by Lynne Tebo Thinking of Christmas? Think Nativity, which refers to scenes or crèches displayed at...
by Debbie Twiddy Have you ever wished to revisit your childhood? If you could go back and re-experi...
November is good a month as any to talk about anxiety and depression. While many experience the blu...
North Frontenac tax levy to go up by 3% Most of increase devoted to long-term needs While the levy to ratepayers in North Frontenac is going up by 3% this year, the operating budgets of township departments have been trimmed. As part of the asset management strategy that Council took on late last year, North Frontenac has set aside 2% of the money they raise from taxation to put in a fund to cover replacement costs for all roads, bridges and buildings that the township owns. That left a tax increase for township operations of $53,214 (1.06%), even as a number of fixed costs went up. “There was some new spending, including $15,000 as part of our doctor recruitment commitment for the Lakelands Health Team and $54,000 for playground equipment, which will only be spent if we get a grant that we have applied for,” said township Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson. “In order to keep from a larger increase in the levy each department was asked to find cuts, which they did. There were no cuts to service, but it will be a lean year this year.” The township's draft budget, which will include a total levy of $5.2 million to North Frontenac ratepayers, was approved in principle at a meeting of council on Monday (April 7) and will be presented for public comment at the beginning of the next council meeting on April 28. It is anticipated that the budget document will be approved by bylaw at that time. The two other components of the tax bill that goes to North Frontenac ratepayers, county and education taxes, are each up by about $35,000 this year, for a total increase of $125,000 to be split among all the township's ratepayers. Pine Lake It's been almost eight years since members of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation occupied a piece of public land adjacent to a boat launch at Pine Lake, off Ardoch Road. The small property, which is managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, (MNR) has continued to be used as a boat launch and there is a small road running over it between Ardoch Road and the lake. Back in 2006, the Ardoch Algonquins asserted an Aboriginal claim to the property by cutting trees and putting up a portable metal building. Their stated intention was to establish a band office on the property. But nothing has happened on the property for a number of years, except that brush has grown where the trees had been cleared. The portable building has remained but has not been used at all. In February, the township authorized CAO Cheryl Robson to write the MNR asking that the portable be removed. “Council requests that MNR remove this derelict portable from this property, at your earliest possible convenience,” said Cheryl Robson in a letter to Michael Gatt of the Bancroft ministry office. Last week a letter of response came from Suzy Shalla, Resources Management Supervisor in Bancroft. “I did want to respond to thank you and the Council for bringing forward your concerns regarding the structure located near the boat launch at Pine Lake. MNR is aware of the structure that is located there, however we will not be pursuing removal of the building at this time.” Township office remediation update - Township staff remain housed in portable offices as well as a temporary office in the Clar-Mill fire hall as Service Master and Concord Engineering continue to work on the heating oil spill that took place in early February. Council received a report from Concord Engineering which says that there is no evidence that the ground under the building has been contaminated, but a number of walls and some flooring has been removed as part of ongoing clean-up efforts. There is no time frame for the completion of repairs, which are all covered by the township's insurance policy. Ompah fire hall and community hall back to square one Council soundly rejected two proposals for upgrades to the Ompah fire hall/community hall property. The first proposal, which came in response to a tender for repairs and upgrades, would have cost $360,000. It was supported by Councilor John Inglis and rejected by the rest of Council. The second proposal, which was put forward by Councillor Wayne Good, would have capped spending on upgrades at $50,000, inclusive of a $10,000 accessibility expenditures that is mandated by the Province of Ontario. Although Council has put aside over $200,000 for the project, Good wanted to redirect that money to build a new township office. Good pointed out that there is only one trained firefighter living within a 5 km radius of the hall, and a limited capacity hall would serve the community needs. His proposal was supported by himself, and no one else. Councilor Betty Hunter then proposed that $180,000 be spent on the hall, and that the Ompah fire hall task force, which came up with the proposal that led to the $360,000 tender, be brought back together to figure out how to spend only $180,000 on the building, and do so this year. Her motion was accepted. An additional $50,000 has been pledged by the Ompah volunteers, and there remains an additional $10,000 available for accessibility features.
Septic re-inspection program Ed Gardiner, from Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health, made a proposal to council for a mandatory septic re-inspection program. Until now the township has been contracting with the Mississippi-Rideau Septic System office for a voluntary program. But each of the last two years the number of systems inspected has lagged below the target because a number of landowners have been unresponsive to repeated attempts to engage them in a re-inspection. Changes to Ontario legislation have permitted municipalities to engage in mandatory programs if they choose to do so. One of the stipulations is that the re-inspections be done by the same agency that is responsible for approvals to new septic systems. In the case of North Frontenac that agency is KFL&A Public Health. Gardiner said that it would cost the township $12,000 per year for the health unit to complete 160 inspections, with a focus on inspecting high risk systems, properties with no record of approved sewage systems, or properties with systems that are over 20 years old. He said that the program would be run out of the KFL&A office in Cloyne and that inspection reports would be sent to the landowner and the township. As far as enforcement is concerned Ed Gardiner said that if a report says remedial action is required, “a reasonable amount of time, determined by the township chief building official,” should be given. “If no action is taken the chief building official or the inspector will issue an order to comply,” he said. The township has now received two proposals, one from Mississippi-Rideau and one from KFL&A Public Health. In order to proceed they will have to choose one or the other to do all of their inspection work, on new and old systems. Planner ready to go to the OMB if necessary Joe Gallivan, the planner for Frontenac County, presented the second draft of the Frontenac County Official Plan to Council. Gallivan said the plan, which sets out a policy framework and leaves most of the detailed information to the township plan, has been submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for comment. Based on the response of the ministry to the Renfrew County Official Plan, and the North Frontenac Official Plan, Gallivan said he is concerned about how the ministry will likely respond to the approach the county is taking. “Frankly I'm not that optimistic at this point. It might be that we end up with an OMB challenge on this.” Two issues are of major concern to Gallivan, and to North Frontenac, who are at an impasse with the ministry with their own plan. One is the ministry position that no new development shall be permitted on private roads, even if there are strong rules in place about the quality and width of those roads. The other deals with the ministry's insistence that development be oriented to hamlets and villages, “which is totally contrary to the demand for development on the ground in places like Frontenac County,” Gallivan said. Construction up in 2013 Building permits were issued for over $7.3 million worth of construction in 2013, including six new inland and 20 new waterfront residences. The total for 2012 was $6.3 million. Mayor talks about County Mayor Clayton, who is also the Warden of Frontenac County, said he remains frustrated about the county budget process. “I still feel there is some push back from some of the managers at the county. When we ask them to make cuts they come back with reasons why it is impossible to make any. All we are asking of the two major programs, Fairmount Home and land ambulance, is that they bring costs to the average of costs among services of comparative size, instead of above the average. I think the administration of both programs could be a bit top-heavy,” he said. In summing up a strategic planning session, Clayton said, “There is an expression that goes 'if the people won't change, change the people'. There may be something that needs to happen like that.” War memorial funding frustration Councilor Gerry Martin has been chairing a task force that has been developing a proposal for a war memorial in the township for the past year. The task force was planning to submit an application for funding to the Community War Memorial Program, a five-year granting program administered by Veterans' Affairs Canada that was set to run until 2015. However, when the task force contacted Veterans' Affairs in January, seeking an application form for the program, they received the response that “unfortunately the Community War Memorial Program is no longer accepting funding applications due to higher than anticipated demand.” Martin prepared a letter to MP Scott Reid asking for his assistance in dealing with Veterans' Affairs on the matter. Council approved the letter.
“I don't know yet,” said Bud Clayton when asked if he was planning to seek re-election as mayor of North Frontenac after one four-year term. “If things remain the way they are now, I would say it would be no, but things can change.” Clayton added that he had not planed to run during the last election in 2010, but decided at the last minute to give former Deputy Mayor Jim Beam a run for his money since there were no other candidates coming forward. He ended up winning. “I don't want to hang on past my best-before date,” Clayton said this week, “but I have not made a final decision by any means.” Gutowski leaning towards running in Central Frontenac “In all likelihood I will be running,” two-time incumbent Janet Gutowski said when asked if she was going to run for a third term as mayor of Central Frontenac. “I'm very committed to this township and I think there is still a lot to be accomplished,” she said. Among the issues that Gutowski will be addressing during the election year are seniors’ housing and the future of service delivery in Central Frontenac. “I can see us seeking partnerships with other townships and a continued role for Frontenac County as well,” she said. “Provincial policies are always impacting us as a township, and the City of Kingston has an impact on our residents on a daily basis because they run our social services. It is only through the county that we can even talk to them; there is no other venue.”
North Frontenac pulls back from hall redundancy. After meeting with user groups from the Snow Road, Harlowe, and Clarendon and Miller halls, North Frontenac Council decided to rescind part of a bylaw they passed last July, which stipulated that the halls were to be declared as surplus property in the future. Mayor Clayton had maintained that declaring the halls surplus did not necessarily mean they would be closing, only that they would no longer be in line for re-building at the end of their useful life. However, he has also talked about a township preference for building a single, central hall and township office. Councilors have been hearing from hall users ever since the bylaw was passed in July, and at their meeting the clause about declaring the halls surplus was removed. Asset management plan finalized Vicki Leakey, from KPMG, presented the final version of the North Frontenac Asset Management Plan to council. Municipalities in Ontario are required to have these plans in place if they are to be eligible for provincial infrastructure grants next year. Some municipalities have produced basic documents that were created by sending data to a consulting firm and receiving a template-based document back. In North Frontenac's case, KPMG has met extensively with staff and council and the plan has been under development all year. The North Frontenac plan encompasses paved roads, bridges, equipment, and all township-owned buildings. Next year information about gravel roads will be added. Leakey's report concludes, as she told council last month when presenting a draft, that the township has done a good job of investing in infrastructure needs over the last 10 years, and by parceling off an added 2% in taxation towards infrastructure spending into the future, they will come closer to keeping up with the requirement for rebuilding roads, bridges, equipment, and buildings as they age and need to be replaced. Leakey costed out the rebuilding at $7.5 million. “There is not a municipality in Ontario that is not falling behind, at least to some extent, and North Frontenac is probably doing better than most,” Leakey said. One factor that is not in North Frontenac's favour is its negative growth rate, which among other things, means less money is available from property taxes. The report presented it in stark terms. “While the province's population increased by 19.5% between 1996 and 2011, North Frontenac's population dropped by 3.9%.” And those who remain in North Frontenac are ageing. Thirty-nine percent of the total personal income among township residents is derived from pensions, while the provincial average is 14%. “The greater reliance on fixed income pension reduces the ability of the municipality to raise funds through taxation,” said Leakey's report. OPP billing questions The township supported efforts by other municipalities to scuttle a proposed new billing system for OPP services that would see the township charged on a per household basis, including seasonal as well as permanent residents. Township staff calculate this would bring the North Frontenac bill from $205,000 to $1.15 million - a 458% increase. “It's funny how they bill us for the seasonal residents but when it comes to grants they look only at our permanent residents,” said Mayor Clayton. “They like to play both sides of the coin.”
by Lynne Tebo Thinking of Christmas? Think Nativity, which refers to scenes or crèches displayed at Christmas depicting the birth of Christ, so visit the fourth annual “101 Nativities Exhibit” at Cole Lake Free Methodist Church on Friday, Nov. 21, 6:30 - 8:30pm and Sat. & Sun. Nov. 22 & 23 from 1:30 - 3:30pm. The Nativity exhibit will include nativities from all over the world, made of metal, wood, glass, ceramic or plastic. Nativities that children can handle and play with will also be on display. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. Each child will be given an opportunity to make a craft to take home. The children’s craft room is decorated with birthday hats and streamers in celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday. The Nativity Exhibit has become a tradition at Cole Lake Free Methodist Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. "101 Nativities" has grown several ways since that first Nativity Exhibit in 2011 - in the number of nativities on display, the number of community members who have participated in the event, and the number of persons attending the exhibit. Ladies from the church and community have contributed to the exhibit by bringing their nativities to the church for display, contributed their time and talents in the setup of the nativity exhibit, and contributed their time during the actual event. A "Nativity Christmas Tree,” will again be on display, decorated with handmade nativities made by over 60 ladies and children from the church and community. This has brought women of our community together from a variety of faiths and backgrounds and the nativity exhibit has truly become a community effort. You will not want to miss out on this amazing event. We encourage all grandmothers to share time with your grandchildren by bringing them to the Nativity exhibit. You will be making memories that may last into eternity. We encourage everyone to get together with their family and friends and come to the fourth annual nativity exhibit! “For unto us a child is born...” Isaiah 9:6
The market is closed for the season and will not be back until late May, but it is never too early to plan ahead, according to interim manager Mary de Bassecourt. “We want to start talking to gardeners now about how they can participate next year,” she said, in announcing that an information meeting for potential market vendors will be taking place on Wednesday, November 26, between 6:30 and 8 pm at the St. Lawrence College Employment Centre board room on Garrett Street in Sharbot Lake. “We are hoping avid gardeners will come out, anyone who sometimes has more of some produce than they can eat during the summer and might want to sell some. We will also talk about how to make value-added products such as jams and baked goods from vegetables and fruit that people grow themselves,” she said. The Sharbot Lake Farmers Market encourages people to try selling without committing to full membership. “We only charge $25 to try it out for one week, and vendors can do that up to three times without joining,” she said. Full membership in the market is only $100, and the $25 per day is deductible if a vendor decides to join after trying it out, so the risk is minimal. “Now is the time to start thinking about next year's garden,” said de Bassecourt, “and the market is always looking to encourage people to get involved, and to bring different kinds of products,” she said. The three-year-old market enjoyed a fourth successful season in 2014. “Sales were down a little bit because of cold weather this summer,” said de Bassecourt, “but we have a good core of vendors and there is every reason to be optimistic for 2015. That's why we want to start talking to potential market vendors in the fall,” she said. For more information, contact Mary at 613-375-6576.
It might be difficult to find an unlocked car in Central Frontenac this week, certainly on major roads. Sometime overnight on Saturday night, Nov. 15, thieves rifled through cars parked on the road and in driveways all through Tichborne, opening unlocked doors, unlocking trunks from inside and rifling through to grab whatever of value they could find - cash, credit cards, cameras, etc. Reports suggest that the same thing happened in other communities, including Mountain Grove, Arden, and Tamworth. The Ontario Provincial Police have been investigating, but because of some sensitive items that have been reported stolen, they have not yet put out a media release confirming the number of victims and their locations. One resident of Tichborne said, “We keep - that is, kept - our car door unlocked, leaving the key inside. I guess that's because we trust our neighbours,” adding that they only lost some loose change and an empty computer case from their car. “But it does make you feel uneasy to think someone would go through your car right at your house while you are asleep just inside the walls.” More information will be released as it comes in.
It was a coup of sorts that took place at the Granite Education Centre in Sharbot Lake on November 7, and kudos to the members of the GREC parent council 's fundraising committee who birthed what might just continue as an annual tradition. The event was the first ever "Ladies Night - Christmas in the Country" shopping extravaganza. The parent council organized the fundraiser to help pay for the school's new $20,000 electronic sign, which advertises both school and community events and was in large part paid for by the parent council. Proceeds from the event will also pay for the recent painting of the school courtyard and help fund other programs and student-related expenses at the school. The $5 entry fee included delicious snacks courtesy of staff and parent council member Anne Howes, and fancy mock cocktails courtesy of senior students Brandi Armstrong, Josh Keefe, and Jake Watson, who served them up with flair. Over 25 vendors lined the halls, offering up a wide array of gift giving options that included tole painted gifts, jewelry, fine arts and crafts, clothing, kitchen accessories, body products, native crafts plus many other holiday treats. Guests could purchase 50 cent tickets to win one or more of the over 45 themed Christmas gift baskets and prizes that were donated by vendors, artisans, local businesses and students and staff from the school. Cheryl Allen, vice chair of the GREC parent council, said they had hoped to attract “especially the ladies in the local community whose husbands were away hunting”, but the night was well attended by both men and women, who all enjoyed a fun evening of socializing, snacking and holiday shopping.
Sydenham’s junior girls AA basketball team had a great season this year but their luck ran out at the EOSSAA (Eastern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association) tournament on November 12, which was hosted by Sydenham High School. The Arnprior Redmen defeated the Junior Golden Eagles in the first match, which their coach Janet Sanderson described as a very close and exciting game. The Golden Eagles led by eight points early in the game but turnovers hurt them in the second half and Arnprior capitalized on their chances. Sydenham hung in, though, and got back their focus near the end of the game, sinking a number of threes. “It was the first game the team had lost at home in a long time,” Sanderson said, adding, “The girls played really hard and I am really proud of the effort that they made but we ended up losing by 3 in the end”. You would never know that they had lost their first game by how hard the team played in their second game of the day against the Thousand Islands Pirates, even though they would not move on to the finals. In their last game of the season Sydenham beat the Pirates 41 to 27. Ms. Sanderson, who coaches the juniors along with Mark Richards, said the team came a really long way this season. “We started off the season slowly due to some injuries and sickness but we had a great positive stretch towards the end of the season. I'm really proud of the girls and what they were able to do this year. They were really dedicated and there was almost a kind of a family feeling within the team, which was great,” she said. Photo 2018-
by the Verona and Sydenham District Lions For the past two weeks, Lions volunteers from Sydenham and Verona have conducted the annual vision and hearing screening for approximately 200 senior kindergarten and grade one students at Harrowsmith, Loughborough, and Prince Charles public schools as well as at St. Patrick Catholic School in Harrowsmith For young learners, it is critical that any vision and hearing problems are detected early before a child's performance at school is affected and that is why for the past seven years, the local Lions have conducted the screening program for the youngest students at the start of every school year. It is estimated that one in six children has a vision problem. The vision screening section consists of three stations that help identify children who have trouble seeing things at a distance, up close or who may have difficulty making both eyes focus together. The hearing section of the screening program is comprised of a sound test. The child wears headphones and is asked, at increasingly lower audio levels, to point to various pictures. The results from both screening tests are sent home to the child’s parents/caregivers that same day. If the child's results fall below the prescribed level, a recommendation is also sent home asking that the child have a complete examination by a vision or hearing specialist. The screening results also remind parents that annual eye examinations are recommended and important for school-aged children and are covered by OHIP. The vision and hearing screening program for senior kindergarten and grade one students is provided free by the local Lions Clubs and the expensive equipment used in the testing was purchased through the fund raising efforts of many local Lions clubs. At the start of every school year, local Lions clubs quickly circulate the equipment through more than 50 schools in the local and surroundings community in order to screen as many children as possible in the hopes of identifying as early as possible any vision or hearing problems. While most of the Lions screening volunteers are retired, the younger Lions volunteers work hard to juggle their work and personal schedules so that they can be available for the school day screenings. Many volunteers are grandparents who themselves wear glasses and/or hearing aids and who have personal stories of struggling in school as a result of their own vision and hearing issues. They therefore understand first hand the importance of correcting any vision and hearing problems early so that local students can enjoy maximum learning and have basic everyday life enjoyment.
by Debbie Twiddy Have you ever wished to revisit your childhood? If you could go back and re-experience some of the most intense moments, be they joyous or sad, would you? David Kemp is giving local theatre goers a chance to live those days again. Interpreted through the writings of a collection of well respected and well-loved authors including the works of British, Canadian and American authors, “A Child Growing Up” is a bittersweet journey through the world of childhood memories. Humorous, moving and thought-provoking, audiences from around the world have found the stories within the show a pleasure to identify with. Together, Kemp and the audience will re-experience episodes from childhood, family life, school life, love, and, best of all, memories of Christmas. This series of readings which Kemp devised, directs and performs, was first performed in England in 1970. CBC Radio recorded it for a special Christmas edition of their ‘Anthology’ program. Since then it has been performed in over 50 different countries around the world. The show has toured across Canada from coast to coast and has garnered excellent reviews from the world press wherever it was presented. Kemp who is the founder of the Exeter Theatre Festival also served as the head of the drama department at Queen¹s University for 10 years and has made numerous appearances at the Thousand Islands Playhouse. Kemp¹s gift for the stage is well-known, and we at the Bellrock Hall are lucky and thrilled that he is willing to share his talents with us. The overall quality and mood of the show make it a perfect fit and start to the upcoming the festive holiday season. Two performances will take place. Available for the first show on Saturday November 29 is a $20 ticket that includes a pre-show ham & scalloped potato dinner that will be served at 6:30pm or a $12 ticket for the show only, which begins at 7:30pm. The second performance on Sat. Dec. 6 is $12 and is a performance only. The Bellrock Schoolhouse Theatre is located at 6034 Leveque Road in Bellrock. Tickets are available in Verona at Asselstine and Verona Hardware and Food Less Traveled and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. For more information visit www.bellrockhall.ca
November is good a month as any to talk about anxiety and depression. While many experience the blues at this time of the year, for a number of people the problems are more severe, and the population suffering from clinical anxiety and depression is higher in rural than urban areas. Patients who suffer from depression sometimes are not aware that this is their problem. They suffer in silence; their families and loved ones are also affected. The ongoing challenge in rural areas is accessing help when it is really needed for both the patient and those around that patient Psychiatrist Dr. Joe Burley has been serving clients in Frontenac County for a number of years through his association with family health practices, and next week he will bring his expertise to the public in a unique event. As part of the roll out of a new co-ordinated approach to providing mental health services in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington, the Health Links initiative is presenting a public meeting to talk about anxiety and depression at Trinity United Church on November 26 starting at 7 pm. Dr. Burley will host the evening, and will be joined by Dr. Laurel Dempsey of Verona, Dr. Jeanette Dietrich of Sydenham and practitioners from Providence Care Mental Health Services and Frontenac Community Mental Health Services. People who suffer from anxiety and depression and people who live with them are invited to talk and learn more about their situation. This is the first of a series of public meetings being planned to talk about specific mental health issues in a number of communities. Allen Prowse, who has just retired from Providence Care, has been hired to help bring all the providers of mental health services together to bring service to Frontenac County. He said that the initial focus on depression and anxiety is deliberate. “These issues are very common, and people who suffer from them can be helped, so we decided to start by engaging the public to not only provide information but also to hear directly from people about the problems they are facing. This meeting is as much about hearing from people as anything else.” Prowse added that over several years an integrated approach to mental health services has been developed in Sharbot Lake, through the co-operative efforts of the local Family Health Team, Northern Frontenac Community Services and service providers from Kingston who have been sending resources into the community. “It was recognised that people from North and Central Frontenac were not in a position to travel to Kingston for some of these services, and that it was more efficient in any event to deliver them in the community. This is the model we are developing for Sydenham and Verona, and that we plan to enhance in Northbrook as well,” said Prowse. Prowse is hoping that not only will people suffering from these issues and those who support them be able to find a voice at the meeting next week, but also that service providers will learn more about the local community and its needs. “People are not interested in the way the Family Health Link works and which agencies are involved; they are interested in getting help and that is our focus,” he said. For details, see the advertisement on page 2.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, and also the 120th anniversary of our organization, the Family & Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (formerly the Children’s Aid Society). For this Remembrance Day we decided to do something different - tell the story of one soldier from our area who went to what they called the Great War, and never came back. The result is a series of videos, images and information on Captain Stanley Cunningham, MC of Kingston. We call it “Soldier of the Great War”. Cunningham wasn’t that much different from any of us. He lived on Union Street. He went to Kingston Collegiate and graduated from Queen’s University. He joined the 21st Battalion when the war started and was killed just 75 days before it ended. Today, he rests in a war cemetery in France. And his name is on the Memorial Wall at the Kingston Memorial Centre. This Remembrance Day, join us in remembering his life and his sacrifice. Watch the videos. Share them on social media with your family and friends. Help us bring him home after more than a hundred years by remembering him and all Canada’s war dead. View www.RememberKFLA.ca for videos, images, information, and links. - submitted by the FACSFLA
After 18 months of work, and three formal drafts, the Frontenac County Official Plan was set for approval at a meeting of Frontenac County Council last Wednesday (October 15). However the prospect of a split vote on the plan has forced a delay. The representatives on the council from South Frontenac, Mayor Gary Davison and Councilor John McDougall, both indicated they remain opposed to some of the wording in the plan, and since South Frontenac is where most of the development that is governed by the plan will be taking place, a last-ditch bargaining session of sorts has been set for this week. “Our concern in South Frontenac is that we have a difference of opinion with the county that may not be as large as it seems. We might solve those if we delay this and hold one more meeting,” said John McDougall. The meeting will be attended by the chief administrative officers of all the townships and the county, a representative from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as county planner Joe Gallivan and South Frontenac planner Lindsay Mills. The goal of the meeting will be to bridge the gap between Joe Gallivan's third version of the plan, and Lindsay Mills' desire for a plan that preserves the independence of his own office. Mills has described the county plan as “too prescriptive and amounting to a power grab by the county.” One of the issues that is of concern to South Frontenac is the use of the word “shall” in the plan. Mayor Davison made reference to this in his comments at county council meeting last week, in reference to prescribed setbacks between new construction and the shoreline of lakes and rivers. “The county plan restricts all new construction to 30 metres from the shoreline,” said Davison. “In South Frontenac we were one of the first jurisdictions to bring in the 30 metre setback over 10 years ago, but we built in some leeway, and this allows our Committee of Adjustment to make allowances for circumstances. If the County plan is approved as it is written now, we won't be able to do that.” For his part Joe Gallivan said that the county plan will not affect South Frontenac's ability to make allowances in applying the setback rule. “The plan does not interfere with any municipality's ability to make changes. It will be business as usual,” he said. As far as the extra meeting, Joe Gallivan asked that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs be invited to send a representative. “If that meeting is going forward it is essential that the province be there. If the ministry is there they will tell staff from all the townships which sections of the plan cannot be changed,” Gallivan said. Before leaving the topic, interim county warden Dennis Doyle asked if the County Chief Administrative Officer, Kelly Pender, had anything to say about the matter. “If I remember correctly, you have a background in planning, don't you, Kelly,” Doyle said. “I sometimes describe myself as a recovering planner,” Pender said, before delivering a stern warning. “I certainly don't have a problem having a further meeting, but I want be clear about one thing. If this council recommends changes to the Official Plan that do not reflect the Provincial Policy Statement, which underpins all planning in Ontario, county staff will voice opposition to those changes. They would simply not fly with the province. The ministry will be clear on that point, and I agree they need to be at the meeting as well.” The province has set a target date of March 31 for the adoption of County Official Plans throughout the Province. As it stands, the third draft of the Frontenac County Plan does not conform to a number of demands that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has made. Joe Gallivan has said that he hopes to convince the ministry that the current version of the plan is based on a sound interpretation of the Provincial Policy Statement. If he cannot, the matter could well end up at a hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board, which would provide a final determination of whether the county's or ministry's interpretation of the Provincial Policy Statement is more accurate.
Frontenac County is one of the recipients of $6 million in provincial funding for community paramedicine pilot projects. Community paramedicine is an attempt to make use of the skills and infrastructure of paramedic services to help serve the senior and chronically ill population before they require emergency services It has been pioneered in Ontario by the Renfrew County Paramedic services, which conducts wellness clinics and an ad hoc home visit program; offers an exercise program; has trained thousands of people in CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation); and more. Frontenac County will receive a total of $156,800 in funding over two years to establish a framework for future community paramedicine programs within the County of Frontenac and the City of Kingston. In announcing the funding, Frontenac County communications officer Alison Vandervelde described the project in the following way: “The research project will focus on identifying solutions that could provide a more cohesive healthcare system for the residents of Frontenac County and the City of Kingston and has four main areas of focus: wellness clinics, community paramedic home visits, paramedic referrals and improved communication links between paramedics and other health care providers.” The County applied for $195,000 in answer to the call for expressions of interest from the province. The main shortfall between the request and what was given is in salary dollars. Instead of the $116,000 that the county requested for a project developer, the province provided $83,000, which will fund the position for 18 months. The rest of the application was approved as requested, with the exception of a $5,000 request for money to cover legal fees, which was denied. In addition to the project developer's salary, $33,000 will be spent on project co-ordination. Only a small amount of the overall money that has been received will be directed to existing or new programming. $1,800 is earmarked for expanding the existing Wolfe Island Wellness Clinic project, and $3,900 will go towards a pilot wellness clinic project in the northern half of the county. Another $30,000 is to be spent covering wages for four-hour training sessions for 140 paramedics. The primary impetus of the project, in the words of the funding application, is to “establish a solid framework for future core Community Paramedicine Programs ... of critical importance is the development of a comprehensive communication plan, within the framework, between Paramedics and other healthcare providers.” Healthcare providers who will be contacted initially by the project developer, once they are hired, are the Community Care Access Centre, Rural Kingston Health Links, Kingston Health Link, Northern and Southern Frontenac Community Services, Kingston General Hospital, and the Local Health Integration Network. As part of the planning for the project, a staff member has been appointed by each of the above agencies to participate in the project. Gale Chevalier, Deputy Chief of Performance Standards with Frontenac County Paramedic Services, will oversee the project. “Our residents will benefit greatly from this funding,” said Warden Denis Doyle. “One of County Council’s strategic goals includes supporting our seniors’ efforts to safely age in their homes. This project will allow people to remain in their communities longer, maintaining their closeness to family and friends, and eliminate long travel times for routine preventative healthcare. Ultimately, this funding will make positive differences for our residents and enhance the strength and vitality of our communities.”
James Norris lives a quiet life. He has lived in a small house in Northbrook for the last 15 years, after moving there with his wife from Oshawa. They both suffered health problems. He has Multiple Sclerosis and was forced to retire from the auto industry after injuring his back, and his wife suffered from lung disease, which ended up taking her life in 2006. Norris lives alone now, trying to make ends meet on a Disability pension from his work, and some support from the Ontario Disability Support Program. He receives $1085 a month, has a $285 mortgage, and he also has hydro, property tax, and phone bills to pay. That leaves only about $400 for food and day-to-day necessities. And then there is heat. “As the weather gets colder this year, I have no oil in my furnace, and no money to buy oil,” he said on a cool, cloudy afternoon, from his candle lit kitchen. He wore a housecoat over his clothes, and I kept my coat on in his kitchen. A small space heater was on in the sitting room. For the past seven years, ever since his wife died, James Norris has slowly built up a balance on his VISA card, to the point where he has to pay $400 each month towards the balance. He has a driver's license but could not keep a car on the road, and now faces the fact that he cannot afford oil this winter. There is a program that he has accessed in the past through the Ontario Works department in Napanee that has covered one tank of oil per winter in the past, but he cannot access that until at least January. Getting to January is a problem, however, and the fact that oil companies have a minimum delivery of $400 worth of oil has him basically out of luck. “It is really tight surviving right now. I only get food that is on sale. I basically shop when I need to. I certainly could eat better,” he said. “I try to get out and volunteer as much as I can. I'd rather be out doing something than sitting at home. Between my back and MS I can't work but when I feel ok I can volunteer, but I always need to be picked up and brought home.” He says that his situation is not unique. “There are many other people like me and worse. Costs go up but benefits don't. At $1085 a month, it doesn't add up for someone like me to get through the winter,” he said. Ann Marie Langan works for the Legal Clinic, which provides legal services for residents of Lanark, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington from an office at Northern Frontenac Community Services in Sharbot Lake. She has been providing legal advice to clients facing financial difficulties as well. “More and more families in the area are facing a lot of financial hardship,” she said, “and it only escalates when winter comes.” Kendra Godfrey lives in Mountain Grove with her husband Sean. Between them they have seven children ranging from five to 20 years of age, and six of them are living at home. Sean receives Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) support and Kelly works at the Maples in Sharbot Lake. They have had financial struggles, and not only do they face the coming winter and the cost of oil for their rental home, Ontario Hydro is threatening to pull the plug on their electricity. “Since we moved here two years ago, ODSP has been paying $240 a month to Hydro from Sean's funds all that time. I have been after Hydro One to send us bills that whole time, and each time gave them our address but the bill never came, so I had no way of knowing if we were paying enough,” she said. On October 2, a letter came to their home by Purolator, saying they owed $6,900 were going to have their power cut us off unless they made arrangements within 10 days to start paying off the debt. Hydro One is looking for $600 per month for service and $240 per month for two and a half years to pay off the debt. Anne Marie Langan is working on the case with Kendra Godfrey, and last week put in a demand for the bills but has not received them. Meanwhile in a subsequent phone call with a representative from Hydro One, Kendra found out that it is no longer $6,900 that Hydro is asking for in back payments. “I talked to someone on October 27 and she said that it is $8,500 that is owing, so I don't know what is going on at all now.” Not only are the potential hydro costs spiralling out of control, oil costs are very high in their home, leading Godfrey to wonder how they will keep the home warm and bright this winter. “We live as carefully as we can, don't leave lights on, and we close off part of the house in the winter to save money, but this hydro mess has made it impossible for us to budget,” she said. Michele Zigman administers a number of emergency funding programs for Frontenac County residents out of her office in Sydenham with Southern Frontenac Community Services. She is also worried about the coming winter. “We are still working with people who are trying to recover from last winter, which was cold and long and particularly hard on those who heat with propane. This coming winter could be really devastating to a lot of people,” she said. Wigman pointed out that most of the money she is able to access to support families struggling with costs is subject to strict conditions, one of them being that the families do not receive social assistance. She also said that the funds she makes use of are provincial dollars administered by the City of Kingston. “Frontenac County, based on its share of the regional population, should receive more funding than it does for these programs,” she said. A new homelessness initiative will bring a change in the supports for families in situations such as those faced by James Norris and Kendra Godfrey's family, but funding remains an issue. “The goal is for people to have sustainable housing in the long term,” said Zigman, “and my fear is that people will be forced to give up their houses if this winter is as bad as last winter was.”
Bonnie George, the administrator at Pine Meadow Nursing Home, has a bit of trouble explaining how the next phase of construction at Pine Meadow will proceed. A couple of weeks ago, residents moved into the newly constructed wings at either end of the v-shaped home. Now that all the new construction is completed, crews are renovating the rooms in the older part of the home that were vacated by those residents. When those renovations are complete, residents will move across the hall, and those rooms will be worked on. Then the administration offices will be changed, the main dining hall and servery will be renovated. “All of this will take place while the home is operating. It's all very complicated. I spent days with the construction supervisor figuring it all out and how it will work,” she said. The construction phase is now 70% complete and is on budget thus far, George added, and the good news is that a number of residents are in new rooms, enjoying the benefits of an upgraded, grade “A” long term care facility. Pine Meadow will have only two-bed or one-bed rooms when construction is complete, and each 32-bed wing will have its own admin hub, nurses' and doctors' rooms, showers and baths, common room and activity room, and dining room. The entire home will be newly finished, and will be up to date in terms of safety and accessibility requirements. Bill Cox, the chair of the management board that oversees the home for Land O'Lakes Community Services, said that the home has developed a reputation as a first class care facility due to the support of the surrounding community through ongoing fund-raising and donation efforts and other engagement with the home. “The renovations include a new staff lounge plus space in what is now the dining room for public use,” said Cox. “Some day we hope to have physiotherapy and dialysis offered here for the general public. The space will be there; it will be up to the LHIN or the ministry if the service ends up being available here,” he said. One thing that Bonnie George is hoping will happen sooner than that is a decision to increase the capacity of the home to 64 residents. The home is licensed for 60 residents, but it has a healthy waiting list, and the ministry approved constructing it to a capacity of 64. “It will be up to the ministry to decide if we should be licensed for 64 residents, but we will certainly be ready once the renovations are complete,” she said The projected end date for the project is February 18, 2015, and George anticipates the construction crews will be close to or spot on that deadline. For members of the management board who began lobbying for the re-build of the home almost 15 years ago, that day can't come soon enough.
Due to the numerous Remembrance Day ceremonies that will be held in Flinton, at Pine Meadow Nursing Home and the local school, and as they will all be led by Rev. Padre Bruce Kellar with the participation of members of the Northbrook Legion, the Denbigh Remembrance Day service was held early, on November 2. The ceremony took place at the Denbigh cenotaph located at the Denbigh United Church and it attracted close to 30 members of the local community. Rev. Padre Kellar led the service, which included members of the Northbrook Legion, Cecil Hawley, Sergeant-at-Arms Ernie Ballar, Mike Powley Junior, Harry Andringa, Wayne Marsh and Robert Wood. Rev. Padre Kellar began the service by speaking about the tragic events that took place over two weeks ago in Ottawa and Quebec, in which two members of the Canadian Forces were killed. He said, “We are able to stand on this free ground because of the men and women who have put their lives in jeopardy.” He prayed for those who have been lost and for those who have lost loved ones and who continue to experience suffering and pain because of that loss. Twelve wreaths were laid by various members of the community including members of the Addington Highlands and North Frontenac councils. Following the ceremony attendees gathered to share a meal.
OAHS brings in mold-Busters Five weeks ago Danielle Pollard of Kaladar moved out of the home she has lived in with her young daughter since early in 2014 after finding that mold had developed throughout the upstairs portion of the house. As reported in the Frontenac News on October 23, Ms. Pollard lives in a rent-subsidised house that is administered by Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS). The article outlined how Ms. Pollard received an opinion from the KFL&A Public Health Unit, which indicated that all porous materials in the home should be replaced, including the wooden furniture, sofas, etc. At the time that the article was written, the results of an air quality test had not come in yet. A phone message to Cory Smith, of the client services department of OAHS in Peterborough, was not returned before the article was published. Subsequent to the article being posted online, on October 24 an email from Kelly Reynolds, communications co-ordinator at the OAHS head office in Sault St. Marie, came to the News. The email included a statement from Don McBain, executive director of OAHS. It reads, in full: “OAHS has been working in collaboration with Mrs. Pollard and independent contractors to have her concerns regarding mold addressed. A Health Inspector visited the unit and the report was provided to Mrs. Pollard on October 3. This report did not indicate the home was unsafe to live in and indicated specifically which furniture items were to be cleaned with soap and water, removed or replaced. Mold was not reported to have been found on the shell of the unit. Air quality tests were performed and sent to a third-party laboratory for inspection. We anticipate results of this independent Air Quality Report sometime today. Mrs. Pollard was notified that OAHS would not move forward with remediation until results and recommendations are received. Records do not indicate that the unit had mold issues in the past. OAHS has been active in addressing this complaint and will continue to work with this client to ensure this unit meets all Health and Safety requirements.” When interviewed earlier this week, Don McBain confirmed that the air quality test referred to in the email was received by OAHS on October 27. The test indicated a very high reading for a category of mold called Asp/Pen (Aspirgillus and Penicillium). The reading inside the building was 60,800 in what is called raw data and 3.24 million spores per cubic metre. It was hard to find online information about what a safe level for Asp/Pen is, but one web site we consulted said the raw count for Asp/Pen should be in the single digits, and another, Inspectapedia, said a reading of 36,000 per cubic metre indicated a “mold-damaged building”. This week, Don McBain acknowledged that the mold readings are “very high”. He also said that indications are that the building is not contaminated with mold, and that the cause of the problem is poor ventilation. The health hazards of Asp/Pen, which is a category including a number different varieties of mold, vary from individual to individual. They are allergens which can cause reactions such as sneezing, itching wheezing etc, and they can be more serious for asthma sufferers, and even fatal for those with suppressed immune systems. People working on cleaning up Asp/Pen contamination are instructed to wear respirators. A Kingston-based company, mold-busters, was contracted to come in this week to do a remediation. According to an email sent to Danielle Pollard by Cory Smith, the remediation will proceed in two phases. “The good news is that since the mold exists on the surface, it can be disinfected and demolition will likely not have to take place. Therefore, according to Mold Busters, remediation should take one day. They will be disinfecting all surfaces, drapery, and ventilation systems to ensure a complete removal,” he wrote. “As far as preventing future growth, Mold Busters will be providing the unit with an air extractor/dehumidifier.” Once the remediation is done the air will be tested again and if it is declared mold-free the OAHS will consider the matter to have been dealt with. As far as the status of the wood furniture and sofas in the house, which KFL&A Public Health said could not be cleaned, Don McBain said Mold-busters does not take the same view. “They are capable of determining what needs to be done and if they decide things need to be removed they go ahead and do that,” he said. When asked about compensation for Ms. Pollard, who has not been living in her rental house for five weeks and counting, and might be dealing with the loss of furniture and other items, McBain said that those matters will be taken into account. This leaves Danielle Pollard in a bit of a quandary. What should she do if Mold-busters says her furniture can stay but Public Health has condemned it as contaminated. “If Mold-busters says it is safe, should I put my daughter in her bed, knowing that Public Health says it should be thrown out?” she wonders. When contacted, Matt Doyle from KFL&A Public Health confirmed that in the view of his agency, all porous surfaces, including wood, cannot be decontaminated. As far as the claim by OAHS that he “did not indicate that the house was unsafe to occupy,” Matt Doyle said that does not mean he said the house was safe to occupy, only that he did not comment on that issue since it was outside of the scope of his investigation. Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services owns and operates a number of houses in the Frontenac News readership area. They are available to the entire population on the basis of a needs assessment. Referrals are made through community services agencies, local First Nations and the Métis Association.