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In 1973, Winston Cosgrove published a 60-page book on the history of Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island Past and Present outlines how the island came to be settled, how it remained in use by indigenous peoples as fall and winter fishing and hunting grounds until the middle of the 19th Century, and how the population peaked in the late 19th Century before beginning a long decline that has only recently been reversed. The book is written in a kind of discreet manner that suggests its focus was more in the past than on what was then the present, and of course 40 years have passed since it was published. It contains, however, much information about how the island community developed from the late 17th until the 20th centuries. In 1685, Robert Cavallier, Sieur de Lasalle, having been granted the Signeury of Fort Frontenac by King Louis the 14th ten years earlier, conferred ownership of what would become known as Wolfe Island on James Cauchois. It was the “first conveyance of any part of Ontario from one subject to another”. The land remained in the Cauchois family for over 100 years, until it was sold in the early 1800s to David Alexander Grant and Patrick Langan for one shilling an acre. Grant had married the Baroness of Longeuil in 1785, and although the sale of the island to Grant and Langan severed all ties to the French monarchy it did establish the Baron of Longeuil as a major force on Wolfe Island. In 1823, David Alexander's son, C.W. Grant, the 4th Baron of Longeuil, owned about 11,000 acres on the island. A similar amount was split among the three daughters of Patrick Langan. Two-sevenths of the land had been turned over to England's King George when the British overturned French rule in the entire region. Grant sold off 100 acre lots starting in 1823, and settlement began in earnest. He also had a large house constructed near Marysville. The house, which was called Ardath Chateau, was known locally as the “The Old Castle”. It had 25 rooms, a dungeon, a carriage house and servants' quarters and was the “focal point for many years of life on the island”. In 1929 the house, which had been unoccupied for at least 15 years, was razed in a fire. “Being a native born Islander, this writer recognises the staunch loyalty among the Islanders for one another and out of respect for this tradition, would prefer 'to let sleeping dogs lie' rather than delve further into the matter.” This suggests that Winston Cosgrove knew more about the fire than he was willing to say, and in all likelihood further information about what happened that dark night in 1929 is still carried by any number of Wolfe “Islanders”. Although “The Old Castle” was certainly grand, the housing situation for Wolfe Island settlers in the early to mid 19th Century was more modest. Fifteen settler families lived on the island in 1823, and this increased to 261 persons by 1826. The population grew steadily, peaking at 3,600 by 1861. When the island was being settled in the 1820s and 30s “the typical house was a log cabin, 20 feet long by 16 feet wide, 6 logs high, with a shanty or sloping roof. Some had glass but most often the windows were only holes in the wall, which could be covered in the winter.” During the 1850s, demand for lumber for D. D. Calvin's shipbuilding operation on nearby Garden Island led to a lumbering boom on Wolfe Island, and the boom ended when the trees were gone. The population began to dwindle at that point, and by the time Cosgrove's book was published in 1973, it was down to 1,200. It had dropped to 1142 by 2001, and the 2011 population survey lists Frontenac Islands (including Wolfe and Howe Island) at 1864. The current permanent resident population of Wolfe Islands, according to Wikipedia, is 1,400, although it is twice that or more in the summer (perhaps excluding this past summer due to the Ferry Fiasco of 2015). Wolfe Island Past and Present contains a wealth of information about landmarks and renowned island residents. It explains how Marysville was named after Mary Hitchcock, who lived all of her 92 years on the island and was its first postmistress between 1845 and her death in 1877. The General Wolfe Hotel, originally known as the Wolfe Island Hotel, was built in 1860. It was renamed the General Wolfe by the Greenwood brothers in 1955, and benefited from the results of a liquor referendum in 1957, which was won by “the wets”. The hotel remains an island landmark and a major part of the hospitality industry. It's 130-seat restaurant has won a number of provincial awards. The final chapter of the book deals with a crucial subject, one that has been top of mind on the island this summer and was also the subject of a discussion and slide show on Wednesday, December 2, “Ice Travel” with Kaye Fawcett and Ken White, which was organised by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Throughout Frontenac County the history of road and railway construction is full of colour, hardship and a fair taint of corruption and scandal. On Wolfe Island there is an added dimension - the water that separates the island from the mainland and the City of Kingston. It was 50 years ago, in 1965, that a year-round ferry service financed by the Province of Ontario was established on Wolfe Island. Until then the ferry service ran only until freeze up, and during the winter an ice road was the way across. In 1954 the winter was so warm that the ferry was only inactive for 2 days, but between 1955 and the onset of the year-round ferry in 1965, the range was 60 to 110 days, with an average of about 80 inactive days each winter. Over the years, tragedies and near tragedies occurred on the ice on many occasions. One of the more famous events was the near drowning of entire families on Christmas Day in 1955. The ferry was out of commission because of an early winter, but a tug boat, the Salvage Prince, waited at the edge of the ice at Barrett's Bay for families who had come to the island for Christmas Day and were returning to Kingston late in the afternoon. They were being drawn across the ice in a sleigh, but just before reaching the boat, the sleigh went through a wet spot in the ice, forcing a hurried and dangerous rescue, as children, adults and seniors, were luckily all pulled out of the freezing water back to the tug and a boat ride to Kingston. Some were taken to the hospital for observation. An account of the trip by Brian Johnson is available at thousandislandslife.com. In the concluding pages of his book, Winston Cosgrove makes the argument that the economy of Wolfe Island will be doomed unless a bridge is built. “In the past the economy of the island has been purely an agricultural one, with hunting and fishing and summer residents as minor items. Under this system the population has dwindled. The key to the problem is transportation. There is much beautiful undeveloped shoreline and land that is is well-suited for permanent homes but better ways are needed to get to and from the mainland if the community is to develop and grow. A ferry service is not efficient enough ... Meanwhile the Islanders who want a bridge must be content to await future developments while acting as guardians of a great land developed by pioneers, to whom all are indebted.” Although Cosgrove's views may have had a lot of currency this past summer while the Wolfe Islander ferry was in dry dock, Wolfe Island has reversed the population slide over the past 10 years and a number of tourism-related businesses are thriving.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. (An account of the life and times of the Kemp family can be found at Frontenacnews.ca under the “50 Stories/150 Years” tab) The level of poverty among late 19th Century settlers is reflected in some of the minutes of meetings of both Hinchinbrooke and Loughbrough Townships. In the minutes there are accounts of grants for as little as $1 for families in need after the death of a partner or a debilitating illness. Families who had settled on the worst pieces of land, who suffered from any kind of ill health, or for some reason were not able to keep up with the demands of clearing land, building shelter, keeping warm in winter and raising enough food, ended up in desperate straits. That is why settlers would take over abandoned fields and houses and only settle the ownership later on, if they decided to stay. Far from disputing this practice, as long as the property taxes were paid the local townships did not question the ownership of the properties. Mining was one of the few means of getting money for labour, and was also a major impetus for the establishment of the K&P Railroad. The village of Godfrey, to the west of Frontenac Park, was originally called Deniston after the name of the post office but it was known as Iron Ore Junction by the local population. The Glendower company mined 12,000 tons of iron ore between 1873 and 1880, and later the Zanesville company took over and a spur line was constructed between the mine and the Bedford Station (renamed Godfrey in 1901) of the K&P. A large deposit of Feldspar was found between Desert and Thirteen Island Lakes, and it was mined, on and off, between 1901 and 1951, producing a total of 230,000 tons in that time. In and right around the park, it was mica that was the most commonly mined mineral, in small mines as a kind of cottage industry and on an industrial scale as well. There is an account of how a mica mine operated in one of the issues of “The Frontenac News” (not this newspaper but the newsletter of the Friends of Frontenac Park) Below is an excerpt: 1905 - early in the morning Tom Gorsline, the foreman at the Tett mine, is checking the steam piping as a worker starts a wood fire in the boiler that will provide the steam that runs the drill and the water pumps. The miners had been following a vein of amber mica (phlogopite) since 1899 - the main pit now plunged close to 80 feet into the rocks and water sometimes was a problem. Fortunately, the price for mica is on the rise again and the main vein is still good. The hand drillers are already at work. Their job is to make holes in the rock to receive the explosives. The drillers are working in teams of two using a method called "double-jacking". One person, the holder, manually holds a steel drill against the rock. The other, the striker, swings an eight-pound sledgehammer hitting the end of the drill. In between the blow, the holder twists the drill to loosen the rock chips so it does not get stuck in the rock. Then the next blow comes with a sharp clank when steel meets steel. They are drilling at a rate of 1.5 to 2 feet per hour. After a half-hour, the holder and striker exchange places so the striker can have a rest. As you can imagine, accuracy is crucial. If the striker misses, the holder could be maimed for life. This is dangerous enough when they are drilling on the floor of the mine, but often the veins are at the roof of a drift or on the wall of the pit. As soon as the steam from the boiler reaches the right pressure, a miner starts the steam drill. It is faster and easier than hand drilling but the steam drill is enormous, unreliable and unwieldy because of connections with the steam pipes that come down from the surface. As a result, the steam driller is assigned fairly open spaces while the hand drillers work in tight quarters. Drilling is hard and dangerous - there are no hard hats, goggles, or electrical lights - but the dollar a day they are earning helps to feed their families. Now that the holes are in place, Tom calls the blasters. They make sure the holes are dry, otherwise the charges may not go off. They put the black powder in waterproof covers, attach a proper length fuse, and place it down in the hole. They pack the rest of the hole with clay. The length of the fuse is important or they could meet their maker faster than expected. After a few minutes, all charges are ready. The head blaster gives a signal to Tom Gorsline who orders all miners and equipment out of from the mine. When all is clear, the blaster lights up the fuse and moves quickly out of the way. The explosion rumbles and the ground shakes. After the smoke and dust settle, Tom sends in the muckers. They have a hazardous job. Everyone knew of George Amey, a mucker at the Birch Lake mine, who lost an eye when his pick hit a charge that did not fully explode. Some muckers sort the ore from the waste while others, with picks and shovels, load the waste rock in a large bucket until it is full. Then one of them yells: "BUCKET." Upon hearing the signal, a man at the surface gets the horse moving on a circular track so that the winch can hoist the bucket up to the top. The bucket is dumped on the tailings pile. As soon as the muckers are finished clearing the debris from the last blast, the drillers begin to make new holes. Cleaning the mica is the job of cobblers who work on the surface. Some cobblers "thumb trim" the mica by the pit while others are working at the cleaning shop attached to the main mine building, "knife trimming" the mica to remove all traces of unwanted material. They store the clean mica in barrels. The mica is shipped down the Hardwood Bay Road to Perth Road then north to Bedford Mills. There, the mica will be shipped to a buyer in Ottawa via the Rideau Canal. The Tett mine operated from 1899 till 1924. It produced 99 tons of mica for a value of $27,279.00. For a few months, it was the largest mica producer in Ontario. By the 1940s the mica mining boom had passed and most of the homesteads in the area had been abandoned or were on their last legs. It was then that the idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty-seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty-five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter Lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park. Among the features of the park, and on the nearby Gould Lake Conservation Area, are hiking trails that pass by and over mica mine sites. In the Park, the 10 km Tettsmine Loop passes by remnants of a log slide from the lumbering days, abandoned mica mines and the remains of McNally Homestead. At Gould Lake, the Mica Loop passes over several small mine sites and mica minerals can still be seen sparkling in the rock faces.
There were a number of distinguished Frontenac County wardens from the Township of Wolfe Island during the first 133 years of Frontenac County history, and since municipal amalgamation there have been two more from the Township of Frontenac Islands: Jim Vanden Hoek for two years, and the current warden, Denis Doyle. Although Tim O'Shea was only county warden for a single year, the centennial year in 1967, he was a member of the council for 33 consecutive years as the long-serving reeve of Wolfe Island. He retired from politics in 1991 and died in 1996 at the age of 78. His son, Terry, who served as the clerk of Wolfe Island and Frontenac Islands for over 20 years, starting in 1986, described his father as someone who enjoyed people and was able to remain calm in tense situations, which might explain why he was able to win election after election. He worked for most of his life as a hunting and a fishing guide on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and in the evenings he tended to township matters. As well as presiding over Council, he was the welfare officer for the islands as well as the manager of the ferry, all part of the functions of the reeve. Perhaps his most lasting accomplishment was convincing the provincial government to take over the ferry service from Wolfe Island and make it a free service. He also presided over the construction of the first library, medical clinic, ambulance base and fire department on the island. Because of all his accomplishments and longevity, he is still considered to have been the dean of Frontenac County councilors. One hundred and two years before Tim O'Shea served as county warden, another Wolfe Island politician held the post. The first ever Frontenac County warden was Dileno (Dexter) Calvin, the proverbial self-made man. He was orphaned at the age of eight in Rutland, Vermont. When he was 20 he moved to the State of New York where he worked as a labourer until he entered into the lumbering business when he was in his mid-20s. He started in 1825, squaring some timber with a neighbour and transporting it by raft to Quebec City. Slowly, he built up the business, and in 1835 he moved to Clayton, NY, and established a lumber transport business. Soon after, he became involved in a company based on Garden Islands, the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, which was later renamed Calvin, Cook and Counter, and then Calvin and Cook after the men who owned it. In 1844, Dexter Calvin moved to rented land on Garden Island and took control of the company, taking advantage of the island's location, its sheltered port, and the fact that it was within the British rather than the American trading system. Out of its base on Garden Island, the company maintained agencies in Sault St. Marie, Quebec City, Liverpool and Glasgow, operated 12 -15 ships and employed as many as 700 people in its peak years. It became a generalized shipping company, and also operated a large tugboat service. The move to Garden Island took place soon after the death of Calvin's first wife, Harriet Webb, in Clayton, New York, in 1843. the couple had been married for 12 years and had six children. He remarried Marion Breck in 1844. They also had six children between 1844 and her death in 1861. His third wife, Catherine Wilkinson, whom he married in 1861 when he was 63, had two children, and lived until 1911. Of his 14 children, only six lived to adulthood. During the last 40 years of his long life (he died in 1884 at the age of 86) Calvin was a sort of patriarch to the inhabitants of Garden Island. He bought 15 acres of land on the island in 1848 with his partner Hiram Cook, and by 1862 they owned the entire island. Calvin bought Cook’s share in 1880. Garden Island became a model company town, with its own school, library, and post office. Although it was made up of people from different national origins and religions, it was reportedly remarkably peaceful and well managed. It was also a dry community, under the express orders of Calvin himself, who became a prohibitionist at the same time as his conversion to the Baptist Faith about a year before the death of his first wife. Since most of the inhabitants of Garden Island worked for Calvin, he was able to shield them from economic turbulence in two ways. For one thing, since he was more involved in lumber transport than buying and selling, the fluctuations in the price of lumber did not affect the business in a substantial way. He also chose to use the company's reserves to shield his employees during serious downturns, such as one that took place in 1873. At that time he cut wages but did not lay any one off, which was as unusual then as it is now. He was strongly opposed to organized labour, however, and when sailors on his ships started a union drive, he hired replacement workers from Glasgow and eventually sold some of his schooners and bought great lake barges to cut down on the need for labour. His political life, which began when he was in his early 60s, was quite distinguished. He had become a naturalized Canadian within a year of moving to Garden Island. By the time Frontenac County was established in 1865 after the amalgamated County of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington had been disbanded, Calvin was already ensconced as reeve of Wolfe Island and the surrounding islands. He became the first warden of the County, a position he also held the following year and in 1868 as well. He then took a turn at provincial politics, as a Conservative MPP for the riding of Frontenac. He served from 1868 until 1883, with the exception of the years between 1875 and 1877, when he lost favour with the party. In those days, becoming the Conservative candidate in Frontenac was more difficult than winning the election against opposing party candidates. He was also one of the first directors of the K&P Railroad. He was a man who was known for his eccentricities, such as a dislike for short men “for no other reason than that they were short” according to his grandson, as well as men who bit their fingernails (author's note – I'm sure we would have gotten on famously) as well as dogs and people who own them. “When a man's poor,” he said, “he gets a dog. If he's very poor, he gets two.” Dileno Dexter Calvin died in 1884, and despite his great success in Canada, he was buried next to his mother and his first wife in Clayton, NY.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes, within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. In doing so, Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. The first family to be profiled in the book is the Kemp family, who arrived at their farm at Otter Lake, near the west gate of the park, sometime in the 1860s. By the time of the 1871 census, William and Jane Kemp, both 47, had six children living with them. The land they laid claim to, in addition to other properties taken on by their son George, was very good by local standards. Over two decades of work, making use of the efforts of the entire family, 30 acres of the 95 acre property had been cleared. “That might not sound like much to show for 20 years of labour, but in that district most farms worked 15 or 20 cleared acres. In fact the clearing was usually completed in relatively short order. But it was back-breaking work, without mechanical means. It involved cutting down the trees and clearing the brush, then burning the stumps that could not be wrenched from the ground by a team of horses or oxen and hauled away to form a first fence row. In the meantime the job of raising a crop to feed the family over the winter had to go on, and the first seeds were usually sown among the stumps ... it was no wonder that among the first settlers it was axiomatic to hate trees,” wrote Christian Barber in Their Enduring Spirit. The Kemp family prospered, and by 1900 the original log cabin that was built in the early 1870s had disappeared beneath white, painted clapboard, and numerous outbuildings had been constructed as well. There was a root cellar below, and fields that extended right to the front doorway. Still, cash was not easy to come by. A ledger from M.A. Hogan's General Store in Sydenham illustrates this. In late 1912, Mary Shales Kemp, George's wife, who managed the family finances among numerous other tasks, purchased dishes, a pair of overalls for a dollar, and the indulgences of walnuts and a vase, for a total cost of $7.32. Her custom was to pay for her purchases with butter and eggs from the farm. However on this occasion, after the eggs and butter were factored in there was a shortfall of $1.45. Back went the overalls and the extra 45 cents was paid in cash. During the mica mining year in the first decade of the 20th century, George Kemp found a number of small deposits on his farm, and even took on investors to pay the $70 that was needed for drills and blasting powder at one site. However, enough mica was never found to make a profit on the venture. To the extent that there were roads in the area, they were built and maintained by all of the farmers living in there, sometimes as part of their taxation responsibilities, which, in the late 19th century, included putting in some time improving the local roads. While the Kemp family were able to establish a successful farm in what is now Frontenac Park, it was ultimately unsustainable. Mary Kemp lived on the farm after George died, but moved away in 1928 and sold the property in 1941. The last people to occupy it were a family from Wyoming in the late 1940s. By the time Mary Kemp died in Sydenham in 1952 at the age of 93, the property where she had made her life had been abandoned and the house and barns had burned down. When Christian Barber went to the property in the late 1980s as he was preparing his book, it was mostly overgrown with vegetation, and it required effort on his part to find the remnants of what had been a going concern for 60 or 70 years. He notes this at the end of his chapter on the Kemp family of Kemp Road : “... the fields, so painstakingly cleared and planted and harvested by generations of settlers, are overgrown with sumac and birch, locust and juniper. Rusted barbed wire – embedded by years in the centre of the trees that it was originally stapled to the bark of – is stretched to the breaking point by fallen trees, and there is no one to cut them away; no farmer in overalls, with strong, knuckly, barked, and sun-tanned hands to walk the line on a summer day between haying and harvest and maintain a fence.” The Kemp family's story is similar in outcome to others told in the book - struggle and some success followed by a move to better farmland elsewhere in the region or to work off the farm in Sydenham or beyond. Mining and logging were also prevalent in the park. Logging started in the early 19th century and mining later on, with the logging having the greatest impact on the land, as it did elsewhere in the region generally. In the interesting chapter on mining, Barber touches on the story of Antoine Point on Devil Lake. Francis Edward Antoine and his wife, Letitia Whiteduck, built a log cabin on the Point in the mid 19th century and they are buried there. One of their sons, John Antoine, is listed, along with the government, as the owner of Antoine Point in the 1883 Meacham map, one of the best source materials for information about land ownership in those years. John, with his wife Elizabeth Hollywood, had 11 children. According to Antoine family lore, it was John who found mica deposits at Antoine Point, although there are competing accounts about who found the ore at that location, and it seems that the Point became of interest to mining interests in the early 1890s. There is an entry in the land registry indicating that John Antoine sold his interest in the land to William Jones for $50 in 1897, and the Antoines moved to Godfrey, and eventually back to Sharbot Lake, where another branch of the family was already located. The idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated in the 1940s. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park.
Township hoping to host ATV Federation convention Councilor Denis Bedard said that he has been contacted by the Ottawa Valley ATV Association about the possibility of the township hosting the 2017 Ontario Federation of ATV Associations convention. Attendees would be accommodated at cottages and resorts in the area. Since the convention takes place in June, Bedard said it might bring welcome bookings to local resorts. He said he would keep Council informed. K&P upgrade Through the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance (EOTA), a committee is being formed to look at upgrading the K&P Trail north of Sharbot Lake all the way to Calabogie, where the former rail line ends. Brian Stewart, the Mayor of Lanark Highlands and a board member with EOTA, is pushing the initiative. The section of trail running through North Frontenac is owned by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, but in pointing out that in both Lanark and Renfrew counties the trail is owned by the County, Councilor Bedard said it might make sense for Frontenac County to take ownership of the trail. The section of trail between Sharbot Lake and the border with North Frontenac is owned by Central Frontenac. The trail in North Frontenac has a 2-3 kilometre section from south of Mississippi to Snow Road that is in private hands. People using the trail are diverted to Road 509 for that section. The rest of the trail is intact. Rural mayors to look again at policing Mayor Higgins reported that the Rural Mayors' Forum that he chairs will be meeting in Horton Township this month, and in preparation he has been looking at how much Frontenac, Lanark, Renfrew, Hastings and Lennox and Addington Counties pay collectively for policing each year, “We know that on our own [each individual county] could not form a department that would would be cost us less that we are paying to the OPP, but with all five counties involved there might be a way to make it work,” said Higgins. Question about electric vehicle charging station Councilor Hermer asked a question about the township supporting a proposal to set up a vehicle charging station at one of the businesses in North Frontenac. “How practical is that? There are only 250 all-electric vehicles in Ontario and most of them are urban taxis or delivery vehicles. Of the ones in private hands, most or all are in cities as well. How practical is this here?” Hermer asked. “It will be practical. At least that's the hope,” said Mayor Higgins. “It is also something that will not cost the township. A local business has to apply and they would get a grant.” “Has any business taken up the offer?” Hermer asked. “We had one that is very interested, but I haven't heard back,” said Facilities and Recreation Co-coordinator Corey Klatt. “The deadline is February 12 so maybe I will hear next week.”
Over 60 people of all ages attended the dinner and Chinese auction fundraiser at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club on January 16. The event included a full course meal and as well, close to 20 items, most donated by club members, were auctioned off. By the end of the night over $500 was raised and the proceeds will go towards the cost of keeping the club operating. Club organizers have also been busy preparing for the club’s second annual Ride For Dad fundraiser for Prostate Cancer, which will take place at the club on Saturday, February 27. Last year’s event attracted close to 100 riders and club president Ruth Wark says she hopes to see that number rise. “We're shooting for 150 riders this year and it looks as though the snow and cold will help the trails freeze down and make for a great day of riding for those who come out.” Local businesses are invited to sponsor the event. Registration takes place the day of the ride from 8 –10 am. The $30 registration fee includes a trail lunch at the Civitan Club in Lanark, and riders who raise over $100 in pledges will get their registration fee returned, or, if they wish they can donate it to the cause. The club will be serving a full course spaghetti dinner the night of the ride for $8. Riders will depart from Snow Road and follow the trail to Sharbot Lake, then head east to Perth and north to Lanark, where they will stop for lunch. They will then continue on to Middleville, Hopetown and meet back at the club. The 100km ride will take riders through some fabulous scenery and terrain. Participants can pre-register at www.ridefordad.ca and supporters can also make pledges on line there. For more information, contact Ruth Wark at 613-278-0477.
Tom Neal Sr. served on Council for the Township of Barrie for thirty plus years between 1953 and 1997. He served as reeve for at least 28 years and as the warden for the County of Frontenac in 1972. Reeve Neal was the last municipal officer to wear the Chain of Office for the Barrie Township before the municipality amalgamated in January 1998 to form the Township of North Frontenac. A framed picture and certificate honouring former Reeve Neal was dedicated and hung in the Harlowe Community Hall. Mayor Higgins advised it was a pleasure to be able to celebrate former Reeve Neal’s dedication and hard work within the township and the county, and is honoured to be able to recognize the contributions Reeve Neal made in making our community what it is today. He also informed the family that we appreciate what Tom accomplished for our community.
Shari Tallon knows well the many benefits that youngsters experience when given the opportunity to express themselves creatively in a safe and nurturing environment. Tallon, who is a musician and music teacher, was a former children's entertainer and educational assistant at Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake. With that in mind, she began a special after-school program there this year, which invites students to engage in the dramatic arts. The program is funded by a grant from Marcel Giroux of W.A. Robinson Asset Management and the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy, and is now in its second installment. It focuses on dynamic, improvisational dramatic play rather than a structured dramatic process. The students are given an opportunity to explore their own creativity while interacting with others, and to express their inner personae without fear of being judged. The experience allows the students to share their ideas, to take risks and develop friendships; to improve their social skills and academics while gaining the acceptance of their peers. The program encourages the participants to find their own voice through exploring the dramatic arts, media technology, sound effects, and music in a truly spontaneous and collaborative environment. Tallon is a firm believer in the benefits of free-form creative play, something she says is becoming rare in our increasingly structured world, where youngsters are not often enough given the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild. “When you think about school and after-school programs these days, there are not a lot of unstructured programs. This program is open-ended and kids can initiate expressive communication and play in a safe, open, and caring environment. When you offer kids creativity, it is not only fun for them, but through role playing and playing off of others, the students learn problem-solving and social skills. This helps build an inner strength that they can take with them out into the world.” Similarly, Tallon stressed the positive mental health benefits of this kind of program. “I believe this program is great for kids' mental health because students can express themselves outwardly in a positive way instead of keeping their thoughts inside.” She has witnessed some students who, since joining the program, have slowly come out of their shells. “I have seen some students who, in the beginning, have perhaps concentrated mainly on doing sound effects but as we continued on, have begun to act out roles totally from their own volition. The key here is that students feel they have a safe place to be themselves.” At each class, the students begin by agreeing on a scenario, which often revolves around a theme like comedy, murder mystery, or fantasy; however, each is given the opportunity to respond and add their own ideas into the mix. The program also encourages the participants to organize themselves since they have to remember cues, record sound effects, play musical accompaniment and/or film videos of their creations. Currently, the students have been filming their scenarios, which has opened up a whole new world to them. There are plans to start a YouTube channel where the students will share the work they've been doing. Two assistants in the program, Michelle McCumber and Tabitha Freeman, are also planning to put together a newsletter to keep fans updated on the program's progress. Some parents of the students said they have seen their children gain confidence since joining the program and, not surprisingly, the students themselves also had good things to say. Will, who is in Grade 7, said he has lots of fun and often plans and writes his ideas at home before coming to school. Draven said that the program “is a once in a lifetime opportunity” and something that he really loves to do. Grade 9 student Aurora said that she loves being able to explore different styles of acting and play multiple characters. “Playing different roles really teaches you empathy, since you have to really think about and try to feel what it would be like to be that person.” Tallon said she hopes members of the community will also get involved with the program and is hoping to encourage a few volunteers to offer their time. She is also in need of donations, which could include healthy snacks and/or costumes, wigs and props. Anyone who may have something to offer can contact Shari at 613-876-0293.
CF Council says no to two waste site recommendations Public Works Manager John Badgley made his second recommendation to council to consider implementing a $1 tipping fee on large plastic items at the township's waste sites. He also recommended that site attendants use their discretion regarding fees to charge on smaller plastic items, which Badgley defined as those too big to fit in a township bag. Badgley made the request following a meeting of the township's waste management committee on January 27. “With our waste sites filling up, we need to look at ways to divert these products since they are piling up and taking up too much space. Whatever the solution ends up being in dealing with these items in the future, whether it be diverting them or grinding them down, this fee would help offset the costs of whatever option we choose,” Badgley said. Councilor Tom Dewey would not hear of it. “I am totally against this. This is an added tax that we should not be passing on to our residents”, he said. “I gave you some information about purchasing a grinder and I think we should look at talking to our neighbouring municipalities about partnering in that, and if the oil prices go back up, I think there will be a market for this kind of material.” Councilor Bill MacDonald asked about the costs of renting or owning a grinder, which Badgley said could range anywhere from $250,000 used to $500,000 new. Dewey, who has been looking into pricing grinders, said that a smaller $50,000 grinder might be able to do the job. Councilor MacDonald suggested contacting the operators of the Richmond landfill site just north of Napanee. “They must be doing something with their plastics and there is no sense in reinventing the wheel here. Perhaps there is a private contractor who could do the grinding for us.” Mayor Frances Smith wondered about the logistics of site attendants having to deal with the cash fees. Councilor Dewey objected further, saying that a fee could result in residents littering the township with these items. Councilor Jamie Riddell agreed with Dewey, saying he did not agree with a tipping fee and that the items would end up on the roadways and in the ditches. After Mayor Smith read the motion, Councilor Dewey called for a recorded vote on the motion, which in the end was defeated 7 -1, with Councilor Bill MacDonald as the odd man out. Councilor Philip Smith was not present at the meeting. Council says no to ending free amnesty load program In his second recommendation to council, Badgley asked council to consider opening up the discussion regarding ending the annual amnesty load program. The program allows residents to get rid of one load of waste for free at certain designated times each year. Badgley said the free load is one of the reasons that the sites are “filling up faster than previously anticipated. “We need to be responsible waste site operators and need to divert, grind, or find other ways to reduce our waste and no longer allow the free disposal of items.” He said that residents need to consider either donating or re-purposing these items. In his report Badgley said that Wemp site is scheduled to be at capacity in four years and Olden in 12. Councilor MacDonald asked Badgley to look at a township of a similar size that has no landfill site and find what they spend annually to dispose of their garbage. “If in the future we did not have a landfill site, I'm thinking that we're looking at spending $1 million a year.” Councilor Dewey brought up the fact that a 2011 study of the expected life of the township's waste sites should be extended since recycling has much lessened the loads. He added that education is needed to make sure residents always recycle. Councilor Jamie Riddell credited the township's waste site attendants for doing a good job in recycling materials and said that canceling the amnesty program is “not the way to go.” Mayor Frances Smith said she feels that perhaps the volume coming in during the program with just one or two attendants on site means they are not able to do what needs to be done. “For the program to continue maybe we have to make sure there are more staff working on those days.” Councilor Dewey said that Central Frontenac should consider what Durham Township has done, use incineration. “We need to get every one together here in the county and maybe in Kingston on board with this and to partner together and get an a incinerator set up”. Councilor Brent Cameron agreed. “Whether we cancel this program or not, the fact is that more and more people are moving here, bringing more garbage, and at the end of the day the Province of Ontario has not allowed a new landfill to open for decades now.” Council received Badgley's recommendation for information. Council adopts compressed work week for township admin staff Beginning March 13, 2016 and ending November 19, 2016 council endorsed the recommendations put forth by the Human Resources committee, approving a compressed work week for the township's admin staff. Clerk Cathy MacMunn reported that a successful trial run last year showed the compressed work week proved doable, with admin staff choosing to opt for Fridays as their day off. The staff will continue working their regular 35-hour work week and will make up for the missed Fridays by working longer hours on the other days. Council adopts Injury/Illness and Head Injury/Concussion policy In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Work Place Safety and Insurance Act, council adopted the Injury/Illness policy after the Health and Safety committee reviewed it and recommended that it be adopted. Council also adopted the recommended Head Injury/Concussion policy as a way to ensure the safety of all participants in the various programs and activities run by the township, which include baseball, soccer and a summer swim program. The policy, which will be promoted by all of the township's recreation committees and associations, aims to assist in training adults running the programs to identify the signs, symptoms and behaviors of a concussion and other serious injuries. Olden waste sites time changes in effect As of February 1, 2016 the Olden waste site will be closed Mondays and Tuesday and open the remainder of the week, with no changes in the hours of operation on those days.
Are you interested in getting more active? Did you know there is a group that meets downstairs at the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team every Thursday at 1:30pm and goes for a walk until 2:30pm? Did you know that a nurse and dietitian also go on this walk and discuss important health topics each week? It’s true! There’s also equipment to use free of charge including: snowshoes, walking poles, hand weights, and pedometers. Everyone is welcome, it’s free to anyone, and everyone can go his or her own pace. The benefits of walking are incredible. It is a simple, safe, inexpensive way to improve blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, bone health, weight, energy, alertness, stress, tension, sleep, the list goes on. Walking also exercises multiple muscle groups including the arms, shoulders, abs, quadriceps, hip flexors, and hamstrings! In addition, walking reduces the risk of colon cancer, builds bone mass which reduces the risk of osteoporosis, improves balance, improves heart health by increasing heart rate and circulation, decreases your risk of catching a cold by 50%, reduces glaucoma risk, and halves Alzheimer’s disease over 5 years. Walking is also an exercise option for all ages! It is recommended that most people complete at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week. When you are ready, resistance exercises such as lifting weights should be added into your routine three times each week. There’s never a bad time to start increasing your physical activity level. Things that can help to keep you on track are doing something enjoyable, have a buddy join you, set very small achievable goals and celebrate meeting these goals often! Please call 613-279-2100 for more information or to register for the walking group out of the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team.
Harrowsmith Community Improvement Plan Frontenac County Manager for Economic Development, Anne-Marie Young, accompanied by the new community planner, Reid Shepherd, brought some of the new members of council up to speed on how Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) can be used to rejuvenate and create opportunity for hamlets within the municipality. With a CIP in place, the township is in a position to provide matching grants and loans to businesses in order to improve storefronts, do landscaping, and make various other improvements. Frontenac County embarked on CIPs several years ago, the first one being done in Verona, followed by Marysville, Sharbot Lake, and the entire Township of North Frontenac. In Verona $45,000 was invested in grants and loans under the CIP and over $600,000 was invested by the private sector. “It looks impressive,” said Anne Marie Young, “but part of it was luck, as Revell Ford happened to be doing their major face lift when the CIP came along.” In October, county council decided to extend the program, and in December they chose Harrowsmith as the next CIP community. Meetings will be held in Harrowsmith in the coming weeks to determine first where the boundaries of the CIP will be, and what kinds of initiatives fit the community best. One of the potential focus points could be a cleanup and preparation for redevelopment at the Saputo site, the former Harrowsmith Cheese Factory on Harrowsmith Sydenham Road near Road 38. “The process will be simplified this time around,” said Reid Shepherd, “because an Official Plan amendment will not be necessary since one was done for the Verona plan already.” Anne Marie Young said the goal is to have the plan up and running by the fall of this year. “$70,000 is available for the CIP from Frontenac County, and the township might consider investing some money into it as well. For Verona, the county and the township each invested $40,000,” said Young. “We can look at that for our 2017 budget,” said Mayor Vandewal. Sydenham Water reports Kevin Riley, from Utilities Kingston, brought what he described as a short report to Council on the performance of the Sydenham water treatment plant for 2015. “Essentially the plant operated without incident in 2015,” he said. There was only one adverse result from water testing all year, and that “turned out to be due to lab error,” he added. A longer report into plant capacity was delivered by Kate Morrow and Jim Miller, who are also with Utilities Kingston. They presented a number of calculations based on current use and projected use, the upshot being that water demand might outstrip the plant's capacity at some point in the future. However, that day is not pending. Easy consensus on planning matter Planner Lindsay Mills brought a matter to Council's attention in anticipation of a request by a resident to tear down and rebuild a cottage that is located right on the water; in fact it is leaning over the water, on Loughborough Lake. “The resident wants to build in the same location, but according to our bylaw he needs a minor variance in order to waive the 30 metre setback. There is plenty of room for him to build well back from the water so a variance is not necessary in this case,” Mills said. “I would like an indication of Council's opinion, as they will be asking me what the township's position is,” he added. One by one the councilors indicated they agree with Mill's position that the resident needs to build his new cottage 30 metres back from the lake. “That's clear then,” he said.
Members of the Frontenac Minor Hockey Association are making a gallant effort this year and are asking for local community support in the hopes that the Frontenac Community Arena will be one of the top 10 finalists for the $100,000 grand prize for this year’s 2016 Kraft Hockeyville competition. The winner of the competition will also be invited to host a pre-season NHL game at their own home arena. The annual competition invites nominations for local community arenas from across the country and in order to become one of the top 10 finalists, the judges want to see that the nominated communities have the necessary spirit required. The local community here in the Frontenacs is therefore invited to demonstrate their support and spirit for Frontenac Flyers Hockey by posting to Twitter and Instagram with the custom hashtag #khv_letsgoflyers and by tweeting their Flyers’ pics! No less than 30% of the criteria for a successful nomination depends on the FCA receiving at least 250 postings (and hopefully many more) online in support of the FCA nomination. The deadline to meet this criteria is Sunday, February 7 which is fast approaching and the number of tweets and posts received, along with other criteria, will decide which of the nominees will be chosen as one of the finalists in the competition. Al Pixley, president of the Frontenac Minor Hockey Association (FMHA), submitted the nomination for the Frontenac Community Arena on January 26, 2016 and he said that while the FCA has been nominated in past Kraft Hockeyville competitions, the FMHA are making an extra special effort this year. “We have applied for this before but this time around we are making an early start and are really going for it”, Pixley said when I interviewed him earlier this week. He said that he feels confident this time around and believes that the nomination has the support of the local community, the arena board and local township councils. “This year being the 40-year anniversary of the Frontenac Community Arena makes it a great year for giving it our all”, Pixley said “and a grand prize win would allow for a number of renovations to the arena to take place.” These would include a new indoor viewing area, new second floor washrooms, a new canteen and possibly an elevator to make the second floor accessible. Pixley also foresees the old viewing area at the arena being transformed into an indoor fitness facility in the future. “The arena in the next five years is need of a lot of renovations and these renovations, in particular a new viewing area, would not only bring in more revenue but would also allow us to host a number of other year-round community functions and events including weddings, receptions, corporate gatherings and more”. Everyone can make a difference! Don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account? It’s easy to create one; then you can post with the hashtag #khv_letsgoflyers before the fast approaching Sunday, February 7 deadline.
Appeal period passes without incident The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has clarified the wording in a clause they inserted into the Frontenac County Official Plan, and South Frontenac Planner Lindsay Mills has informed his Council that an appeal is no longer necessary. The issue that concerned Council was over a clause prohibiting development within settlement areas or hamlets where public water and sewer services are not available. As Mills pointed out to members of South Frontenac Council at a meeting on January 26, this clause would affect development in all South Frontenac hamlets (and all hamlets in the entire county) Even Sydenham, the only hamlet in South Frontenac that provides water for residents, does not have a sewer system in place. The clause included an exception, however, permitting new development in cases of “infilling and minor rounding out of existing development”. Mills wrote to the ministry on the morning of January 27 asking for clarification, and on the same day Damien Shaeffer of the ministry’s Kingston office replied, saying in part, “The terms 'infill' and 'minor rounding out' are not defined and allow flexibility for implementation based on local circumstances.” Shaeffer added that proponents of development within hamlets would “need to demonstrate that there will be no negative impacts associated with the provision of individual on-site services before the development can proceed.” Since this is already how development is done in South Frontenac, Mills did not feel it necessary file an appeal of the Frontenac County Official Plan by the Monday deadline. Instead he sent an email to members of Council late last week, along with a copy of Shaeffer's response. In his email, he said, “This letter addresses the Committee of the Whole’s requirement for written confirmation of the meaning of the wording. Accordingly, no appeal to the passing of the County Official Plan is necessary.” The Frontenac County Official Plan came into effect on Tuesday, February 2, having cleared this final hurdle.
Council supports Basic Income Guarantee In response to a presentation at a Committee of the Whole meeting last week by Debra McAuslan, Council considered supporting a motion that was forwarded by the City of Kingston in support of the concept of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in the Province of Ontario. Speaking to the motion, Deputy Mayor Ross Sutherland said that the BIG would be an improvement because a lot of people who have little or no income, “own some property, and “are ineligible for support under current programs that insist applicants need to have no assets before they can obtain benefits.” The BIG motion was approved, in a split vote. Insurance extension The township's insurance policy is due for renewal in June, and Treasurer Fragnito told Council that the chief administrative officers and treasurers from across Frontenac County have been discussing joint tendering for insurance services. “I suggest we renew our policy for only six months to allow that process to take place. Then we can decide which way to go,” she said. Council agreed. Surface treatment The contract for surface treatment of a number of roads in the township this year, as part of the already approved capital projects for the year, has been granted to the lowest bidder, Smith Paving, at a price of $2.53 per metre for a single surface and $4.74 for a double surface. The prices are up marginally from last year. “I'm a bit surprised that the price has gone up when oil, which is the major cost in paving, is now at $30 a barrel,” said Mayor Vandewal. “I wonder about that myself,” said Public Works Manager Segsworth. “The pavers asked us to commit to paying more when oil was going up, but now that it is going down they are still bumping up the price. Interim Chief Building Official appointed The township has appointed Jeremy Neven as interim chief building official (CBO). The duties are an addition to Neven's CBO role in Central and North Frontenac. CAO Wayne Orr said that before hiring a full time CBO, he would like to see the first draft of an administrative review that is currently underway. “We can't wait too long, though,” said Orr. “We can get along like this in the winter, but things change when the weather warms up.” No Canada 150 grant The township has received a letter from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario informing them that their application for funding under the Community Infrastructure Program for Canada 150 has been rejected. The township was seeking support for a $200,000 upgrade to the Storrington Centre in Sunbury. More about Johnson's Point In response to a report for information from Frontenac County CAO, Kelly Pender, which will be considered by Frontenac County Council later this month, Deputy Mayor Ross Sutherland asked South Frontenac to make one more attempt to influence how the County deals with a plan of condominium that has been languishing at South Frontenac Council for over 18 months. The developer has taken Frontenac County, which is the approving body for plans of condominium, to the Ontario Municipal Board because no decision on their application has been rendered within the prescribed time frame. Although the County is the approving body for plans of condominium, it is South Frontenac that has been working on the file until now. Pender's report outlines two options for County Council: do nothing and let the developer win at the hearing, in which case the county may have to pay all the applicant's legal costs; or engage a lawyer and make a presentation to the municipal board. A decision on those options will be made at a meeting on February 17. Sutherland proposed a motion that South Frontenac Council inform the county that “South Frontenac Council has significant concerns with approving waterfront lots in the vicinity of provincially significant wetlands.” “When County Council looks at this, they need to be aware that this is a major concern we have with this plan of condominium,” said Sutherland. “I have pointed them towards all of the material that we have received on the matter,” said CAO Wayne Orr, “and it is also available to the public.” The motion was approved. The municipal board hearing is set for April.
Mike Bossio, who won election over long-time incumbent Daryl Kramp by 225 votes to become the MP for the new Hastings, Lennox and Addington riding, has taken on a new role. Earlier this week he was elected as chair of the National Rural Caucus by 50 of his fellow Liberal MPs. “We need to take a holistic approach to rural Canada. Rural Canada includes agriculture, forestry, and fishing of course, but it also includes access to high-speed Internet, cellphone coverage, tourism, small business development, mining and many other issues. There are common issues in rural Canada, but no rural riding is completely alike,” he said in response to his appointment. Bossio, who lives in Tyendinaga Township, located between Belleville and Napanee in Hastings County, has visited the northern townships in his new riding since the election, including Addington Highlands. He has set up a riding office in Napanee and has a satellite office in Bancroft.
As part of his efforts on behalf of the Rural Mayor's Forum of Eastern Ontario (RMFEO), North Frontenac mayor, Ron Higgins, has been looking at some of the details in the OPP billing model. North Frontenac is one the biggest losers under the new billing model, as their policing costs are to go from less than $250,000 in 2015 to over $1 million by 2020, and several details are among the issues of concern to the township. The largest cost factor for the township is the fact that seasonal residents are billed the same as permanent residents, but there are some other details that affect all municipalities. For example, a shopping mall is billed the same amount as a private home - $250 to $300 (or more) depending on the crime rate within the municipality. However, if a private home also functions as a retail outlet, it is billed for twice. As well, cell towers are billed at the rate of a private home, and it turns out that wind turbines are as well. Frontenac Islands is the only township in Frontenac County that has wind turbines within its boundaries. The 86 turbines on the island can generate up to 197 megawatts of power, making them the second largest wind installation in Canada, measured in wattage. At a meeting of Frontenac County Council last week, Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said that he had been surprised when he saw the OPP billing for 2016, which arrived in December. “We were dumbfounded by how high the bill was. When our staff looked at it we saw that we were billed for the turbines as well as the residential and commercial properties,” said Doyle. Not only was Higgins interested in what Doyle had to say because he has been working on the OPP costing issue in his role with the RMFEO, he also may be looking at an added cost in North Frontenac. The township was approached last year, as part of the latest Large Renewable Procurement for the Independent Energy Service Operator of Ontario, by a company, NextEra, that is hoping to put up 40 to 50 turbines in North Frontenac and create 100 MW of power. The township has taken a stand against the proposal, which resulted in NextEra pulling an offer of an annual cash payment to the township. However, the township might still see a cost of $10,000 to $15,000 each year in added policing costs if the project ends up proceeding without municipal support. Lanark Frontenac Kingston MPP Randy Hillier has been critical of the OPP funding model. He said it is unfair to rural municipalities. "What is new to everybody is when you actually dig into the minutiae of these policing contracts," Hillier said. "This foolishness exposes the unjustifiable and often contradictory elements of this funding model." In responding to media reports about the charges for wind turbines, OPP superintendent Marc Bedard of the Municipal Policing Bureau, took a step back from the issue, saying it is not a matter that comes from them but from the way properties are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) He said, in a letter to the Whig Standard, “Municipal policing invoices are comprised of household, commercial and industrial properties. The OPP will update the property counts annually based on MPAC data.” Bedard also presented an alternate calculation of the amount Frontenac Islands is being billed for turbines. “Frontenac Islands' base cost for turbines actually decreased from 2015 ($12,231) to 2016 ($11,970).”
Just before Christmas, the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area (CFKA) announced they were awarding a record $251,000 in grants to support 23 different programs. Of those, 21 were located within the City of Kingston and two in Frontenac County. The largest grant in Frontenac County was a $21,702 grant to Southern Frontenac Community Services. In announcing the grant, the foundation described the organization's scope: “Southern Frontenac Community Services will purchase, move and retrofit three former school portables to its new Grace Centre site in Sydenham, Ontario, allowing the organization to reduce costs associated with operating two sites, increasing organizational efficiency, providing better networking and shared services with other agencies cohabitating in the facility, increasing the community profile of the organization, and ultimately, providing more and better health and social services to seniors, at-risk and low-income families in need.” The second grant in Frontenac County went to Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS), which is facing an aging vehicle problem. The CFKA granted NFCS $7,500 to help them purchase a used vehicle. “This capital request for funding for a replacement vehicle will provide outreach playgroups and youth recreation programs to residents of the many small hamlets and villages throughout Frontenac County. This service will ensure that rural children and youth have access to local programs where they have opportunities to play and socialize together, attend special events and build social networks,” said the foundation in announcing the grant. The grant from the Community Foundation is not the only one that NFCS has received for vehicle replacement. Early this week it was announced that NFCS has received a $45,000 grant from the Trillium Foundation for a new vehicle to be used by staff serving seniors, adults, youth and children who use the services of the agency, which prides itself on providing 'cradle to grave service' in North, Central and parts of South Frontenac. Its youth programs are delivered throughout the County. NFCS staff travel 5750 kilometres a month throughout the 3150 square kilometre County. “With this grant we will be able to replace one of the aging 2006 vans that we have. We will be purchasing a seven-seat van so we will be able to transport clients as well as staff. The van may also enable us to enhance the services offered by Frontenac Transportation Service, which is one of our programs,” said Louise Moody, executive director of NFCS.
After Frontenac County Council voted down the request for a grant to help replace aging windows at Pine Meadow Nursing Home, there has been a lot of misinformation regarding how the home operates. As the current chairperson of the Land O’ Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) Board of Directors, I would like to clarify some of the confusion. Pine Meadow Nursing Home is a community-owned, not-for-profit nursing home. The volunteer management committee, which oversees operations of the home, is a committee of the Land O’ Lakes Community Services Board, and the directors who make up the board are elected from a general membership that anyone in the community may belong to. The board is responsible for hiring managers for the organization. We hire the administrator for Pine Meadow Nursing Home and the business manager and director of programs for our community based services. Those individuals report to and are responsible to the board. They hire and oversee the remaining employees of the organization. LOLCS is the partner that signs the Long-Term Care Home Service Accountability Agreement (L-SAA). This agreement is set forth by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care between the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and the long-term care provider. For Pine Meadow, the agreement is between Land O’ Lakes Community Services and the South East Local Health Integration Network. We do not receive any annualized tax dollars as we are not a county-owned home; however, the County of Lennox and Addington did provide us with a $250,000 commitment (over 10 years) to help with our expansion – even though L&A has its own municipal home, the John Parrot Centre, in Napanee. Pine Meadow Nursing home is located in Northbrook, which is in Addington Highlands Township and Lennox & Addington County. It is important to note though, that approximately 1/3 of our 60 residents and 1/3 of our 100 employees are from Frontenac County (this number has been higher at times). LOLCS purchases services from Extendicare Canada; as such, we are an Extendicare Assist Home, meaning we have a contract with Extendicare for certain services. They have a number of Assist homes, and each one has a contract that is suited to its individual needs. Our contract includes services such as payroll, H.R. support, accounting services, and legal services (when required). This contract also provides cost guarantees for supplies and food, as well as purchasing power for employee benefits and includes consultants for all programs at Pine Meadow. The management committee and the board of directors regularly evaluate the contract to determine our needs and contract renewal. Through our contract with Extendicare, we are also included in their computer networks, so our management employees have emails that indicate @extendicare, and we are linked to the Extendicare website. I hope this information has clarified some of the issues about our wonderful home, but if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact Margaret Palimaka, administrator of Pine Meadow Nursing Home, at 613-336-9120.
Ambulance service committee to be established Councilor Tony Fritsch proposed the establishment of a council committee, which will include members of the public, to deal with persistent threats to the continued existence of a 12-hour a day ambulance service based in Denbigh and a 24-hour service in Northbrook. A recent report by the Emergency Services department of Lennox and Addington County calls for the closing of the Denbigh base and the transfer of hours to the base in Loyalist Township. “The impact of that change would be felt throughout Addington Highlands,” said Fritsch, “because there would be no back up should the Northbrook ambulance be out on a call.” As a member of L&A Council, Reeve Henry Hogg has seen repeated attempts to cut the Denbigh service, which was a 24-hour service until it was cut back in 2011. He said that one of the committee's main roles would be to contact neighbouring municipalities, particularly Frontenac County, for support in maintaining services in both Denbigh and Northbrook. “Most of the calls from Denbigh go into Frontenac County, as do many from Northbrook, and pressure needs to be brought to bear on them. So far they have not responded to us when we tried to contact them about the pending loss of service,” he said. L&A County Council has deferred debate on the future of the Denbigh base to budget deliberations, which get underway this week. The Emergency Services budget is not on the agenda at that meeting, but will be at a subsequent meeting, on February 10 or February 17. More concerns about Flinton Library and its neighbour Librarian June Phillips appeared before Council on Monday to express more concerns about how the Library property is being affected by the new tenants of the former United Church, which is located next door. Last year the township agreed to transfer a small piece of land to the new owner of the church to enable a septic system to be installed. Phillips is now concerned about materials that are located on a right of way between the two buildings and about the location of the survey lines that have been drawn to mark off the new boundaries of the former church property. Reeve Hogg said that she could contact the bylaw office to deal with materials cluttering the right of way, and said if there are issues with the survey they can be looked at as well. Requests Peter Rasenberg will be able to use the Finton rink free of charge on February 6, assuming there is ice, for a fundraising tournament. All monies raised will go to the Hockey Skills program. Land O'Lakes Community Services has made their annual request for funding support at a level of $1.25 per household in the township. The request has been deferred to budget deliberations, which will get underway in two weeks, before the regular meeting in Denbigh on February 16. Water issues at new fire station It seems that the cost of improving the quality of the water at the new Northbrook fire station will be absorbed by the township. Chris Bent of Jewell Engineering, Belleville, sent a letter to Council in mid-January, in which he pointed out that the contract documents with the design-builder of the hall, TaskForce Engineering, stipulate only that a well be drilled on the property and a water supply provided to the building from the well. There is nothing about water potability in the contract. “It was noted that residential dwellings in the vicinity of the fire hall draw potable water from wells on their properties. As a result, there was no concern regarding poor well water quality in the area of the fire hall site, and therefore, no consideration for the inclusion of an allowance for water treatment in the contract schedule of prices,” Bent concluded. Fire Chief Casey Cuddy said that when the project was first being considered, water potability was to be included by Jewell, “but somehow it got pulled out as the process went along.” “We need to get this dealt with,” said Councilor Bill Cox, “we have a nice new fire hall and we need to have potable water there.” Possible remediation includes a water treatment system or a new well. The existing well is 300 feet deep, according to Cuddy. Stylish privy in place Volunteer carpenters in Denbigh have built and installed a new privy at the Denbigh ball-field. All that is left to do is install tin for the roofing, but the privy is ready for use now.
Everyone has heard or read stories of pioneer families and their hardships. Among the few highlights were the visits to the nearest neighbour. That might occur once a year. Traditionally the visit was not pre-arranged as there were no phones or any means of communication. The horse and buggy or sleigh would have to be freed up and the weather suitable. Because the day was not certain, the visitor always prepared a batch of biscuits or a loaf so that the hostess would not be embarrassed at not having something to serve. She would make tea and they would catch up on news and gossip for another year or longer. Inspired by this practice, the Cloyne and District Historical Society would like you to bring a sandwich and we shall treat you to a bowl of soup on Monday February 15 in celebration of local history. Because it is Heritage Day/ Family Day and a statutory holiday, the Cloyne hall will be the place to gather. The doors will be open at 11:30 and soup should be ready at 12:00. There shall be old music in the air, old photos on the screen, sharing of stories and memories, and a discussion of Flinton history with Glen Davison. There shall be a social tea time around 3 pm. It's a day off for most, so come on out and experience the event. Everyone is welcome.
On January 18 there was an incident at Pine Meadow Nursing Home that required staff to act quickly. When a carbon monoxide alarm went off, residents were moved away from the wing of the building where the alarm was located while staff addressed the problem and called in the fire department. “The fire department gave the all clear after doing a thorough check, and the residents were allowed to return,” said Margaret Palimaka, the home's administrator. “Families, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Labour have been informed. Medical follow-up was done and all concerned staff and residents are fine. We are also having a fire consultant review the incident.” Palimaka added that the home often consults with community members and service providers, and seeks the expertise of their management contractor, Extendicare, on matters of safety. “We would like to thank all our residents, their families and staff for their patience as we resolve this issue. We would also like to thank the fire department for their quick response and everyone else who responded in such a timely manner to keep everyone safe,” she said.