go” challenge, and have a sign initiative encompassing Canada’s Land of Lakes region. A Rural Economic Development grant they received allows marketers to attach themselves to the brand. Frontenac Islands (although not listed in old booklet as pointed out by Councillor Doyle) is a partner. Separate memberships exist for golf courses and other tourist attractions wishing to participate in “Let’s Go!”
A presentation on options for improving the Wolfe Island ferry service was made by Gregor Caldwell on behalf of a small independent ferry study group. It is contained in a separate article.
Next came the deferred Baynes application for a township road closure (unopened and not accessible) on Ferguson Point. The road runs through the Baynes and Smith properties. The application had originally been approved but it was found that the road had not been closed.
Baynes, accompanied by his lawyer presented a raft of documents dating back to 1878. In 1981 a land severance was approved and Baynes bought and paid for property from Holmstead Holdings with Township approval. He believed it included the town line on which he has paid taxes on for the last 25 years. “I hope history tells it all,” he said.
Baynes wants a bylaw to close the road, is willing to pay a nominal fee and legal expenses to get it properly registered and wants the land transferred to his family.
The mayor noted that on one of the documents it might appear the property is his, but only the municipality can sell a road allowance and the staff cannot find such a bylaw. “But if it was sold where is the money, who was the vendor ?” Councillor Doyle asks.
In the lengthy discussion that followed the mayor acknowledged that this is not the only road on Wolfe Island that is inaccessible to the public. Councillor Doyle does not approve of waterfront property being sold but recognizes the piece is land locked but wonders if the road was widened and opened up to the water would that change anything.
The council in 1981 approved the severance that happened to show the road allowance in the application even though they may not have had the authority to do so according to Baynes. ‘”The declaration to-day is to seek the closure of the road by bylaw and clear up the 1981 issue,” he said.
Councillor Fiene wondered if the road allowance is closed as a house keeping issue will it just be given away. Another wondered if the road would ever be of any use to the township. “ Because there is a fair amount of residential development in that area the answer is yes and no,” the mayor said.
Staff was directed to proceed with the process and a notice has been posted indicating the township is preparing to sell the land described as part of the unopened road allowance. Consideration of the bylaw will come up at the February council where verbal and written comments will be considered.
Simcoe Island resident Carol Leonard again asked council to re-instate the whole of 9 Mile Point Road on the island to a full service road. She based her case on an updated map first presented during the Official Plan process showing it as a full service road. However a subsequent map also undated shows part of it as limited service. She believes an irregular, undated and unreferenced map change happened between 2003 and 2005 without public notice. As a result she, as a 16 year full time resident, is the only resident living on 9 Mile Point Road, 6 km of which is without road service. Mayor Vanden Hoek said that the road is plowed by Sidney Eves (for the township) from his gateway to the ferry. That when the lighthouse was owned by the Coast Guard there was a private arrangement for plowing the 3km from the Eves home to the lighthouse.
After much discussion, some of it heated including Simcoe residents, a resolution by Councillors Fiene and Doyle that the road be re-instated was defeated. However council is referring the matter to the roads superintendent and the town planner. Ms. Leonard will continue her fight to have full service.
In other business: A waste management committee including Totten Simms Hubicki’s Guy Laporte , councillors and volunteers will be formed at the next meeting.
Councillor Doyle wants all recent non elected candidates serving on committees. He is concerned about plugged ditches and the municipal requirement to keep them open.
Councillor Fiene wants action about a ditch dug on a strip township waterfront property.
Deputy Mayor Norris wants a HoweIsland parking area cleared and notes illegal parking in the ferry line.
Councillors Doyle and Grant were appointed to the Community Centre Board. Grant – WI Fire Dept. Doyle- WI Medical clinic He will also chair the Big Sandy Bay Committee.
Howe Recreation Committee –Councillor Fiene.
Deputy Mayor Norris- HI Fire Deprtment.
Frontenac Islands Council meets Feb. 12th at 6:30 p.m. Howe Island.
Ferry transportation enhancement is a priority on Wolfe Island and W.I. resident Gregor Caldwell, representing a small ferry service study group (including Walter Knott and Trevor Van Allen) came to talk at the Frontenac Island council meeting. “Our group has been talking about this for a number of months and decided to put a document together for you,” Caldwell said presenting council members with the 4 page ferry option plan they had developed.
“We spoke to MPP John Gerretsen who said the province is looking for direction from Wolfe Island and we are aware that MTO is considering lengthening the ferry to increase capacity. However, we believe that the shorter route option must also be considered but as far as we know, it has not”.
Caldwell said the objectives of improved ferry service should be to - increase hourly capacity and increase frequency. The options in the IBI study were 1-no change, 2-lengthen ferry to 85 cars, 3- the existing ferry on shorter route (winter dock to Vimy).
“A lengthened ferry has serious deficiencies which could cause a one hour and 20 minute schedule due to loading and weight that translates to an hourly capacity increase of only 16% and a stretched out schedule for the traveller. Further” he said, “the shorter route has major benefits such as lower capital and operating costs from the point of view of setting it up, with no disruption in service, and is a longer term solution. “Doubling the capacity could well be a 10 year solution.”
He noted that with the shorter crossing there would be reduced congestion, fewer delays, double crossing frequency, (double the vehicles per hour) and could allow for an increase in population growth. “We feel a half hour (round trip) service is more appealing to people and perhaps Howe Island can attest to that.” Caldwell said that if service improvements came with a cost it would go down better with this kind of significant improvement in service. “We think the shorter route can provide year round better service and offer the best value for any dollars spent. With a lengthened boat we would pay for a poorer level of service,” he said. “So we encourage council to have ferry improvement as a top priority. We further ask council request MTO to take a formal study of the potential options for improvement and include the shorter route as well as the lengthened ferry and finally to undertake a thorough public process prior to a decision by council on the best option.”
Councillor Norris asks that Howe Island be included in any environmental assessment. Councillor Doyle asks about the IBI survey that indicated 60% preferred the shorter route and wonders if a faster ferry (suggested in the report) had ever been looked at. Caldwell said maybe a faster boat could travel from Wolfe to Garden Island but then would have to slow down.
Mayor Vanden Hoek has no idea about success on any option but said council is trying to restart discussions with MTO but has no idea where they will go “ once we have the format they are prepared to take we will make sure they have this document in there hands,” he said. There was no resolution passed.
Frontenac Islands faces new challenges regarding the Canadian Hydro Developers Wind Plant plan for Wolfe Island. Two notices of appeal have been submitted to the Township and filed with the Ontario Municipal Board. Both appeals list passage of the Zoning By-Law before the Environmental Screening Report (ESR) was available as cause. Both appellants have environmental and set back concerns, have indicated a willingness to mediate and are represented by Ms Peggy Smith, a lawyer with Eliot Smith.
In her appeal, island resident Sarah McDermott cites the passage of the zoning by-law as inconsistent with the vision of the Planning Act (the Act), Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) vision and the intent of Frontenac Islands Official Plan stating decisions taken by council before its passage were not open, accessible, timely or efficient and not passed in a fair process relative to the Act. As well it states minimum set-backs in section 4 of the zoning bylaw do not reflect 2005 recommendations made to council, are not based on best practices and are not in compliance with sections of the Act, the PPS and the Township’s Official Plan and fail to address issues of public health and safety.
In the absence of the ESR, Ms McDermott wants the by-law repealed as premature and “if the ESR has been released prior to the hearing, that the set-backs in the by-law be amended to reflect the issues identified in the ESR, the current practices of CHD in other places, and in recently issued policy statements and best practices across the country.”
Dr. James Day in his appeal submits that the zoning by-law is deficient because it does not consider the protection of ecological systems including natural areas, features and functions and the conservation and management of natural resources. He is concerned that a letter to the Township, forwarded to CHD, outlining concerns was not answered.
According to Day the zoning by-law allows transmission lines without consideration of the hedgerows and their protection, does not include minimum set back from wetlands, woodlots and environmentally sensitive areas, and that minimum setbacks from property lines do not consider other environmentally critical uses of adjoining property.
Dr. Day is seeking the repeal of the zoning by-law based on insufficient process and without the release of the ESR. If the ESR is released at the time of the hearing, Day wants setbacks of 1000 metres (from bird migration routes and wildlife areas) included in the zoning bylaw. He has been acquiring wetland properties on Wolfe Island to protect native waterfowl populations and notes increased flight paths, populations and new species particularly in property boundary hedgerows.
Mayor Vanden Hoek believes there has been considerable process but there is some confusion in the community. “The key point here is that the setbacks in the Zoning Bylaw amendment are what I would call default or minimum setback requirements. The ESR ( an overlay of the zoning by-law) on the other hand is submitted to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The issues of noise, wet land habitat, environment are for MOE resolution, and the setbacks that will come with the ESR have to respect MOE areas of responsibility, so if there are no environmental issues then the townships setbacks apply,” he said.
“ By passing the zoning bylaw, we allowed CHD to develop the site plan and to include it with the ESR. We probably should have spent more time explaining that at the public meetings or in the letter I sent to constituents. With the exception of the removal of the ‘holding provision’ the process is out of our hands.”
The holding provision does give the municipality some control over the project and to make one last effort to see that all the issues are resolved. According to the mayor an engineering firm will be brought in to do a site plan review on a whole range of issues (pole corridors, underground wires, technical issues related to township infrastructure) before the holding provision is removed. “ I believe process does work,” Vandenhoek said. “If the project has merit we will win, if not we will lose.”
Planning Consultant Bob Clark noted the township had expected the ESR to be complete but when it was not, the decision was made to use the holding provision of the zoning by-law (originally argued against by the CHD) because CHD wanted some certainty about setbacks and to avoid another approval process. “Without the ESR Clark Consulting felt and council agreed that we needed another mechanism to ensure that all of the environmental issues were addressed,” Clark said, “so we used the holding provision to make sure that all those issues were dealt before council would release the holding. We were in a catch 22 situation. CHD wanted an idea of what the setbacks were going to be. We felt it was reasonable to put those setbacks out for the public to react to. It was a useful exercise that identified vacant lands issues which we proposed be dealt with through the site plan process.”
According to Clark, the outgoing council wanted to deal with this part of the process because they had worked their way through it and, the proponent was also anxious that these things be made public. “Yes, the process was a little different than what we expected without the completed ESR but we came out with a defensible approach. We don’t think we have jeopardized the process or any of the concerns because they have to be dealt through the holding and the site plan process which we realize requires more weight.”
Regarding the appeals Clark believes there should be an opportunity for mediation with the appellants, once the site plan and the ESR are available to discuss what options and what solutions may be possible. “I think it is not in anyone’s interest to proceed to what could be a long and protracted board hearing. Our first recommendation to council will be to explore negotiation between the township, the proponent and the appellants. Even without a complete solution it will help narrow down the issues that need addressing, thus helping us work our way through an OMB hearing. This is a large project so I would have been surprised if there were no appeals.” And so the world turns!
Around Town: * The Canadian Diabetic Assoc. thanked the 20 W. Islanders who raised $3,726 from 215 donors. * Friends of Big Sandy Bay, AGM & a Turtle conservation presentation, Jan. 17th, WI United Church Hall 7pm.