Ladies from all over Lennox & Addington, Frontenac and Leeds & Grenville Counties filled the...
The Kingston Frontenac Public Library system has a new Tech Tutors program beginning this month at i...
The Scotts of Kennebec held a reunion in October of 2016 with relatives coming from across Canada to...
As per usual, the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market season ended on the Thanksgiving weekend, and among th...
Quality of life for seniors and tax increases dominated the Portland all-candidates meeting last wee...
Tuesday noon, Township Council and staff held a special COW meeting at the Perth Road Firehall with ...
I spent the better part of the last week talking to candidates for mayor and council in South Fronte...
On Sunday evening (Sept. 30) a fire swept through a residential building that at one time was the schoolhouse for the Village of Ompah. The building had been converted into a single family dwelling in the years following the school’s close in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. It was occupied by a family of 4 until this week. The family is reportedly living in Perth and a number of local people are attempting to reach out to support them. “The good news was that no one was injured in the fire. I believe the family pets made it out unscathed as well,” said North Frontenac Fire Chief Eric Korhonen. Korhonen said that North Frontenac Firefighters and the Kaladar Barrie department responded to the fire. By the time they arrived, the building was beyond saving and the efforts were focussed on preventing the fire from spreading and making sure it was completely out. The department still needs to complete an investigation, but Korhonen said it looks like the fire will be classed as “cause undetermined” because the building had burned completely and all evidence about what may have caused it has been destroyed The Ompah Schoolhouse was built around 1870, roughly at the same time as the Anglican Church in Ompah. It closed about 100 years later, when Clarendon Central Public School opened in Plevna. Barbara Sproule was the teacher in the one room school between 1958 and the school’s closing. She remembers that the building was rather basic; the school was heated by a wood stove, and did not have running water, although it did have a well and hand pump. “We had a caretaker who came in early to start up the stove, but there were winter days when we started the day with the children sitting around the woodstove until the building warmed up.” She said, “but we made do and everyone co-operated. Those were good years. Sproule was only 16 when she started teaching at the Canonto school, and 17 when she started teaching in Ompah, not much older than some of her students. “I never told them my age, but I think they knew,” she said. Not only did she teach in the Ompah school, Sproule also attended the school, as did both her mother and her son. When the school closed it was purchased by members of the Thomas family as a cottage, and it was later renovated into a family home. The current owners have lived there for several years.
While Council did approve $1,500 to help the Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes Association get started with its battle against Eurasian milfoil and seems amenable to a further $10,000 to hire a grad student for the project at some time in the future, one of the potential weapons for the battle didn’t get approved. Council decided that boat wash stations represented more potential issues than they might solve, not the least of which is cost. “Didn’t we already decide this (boat wash stations) is too expensive?” said Coun. John Ingles at Friday’s meeting. “To me, it would be too expensive,” said Mayor Ron Higgins. “And how would you police it? “Would we have to have an attendant?” “The concern was that it would become a car wash,” said community development manager Corey Klatt. “I don’t think it would be as easy as putting up a building and having a pressure washer in there.” Higgins suggested they would approve the province for assistance. Coun. Wayne Good didn’t see much point in that. “From what I’ve seen in presentations, there’s absolutely no way you can stop it,” Good said. “It’s in about 10 areas of the (Ardoch) lake and in other lakes as well,” said Higgins. Property standards bylaw doesn't fly in North FrontenacIt doesn’t look like there will be anything resembling a property standards bylaw in North Frontenac in the near future following last Friday’s regular Council meeting in Plevna. Keeping in mind that Council will be the same with the exception of Fred Fowler replacing Denis Bedard for the next four years, it is unlikely Council would entertain something it appears to be against. Mayor Ron Higgins served a notice of motion at the previous Council meeting to discuss the issue after the Township received a complaint from a resident that a neighbouring property was in disrepair. “I’d like to see us come up with a bylaw to deal with properties in disrepair,” Higgins said. “Neighbours are concerned about property values.” “Tough titty,” said Coun. John Inglis. “In most cases, people knew about the neighbouring properties before they moved in. “In this case, it’s not dangerous, there aren’t health issues, the opposition is purely esthetic. “Generally, with these complaints, it’s about low income people who can’t afford to make esthetic repairs although sometimes it’s a personal choice. “It’s all part of the process of living with people who don’t have the same means as you do.” “I’m against too much Big Brother being involved,” said Coun. Wayne Good. “What are you going to do — tell them they have to go into debt? “We already have a safe properties bylaw.” Some councilors noted how divisive an attempt to institute a property standards bylaw in Central Frontenac was. “Some municipalities have a property standards bylaw but we don’t have the staff to administer one,” said CAO Cheryl Robson. “And you would have to set up an appeals body. “You’d have to involve the fire chief, the bylaw officer and the chief building official.” “Some guy builds a million dollar house next to a shack,” said Good. Council instructed staff to look at a policy of sending a letter to ‘offending’ homeowners. “I would just caution about a ‘letter from the Township,’” said Inglis. “That can be pretty scary stuff.” Lamenting the loss of Firefighter AssociationsCouncil approved the Clarendon-Miller Volunteer Firefighters Association’s plan to purchase chairs for the training room at the Clarendon-Miller Station and thanked them for the donation. Coun. John Inglis noted that as of right now, the Clarendon-Miller association is the only one in the Township except for the ladies auxiliary in Snow Road. Inglis asked fire chief Eric Korhonen if he saw a need for more firefighter associations. “That is entirely up to the firefighters,” Korhonen said.
The end of September, one of the loveliest times in the Northern Part of Frontenac County, brings with it the North Frontenac Back Roads Studio Tour. As with many such successful tours, the participating artists are a loyal crowd and most of them can be visited again this year. Since artists are always changing what they do and getting better at it, it is interesting to see how they have progressed and what is on their creative minds at present. As always there will be a few new artists joining the event. New visitors and old will enjoy the chance to explore this unique part of the province and find the many studios tucked away in its corners. And while it has proved impossible to predict what each Autumn will be like when it comes to fall colours, the last weekend in September has the best chance of providing the peak of the annual Fall Colour Extravaganza. Set off against the hills and many lakes of North Frontenac Township, the trip is worthwhile for that aspect alone. The tour covers a wide geographic area centred around the villages of Myers Cave, Fernleigh, Ardoch, Plevna, Ompah and Snow Road. It would be hard to do the whole tour in one day, and give the studios you are interested in the time and attention you would like. Non local visitors are encouraged to stay overnight at one of the accommodations recommended in the brochure, and to snack or have a meal at one of the establishments on the tour or in the brochure. Washrooms which are available thoughout the area are also indicated. For those who have not picked up a Tour Brochure already, a printable brochure can be downloaded from the website NorthFrontenacBackRoadsStudioTour.com. This, and the website itself, provide the information you need to have a fabulous weekend on September 29th and 30th.
Emcee Bill Cox welcomed residents, staff, board members, family and friends as they gathered on the lawns of Pine Meadows Nursing Home in Northbrook last Friday afternoon to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Pine Meadow is a 64-bed facility. “I don’t know how this happened, I haven’t been on staff here for 17 years,” joked Cheryl Hartwick, now board chair of Land O’Lakes Community Services. Hartwick noted that four employees, public service workers Nancy Gaylord and Tony Boomhouer-Wilson, office co-ordinator Christine Bolduc and RN Anne Grahm-Aholu, have been there for the duration. “There have been four administrators and over the years, there have been $1,339,749.10 in donations,” she said. And, she took the time to share one of her “pet peeves.” “When people say ‘Pine Meadows,’ I get upset,” she said. “It’s ‘Pine Meadow,’ — singular!” Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg brought greetings and congratulations from the Township. He also noted what the facility has meant to the community. “Not only is it an essential service, it’s an important source of jobs and economic opportunity,” Hogg said. Bringing greetings from North Frontenac Township, Coun. John Inglis said: “I’ve always been aware there is a significant number of residents from North Frontenac here. “It’s a mystery as to why there is no financial contribution from Frontenac County.” Sharon Gilmour, regional director for Extendicare, said: “I have 14 homes I’m responsible for and this one is my favourite. “The home continues to enjoy the highest standards of financial responsibility and residents’ satisfaction.” Land O’ Lakes Lions Club Red Emond said: “Twenty-five years ago, members of our club mortgaged their homes so this place could be built. “We’ve donated $130,000 over the years and we’ll continue to support it.” Representing the Family Council, chair Shirley Sedore’s voice began to shake as she offered her congratulations. “I’ve been involved since before it was a dream,” she said. Merritta Parks, president of the residents’ council who just turned 100, said she always she didn’t want to go into a nursing home until she came here. “Our staff is wonderful,” she said. “They go from person to person, put their arm around your shoulder and whisper in your ear. “I thank God we have a place like this.” Ernest Lapchinski concluded the speeches by saying: “Persistence, cooperation and the need for a facility like this moved from what seemed to be impossible to become reality. “Be proud, be very proud.”
The Scotts of Kennebec held a reunion in October of 2016 with relatives coming from across Canada to attend. It was a celebration and sharing of their heritage when their ancestors Daniel Scott [1822-1911] and Phoebe Parks[1815-c.1891] came with their young family up the Salmon River from Hay Bay in 1855. Another reunion is planned for the extended Scott-Parks family at Arden Sunday Oct.21 (noon-4:30 p.m.). There will be the dedication of a plaque to be placed in the Kennebec Heritage Garden, just across the road from the Arden millpond. The Scotts are honoured to be among the first families to be represented. All community members interested in local history are welcome. Family members will have the opportunity to contribute to the cost of the plaque, make a donation toward lunch and the Kennebec & District Historical Society. At noon people may go with the group to the cemetery, then at 1 p.m. to the millpond, then 2 p.m. to the community hall for lunch, to view displays and share stories. Plans are in the works to produce a family book. The Scott family would like to congratulate the Kennebec & District Historical Society for their efforts to establish a Heritage Garden near the millpond. Community members interested in local history can support this local organization with a donation to the Society. It is a registered Canadian charity and can offer tax receipts.
On Friday, 05 October, Mayor Frances Smith helped by Ward 1 Councilors, Cindy Kelsea and Tom Dewey, officially opened the Kennebec Wilderness Trails before a group of 40 plus onlookers. Located on a 156-acre tract of public parkland owned by the Township of Central Frontenac, the Kennebec Wilderness Trails offer four seasons of outdoor recreational activity; hiking, birding, snow- shoeing. The trail network consists of over 7 kilometres of hiking trails winding through a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees. The valley meadows, wooded hillsides and rocky ridges are home to an abundance of wildlife. The terrain is rugged and undulating in many areas, offering a challenging hike for all ages. This beautiful public parkland is located north of the hamlet of Arden and just south of Kennebec Lake, halfway between Sharbot Lake and Kaladar, ON. The Main Trailhead at 28786 Hwy # 7 is located 1.5 kilometres east of the Arden and Henderson Roads/Highway #7 intersection. The secondary Trailhead is located in the Kennebec Shores Waterfront Community on Nordic Road, 0.8 km east of Henderson Road, just over 1 km north of the Hwy 7 and Henderson Rd intersection. Maps are located at each of the two Trailhead locations or can be accessed from the Township Website at: https://www.centralfrontenac.com/en/explore/sportsandrecreation.aspx.
As per usual, the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market season ended on the Thanksgiving weekend, and among the regular vendors, the most common plan for life without the market seemed to be “sleeping in” on Saturdays. “I’m going to sleep in,” said Brenda Kerr of Maple-Lim Farms. “I’ll be sleeping in, but we’ll still be processing the pumpkin patch,” said Pete Nilson of Unusual Acres. “Yes, I’ll sleep in but we’ll still be processing,” said Sue Cole. “I do have a memorial service to go to next weekend,” said Ken Howes. “I don’t know, depends on the weather, I guess,” said Rita Boehmer. “I’ll either be working in the garden or knitting socks.” “I’m going to stay home, plain and simple,” said Mary Ellen Whan. “Maybe have another cup of coffee.” “Well, I have phone webinar next Saturday at 3,” said Eric Zierer. “I’ll catch up on chores,” said Cari Tryon. “I think I’ll go hunting,” said Isaac Hale. Darlene Conboy said she’ll be getting her hair done for a wedding next Saturday. “And relishing that I don’t have to be here,” she said jokingly. “Actually, I’ll really miss it and be at loose ends for a couple of Saturdays. “I’ll miss all the people.” At least one regular, Naomi Ono, was looking forward to spending Saturday morning with her kids. “I’ll be making some pancakes,” she said. “With fruit sauce and whipped cream. “We had been doing that on Sundays.”
One way or another, it certainly looks like Central Frontenac Taxpayers will be compensating Council members for the loss of the 1/3 tax free benefit. Council passed a resolution at its regular meeting this week in Sharbot Lake for staff to come back with a recommendation as to whether this should be done as a straight compensation increment or whether some form of per diem for meetings should be established. Central Frontenac is the only municipality of 13 compared for this study that does not have some form of per diem. Treasurer Michael McGovern said that the loss of the 1/3 tax free benefit would cost the mayor $1,700 per year, the deputy mayor $853 and each councilor $600. A couple of things were decided, however. The mayor’s salary will increase by $1,300 in 2019 to bring it to the median level of the 13 municipalities compared. The deputy mayor’s salary will be 10 per cent higher that of a councilor beginning in 2019. The base rate of councilors will not be adjusted because at the rate of $14,300, it is close to the median of $14,200. The Township will continue the practice of adjusting the mayor and councilor compensation to reflect the Consumer Price Index as well as the policy of not supplying group insurance and employee benefits to members of Council. “I think we need to have a compensation package that will attract young people to want to be on Council,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald. “I think out-of-pocket expenses like printer paper and ink cartridges should be compensated,” said Coun. Tom Dewey. “That’s a separate issue,” said Mayor Frances Smith. “We’re just trying to have the same situation in 2019 as we’ve had in 2018 and 2017,” said Coun. Brent Cameron. Manatory Septic inspection is here!Council passed a bylaw to enter into an agreement with the Mississippi-Rideau Valley Septic System office to deliver a septic system inspection program. The bylaw also outlines fees to homeowners for the inspection and penalties for non-payment. The mandatory re-inspection program will apply to all the properties on Crow Lake, Eagle Lake, Hungry Lake, Silver Lake and the west basin of Sharbot Lake. Fenick asks for $67 grand for hospital Representing the Hospital Core Capital Program which services both the Smiths Falls and Perth Hospitals, Perth Mayor John Fenik was at Council requesting a donation from Central Frontenac for its capital equipment in the amount of $63,073. Fenik said they’d also be going to North Frontenac Council to ask for $33,266. No asbestos at Pic HallActing Chief Building official Alan Revill told Council that after inspection, Piccadilly Hall has no asbestos that has to be removed and the renovation project will proceed to tender. He also said the project to replace the stairs at Oso will be proceeding to tender once the drawings are received from Roney Engineering. Public Works is expected to replace sidewalk along Garrett Street after Oct. 23. Building tops $8 millionConstruction value to date in 2018 is $8,641,226 on 121 permits resulting in $121,887 in permit fees. “Those are good numbers,” said Mayor Frances Smith. They are up considerably from the same time period in 2017 when there was $6,811,860 in construction value on 103 permits that generated $96,918 in permit fees. The upward trend in construction seems to have legs as well. 2017 was a better year than 2016 and 2016 was significantly better than 2015. Permits for 25 new residential units have been taken out thus far in 2018.
“What a beautiful showcase for our lovely little village,” said Amanda Pantry, chair of the 24th annual Battersea Pumpkin Festival Saturday as the parade was coming to its end. “It highlights how the community comes together.” The Pumpkin Festival is a fall fair of sorts, but it has its own unique character. There’s no midway of course, or games where you win stuffed animals. But there are lots of kids games, each with a pumpkin-based theme. There aren’t any rides per se, but there are wagon rides through the village, a haunted barn and they even have their own miniature railroad. There’s plenty of music and entertainment, crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, balloons and all sorts of costumes, many of which feature some of the 100s of volunteers it takes to put this on. But another thing you notice is how quickly the rather large parking area fills up. In fact, this year they even had a shuttle bus running from Storrington Public School and that parking lot was full too. You might even conclude that, with all the cars, a lot of people are coming from out of town. “They are,” Pantry said. “Over the years, the Festival has expanded into the community but a lot of people come from the city. “We’ve been getting more attention on social media and it’s an affordable family outing. “People love this time of year.” Perhaps the highlight of this year’s festival (after the Kingston Police Pipe Band in the parade) was the return of Shore Chips to the festival. For many years, Shore Chips followed by Funnel Cakes was one of those destination meals, something not to be missed whatever reason brought you to the Festival. But on June 21, 2017, Bill Hinch died. Bill, you see, was the guy who did the Shore Chips. They were missed last year. However, this year, Kirk Hinch, Bill’s son, who was born and raised in Battersea, came back from Mountain View Alberta to make the chips assisted by cousin Mike Ball. Mom Nadine made the funnel cakes. They made it worth the trip.
Ladies from all over Lennox & Addington, Frontenac and Leeds & Grenville Counties filled the Lions Hall in Verona Tuesday morning for the 92nd annual Kingston Area Convention of the Women’s Institute. President Linda Bates welcomed the delegates before introducing former Warden and current South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal and Coun. John McDougall, who brought greetings from Frontenac County and South Frontenac Township respectively. After the Institute Ode and the singing of O Canada, roll call was taken and answered by Amherst Island, Grandview, Hay Bay, Maple Ridge, Reidville-Camden East and Victoria II in Lennox & Addington; Frontenac, Glenburnie, Harrowsmith, Joyceville, St. Lawrence, Sydenham, and Wolfe Island in Frontenac; and Bishop’s Mills, Fairfield, Frankville, Junetown, Lansdowne and Philipsville in Leeds & Grenville. During her opening address, Bates highlighted the WI’s achievements since the October 2017 meeting including support for Lyme Disease, the plea for Erland Lee, Camp Trillium, hosting the 120th Annual General Meeting in Kingston, and the first ever Sewing Bee Sept. 8. “My year has been very busy traveling to each District meeting, along with visiting five of our 17 WI branches” she said. “With 12 branches to visit, I expect 2019 to be another exciting year.” Bates said one of the things she learned after speaking at the Lansdowne last year is “less talk, more fun.” To that end, after the obligatory treasurer’s report and such, much of the rest of the meeting was given over to demonstrations by local firefighters in the use of fire extinguishers and evacuation and scrapbooking sessions with Carol Foo. There were also several displays around the room including photos of the Sewing Bee, Food Bank donations, and the ROSE program (Reaching Ontario Sharing Education). “We’re advocates,” Bates said. “We’re quite a busy group.”
The Kingston Frontenac Public Library system has a new Tech Tutors program beginning this month at its Sydenham and Sharbot Lake Branches. Kimberly Sutherland Mills, manager of programs and outreach said this is a pilot project that will run to the end of March, when they’ll see if it can continue. “Although we regularly get requests for similar things, this program came out of meetings with Richard Allen (Frontenac County economic development manager) and Anne Prichard (executive director of Frontenac Community Services Development Corporation),” Sutherland Mills said. “A lot of businesses want to get started on social media but don’t know how to go about it.” She said many of the tips they’ll be sharing can be accessed by anyone but some, such as Lynda.com tutorials, require an account but by coming in to a tech tutors session, patrons can use the Library’s accounts. “The Library has accounts to 100s of hours of tutorials for things like Microsoft Excel and coding languages,” she said. But it’s not just for business, she said. “The other aspect is for those seniors who feel isolated and haven’t been able to figure out social media,” she said. “Some have told me that their children have given them devices that they don’t know how to use and they’d like to be able to see the pictures the kids have sent them. “For others, it’s curiosity as in ‘my daughter told me I should be on Facebook.’” All they have to do is bring in their device for some instruction on it. The program has two aspects. The first, available at both the Sydenham and Sharbot Lake Branches, is One-on-One Appointments which run on alternate Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Sharbot Lake and on Thursdays in Sydenham. Appointments are required for these services and may be booked by calling 613-549-8888. Secondly, The Tech Tutor will offer monthly technology drop-ins in Sydenham beginning Thursday Oct. 18 from 6-8 p.m. and monthly technology workshops beginning Thursday Nov.1 from 6-8 p.m. with eLearning with KFPL: Lynda.com and Mango Languages.
Quality of life for seniors and tax increases dominated the Portland all-candidates meeting last week in Verona. In the seniors services debate, incumbent mayoralty candidate Ron Vandewal pointed to support of transportation services. “We’ve given grants for transportation,” he said. “Maybe not all the money they’d like, but we try.” “We do fund and support South Frontenac Community Services,” said mayoralty candidate Mark Schjerning. “I’d be supportive of increasing the support.” Mayoralty candidate Phil Archambault said his background in health services would be a benefit in the recruitment of doctors and other health professionals to the area. Incumbent candidate Brad Barbeau said there were plans in the works for a seniors facility in Verona. As far as taxes went, candidate Bruno Albano was blunt. “I don’t believe there should be an increase in taxes this time around,” he said. Barbeau pointed out that Road 38 is going to need work and it would have to be paid for somehow. Most of the other candidates were more or less resigned to the inevitability of taxes. Vandewal said that feedback he’d received on the campaign trail indicated that most voters were OK with an annual increase of 2 per cent. “We spent $15 million in public works Schjerning pointed out that “50 per cent of our budget is roads” but he’d also like to see more recreation facilities which he suggested would attract younger families to the area. “We spent $1.1 million on recreation last year,” said Vandewal. Before the municipal candidates’ debate, Limestone District School Board trustee candidates Suzanne Ruttan (incumbent) and Roger Curtis faced questions from the audience. Neither candidate seemed too keen on returning to the old sex education curriculum but the majority of their time was spent on why the Board’s web site still has Prince Charles School on a list of potential school closures. Ruttan said “the Ministry of Education told us to put that up and hasn’t told us to take it down.” Curtis used the line of questioning to say “we spend too much on computers and not enough on mental health. “It’s time for this board to get rid of its ‘shiny things’ syndrome.”
Frontenac County Warden Ron Higgins probably wouldn’t be offended if somebody said he tends to go about things a little differently from most politicians. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Higgins decided to hold his first Warden’s Reception outdoors, at Fernleigh Lodge on Kashwakamak Lake Saturday. Also new to Wardens’ receptions was the inclusion of area business offering everything from local maple syrup to chocolates and boat tours of the lake. Of course what wasn’t new was the Warden’s speech and Higgins used the opportunity to point out some of the highlights of his tenure in the position. After thanking everyone involved including his wife, Wendy, Higgins said: “Recently our Council confirmed continuation of our strategic priorities which were initially set by the previous Council which focused on • Seniors and the aging tsunami• the future of waste management• long range financial planning and economic development.” Higgins said the County was able to secure rides to medical appointments for seniors and that each township would have affordable seniors housing in their township. “In terms of seniors housing, the Islands have completed their project, South Frontenac has an approved business plan in place and North and Central are well underway in terms of developing a business plan to meet seniors needs.” He said the County continues to “support the public works managers and their work with Cambium to assist Council with progress towards the Frontenac County Waste Strategic Goal” which resulted in a grant to fund a study looking for ways to optimize waste diversion. On economic development, he said: “Economic development continues to thrive as the County moves into its final year of Rural Economic Development funding including the Ferry by Foot Promotion Plan, Local Food Awareness Campaign and the Uniform Trail and Wayfinding signage program.”
Rejecting a consultants report which called for their wages to more than double in order to keep up wiht wages in other Counties, Frontenac County Council raised the pay for members of Council from $9,400 to $11,900 for the new council, which takes office on December 1st. The wage for the County warden, which is currently $22,900, will go to $28,900, also a 26% increase. The Deputy Warden will receive $14,280. These increases will be topped up by cost of living (COLA) increases based on the consumer price index. The consultant report called for a 4-year phased in increase in compensation for members of the council.It recommended that the salary for a member of council jump from the current $9,400 to $19,400 by 2022, the final year of the term for the council that will take office in December of this year. The consultants also recommended that the deputy warden receive a 20% premium over the council members salary, bringing their pay to $23,200 plus COLA by 2022. Each year one of the 4 Frontenac mayors takes a turn as Frontenac County Warden. The position comes with a parking spot in front of the county administrative offices. The consultant recommends bumping the warden's pay package that to $46,900 by 2022. The consultants also recommended that a process be put in place to further compensate members of council in the coming term for the provincially mandated elimination of a tax benefit for members of municipal councils. 1/3 of the compensation paid to council members has been tax free, but from now on, all of the money paid to them will be taxable. This recommendation was also rejected by the council. Frontenac County council members also receive compensation from their role on their own township councils. The consultant hired to complete the compensation review, Krecklo and Associates, based their recommendations on a number of counties, which are listed in the report, that they claim are comparable with Frontenac in terms of three listed factors (annual expenditures, full time employees, and number of dwellings) and came up with the recommended pay structure for politicians. “It would be important to bring their compensation to the median (50th percentile) of the comparator group (i.e., paying the ‘going rate’) the report says. But even in advance of the debate on the merits of the report at the council table, some members of council were skeptical about the methodology employed by Krecklo and about the proposed wage increases. “There are counties’ on the list that are very different from Frontenac,” said John McDougall, a councilor from South Frontenac who is serving out his 8th and final year as a member of Frontenac County Council. “There are single tier municipalities included, some that are much larger than we are, and some that are responsible for roads and waste management which we don’t deal with at the Frontenac County level. I think the process we used recently in South Frontenac to come up with a proposal for council compensation, which was done by a panel of township residents, is a more realistic way to go about it.” When contacted on Tuesday morning (September 18), Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith said she was still reading the Krecklo report but she found, on first glance, that the proposed compensation increases were “bizarre”. “That being said,” she added, “the year spent as warden is a very busy year. The job does take up a lot of time.” For his part, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal did not see much to like in the report. “I don’t know what it is like in the elsewhere, but is way more of a responsibility being the mayor of South Frontenac than it is being the warden of Frontenac County, many times more,” he said. “If I get re-elected, I’m looking at $80,000 in pay for the year when I am the warden. As a ratepayer, I don’t want to pay for that. And how do we try to keep the county budget to a 2% increase with this money going to council compensation.” “I think the study is way off the mark,” said North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, “mainly because of the comparables that the consultants used. They did not compare apples to apples. We shouldn’t be looking at single tier counties or much more heavily populated counties at all. There are only two on the list of ten counties they looked at that are truly comparable to Frontenac County.” Higgins said he thinks the increases called for in the first year of the “phase in” envisioned by the report, $2,500 for council members and $6,000 for the warden, “are likely about enough” “From my analysis a $7,000 increase for the warden makes sense,” he said. The timing of the report also promised to have an impact on the debate at county council this week. Because the report came to Council during an election period, the 8 people debating and, ultimately voting on the pay package, fell into three distinct groups. One group, including Councillor McDougall (South Frontenac) and Nossal (Frontenac Islands) are leaving municipal politics and will not be affected one way or another. Another group, including Mayors Higgins (North Frontenac), Smith (Central Frontenac) and Doyle (Frontenac Islands), have been re-elected by acclamation. They were deciding their own rate of pay over the next four years, including their one year turns as warden and deputy warden. The final group are those who may or may not be in a position to benefit from an increase, depending on how the election goes. This group includes Councillors John Inglis (North Frontenac) who has been acclaimed to his own council, but may or may not be chosen by his own council to return to the county for the next four years, if he even seeks the position at all. It also includes Central Frontenac Councillor Tom Dewey who is seeking re-election in Kennebec Ward. If Dewey is re-elected by the voters he would have to put his name forward for the role the county role and then be elected by his own council to represent them to the county. Finally, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal is seeking re-election in a contested race with two opponents. If re-elected, Vandewal willreturn to county council for four years and walso take turns as warden and deputy warden. Earlier this month, the salary for Mayor of South Frontenac was set at $33,621, a 9% increase. Vandewal voted against that increase, commenting afterwards “it could be interesting when staff come up for negotiation and ask for 9%. In the debate at the county table, there was little support for the Krecklo recommendations. Councilllor natalie Nossal did say that she "has been impressed by the effort and amount of hours put in by each of the warden's during my time on Council, and I think that should be recognised by a larger increase in wages." Councllor John McDougall said that if people back in his home town knew he had vote for doubling the wages of conty politicans, "They would be spitting on me in the streets" The vote for a $6,000 increase for the county warden was passed by 5 votes to 3. Mayor Vandewal voted against it. Vandewal was the only dissenting vote for the wage increase to Frontenac County Council members,
(Tweed, Ontario) On September 30, 2018 at 3:30am, a member of the Central Hastings OPP detachment was patrolling south on Highway 37 near Chapman Road when they observed a northbound vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was subsequently stopped, and charged is 25-year-old Colin Armstrong of Northbrook, Ontario with Driving with More than 80 Mgs of Alcohol in Blood. Armstrong received a 90-day Administrative Drivers Licence Suspension and his vehicle was impounded for 7 days. He will appear in Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville, Ontario on October 11, 2018.
For the Northbrook Lions, this year’s annual ‘Thank You’ barbecue took on added significance. It was the Club’s opportunity to publically thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for a $54.200 grant that allowed the club to undergo renovations that have been needed for some time. Lions President Kerry Skipper said the renovations included new flooring, windows and doors, new interlock brick paving around the entrance vestibule and a new roof. “These renovations would not have been possible without the grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” Skipper said. “This will allow us to provide a safe and accessible centre for local community events for the foreseeable future.” Hastings-Lennox & Addington MPP Daryl Kramp said he was pleased to be on hand Saturday to see the results of the Lions’ successful OTF application. “Volunteer organizations like the Land O’Lakes Lions are critical to the fabric of our communities,” Kramp said. “Especially those small centres that might not otherwise have the resources to provide key services to the community as this hall does. “Congratulations on your success, enjoy your renovated building and I hope that you use it for many years to come to service the needs of your community.” Kramp said said the Lions Hall serves as the social centre for the residents of Northbrook and nearby communities of Cloyne, Myers Cave, Flinton and Kaladar for regular events like bingo, euchre, dances, children’s programs and community lunches and dinners. The hall has been owned and maintained by the Land O’ Lakes Lions since it was converted from an old school house in 1984. OTF representative Shirley Van Steen said the Foundation has granted $2.8 million in this area since 2015.
Last week’s Addington Highlands Ward 2 all candidates meeting in Flinton will likely go down as one of the shortest such meetings in history with only two questions asked of the five candidates running in the October election. After the candidates (incumbents Helen Yanch and Bill Cox and newcomer David Miles for councilor as well as incumbent Reeve Henry Hogg and newcomer Alice Madigan) gave their opening statements, one member of the audience asked about a broken swing on the playground at the Flinton Hall. “We are looking into that,” said Yanch. “But it probably won’t be fixed for awhile. “My wife likes the swings so it should be fixed,” said Miles. “There’s a report coming on what all needs to be fixed,” said Hogg. “I hope we can afford to get it all done.” When it appeared that there were no more questions from the 20 or so people in the audience, The Frontenac News asked the candidates for their views on whether or not they would support a marijuana outlet in the municipality when it become legal Oct. 17 (hey, we came all that way). (The question turned out to be prophetic as just that evening Hogg had been informed of a legal marijuana grow-op consisting of about 800 plants just outside of Flinton. Hogg said later that Health Canada is supposed to inform the municipality of such operations “but they didn’t in this case. The land is zoned agricultural and we’ll probably have to re-zone it to industrial so we can collect the taxes.”) Here’s the candidates’ responses at the meeting. “I doubt that there will be any requests,” said Hogg. “I know there are some legal grow ops we didn’t know about.” “It’s hard to see these things readily available in the area,” said Miles. “I’ve had friends use it for medicinal purposes (but) it’s sad when economics dictates our morality.” “I’m not really for it but I’m not for alcohol either,” said Madigan. “But if it’s what our residents want . . .” “I don’t think there will be too may dispensaries in our area,” said Cox. “We’ll know better once they tell us the rules.” “That’s very difficult to answer,” said Yanch. “You’ll be able to buy it online and there’s already medicinal marijuana available online. “We already have drugs in the community so if somebody had a storefront that was legal and protected, we could benefit from tax revenue and while personally I don’t want to see shops, but at least we would have some control.”
Addington Highlands Council agreed to pass the matter of flooding on Addington Road 5 over to its public works supervisor to see what can be done at its regular meeting Monday in Flinton. The decision followed a presentation from resident Erroll Ruth, who told Council that when he arrived in mid-April, it was another month until he could drive to his cottage. He said he’d spoken to the public works supervisor, who came out to look at the road and they agreed that at least another new 4’ culvert was needed. (New culverts were installed in the fall of 2013 but don’t seem to be enough. “We have a financial commitment from the trails people and we’ll buy the culverts from you people,” Ruth said. “If this (flooding) happens, it will get so that nobody will be able to use the road, including the snowmobilers. “And the road does get used. This weekend, I was thinking I should put up a coffee shop.” “Or a toll road,” said Coun. Bill Cox. Coun. Tony Fritsch said that Council has agreed in the past to assist with projects of this type. “But we do have a maximum that we can spend, I think it’s $5,000,” said Cox. • • • Council agreed to let Lennox & Addington Resources for Children use the Addington Highlands Community Centre in Denbigh for a playgroup on Tuesdays. “They ran this program before but it lapsed and now they want to run it again,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch. “They want to keep some equipment there so they’ll need a lock on one of the storage areas. “I’m happy to help out with that.” CAO/Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed said that the rec club in Flinton pays for the program. • • • Council turned down a request from Jillian Mumby to use the upper floor of the Flinton Hall free of charge for a winter arrangement workshop. “I don’t see why it should be free for somebody who will be making a profit,” said Coun. Bill Cox. “We need to get a policy worked out for this sort of thing,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch. • • • Council agreed to meet with a resident and lake association wanting dump hours changed and/or an arrangement with North Frontenac to use its facilities but essentially it will be an information session as Council is firm on hours remaining at they are. “These are the hours,” said Coun. Bill Cox. “Use the dump when it’s open. “We can’t please everybody.” “This keeps coming back again and again,” said Coun. Tony Fritsch, who volunteered to arrange a meeting with the resident and lake association. “There’s some people who don’t like the word ‘no’ and haven’t liked it since they were five,” said Dep. Reeve Helen Yanch