The White Lake Cottagers Association (Olden) is pretty small. It has no website, no comprehensive lake plan, not even an annual fish fry or bake sale, and only 45 members representing 25 cottages.
But nonetheless they are about to win a major award from the Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations (FOCA).
The Association, which was founded in 1973, has taken on the important responsibility of helping to keep the waters of the lake clean enough to be used by the White Lake Fish Culture Station, an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources facility.
In their application to FOCA for the award, which was submitted in November of 2018, Association President Jim Rose said that keeping the lake waters in pristine condition in order to maintain the fish culture station gives the lake a purpose beyond its own watershed.
“It is our understanding that White Lake is one of very few lakes with fish hatcheries in Eastern North America, in which fingerlings raised in its waters can be dropped into any other lake that supports that species of fish and the fingerlings will survive. The station is also working on enterprises to bring species back from the brink of extinction. For example, the fish culture station is involved in bringing the bloater, a small fish which supports lake trout, back from extinction in Lake Huron and the Saint Claire River. It is doing the same thing with a small bivalve, which is in danger of becoming extinct in a river in south western Ontario. Not only is the fish culture station involved in cutting edge research, it also stocks some 220 lakes in Ontario,” he wrote.
White Lake has been motor-free since 1977, and association members are so committed to preventing zebra mussels from entering the lake that they have offered up their own canoes and kayaks to visitors coming to the lake, so that any contamination threats, even from very small boats, is minimised.
A couple of years ago, a cousin of Jim and Joan Rose (Rose is one the Environmental Officers on the Association Executive) was visiting them on the lake.
“She looked out from the dock and said, ‘you have invasive phragmites on your lake. They will take over if you don’t do something.’ I asked her what he had to do and she said it would take three years and hundreds of hours to get rid of them. She was right,” said Joan Rose.
The invasive phragmites likely spread from roadsides since they can root under water or on land. There is no point trying to pull them out by the roots because that is more or less impossible and only leads them to get stronger and spread. They can be cut off just under the water, taking care to remove any seed heads that are above the water first.
The While Lake Cottage Association applied for and received $1,000, over two years, from FOCA for equipment, and members spent 380 hours in the summer of 2017, removing phragmites, transporting all the material to the shore where it was left to dry out far back from the lake and burned. In the summer of 2018 they only had to spend 98 hours doing the same thing and they hope to do the final eradication this coming summer.
The Association is also working to give the lake a special designation in the new Central Frontenac Official Plan, in order to keep protections in place.
“We don’t oppose development on White Lake, as long as it is managed carefully,” she said, “and so we have an opportunity to meet the new people and explain what the lake is all about.”
One of the neighbours on the lake is the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, who have established a band centre and heritage lands on the west end of the lake.
“We have very good relations with Chief Doreen Davis,” said John Rose, and they are committed to protecting the lake in its current state.
The ceremony honouring the White Lake Cottage Association will take place in Toronto in early March at the FOCA Annual General Meeting and Spring Seminar at the swanky Boulevard Club in Toronto.
When replacing a culvert over the Henderson Road, Central Frontenac crews put in a larger, and longer pipe. It turned out that because of the extra length, the culvert now extends beyond the township right of way and onto Ken Arney’s property.
Exactly how far into Arney’s property the culvert extends, has not been determined yet. Given the situation, the township intends to purchase a small piece of Arney’s property. In order to determine how much of Arney’s land is involved, and make the purchase, a survey must be completed, and that can’t happen until the snow melts.
Arney came to Council this week (Tuesday, February 19) in order to express his frustration about how the process has been carried out thus far.
“I am not happy about the way I have been treated by township staff over this. I feel that I have not been well informed by staff. I wasn’t impressed with one of the councillor’s comments either. He said it was inconsiderate of me to ask him to spend two hours of his valuable time on this by visiting and having a look.”
Arney also said that he thought the township needed to survey his property in order to determine the limits of the piece they intend to purchase.
Mayor Frances Smith said that since Mr. Arney’s neighbour’s property has been surveyed, “the surveyor can work from those posts to survey the piece. We are not going to survey the entire property.”
When the possibility of expropriation was mentioned, Arney speculated that he might be better off going that route.
Mayor Smith said, “as far as I understand it, when we fixed the culvert we encroached on your property by mistake. We aren’t going to pull out the culvert so we need to buy the land. The best outcome is for us to do the survey and come to an agreement over the price. Expropriation is not something we want to do. We would rather agree on the boundaries and the price with you.”
Pic Hall repair – old walls hold secrets
Acting Development Services Manager Alan Revill spoke to the ongoing construction at the Piccadilly Hall. He reported that when the paneling was pulled off of one of the exterior walls in the hall to reveal some century old lathe and plaster, it also revealed a 5 inch gap between the wall and the floor and a similar gap below the ceiling. Given this, the contractor recommended stripping out the existing material and putting in a new wall on the existing wall supports. This will increase the cost of the project by over $7,000. The good news, Revill said, was that the project has been progressing smoothly, and will be “substantially complete by early March.”
Pic Hall repair (part 2) who owns the hall anyway – In 2016 the township became aware of the fact that the property the Piccadilly Hall is located, as well as about half of the adjacent cemetery, are not legally owned by the township. The piece of property, which was part of the old Clark farm, that was purchased by the Snider family, was donated to Hinchinbrooke Township but apparently the land transfer was never completed. The land is still registered to Clark, as it has been since 1857. Council did not act on the information in 2016, and Deputy Clerk Cindy Deachman prepared a new report this month in light of the construction that is now going on.
“Staff recommend Council approve commencing the required legal work to correct
title for both the hall property and the two cemetery properties. This will most
likely include survey work to obtain a legal description, and a court
application, at least for the two parcels owned by Mr. Clark,” she said in her report.
The estimated court costs will likely be over $5,000 and the survey will cost a similar amount. The township is planning to budget for the transfer this coming year.
Compliance with new Municipal Act – Council, along with all other municipalities in Ontario, are facing a March 1st deadline to enact policies to comply with provisions in the recently revised Municipal Act.
One of them is a Tree Canopy and Natural Vegetation Policy, which the Deputy Clerk recommended keeping at more of an educational level than imposing bylaw restrictions on property owners. An email from David Shostal of Randy Hillier’s office indicated that the government was backing down from the requirement.
In that context, Councillor Brent Cameron said Council should take no action. Councillor Victor Heese said it was still a good idea to have a tree policy in place. Councillor Bill MacDonald, a logger himself, said some restriction against clear-cutting might be a good way to go. The matter was referred back to staff. The council has another meeting before March first, and they may or may not pass a new tree policy.
Another policy that is required is a council pregnancy and parental leave policy, providing 20 weeks leave for council members.
Councillor Tom Dewey suggested that the proposed policy, including a provision to pay the deputy mayor the salary of the mayor if the mayor is off on a maternity or paternity leave.
Mayor Smith assured Council that she is not seeking such a leave at this or likely in the future, but that Dewey’s recommendation seemed sensible.
When asked, all of the council members indicated they are not planning on taking such a leave.
Finally, council considered a code of conduct and council staff relations policies, which will be coming back for a vote on February 26.
One more year of OMPF funding.
Provincial transfers to municipalities under the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) will be unchanged in 2019. The Ford government intends to change the program in the coming months, with a view towards focussing on the more rural and cash strapped councils. In a letter to municipalities, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli said OMPF changes would be announced well in advance of 2020, before municipal councils start their budget process for next year
“Ministry staff are working to finalise data updates to ensure the OMPF continues to be
responsive to changing municipal circumstances as is the case under the current
program,” he wrote. He added that the province is facing a deficit and continues “to review government transfer payments.”
Budget meeting, March 22.
Because members of council will be away in early March, the next budget meeting will be Friday, March 22, at the fire hall on Wagner Road, 9am.
The hard-fought completion of the K&P Trail to the junction with the Trans Canada Trail in Sharbot Lake, is being funded by Frontenac County this year.
As part of the its 2019 budget deliberations, County Council agreed to spend up to $250,000 to complete the last section of trail, a stretch between Bradshaw Road, north of Tichborne, and St. Georges Lake. The trail is already complete between St. Georges Lake and the trailhead just south of Sharbot Lake, where it meets the Trans Canada Trail.
Frontenac County Manager for Economic Development, Richard Allen, told Council that the final section includes a swamp (see photo) a watercourse, and must be re-routed around 2 existing houses as well.
“$250,000 will cover the cost for sure, hopefully it will be less,” he said.
It was not that difficult to convince council that the trail must be completed.
“We’ve been working on this for years, and we’ve spent millions. We would look pretty foolish if we didn’t get it done,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal from South Frontenac.
“I sat on the first trail committee. That was over 10 years ago,” said Mayor Dennis Doyle from Frontenac Islands.
In terms of funding the final section, Richard Allen pointed to a slide that included bars, of various lengths, marking all of the granting programs that the county has tapped in order to build out the trail until now, over $3.75 million worth. A lot of that money came from various granting programs from the federal and provincial governments and foundations, including trail grants and others. There were x’s over all of the bars on the graph because the programs have all either been discontinued or the trail is no longer an eligible project for them.
The largest amount of money, over $1.7 million, came from the county share of federal gas tax rebate funds. A few years ago, however, Council decided to give its share of gas tax monies to the Frontenac townships for their own infrastructure needs.
Allen suggested that Council consider borrowing to finance the last section of trail construction.
“That way it will not have a huge impact on taxes in a single year,” he said.
This year the money will be taken from reserve funds to cover the construction, with a view towards securing a loan from Infrastructure Ontario once the final costs are known.
The completion of this section of the K&P Trail will result in a trail that runs from Lake Ontario in Kingston all the way up to Sharbot Lake. The completion of this part of the K&P Trail results in the inclusion of two major Frontenac sections in the national trail system, which would otherwise have bypassed most of Frontenac County by following Hwy 7 into Lanark County.
The K&P Trail section between Harrowsmith and Sharbot Lake will become part of The Great Trail (AKA the Trans Canada Trail). It will also bring the bulk of the Cataraqui Trail, the entire run between Harrowsmith and Smiths Falls, into the Great Trail family.
Further trail projects, including projects on Wolfe and Howe Islands, as well as the northern section of the K&P through Central and North Frontenac and into Lanark County and beyond, are next on the agenda for Frontenac County.
Central Frontenac Township owns the K&P trail between Sharbot Lake and the North Frontenac border, where the trail has gone into private hands until just north of Snow Road. The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority owns the trail from Snow Road to the border with Lanark County.
Frontenac County will be requisitioning over $10.25 million from the four Frontenac Townships this year, up from $9.75 million in 2018.
The tax hikes come mainly as the result of salary increases, both among unionised employees at Fairmount Home and Frontenac Paramedics, and among non-unionised staff throughout the county departments. Thanks to a decision of the outgoing council last fall, County Council members will share in those salary increases as well.
The increases are spread throughout the major county operations. They include a $137,000 in the county share of the cost of running Fairmount Home, an 11% increase. The increase for Frontenac Paramedic Services is smaller, $74,000, a 3.8% increase. Among exclusively county funded operations, the Planning and Development Department budget is up by $67,000, a 10% increase, and corporate services is up by $72,000, an increase of 3.7%.
There were two requests for money from external agencies. One was quite large, $600,000 for a night-shift at the Robertsville ambulance base. With Frontenac Paramedic Services undertaking a service review this year, that request was pulled off the table by the North Frontenac Township representatives, until the review is completed. Another request, for $10,000 by Central Frontenac Not-for Profit Housing, for site improvements at the Clement Road housing complex, was rejected.
“I think we would be setting a precedent if we agreed to this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle.
The target that council set for the tax levy increase is the annualised Consumer Price Index as of October, 2018. That figure is 3.1%.
But when presenting the budget to Council, Treasurer Susan Brant included a figure of 2.1%, the increase in the total assessment of Frontenac County properties based upon information provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. That 2.1% was then subtracted from the 5.2% levy increase to bring a total of 3.1% under the heading of Total Levy Impact.
That 3.1% levy impact figure was reported by Global News as a 3.1% tax increase
Maple syrup producers in the Lanark & District area gathered at the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in Perth on Saturday, January 26, for the Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association’s (LDMSPA) Information Day and Annual General Meeting.
This annual event celebrates the accomplishments of member producers in the industry. This year’s event attracted more than 80 participants interested in obtaining additional resources and education for new and existing maple syrup producers.
Honoured at the event was Dwight James of Jameswood Maple, who received the Sugar Maker of the Year Award, a prestigious award presented to long term maple producers, or those that encourage and support start-ups in maple production. Recipients of the award demonstrate a willingness to share with a hands-on, innovative approach, and have worked towards the betterment of the maple industry as a whole. The award is sponsored by Springdale Farms.
Another local maple syrup producer, Jasper Norwood, was presented with maple syrup equipment by Leader Evaporator, Zoeller Maple Producers, and Bruce Leggett at the event. Norwood is a high school student who has been making syrup using homemade equipment and he was brought to Leader’s attention as a dedicated young maple syrup entrepreneur deserving of support.
In recognition of his achievements, Norwood was gifted with a small arch evaporator, finishing pans, and associated equipment, in addition to paying Norwood’s membership with the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association for 2019.
The meeting also featured presentations by industry leaders on a range of topics, including the economics of maple syrup production, syrup grading and judging, and updates on the forest tent caterpillar and its impact on the maple syrup industry, among other topics.
Equipment dealers were on hand to discuss equipment needs and new technology impacting the industry. An annual general meeting was also held during the event.
LDMSPA is a group of over 90 maple syrup producers located in the Lanark, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville Counties, as well as the Ottawa-Carleton areas of Eastern Ontario. LDMSPA is one of 11 local organizations that make up the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (OMSPA), a provincial organization that represents maple syrup producers across the province.
As a membership-based organization LDMSPA supports its members by providing a forum to promote the production of maple syrup products, assisting members to stay current on changing industry regulations, and providing opportunities for networking, and education on the maple syrup industry in Ontario.
Thursday, Jan 24th was the official grand opening of Jeff’s – a new local neighborhood lounge in the Holiday Country Manor in Battersea. Jeff’s boasts good food and a cozy atmosphere, topped off with a wood-burning fireplace that throws a comforting warmth.
The grand opening was attended by many, including major Ron Vanderwaal, councillor Ron Sleeth and Mark Segsworth along with many within the community. Highlighted by the music by Doug Reansbury, there was also an abundance of food to showcase items on Jeff’s a-la-carte menu. These included a homemade nacho platter, baked brie, shrimp and pork wontons, the manor burger which features DFC bbq sauce, peking duck, butter chicken bowls, porchetta sliders, and springrolls which went well with the complementary beer and wine offered. In short, no one went away hungry.
Jeff’s will be open every Friday and Saturday in the winter season from 4-10pm. Kitchen open from 5-9pm. Jeff’s features an a-la-carte menu with weekly features, a lobby bar serving local Perth Brewery on tap, a wine selection, signature drinks and specialty coffees. There will be live entertainment on the last Friday of every month, with Jenica Rayne on Jan 25th and Kevin Head and Mrs. V on Feb 22.
On January 29, 2019 Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue responded to a truck fire at 0944 hrs located at a residence on Guigue Road.
On arrival the truck was fully involved in fire and there were small explosions due to ammunition inside the vehicle. The resident and his handicapped wife were in the vehicle when the truck ignited in fire. The husband was able to remove his wife to safety by dragging her through the snow. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be mechanical at this time.
There is a new South Frontenac Council, but the instructions to the Treasury department and the various department heads within the township has not changed with turnover. The target for a budget increase for township delivered services remains at a 2% increase for the average ratepayer.
Township staff have more leeway with the budget than it appears however, because the township received a 1.2 % increase in revenue as the result of growth, recent construction of both new homes and renovations to existing homes that adds to the assessment base.
In terms of raw dollars, the budget that was presented to North Frontenac Council last Saturday morning (January 26) called for a total of $1,974,000 to be raised by taxation, an increase of $525,000 from the $1,913,000 that was raised last year. That translates to a 3.2% increase, with 1.2% being offset by the assessment growth mentioned above.
The average property in South Frontenac was valued at $257,000 in 2018, and through the phased in assessment system that the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) uses, that average value is up to $261,000 this year. If the draft budget that was presented to Council on Saturday were approved as is, that average property would have a tax increase of $31.
Council made some proposed changes to the budget document at their meeting, said Treasurer Louise Fragnito, including a request for an extra $20,000 to be allocated to community grants, in order to support festivals within the township. Council also sought clarification concerning some of the Capital Works projects that were included in the budget.
There is one major unknown that Fragnito does not expect to see clarified before the budget is approved. The province of Ontario is revising the program with the intent of saving money and narrowing the focus onto rural and remote municipalities, which could lead to a decrease in revenue for South Frontenac. The township received $1.52 million last year, and Fragnito has plugged that number into the new budget.
“We don’t know when they will announce the changes and what the impact will be on South Frontenac. We will have to make an after-budget adjustment when the new Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) announcement is made.” she said.
Fragnito expects she will bring a revised draft budget to the February 12th Committee of the Whole meeting for discussion, followed by the formal adoption of the 2019 budget on February 19th.
The local budget levy figures will be combined with those provided by Frontenac County and the Ministry of Education to make up the total levy to ratepayers.
The Frontenac County budget process is kicking off on February 5.
Both the township and the county have established the practice of completing their budget process before the start of the calendar year. 2019 is an exception because there was a municipal election last fall and the outgoing council did not want to tie the hands of the incoming council by passing a budget for them. That means there will be a second budgeting exercise in 2019 in the township and the county, beginning in the early fall.
Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health made a presentation at the January meeting of Frontenac County Council earlier this month.
The agency provides a broad basket of services, ranging from vaccinations to septic restaurant inspections, smoking cessation and active living promotion. Frontenac County provides a share of the funding for KFL&A Public Health, $771,000 in 2019, which represents just under 5% of the $15.7 million in public money that will go to the agency.
Of that $15.7 million, $9.4 million (63%) comes from the government of Ontario, and the rest comes from the three municipal partners, based on population. Frontenac County residents will be paying $771,000 in 2019, an increase of $13,000 over 2018, and about 5% of the overall Public Health Budget.
Their presentation to Council was delivered by Dr. Linna Li, with support from Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health. Li pointed to the three areas of 3 P’s of Public Health; prevention, protection and promotion.
Under prevention, service areas include: food and water safety, immunization, communicable diseases prevention, and emergency preparedness. Under prevention, they include: chronic disease prevention, substance use and injury prevention. And under promotion, they include: healthy environments, school health, and healthy growth and development.
Public Health has a large headquarters on Portsmouth Avenue in Kingston and satellite offices in Napanee as well as two in Frontenac County – Sharbot Lake and Cloyne.
Dr. Li pointed out to statistics which show that dollars invested in public health result in a healthier population and a cost savings by lessening the burden on the healthcare system. According to her presentation, every dollar spent on mental health and addictions services results in thirty dollars in increased productivity and social services savings. Every dollar spent on immunization programs saves sixteen dollars in healthcare costs. Every dollar spent on tobacco prevention saves twenty dollars in future health care costs. Every dollar spent in early childhood development saves nine dollars in future spending in health, social and justice services.
Dr. Moore said that Public Health is looking to “increase our profile in Frontenac County by enhancing the use of our offices, hopefully turning them into community hubs for our services and those of our partners.”
In addition to the work that Public Health has taken on in recent years, in tobacco use prevention and administering the Smoke Free Ontario Act, a new initiative to inform the public about the implications of cannabis use through an information campaign, has been initiated. Last year, KFL@A Public Health initiated an information campaign about radon gas and sponsored radon testing in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Counties, where radon contamination is well above the national average.