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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.
When Holly Labow moved her spa business out of town to her home north of Grafton a few years ago, she was concerned that she may lose business being north of the 401, and in the country. “That didn’t happen. People made the trip for the services I provide and the atmosphere I created,” she said last week from her new home on Pine Lake, on Brown’s Lane off the Ardoch Road in North Frontenac. Being a few minutes north of Grafton, and just 15 minutes from Cobourg, is not exactly the same as being located off the Ardoch Road, especially in the winter when even permanent residents are planning southern getaways. Holly and her husband Michael bought their lakefront property a few years ago, and once he retired, they moved in last summer on a full time basis. They had a new building designed and built for Polished Spa, for Holly to start up her business in North Frontenac. Since then they have continued to work on their house and have built Polished Spa for Holly to start up her business in North Frontenac. Polished Spa has one main room with a treatment bed and plenty of room to work, and a foyer/waiting room at the front. It is clean and comfortable and has views of Pine Lake and the surrounding woods. In it, Holly Labow offers a range of services, including: manicures, shellac manicures, pedicures, facials, makeup, and waxing and trimming. She also provides hot stone, aromatherapy, and exfoliating massage treatments. Holly is also a certified foot reflexologist and provides reflexology treatments in the spa. “By manipulating specific reflexes in the feet to remove stress, a parasympathetic response will occur in the body,” Holly says on her website about reflexology. Reflexology treatments include a foot bath and the use of essential oils. First sessions can last 90 minutes and subsequent sessions are not as long. “I love my work in the spa, and even if we are in a new location, far off the beaten track, I wanted to get started up as soon as I could after we moved here. I opened in mid-August, and caught the tail end of the summer. Since then I have been learning about the community, and introducing myself and my services to people in the area, many of whom have never had a pedicure, never spent an hour in a spa like this,” she said. So far, even in the dead of winter, she feels pretty good about how the business has gone. “The summertime is more about the esthetics part of the spa and the winters are more about healing and wellness. I’m happy to create this kind of peaceful atmosphere, to help my clients relax and serve their needs.” So far so good. While the spa has not been overwhelmed with business this winter, there have been clients coming in on a regular basis, and Holly is as optimistic as ever about the future. “I kind of took the philosophy that if you build it they would come, and so far it is working out.”
Deputy Mayor Fred Perry made a suggestion at last month's special budget meeting regarding borrowing money from the Federal Gas Tax Reserve to help pay for the new municipal complex as opposed to taking out a loan on the full amount. This idea could save the Municipality over $100,000 over the course of the loan but would deplete the Townships reserve funds. “I don't, personally, want to be depleting our reserves,” Councillor Wayne Good said. “If we start doing that here on this we'll have to start playing catch up.” “As the Federal Gas Tax Reserve builds up at $186,000 a year is the plan to use that if there is a bridge failure?” Councillor John Inglis asked. CAO Cheryl Robson explained that it could be used for bridges, road repairs, or other unforeseen expenses related to that infrastructure. “It was an excellent suggestion by the Deputy Mayor,” Mayor Higgins said. Council voted to transfer $250,000 from the Federal Gas Tax Reserve which lowers the total amount of the loan application to $704,244. They also opted for the 25-year serialized loan at 3.5% interest. The construction on the complex is set to begin in April. Council Composition ChangesCouncil voted to hold a public meeting regarding changing the composition of the council to reflect the population disparity between the current wards. Currently, the Mayor is elected at large and 6 councillors are elected, 2 from each ward. The Deputy Mayor is then appointed by Council. The proposal includes keeping Ward 1 as it is but combining Ward 2 and Ward 3 and having two Councillors represent that new amalgamated Ward. The Deputy Mayor would then be chosen by popular vote. This proposal came out of a conversation started back in November of 2016 when Council was discussing how Wards 2 and 3 have almost the same amount of people as Ward 1. If, following the public meeting, Council decided to move forward with the ward amalgamation then it would be effective for the 2018 election. Insurance CoverageDebra Murphy, a representative from the Frank Cowan Insurance Company, made a brief presentation to Council on Friday to explain some of the important parts of North Frontenac's insurance policy. The Frank Cowan Insurance Company, a small, specialized firm, has a team that works only in municipal insurance. “We are all about managing risks and keeping your claims under control,” Murphy said. “We are very well-versed in what's important in municipalities.” The total limit of liability for the policy is set at $50,000,000 and the total annual premium is $72,633. Mayor Ron Higgins asked whether Frank Cowan does risk management seminars for social media citing Donald Trump's tweets as an example. “The more this (social media) gets used by municipalities the more risk there is,” Higgins said. Murphy was unsure but was going to look into it. Salvation Army Disaster ServicesMark Evans, a representative from the Salvation Army (SA), made a presentation to Council regarding their Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) and the 4 core functions the SA can provide in an emergency situation. The EDS program is a modified version of what the SA does day to day but in an emergency context. The program, funded primarily through unspecified general donations to the SA offers clothing and furniture vouchers at their stores, emotional and spiritual care, donation management, and a mass food service via their fleet of custom canteen vehicles when needed in an emergency situation. These services, excluding the canteen trucks, are free of charge to municipalities. “We do endeavour to keep costs at a minimum when we're dealing with municipalities,” Evans said. Evans would work with the Fire Chief to create a memorandum of understanding between the Salvation Army and the Municipality so costs of using the food truck would be known in advance. The canteen truck, which has a kitchen and washroom on-board, can be used to keep emergency workers fed during an emergency response. Approximately 500 burgers were cooked up for emergency workers during the Parliament Hill shooting in 2014.
Council worked through their 2017 budget on Thursday last week and ended up with a 2.39% increase in dollars to be raised through taxation, or $134,331. Major increases were seen in the creation of a winter road maintenance reserve fund for $50,000, the rising OPP policing costs at $175,225, and an increase in fire costs at $49,608. The fire budget saw increases in consulting and training fees as well as a $15,350 increase in the dry hydrant program and a $6,800 increase in building maintenance for the Kaladar-Barrie Fire Hall. This increase led Council into a discussion on the efficiency of the Kaladar-Barrie Fire Hall and a frustrated Mayor Ron Higgins requesting a review of the joint Kaladar-Barrie Fire Hall agreement. “I'd like to review the agreement plus other options,” Mayor Higgins said. “I'm getting tired of this agreement.” “The other option would be to consider separating and doing away with the agreement,” Councillor Dennis Bedard said. There was an increase in the waste management budget at $13,448, which included increases in casual labour as well as $14,000 for the creation of a re-use centre, built out of two shipping containers, at the 506 waste site. These waste budget increases were partially offset by an increase in user fees and a decrease in consulting and maintenance fees for 2017. Changes to the road budget ($110,423) came in increases to gravel roads, rising fuel costs, and the $50,000 being set aside for a winter maintenance reserve fund. The decision to install an accessible playground to replace the old one at the Cloyne ball diamond was delayed with plans to be re-evaluated later in the year. This playground was estimated at $65,500. The Municipality has a 20% decrease in their 2017 insurance costs thanks to a joint RFP they did in 2016 with Central Frontenac and their payroll is up 3.73%. Potential Changes to Tipping FeesCouncil have given authorization to Jim Phillips, the Public Works Manager, to draft a new waste disposal by-law and present the changes in a public meeting for feedback. Phillips initial proposal includes increases in tipping fees for fridges, freezers, mattresses, sofas, and other household items as well as changes to how the bag tag incentive works. Currently, North Frontenac residents receive free bag tags for bringing in more recycling than garbage bags and they're using them to pay for other items like bulky waste and construction garbage. Phillips estimates the Township pays between $10,000 and $12,000 to Kimco, a waste removal company, to haul away waste that is covered by these free bag tags. The proposal Phillips is making would prevent residents from being able to pay for bulky items or construction garbage with the free bag tags. Canonto Lake Denied Dock FundingThe Canonto Lake Property Owners Association made a request to Council for $2500 to cover expenses related to constructing a floating dock on the lake. Council denied the funding proposal reasoning that the dock would only be reachable by boat and therefore not accessible by constituents. “When we spend public tax dollars it needs to be accessible by the general public,” Mayor Ron Higgins said. Council to consider funding renovation of township office through reserves, 25 year loanThe good news is that the renovation project to bring the township office in line with health and safety standards and improve its functionality will cost just a hair over a million dollars. That is less than anticipated. The bad news is that the township needs to raise a million dollars to complete the project and only has about $50,000 set aside. The township did not receive any grant support from the project, applications to the Trillium Foundation and the Canada 150 infrastructure fund were both unsuccessful. At their regular meeting on Friday council will consider a staff recommendation to allocate $250,000 from an annual provincial grant, the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, to the project instead of spending that money on Road 506. Road 506 improvements will go ahead, however, funded by draining some federal gas tax rebate money. This will leave the township with $700,000 to raise through a loan, and staff are recommending a 25 year diminishing payment loan from Infrastructure Ontario. This will cost over $50,000 in the first year and a little less every year until the final payment of $28,000 in 2042. At that same meeting council will be considering a recommendation by the Mayor to combine wards 2 and 3 (Palmerston Canonto and Clarendon and Miller) for the next election, thus cutting council from 7 to 5 members.
It was standing room only at the Clar-Mill Hall in Plevna last Saturday as more than 30 pickers got together to honour Jack and Lois Weber on the occasion of Jack’s Jam’s 10th anniversary. There were 90 people in total at that first jam (which went from 1 p.m. to “five to ll”) and there had to be a lot more than that for the 10th anniversary. “Jack’s Jam is one of the key community events both for entertainment and socializing,” said North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins while presenting plaques commemorating the event to Jack and Lois. “It’s popular for musicians, visitors and residents alike. “It’s key to ensuring community spirit (and) lives on by sustaining historical traditions.” Jack’s Jam started out in the Webers’ basement but soon outgrew its modest beginnings. After a few years, health issues required the Webers to scale down their organizational duties which were handed over to Karen and Roger Hermer.“We started this just for enjoyment,” said Lois. “We still haven’t got many young children (although their 12-year-old cousin Hayden Weber was in the band and there was a 101-year-old young lady in the audience). “Hopefully, Roger and Karen can fulfill my dream.” “Age is catching up with me but I’m still not over the hill,” said Jack. Jack grew up in the area and actually got his first guitar at age “16 or 17” but didn’t get much playing in. “I learned a few chords but there was nobody in the country that you could get lessons from,” he said. “I didn’t sing much then either. It wasn’t until he was in the army and stationed with NORAD that a buddy, Richard Frasier started showing him a few things. And then, in Madison, WI, he went to a George Jones/Johnny Cash/June Carter/Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs concert. “It was listening to Earl Scruggs that made me buy my first banjo (a Gibson RB250 Mastertop in Cleveland, OH),” he said. “And I bought Lois a guitar to keep her happy.” After coming back to the area, Jack took a course and made 11 guitars. In 1997, he bought himself a Dobro (“I’m still working on that.”). He admits to being a little nervous getting up on stage but a love of country and bluegrass music has kept him at it. “I’ve had to work at it,” he said. “We were on the camping circuit for 15 years.” He also admitted to being “a little overwhelmed” by the outpouring of affection on Saturday but “I feel very good about it. “It’s all been for music, not for money, just the love of music and a lot of nice people. “I really, really love all these people.” He does have one small regret however. “When I was young, I would have given anything to get lessons,” he said. For her part, organizer Hermer was “thrilled” with the way things went. “We always have good crowds but never like this. “I was hoping but you’re never sure . . .”
(Subsequent to the posting of the article beneath, Central Frontenac Council cut another $80,000 from the budget. The final budget levy to ratepayers is $7.45 million, an increase of 4.1% over 2016. Because total property assessment in the the township dropped by 0.8% last year, the tax rate itself is up by 4.3%. During their deliberations, Central Frontenac Council cut a total of $311,000 from the levy tahta was initalliy proposed to them by staff, through cost cutting and dipping into reserve funds) Members of Central Frontenac Council huddled with Treasurer Michael McGovern after their regular council meeting late on Tuesday afternoon to go over the last few departmental budgets in search of some savings. Before they started, McGovern presented them with an amended budget that included enough cuts to bring the total tax rate increase down from 6.2%, which is where it was a week ago, to 5.1%. The tax rate for township purposes, had dropped from an increase of 7.9% to 6.3%. (see note below) In order to bring the rate down, McGovern was recommending cuts of $56,000 from budget lines in the waste disposal budget, $15,000 from spending on the asset management program, $14,000 from grants for recreation, $25,000 from salaries, $10,000 from the culvert replacement program, and a number of smaller cuts. In total, the budget Council was looking at this week was over $230,000 lower than the one they were working from a week ago. Mayor Frances Smith had set the target of a 4% increase after the previous meeting, a tall order considering all of the major departmental budgets have already been combed through, leaving only development services, cemeteries and the swim program for Council to go through this week. Updated budget numbers as the result of Tuesday evening’s deliberation can be found at Frontenacnews.ca (budget note – Central Frontenac collects taxes for their own spending and transfer obligations, but also collects money that goes to Frontenac County and the Ministry of Education. The township amount is the largest (70.5%) compared to Frontenac County (14.2%) and The Ministry of Education (15.3%) This year, the amount being charged by Frontenac County to Central Frontenac is up by 5%, while the Ministry of Education rate remains as it was last year, a 0% increase. Because all these numbers are combined, the local increase of 6.3% results in an increase in the total tax collected of 5.1%) Other items from Central Frontenac Council New MVCA regulations to have little impact, planner saysPlanner Reid Shepherd presented a report to Council on the implications of a proposal by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) to begin regulating development near all designated wetlands in the Mississippi River watershed. The MVCA is one of three conservation authorities that have responsibility for parts of Central Frontenac. The other two, Quinte and Rideau Valley, already regulate wetlands. As well, as Shepherd pointed out, Central Frontenac already has its rules in its own official plan about setbacks from designated wetlands, so the impact of a new role for the MVCA “will likely be small” he said. Shepherd added that development pressures on wetlands in the township are minimal. “Most of the development in Central Frontenac is on the shores of lakes,” he said, pointing out that “for the six years encompassing 2011–2016, only 10 applications were submitted for development within 30 metres of wetlands throughout Central Frontenac, and only 2 applications were filed within the boundaries of the MVCA.” A map that was included in Shepherd’s presentation, showed a large number of green shaded areas that could be included under new regulation, but he said more study on the ground will be needed to determine where wetlands are actually located. For planning purposes, wetlands must be over 1 hectare in size and must be fed by and drain into another water body.Councillor Bill Macdonald, who is the Central Frontenac representative on the MVCA Board, said that “other townships, including our neighbours in Tay Valley and North Frontenac, have passed resolutions opposing this, but really the MVCA is just doing what every other Conservation Authority already does, and the implications for Central Frontenac are very minimal if there are any at all.” In the end the township received Shepherd’s report for information. No resolution opposing the change was passed, or even contemplated. (Note – Mayor Frances Smith informed Council that Reid Shepherd will be leaving Frontenac County to take a job in Ottawa for a consulting firm. Shepherd has been working as community planner for Frontenac County and has been doing much of the work in Central Frontenac as part of a contract the township has with Frontenac County for planning services.) Culvert replacement and sand stockpiles under pressureInterim Public Works Manager Mike Richardson reported that the work on replacing a culvert on 4th Lake Road has been hampered by the weather and other complications. He is hopeful the plan for replacement will not need to be changed or that any delays will occur, and said he would know more by the end of the week. The sand stockpiles have been depleted due to the amount of freezing of rain that has occurred, culminating in a large freezing rain event on February 7 and 8. Richardson said the next three weeks will tell if more sand needs to be sourced.Waste amnesty dates approved Richardson recommended and council approved that the waste amnesty (1 trailer load per household per year) should take place within the regular waste hours throughout the summer, rather than during a small waste amnesty window. The waste amnesty program this year will extend from May 13 to September 10. Strategic plan After an eight month process, Council approved the first Strategic Plan for Central Frontenac. The plan includes 6 focus areas: asset management; environmental services; good governance & effective administration; health, recreation, culture & lifestyle; infrastructure; and the protection and health of the natural environment. Cemetery benches in Mountain GroveJohn Purdon, appearing on behalf of Judy Gray, asked for township to approve spending of up to $9,000 for 3 granite benches, one for each of the cemeteries in Mountain Grove. The money for the benches has been raised in Mountain Grove during annual cemetery services in the summer. As Purdon pointed out, “this is a budget matter but it does not involve tax dollars as we have raised all the money, and we have almost $10,000 put aside.” Council approved the plan as presented.
Snowed in at BathWayne Kimberly, 61, was set to plead guilty on at least one of four charges he has been facing for several months at Monday’s monthly court date in Sharbot Lake. He was facing a charge of failure to comply with a probation order, failure or refusal to provide a breath sample, operating a vehicle while impaired, and public mischief. “My lawyer had a resolution meeting, and he told me he had arranged for a 45 day sentence, to be served on weekends. I was hoping to begin this weekend,” Kimberly told Judge Griffen, “but when I talked to his secretary this morning she said he was snowed in.” Snowed in, who is your lawyer,” asked the judge. “Scully, he lives in Bath.” “And he was snowed in? I came from Napanee this morning and here I am. Snowed in. Well, Wayne, if the arrangement has been made maybe we can get this done anyway” The Crown counsel said she was not aware of any deal being finalised in the case. “Maybe we can phone him and find out,” said the Judge. A phone call was not sufficient to sort out the details. “You’ll have to come back on March 6. Sorry about that.” The case was deferred until March 6, unless it snows and Mr. Scully is unable to obtain a shovel by then. Warrant with discretionAlison Potter, 39, did not appear in court for the second time in 4 scheduled appearances on charges of production of marijuana, possession of an illegal substance, and un-authorised possession of a firearm. She appeared in November, did not appear in December but in January she was present. At that point she was waiting to here from legal aide and was schedule to return this week. Judge Griffen ordered that another warrant with discretion be issued. She will be contacted and informed she must appear on March 6. “If she is not here on March 6, there will be a warrant without discretion and she will be arrested,” he said. OngoingNicholas Holmes, 31, is facing 6 driving related charges: driving while impaired, driving with blood alcohol over 80 mg/100ml of blood, operating a vehicle while disqualified, driving without a permit, breaching the snow vehicle act, and failing to provide a notice of change of ownership. His case was deferred until March 6 so his lawyer can receive and respond to the disclosure package. Dylan Vinkle, 19, charged with sexual assault, will return on April 10. First appearanceReinhold Zuther, 61, facing an assault charge, will return on March 6. Youth mattersA 16 year old male entered a guilty on a charge of assault and a charge of uttering a death threat. The offence was committed against another male who was accused by the perpetrator of cyber-bullying a relative. He received a conditional discharge, one year’s probation, and must write a letter of apology to the victim. “If you do what you need to do over the next year, this will turn into an absolute discharge and will disappear from your record,” said Judge Griffen. “Good luck.”
After the first round of budget deliberations for Central Frontenac Council, the magic number is sitting at a 6.2 per cent increase. If the budget were to be finalised tomorrow, that would mean an additional $64 per $100,000 of assessed value to ratepayers. “(But) we’re not done yet,” said Mayor Frances Smith. “If we can get it down to 4 per cent, that would be good.” When Council began the all-day meeting on Monday (February 6), they were initially faced with an intractable fact; so-called negative growth. The total assessed value of all the properties in Central Frontenac for the purposes of the current tax year is $886,543,881, quite a chunk of change. But it is down from the total assessed value from a year earlier, by $7.5 million, or 0.8%. That means if the same tax rate that was used in 2016 were applied, tax revenue would be down by $62,000. This issue is compounded by increases coming from the Frontenac County budget. The County increased its levy to the townships by about 4.2% this year. The impact of that increase over the entire county is buffered by assessment growth of 1%. However, here again since Central Frontenac saw negative growth of 0.8%, the impact of the county budget in Central Frontenac is a 5% increase. When increased policing, hydro and staffing costs, in particular the move to a full time fire chief, members of Central Frontenac Council were looking at a 9% increase in the amount needed for their own purposes, and a total increase of just under 8% when the a 0% increase in the education rate and a 5% increase in the county rate is factored in. After a day of work, Council cut $180,000 in spending from the budget, lowering the increase for local use to 7.8% and the overall increase to 6.2%. Council isn’t done yet having scheduled another budget meeting to follow the Feb. 14 regular meeting, but two of the largest budgets — public works and fire — along with corporate services have already been dealt with. That leaves the planning, building and capital budgets still to be scrutinised. (Editors note - Budgeting in Central Frontenac has been difficult over the years. When Central Frontenac is compared to that of its neighbours to the south and north, the reasons become clear. South Frontenac, with 4 times the population and healthy growth, benefits from a better economy of scale. North Frontenac, with an almost identical amount of property assessment as Central Frontenac, has a much higher proportion of seasonal residents than does Central Frontenac, a 4-1 ratio as compared to 1-1 ratio. Seasonal residents require service for 2-4 months a year instead of 12 months per year and are therefore cheaper to serve, and they tend to pay a lot of tax because many of them own waterfront properties.)
Central Frontenac’s committee for the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday has launched a website to disseminate information about events in the township. It is called cfcanada150.ca. There are also links from the Township site and that of the Frontenac Heritage Festival. On the website, the thirty or so events planned for the year are organized around the slogan “Embrace the Present; Reconnect with the Past; Look to the Future” . But, of course, many events fall into more than one category. And they are spread throughout the year. We will try to list them all on the website and keep the information current as plans unfold. Naturally, they will also show up in Northern Happenings in the Frontenac News and Frontenacnews.ca There will be the parades and fireworks and festivals and fairs that we enjoy every year but this year they will be bigger and better than ever. And this year they will be topped off with flotillas, winter lake events and other celebrations. There will be balls and banquets spread through the calendar. We started the year with the Red and White Ball and the New Years Day Levee. We will carry on with a period ball called “A Soiree with Sir John A”, with a “Giving Thanks” dinner to share across the whole community and we will usher out this special year with another New Years Eve dance. We will enjoy special church services in May and July and the Shabot Obaadjiwan FN will host a sharing circle for the larger community in early autumn. Heritage events will take different forms. Many, such as the “150 Quilts” display will be part of the Heritage Festival in February but opening of the Kennebec Heritage Garden will take place later and Virgil Garrett’s collection of grandfather clocks will be on display all year. And the best may be yet to come. The Village of Arden is planning festival week-ends for mid-June and mid August. Details are still being finalized but both week-ends will include music, sports, food and out-door activities. And last but not least, the North Frontenac Little Theatre will have activities in support of Canada 150 throughout the year. They kicked off this program with “Turtle Crossings” last November. Through 2017, they will be involved in community activities, stage a student theatre camp in August and conclude with a revue called “Central Frontenac Forever” in November. It’s going to be a busy, fun filled year. The website Cfcanada150 should always have the latest, most accurate information about what’s going on. Keep in touch. Or go to Canada 150 Central Frontenac on Facebook.
Portland Community Church in Hartington is continuing its musical fundraising ways and 2017 began last Friday night with a concert featuring Bill White & Friends. “We’re having fundraisers to pay for the steel roof which was put on some time ago,” said fundraising chair Judy Reynolds. “We had a very generous person put up the money and we have to raise a percentage each year. “We’ve had ‘open mikes’ in the past but we’ve decided to go with bigger names this year and give them some gas money. “This is the first one this year.” The second one scheduled is March 3 with Mark and Sharon Alton, Ruth Gordon, The Singing Pastor Vernon Scott and Linda Slater-King. “Then it’s Country Church in April with The Old Hymns and Don Edmunds,” she said. “So there’ll be no fundraiser that month.” “We are planning fundraisers for May and June. “We’re trying to keep this little church hopping.” There’s also a fundraiser in the works to help Matthew and Sonary McCullough to help with their continuing work helping young girls and boys who have been victims of the sex slave trade in Cambodia. “You can follow our activities through our Facebook page,” Reynolds said.
The goals of Bill 151, The Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016 are a “wonderful, noble objective but there are significant problems with blue box funding,” South Frontenac Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth told Council at its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham. Segsworth is a rare rural representative on the Ontario Waste Management Association board. “I wouldn’t say I’m that active (on the board) as it’s mostly City of Toronto and big waste company representatives,” he said. But while the idea of having absolutely no waste and 100 per cent recycling is admirable, there are many roadblocks that must be solved before it could ever become reality, he said. “For one thing, it’s time we let producers be 100 per cent responsible for the products they produce,” he said. “My fridge was only 13 years old when it needed replacing and people said ‘wow, you got 13 years out of it.’ “That thinking has to change.” And manufacturers are responsible for 50 per cent of blue box recycling programs, but don’t often make that goal. Segsworth said that has to be closer to 100 per cent for zero waste to have a chance. “We’ve all heard the arguments for less packaging,” he said. “When is that going to take place.” And it’s one thing to ban organics from land fills, but, he said: “it would be great, we wouldn’t have garbage if we eliminated the organics but where is that going to go? “I don’t think anybody has it figured out.” He said the City of Vancouver has a private firm doing its blue box program but doesn’t see that as an option for rural municipalities because of volume. However, he does see changes coming whatever they might be and as such has recommended Council try to extend its contract with existing waste contractors for three years (in order to buy some time) rather than negotiate new seven year contracts which they might end up having to pay for but not using. And too, it might mean that the existing contractors would be in a situation where they bought equipment that wouldn’t be needed. “That’s the kind of challenges we face,” he said. One thing Segsworth would like to see is waste management becoming a County wide contract. “I’m led to believe that everybody believes zero waste is a good idea,” he said. “But a lot of it is coming out of the GTA, especially the demand to recycle organics. “We need a solution that works in rural areas.” In the meantime, Segsworth said that for organic waste: “We sell backyard composters for $33 each and that price hasn’t changed in years.” The goals of Bill 151, The Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016are a “wonderful, noble objective but there are significantproblems with blue box funding,” South Frontenac PublicWorks Manager Mark Segsworth told Council at its regularmeeting Tuesday night in Sydenham.Segsworth is a rare rural representative on the OntarioWaste Management Association board.“I wouldn’t say I’m that active (on the board) as it’s mostlyCity of Toronto and big waste company representatives,” hesaid.But while the idea of having absolutely no waste and 100per cent recycling is admirable, there are many roadblocksthat must be solved before it could ever become reality, hesaid.“For one thing, it’s time we let producers be 100 per centresponsible for the products they produce,” he said. “Myfridge was only 13 years old when it needed replacing andpeople said ‘wow, you got 13 years out of it.’“That thinking has to change.”And manufacturers are responsible for 50 per cent of bluebox recycling programs, but don’t often make that goal. Segsworthsaid that has to be closer to 100 per cent for zerowaste to have a chance.“We’ve all heard the arguments for less packaging,” hesaid. “When is that going to take place.”And it’s one thing to ban organics from land fills, but, hesaid: “it would be great, we wouldn’t have garbage if weeliminated the organics but where is that going to go?“I don’t think anybody has it figured out.”He said the City of Vancouver has a private firm doing itsblue box program but doesn’t see that as an option for ruralmunicipalities because of volume.However, he does see changes coming whatever theymight be and as such has recommended Council try to extendits contract with existing waste contractors for threeyears (in order to buy some time) rather than negotiate newseven year contracts which they might end up having to payfor but not using. And too, it might mean that the existingcontractors would be in a situation where they bought equipmentthat wouldn’t be needed.“That’s the kind of challenges we face,” he said.One thing Segsworth would like to see is waste managementbecoming a County wide contract.“I’m led to believe that everybody believes zero waste is agood idea,” he said. “But a lot of it is coming out of the GTA,especially the demand to recycle organics.“We need a solution that works in rural areas.”In the meantime, Segsworth said that for organic waste:“We sell backyard composters for $33 each and that pricehasn’t changed in years.”
Coun. John McDougall wanted to know why South Frontenac wasn’t fully compliant with the Province’s Minimum Maintenance Standards for Retro-Reflectivity and signage and so he filed a notice of motion for a report on the subject. After Tuesday night’s regular Council meeting in Sydenham, he’s still waiting.Council passed a motion to refer the matter to the public works committee for further discussion. “I don’t understand why it sits and we don’t do anything,” McDougall said. “Looking at compliance issues, we should at least have a plan.” Coun. Alan Revill sort of put the matter into perspective, however. “I’m struggling to support this not because I think we shouldn’t comply but because I also believe we should have some sense of priorities,” Revill said. “In all our public works issues, I’m not sure this is the highest priority.” Coun. Ross Sutherland agreed with Revill. “I’m tending to agree with Coun. Revill,” Sutherland said. “We do have some compliance issues and we need to have a plan. “(But) the ditching’s much better than it was and lights are going up . . .” Coun. Mark Schjerning also agreed with Revill, pointing out that compliance with all regulations is a challenge for all aspects of municipal service, including his own field, paramedics. “The issue was raised very early in the term and we have yet to get a report,” he said. “(But) full regulatory compliance is a very lofty goal but (still) we need to work towards it.”
Kyle Gordon and Amanda Pantrey are volunteers on a mission. Finishing each other’s sentences on a cold February evening, the friends laugh as they describe their plans to host a Hockey Day in Battersea on Feb. 18. “We want people to come-out and watch,” says Gordon about this fun community event. To be held on the frozen village creek starting at noon, the game involves 10 teams, a DJ, BBQ lunch and full dinner at the Creekside Bar and Grill. The events is a fundraiser for the Battersea Community Playground Equipment Project. “A group of Battersea residents have rallied together in a fundraising campaign to get new play structures in the one-and-only park in Battersea,” said Pantrey, 24. “With little changed over the last 25 years, the park is in great need of a retro-fit. The space is home to countless games on the baseball field, hours of old-fashioned outdoor fun with the family and the annual Battersea Pumpkin Festival. It has earned a facelift.” Gordon and Pantrey are spearheading fundraising activities in the community. They hope to raise $15,000 with the help of residents and businesses. This amount will double when it is matched by the township.“We’re hoping to exceed that amount (of $15,000),” says Pantrey optimistically. Young and passionate, the community activist says the campaign goal will be attainable because new and improved equipment will contribute to the health & wellness of the village; a benefit for everyone. “It’s for fun and stimulation,” says Pantrey about her goal to replace the outdated equipment at the park. “A big part of being a kid is to play outside.” The friends are using the 6th Annual Hockey Day in Battersea to launch the playground fundraising campaign.. They hope to raise $3,000 at the event. “It’s a classic Canadian Day,” says Gordon about the event that falls on Hockey Day in Canada. Provided with a jersey, lunch and rib buffet dinner, players can register for only $30 by calling 613-353-1102. Bystanders can purchase lunch and draw tickets at the event. Anxious to replace the playground structures, Pantrey says with a smile, “They’ve been there since I was a kid. They’re ready to be replaced.” To learn more about the campaign, please contact Amanda Pantrey at 613-353-6653. To make a donation, go to Go Fund Me and search for Battersea Playground Revitalization. For people who prefer to donate in person, general donations will be accepted for the playground equipment campaign at Hockey Day in Battersea. Tax receipts will be issued for every donation over $20.
One of the initial insights that analysts looking at the 2016 census data that was released this week was that urban areas are seeing population growth and rural areas are seeing a decline. But the fastest growing areas are not the downtown cores or suburban areas in major cities, but the communities that are located further out in the countryside, While Kingston is very small by urban standards (too small to be properly considered an urban area), and it saw paltry growth between 2011 and 2016 (0.4%), the pattern of greater growth in the surrounding region did hold true. Not only did South Frontenac do better in percentage terms, (2.9% as compared to the 0.4% for Kingston) in people terms it even out-flanked the City. There are 533 more South Frontenac residents than there were in 2011, and only 435 more residents in the City of Kingston. Loyalist Township, which encroaches on the western edge of urban Kingston, saw more growth yet. 4.6% in percentage terms, 756 more people. The permanent resident population in South Frontenac is 18,646, up from 18,113. As a whole, Frontenac County saw an increase of only 1.1%, 287 people, because of population declines in Central Frontenac and Frontenac Islands and very modest growth in North Frontenac In Central Frontenac the population has dropped by 183 to 4,373 in 2016 from 4,556 in 2011 (-4%). North Frontenac is up by 41 , (+2.2%) from 1,857 in 2011 to 1,898 in 2016. In Frontenac Islands the population has dropped by 104 to 1,760 from 1,864 in 2011 (-5.6%) Kingston and Frontenac County are pared together as census division, and in that division the population is up by 0.5%, an increase of 722 souls. Addington Highlands saw a decline in population as well. There were 2,373 permanent residents on census day in 2016, down from 2,516 in 2011 (-7.7%). Over in Lanark County Tay Valley has seen a small increase, at 5,665 as compared to 5,571 in 2011 (+1.7%) and Lanark Highlands is up by more, to 5,338 from 5,128 (+4.1%). Lanark County as a whole saw a healthy increase of 4.6%, mostly from increases in population for areas within the Ottawa nexus. The town of Perth saw an increase of only 90 people (1.5%) and Smiths Falls saw a decline (-2.2%), but Carleton Place is up by 9%, well above the national average. The information in the census report will be used by municipalities as they plan for the future. The results, except perhaps in North Frontenac, are not surprising. Even in North Frontenac the numbers are so small that they would be highly influenced by any error either in the 2011 or 2016 count and might not indicate a trend of any kind. South Frontenac has been concerned in recent years with managing growth and the other Frontenac Townships and Addington Highlands have been trying to retain the existing population and encourage growth where possible. On the whole, the census numbers indicate those concerns will still be with us over the next 5-10 years. As a whole, the region is not growing at anywhere near the national average of 5%. Hastings County is up by same percentage as Frontenac County, 1.1%, and Lennox and Addington is up by 2.6%.
Frontenac Community Arena Receives an Ontario150 Community Capital Program Grant The Frontenac Community Arena (FCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a $30,000 Ontario150 Community Capital Program grant. These funds will help fund the capital costs of replacing the Arena’s 30-year-old dehumidification system with a new, more energy-efficient Desiccant system. “Our community arenas act as a hub where people come together to share and grow; the Ontario150 Community Capital Program grant is providing for improvements at Frontenac Community Arena will help secure the continued enjoyment and enhance the benefits of this much-loved facility,” said Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, these grants will help non-profit organizations, municipalities and Indigenous communities to renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and cultural infrastructure. The one-time, Ontario150 Community Capital Program has been designed to help honour Ontario’s past, showcase the present and inspire future generations. “We are very pleased to be a recipient of a Ontario150 Community Capital Program grant. It will support the replacement of aging equipment vital to ice making process,” said Sherry Whan, Central Frontenac Township Councillor and Arena Board Chair. “This important Capital project along with work completed over the past two years is vital to the Frontenac Community Arena operations,” said Tim Laprade, Arena Manager. “This work reflects the Arena Boards continued commitment to investing in infrastructure that will reduce our energy consumption and support ice activities,” added Laprade. The Ontario150 Community Capital Program is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s largest granting foundations.
It was not exactly a barn burner of a meeting when Frontenac County Council held their monthly meeting last Wednesday (January 18). Council received a presentation from Mark Segsworth, who sits at a planning table with industry, municipal and provincial officials that is looking to develop a new waste diversion system for Ontario. The goal is to achieve 80% diversion rates from landfill in Ontario by 2050. Currently, even relatively successful diversion programs in rural areas, such as the one in North Frontenac, have reached the peak of their success. North Frontenac diverts over 50% of consumer waste when calculated by volume. However, when calculated by weight, the way provincial bodies do, the diversion rate is much lower. “The only way to attain these goals is for changes in the way goods are produced. As responsibility for waste diversion shifts in the direction of producers, they are looking at taking over waste management in the future,” said Segsworth, but he added that “this whole planning process will take a long time to come about, and what will happen in rural areas is not clear at all. Except for me, everyone at the table looks at waste from their urban reality, as an industrial problem.” Segsworth added that even if all waste management is privatized in cities, municipalities may still have a role to play in rural areas. Waste management is one of the largest expenses that rural municipalities face, and there are no likely scenarios to replace landfill sites when they are full. Councilor John Inglis pointed out that “preparing for post-landfill future was one of the goals that we identified in our strategic plan, but nothing has really happened with that goal. We were going to work through the Eastern Ontario Warden's Caucus (EOWC), but I have not heard that they are taking this on. Do we know anything about that?” Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said that the EOWC “has a lot on its agenda and tends to focus on one or two items at a time. Other things end up at the bottom of the pile.” Pender sees budget pressures comingIn his monthly briefing to Council, Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender provided a report card of sorts on how the county has responded to a set of recommendations that were adopted several years ago following a report by the management consulting firm KPMG. In most cases, he said the objectives have either been accomplished or are being worked on. He also pointed to a number of costs that will put significant pressure on budgets and ultimately taxation both at the county and township levels over the next five years. The most pressing is the diminishing financial role on the part of federal and provincial governments in support of social housing. As mortgages for housing units built in the early 1990's run out, so will subsidy dollars from those levels of government, but rents must remain on the geared to income scale for most social housing units. Keeping them in operation will cost more money for the county over the next two to five years. Frontenac county is responsible for 55 senior's units in the Maple Ridge and Meadowbrook buildings in Sydenham that are operated by Loughborough Not For Profit Housing, for McMullen Manor in Verona which is operated by the Kingston and Frontenac Housing Corporation, and for 19 houses in the vicinity of Sharbot Lake which are managed by North Frontenac Not-for-Profit Housing. Pender also reported that costs from the Kingston Frontenac Library, Public Health, and Social Services are all rising faster than the rate of inflation, which is the counties' target for budget increases. The potential for downloading from the province may increase substantially after the next election, he said, and increased costs due to new regulations are also likely. Wage settlements through negotiation or arbitration will also push the budget, and the cost of providing long term care is rising faster than increases in provincial grants as well. “We have been able to cut costs through finding efficiencies and we will continue on that track, but that can only take us so far,” he said. All this indicates that the 4.15% increase in the county levy for 2017 (mitigated to 3.15% based on a calculation for growth) may be a harbinger of further and higher increases in the future. Legal matters – county to stand patFinally, there were two legal matters discussed, and in both cases county lawyers recommended that Council not take any action at all. Council received a report from Wayne Fairbrother of the law firm of Templeman Menninga. As reported in the News last week, Erik Gillespie, a lawyer representing the Hartington Community Association (HCA) sent an email to the county on December 6 which contained allegations of breach of confidentiality and conflict of interest on the part of two members of council, John McDougall and Ron Vandewal. Fairbrother prepared a report for the county in response which said the allegations were groundless. Council passed a motion receiving Fairbrother's report and directing “staff to advise Mr. Eric K. Gillespie that the County of Frontenac will take no further action related to his correspondence dated December 6, 2016”. County lawyer Tony Fleming presented his opinion regarding a policy change that has been controversial on Howe Island. A long standing policy of restricting the use of the Howe Islands Ferry to passenger vehicles during the morning and afternoon rush hours has been reversed by Frontenac Islands Council. This was done at the request of farmers on the island who use the ferry to bring supplies on to the islands and to deliver products to markets. Residents who say this hinders their ability to get to work and appointments on time appealed to the county to bring back the restrictions. Fleming reported that the restrictions were never legal in the first place and recommended that the county not intervene in any way. Council took Fleming’s advice, to the chagrin of some Howe Island residents who were in attendance.
Now that the Museum season is over and the artifacts are safely packed away for their winter's rest, we are back to the business of History gathering and "Preserving the Past for the Future". Always a challenge as those whose memories we rely on are slipping away from us faster than we can track and record. We continue to meet on the first monday of each month to discuss local history and enjoy relevant presentations. A social cup of tea and treats finish off the afternoon. We are open to All and no commitment is required. Come out when you can. We welcome young, old and eveyone in between. At our September meeting we were amazed by our guest, Steve Manders as he spoke and showed videos of areas in our own regions and knew snipits of histories some of us were not aware of. In October Ernie Doughty excitedley took us through the story of a County hospital from dream stage in 1958 to the state of the art facility that is now the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital in Napanee. Ancient glass slides to pictures had us all trying to guess the people or places while Ken Hook patiently displayed some that could be reproduced. The slides were donated to the museum by an unidentified source. December's get together has traditionally been social, complete with Turkey dinner, all the trimmings and so much more. We met at the Cloyne Free Methodist Chuch Hall, invited some friends and neighbours and were indulged by caterers Pat Cuddy and Company. For the January meeting we are at the Cloyne Hall(across from the post office). 1:00p.m. Our guest presentor will be Brian Miller. Our February meeting falls on Heritage day a.k.a. Family Day which is a statutary holiday. This means more of you can join us. No work, no school. We look forward to hearing more memories of Flinton schools from Glenn Davison. We are getting excited about our area's participation in the Canada 150 celebrations. Events will begin on June 24th at the opening of the Pioneer Museum, with the unveiling of an Art Installation completed by the Land O'Lakes Garden Club. Our hope for 2017 is for all residents from Kaladar to Denbigh and from Plevna to Flinton to be able to say "I visited an event/presentation of the Cloyne and District Historical Society.
As part of an initiative that is being led by Lennox and Addington County, Addington Highlands is now making use of the services of McDougall Insurance Brokers to help them navigate the world of municipal insurance. Until this year the township has dealt directly with Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), one of three companies that offer municipal insurance in Ontario. Chuck Airhart, from McDougall, came to Council this week to talk about how his company is working at ensuring that the township has of its needs met. He said that the cost of basic insurance from JLT is set to rise this year by about $2,000 or 4%, from just under $72,000 in 2016 to $74,000 in 2017. “The cause of this is really global,” Airhart said, “there is lots happening and the american and worldwide markets.” In addition, he said that cyber-insurance, which until now had been covered within the existing policy from JLT, has now been pulled out and needs to be paid for on its own. “I don’t have the final quote for that from JLT, it was not ready when I was leaving my office to come here today,” he said, but I have a price of $2,400 from another company so that is a maximum and maybe it will be less.” Airhart’s son Mike attended the meeting with him. Mike also works for Mcdougall and is better versed in cyber-security issues. He said “as a municipality you have private information, including information from you ratepayers, that needs to be protected, and as we know even with a good system in place, it can be hacked.” “How responsible are we, if we are hacked,” asked Deputy Reeve Bill Cox. “Unfortunately it comes back into your lap,” said Chuck Arihart. Airhat also proposed that the township consider a $1,200 policy for Facility User Event Liability (FUEL) to cover for damage from individuals and groups who rent township facilities. Council was interested, but when they found out that the coverage does not inlcude use of township facilities for licensed events, they saw less benefit. They received the information from the Airhart’s and voted to accept the $74,000 insurance contract and up to $2,400 for cyber-coverage, and to decline the FUEL policy. Township willing to help Kaladar Commuinity Centre, to a pointBill Cox and Councillor Tony Fritsch met with representatives from the Kaladar Community Club to talk about their struggles to keep the Community Centre open now that the Land O’Lakes Tourist Association is no longer a tenant in the building. Tony Fritsch said that “we discussed the viability of it. It was a good and candid discussion. They are looking at revenue and at cutting costs to keep it going, and I think they will be coming forward with a request for a small grant from us before we do our budget for next year, like other groups do. “We told them that we cannot take over the building,” Cox said, “and they seem to be ok with that. They said it costs them $6,000 a year to keep it going, but when they have some problems beyond that as well. They are struggling. They do make money from the bingo’s they hold but that money cannot be used to help maintain the building. We said we would keep in touch with them and that the township does want to help to the extent that we can.” New propane furnace for Health CentreOngoing heating issues at the Lakelands Family Health Team building, which is owned by the township, have led a contractor to propose that a new propane furnace be installed to replace electrical heating systems at two locations in the building. $12,000 has been quoted and Council decided it was better to spend that money than to continue with the electrical systems. Two other quotes will be sought before the contract is awarded. Water woes hitting Denbigh where it hurts, at the rinkCouncillor Fritsch reported that early in the day an attempt was made to flood the Denbigh rink, but the water table in the shallow well that is used to flood the rink is so low that it only ran for a minute or two and the rink could not be made. “The well is shallow, it normally only runs for 15 or 20 minutes, but this time we didn’t get enough to flood the rink,” said Fritsch. The fire department will be contacted to see if they can help out by flooding the rink until the water comes up in the well. 1/2 price for use of Flinton RinkPeter Rasenberg made a request that rink fees be waived for a skating program that runs on Saturdays from 10:am until 12:30 pm at the Flinton rink between January 7th and mid March, and for a fundraising hockey tournament on Sunday, February 18. “I have no problem with this, except that the fundraiser is to support activities for only one the Pineview Free Methodist Boys and Girls youth group, instead of all township children. I have nothing against that group, but it would good if all kids had the opportunity to go,”said Reeve Hogg. (Correction – Reeve Hogg mentioned at the meeting that in a cutline for a photo that appeared in the Frontenac News two weeks ago he was identified as Henry Higgins, a mash up of his name and that of North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins. Ron Higgins also informed the news about this in an email last week. We apologize to both Reeve Hogg and Mayor Higgins for the mix-up. Neither has yet taken up our offer to record them reciting “The Rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” or singing “I’ve grown accustomed to your face” for a Youtube posting, but the offer still stands)
Two students from North Addington Eduation Centre, Emma Fuller and Cassidy Wilson are taking an online course in environmental resource management this semester. Part of their course work includes setting up and executing an event or program. One of them, Emma Fuller, is an avid birder and came up with the idea of organizing a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in the local area to tie in to the Audobon Societies 117th annual Christmas Bird Count. Last year 471 bird counts were done in Canada, and over 1,900 in the United States and another 132 in Latin America. The counts are done in circles with a diameter of 24 kilometres. The NAEC sponsored count will be centered in Bon Echo Park and will take place next Monday (December 19th) . Fuller and Wilson as well as their sponsoring teacher Beth Hasler will be aided by a Biology class, whose students will spend the day in the park identifying bird species with the help of Bird Guides that they will be carrying. Residents from the region and beyond who are interested in surveying any area within the circle, which extends to Skootamatta and Mazinaw lakes and all points within a 12 kilometre distance from the Centre of Bon Echo Park, are encouraged to call NAEC at 613-336-8991 to coordinate with the student run count. All information that is gathered will be entered into the online reporting tool that the Audobon Society has developed. For Emma Fuller, who comes from Denbigh, the CBC fits with her growing interest in bird watching, a hobby she shares with her father, and which has brought them to far flung locations over the past year, including a trip to Presqu’ile Park, a migration hot spot on Lake Ontario near Brighton. They have also taken several trips to Wolfe Island and Amherst Island, where they have seen 36 snowy owls, bald eagles, and 5 species of hawk as well. “The goal of the count is not only to identify birds and help build the Audobon database, but also to broaden people’s knowledge about things you can do in outdoors,” said Fuller, who intends to apply to the biology department at Trent University this winter, hoping to eventually specialize in ornithology.
Charges have been laid following the investigation into a single vehicle collision involving a bus that occurred on October 14, 2016 at 9:57 a.m. Officers with the Kaladar, Renfrew and Killaloe detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a report of a bus in the ditch on Highway 28 just east of Highway 41 in Denbigh, Township of Addington Highlands. Approximately fifty seniors were on board the bus. Many suffered minor injuries. The driver of the bus, 67 year-old Robert BELL of Stone Mills Township, has been charged with Careless Driving contrary to the Highway Traffic Act.