MTO has informed the residents of Wolfe Island that their ferry, the Wolfe Islander III will not be returning to Marysville just yet. With what looks like there might be an early spring, and hopefully a rise in water levels, many islanders are looking for the ferry to move from the Dawson Point docking facility to the ”summer” dock in the village, sooner than later But at the present time, according to the notification, maintenance work on the hydraulic cylinders used to lift the ferry is underway. At the same time water levels continue to be monitored, and the ferry will be moved once it is safe to do so, according to MTO.
It is interesting that the notice suggests many islanders are looking forward to the ferry’s move, which is true of course. But many are ‘not wondering when the ferry will be returning to the village.’ To quote one such person,” I love the efficiency for loading/unloading and the parking at Dawson Point.” And from another , “ from Dawson Point the lineup is clear, parking, as well as drop off and pick up is easier and you are always headed home (east or west) at least 5 minutes earlier.” and “ if you want to stop off in the village there is time and parking around to do so”, etc.… Of course facilities at Dawson Point are sparse, although there is a warm waiting cabin. Unless you live in the village or you are buying coffee at the WHIP during the winter months, it is not bad. And it sure has been an easy winter….
2. Get behind “ Rural Schools Matter”, a volunteer group of parents, grandparents and other community members, chaired by “Robin Hutcheon” ,
‘Rural Schools Matter’ is looking for you support at the rally. Their press release notes that what is going on “points to a disturbing trend towards school closures and consolidation, a problem for citizens of all ages.” This will be the second of several rallies intended to raise local awareness of the impact of school closures and to convince school board trustees to keep our rural schools. The threat of rural school closings has taken on new meaning in our own region, and in the rest of Ontario. Frontenac Islands is an isolated, rural island community (Howe, Wolfe, Simcoe) with schools on Wolfe Island, Marysville Public, and Sacred Heart.”
Recently Mayor Doyle with members of the community Schools Alliance met with Minister of Education, Mitzi Hunter, (she who said recently “a school is the heart of a community”) at the ROMA Conference, to bring to her attention not only the detrimental results of school closures, both economic and social, on rural communities. But also the impact on children’s health as a result of long hours of travelling to and from school. He noted that the costs of closing and disposing of schools and extra bussing are probably well known, but was the fact that MPAC property values will go down as people with young children leave a community with others not likely to move in. “Schools slated for closure, and the impact closures have on communities are big issues for rural municipalities,” Doyle said at the time.
It’s time to follow this important Issue…
3. All About Goat Farming: Two Public Information Sessions at Frontenac County offices in Glenburnie—
Date: Thursday, March 23; Time: First session: 2 - 4 p.m.; Second session: 7 - 9 p.m.; Frontenac County offices, 2069 Battersea Road, Glenburnie-Seating is limited. Please register online at: 2pm: https://goat-farming.eventbrite.ca
7pm: https://goat-farming-2.eventbrite.ca Goat milk will be the foundation of an innovative, hypoallergenic product manufactured and as much as possible produced locally at a Feihe infant formula plant slated for Kingston. It is to be Canada’s only wet formula facility and North America's first and only producer of goat milk-based infant formula. The two information sessions, both with the same content, are being held to educate interested community members about the goat milk industry, including regulations and start-up considerations and to accommodate interested people. The content of the sessions will be valuable for those who are currently running farming operations and looking to expand to produce goat milk, or those hoping to enter the farming industry. However, anyone interested in the Feihe project is welcome to attend.
The project is seen as an opportunity that could provide multiple opportunities for both local and regional economic development, from the construction of the plant, to the company's plans to produce goat milk based formula. Kingston’s Economic Development Corporation together with Frontenac County and the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs will develop an Ontario plan for expansion of the goat milk industry
Around Town: **The annual Wolfe Island St Patrick's Day Seniors Lunch will be held Saturday, March 18 at the United Church Hall,12:00 noon. (hosted together by the WI Women's Institutes). ** Notice to truckers and shippers 2017— Half Load restrictions expected to start March 6th on all Frontenac Islands roads.
Progress: the Frontenac Islands Senior housing project is at the “waiting to move forward stage” at this time. The Board of Directors, (a committee of council) has been meeting regularly, almost weekly, issuing first an EOI (expression of interest) followed by an RFP ( request for proposals) in December, describing the type of energy efficient building the township was looking for, as stated in a previous article, “a building, approximately 4,500 square feet, with four one bedroom units, one two bedroom unit and a common area for people to meet and socialize. One contract will be awarded to a design-build firm for the project.’
At this time, a preferred contractor has been chosen from among three very competitive bids for the Wolfe Island project with details presently being worked on. However, there are further issues to be resolved, not least among them the formal acquisition, transfer and clearing of land given by owner John Weatherall, land close to the WI community Medical Clinic and the WI Emergency Services (Ambulance & Fire Hall) building . It is at the end of Division Street with the Community Centre Grounds and the WI Community Hall at the other. And, so the committee waits for those issues to be finalized before they move on to the next steps, the final design of the project and construction specifications. It is the committee’s intention, if the above issues have been resolved, to submit a request to council at their March meeting to issue a contract for construction of the WI Senior’s Apartment project, with a projected fall opening date planned. Committee members include Mayor Doyle, Councillor Wayne Grant, Brian Scovill, Kathy Horton, Mikaela Hughes, Walter Knott, & CAO Darlene Plumley, as secretary, and advisor, Patrick Thompson.
FYI: Senior Housing was chosen as a priority by Wolfe Islanders a number of years ago. What residents said at the time was that they wanted a facility that was affordable, in the village, operated locally and offering safety, independence, socialization and the opportunity to remain on the island. In its Strategic Plan, Frontenac County. Council chose senior housing as the first of 3 projects to focus on over a five year period and to build one five unit seniors apartment facility in each of the four townships in Frontenac County. County Council approved the hiring of a consultant to assist in moving forward and subsequently approved $335,000 for (each of) North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands-(Wolfe Island) Township. Public meetings were held throughout Frontenac County to determine need, and Marysville was chosen for a first seniors housing project under the auspices of Frontenac County.
2. Pruning Workshop on Wolfe |Island 10 am-2pm, March 4th Horne’s Orchard.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to prune your own trees? Come to the island for a workshop on the basics of pruning.
The (OWA) Ontario Woodlot Association (Limestone Chapter) will host an Apple Orchard Pruning Workshop at Bruce Horne’s orchard. Justin Smith, Certified Arborist, will instruct participants in a hands-on workshop and ensure that all go home well prepared to tackle their own pruning job. Participants are encouraged to bring a pair of pruning shears and to dress for the weather as this is an outdoor event. The workshop is on Saturday, March 4 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and the location is Horne’s apple orchard at 2041 Hwy. 95 (just before the U.S. ferry dock) on Wolfe Island. For mainlanders, the Wolfe Island Ferry departs Kingston at 9:30 am. Or consult the Ferry Schedule at http://www.wolfeisland.com/ferry.php A chili lunch will be provided. The cost of the event is $10.00 for non-OWA members, and free to members. All are welcome. Preregistration is required: please contact Kevin Hansen (President of the OWA – Limestone Chapter) at: 613-449-0732 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
To learn more about the Ontario Woodlot Association, visit www.ontariowoodlot.com The Ontario Woodlot Association, through its network of Chapters across the Province, brings people together to share ideas and learn about forest management. To ensure the viability of non-crown land forests, they promote sustainable forestry management and advocate on behalf of woodlot owners.
And about Bruce Horne’s Apple Orchard. Every year since 2007, Peggy Smith and Bruce Horne give over their apple orchard at 2041 Rd.#95 for a Wolfe Island Early Years Centre Fundraiser in late September. It’s a pick your own apples and bring your own bags affair and more… Great Family Fun.. Watch for it……
Around Town: **Do buy a ticket for the Medical Clinic’s fund raiser, a play “Village of Idiots” at the Domino Theatre March 8, at 7:30 pm. Tickets $20. from WI Clinic board members ** A Massage Clinic is opening on WI at the former hair salon in Marysville, staffed by Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) Brooke MacDonald and Judy Gerber-van Vliet, who are working together to provide the service and are accepting new clients. ** Notice to truckers and shippers 2017— Half Load restrictions expected to start March 6th on All Frontenac Islands roads. (Date could change in the event of extreme rain) www.frontenacislands.ca
Frontenac Islands Council had a Busy Day on Howe Island by Marg Knott
It was a long day for the Frontenac Islands council members and staff. First there was a budget meeting held in advance of the regular monthly council meeting . Council’s budget deliberations had the objective to hold the tax increase to 1.75 % to 2% , as agreed upon at a preliminary meeting. That of course is without consideration of the policing costs, which by themselves will cause a 2% municipal budget increase, beyond the control of the municipality.
Council focussed budget deliberations on the needs of the community, as determined through previous priority setting. There was a line by line review of the revenue and expense documents. beginning with administration, including Howe and Wolfe Island building improvements, emergency management, planning, WI roads, waste, recycling, culture and recreation..
Council reviewed a budget, with some minor amendments, presented by Howe Island’s Fire Chief Mike Quinn that includes the replacement of two vehicles within a defined price range, and completing the asphalt surface of the fire hall driveway with funding. Regarding Wolfe Island Fire and Rescue, Council considered the purchase of a used vehicle that was available and that fits with the WI emergency vehicle replacement schedule. Funds from the sale of surplus vehicles would be placed in the equipment reserve fund. The next, and perhaps final budget meeting, will be held on March 13th at the WI Town Hall at 1 pm, where the Howe Island ferry and all of; Wolfe Island Community Centre Board, building, wind, roads, waste, recycling, culture, and recreation figures will be reviewed, for the passage of the Frontenac Islands 2017 budget at the March monthly township council meeting.
2. Wolfe Island Music Festival Organizer Virginia Clarke attends Council Meeting
Virginia Clarke attended the meeting to outline plans for an August 11-12, 2017 festival after a one year absence. The Music Festival ran into trouble financially when the Wolfe Islander III ferry was out of service the entire summer of 2015, and the smaller Frontenac II did not land in Marysville resulting in lower attendance and higher costs, which included the rental of a commercial passenger boat. Those troubles and the many festivals in the area resulted in the cancellation of the 2016 festival. During the last year and into 2017 Clarke organized a number of fund raising events locally and in Toronto and is ready now to plan for a 2017 Music Festival. “The environment for festivals has changed a lot since we began 18 years ago,” Clarke said. “But there is a lot of support for this festival and a lot of people who want to see it happen. After the crippling financial hit incurred in 2015 I am asking for a break…to get wind back in our sails…”
Clarke is asking for use of the usual Community Centre grounds location for setup and take down from Aug.11-13th and access to the community centre building for storage of goods as well a request for amendment to the noise bylaw as usual. She proposed a different arrangement however with the bar, food, licensing and insurance provided by the festival including, as in the past, set up and cleanup. She noted that the festival provides security at the site and shares policing costs with the township. A discussion regarding a fee for use of the grounds, followed with no decision. The township will request that the Frontenac County Economic Development analyse the economic value of the Music Festival to Wolfe Island, with financial input from the township, to establish a rental fee for the grounds. Ms. Clarke’s request will be back on the agenda for further discussion at the March 13th meeting of council.
2. Economic Development: Mayor Doyle invited Richard Allen Frontenac County Manager of Economic Development to address Council. “ Its been an incredible couple of months working for the County and it is my pleasure to be here to tell you what we are working on,” Mr. Allen said. He highlighted among other things the Brand (IN-Frontenac ) Ambassador Program, its ambassadors and the excellent work of the County’s Vanderveld. “It is amazing how businesses are making the brand their own. IN-Frontenac Program will have a web portal which will include a business directory, a commercial and agricultural land inventory and much more to be added over the next months with wings to the townships.” The county is also undertaking an accommodation review. Allen continued with reference to the development opportunities in agriculture in cash crops, dairy and specifically the proposed goat milk industry development for Kingston and the region. Council meets next : March 13th
Around Town: Pancake Supper Sat. Feb 25th, 4-7pm St. Margaret’s Hall sponsored by the Anglican Parish of Wolfe Island. Cost: $5.00 **Do buy a ticket for the Medical Clinic’s fund raiser, a play “Village of Idiots” at the Domino Theatre March 8, at 7:30 pm.Tickets $20. *Don’t forget the “SOCK IT TO US” campaign to Feb. 25th. ** Take note that a new Massage Clinic is now open on WI at the former hair salon in Marysville staffed by Registered Massage Therapists (RMT’s) Brooke MacDonald and Judy Gerber-van Vliet who are working together to provide the service and are accepting new clients.
Ever since my appointment to the Frontenac County Accessibility committee (which requires for membership, that you have a disability) and well aware that my disability is progressing to an even more awkward stage, I have come to recognize ever more clearly the difficulties the disabled face in our society. And I refer not only to the physically disabled, but include those without sight or hearing, and so much more. I dare to look at things in our society that I previously would not have defined as disabling. The AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) uses the same broad definition of disability, “ any degree of physical, developmental, mental or learning disability that limits a person’s movements, senses or activities,” as does the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHR).
With the AODA, accessibility is associated with the design of products, devices, services and environments, and includes laws through the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Ontario Building Code. It addresses barriers in customer service, information and communication, employment, and transportation and public space design, all with an objective of improving accessibility opportunities for people with disabilities. AODA defines a barrier as a “circumstance or obstacle that keeps people apart, taking many forms for the disabled listing communication, physical, policy, programming, social, transportation and attitudinal.
It is this latter, attitude, that caught my attention recently. Quite a number of years ago someone in our community provided a pair of shoes for a disabled person. I knew that person needed the shoes, it was obvious, but I did nothing about it, a non-act I regret to this day. I could have, should have, but didn’t, and the question I have to ask myself was why, was it attitudinal ?
The kind of society we have today, with regard to all forms of disability, is much better than the one in which I grew up. In those earlier years, people with disabilities experienced abuse, exclusion—they were hidden away, neglect, discrimination, and racism. They had no supports, they were stared at, jeered at, had little access to education, or work, or housing. Even worse if a person of colour, or indigenous,. And even more horrendous was sterilization of the disabled, severe restraint of the aged, or disabled, within a severe institutionalization structure. There was no awareness of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disabled were even prevented from coming to Canada. Some of the effects of all this remain with us today.
The Law Commission of Ontario has stated: “Disability” continues to be the most frequently cited ground of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) in human rights claims made to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO).” The OHRC noted: “A person’s experience may be complicated further when discrimination based on a disability intersects with discrimination based on other Code grounds, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, age or another type of disability, etc. “ Today, 15.5% of Ontario’s population has a disability and this number will continue to grow as the population ages”.
All of the above to say, the Frontenac County Accessibility Committee will continue to mentor for the disabled and promote the AODA, its aims and objectives. At the same time Frontenac County is working on an “Age Friendly “ Project that includes older persons.. Watch for more to come.
Around Town: ** On again off again weather, but we still have great skating , many visiting skaters and teams coming to our shores. **Members of Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic, and Wolfe Island Friends of Ferals, invite you to buy a ticket from them to their fund raising event, a play “Village of Idiots” by John Lazarus at Kingston’s Domino Theatre on Wednesday March 8, at 7:30 pm. Come join their evening out: Tickets are; $20. Each ** May have more positive information about the WI Music Festival after this week’s Township Council Meeting. ***Wolfe Island is looking forward to welcoming everyone to the 37th Annual Wolfe Island Classic 5 & 10K Run/Walk, JULY 2nd at 9:30 am.. All proceeds of the race go to support the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. Last year the Clinic was pleased to be able to offer a Nurse Practitioner walk-in Clinic which they are hoping to expand in the near future. The Wolfe Island Classic is part of the Kingston Road Runners Association (KRRA) race series. Visit their website - wolfeislandclassic.com
***And finally take note that : Local first responders are joining forces and will collect socks during the “SOCK IT TO US” Kingston campaign February 19 to 25. Collection boxes will be in all participating paramedic stations, fire halls and headquarters for the staff of Frontenac Paramedic Services, Kingston Police and Kingston Fire and Rescue Services to donate new socks. *Note: While local first responders collect socks through their internal campaign, there will also be collection boxes for the general public at Kingston Police Head Quarters, as well as the County of Frontenac’s reception area in Glenburnie. Watch for other locations perhaps on the Islands.
Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle returned from the ROMA conference satisfied with the conference, and pleased, for the most part with the extra meetings he and CAO Plumley had with officials regarding particular island issues .
“ We were very pleased with our meeting with Minister Steven Del Duca, (Transportation), Eastern Regional Director Kathy Moore and MTO staff,” the Mayor said on his return to Wolfe Island. . “Our briefing notes sent in advance of the meeting outlined for the Minister some community concerns with the high cost of the proposed ferry docks in Marysville and our hope that some of the money could be spent on our transportation link on connecting roads. We were able to present our case to the Minister with regard to Road 7501, that’s the road from the Dawson Point dock to Rd #96 and on to Road 95 to Alexandria Pt. (& ferry to the USA), our transportation link which was the main point of our discussion ,” Doyle said.
These roads were downloaded during the 1997/98 restructuring agreement. Rd 7051 built in the 6o’s with a sand base has badly deteriorated over the years, more so since all construction vehicles, equipment and materials travelled the roads to build the 86-tower wind farm as well as its heavy use to the present.
“ We requested that MTO take them back as they are an international link between (Kingston) Canada /USA and suggested when rebuilding the Rd 7051 portion it should be rerouted more directly to Rd 96 and include a bicycle path throughout,” Doyle added.
“And finally since the new 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island is not expected until 2020 we also requested that when the new Amherst Islander goes into service in 2019, that the Frontenac II be put into service along with the Wolfe Islander III on the Wolfe Island route during the busy summer and shoulder months. We received a very positive hearing from Minister Del Duca and MTO staff who will consider our requests,” Mayor Doyle concluded.
*** Winter Fest : At last, the ground is covered with snow on Frontenac Islands. Hopefully the snow will remain for Wolfe Island’s ‘Winterfest’ coming up Sunday February 12th.
‘Winterfest’ formerly known as ‘Chili Fest’ has been part of Wolfe Island’s winter season fun for many years . In the past it was held at the Old Fire Hall in Marysville, located behind Fargo’s Store close to the Wolfe Island Ferry dock. There, in the spirit of the winter season, outdoor activities were the focus of the day's events along with the popular varieties of chili that brought out the islanders. As the Chili Contest was underway, close by dependant on a frozen bay there was skating and sleigh rides and wind surfers, and those simply enjoying a winter day. It was a great event in those earlier years, and it is now. In 2012 for the first time Wolfe Island’s Chili Fest was held at the Community Centre Grounds in Marysville beside the new NHL sized rink, with its icemaking machinery. That year, as it does every year, Chili Fest brought together island chefs with their special recipes vying for the title of “best chili cook” and a continuous stream of visitors ready to vote.
The new rink provided the location for the presentation of an award by the Township honouring the WI Hockeyville Committee of volunteers for their community spirit. Through their efforts the WI community became one of 5 Canadian communities to compete to become the $100,000 winner in the 2011 CBC Kraft Hockeyville Competition. (Wolfe Island did not win the grand prize but was the recipient of $25,000.)
Since that time, with the support of the township, the Wolfe Island Community Centre Board and its many volunteers continue to FUND RAISE to make improvements to the rink which now has a roof, excellent lighting, etc., and to provide amenities to make the Community Centre the “Go To Place” on the island all year. The Centre also has 3 baseball diamonds and a corral for horse races etc. Winterfest Wolfe Island takes place Sunday, Feb. 12th beginning at 12:30 pm with members of the Voyageurs Hockey Team on the ice. Family Skating at 1:30 and of course.. the Chili Contest…And continues as a great annual event.
Around Town: Wishing Rev. Mike Bohler , Pastor at the WI United Church a speedy recovery from recent surgery. ** Frontenac Islands Council meets next Mon.Feb.13th at 6:30 pm on Howe Island **The Island Grill. Open Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm \ Sat. 10am to 10 pm. http://www.wolfeislandgrill.ca call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at events.com. Early bird prices in effect until April 30th.
This is a very odd time of year on Frontenac Islands, particularly this year. Without the heavy dumps of snow and the deep frost the islands are accustomed to, the winter thus far has been dreary, soggy and sun deprived.
It is a winter that is wrecking roads that are not paved, which includes most of them, as well as affecting even those roads that have been hard surfaced. No doubt a rather frustrating situation for the Public Works department. Is it any wonder that the township’s highest budget figure is always allotted to roads?
A positive of course, has been Wolfe Island’s covered rink, that has provided a wonderful outlet for everyone, skater and spectator alike. And, on a number of weekends, based on the ferry traffic coming and going, its many, many visitors. It of course, still requires the temperature to be cold enough……
**. Breaking News just in: Mayor Denis Doyle has been appointed as Chair of the KFL&A Public Health Unit Board, where he has served as Frontenac County representative. “ I have thoroughly appreciated working as a member of the board and I am deeply honoured to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as their chair,” he said. “ I look forward to continuing our work with the KFL&A Health Unit to deliver effective public health programs to all residents in Kingston and the two counties.” Mayor Doyle also looks forward to working with provincial counterparts to improve systems and lower costs.
** Mayor Denis Doyle and CAO Darlene Plumley are off to ROMA, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference, where they will meet with the Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter, regarding very specifically the impact of rural school closures on rural municipalities. (Heritage Jan.25th). Doyle along with three other members of the Community Schools Alliance hope to bring to the Minister’s attention not only the detrimental results of school closures on rural communities (economic, social). But also the impact on children’s health as a result of spending long hours travelling to and from school. “The costs of closing and disposing of schools and extra bussing are probably well known .
but the fact that MPAC property values will go down as people with young children leave a community (with others not likely to move in) resulting in lower tax revenue to the school system is not well understood, or quantified. These are big issues for rural municipalities. We also have a meeting with the leader of the official opposition, Patrick Brown, to review the same information that we will cover with Minister Hunter,” Doyle said.
There will be two further meetings, one with Minister Marie-France Lalonde Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services on the OPP, with regard to the inappropriate charges applied for the policing of wind towers ( and Wolfe Island has many) and other concerns. Their final meeting is with the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca regarding the township’s request that MTO take back Road #7051, ( road to Dawson Point Dock), as well as to briefly discuss the new ferry schedule.
** And about the latter: Much is underway related to Wolfe Island ferry transportation, including the EA for docking improvements. Planning for a 75 car ferry is also happening with the Ministry issuing RFQ’s – (Request for Qualifications to build ferries for Amherst Island and Wolfe Island. This RFQ process will be followed by RFP’s – (Request for Proposals with prices) from up to five qualifying bidders. Then should come a contract to build a ferry for Amherst, and then a contract for a ferry for Wolfe Island. Minister Del Duca announced the process for Amherst Island on a ferry ride with MPP Sophie Kiwala to Amherst Island in June of last year.
According to the minister, designing and building the ferry for Amherst Island will take approximately 24 months. It is understood that when the new vessel is in service, the Frontenac II, will become the back-up ferry providing support during extended and unplanned service breakdowns affecting Wolfe and Amherst Islands The ferry for Wolfe Island could take an additional 12 months. The ferry component for WI is part of the EA for docking facilities. An EA for the Amherst ferry is not required as it is not increasing capacity. There, dock improvements are slated to begin in late summer 2017. It is probably safe to say the ferry for Amherst is guaranteed and that Wolfe Islanders are hopeful.
Around Town: ** Frontenac Islands Council meets next Mon.Feb.13th at 6:30 pm on Howe Island ** Organizers of the Wolfe Island Music Festival are out there raising funds to make it happen again, by hosting a fundraiser entitled the Wolfe Island “Winter Ball” Music Festival, at Toronto's The Great Hall on Feb. 26th. **The Island Grill. Open Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm \ Sat. 10am to 10 pm. http://www.wolfeislandgrill.ca call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at events.com. Early bird prices in effect until April 30th.
Since the closure of the landfill site on Wolfe Island, for years known simply as “The Dump”, and for some time before, the Township of Frontenac Islands has taken a firm stand on improving how waste of all kinds is dealt. It was through recycling, whether paper glass or electronics at a what is now the township’s Wolfe Island Transfer site, and Howe Island’s Waste and Recycling Centre in accord with Ontario’s waste management requirements. The WI site is one of the busiest places in town throughout the year, with ever improving collection services, and with staff encouraging recycling rather filling the costly waste bin with contents slated for a landfill site, and citizens eager to support island groups & organizations by donating bottle returns for their use.
“Ontario has been working on the strategy for the “Waste Free Ontario Act (Bill 151),” Mayor Doyle said this week. “It was reviewed at county council recently and we will continue to do so. The strategy has two goals, an Ontario with zero waste and zero greenhouse gas emissions. Personally, I think this is an opportune time to start talking with islanders about the changes in this new Bill 151 What it means though, is that we have to have a higher rate of participation in recyclables to benefit from the changes in the bill. Currently through a fairly complicated process we get back 50% of the cost for handling all the blue box items, the recyclables. This new bill puts 100% of the responsibility in the hands of the manufacturer of the products, their packaging, etc.. One of the benefits of the bill is to force the producers is to cut down on the packaging,” Doyle said.
The Mayor noted that it is possible that in the future there producers will have their own collection sites but, until then the responsibility will continue to fall to municipalities. “ We need to encourage more recycling although we are doing better than the Ontario average on Wolfe, but are not quite there on Howe.” Doyle pointed out that by putting blue box items into a regular garbage bag, and into the waste stream, “you are throwing tax payers dollars into a landfill site. So we are going to have to open this discussion up to the community and encourage every one to participate.”
He also pointed out that the DeBruin Bio Digester on Wolfe Island receives WI organic waste and encourages its greater use by residents who do not compost. “Doing so could reduce the number of trucks going on the ferry with waste by some 30 %, another very important consideration, as well as diverting organic waste away from land fill sites.”
Doyle pointed out that other municipalities trying to improve on poor recycling situations have gone to clear garbage bags, bag tags and only one bag a week per household. “Those scenarios would create more work and require extra staff. We would rather that our citizens become involved and recycle so that the township can benefit from whatever Bill 151 has to offer. If that doesn’t happen our taxes will have to go up . We don’t want to do that,” he concluded.
On another Issue: Mayor Doyle will meet with the Minister of Education of Ontario ,Mitzi Hunter, at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference in regard to school closures, “specifically rural school closings.. Both Minister Hunter and Mr. Raycraft, a member of our committee a former MPP and school principal, were on a Steve Pakin’s Agenda Program to discuss the fate of several low-enrolment schools slated for closure, and the impact closures have on communities,” Mayor Doyle said. “And recently, at a new school opening Minister Hunter in her dedication said a school is the heart of a community. In our community we know that to be true and within our small community we also know that without a heart, things die.. closing rural schools will rip the heart out of a community. That’s what we will try to impress upon the minister,” he said.
Around Town: **The WIPP continues to be the go to place during this rather strange winter . lunch time and coffee breaks see many cars in Marysville, including evenings.. ** Last winter the WI Community Garden group initiated a project that partnered the Community Garden group with the Parents’ Council and the senior class (Grade 4 – 8) at Marysville Public School. A wonderful success story was posted on a website but too long to include here. Ask about it. * * Congratulations to Nicole and Casey Fisher on expanding their seasonal business into offering winter hours at The Wolfe Island Grill. This comfortable waterfront dining experience is now available Fridays from 4 pm to 10 pm and Saturdays from 10am to 10 pm. Check out their Facebook posts at the http://www.wolfeislandgrill.ca to see the upcoming music events or call 613-382-1515 to make a reservation. ** WI Medical Clinic Walk -in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP Karen Fisher. Also a Walk In Clinic with Dr. Russell following her regular office hours Tuesday’s 4:45-6:15 pm. Bring OHIP card **Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at events.com. Early bird prices in effect until April 30th. **The WI Music Festival will be back in 2017, if the organizers can raise sufficient funds to do so.
The Township of Frontenac Islands held their first meeting of the new year on Wolfe Island. And I have to think it was their shortest.. A good thing based on the difficulties staff members in particular, have been facing during the long process of building an accessible washroom behind the township office in the community hall. On this occasion, overnight before the meeting, skunks had gotten under the building. Along with the dust, dirt, and noise of the washroom/ramp construction, (without an inside facility) and to add insult to injury, no internet access, the smell of skunks had overtaken the building. Nearly too much?
A .Economic Development: Howe Island Councillor Bruce Higgs took very seriously the development opportunity the Feihe International Inc., infant formula manufacturing company, is offering the community. With their plans to manufacture goat milk based products, process 75 million litres of goat milk annually, it can bring jobs to the region. He called on the expertise of a friend to hear what might, or could, be possible. “I was in touch with my friend Bruce Vandenberg, who with his wife Sharon, is the owner of Lenberg Farms, a 1300 goat & sheep dairy farm in Lindsay. It’s where with all the milk produced cheeses are made (Mariposa Dairy), and we discussed the proposed goat milk plant for Kingston and what it could mean for Frontenac County, and the islands of course,” Councillor Higgs said, as he handed out a summary, fact filled document prepared with his friend’s assistance to members of council. “Richard is prepared to meet with council,” Hobbs said. Council members indicated a wish to see the Mariposa Dairy setup and operation in Lindsay.
The document pertaining to goat milk production is filled with important facts . It notes that at the present time in Ontario there is a shortage of live goats with very few goats available, or for sale, except perhaps in Quebec. It states that a basic, economic, goat farm would be of some 300 animals, that barns must be dry, well ventilated in summer but do not require heat. etc. There are 5 new ‘Round Table’ 90 goat, milking machines operating in Ontario, milking 800 goats per hour with one operator. The projection is that in 5 to 8 years goat milk litres in Ontario will go from to 70 to 80 million . It was 60 million for all of Canada in 2016.
That document will be forwarded to Richard Allen, the Frontenac County Economic Development Manager, requesting that a meeting be set with the larger farming community. It would be to detail what options might be available for economic development for Frontenac Islands and the region, to ensure the supply of goat milk for the new plant in the future. Exciting times.
B. Planning: The Township of Frontenac Islands will ask the County Planning Department to provide in writing the procedure required to amend the year currently stipulated for severance applications, with the intent of being allowed an increase in the number of lots per parcel of land. Council also wants an explanation with regards to the status of the Township’s Official plan, and what sections have yet to be approved.
C. Senior’s Project: The closing date for the submissions of the Request for Proposal has been changed to January 26th, 2017, at the request of those who are submitting bids.
D. Deputy Mayor Nossal expressed satisfaction with the Howe Island Township (foot) ferry staff for their “dedication and hard work” in clearing the recent backlog of vehicles due to the unforeseen shutdown of the Howe Island County ferry. She also had high praise for the Frontenac County ferry staff for keeping in touch regarding the ferry. And for the updates circulated regularly providing ferry users with current information, and explanations as to the cause of the shutdown. On another issue, the Deputy Mayor also informed Council that she had provided the names of twenty-five Howe Island home based businesses to Allison Vandervelde Frontenac County Community Development Officer in an attempt to generate economic prosperity. It was noted that to benefit from the services provided by the County, background assistance from local sources is extremely valuable.
E. The Township endorsed the request from the WI Medical Clinic for priority boarding for the Nurse Practitioner on Thursday’s. Council meets next on Feb. 13th- 6:30 pm Howe Island
Around Town: *The WI Music Festival will be back this summer. * WI Medical Clinic Walk
in Clinics Thursdays 5:00pm-7:15pm, with NP. *Register now for the WI Classic Road Race at events.com. Early bird prices in effect until April 30th. * The WI Historical Society Speakers event with the Porters Postponed until a later date
Frontenac Islands held their first 2017 budget meeting on Jan. 4th. . At which time, they confirmed the items on the long list of priorities they had arrived at before Christmas requiring budget consideration. The meeting started late due to the wild weather and the rough ferry trip that brought Deputy Mayor Nossal and Councillor Higgs to Wolfe Island.
While waiting, there was an opportunity to note the steps the township is taking to meet some of the accessibility standards, and 2025 time frame laid out in the ‘AODA’ - Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act .“ A new ramp with railing has been completed beside the community hall entrance at the WI Town Hall. The ramp leads to an new entrance waiting for an accessible door, and the completion of an accessible washroom (work ongoing) also with an accessible door. The Town Hall itself will have direct access to the hall when the work is completed. With reference to the budget the amount received from Canada 150 was $54,000 with matching township funds. These funds will be identified as receivables in the 2017 budget. Interesting to note further accessibility provisions in Marysville include new curb cuts, handicap spaces and the prospect of benches and picnic tables. The township anticipates that Frontenac Islands businesses and organizations are looking for ways to contribute towards improving access for persons with disabilities, as required within the timeframe, and beyond what is legislated in the AODA.
Once started, council reviewed grants received in 2016 and possible future ones. It was noted that this was the last year of funding in the Arterial Roads Agreement for Howe Island. WI Early Years to be contacted regarding supplementary funding. Requiring budgetary consideration are : accessible washrooms at the WI Community centre; development of a Secondary Plan; consideration for a number of public works issues including roadside brushing, Lower Side Road culvert Howe Island; helipad relocation; a new building at the WI Transfer site; Electronic speed sign; lights (how many?) along Road 7051; higher fuel/ propane costs due to Cap and Trade. CAO Plumley introduced the inclusion of a $50 monthly electronics allowance for councillors to offset communications costs. Council proposed a budget in crease of 1.75 % to 2% overall. Staff will develop the material for the next budget meeting, scheduled for 10 am, Feb. 9th on Howe Island.
2. Lots of Goats…. Frontenac County recently announced that the County’s Economic Development Officer Richard Allen will be travelling on a trade visit to China. He will be part of a delegation, invited to do so by the Chinese company Feihe International Inc., an infant formula manufacturing company, with plans to build a $225 million processing, research and development facility in Kingston. According to Frontenac County Warden Ron Vandewal, it is important to be involved right from the beginning and aware of the opportunities the company will offer. Along with cow milk based infant formula, Feihe plans to manufacture goat milk based products, to process 75 million litres of goat milk annually, and bring 200 full time jobs to the region.
“ This is a fantastic opportunity for rural areas around Kingston,” Mayor Doyle said, following the announcement. But it was the 75 million litres of goat milk that got to him. “That works out to 225,000 litres of goat milk a day. Goats are pretty small animals. If they produce 2 litres a day you need 50,000 goats while at 4 litres its 25,000. There is a real opportunity for many people to get into the business, more importantly for young people. For goat farms you don’t need to buy a cost prohibitive milk quota. There would be equipment costs for sure but nothing like quota.”. Mayor Doyle noted that Kingston Mayor Paterson is anxious that the city and the county work together as a region “as we have in the past with economic development”. The delegation to China includes Mayor Bryan Paterson, the Frontenac County’s Allen, members of KEDCO, OMAFRA, Utilities Kingston, Queen's University and others where they will be reviewing the whole process and it requirements. Mayor Doyle said that the township will set up a public meeting with Allen following his return from China to hear about the requirements of the project. The islands are prime agricultural places close to the city, with a long history of milk production. He said “I am sure the other townships in the county will want to do the same. I see this as the best economic development opportunity that has come about in years. Its going to take many people many farms, and many goats to make it work. There are farms with big barns, lots of vacant land and perhaps opportunities for leasing,” he concluded.
3. Good News: Organic Waste Disposal to DeBruin Farms BIOGAS ORGANICS resumes at the WI Transfer site. Residents are urged to take advantage of the organic bins. Composting reduces the amount of waste to be trucked off the island.