Frontenac County Council decided not to grant $48,000 each to Rural Frontenac Community Services (RF...
When Frontenac County Council completed their budget meetings last week, the Councillors seemed to b...
Maple syrup producers in the Lanark & District area gathered at the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Chu...
When you think about, it’s kind of a mystery as to why we didn’t come up with this earli...
When GREC science teacher Wade Leonard talked his principal into offering a course in drones (and drone mapping) a couple of years ago, he did see a lot of potential. But he wasn’t all that sure what that potential would be. “We’re now solving problems we didn’t even know were problems,” he said. “And we’re seeing all sorts of new tendrils of potential.” Leonard’s program, which teaches students how to fly a drone and what to do with it once they get it up in the air, has already blazed new trails. For example, they’ve done studies in Alderville for the Black Oak Savanna and Tall Grass Prairie, tracked last summer’s storm damage for Central Frontenac and the Office of Emergency Preparedness Ontario, done a study of a maple sugar bush, tracked milfoil in North Frontenac lakes, several projects for Central Frontenac included a 3D model of the Caboose in Sharbot Lake, trail mapping and volume of the Olden dump (which even shows trails where bears have dragged off bags of garbage) and are scheduled to create a database of headstones in North Frontenac. “Our first field trip was to the Black Oak Savanna for the Alderville First Nation,” he said. “We got looking at it and learned that the grass is in colonies — you could see individual plants and colony density became the basis for an ecological study. “You can’t get that from a satellite because not only does the image have to go through the entire atmosphere, it’s always at an angle and you’ll never see individual plants.” Each job brings something new. “When we did a project for Wheeler’s Maple Products to see what might be the best route for the sap lines, we discovered that we could do elevation data,” he said. “We didn’t know we could do elevation data until we got there.” That’s become useful for other projects as well. For example, they’ve discovered they can see the bottom of a lake in 15 feet of water. They have images of how effective the Malcolm/Ardoch Lakes burlap methodology has been. “And the Tryon Road severe weather research . . . lots of people were interested in that,” he said. “We saw the extent of the damage. “We’ve filled a gap.” And they’ve even attracted the attention of some professors at Carleton University. “Professor Jesse Vermaire told us ‘we don’t do this on the scale you can,’” Leonard said. “He said ‘we’re doing it on scales of metres and you’re doing it in hectares.’ “We’re going to Carleton to talk to him and some other professors.” Leonard said his program fits in well with the “Authentic Learning” program at GREC, which also includes their forestry program. “It’s solving real world problems,” he said. “Through inception, planning, execution, analysis and communication.” To that extent, he’s changed up his program slightly, making students responsible for setting up dates, looking at weather forecasts for the proposed flight, where to fly and even consulting and communicating with the partner for the mission. “We’ve got it set up now so everything is hyperlinked for the students such as permission forms, pre-flight, and the students do it all themselves,” he said. And, with changes in regulations coming in June, students 14 and older will be able fly the drones themselves. “My read on the new regulations is that not only will the students be licensed but potentially will be able to conduct missions.” Where this program will lead is anybody’s guess but they’re already breaking new ground continuously. “Context is everything,” Leonard said. “This is such a new area and we’re the only program in Ontario schools that does mapping. “We’ve just been out there poking around and stumbled on some techniques that haven’t been done before.” Sounds like their techniques will be used quite a bit in days to come. If you’d like to see some of the videos Leonard and his charges have made, have a look at his YouTube channel Wade W Leonard.
North Frontenac passed a resolution at its regular meeting Monday morning in Plevna to hire a consultant to conduct interviews with its Ward 1 firefighters. Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief Eric Korhonen told Council that “our Ward 1residents aren’t getting the same level of service the other two wards are, for one thing, there are a number of different bylaws” and “I do believe there is a cost savings to be had.” The measure wasn’t on the original agenda, which led Coun. John Inglis to ask “it’s a bit of a news item to me — am I alone on that?” North Frontenac has a joint agreement with neighbouring Addington Highlands Township to provide fire and emergency services to the former Barrie Township, North Frontenac’s most westerly ward through the joint Kaladar/Barrie Fire Department. North Frontenac took a look at how it delivers these services in Wards 2 and 3 previously, a study that included interviews with firefighters and support staff. Coun. Gerry Martin supported the idea. “We got good results interviewing Ward 2 and 3 volunteers,” Martin said. “We should do the same with Ward 1. “We got a better fire department because we talked to those people.” But other councilors weren’t so sure this new study would be such a good idea. “I’m not in favour,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. “We’ve improved this agreement over time and I don’t want a witch hunt. “If you make the wrong move, you’re going to have an issue.” “We might be poking a bear here,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer. “We could be alienating some people.” Inglis asked how this proposal came about and CAO Cheryl Robson said: “this was all discussed during the Fire Master Plan debate. “We’re not asking Addington Highlands for any money, we’re just asking the joint committee for approval and I’m looking at whether to put this in the budget. “I don’t know what the recommendations will be.” “So this isn’t coming about because somebody is screaming at us about service,” said Inglis. Korhonen tried to argue for more latitude for the consultant but Council was leery of that. “I think the consultant will need a little more freedom than just interviewing staff,” Korhonen said. He also said that he wasn’t aware of any similar joint fire committees in the Province. • • • During a rather routine zoning amendment procedure, it was noted that the property was on a private lane with a locked gate. Fire Chief Eric Korhonen was asked if that presented a problem in the event of an emergency. “We either roll over them (locked gates) or we cut the lock,” he said. “There isn’t much that can stop our equipment.” • • • Council approved the hiring of a summer student to help with the efforts to study and control the infestation of Eurasian Milfoil on Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes. “It’s an experiment the MNR has approved,” said Mayor Ron Higgins. “I’m not sure if we’re throwing money away but if they learn something, that will be applicable to our other lakes,” said Coun. John Inglis. “The major (tax) contributors are our seasonables and this addresses their issue.” • • • Coun. Gerry Martin took exception to the existence of the Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Committee and how its members are selected. “This is just bureaucratic system creep and what Randy (MPP Hillier) was talking about,” Martin said. “There’s some empire building going on.” “Is this the thing where they’re going to tax our private wells?” said Coun. John Inglis. “Ottawa has two members, Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place have one,” said Martin. “They all have municipal water supplies.” “I’ll talk to the other mayors and come back with some information in February,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.
“We’re still looking for jumpers,” said Janet Barr, organizer of this year’s Polar Bear Plunge which is now in its ninth season as part of the annual Frontenac Heritage Festival. “We have four people signed up already.” The Plunge has become a highlight of the Sunday festivities of the Festival, which is held on the Family Day long weekend in February. This year’s plunge goes Feb. 17 at noon. Besides being one of the Festival attractions, the Plunge also raises money for local charities. This year’s recipients will be The Treasure Trunk, Northern Connections and the Central Frontenac Fire Department. Pledge forms are available at The Treasure Trunk, Community Living North Frontenac or by calling Barr at 613-279-2113. There are prizes for best costume, most pledges, youngest plunger and oldest plunger, she said. Barr said they’d like to get more than last year’s 20 participants and maybe even beat the all-time record of 45 plungers.
It was billed as a Special Council meeting to establish North Frontenac’s ‘Goals’ for 2019-2022’s Strategic Plan, but Coun. John Inglis opened up another topic — Mayor Ron Higgins’ interview on Lake 88 (available as a podcast on the radio station’s website) in which Higgins talked about the Township, his role as Frontenac County Warden and then his plans for One Small Township, a multi-faceted plan for economic development that Council has yet to buy into. Inglis said it sounded like Higgins was talking about Township involvement in the project when he used the term ‘we’ in that part of the interview. “You should have mentioned that the Township doesn’t support it,” Inglis said. “We agreed you would no longer imply the Township was behind this project.” “You said ‘North Frontenac is the first Township to initiate the concept of contributionism,’” said Coun. Vernon Hermer. Higgins apologized saying he was referring to the management team of One Small Township. And then, Higgins said that financing is imminent. “I’ll be getting a cheque in mid-February,” he said. “I’m expecting to break ground on some projects in early spring.” Higgins said he couldn’t name his backers at this time, but urged Council to support them. “Part of it is that the people (putting up the money) would like to be recognized with a plaque in the Township office,” Higgins said. “There’s going to be up to 50 jobs created and people moving into the community.” “I’m trying to look at scenarios,” said Inglis. “I think we have a certain amount of responsibility to do that.” “If Council doesn’t want any part of it, then we’ll go the co-op route,” said Higgins. He said he had asked Township treasurer Kelly Watkins about the possibilities of setting up a trust fund to put the money in. Higgins said the plan is to set up something like similar properties in British Columbia. “I’m concerned about the true source of the money,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “I’ve heard about money laundering schemes.” “This reminds me of the advice the OPP gives seniors,” said Hermer. “If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.” • • • Council did establish its goals for the 2019-2022 term: Economic/Community Development Investigate incentives for business Tourism Expansion Volunteer Recognition Support initiatives for Seniors to remain in the Community for as long as possible Proceed with a multi-unit affordable residence for senior Explore opportunities for Seniors to remain in their homes Enhance and Sustain Capital Assets/Infrastructure Maintain Asset Management Plan to ensure long term sustainability Maintain Reserves/Reserve Funds Enhance Communications Plan Train Council on Social Media Enhance communications mechanisms and information to reach all of the public Attract a diverse Council. Much of the discussion was focused on potential economic development but several members of Council were resigned to the fact that there really wasn’t a lot any Council could do. “The Municipal Act says we can’t get into competition with other municipalities by offering tax incentives,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I personally don’t see a lot of opportunities for us.” When it came to development, Inglis pointed out the “competing interests” of the municipality being a desire to expand the tax base while maintaining the “pristine nature” of North Frontenac. Mayor Ron Higgins pointed out the lack of overnight accommodation available (most lodges and trailer parks get booked for the season) and suggested the Township might get involved in a small cabins project similar to what Bon Echo Provincial Park is trying. “The cabins can pay for themselves in one season,” he said. “But does the Township want to get into the accommodation business?” said Inglis. “You have to find the land first,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. When it came to job creation, Coun. Gerry Martin had this to say: “Most people who come here are in the second stage of their lives. They’re not looking for jobs.” In several cases, the wording of the goals was influenced by staff members Corey Klatt, manager of community development and Darwyn Sproule, public works manager, who said they use such things when applying for grants. • • • Council also passed a couple of other resolutions. One was to get 24-hour ambulance service (particularly at Robertsville) and a potential septic waste disposal site on the agenda for the next Frontenac County Council meeting. The other was a Gerry Martin request to look into changing the Township logo. “I just don’t like it,” Martin said.
The great de-centralised Frontenac Heritage Festival is made up of many stand alone events that are loosely connected. One new event this year is a crokicurl rink, located in the Oliver Scott Memorial Park in Sharbot Lake (across from Granite Ridge Education Centre) which will be available all weekend. Never hear of crokicurl? It is exactly what it sounds like. A crokinole board set up on an ice rink. Instead of flicking wooden disks with fingers, sand filled windshield wiper fluid jugs are slid along the ice from a makeshift curling ‘hack’ at the edge of the ice. Depending on the circumstances, a draw to the button, a bump and run or a takeout may be called for. Any combination up to eight players can participate at one time, even numbers are best. The rink was set up, with posts ringing the house like a crokinole board, by Rudy and Joan Hollywood. They will be around to explain the rules at times during the weekend, and the rink is available all-day Saturday and Sunday. The Festival kick off is at the Sharbot Lake Legion on Friday night, (February 15) in conjunction with the Legion’s Friday night chicken dinner. Things get underway in earnest on Saturday with a mitt full of events at the Kennebec Community Centre between 9am and 3pm. There will be a display by the Kennebec Historical Society, a demonstration of chainsaw wood carving by Robin Deruche, smoke alarm demonstrations by the fire department, games and food. At the same time, part of the hall will be taken over by the Arden Potters, who will be selling soup and chilli in handcrafted bowls that purchasers can take home. All proceeds from the sale of the bowls goes to the North Frontenac Food Bank. Need to see more pottery? The Arden Pottery Studio, which is just down the road from the hall, will be open all day. Meanwhile, starting at 11am, The Kennebec Lake Association is holding its 7th Annual Winter Fun Day on the lake, just east of the bridge and boat launch. Chilli, hot chocolate and cider, snow shoeing, skating sliding and more until 3pm. Things are quieter in Sharbot Lake during the day on Saturday, but there is a Lion’s breakfast at the Oso Hall from 8am-11am as well as Croki-curling. At night the hamlet will be livened up by Shawn McCullough and Wade Foster at the Crossing Pub, starting at 8pm. On Sunday, the Matson Farm at 6278 Arden Road will be the centre of attention. It features heritage farming, a cross cut competition, and more (see ad on page 16). In Sharbot Lake, Sunday events are anchored by the Polar Plunge at the Sharbot Lake Marina at 12 noon, followed by lunch at the Legion. Meanwhile, from 11am-3pm, winter fun day is on at the Child Centre, featuring soup and scones, bucket drummers, snowshoe lending, etc. Finally, over at the Railway Heritage Park on Elizabeth Street, Bob Miller and Mike Procter will be throwing knives (not at each other) from 12 - 4pm, and Bill MacDonald will be demonstrating old time logging techniques.
CBC News as well as Global and VTC News are reporting on a recall of Betty Bread and Nancy's Fancy products that sell at Mike Dean's Super Food Store in Sharbot Lake. Gordon Dean, President of Mike Dean's, said that the recall report is misleading because only one Nancy's Fancy product, which has been removed from the shelves at the store, was produced in the plant where the contamination has been foun "To our valued customers: The bakery in Pointe Claire, Quebec that manufactures our Nancy's Fancy PIZZA CRUST products has recalled the three Pizza Crust products we sell in our stores. These have been removed from sale and anyone that has purchased them we ask that you return them for a full refund. All other Nancy's Fancy Bread and Nancy's Fancy Bun products are not effected and are fully safe to enjoy as they are baked and packaged in completely separate bakeries in Montreal and Saint-Jerome," said Dean in an email to the News, whichi has also been posted on the grocery store website. The CBC News item, which pasted at 9:30am this morning, reads as follows: "The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall for Betty brand and Nancy's Fancy Yummy in the Tummy brand bakery products. The agency says the products may be unsafe due to possible contamination from mice infestation at the manufacturing plant. The affected products were sold in Ontario and Quebec up to and including Feb. 8, and may contain harmful bacteria. Consumers who bought the baked goods are advised to throw them out or return them to the store where they were purchased. The CFIA says there have been no reports of illness linked to the products." An identical report was posted at Global News
When you think about, it’s kind of a mystery as to why we didn’t come up with this earlier. It’s simple, the winter ice melts and anything that doesn’t float will sink to the bottom when it does. That’s the principle behind a walleye spawning bed restoration project which took place on Long Lake last Saturday morning (February 2). The big advantage of placing rocks that will form the (actually add to an existing) spawning bed on the ice is that they can be driven to the spot and placed rather precisely. When the ice melts in the spring, the rocks will sink. On this day, the Long Lake Property Owners Association (LLPOA) members organized an army of snowmobiles, 4-wheelers and side-by-sides, all with sleds or trailers, to ferry the rocks out to locations, where other volunteers including the 1st Drummond Scouts Group, unloaded them and arranged them to correspond with the existing spawning beds. “This is a great lake for this kind of project,” said Melissa Dakers of Watersheds Canada. “There’s no current to speak of and the two existing shoals get good wind. “We’ve had other similar projects in Lanark that have worked out well.” Dakers said the Algonquins of Ontario were also involved and they had funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program. The rocks used are washed river stone, ranging in size from small apples to large grapefruit, supplied by contractor Peter Nedow. The beds themselves are marked with coniferous branches for safety. Lake Steward Terry Eccles said they’ve done some spawning ground projects in the past through the MNR program, which no longer exists. “So we contacted Melissa and she said she had some funding and all we needed to provide was some volunteers,” he said. And provide the volunteers they did. It was quite a sight to see: about 40 snowmobiles and ATVs hooked up with sleds and trailers, running a constant relay from the shore to the beds. In all, it took about two hours to completely move two large truckloads of rock. “This increases the spawning area available to the walleye,” he said. “We’re really hoping this will make the walleye competitive with the bass.” The rocks were deposited off two different islands (known walleye spawning beds) on the ice and will sink to the bottom when the ice melts in the spring.
South Frontenac’s Volunteer Fire Department is launching a recruitment drive this month, hoping to attract 25 new recruits from throughout the township. They are looking for physically fit, energetic men and women who are interested in becoming part of a team working to promote safety and who are prepared to protect their community in emergencies. Firefighters are first responders not only to fires, but to a wide range of other emergencies, health crises and rescues from various dangerous situations (confined space, ice, rope, surface water, swift water, trench, vehicle). Some emergencies cannot be reached by road, necessitating boat or overland equipment transport. As well, the Fire Department is responsible for promoting public safety by providing education and fire prevention, investigating causes of fires, and carrying out fire safety inspections of public buildings. (A well-equipped and trained fire department helps keep home insurance rates down throughout the Township.) Training is central to becoming a firefighter. According to Fire Chief Darcy Knott, although the Province has currently revoked its requirement for all volunteer firefighters to have mandatory certification, known as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001, he anticipates that some form of this requirement will be reinstated. Certification requires completion of levels 1&2 of firefighting training, as well as a course in hazardous materials management. It took a month for Knott to work through the records of the current 80 South Frontenac volunteer firefighters, to determine which ones had the level of combined experience and training which would allow them to be grandfathered into certification. As a result, 75% of the current township firefighters are now recognized as having the equivalent of NFPA1001. Knott has planned an intensive training program for the new recruits beginning in May, for one night a week plus one or two weekend sessions which will bring them up to certification by the end of October this year. This training will be funded by the Township. (The alternative would require a year-long community college course, costing thousands of dollars in tuition.) As well as training, each new recruit will be fully fitted out with the necessary gear. This is one of the biggest single expenses for the Township: it costs nearly $3,000 to fully equip a firefighter. Interested? There will be four information sessions: at Burridge and Perth Road stations on Tuesday Feb 26th, and at Hartington and Sunbury stations on Tuesday March 5th. These sessions will discuss expectations, benefits and training opportunities, and answer questions from potential recruits. For further information, contact Fire Chief Darcy Knott, 613-376-3027 ext 2234.
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.
At its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham, South Frontenac Council approved a noise bylaw exemption for the Inverary Youth Group on June 1 and 2 to hold a Spring Fling Music Festival fundraiser. South Frontenac resident and owner of Little Texas Roadhouse Bar and Grill, Kimberley Allan told Council that the youth group wanted to do some renovations to the washrooms and some electrical upgrading to the canteen at Ken Garrett Memorial Park and as such came up with the idea of a combination music festival with softball games. “It will be mostly classic country and some classic rock,” Allan said. “I have a lot of connections in the music business through Little Texas.” She said the event will run from 8am to 10pm. on Saturday and 8am. to 5pm on Sunday with music slated for 11am to 10pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday. When asked if they planned to use the canteen for the event, Allan said they were looking at renting space to food trucks which she believed “would put more money in the youth group’s pockets.” The full lineup of musical acts is yet to be determined but Allan did say Sharbot Lake’s Old Habits, Chelsea Road and Picket Fences were scheduled to appear. “I really commend you for your efforts on this,” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth. More re- closed meeting investigatorCouncil directed staff to consult with Township solicitors and come back with a report in line with a recommendation in the Closed Meeting Investigators report on why Council was party to litigation on the water plant in Sydenham and the pertinent facts underlying the legal claims that can be made public. Coun. Ross Sutherland served a notice of motion that staff report back to Council on the matter at the the Jan. 22 Council meeting. “Now that the solicitor put it out there that there was litigation, people have been asking what it was,” Sutherland said. “The closed meeting investigator said that some of it should be made public and people do know about it.” “I believe it’s important our solicitor be a part of this and we put this to bed once and for all,” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth. Council skeptical over Post Media claims about litteringIn a report to Council submitted by Clerk Angela Maddocks, she refers to a conversation she had with Rob Mclellan, Distribution Supervisor - Eastern Ontario, for Post Media, the publisher of Frontenac This Week. She called McLellan after council complained about newspapers and flyers being tossed on driveways in parts of the township, causing a littering issue. “Mr. McLellan was very receptive to assisting with this concern and indicated that residents who do not wish to receive the newspaper can contact the distribution office by calling Mr. McLellan at 544-5000 Ext 547147 and providing their civic number and street address to have cancelled, or the service suspended” she wrote in her report. Not everyone was satisfied with Mclellan’s assurances. “I still get the paper and an ad bag,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “I know people who have called the number several times to stop delivery and still it keeps coming. “I want staff to talk to the paper people and if we get no satisfaction, we’ll have to look to our littering bylaw. “I want to talk to them and say ‘stop it.’” “I agree with you completely,” said Coun. Ross Sutherland. “To me, it’s littering.” (Publishers note – the newspaper you are reading now, the Frontenac News, is an independent publication that only uses Canada Post for delivery. As well, as opposed to 0% Frontenac County generated content in Frontenac This Week, our content is over 90% Frontenac County generated. Just saying)
Frontenac County Council decided not to grant $48,000 each to Rural Frontenac Community Services (RFCS) and Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCS), to provide transportation services for Frontenac County residents in 2019. Instead, they put $96,000 aside and tasked warden Ron Higgins with trying to bring the two organisations together to come back to the county with a combined proposal. Higgins has a month to report back to Council on his progress. Until this year, the two agencies had made a joint application for funding every year since 2011, when Frontenac Transportation Services (FTS) was established. RFCS oversees FTS, provided transportation to SFCS clients under a Memorandum of Understanding that was severed in October of last year. RFCS had requested $96,000 from Frontenac County in 2019, and committed to transferring $25,600 of that money to SFCSC. SFCSC made a counter proposal, asking for $62,400 in funding, leaving $33,600 for RFCS. Noting that both of the agencies may see significant changes in the amount of money they receive for transportation from the Ontario Ministry of Health, due to pending healthcare reform, Frontenac County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender recommended that the county make a one time grant of $48,000 to each agency in 2019, and then consider what to do in the long term in the 2020 budget process. A motion was made to that effect. Speaking to the motion, Warden Higgins said he did not support the 50/50 split of funds. “Why should we give them $48,000 each when they have no plan, when we had been supporting an integrated program in the past. They should come to us together,” he said. South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal agreed. “We told them last year to come up with a business plan for transportation and instead they came with two competing proposals. Why should we encourage two transportation services in one county,” said Vandewal. Higgins then proposed amendment to the motion. The amendment said that all of the $96,000 should be held in a reserve fund until the two agencies can agree on a single proposal for transportation. “I’m concerned that any delay in delivering funding will result in people in need, not getting where they have to go. Besides we know the two organisations aren’t getting along over this. They’ve been trying to work this out and they can’t. What makes us think they will work it out now,” said Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith. “I haven’t tried to make it work yet,” said Higgins. Higgins said that if the amendment were passed, he would contact the two agencies and meet with them, then report back to Council in short order. Council meets in regular session on February 20 and again on March 20. The amendment was approved, with Mayor Smith registering the only dissenting vote. The county budget still reflects a $96,000 expense, just under 1% of the budget requisition.
Frontenac County will be requisitioning over $10.25 million from the four Frontenac Townships this year, up from $9.75 million in 2018. The tax hikes come mainly as the result of salary increases, both among unionised employees at Fairmount Home and Frontenac Paramedics, and among non-unionised staff throughout the county departments. Thanks to a decision of the outgoing council last fall, County Council members will share in those salary increases as well. The increases are spread throughout the major county operations. They include a $137,000 in the county share of the cost of running Fairmount Home, an 11% increase. The increase for Frontenac Paramedic Services is smaller, $74,000, a 3.8% increase. Among exclusively county funded operations, the Planning and Development Department budget is up by $67,000, a 10% increase, and corporate services is up by $72,000, an increase of 3.7%. There were two requests for money from external agencies. One was quite large, $600,000 for a night-shift at the Robertsville ambulance base. With Frontenac Paramedic Services undertaking a service review this year, that request was pulled off the table by the North Frontenac Township representatives, until the review is completed. Another request, for $10,000 by Central Frontenac Not-for Profit Housing, for site improvements at the Clement Road housing complex, was rejected. “I think we would be setting a precedent if we agreed to this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle. The target that council set for the tax levy increase is the annualised Consumer Price Index as of October, 2018. That figure is 3.1%. But when presenting the budget to Council, Treasurer Susan Brant included a figure of 2.1%, the increase in the total assessment of Frontenac County properties based upon information provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. That 2.1% was then subtracted from the 5.2% levy increase to bring a total of 3.1% under the heading of Total Levy Impact. That 3.1% levy impact figure was reported by Global News as a 3.1% tax increase (see editorial)
They are actually called ice resurfacers, and the Frontenac Community Arena Board has decided to replace their aging 2000 Olympia M propane powered model with a 2019 Engo Wolf Electric model. As arena manager, Tim Laprade explained in his report to the board concerning the replacement that the initial cost of the Engo Wolf is much higher than a 2018 Olympia M - $165,000 as compared to $98,000. However, when the projected operational costs over the 16 year estimate lifespan of the two machines are factored in, the Engo Wolf at $211,000 is a cheaper option as compared to the Olympia M at $292,000. The main saving is in the cost of electricity for the Engo Wolf: $6,000 per year, compared to the propane costs of the Olympia: $38,000 per year. “We will actually use less electricity for ice-resurfacing with the Engo Wolf than we do now, because we need to run electrical fans at ice level to blow the fumes out of the building when the Olympia is running. We won’t need to power those fans anymore with the electric model.” Laprade said that the air quality and overall environmental impact of the electric resurfacer are more important factors than the cost savings. “The propane fumes are heavier than air, so they remain at ice level if we don’t ventilate, right where children are skating. Arena air quality is regulated, and we meet the standards, but with no fumes to clear out and no potential leaks from propane tanks to worry about, air quality is safeguarded with an electric machine,” he said. The Engo Wolf also has a better blade system than the Olympia, and will save staff time changing blades on the machine- a weekly or even twice weekly one-hour job that will be all but eliminated, Laprade added. The new machine, which is scheduled for delivery in time for the September opening of the arena, will make the Frontenac Arena one of the few small rural arenas to make the leap to a modern, cleaner technology, according to Laprade. The ice resurfacer purchase will be followed by larger arena upgrades in 2020 and 2021, when the floor and the refrigeration systems are due for replacement. “Both of those are 45 years old and at the end of their useful lives. Replacing them will put the arena on a good footing,” he said. The purchase was approved by the arena board last week, to be funded by the arena reserve fund. The arena is jointly owned by South and Central Frontenac, and is overseen by a board that is made up of appoints by the South and Central Frontenac township councils. Laprade’s report to the arena board was included in the agenda for the South Frontenac Council meeting this week, as an information item.
Frontenac County Council is meeting over two days this week to discuss the draft 2019 Frontenac County budget. Council will look at departmental business plans first before tackling the budget numbers and a proposed 3.6% increase in the dollars to be requisitioned from township councils, They will also consider a set of project proposals, which, if adopted, would result in further increases. Much of the 3.6% ($354,000) increase comes from increased wage costs across the various services that the county manages. There are relatively high increases in the budgets for the two largest county-run services: the county-owned Fairmount Home long-term care facility (7.83% - a $96,000 increase in money to be paid by Frontenac County residents) and Frontenac Paramedic Services (3.4% - a $65,000 increase). There are a series of increases in other county operations in the draft budget. Among these is governance (11% - a $26,000 increase in the levy), almost entirely due to an increase in council members pay, which was approved by the outgoing council last fall. The corporate services budget is also up (3.65% - a $73,000 increase in the levy), also mainly due to pay increases. The Planning and Development budget is also up (10.3% - a $67,000 increase in the levy), again, mainly due to pay increases. The “total requisition” to county ratepayers is up to $10.1 million in the draft budget. The increase is larger than it appears at first glance, because it comes even after cutting a long-standing $96,000 grant to Frontenac Transportation Services out of the budget. The grant, which has been included in the county budget for that last 8 years, has been moved out of the draft document and is now included as a potential add-on, a “project proposal”. Treasurer Susan Brant said that the $96,000 has been pulled because there are now competing requests for that money and Council will have a series of options to consider.(see page 2 – Pender recommends King Solomon solution for FTS) The total county operation will cost over $43 million to run this coming year, but contributions from the Government of Ontario and the City of Kingston, for paramedic services and Fairmount Home, cover much of the overall cost. County Treasurer Susan Brant has included a list of ‘project proposals’ that different department heads will be pitching to Council this week. These include two positions at Fairmount Home: a new evening personal support worker and a part time recreationist. The cost to the county budget for this position is $24,500 for the personal support worker and $15,000 for the recreationist position. Fairmount is also asking for $1,500 from the county budget for parking lot repairs. The other major project proposal is coming from Frontenac Paramedic Services: $8,400 from the county budget for a paramedic wellness position. Together with some smaller projects from corporate services, the project proposals (if they are all adopted) would add an additional $59,000 (or 0.6%) to the increase. Among the project proposals from external agencies is a $10,000 grant to Central Frontenac Housing Corporation, and a $600,000 estimated annual cost for a night shift at the Robertsville paramedic station in North Frontenac. Finally, Council will be looking at the $96,000 proposal for transportation services. If Council approves all of the internally generated project proposals as well as the transportation funding, without making cuts elsewhere in the budget, ratepayers will see a 5% increase in county taxes. The added paramedic shift in North Frontenac would result in a 6% budget increase on its own, bringing the total increase to over 11%. Council is considering the budget on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and a tentative third date has been set aside on Wednesday, February 13th if they don’t get it done in two days. It is anticipated that the budget document will come to the regularly scheduled February Council meeting (Wednesday, February 20) for final approval.
Representatives from the Flinton Community Jamboree came to Addington Highlands Council Tuesday afternoon in Flinton and to the surprise of many, they weren’t asking for money but they did have a rather lengthy list of requests. Dave McKittrick and Gary Radford did suggest that if the Township were to wave the $100 entertainment license fee, they’d put the Township on the list of donors however. And while it wasn’t really a request for money, they also asked that the hall rental fee be waved for their monthly meetings. They also asked for an exemption to the noise bylaw, permission to use the canteen and if a Township water truck could be present for the canteen and food vendors. “We should have a water truck but if you’re looking for it on Saturday, don’t expect it,” said Roads/Waste Management Supervisor Brett Reavie. Clerk Christine Reed said the Festival committee would have to ensure that water wasn’t made available to the trailers that come as that has caused problems in the past. “The trailers will bring their own water,” Radford said. Lastly, Radford asked if the Township could help with volunteers as the Festival Committee needed more. “I’ll be there but I don’t know how much help I’d be,” said Coun. Kirby Thompson. Minor variance for dock?Frank Smith owns property on Weslemkoon Lake. On one of his properties, he has a dock that has the foundations for a boat porch. There is no house on the seven-acre property as yet, but there is a well and septic system and he told Council he plans to build his retirement home there one day. He also has a building permit for the dock. Addington Highlands, unlike most of its neighbours, does issue building permits for docks. Here’s the problem. He recently received a letter from the Township telling him he’d have to remove the dock. The position the Township took in the letter was that the building permit shouldn’t have been issued in the first place because the Zoning Bylaw states that accessory buildings can’t be built until a primary structure is built and therefore use of the property is established. Smith doesn’t see it that way. To him, the well and septic system show that the use will be residential and besides, he has a building permit for the dock. Further complicating the issue is that CBO Ken Buxton passed away in December so he can’t be consulted. Planning secretary/deputy Clerk Patricia Gray said that the issue could be potentially resolved with a minor variance, assuming no further environmental impact studies were required. Smith wasn’t having any of that either. “I’m not paying $700 for a minor variance or anything else,” he said. “I paid for my permit and I guarantee the dock is staying there. “I think I’m the largest employer in the Township and I know I’ve taken out more building permit than anyone.” Coun. Kirby Thompson and others were sympathetic to Smith’s arguments. “I’m having trouble understanding how we can turn around and tell him he can’t do that,” Thompson said. “Let us have a bit of time to see if we can get this cleared up,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. Council directed staff to look as a minor variance process (if necessary) to make it compliant with no cost to Smith. Handyman for DenbighDep. Mayor Tony Fritsch wants a “handyman” in the north. “The south has one and it works out well,” he said. Council directed staff to advertise a temporary part-time position. Kaladar waste siteRoads and waste management supervisor Brett Reavie said they’re looking at two options for a transfer site when the Kaladar site is closed. The first option is for the Township to buy a compactor and truck the garbage away themselves and the second is to hire a contractor to truck it away.
For 10 years now, the Granite Ridge Education Centre (part of which it was Sharbot Lake High School) has been participating in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). “We’ve been doing this since 2007 and had 10 different charities benefit,” said Randy McVety, the teacher who oversees the project at GREC. “This year marks $50,000 and across Canada, 20,000 students have participated and more than $500,000 has been presented to charities.” The process is rather straightforward. Interested Grade 10 students research a local charity, put together a presentation on it and a group of judges from the school decide who gets the money based on those presentations. Four charities were represented by students this year including Kingston 4 Paws, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Kingston and Addiction and Mental Health Services Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Addiction and Mental Health Services will receive $5,000, thanks to the winning presentation of their advocates Mairina Jackson and Annika Putnam. “They service a wide area and offer lots of services,” said Putnam. “We were both interested in what they do,” said Jackson. This year, three of the four charities focus on mental health (and it could be argued that so does Big Brothers/Big Sisters) and that fact wasn’t lost on Putnam and Jackson. “Young people are becoming more aware of how mental health is going to impact just about everything you do,” said Putnam.
The Township of Addington Highlands voted to opt in for retail cannabis outlets at its Council meeting last week in Denbigh, said Reeve Henry Hogg. “We had two open houses the week before on the subject and while there were more against than for, it was only like one or two people,” he said. “There were about 30 people at the meetings and so you don’t know if that’s representative.” Higgins said that the determinative factor (for opting in) may have been the potential for financial benefits both from the provincial government and the economic development it could represent. But, he acknowledged it could be some time before there’s an outlet in Cloyne or Northbrook. “The first licenses are for communities of 50,000 or more and we don’t have a 10th of that,” he said. “Besides you can already get it in Tyendinaga or online. “Or you can just grow it yourself.” On another matter, Hogg said the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority’s request for members on its Source Water Protection Committee didn’t meet the kind of concern it did in neighbouring North Frontenac. North Frontenac had a considerable discussion regarding the fact that Ottawa had two members, Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place for the three of them had one member and all the other municipalities combined had but a single member. “We did get an email from (North Frontenac Mayor Ron) Higgins asking us to submit a name but we have no sources to protect,” Hogg said. “Other than some headwaters. “This was something created after the Walkerton fiasco many years ago and whatever they do, it’s going to cost us money.”
If you have an infant or preschool child, then you understand the trials and tribulations of finding reliable, affordable, safe care for your child when you return to work. Many families in our communities, and in communities across Ontario and Canada struggle with access to childcare. On January 7, Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC) opened a new daycare centre in Cloyne at North Addington Education Centre (NAEC). The centre provides licensed daycare services for children from the ages of 0-6. Additionally, LARC offers before and after school programs for school-age kids. The daycare offers care from 7am to 6pm. It has three rooms. The infant room is for children up to 18 months, the toddler room for children ranging from 18-30 months and finally, the pre-school room is for children from 30 months until school age. Supervisor, Hannah Lough, says that a typical day includes indoor and outdoor play such as science investigations. NAEC is proud to welcome Lydia Keller and Dallas Arney, NAEC alumni, who will be joining Hannah Lough and Krystle Keller, who have been running the afterschool program, as staff educating the Little Vikings. Darlene Armer, Executive Director of LARC, explains that the program is for all children. Subsidies are available for families to offset the costs associated with childcare. LARC daycare is licensed by the Ministry of Education. The program follows these guidelines, such as providing nutritional lunches and snacks and giving receipts to parents to use at income tax time. If you would like to have more information about how to register for LARC or how to apply for subsidized payments, please contact Hannah at 613-336-6825 or Darlene at 613-354-6318. Mary Hasler, age 3, was the first student to arrive at LARC on January 7. She enthusiastically picked out her cubby and got ready to go to preschool.