The Golden Links Hall in Harrowsmith was packed with friends, family and well-wishers as Portland De...
Whether or not the Palmerston Lake Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) is included on the North Frontenac Township Land Use Schedule (of its Zoning Bylaw) is still up in the air somewhat, but the topic drew a crowd to last Friday’s regular Council meeting in Plevna. And the gallery included one of the larger gatherings of the public at a North Frontenac Council meeting. Megan Rueckwald, manager of community planning, County of Frontenac, told the meeting that planning staff have reached out to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) “for clarification of the Palmerston Lake ANSI (and) once this information is provided, should Council direct, planning staff will prepare an updated report with a recommendation.” “We don’t have the answers today but we will have a public meeting when we get the information,” said Mayor Ron Higgins. “It’s a priority for us. “We’ve been working on the Zoning Bylaw for five years.” On Jan. 8, 2019, MNRF provided correspondence to the Township identifying the Palmerston Lake ANSI as “provincially significant” in response to Council’s motion at the Nov. 23, 2018 meeting. It is shown as provincially significant on the ministry’s Natural Heritage Mapping system. However, it was not designated on the 2003 Official Plan. It is so designated on the Township Official Plan approved in 2017 and the Frontenac County Official Plan approved in 2016. The Palmerston Lake ANSI, on the west and south end of the lake, was identified in January of 1989 (MNRF) as a provincially significant marble-based wetland, upland and rock barren complex. Rare flora and fauna identified include the Calypso orchid (amerorchis rotundifloria) and moss (tomenthypnum falcifolium) as well as nesting ravens, a great blue heron colony and adult Cooper’s hawk, Rueckwald said in her report. The landform itself is seated on marble, with calcareous-based hardwoods and mixed forest dominating uplands and a variety of calcareous wetlands occupying bedrock depressions, she said. Assuming the land is designated as a natural heritage feature in the Zoning Bylaw, any development and/or site alteration would require an environmental impact assessment. “That doesn’t mean no development but it does mean developing in a cautious manner because there is something worth preserving,” said Rueckwald. Higgins said that during the public feedback part of the Zoning Bylaw process they received “about 50 emails” on the ANSI. “We’re in this situation because in 1989 there was no public input,” said Higgins. “I think as a township, we did really screw up in the ’80s,” said Coun. John Inglis. • • • Rural Frontenac Community Services represented by youth program coordinator Martha Johnston made a presentation to Council asking for $5,400 to provide services this year, the same amount that Council granted in last years budget. • • • North Frontenac Community Living, represented by executive director Dean Walsh, made a presentation to Council for information, not asking for a donation. Walsh said the agency is a transfer payment agency, meaning it gets funding from clients through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for 40 adults, 10 children and three transitional aged youths in the amount of $1.5 million. He said they have 35 employees, 15 of whom are full-time. Anyone wanting to be notified of the public meeting should contact Clerk Tara Mieske in writing. Your correspondence should include your contact information and can be a letter, email or note dropped off to the Township office. “The sooner, the better,” said CAO Cheryl Robeson. “Everyone who sends in their contact information will be notified of the public meeting.”
When GREC science teacher Wade Leonard talked his principal into offering a course in drones (and drone mapping) a couple of years ago, he did see a lot of potential. But he wasn’t all that sure what that potential would be. “We’re now solving problems we didn’t even know were problems,” he said. “And we’re seeing all sorts of new tendrils of potential.” Leonard’s program, which teaches students how to fly a drone and what to do with it once they get it up in the air, has already blazed new trails. For example, they’ve done studies in Alderville for the Black Oak Savanna and Tall Grass Prairie, tracked last summer’s storm damage for Central Frontenac and the Office of Emergency Preparedness Ontario, done a study of a maple sugar bush, tracked milfoil in North Frontenac lakes, several projects for Central Frontenac included a 3D model of the Caboose in Sharbot Lake, trail mapping and volume of the Olden dump (which even shows trails where bears have dragged off bags of garbage) and are scheduled to create a database of headstones in North Frontenac. “Our first field trip was to the Black Oak Savanna for the Alderville First Nation,” he said. “We got looking at it and learned that the grass is in colonies — you could see individual plants and colony density became the basis for an ecological study. “You can’t get that from a satellite because not only does the image have to go through the entire atmosphere, it’s always at an angle and you’ll never see individual plants.” Each job brings something new. “When we did a project for Wheeler’s Maple Products to see what might be the best route for the sap lines, we discovered that we could do elevation data,” he said. “We didn’t know we could do elevation data until we got there.” That’s become useful for other projects as well. For example, they’ve discovered they can see the bottom of a lake in 15 feet of water. They have images of how effective the Malcolm/Ardoch Lakes burlap methodology has been. “And the Tryon Road severe weather research . . . lots of people were interested in that,” he said. “We saw the extent of the damage. “We’ve filled a gap.” And they’ve even attracted the attention of some professors at Carleton University. “Professor Jesse Vermaire told us ‘we don’t do this on the scale you can,’” Leonard said. “He said ‘we’re doing it on scales of metres and you’re doing it in hectares.’ “We’re going to Carleton to talk to him and some other professors.” Leonard said his program fits in well with the “Authentic Learning” program at GREC, which also includes their forestry program. “It’s solving real world problems,” he said. “Through inception, planning, execution, analysis and communication.” To that extent, he’s changed up his program slightly, making students responsible for setting up dates, looking at weather forecasts for the proposed flight, where to fly and even consulting and communicating with the partner for the mission. “We’ve got it set up now so everything is hyperlinked for the students such as permission forms, pre-flight, and the students do it all themselves,” he said. And, with changes in regulations coming in June, students 14 and older will be able fly the drones themselves. “My read on the new regulations is that not only will the students be licensed but potentially will be able to conduct missions.” Where this program will lead is anybody’s guess but they’re already breaking new ground continuously. “Context is everything,” Leonard said. “This is such a new area and we’re the only program in Ontario schools that does mapping. “We’ve just been out there poking around and stumbled on some techniques that haven’t been done before.” Sounds like their techniques will be used quite a bit in days to come. If you’d like to see some of the videos Leonard and his charges have made, have a look at his YouTube channel Wade W Leonard.
North Frontenac passed a resolution at its regular meeting Monday morning in Plevna to hire a consultant to conduct interviews with its Ward 1 firefighters. Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief Eric Korhonen told Council that “our Ward 1residents aren’t getting the same level of service the other two wards are, for one thing, there are a number of different bylaws” and “I do believe there is a cost savings to be had.” The measure wasn’t on the original agenda, which led Coun. John Inglis to ask “it’s a bit of a news item to me — am I alone on that?” North Frontenac has a joint agreement with neighbouring Addington Highlands Township to provide fire and emergency services to the former Barrie Township, North Frontenac’s most westerly ward through the joint Kaladar/Barrie Fire Department. North Frontenac took a look at how it delivers these services in Wards 2 and 3 previously, a study that included interviews with firefighters and support staff. Coun. Gerry Martin supported the idea. “We got good results interviewing Ward 2 and 3 volunteers,” Martin said. “We should do the same with Ward 1. “We got a better fire department because we talked to those people.” But other councilors weren’t so sure this new study would be such a good idea. “I’m not in favour,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. “We’ve improved this agreement over time and I don’t want a witch hunt. “If you make the wrong move, you’re going to have an issue.” “We might be poking a bear here,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer. “We could be alienating some people.” Inglis asked how this proposal came about and CAO Cheryl Robson said: “this was all discussed during the Fire Master Plan debate. “We’re not asking Addington Highlands for any money, we’re just asking the joint committee for approval and I’m looking at whether to put this in the budget. “I don’t know what the recommendations will be.” “So this isn’t coming about because somebody is screaming at us about service,” said Inglis. Korhonen tried to argue for more latitude for the consultant but Council was leery of that. “I think the consultant will need a little more freedom than just interviewing staff,” Korhonen said. He also said that he wasn’t aware of any similar joint fire committees in the Province. • • • During a rather routine zoning amendment procedure, it was noted that the property was on a private lane with a locked gate. Fire Chief Eric Korhonen was asked if that presented a problem in the event of an emergency. “We either roll over them (locked gates) or we cut the lock,” he said. “There isn’t much that can stop our equipment.” • • • Council approved the hiring of a summer student to help with the efforts to study and control the infestation of Eurasian Milfoil on Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes. “It’s an experiment the MNR has approved,” said Mayor Ron Higgins. “I’m not sure if we’re throwing money away but if they learn something, that will be applicable to our other lakes,” said Coun. John Inglis. “The major (tax) contributors are our seasonables and this addresses their issue.” • • • Coun. Gerry Martin took exception to the existence of the Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Committee and how its members are selected. “This is just bureaucratic system creep and what Randy (MPP Hillier) was talking about,” Martin said. “There’s some empire building going on.” “Is this the thing where they’re going to tax our private wells?” said Coun. John Inglis. “Ottawa has two members, Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place have one,” said Martin. “They all have municipal water supplies.” “I’ll talk to the other mayors and come back with some information in February,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.
“We’re still looking for jumpers,” said Janet Barr, organizer of this year’s Polar Bear Plunge which is now in its ninth season as part of the annual Frontenac Heritage Festival. “We have four people signed up already.” The Plunge has become a highlight of the Sunday festivities of the Festival, which is held on the Family Day long weekend in February. This year’s plunge goes Feb. 17 at noon. Besides being one of the Festival attractions, the Plunge also raises money for local charities. This year’s recipients will be The Treasure Trunk, Northern Connections and the Central Frontenac Fire Department. Pledge forms are available at The Treasure Trunk, Community Living North Frontenac or by calling Barr at 613-279-2113. There are prizes for best costume, most pledges, youngest plunger and oldest plunger, she said. Barr said they’d like to get more than last year’s 20 participants and maybe even beat the all-time record of 45 plungers.
The White Lake Cottagers Association (Olden) is pretty small. It has no website, no comprehensive lake plan, not even an annual fish fry or bake sale, and only 45 members representing 25 cottages. But nonetheless they are about to win a major award from the Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations (FOCA). The Association, which was founded in 1973, has taken on the important responsibility of helping to keep the waters of the lake clean enough to be used by the White Lake Fish Culture Station, an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources facility. In their application to FOCA for the award, which was submitted in November of 2018, Association President Jim Rose said that keeping the lake waters in pristine condition in order to maintain the fish culture station gives the lake a purpose beyond its own watershed. “It is our understanding that White Lake is one of very few lakes with fish hatcheries in Eastern North America, in which fingerlings raised in its waters can be dropped into any other lake that supports that species of fish and the fingerlings will survive. The station is also working on enterprises to bring species back from the brink of extinction. For example, the fish culture station is involved in bringing the bloater, a small fish which supports lake trout, back from extinction in Lake Huron and the Saint Claire River. It is doing the same thing with a small bivalve, which is in danger of becoming extinct in a river in south western Ontario. Not only is the fish culture station involved in cutting edge research, it also stocks some 220 lakes in Ontario,” he wrote. White Lake has been motor-free since 1977, and association members are so committed to preventing zebra mussels from entering the lake that they have offered up their own canoes and kayaks to visitors coming to the lake, so that any contamination threats, even from very small boats, is minimised. A couple of years ago, a cousin of Jim and Joan Rose (Rose is one the Environmental Officers on the Association Executive) was visiting them on the lake. “She looked out from the dock and said, ‘you have invasive phragmites on your lake. They will take over if you don’t do something.’ I asked her what he had to do and she said it would take three years and hundreds of hours to get rid of them. She was right,” said Joan Rose. The invasive phragmites likely spread from roadsides since they can root under water or on land. There is no point trying to pull them out by the roots because that is more or less impossible and only leads them to get stronger and spread. They can be cut off just under the water, taking care to remove any seed heads that are above the water first. The While Lake Cottage Association applied for and received $1,000, over two years, from FOCA for equipment, and members spent 380 hours in the summer of 2017, removing phragmites, transporting all the material to the shore where it was left to dry out far back from the lake and burned. In the summer of 2018 they only had to spend 98 hours doing the same thing and they hope to do the final eradication this coming summer. The Association is also working to give the lake a special designation in the new Central Frontenac Official Plan, in order to keep protections in place. “We don’t oppose development on White Lake, as long as it is managed carefully,” she said, “and so we have an opportunity to meet the new people and explain what the lake is all about.” One of the neighbours on the lake is the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, who have established a band centre and heritage lands on the west end of the lake. “We have very good relations with Chief Doreen Davis,” said John Rose, and they are committed to protecting the lake in its current state. The ceremony honouring the White Lake Cottage Association will take place in Toronto in early March at the FOCA Annual General Meeting and Spring Seminar at the swanky Boulevard Club in Toronto.
The Kennebec Historical Society has been focusing on churches of late, and the society’s display at the Frontenac Heritage Festival Saturday in Arden reflected the recent focus. “We’re collecting things over time,” said society member Sarah Hale. “We get quite a few things from estates.” One of the things they’ve acquired of late is a History of the Arden Standard Church, by Bessie Wager Seiter. In it, Seiter tells a story of Mrs. Joe Hughes, who owned a general store in town. One day, Mrs. Hughes became gravely ill. “The doctor did all he could but to no avail,” the history relates. “She lapsed into a coma and the doctor felt she was on her death bed. “Rev. Burtch called in Rev. J.B. Pring, Rev. Martin Slack and Rev. George Kelly. They anointed her, prayed over her and shortly she roused. “She remarked that she felt as someone had put her to sleep and operated on her. She asked for her clothes, dressed and from that moment was healed.” Strangely enough, the estate of Irene Monds donated not only a collection of dolls and a wedding dress but also a book that contained the same story, lending more credence to it. The society also has documentation on the old United Church, which burned in 1952, as well as many others. “At one point, there were three Methodist Churches,” Hale said. “Now, there are three active churches, the United, Anglican and Standard, which 10 years ago joined with the Weselyan.” Hale said they’re always looking for new members and to join, contact Hale at 613-335-2073. For $5 yearly fee, you get their newsletter and they plan a museum trip and strawberry social each year.
When replacing a culvert over the Henderson Road, Central Frontenac crews put in a larger, and longer pipe. It turned out that because of the extra length, the culvert now extends beyond the township right of way and onto Ken Arney’s property. Exactly how far into Arney’s property the culvert extends, has not been determined yet. Given the situation, the township intends to purchase a small piece of Arney’s property. In order to determine how much of Arney’s land is involved, and make the purchase, a survey must be completed, and that can’t happen until the snow melts. Arney came to Council this week (Tuesday, February 19) in order to express his frustration about how the process has been carried out thus far. “I am not happy about the way I have been treated by township staff over this. I feel that I have not been well informed by staff. I wasn’t impressed with one of the councillor’s comments either. He said it was inconsiderate of me to ask him to spend two hours of his valuable time on this by visiting and having a look.” Arney also said that he thought the township needed to survey his property in order to determine the limits of the piece they intend to purchase. Mayor Frances Smith said that since Mr. Arney’s neighbour’s property has been surveyed, “the surveyor can work from those posts to survey the piece. We are not going to survey the entire property.” When the possibility of expropriation was mentioned, Arney speculated that he might be better off going that route. Mayor Smith said, “as far as I understand it, when we fixed the culvert we encroached on your property by mistake. We aren’t going to pull out the culvert so we need to buy the land. The best outcome is for us to do the survey and come to an agreement over the price. Expropriation is not something we want to do. We would rather agree on the boundaries and the price with you.” Pic Hall repair – old walls hold secrets Acting Development Services Manager Alan Revill spoke to the ongoing construction at the Piccadilly Hall. He reported that when the paneling was pulled off of one of the exterior walls in the hall to reveal some century old lathe and plaster, it also revealed a 5 inch gap between the wall and the floor and a similar gap below the ceiling. Given this, the contractor recommended stripping out the existing material and putting in a new wall on the existing wall supports. This will increase the cost of the project by over $7,000. The good news, Revill said, was that the project has been progressing smoothly, and will be “substantially complete by early March.” Pic Hall repair (part 2) who owns the hall anyway – In 2016 the township became aware of the fact that the property the Piccadilly Hall is located, as well as about half of the adjacent cemetery, are not legally owned by the township. The piece of property, which was part of the old Clark farm, that was purchased by the Snider family, was donated to Hinchinbrooke Township but apparently the land transfer was never completed. The land is still registered to Clark, as it has been since 1857. Council did not act on the information in 2016, and Deputy Clerk Cindy Deachman prepared a new report this month in light of the construction that is now going on. “Staff recommend Council approve commencing the required legal work to correct title for both the hall property and the two cemetery properties. This will most likely include survey work to obtain a legal description, and a court application, at least for the two parcels owned by Mr. Clark,” she said in her report. The estimated court costs will likely be over $5,000 and the survey will cost a similar amount. The township is planning to budget for the transfer this coming year. Compliance with new Municipal Act – Council, along with all other municipalities in Ontario, are facing a March 1st deadline to enact policies to comply with provisions in the recently revised Municipal Act. One of them is a Tree Canopy and Natural Vegetation Policy, which the Deputy Clerk recommended keeping at more of an educational level than imposing bylaw restrictions on property owners. An email from David Shostal of Randy Hillier’s office indicated that the government was backing down from the requirement. In that context, Councillor Brent Cameron said Council should take no action. Councillor Victor Heese said it was still a good idea to have a tree policy in place. Councillor Bill MacDonald, a logger himself, said some restriction against clear-cutting might be a good way to go. The matter was referred back to staff. The council has another meeting before March first, and they may or may not pass a new tree policy. Another policy that is required is a council pregnancy and parental leave policy, providing 20 weeks leave for council members. Councillor Tom Dewey suggested that the proposed policy, including a provision to pay the deputy mayor the salary of the mayor if the mayor is off on a maternity or paternity leave. Mayor Smith assured Council that she is not seeking such a leave at this or likely in the future, but that Dewey’s recommendation seemed sensible. When asked, all of the council members indicated they are not planning on taking such a leave. Finally, council considered a code of conduct and council staff relations policies, which will be coming back for a vote on February 26. One more year of OMPF funding. Provincial transfers to municipalities under the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) will be unchanged in 2019. The Ford government intends to change the program in the coming months, with a view towards focussing on the more rural and cash strapped councils. In a letter to municipalities, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli said OMPF changes would be announced well in advance of 2020, before municipal councils start their budget process for next year “Ministry staff are working to finalise data updates to ensure the OMPF continues to be responsive to changing municipal circumstances as is the case under the current program,” he wrote. He added that the province is facing a deficit and continues “to review government transfer payments.” Budget meeting, March 22. Because members of council will be away in early March, the next budget meeting will be Friday, March 22, at the fire hall on Wagner Road, 9am.
The Sharbot Lake Legion was the scene of what organisers called a “peaceful protest” Sunday. At least four members of Kingston Creep Watchers, a group who protests against organizations they say support convicted sex offenders, were on hand across the street from the Legion Hall carrying signs. Brooks is listed as one of two administrators on the Kingston Creep Watchers Facebook page. At issue was the presence of a Sharbot Lake area man who was convicted in 2006 of sexually molesting a minor and in 2010 of breaching a 161 probation order. The 2006 order, which is in effect for life, prohibits him from public spaces where children may be present. The order was amended, however, in August of 2018, and he is now permitted to be in public spaces as long as he is accompanied by and remains within sight of a supervising adult. The second clause of the 2006 order, which has not been amended, states that he is prohibited from “seeking, or obtaining, or continuing any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority towards persons under the age of fourteen years.” On Sunday, the Legion was hosting what they called “Live Music & Dance.” The man sang at the end of the event but also ran the sound board for at least some of the event. There were no children under the age of 14 at the event. Police did attend at the Legion but left without incident. Legion President June Crawford said that event organisers were aware the protesters were coming. “We gave them as cordial a reception as possible, even though they didn’t identify themselves when they arrived. We let them on our property and one of them came in. We told her that she’d have to make a donation in order to stay, which she did. “She sat down, had a beer and even won a door prize,” Crawford said. Crawford said it was not the Legion who called the police, but when the officers arrived, she spoke with them. “I told the police that I was aware of the parameters the individual is under and when they asked, I told them my understanding of what his parameters were. “Everything was copacetic and they left.” The police did come back a second time, which Brooks mentions on her Facebook page, after being called by a member of her group who alleged one of their members had been assaulted. The police returned but left shortly after. The Legion Sgt.-at-Arms then asked the protestors to leave, which they did, moving to the bottom of the hill on public property.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Frontenac Detachment is investigating a collision on Sand Lake, west of Frontenac Provincial Park. Frontenac OPP officers responded at approximately 1:00am. on February 17, 2019. A pick-up truck had been driven onto the ice where it struck two small, individual shelters. One of the males was knocked unconscious in the incident. The second male, who wasn't seriously injured, drove the victim to hospital. Both were treated for minor injuries and were later released. Investigators are looking for a light-coloured pick-up truck which fled the scene. Any person with information regarding the investigation is requested to contact the Frontenac OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2000.
South Frontenac Council approved a 2019 budget of $19,741,688 at its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham. This represents a 3.199 per cent increase over 2018’s budget of $19,129,719, however, it falls in line with Council’s direction of a 2.0 per cent impact on the average phased-in property when increased property values are factored in. The $19,741,688 is the same figure presented at the Jan. 26 meeting, however, at that time, Council wanted to add in a New Leaf Link grant of $2,000, a museum grant of $3,00, $20,000 in community grants and $20,000 for additional brushing. In order to maintain the Jan. 26 figure, Treasurer Louise Fragnito reduced the ‘miscellaneous figure by $5,000 and firefighter recruitment financing by $40,000. “Through the budget discussions, Council added $20,000 for additional community grants and $20,000 for additional contracted brushing and staff was asked for alternatives for funding these two initiatives,” Fragnito’s report said. “Typically, operating budget items are not funded from reserves, unless as a one-time adjustment, as they create a future year impact to the tax levy. “(This adjustment) switches the Capital — Firefighter recruitment financing by increasing the funding from working funds by $40,000 and reducing the tax levy by $40,000, which provides the capacity to offset the $40,000 and reducing the tax levy by $40,000, which provides the capacity to offset the $40,000 increase in the operating budget and keeping the tax impact to 2.0 per cent.” CAO Wayne Orr said staff will bring back a tax bylaw once the levies from Frontenac County and the Province (for education) are known, probably some time in April. • • • Before the regular meeting, Council held an in camera session to discuss the potential acquisition (or disposition) of land by the municipality (or local board): potential land purchase for seniors housing. In a report prepared for the three new members of Council to bring them up to speed, CAO Wayne Orr summarized what’s happened up to this point, including the potential involvement of Kingston and Frontenac Housing Corporation, financing and mortgage models as well as potential sites. Orr’s reports were part of the regular meeting agenda package for Tuesday night’s meeting. “Initially, discussion focused on establishing a project in Sydenham, Verona or Inverary as these communities had a number of services to offer within walking distance,” the report said. “In the early stages, a partnership with South Frontenac Community Services for a project at the Grace site was explored. “Just recently, SFCS has indicated that they have been in discussion with a private developer who may have interest in reopening the discussions on a project at the Grace site as a Private Public Partnership (and) this has not been explored at this point.” The report also included this statement: “The CAO work plan for the remaining six months of employment does not include significant time allocation for this initiative (Orr has announced his retirement plans).” It should be noted that of the three settlement areas mentioned, Sydenham, Verona and Inverary, only Sydenham has a municipal water system. Council wouldn’t disclose any more information but Mayor Ron Vandewal did say to Orr “you have direction.” • • • Council was shown a video provided by Meela Melnik-Proud and shot by Matt Rennie on a walking bridge constructed at the proposed Johnston Point condominium development on Loughborough Lake. “At the April 2016 Ontario Municipal Board hearing, we brought forward specific concerns over this walking bridge that is directly in Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW),” Melnik-Proud said. “It was our understanding that this bridge technically would not constitute development in the PSW, since it would be free standing, and furthermore, that all vegetation within 30 metres of the shoreline would be maintained in a natural state.” The video shows several support posts in the PSW and removal of vegetation, including stumps suggesting removal of trees greater than 4 inches in diameter. Mayor Ron Vandewal promised “either our staff will find an answer for this or we’ll forward it to (Frontenac) County.” CAO Wayne Orr said: “At this time, we do not have a signed condominium agreement. We expect one in June.” He said that until the condo agreement is signed, they have no mandate to go in and enforce a site-plan agreement and any conditions that it might include. “It’s private property at this point,” Orr said. “But he has to meet certain conditions before it becomes condominiums and without meeting those conditions, he (the developer) has no units to sell. “Our ability to put restrictions on comes when there’s a request to change (a property).” “People wouldn’t like it, but I could clear cut my farm and put 500 wells on it if I chose,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “But if I apply for something, everything changes.” Director of Developmental Services, Claire Dodds, said the developer did have a permit from the conservation authority to build the walking bridge. • • • Council directed staff to look into declaring two firehall properties surplus and to report back. The properties in question are the Burnt Hills station and the old Perth Road Station. “If Council decides to sell, Burnt Hills would have to be as is,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “It’s like half an acre and I wouldn’t like to see a house go on it. “There is a structure there but it could only be used as a storage shed for a neighbour or something.” “I’m guessing it’s not zoned residential although Perth Road is,” said CAO Wayne Orr. “We don’t necessarily have to rush ahead,” said Coun. Alan Revill. “We could declare them surplus for the fire department to make plans and decide what to do with them later.” Council directed staff to come back with recommendations.
The Golden Links Hall in Harrowsmith was packed with friends, family and well-wishers as Portland Dep. Fire Chief Bill Babcock officially retired Saturday night. “Everybody knows that anyone who volunteers for 54 years — your heart has to be in it,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. Babcock’s tenure dates back to the Portland Fire Department days. “Those are some pretty big boots to fill,” said Dep. Chief Stan Ritchie, who replaces Babcock. “He was a mentor to myself and every other firefighter,” said firefighter Kyle Reynolds. “We’ll deeply miss him coming through the door.” Firefighter Ellen Steele read a letter from another firefighter who wished to remain anonymous. “He was inspiring and made us feel safe,” the letter said. “And we won’t have him to go to when we need to know where somebody lives. “He often said (things like): ‘I’ll be that’s Bob’s place, he lives around there.’” When it was Babcock’s own turn to speak, he pretty much stole the show. After thanking firefighters past and present, wives, kids and families, as well as the businesses who supported efforts to raise funds for things like the jaws of life and 4X4s, Babcock launched into one of the more entertaining retirement speeches in memory. “We’ve gotten cats out of trees, a cow out of a frozen pond and a horse out of a swimming pool in winter,” he said. “It was a helluva ride.” He told a story of one call, which may or may not have been true, given the glint in his eye. “A fella calls dispatch,” he said. “He tells dispatch ‘you gotta come, my house is on fire. “The dispatcher thinks for a minute and says, ‘how will they get there?’ “And the fella says ‘do they not still have all those big red trucks?’” He summed things up by saying “Now I can sleep all night through and do what I want all day.”
South Frontenac’s Volunteer Fire Department is launching a recruitment drive this month, hoping to attract 25 new recruits from throughout the township. They are looking for physically fit, energetic men and women who are interested in becoming part of a team working to promote safety and who are prepared to protect their community in emergencies. Firefighters are first responders not only to fires, but to a wide range of other emergencies, health crises and rescues from various dangerous situations (confined space, ice, rope, surface water, swift water, trench, vehicle). Some emergencies cannot be reached by road, necessitating boat or overland equipment transport. As well, the Fire Department is responsible for promoting public safety by providing education and fire prevention, investigating causes of fires, and carrying out fire safety inspections of public buildings. (A well-equipped and trained fire department helps keep home insurance rates down throughout the Township.) Training is central to becoming a firefighter. According to Fire Chief Darcy Knott, although the Province has currently revoked its requirement for all volunteer firefighters to have mandatory certification, known as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001, he anticipates that some form of this requirement will be reinstated. Certification requires completion of levels 1&2 of firefighting training, as well as a course in hazardous materials management. It took a month for Knott to work through the records of the current 80 South Frontenac volunteer firefighters, to determine which ones had the level of combined experience and training which would allow them to be grandfathered into certification. As a result, 75% of the current township firefighters are now recognized as having the equivalent of NFPA1001. Knott has planned an intensive training program for the new recruits beginning in May, for one night a week plus one or two weekend sessions which will bring them up to certification by the end of October this year. This training will be funded by the Township. (The alternative would require a year-long community college course, costing thousands of dollars in tuition.) As well as training, each new recruit will be fully fitted out with the necessary gear. This is one of the biggest single expenses for the Township: it costs nearly $3,000 to fully equip a firefighter. Interested? There will be four information sessions: at Burridge and Perth Road stations on Tuesday Feb 26th, and at Hartington and Sunbury stations on Tuesday March 5th. These sessions will discuss expectations, benefits and training opportunities, and answer questions from potential recruits. For further information, contact Fire Chief Darcy Knott, 613-376-3027 ext 2234.
The hard-fought completion of the K&P Trail to the junction with the Trans Canada Trail in Sharbot Lake, is being funded by Frontenac County this year. As part of the its 2019 budget deliberations, County Council agreed to spend up to $250,000 to complete the last section of trail, a stretch between Bradshaw Road, north of Tichborne, and St. Georges Lake. The trail is already complete between St. Georges Lake and the trailhead just south of Sharbot Lake, where it meets the Trans Canada Trail. Frontenac County Manager for Economic Development, Richard Allen, told Council that the final section includes a swamp (see photo) a watercourse, and must be re-routed around 2 existing houses as well. “$250,000 will cover the cost for sure, hopefully it will be less,” he said. It was not that difficult to convince council that the trail must be completed. “We’ve been working on this for years, and we’ve spent millions. We would look pretty foolish if we didn’t get it done,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal from South Frontenac. “I sat on the first trail committee. That was over 10 years ago,” said Mayor Dennis Doyle from Frontenac Islands. In terms of funding the final section, Richard Allen pointed to a slide that included bars, of various lengths, marking all of the granting programs that the county has tapped in order to build out the trail until now, over $3.75 million worth. A lot of that money came from various granting programs from the federal and provincial governments and foundations, including trail grants and others. There were x’s over all of the bars on the graph because the programs have all either been discontinued or the trail is no longer an eligible project for them. The largest amount of money, over $1.7 million, came from the county share of federal gas tax rebate funds. A few years ago, however, Council decided to give its share of gas tax monies to the Frontenac townships for their own infrastructure needs. Allen suggested that Council consider borrowing to finance the last section of trail construction. “That way it will not have a huge impact on taxes in a single year,” he said. This year the money will be taken from reserve funds to cover the construction, with a view towards securing a loan from Infrastructure Ontario once the final costs are known. The completion of this section of the K&P Trail will result in a trail that runs from Lake Ontario in Kingston all the way up to Sharbot Lake. The completion of this part of the K&P Trail results in the inclusion of two major Frontenac sections in the national trail system, which would otherwise have bypassed most of Frontenac County by following Hwy 7 into Lanark County. The K&P Trail section between Harrowsmith and Sharbot Lake will become part of The Great Trail (AKA the Trans Canada Trail). It will also bring the bulk of the Cataraqui Trail, the entire run between Harrowsmith and Smiths Falls, into the Great Trail family. Further trail projects, including projects on Wolfe and Howe Islands, as well as the northern section of the K&P through Central and North Frontenac and into Lanark County and beyond, are next on the agenda for Frontenac County. Central Frontenac Township owns the K&P trail between Sharbot Lake and the North Frontenac border, where the trail has gone into private hands until just north of Snow Road. The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority owns the trail from Snow Road to the border with Lanark County.
Frontenac County Council decided not to grant $48,000 each to Rural Frontenac Community Services (RFCS) and Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS), to provide transportation services for Frontenac County residents in 2019. Instead, they put $96,000 aside and tasked warden Ron Higgins with trying to bring the two organisations together to come back to the county with a combined proposal. Higgins has a month to report back to Council on his progress. Until this year, the two agencies had made a joint application for funding every year since 2011, when Frontenac Transportation Services (FTS) was established. RFCS oversees FTS, provided transportation to SFCS clients under a Memorandum of Understanding that was severed in October of last year. RFCS had requested $96,000 from Frontenac County in 2019, and committed to transferring $25,600 of that money to SFCSC. SFCSC made a counter proposal, asking for $62,400 in funding, leaving $33,600 for RFCS. Noting that both of the agencies may see significant changes in the amount of money they receive for transportation from the Ontario Ministry of Health, due to pending healthcare reform, Frontenac County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender recommended that the county make a one time grant of $48,000 to each agency in 2019, and then consider what to do in the long term in the 2020 budget process. A motion was made to that effect. Speaking to the motion, Warden Higgins said he did not support the 50/50 split of funds. “Why should we give them $48,000 each when they have no plan, when we had been supporting an integrated program in the past. They should come to us together,” he said. South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal agreed. “We told them last year to come up with a business plan for transportation and instead they came with two competing proposals. Why should we encourage two transportation services in one county,” said Vandewal. Higgins then proposed amendment to the motion. The amendment said that all of the $96,000 should be held in a reserve fund until the two agencies can agree on a single proposal for transportation. “I’m concerned that any delay in delivering funding will result in people in need, not getting where they have to go. Besides we know the two organisations aren’t getting along over this. They’ve been trying to work this out and they can’t. What makes us think they will work it out now,” said Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith. “I haven’t tried to make it work yet,” said Higgins. Higgins said that if the amendment were passed, he would contact the two agencies and meet with them, then report back to Council in short order. Council meets in regular session on February 20 and again on March 20. The amendment was approved, with Mayor Smith registering the only dissenting vote. The county budget still reflects a $96,000 expense, just under 1% of the budget requisition.
Frontenac County will be requisitioning over $10.25 million from the four Frontenac Townships this year, up from $9.75 million in 2018. The tax hikes come mainly as the result of salary increases, both among unionised employees at Fairmount Home and Frontenac Paramedics, and among non-unionised staff throughout the county departments. Thanks to a decision of the outgoing council last fall, County Council members will share in those salary increases as well. The increases are spread throughout the major county operations. They include a $137,000 in the county share of the cost of running Fairmount Home, an 11% increase. The increase for Frontenac Paramedic Services is smaller, $74,000, a 3.8% increase. Among exclusively county funded operations, the Planning and Development Department budget is up by $67,000, a 10% increase, and corporate services is up by $72,000, an increase of 3.7%. There were two requests for money from external agencies. One was quite large, $600,000 for a night-shift at the Robertsville ambulance base. With Frontenac Paramedic Services undertaking a service review this year, that request was pulled off the table by the North Frontenac Township representatives, until the review is completed. Another request, for $10,000 by Central Frontenac Not-for Profit Housing, for site improvements at the Clement Road housing complex, was rejected. “I think we would be setting a precedent if we agreed to this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle. The target that council set for the tax levy increase is the annualised Consumer Price Index as of October, 2018. That figure is 3.1%. But when presenting the budget to Council, Treasurer Susan Brant included a figure of 2.1%, the increase in the total assessment of Frontenac County properties based upon information provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. That 2.1% was then subtracted from the 5.2% levy increase to bring a total of 3.1% under the heading of Total Levy Impact. That 3.1% levy impact figure was reported by Global News as a 3.1% tax increase (see editorial)
They are actually called ice resurfacers, and the Frontenac Community Arena Board has decided to replace their aging 2000 Olympia M propane powered model with a 2019 Engo Wolf Electric model. As arena manager, Tim Laprade explained in his report to the board concerning the replacement that the initial cost of the Engo Wolf is much higher than a 2018 Olympia M - $165,000 as compared to $98,000. However, when the projected operational costs over the 16 year estimate lifespan of the two machines are factored in, the Engo Wolf at $211,000 is a cheaper option as compared to the Olympia M at $292,000. The main saving is in the cost of electricity for the Engo Wolf: $6,000 per year, compared to the propane costs of the Olympia: $38,000 per year. “We will actually use less electricity for ice-resurfacing with the Engo Wolf than we do now, because we need to run electrical fans at ice level to blow the fumes out of the building when the Olympia is running. We won’t need to power those fans anymore with the electric model.” Laprade said that the air quality and overall environmental impact of the electric resurfacer are more important factors than the cost savings. “The propane fumes are heavier than air, so they remain at ice level if we don’t ventilate, right where children are skating. Arena air quality is regulated, and we meet the standards, but with no fumes to clear out and no potential leaks from propane tanks to worry about, air quality is safeguarded with an electric machine,” he said. The Engo Wolf also has a better blade system than the Olympia, and will save staff time changing blades on the machine- a weekly or even twice weekly one-hour job that will be all but eliminated, Laprade added. The new machine, which is scheduled for delivery in time for the September opening of the arena, will make the Frontenac Arena one of the few small rural arenas to make the leap to a modern, cleaner technology, according to Laprade. The ice resurfacer purchase will be followed by larger arena upgrades in 2020 and 2021, when the floor and the refrigeration systems are due for replacement. “Both of those are 45 years old and at the end of their useful lives. Replacing them will put the arena on a good footing,” he said. The purchase was approved by the arena board last week, to be funded by the arena reserve fund. The arena is jointly owned by South and Central Frontenac, and is overseen by a board that is made up of appoints by the South and Central Frontenac township councils. Laprade’s report to the arena board was included in the agenda for the South Frontenac Council meeting this week, as an information item.
Representatives from the Flinton Community Jamboree came to Addington Highlands Council Tuesday afternoon in Flinton and to the surprise of many, they weren’t asking for money but they did have a rather lengthy list of requests. Dave McKittrick and Gary Radford did suggest that if the Township were to wave the $100 entertainment license fee, they’d put the Township on the list of donors however. And while it wasn’t really a request for money, they also asked that the hall rental fee be waved for their monthly meetings. They also asked for an exemption to the noise bylaw, permission to use the canteen and if a Township water truck could be present for the canteen and food vendors. “We should have a water truck but if you’re looking for it on Saturday, don’t expect it,” said Roads/Waste Management Supervisor Brett Reavie. Clerk Christine Reed said the Festival committee would have to ensure that water wasn’t made available to the trailers that come as that has caused problems in the past. “The trailers will bring their own water,” Radford said. Lastly, Radford asked if the Township could help with volunteers as the Festival Committee needed more. “I’ll be there but I don’t know how much help I’d be,” said Coun. Kirby Thompson. Minor variance for dock?Frank Smith owns property on Weslemkoon Lake. On one of his properties, he has a dock that has the foundations for a boat porch. There is no house on the seven-acre property as yet, but there is a well and septic system and he told Council he plans to build his retirement home there one day. He also has a building permit for the dock. Addington Highlands, unlike most of its neighbours, does issue building permits for docks. Here’s the problem. He recently received a letter from the Township telling him he’d have to remove the dock. The position the Township took in the letter was that the building permit shouldn’t have been issued in the first place because the Zoning Bylaw states that accessory buildings can’t be built until a primary structure is built and therefore use of the property is established. Smith doesn’t see it that way. To him, the well and septic system show that the use will be residential and besides, he has a building permit for the dock. Further complicating the issue is that CBO Ken Buxton passed away in December so he can’t be consulted. Planning secretary/deputy Clerk Patricia Gray said that the issue could be potentially resolved with a minor variance, assuming no further environmental impact studies were required. Smith wasn’t having any of that either. “I’m not paying $700 for a minor variance or anything else,” he said. “I paid for my permit and I guarantee the dock is staying there. “I think I’m the largest employer in the Township and I know I’ve taken out more building permit than anyone.” Coun. Kirby Thompson and others were sympathetic to Smith’s arguments. “I’m having trouble understanding how we can turn around and tell him he can’t do that,” Thompson said. “Let us have a bit of time to see if we can get this cleared up,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. Council directed staff to look as a minor variance process (if necessary) to make it compliant with no cost to Smith. Handyman for DenbighDep. Mayor Tony Fritsch wants a “handyman” in the north. “The south has one and it works out well,” he said. Council directed staff to advertise a temporary part-time position. Kaladar waste siteRoads and waste management supervisor Brett Reavie said they’re looking at two options for a transfer site when the Kaladar site is closed. The first option is for the Township to buy a compactor and truck the garbage away themselves and the second is to hire a contractor to truck it away.
For 10 years now, the Granite Ridge Education Centre (part of which it was Sharbot Lake High School) has been participating in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). “We’ve been doing this since 2007 and had 10 different charities benefit,” said Randy McVety, the teacher who oversees the project at GREC. “This year marks $50,000 and across Canada, 20,000 students have participated and more than $500,000 has been presented to charities.” The process is rather straightforward. Interested Grade 10 students research a local charity, put together a presentation on it and a group of judges from the school decide who gets the money based on those presentations. Four charities were represented by students this year including Kingston 4 Paws, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Kingston and Addiction and Mental Health Services Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Addiction and Mental Health Services will receive $5,000, thanks to the winning presentation of their advocates Mairina Jackson and Annika Putnam. “They service a wide area and offer lots of services,” said Putnam. “We were both interested in what they do,” said Jackson. This year, three of the four charities focus on mental health (and it could be argued that so does Big Brothers/Big Sisters) and that fact wasn’t lost on Putnam and Jackson. “Young people are becoming more aware of how mental health is going to impact just about everything you do,” said Putnam.