The idea of sharing services between North and Central Frontenac moved from theory to practice prett...
Youngsters often have a lot to teach us adults about empathy. That is certainly the case of nine-yea...
The story of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) actually started five years before the corporation was formally established in March of 1975. In November 1970, a group of citizens met in the Anglican Rectory at Sharbot Lake to discuss problems shared by residents in the eight northern townships of Frontenac County - problems such as decreasing population, economic difficulties, lack of social services and limited community spirit. The group hosted a public meeting at Sharbot Lake High School on February 2, 1971. Agreement was reached that the ‘sense of community’ had to be revitalized. In earlier years, the railroads had provided a link between hamlets, villages and small rural settlements, and the passing of that era contributed to residents’ isolation. A "Communication Group" was formed and in March 1971 the first edition of the North Frontenac News - a mimeographed, single sheet paper - was printed and distributed free of charge. During that year, a Local Initiatives Program Grant was obtained to develop office space and room for any public group to hold meetings in the rectory basement. In 1972 another grant was received for assistance in development of community initiatives. Continuing their efforts as facilitators who assisted community members in taking responsibility for community problems, the group developed a proposal for multi-service centre funding. Two workers were hired to analyse organizational and social service issues in North Frontenac. The first of many senior citizens’ clubs was organized; the Children’s Aid Society was encouraged to work at the facility; and a part-time federally funded employment office opened. In response to the results of a questionnaire, the Communications Group facilitated the development of a summer swim program that was co-sponsored by the townships and the Sharbot Lake and District Lions Club. With Ministry of Community and Social Services’ funding approval in 1973, the members established a Management Council and opened office space in the refurbished former rectory. During the winter of 1973-74, a group of citizens, including some Management Council members, was brought together to discuss another vital concern. St. Lawrence College funded a worker to conduct the study, which ultimately resulted in the formation of the North Frontenac Association for the Mentally Handicapped, now known as Community Living - North Frontenac. Finally, on March 20, 1975, North Frontenac Community Services became incorporated. It was the first multi-service centre in the province. Its stated aims were that: (1) the residents of North Frontenac have ready access to a full array of social services and that these be coordinated, appropriate and effective; and that (2) citizens be encouraged and assisted to participate in community development and the solving of common problems.” From 1976 to 1982, several new services and positions were created, including the Senior Citizens’ Home Support Program, the Adult Protective Services Program, and the first Coordinator of Volunteers. During that same period, under the guidance of Queen’s University law students, a community legal worker provided services that included summary advice, advocacy, and information for residents of North Frontenac. Identification of the need for these and more extensive legal services resulted in the establishment of Rural Legal Services, which is now known as the Legal Clinic-Sharbot Lake. The position of family counsellor was started in 1979 to provide assistance for individuals and families. A small group of women began to advocate for local services to enhance the lives of children and their parents in 1983. With community support, they started a drop-in centre and toy library at Sharbot Lake the following year. Then, after acceptance of their proposal for funding, they opened a Child Care Resource Centre, with the program administered by NFCS. They purchased a van, some supplies and equipment, hired two workers, then began outreach programs at township halls. Eventually, as service requests increased and survey results were tabulated, they developed a proposal for funding of a multi-service child care centre that would be the hub for services in the North Frontenac area. The committee members actively participated in all aspects of planning for the Child Centre and celebrated its grand opening on March 21, 1991 during a heavy snowstorm. In 1995, provincial government philosophy changed and moved away from support of multi-service agencies. Administrative funding was removed from NFCS and a letter from the Ministry of Community and Social Services provided advice as to how to close down the agency in an orderly fashion. In spite of the extreme challenges presented by this action, the agency's demise never came about. Twenty years later, Northern Frontenac Community Services (the name was changed after municipal amalgamation in 1998, when North Frontenac no longer meant 'north of Verona') is stronger than ever. Even with the ups and downs caused by the advent of all-day kindergarten in the last couple of years, the day care centre, located on the bottom floor of the Child Centre building continues to thrive, and provides care for a number of children and families with particular physical and social needs. For the last 10 years, the Child Centre has carried out the role of an Ontario Early Years Centre, providing parent and early childhood education, including playgroups in communities throughout Frontenac County. A youth program has been up and running for five years, and it is also active throughout the county. The nature of the service delivery has changed over the past 20 years as well, in the children's and adult services wings of NFCS. A number of services are offered by the agency in collaboration with affiliates who have office space in the NFCS Adult Services building, such as Ontario Works, Frontenac and Addington Children and Family Service, Frontenac Community Mental Health Services, Pathways for Children and Youth, and others. The United Way has come on board as the funder of family and youth services, and the Local Health Integration Network funds community support services such as Meals on Wheels, etc. “We like to describe ourselves as a cradle to grave organization,” said long-time board member and current Board Chair Linda Chappel. “Whatever the age group, we provide services, either with our own programs or in collaboration with others.” While there are many funders behind the NFCS banner, from government ministries and departments to charitable foundations, community groups and individual donors, from the point of view of the residents of Frontenac County, the services are all provided by caring individuals, and the community activism that brought NFCS about 40 or 45 years ago keeps it going to this day. If people need service and don't know who to call, they can call the Child Centre at 613-279-3260 or Adult Services at 613-279-3151
Shirley was born and raised in Sharbot Lake, and although her family moved to Perth when she was nine, in 1935, it was her first school principal at Sharbot Lake Public School who introduced her to naturalist pursuits. “He took us outside and introduced all sorts of vegetation and birds, showed us Blue Herons. It certainly caught my attention,” she said, Shirley always returned to Sharbot Lake on weekends to visit her grandmother. In 1988, she had a small house built on the lake, on a lot in the village that was still in her family, to serve as her winter home. It was difficult to talk to Shirley on Tuesday, because the phone kept ringing as friends from all over were calling to congratulate her as news of her appointment to the Order circulated around the province. “I’ve known for three weeks, but I wasn’t to tell anyone except for family until it was officially announced,” she said, but since Shirley is not exactly prone to self-promotion it is likely she wouldn’t have told anyone about it at all if it hadn’t already been publicized. After being raised in eastern Ontario, Shirley said, “I wanted to know what it was like to live in different parts of the province.” That led her and her husband, who was a teacher, to move to Kenora. In 1956 a road was built joining Quetico with the rest of Ontario, and it wasn’t long after that that Shirley made her first trip to the park. Fifty-four years later, her story has become synonymous with that of Quetico Park. Marie Nelson, who has worked as a ranger in the park with her husband Jon, is the person who put the application for the Order of Ontario togethe Shirley Peruniak was born at Sharbot Lake in 1926, and she can trace her family roots back at least two generations further to a grandfather who lived south of the village near the Tryon Road. She attended Sharbot Lake Public School until she reached grade 7. Her father, who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, was then transferred to Perth to work in the office of CPR Express, a postal mail and parcel service. Although Shirley did not live full time in Sharbot Lake for over 50 years (1935 until 1988) she always came back to visit her grandparents and other relatives for Christmas and summer holidays. They who owned a number of cottages on the lake, and rented some out during the summer tourist season. Shirley, whose maiden name was Walroth, has always been a history buff, and attended Queen's on a sholarship to study history. She lived with her husband in Kenora for many years where they were teachers, adn where she formed an association with Quetico Park in northwestern Ontario (Onear Dryden). In 2010 was honoured by being named to the Order of Ontario for her work as a historian and naturalist in the Park. When she returned to Sharbot Lake in 1988 after her husband had died, she torn down one of the two remaining cottages that she owned herself byt that time and had a small house built on the lake, on Walroth Lane (her maiden name was Walroth) She quickly established herself as a historian in Sharbot Lake at that time, working with then librarian Michael Dawber (who late wrote a book about he history of Central Frontenac called Back of Sunset) she founded the Oso Historical Society. In the early years of the society, descendants of some of the long standing families in the township spoke at public events that were organised for that purpose, and although much of the energy of those years has slipped away, Shirley has kept an archive of material, with files about each family kept neatly in alphabetic order at her home, and in a series of file cabinets that are housed at the Sharbot Lake Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. Her own memories of life in Sharbot Lake in the 1920's and 30's are consistent with other accounts, and the material she has gathered about life in the preceding 50 years are consistent with other sources, including the chapter on Oso township in County of 1000 Lakes, which was written by Peggy Cohoe, Evelyn Johnson, and Doris and R.D. Ayers. “I know that farming was particularly difficult all through those years,” she said. Based on census data and accounts or people such as Thomas Gibbs, the surveyer who completed a Survey in 1860, County of 1000 lakes says that the entire population of the township was 138 in 1860, but that number rose steadily over the next 40 years. By 1900, 60% of the land in Oso was listed as agricultural, but even then the life blood of the town was the railway, since the CPR and K&P rail lines crossed at Sharbot Lake. In 1900 there were five lumber mills in the vicinity of the village, employing 150 people, and an apatite mine employed 40 more. All of this was based on the ability to ship product to markets in all directions. Over the next 20 years most of the mills closed, a discovery of large quantities of apetite (which was used int the fertiliser industry) in Florida led to the mine being shut done, the population dropped by 25% and farming became less and less popular. By 1911 there were 160 farms in Oso, and by 1961 there were 31, which is still a lot more than there are today. Shirley Peruniak remembers the railway as central to the town in the 1920's. “The K&P would come in first, and it would wait for the CPR to arrive. People and goods were transferred, and the trains would be on their way,” she recalls. One of Shirley's regrets is that in those years she took many trips on the K&P to Kingston, even when she was only a summer visitor to Sharbot Lake, but never took the train north the Snow road, or Flower Station, or to where it ended, at Calabogie.
Long before Mary Howes had established herself as a major force in local and regional organisations, she was a young girl from Tichborne who had been raised in a great aunt and uncle's house, near the rail station. After high school she went to Toronto to work, living at another aunt's house, but she did not like it very much. “I didn't like it because I was a country girl, not a city girl,” she recalls now, from the house in Parham that she has lived in since 1952. She would take the train home every weekend from Toronto, but her days in Toronto ended when one evening at the Parham Fair, she met the man she would end up marrying. “I met Glen for the first time at the dance at the Parham Fair in 1950. We knew of each other of course, but that was our first meeting,” she said. The dances at the fair were held in the Palace, where all the fair entries are set out during the day. She does not recall who the band was led by that night, although she remembers that the band that played at her wedding was led by Bill Hannah. There was one problem in the romance between Glen Howes and Mary Sweetman, however. She was from Tichborne and he was from Parham. Tichborne and Parham were opponents in those days, both in hockey and in baseball, and there was always a question of where Mary's loyalties lay. “Nobody in Parham wanted me to marry Glen; they were rival towns,” she said, although she did add that it was not that intense a rivalry, “Nothing like Romeo and Juliet, but it was something people talked about.” Tichborne was founded in the late 1860s or early 1870s. The K&P rail line came in 1872. It is thought that the name Tichborne was brought by a Mr. Lunscombe, who was an engineer with Canadian Pacific. Later there was a mine in the vicinity, the Eagle Lake Iron Mine, which at one time employed 100 people. The mine closed in 1902. (information courtesy of County of 1000 Lakes) When Mary Howes was growing up in Tichborne in the 1930s, it was very much a railway town, as the K&P rail station, known as Parham Station at one time and later Tichborne Junction, was located there, as well as the “main line” station for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Located on the same piece of land that the CPR still uses just east of Road 38, the CPR had a full station in Tichborne in the 1930s, which handled passenger and freight traffic. Mary remembers that the CPR building was always very well maintained, and “there were flowers planted along the walkways where people came off the train.” Mary was raised within metres of the train tracks, and her family ran the coal loading operation at Tichborne. “The coal was being brought in on coal cars loading into the chutes near the station, and the coal would be dumped into the hoppers of the trains,” she said. As far as Mary knows, the Tichborne station was the only coal loading depot between Toronto and Montreal. “The men would always come home covered in coal dust. It was quite a job for my great aunt to wash the clothes out each day,” she said. Although she was very young, Mary remembers the people who rode the rails in the 1900s, trying to get to somewhere better than where they came from. “We didn't call them hobos or anything back then; they were just people who were looking for some help, and we always had enough to share with one or two." In the '40s, she remembers handing out apples to the people who were on the trains that were headed towards Fort Henry, filled with immigrants who were being interred because they had the bad fortune to come from one of the countries that was on the other side of the conflict. “We didn't know who they were or where they were going, but they asked for apples and we gave them apples,” she recalls. When she was young, Tichborne boasted three stores, two hotels, a bank, as well as a school, and there were a number of cheese factories in the vicinity. When Mary married Glen Howes in 1952 and moved to Parham, she was moving to a larger town, the agricultural hub of Hinchinbrooke Township. “It had three garages, a blacksmith, hotels, stores, and was a very busy place,” she recalls. Glen worked in one of the garages, Simonett's, which later moved to Sharbot Lake. He and Mary had five children, four boys and a girl, with the youngest two being twin boys. When the children were grown she worked in maintenance for the school board, first in Parham and later on at Sharbot Lake High School, where she worked for 20 years. As well, she became very, very active as a volunteer, where she has made a mark. Not only was she the president of the Women's Institute on several occasions, but also of the United Church Women as well as being involved with the Parham Happy Travelers and the Parham Fair. She is perhaps best known, however, for 20 years of work with the Cancer Society. “The cancer society was very good to me when my brother was dying and I knew I had to volunteer with them” she said. Her first job was as a canvasser during the door-to-door campaign each April. That progressed to being a canvass organiser in the villages around her home. “I used to run 100 canvassers in the region,” she said, “which kept me busy for three months, getting ready in February and March and canvassing month in April.” The trick to keeping canvassers happy was to limit their responsibility to 10 houses or so. “People were happy to do their family and neighbours, I never had a lot of trouble finding canvassers.” Eventually, Mary became involved with the executive of the Cancer Society Regional office based in Kingston, serving in a number of roles, including that of president. The region extends from Trenton to Prescott and includes the rural areas to the north of the 401 throughout that vast territory. “I spent a lot of time on the road, to Kingston all the time and further yet quite often,” she said. In recognition of her high standard of volunteer effort, she was one of the first recipients of the Central Frontenac Volunteer of the Year award for Hinchinbrooke District and she also received a Jubilee award a couple of years ago. Although she says she has turned lazy in her old age, she has been actively involved in the push to turn the former Hinchinbrooke School into a community centre for Central Frontenac. “We do need some place to gather in this part of the township, and the school is sitting there empty,” she said. If she can help bring that about, maybe she will finally be accepted in Parham after living there for 63 years, even if she is a Tichborne girl.
The one constant at Fairmount Home, through all its renovations and changes, from a 96-bed municipal home for the aged, to a Class D and then a Class A nursing home with 128 beds, has been the smiling face of Mary Lake. As director of care, Lake has watched over the residents at Fairmount through all those years, and she will retire at the end of this week. “I literally grew up in long-term care,” she said in an interview on Monday. Not only has she worked in long-term care for over 40 years, she started working summers in a nursing home when she was a young teenager. “My grandmother owned the Picton Manor, and as soon as school let out each summer I would head over there to work. I changed beds, did cleaning, whatever was needed.” A lifelong Frontenac County resident, Mary Lake was raised at Elginburg (in what was then Pittsburgh Township), where she attended public school. She went to Sydenham High School, and then studied Nursing at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) School of Nursing. After graduating in 1972, she took a job at KGH. In 1974, she started working as a long-term care nurse, and aside from a short stint at Kingston's Prison for Women in 1984 (as a nurse not an inmate) she has remained working in long-term care ever since. She took on the job of director of care at the municipally owned Fairmount Home for the Aged in 1987. She has seen a lot of changes at Fairmount over the years. When she first started there, the home was licensed, and funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, not the Ministry of Health, which now oversees all long-term care facilities under a single set of rules under the Long Term Care Act of 2007. “We were a country home, and we served the residents of Frontenac County mostly, at that time. The care we delivered was always excellent, but the facility was not what it was today,” she said. All of the rooms at Fairmount had two beds, and the rooms did not have private bathrooms or showers. It was more of a dormitory-style facility with a single dining room for all 96 residents. Improvements to the level of care came with new standards of care in the 1990s. As director of care, Lake was in charge of operations at the home, including nursing and personal support workers as well as all of the support staff in the home. The administration of Fairmount was taken care of by Frontenac County. She helped the home maintain its reputation as a caring facility, for families and residents to feel safe and well supported. When municipal amalgamation took place in the late 1990s, Frontenac County decided to keep Fairmount Home, even though its location was becoming subsumed by the City of Kingston when it annexed Pittsburgh and Kingston Townships. The Chief Administrators of the new County, first Bob Foulds and later Elizabeth Savill, became administrators of Fairmount, giving Mary Lake someone to report directly to. When all long-term care facilities started to come under the same set of standards and regulations, Fairmount was designated as a Class D facility because of the physical limitations of the home. It was faced with a choice to upgrade or close, and this led to a long, sometimes difficult, set of negotiations with the City of Kingston and the province, funding partners of Fairmount, over plans to renovate. The $17 million upgrade eventually got underway in 2003, and this led to a challenging period for Lake as director of care, ensuring that residents were well cared for and as well prepared as possible for the changes that took place. “Through attrition we dropped to 78 beds, and when the new section was completed, the residents all moved there as the old section was completely retrofitted. In 2004 everything was complete and we became the 128-bed facility that we are today,” said Lake. Once the new state of the art facility was complete, a new challenge faced Mary Lake. “We had to get used to the change, and change is difficult, even positive change. We lost our culture of care for a while when the new Fairmount opened. Our staff took some time to transition, but we worked hard at it and we got it back. It took about a year,” she said. Aside from the physical changes in the early 2000s, the home also acquired a full time administrator. Under the regulations, Class A municipal homes must have a full time administrator and full time director of care. “If I ever wanted to be an administrator,” Lake said, "I would have been one, but I always wanted to be involved in the service end of things. I never wanted to have any other job than the one I kept.” Ironically, however, that is the role she is retiring from. She has been filling in for Julie Shillington, the full time administrator, who has been on a leave of absence for health reasons and will not return until later this year. As Lake looks back at her career, she says that while tightened up regulations were a good change in long term care, the ministry has gone too far, leaving homes with more concerns about rules and less time for care. “They have really gone too far with regulations, because there isn't enough staff available to cover all the requirements and still provide the kind of care that we all want to provide. That is why we came into long term care in the first place, not just to comply with regulations but because we want to provide care,” she said. Another issue faced by the home is the push for ageing at home, which Lake said is a good thing. However it has meant that people do not come into care until they are at a point where their needs are greater. As well, there is pressure on Fairmount, and other homes, to provide care for patients with mental health issues that are more severe than the home can handle. “There is a gap in the health care system for these people and they get shuffled around,” she said. One of Mary Lake's major professional and volunteer interests is providing service to those suffering from dementia. Many of the residents at Fairmount have dementia of varying forms and levels of severity. The home has a wing devoted to those with advanced dementia. She has been a board member for years with the Alzheimer's Society and has volunteered with Southern Frontenac Community Services to run Alzheimer's support services. “It is very trying on families, on other residents at Fairmount, and of course on those with dementia themselves and the staff who care for them,” she said, “but we have learned. The drugs are better and the techniques for helping people have advanced over the years,” she said. While she said she has no plans for retirement other than a summer at the cottage, it will be impossible for her to stay completely away from her calling. She expects that by next fall she will be looking for a part-time volunteer role doing something. No doubt it will involve looking after people in some capacity or another.
by Helen Forsey It's a long drive from Ompah to Bancroft, then on to Kingston and back to Ompah all in one soggy day. That's what I did on Saturday, though, and it was well worthwhile. It was mostly the rallies in the big cities that captured the headlines about the nation-wide protest against Bill C-51. But it's not just people in the cities who are increasingly worried about the problems with government's latest "anti-terrorism" law. In rural Eastern Ontario and in Kingston, the call to "Reject Fear" and "Stop Bill C-51" brought protesters out in significant numbers. In Bancroft, 40 or 50 people stood in groups on both sides of the highway with their signs, exchanging information about the dangers posed by the bill. Young and old, they came not only from Bancroft and the immediate area but also from Killaloe, Haliburton, Whitney Maynooth – and Ompah! The discussions were informed and the atmosphere energizing. I was especially impressed by the 16-year-old lad who had volunteered to be the contact person for the local rally. With a friendly smile and helpful suggestions, he circulated among the crowd, gathering signatures on the petition while his high school buddies held the large sign they had brought: "DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY - DOWN with BILL C-51." Two hours later I arrived in Kingston, where Market Square was crowded with people as the rally began. Whereas in Bancroft there had been no planned program, in Kingston there was a platform and a microphone. Volunteer organizer Andrew McCann and other speakers outlined the sweeping provisions of Bill C-51 and what they would mean for our rights and freedoms. When my turn came, I took a critical look at the positions of the opposition parties, applauding the Greens and the NDP for their rejection of the bill and lamenting the Liberals' apparent attempt to have their cake and eat it too. One of the signs at the rally read: "Principled Conservatives oppose C-51 - Reckless, Irresponsible, Ineffective." It should have included "principled Liberals" as well. In the midst of all the alarming information, I pointed out that one of the few protections we have against such draconian laws is a Senate that does its job. Contrary to the NDP's anti-Senate rhetoric, Parliament's Upper House could protect our rights and freedoms by using its veto power and refusing to pass C-51 without massive amendments. Canadians could in fact act now to ensure transition to a "People's Senate" which would prevent an autocratic government from imposing outrageous legislation like Bill C-51. Also participating in the Kingston rally were representatives of three other species – several dogs, one sheep and Stormy the donkey, a veteran rural activist from the campaign to save the prison farms. Although Bill C-51 is aimed at curbing the rights of Canada's human citizens, these creatures stand in solidarity with us against government measures that remind them too much of George Orwell's "Nineteen-Eighty-Four" and "Animal Farm." As the crowd began to disperse, several passers-by stopped to ask what it was all about; they hadn't known anything about "Bill C-51." That lack of knowledge serves the government's purposes just fine, because the more people learn about the real effects the bill will have on freedom of expression, political opposition and peaceful protest, the more the alarm bells ring. As the Raging Grannies put it in their C-51 song (to the tune of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic"): "Whatever you do, They’re labelling you: A terrorist!" These were two quite different rallies, but they had a single purpose – a purpose shared with tens of thousands of fellow citizens from Yellowknife to Victoria to St. John's. I heard the message loud and clear in both Bancroft and Kingston: "Reject the fear-mongering and lies, stop Bill C-51 and restore our democracy!"
Environmental report shows extended lifetime on landfills Mary Spencer, from AECOM, an environmental management company, spoke with council this week and updated them on the life expectancy of the township's waste sites. In 2014, AECOM started monitoring the waste distribution by basing it on the average number of bags recorded at the sites. Overall, the waste sites that are active in the township are filling slower than anticipated, with 2014 being the smallest waste accumulation experienced in the previous five years. Spencer explained that landfill continues to decline, recycling numbers are mostly staying level or rising and more waste is being diverted from the landfill than previous years, which is a good sign. Spencer suspected that the trash compaction equipment that the township acquired in 2010 is starting to show its benefits now and is expanding the life of the landfills. Estimated life spans of the sites are: Mississippi Station (46 years), Kashwakamak (43 years), Plevna (19 years), and Hwy 506 (13 years). These estimates are based on current population in the township and would fluctuate with a change in the number of residents using the sites. Aecom, who sends these reports to the Ministry of the Environment, monitors the waste sites by test wells that are drilled into the ground. Twice a year they check for groundwater contamination and three times a year they check the quality of the surface water. Proposed wind farm project in North Frontenac seeks support from Council Three representatives from NextEra Energy, an American-owned energy supply company, made a presentation to Council on Monday regarding their bid to create a 150 turbine wind farm in North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. Nicole Geneau, Ben Faiella, and Derek Dudek from the company were there to explain what their company is hoping to do in the area, how the bidding process goes, and the timeline for the project. The proposal they made includes 50 turbines in North Frontenac and the balance in Addington Highlands. The company hasn't decided what size turbines will be in place yet in North Frontenac but Faiella suggested that they would be around 2MW per turbine, therefore generating 100MW for NextEra in North Frontenac alone. The company set up 15 meteorological towers around the two townships just over a year ago and have been tracking weather data and wind activity. This information will be used to choose the best locations for the windmills as well as to help them project how much electricity can be generated at the sites. They weren't able to comment yet on the specific locations of the proposed turbines but suggested that they might be off Buckshot Lake Road. The turbine specifications are still under review and so NextEra couldn't provide specifics on tower height, length of blade, etc. The company hopes to create six to ten full-time jobs with the wind farm and intends to build a 5000 sq. ft. building, located within a 20-minute drive of the turbines. NextEra has already secured lease-agreements for 10,000 acres from landowners in Addington Highlands, although the majority of the land where the proposed turbines would go is Crown Land. NextEra has until the end of August 2015 to submit their bid and one of the determining factors in the selection process is whether the municipality is on board with the project. They hope to sign an agreement with the township saying that the North Frontenac Council support NextEra's bid to create the wind turbine project. In the lead up to them signing an agreement with the township, they plan on providing an information session and community open house in late May 2015. The contract will be awarded by the end of this year. NextEra estimates that their project will bring an extra $146,000 in assessment taxation to North Frontenac Township. Budget re-cap Angela Millar, Deputy Treasurer, presented the budget summary in a public meeting, highlighting some of the changes coming to the township's 2015 budget. She explained there is an increase in dollars needed to be raised through taxation to the tune of $274,820, or 5.29% The biggest increase here comes from the OPP's new billing model, which brought an increase of $132,215. The township set aside funds for buying equipment, completing the renovations on the Ompah Fire Hall and for other road construction/public works projects. NF Council also decided to make investments into eco-tourism in the area with upgrades to the Plevna heli-pad and star gazing area, as well as to install four privies throughout the township.
Organizers of the first ever Ride For Dad snowmobile event in the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs' (OFSC) District 1, which took place at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club on February 28, were thrilled with the turn out. The event is a fundraiser for the fight against prostate cancer and attracted 93 registered riders of all ages from Kemptville, Kingston, Brockville, Smith Falls, and Perth. A large number of local riders participated as well. Among them were five-year-old Cooper and his dad, Philip, of Snow Road, who were participating in their first ever Ride For Dad. It was also the first Ride for Dad for Dave Burns, a member of the Kemptville Snowmobile Club, who himself is a survivor of prostate cancer. He was diagnosed six years ago and has been cancer free since undergoing surgery and treatment. He attended the event with his wife Heather and three other couples from Kemptville. The trail ride was a145 km loop (with an optional short cut) that stretched east to Perth, and north to Hopetown, with a lunch stop at the Civitan Club in Lanark. The $30 registration included lunch and registrants were automatically entered into a draw for close to 80 prizes donated by local individuals and businesses. These included a wide range of snazzy riding gear, original stained glass art, a number of gift baskets and more. The event was sponsored by Crain's Construction, W.A. Robinson Asset Management and the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy. Members of the club put on a spaghetti dinner following the ride for the riders and the community at large. Junior Snow Road club member Brandon Crain and Shelby Knight initiated and organized the event, which by the end of the day had raised over $5,000 in pledges. Alice Gilchrist, a member of the club, who also participated in the ride, said that it was a huge success. “Frontenac and Lanark counties have gorgeous scenery and great trails with lots of hills and turns and riders always comment on how great the trails are here.” Scott Buckley, governor of the OFSC District 1 and also its current president, said that District 1, which is home to 26 clubs and stretches from Napanee to Calabogie and east to the Quebec border, offers up 4000 kilometres of trails and is the largest of the 16 districts in Ontario. Buckley was pleased to see the event take place in the district, which he said is home to over 10,000 permit holders and hundreds of volunteers. "It's nice to see the event taking off here and we're very happy to be able to offer organized snowmobiling in the area,” he said. Buckley cited the dedication of the hundreds of volunteers who put in thousands of hours to sign and groom the trails and said he is also very grateful to the many private landowners whose generosity allows for the amazing network of trails in the area. “There is no way that the OFSC could afford to pay for all of the free help that we get through volunteerism,” Buckley said.
Protection of wetland and water quality paramount in Ardoch Lake decision. Frontenac County planner Joe Gallivan provided council with an update on two contentious issues at last Friday's (February 20) meeting in Plevna. First up was his presentation on the proposed 34-lot plan of condominium on Ardoch Lake. This development plan has been in the works for about seven years and has been through many changes since it was first submitted. With each change, the number of waterfront lots permitted has been reduced. At a well-attended public meeting on August 27, 2014 a number of concerns were raised about the impact of this development on the lake. One of the unique aspects of this specific plan is the ecological sensitivity of the property, which contains a large wetland. Gallivan explained that this wetland is home to “...the only heron rookery, according to the [Ministry of Natural Resources] in Eastern Ontario.” Gallivan said that the developer is “prepared to reduce the number of lots on the water and in particular the lots that are close to the wetland and the lots that are more challenging to develop” which would mean beginning the construction of condominiums on the west end of the property first and putting those to the east in a “holding zone”. These sites would allow for the necessary 30 metre setback from the waterfront and would provide enough space to install septic systems behind the residences, creating a further setback from the shoreline. Pending successful water quality tests and bylaw compliance, the developer would then be given the green light to continue with the adapted project in phases. “If the systems are working the way they're supposed to be then this potential holding zone could be lifted and they could proceed with developing [the area closer to the wetland]” Gallivan said. The developer proposed to install a new “high-end septic system,” which is currently being quality-tested in Quebec, but Gallivan said there is no absolute guarantee that these systems won't cause problems in the future. Councilor Fred Perry wondered about the possibility of skipping over building lots during the first phase of developing the western part of the property. “If we staged lots 1, 3, 6,...leaving holes in the centre, during [phase 1] would that not help? If something fails then at least you'd have room to manoeuvre with development down the road.” Gallivan agreed that it was a good suggestion and would relay that idea to the applicant's planner. There is a worry that imposing too many restrictions will push the developer to appeal the matter to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and once that happens the municipality would lose their ability to control the process. Gallivan explained, “The board starts brand new and the board makes the decision and it's a time-consuming and expensive process.” Councilor John Inglis asked Gallivan “Do you have a sense whether we are getting near a tipping point [from the developer's side] in terms of viability of the project?” Gallivan responded “Yes.” “They've got to reduce the [number of] lots...and make sure there is protection,” Gallivan said. “I had a really good discussion with their planner and he understands this. He heard the public meeting loud and clear as well... It's an evolution...it continues to improve in terms of its impact on the lake.” Private lane development crucial for growth in the Frontenacs Joe Gallivan also briefed Council on restrictions that are being proposed by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) on the County's Official Plan (OP) regarding development on private lanes. Gallivan said County Council has given him the go-ahead to do a study on this issue in hopes that it will “provide some planning tools and some legal tools to look at allowing development on some private roads. The position of the ministry is, in my professional opinion, too black and white. There needs to be an understanding that there is potential, depending on the length of the road, the topography, the capacity of the lake, to allow us to continue [developing]." The County has done some analysis. The total value of property assessment in the County is $5 billion and of that, $2 billion is on private roads. “Development on private roads means a lot to the financial stability of the townships,” he said. “We're going to take the ministry on,” Gallivan said. If the MMAH will not yield on these policies Gallivan will be recommending that council appeal the decision to the OMB. He hopes that his study on private roads will be a new tool to fight the decision with. He is suggesting that North Frontenac Council maintain its stance on private roads in response to the MMAH's revision of its own draft Official Plan. Once the County's OP is approved, which Gallivan hopes will be by the end of 2015, any plans or amendments to the township OP goes to County Council for final approval instead of the MMAH, which Gallivan said would be “a positive thing.” Gallivan expressed confidence that if the private lane issue goes to the OMB, the county will win. Councilor Wayne Good wondered if it would be beneficial to the County to work with neighbouring counties in opposition to the MMAH's proposed restrictions. Gallivan said Lanark Highlands has taken the MMAH to the OMB over the same private roads amendment to their own Official Plan. “Lanark Highlands is standing alone right now against the ministry ... It really needs to be challenged from a regional perspective. “We're counting on you, Joe” Councilor Inglis said. “I'm prepared to take them on,” Gallivan replied. “It's very frustrating. The positions the ministry takes sometimes are a blanket position that they're applying across the province the same way and that's just not right.”
Many area students and graduates looking for summer employment opportunities attended the first ever Student Job Fair at the St. Lawrence College Employment Service Centre in Sharbot Lake on March 19. Staff at the center, who organized the event, were well prepared in advance and pointed students in the direction of a number of local opportunities currently available to them. These included positions at a number of local summer camps, private campgrounds, grocery stores, restaurants, provincial parks as well as a number of maintenance and marketing positions. Two local employers attended the event in person. Donna Longmire of the Township of Central Frontenac was advertising a number of student employment opportunities, which included four public works and three waste management positions and was accepting applications and resumes for both. Similarly, Rachel Hosseini, owner and manager of the Subway restaurant in Sharbot Lake was looking to fill seven full and part time positions. She carried out a number of initial interviews with students at the center and said she will be following up with secondary interviews at the restaurant, which she described as a fast-paced, friendly and professional environment. Ashley Barrie, resource specialist at the employment center, said that summer employment early in a student’s working life is invaluable to them. “Summer employment is very beneficial and can not only help students acquire a number of new skills, but also encourages networking for future job opportunities while they learn the various responsibilities that come with paid work. Summer employment also provides students with pocket money when they return to school in the fall.” Barrie stressed how early summer work experiences teaches students the qualities they need to be employable. “Learning how to be reliable, punctual and about customer service is very important. Summer jobs can also help long term by giving students something concrete on their resumes after having worked for credible employers, which is also something that can set them apart and give them a leg up.” Karen McGregor, coordinator at the center, said that early work opportunities also help students “narrow down their career path” and that a summer job can help them pin point what kind of job or career they are looking for long term. “A summer work experience helps make students more successful at their future job interviews as well as helping them to define their strengths and interests for future employment. In rural communities like this, where often there is not a lot of other regular activities for students in the summer months, working is something that can occupy their time productively”. McGregor also made mention of a number of the programs available to employers that can help subsidize the pay for student workers. For students and employers who missed the job fair, Ashley Barrie is continuing to take employer/ participant information and registrations at the Sharbot Lake location. Staff’s advice to students? “Don't wait. Employers are already hiring for summer positions.” There is also a job board up at the centre that is regularly updated. For more information contact Ashley Barrie at 613-545-3949 ext. 1891or visit www.employmentservice.sl.on.ca
A double feature puppet show put on at the Sharbot Lake branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library on March 20 attracted over 40 visitors - youngsters, parents and grandparents. The show, which was in part celebrating World Puppetry Day (March 21) also provided entertainment to youngsters throughout the county at the tail of the March Break. The show was presented by two members of the programming and outreach staff at the KFPL, Brenda MacDonald and Huda Shaltry. They presented two performances, the first titled “The Mightiest”, based on a children’s picture book by Keiko Kaszo and the second, the traditional classic, “The Princess and the Pea” by Hans Christian Andersen. Youngsters gathered around the festive satin-clad puppet theatre, which was set up in one corner of the library, and enjoyed the unfolding dramas. Many of the more uninhibited children offered up their comments as the plays unfolded. Children love puppet shows and MacDonald said that she loves to see youngsters “light up” when watching the performances. She explained that the shows are another special way to bring literacy to youngsters. “Puppet shows are a special thing that children don't get to see every day and a new way to present a story to them - they offer up a new way for children to interact,” she said when I spoke to her prior to the performances. Shaltry added, “A puppet show provides a new creative outlet for children and is a performance art that children, who may tend to be a bit shy, can still get involved in. It is a way that they can also be comfortable performing.” She added that a puppet show is a low cost, highly entertaining production that requires no technology and licensing. “It just requires our hands, our voices, the puppets and our portable theatre.” MacDonald had been touring the show to various branches of the KFPL during the week of the March break to hundreds of youngsters. While the youngsters thoroughly immersed themselves in both performances, I was especially intrigued by the older-style puppets that were used in the second performance, The Princess and The Pea. These colourful, hand-crafted puppets are made of papier-mâché and are meticulously painted. They hearken back to puppets and shows that I had a chance to see when I was a child. For puppet enthusiasts, World Puppetry Day is celebrated every March 21 and according to Wikipedia was begun by Dzhivada Zolfagariho, who in 2000 at the XVIII Congress of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette, (UNIMA) in Madgeburg, proposed the idea. Two years later, at a meeting of the International Council of UNIMA in Atlanta, the date of the celebration was decided and the first celebration took place in 2003. Sara Carpenter, head librarian at the Sharbot Lake branch, was thrilled with the turnout for the special march Break event. “It's so great to be able to have had the performance here and we are hoping to have another one here again this summer. We are also hoping that the children who attended the show will be encouraged to come back to the library and enjoy what we have to offer them.”
Out with the old; in with the new Cathy MacMunn, one of the few original Central Frontenac Township employees still working for the township, was seated next to Mayor Frances Smith at the start of a Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Although she has been seated next to the mayor on a number of occasions in her role as deputy clerk or interim clerk, it was her first meeting since she was given a promotion to the role of clerk/planning manager. Meanwhile, at the staff table at the back of the hall, the interim Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the township, Steve Silver, was sitting next to the newest staff member of Central Frontenac Township, CAO/Public Works Manager, Jim Zimmerman. “Steve has been a great help to us. He came here when we had difficulties and smoothed things over very well. But I must also say that I hope we don't see him working for us again,” said Frances Smith, in reference to the fact that Silver, a retired CAO at the County level, has taken on only short-term contracts for townships in transition from one executive officer to another over the last couple of years. Next week, in fact, he will take on an interim role at Fairmount Home in place of its ailing administrator, Julie Shillington. Frances Smith then said, “We welcome Jim Zimmerman, who will be with us for a long time, I hope.” For his part, Zimmerman said he is looking forward to returning to his own rural roots, since he was raised in a small Eastern Ontario village, Frankford. “I really look forward to working with all of you,” he said. Remuneration report for 2014 As required, the township released a report detailing how much Central Frontenac politicians were paid in 2014. Former Mayor Janet Gutowski received the most money, $11,264 for 11 months as mayor, and Frances Smith received $9292 for 11 months as councilor and one month as mayor. Former deputy mayor, Jeff Matson, received $8,425 for 11 months on the job, while returning council member Tom Dewey received $8398 over 12 months. Outgoing councilors Guntensperger, Millar, Purdon and Fox received $7,885 over 11 months, and Philip Smith, who was appointed to Council during the year and was then re-elected, received $5,439. Newly elected councilors Cindy Kelsey, Victor Heese, Jamie Riddell, Bill MacDonald, Sherry Whan, and Brent Cameron all received $483 for the month of December. Co-operation with North Frontenac Frances Smith reported that a joint meeting with North Frontenac Council, which was held last week, was a success, and led to an arrangement regarding the building departments, which may lead to a combining of the two departments if it is a success. North Frontenac will be hiring a building inspector, and the two townships will make joint use of that person in addition to Central Frontenac Chief Building Official Jeremy Neven. “We'll see how this works for a year, and then decide whether to move further, said outgoing CAO Steve Silver of the arrangement. 60 zone on Road 38 A proposal by Councilor Brent Cameron to slow the maximum speed to 60 km/hr on a stretch of Road 38 that runs from the municipal garage at Godfrey to the junction with White Lake Road because of a sharp bend in the road was referred to staff for comment and will come back to Council after that. No payment for damage caused by heaving culvert A Mr. Hamilton, who lives near Arden, asked the township to reimburse a $500 repair bill for damage done to the bottom of his car when he passed over a culvert that had heaved through the surface on his road. A staff report acknowledged that the road had heaved, and said it is a common issue on that particular road in the spring time. The report recommended not paying the $500 repair because, it said, Mr. Hamilton has lived in that location for 10 years and should know that the road heaves. “I would hate for us to do this,” said Councilor Bill MacDonald. “People would come out of the woodwork looking for money if we did.”
By Jeff Green Katie Doran, the education and support co-ordinator with the Alzheimer Society of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, will be facilitating a support group for caregivers on the first Tuesday of each month at 1 pm at the Seniors’ Centre at the United Church in Sharbot Lake. The first meeting takes place on April 7. “The Alzheimer’s Society is here to support people through their journey with the disease or those who are caring for someone with the disease,” said Doran. Doran said she will be bringing information with her to the support group meetings and will be prepared to make presentations, but that the participants will really determine what kinds of topics are addressed and how. “My role tends to be that of a facilitator. There are so many common experiences that caregivers face that they tend to take the group in the direction that is most useful for themselves.” In addition to running the group, Doran, who has been working with the Alzheimer’s Society since last June and is partly responsible for services in the rural areas, hopes to raise the profile of the society in Frontenac County, which has flagged a bit in the last couple of years. “We run a number of programs and provide a lot of support and referrals,” she said. “The emotional side of care-giving is something that we pay particular attention to.” Among the programs that the Alzheimer’s Society has championed is a music program. People with dementia often respond to music and the society offers an i-pad with earphones, pre-programmed with music chosen by the individual and/or their family. The service is offered for free, including the loan of the i-pad. There is also a drop-in centre at the society’s headquarters in Kingston, but in Frontenac County the option of home visits by Doran or one of her colleagues is more popular, because of the isolation. Anyone who is interested in the Sharbot Lake support group can call the Alzheimer’s Society for details at 613-544-3078 or can just show up at the seniors’ centre in April 7. There is an ongoing support group out of the Grace Centre in Sydenham as well, which meets on the last Thursday of each month at 7 pm.
It is not often that one sees great grandmothers attending hockey games at the Frontenac Community Arena, but great grandmother Barb Stewart of Verona had three very good reasons (and then some) to be there on the afternoon of March 22. Barb, along with a number of other family relations, were sitting rink side to watch Barb's three grand daughters, 10-year-old cousins, Sophie Norman, Jenna Norman and Taylor McParland, showing their skills out on the ice. The girls, who play, respectively, defense, left wing and goalie for the Atom Girls Frontenac Fury team, were facing off in an exhibition game against the Kingston Ice Wolves (blues) and it just so happens that they are not the only three representatives of the Stewart family on the team. The girls are coached by Barb's eldest grandson Jason Norman, father of Sophie and son of Barb's daughter Linda. In all, the game attracted four generations of the Stewart family to the arena, which over the decades has been a family hub for this large, multi-generational hockey-playing family. Hockey indeed runs deep in their blood. Barb in fact is likely one of the only great grandmothers in the area who can boast three great granddaughters on a single team. And it seems no coincidence that the three girls play the exact same positions of their own family hockey mentors. Mallory Garrison, mother of goalie Taylor said the family's love of hockey comes honestly. “Taylor's grandfather Tom played as a goalie in his days on the ice and Taylor, who just started playing this year was asked in her second practice if she wanted to have a try at it. She really has a knack for it, which she likely gets from her Grampy.” Barb told a funny story of how Taylor called her up on the pone after one of her games and said, “I took over Grampy's spot.” Grampy, Barb’s son Tom Stewart, played goalie for years at the arena and Barb recalled one season in which he won 17 straight games. Sarah Norman, wife of coach Jason and mother of Sophie, said her daughter has been playing for five years and also comes by her talents honestly since her dad played defense on numerous Frontenac teams since he was seven years old. Jenna, who has been playing for three years, not surprisingly plays left wing, the same position her dad Greg played for years. It is no wonder that the cousins definitely held their own out on the ice. Though the Fury lost the game 1-0, Taylor made impressive saves - too many to count - throughout the game and received multiple high fives from her team mates. Both Jenna and Sophie also played solidly. The girls’ parents and relatives are thrilled to have the cousins playing together regularly at least two or three times a week. Naturally, the games are a great excuse for the whole family to get together on a regular basis. The Fury will play this weekend in a Kanata tournament, which will wrap up their season for the year. The team had eight brand new players and three novice players this year, and had a great regular season. They finished as finalists in their Newmarket tournament, got to the semis in the Ice Wolf Tournament and finished in fourth place in their own league tournament. The three girls if they choose, could end up playing Frontenac hockey together for years to come and no doubt it will not be the last time that their great grandmother Barb turns up to watch them and feel, naturally, very proud.
Once again local worshipers and music lovers will be treated to a special Good Friday concert where 30 singers from the choirs of the Harrowsmith Verona United Church Pastoral Charge and St. Paul's Anglican church in Sydenham, along with singers from the community will be performing John Staynor's, “The Crucifixion: A Mediation on the Sacred Passion of the Redeemer”. The free concert will be conducted once again by Brad Barbeau, music director at St. Paul's Anglican church in Sydenham and the choir will be accompanied on organ by special musical guest Edward Norman, who has traveled once again from British Colombia, in part to play the concert. Norman, who is a former organist at St. Georges Cathedral in Kingston, performed the piece with the choir last year. The one hour piece features a number of solo parts, which this year will include baritone Phillip Rogers and tenor Jared Buchmayer. The oratorio also offers up a number of cameo solo parts that will be sung by Ralph McInnes and George Turcotte. The piece tells the story of the Passion, begining at the Garden of Gethsemane and ending at the cross when Jesus “gives up the ghost”. It is a very moving piece and Annabelle Twiddy, musical director of St. Paul's, Harrowsmith and Trinity United, Verona, who has been rehearsing with the choir for weeks, is thrilled to have five or six additional singers this year. Twiddy, who will also be singing in this performance, is equally thrilled to announce that the oratorio will be performed again on Easter Sunday, April 5 at the Bridge Street United Church in Belleville at 3pm. “We put over 200 man hours of practice every year into the piece so we are thrilled to be singing it twice this year," she said. "The Crucifixion" was performed at St. Paul's in Sydenham in 2012 and again in 2014. For those who have yet to hear the piece, it is more than worth the trip to Sydenham. Music is one special way to unite and move people and that should definitely be the case at this special event. Guests are invited to make a donation to Southern Frontenac Community Services whose numerous programs support many families and individuals in the local community.
As she approaches her 70th birthday, Ann Elvins, who has been the owner of the Tiffany Gift Shop in Harrowsmith for 16 years, says “It's time to dance”. There never has been a problem with the store, she said. It has been well supported by the community since she took it over. “I enlarged the store quite a bit. It was a two room store when I bought it and I added another room and a garage and brought in new products, but it kept the same feel as it had when I bought it, which was what I wanted to do,” she said. She has also been able to support a number of charities with the store, including the African Grandmothers, for whom she has hosted an annual plant sale on the front lawn; the Women for Afghanistan; the Cattail Festival; Harrowsmith Public School and others. But now it is time to wrap things up and retire, and all this month she's been selling off her stock in advance of a final sale on Saturday, where everything that is left will go for 50% off. “It's bittersweet because the shop has been a great joy to me, but some of those one-day buying trips to Toronto and other parts of running an ongoing business are no longer things I want to deal with,” she said. Ann Elvins is not planning to move from her house, which is attached to the store. She will be approaching the township for a permit to convert the store into a senior's apartment and will be able to enjoy more of the activities in the local community now that she will have more free time. “I'm not going anywhere. If you see me on the lawn or in the garden, honk and I'll wave,” she said.
Politicians from South Frontenac had been waiting for a year to find out if their ratepayers would be subsiding planning services for residents of the three other townships in Frontenac County. At a Committee of the Whole meeting of Frontenac County Council last week (February 18) the representatives from South Frontenac were the only ones who opposed a plan whereby all municipally generated planning work done under contract between the county planning department and North and Central Frontenac and Frontenac Island township would be done for free. The Frontenac County planning department provides service to the county, and, as of last year to local townships as well. It is funded through the corporate services budget of Frontenac County. Because it has the largest population, South Frontenac ratepayers pay 57.8% of that budget. South Frontenac Township does not benefit from the free planning services because they have their own busy planning department already in place. In a report to the Committee of the Whole, the County Manager of Planning, Joe Gallivan, outlined several options for payment for the services that are being provided to three of the four townships. The one that is in place, called the incremental cost model, calls for no charge for day-to-day planning work and land use policy work generated by the townships. However, all privately initiated applications (e.g., minor variance, severance, rezoning) for which the applicants are charged a fee by the townships, will result in a charge from the county. Councilor John McDougall from South Frontenac said that he favoured a “full cost recovery model, which is the fairest way to do this. But in place of that we are willing to accept some sort of flat fee arrangement. South Frontenac pays for our own department and we pay into the county department as well, I must point out,” he said. Current Warden and Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said, “The planners are already being paid. Any money that is raised from privately initiated planning applications will help cover those salaries, and South Frontenac gets the most benefit from that. It really is a win-win.” South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal did not see Doyle's logic. “I hate to say this but if we don't have enough work for the people we have then we might consider looking at staffing levels to save money. To me, if any service is going to be offered by the county to one or more townships it should be paid for. Otherwise it's not fair to taxpayers in the townships who do not use the service,” he said. Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith said that when the county offered to do the planning for Central Frontenac, it was on the basis that the township would be getting “free service and only private applications would be billed. If that changes then we will have to look at our options again.” When it came to a vote, all six council members from the three townships who stand to benefit from the policy supported it, and the two from South Frontenac voted against it.
Three days were set aside last week for Frontenac County Council to hammer away at the 2015 budget. In the end it took only two days for the council to accept not only the base budget proposed by County staff, but the extra projects that were proposed as well. Staff had targeted a 2.8% increase in the amount that ratepayers will be charged for county services this year, based on the annualized consumer price index (CPI) that came out last October. The CPI is a standard that is commonly used in municipal budgeting, as that is when budgets start being put together. They added a 0.65% capital levy in order to put money aside for asset management to cover for long-term replacement costs. This resulted in the 3.45% target, and in his summation of budget, Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender said that the budget numbers reflected what is needed to maintain service levels. “Our job is to bring you a budget that reflects the service delivery that exists,” he said. He also described a long-term budgeting process that has been instituted, whereby increases will be predictably tied to the CPI with a 0.65% capital replacement cost added on, yielding a predictable 10-year projection of tax rates. “Surprises aren't good in the budgeting world,” he said, in describing his approach. Treasurer Marian Vanbruinessen presented the budget detail, contradicting Pender's assertion with irony; “I thought this was the most exciting part of everyone’s life,” she said. Most of the debate at the two budget meetings last week centered on the nine project proposals that were included in the overall budget numbers that were presented, but which are outside the required functions of the county. They could have been set aside if council did not want to proceed with them. The projects ranged in scope from $8,500 for a consultant to review the pay rates for members of council, to $270,000 to extend the K&P Trail to the north, with a view towards having it completed, from Orser Road at the border with Kingston, to meet the Trans-Canada Trail in Sharbot Lake by the end of 2016. Other projects include: a $60,000 study of the cost impact of development on private lanes; $77,000 for Community Improvement Plans; $40,000 to purchase a 4x4 vehicle for use by the planning, economic development and GIS departments and for special County events; and $735,000 for the purchase of Power Lift stretchers for the Frontenac Paramedic Services. Few of the costs associated with these projects will be taken from the 2015 levy to ratepayers. For example, all of the trail development costs come from federal gas tax rebates the county received in the past (all current and future gas tax rebates are transferred to the local townships for use on road and bridge projects). The Power Lift stretcher project will be 80% funded by the City of Kingston, which is served by Frontenac Paramedic Services, reducing its impact on the county levy. In the end, none of the nine proposals were rejected. The budget will come forward for formal approval at the regular February meeting of Council, which takes place next Wednesday, February 18. Barring any last minute amendments, the increase will be 3.45%. The county levy is included as part of the tax bill that is sent out by each of the townships. Local taxes, which are set by each township, as well as education taxes, are all combined to make up the municipal tax bill.
Two talented musical groups will be joining forces for the first time at a special one time concert that will take place Friday, February 20 at the Kingston Christian Fellowship Church. The concert will feature performances by the 19-member Trinity United Church choir of Verona/Harrowsmith under the direction of Annabelle Twiddy and the 40-member Kingston Community String Orchestra under the direction of Wayne Tindale. The concert is the brain child of Rennie Hutzler, a member of the orchestra who has been a long-time loyal fan of the Trinity choir. Last summer Hutzler initiated a meeting between the groups' two conductors, who decided to put on the one-time concert. Sing 'N Strings begins at 7:30pm and will offer up a 1 hour, 10 minute repertoire that will include offerings by both groups individually as well as a number of combined offerings, which will include the ancient chant of eucharistic devotion, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and a moving and melodic spiritual set to the tune of Dvorak's New World Symphony. The finale will definitely be a show stopper and I will not give away here; suffice to say that is sure to be especially moving and memorable. I will only hint that it is a favorite pop classic that listeners will remember from decades ago and that should leave them with a warming of their hearts and souls on what will likely be another cold February day. Live music remains one of the more humane, friendly and universal mediums, and though it has been noted that listening to accomplished musicians will not make one's wallet bigger nor slake one's thirst or hunger, still, it has the ability to leave one with a sense of wonder and enchantment, and the feelings of hope and comfort that only accomplished singers and players coming together can bring. The concert is free of charge and listeners are invited to make a free will offering at the door. The Kingston Christian Fellowship church is located at 2621 Road 38 just south of Harrowsmith. The church is 100% wheelchair accessible and there is plenty of parking available.
The strike by 230 care co-ordinators who work for the Southeast Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), which covers Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Leeds Grenville, Lanark and Hastings Counties, is already having an impact on patient care, says Lisa Turner, the president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association branch that represents the workers. The strike began last Friday, Feb. 6, at the same time as similar workers in nine of the 10 regional CCACs in Ontario rejected offers from management. According to Turner, workers are seeking a 1.4% increase each year, but management is offering a lump sum payment in lieu of an increase in year one, and 1.4% in year two. “Our demands are very reasonable; they are less than other bargaining units, and by offering a lump sum payment they are not moving the pay grid forward, which is not acceptable. We have had our wages frozen for two years before this,” said Turner, who also said that no further negotiations have been initiated by management since the strike began. Turner said that claims by the CCAC that management personnel are able to handle intake and changes in care plans are not believable. “They do not have the staff available,” she said, when contacted at a mass rally of striking workers, which was held at Kingston General Hospital on Tuesday (February 10). Striking workers include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers. Services offered by the CCAC are designed to help people stay in the home longer or leave hospital sooner. Ongoing CCAC service is not affected by the strike; it is only those seeking new service or a change in the service that is offered by the CCAC that are affected. According to Gary Buffett of the Communications office of the Southeast CCAC, about 20 management personnel, who are trained health care professionals, are handling the work load during the strike. “I would not say it is business as usual,” said Buffett, “but we are keeping our head above water.” The focus for the CCAC has been to deal with people leaving hospital and needing service after their release. Home visits by care co-ordinators, such as those provided by the co-ordinator normally based in Northbrook, are not taking place except in rare cases, Buffett said. “We are doing assessments over the phone right now in most cases and extending service that way,” he said. “Nobody is working out of KGH, where 20 people are normally based,” said Lisa Turner., “there is no way they can keep up with the volume. There is a whole swath of people that are not getting access to care. We need to get the word out there that the most vulnerable patients are losing access to care.” The negotiations between the CCAC and nine out of 10 Ontario Nursing Association bargaining units are being handled out of Toronto even though each CCAC has a contract with their own workers. The issue separating the parties is money, and it is unclear how far apart the two parties actually are in terms of money. Both sides also claim that they are willing to re-enter negotiations and the other is refusing. What is clear, at least from the statements by both Lisa Turner and CCAC spokesperson Gary Buffett, is that both sides recognise the strike is stressing the system. According to Gary Buffett, the stress to the system is not compromising patient care. “We are providing the referrals and we will clean up the mess later,” he said. Lisa Turner, however, said that patient care is already being impacted.
300 megawatt wind power project proposed for Addington Highlands/North Frontenac It seems that every three or four years a proponent for a wind project shows up at Addington Highlands Council to talk about the potential of the north eastern edge of the township (the Vennachar-Denbigh-Rose Hill area) and then the idea seems to slip into the background. This week another group came to Council, but this time there is substantial money behind the company. NextEra Canada Development and Acquisitions is a wholesale power generation company with assets in 25 US states and four Canadian provinces and almost 20,000 MW of power in operation. Its sister company is Florida Power and Light, a large electric utility company with 4.7 million retail customers. The company is valued at $46 billion and has $15 billion in annual revenues. They were represented in Flinton by Nicole Geneau, Ben Faiella, and Derek Dudek, three relatively young project developers who work in the smaller Canadian division of the company, based out of Toronto. They explained that the company has a different kind of model than other large corporations. “We are a large organisation made up of locally based, small energy companies,” said Nicole Geneau. “We make strong commitments to the communities where we do business.” NextEra operates eight wind projects in Ontario, all in south western Ontario, and is the second largest generator of wind energy in Canada. They are in the very early stages of putting together a project in Addington Highlands and North Frontenac, with a view towards making a submission to Ontario's Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) program. The scope of the potential project in Addington Highlands is quite large. It could include up to 100 two- megawatt turbines in Addington Highlands and another 50 in North Frontenac. The company is looking to secure agreements from landowners in both townships for land leases for 1/3 of the land they will need to secure access to, and the other 2/3 is on Crown Land that is not included in any other Land Use Permit agreement and is not included as one of the parcels in the proposed Algonquin Land Claim. The total acreage involved is 10,000 acres. The project would be 1.5 times the size of the Wolfe Island wind turbine project and would produce enough electricity to power 150,000 homes. In order to win the bidding process under the LRP program a number of hoops need to be cleared. Some of them are technical. “Evaluating the wind resource, the availability of transmission lines, and securing landowner agreements all need to be done in the coming months,” said Derek Dudek. A number of landowner agreements are already in place and others are pending as landowners consider their options. For landowners who do not choose to participate, “the setback from any turbine to their home is at least 500 metres, half a kilometre, but we are committed to going further away than that,” said Nicole Geneau. Another factor that will be considered before LRP contracts are awarded is community support for the project. “Points are awarded for a statement of support from the local municipality,” said Geneau. NextEra promises some economic benefits to Addington Highlands if the project goes ahead. “The estimated annual property taxation will be $225,000, and any infrastructure upgrades to roads or bridges will be covered by us. There will be quite a bit of work during the construction phase, and 6-10 permanent positions at the project site. We will also need to build a 5,000 square foot building in the vicinity. As well, in addition to the tax dollars we will create a community vibrancy fund that the township can use for recreation or sustainability projects. The fund is $1,750 per megawatt per year, which could be about $350,000 per year in Addington Highlands if we put in 200 megawatts of turbines,” said Geneau. “That money could be used for a variety of purposes, such as roads, or fire trucks,” added Ben Faiella. The process that will be followed by NextEra in the next few months include continued evaluation work, a community open house in late May, signing a community benefits agreement in June and making an LRP project bid submission in late August Reeve Henry Hogg said, “I see great benefits to the township from this: jobs, economic development, and substantial revenue.” Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch said, “I would like to make a motion that we express our support for this project.” When Councilors Tony Fritsch and Bill Cox did not speak up (Councilor Kirby Thompson was not in attendance) Reeve Hogg said, “I will pass the chair in order to second this motion. Tony Fritsch said, “I support this but I would like Kirby to be here to vote on this and I would like to look at it a bit further. “I agree with Tony,” said Bill Cox. “I move to defer the motion,” said Fritsch and the rest of Council agreed. Reeve Hogg will be away for the March 16 meeting of Council, so the motion will come back on April 6. Other items from AH Council Drop in construction values From the dizzying heights of $8.8 million in construction value in 2012, to a lower but still healthy $5.8 million in 2013, the bottom seems to have fallen out of the market in 2014, with construction values of just over $4 million ($4,063,580) The variation in values is less extreme than the numbers indicate because there were two large one-time public projects totalling almost $5 million in 2012: $960,000 for the Northbrook ambulance base and $4 million for the Pine Meadow Nursing Home addition. In 2013 Bence Motors underwent a $2.6 million renovation. In 2014 the township built a fire hall ($1.4 million) With all that taken into account, the numbers for 2014 are indeed low, but not as bad as they appear to be at first glance. Excluding those large projects, the totals are as follows: $3.8 million in 2012; $3.2 million in 2013; and $2.6 million in 2014. The number of permits issued in 2014 was 90, as compared to 98 in 2013 and 106 in 2012. The department took in $28,502 in permit fees last year, down from $35,600 in 2013 and $47,385 in 2012. Councilor remuneration As a group, Addington Highlands Council received $84,754 from the township in 2014. Reeve Hogg was the highest paid, receiving $24,732, including $22,528 in salary plus travel, per diems and expense payments. Councilor Bill Cox (who was deputy reeve for the first 11 months of the year) was next at $19,071; Helen Yanch received $13,837; Tony Fritsch $13,591; and Adam Snider $12,473. Kirby Thomson received $1,049 for the last month of the year since he took office on December 1.
At their monthly meeting at Cloyne's Barrie hall on February 16, Shirley Sedore presented a talk on the roots of the Sedore family in the Flinton. Shirley' s husband, Ronald Sedore who passed away in 2002, hailed from a family whose roots go back multiple generations in Flinton. Shirley began with the founder of Ronald's family, one Coonradt Sedore who was born in Germany in 1734. It is believed that Coonradt arrived in the United States sometime either in 1754 or 1755 and documents show that he enlisted in the New York militia in 1758. Other records dating from 1755 from the Old Dutch church of Sleepy Hollow, (now known as the First Reform Church of Tarrytown, New York), show that Coonradt Sedore married Antje Boeckhout, the latter, a native of Philipsburgh, N.Y. who was baptized in Tarrytown, N.Y. in 1733. Both Coonradt and Antje are thought to have lived until about 1810. In her presentation Shirley noted that there exist various spellings of both names, Coonradt and Sedore but that the family founder used the original spellings (used here) until the end of his life. The 1758 enlistment records show that Coonradt's occupation had been as a “taylor” and it is believed that he likely learned the tailoring trade prior to leaving Europe. The couple had eight children, 6 boys and 2 girls, all born in New York State. It is believed that the family moved to Canada sometime in the early 1800's. One of their sons, John, who was born in 1784, married Margaret Thompson in Richmond Township in 1807. One of that couple’s sons named Issac lll moved from Richmond township to Kaladar, Ontario and married Hannah Yorke in Lennox and Addington. Shirley noted that Issac lll died at the age of 91 in Kaladar Township and Hannah died there also at the age of 80. Isaac lll and Hannah's youngest son, Jonas, was born July 10, 1839 and he was the great, grand father of the present days Sedores. He was Ronald (Shirley’s husband) Sedore’s great grandfather. Jonas married Jane Clark in 1862 and they had 11 children. Their son Herbert married Isabel Robinson and together they had 8 children. Joseph was that couple’s eldest son born in 1903, one of 3 boys and 5 sisters and Joseph was Shirley's father-in-law and her husband Ronald's father. Shirley herself grew up in Mountain Grove and met Ronald Sedore in 1953. She noted that at that time only one brother and two sisters of her father-in-law Joseph were still living. Shirley and Ronald had seven children of their own, six of whom are living. Researching a family history never comes easy or without its own special mysteries. One that Shirley uncovered was the question of one Abraham Sedore, who is definitely a relative though it is yet to be determined exactly how he is related. Whatever the case, it is known that Abraham Sedore was nicknamed “Bromie” and it is thought that he had no less than 31 children with three different wives. It is amazing that some people are able to trace their family ancestors back so many generations and it was generous of Shirley Sedore to share what she has found with members of the Cloyne and District Historical Society and guests.
by Derek Maggs The Friends of Bon Echo Park are pleased to announce the presentation of two $500 bursaries to Jared Salmond of Flinton and Abby Follett of Omemee, Ontario. The Friends of Bon Echo Provincial Park have been providing bursaries to deserving students of the North Addington Education Centre and summer employment students at the Park. Eligible candidates must be engaged in a post- secondary program that resonates with the goals of the Friends. In recent years the bursaries have been donated by the McLaren family in memory of Doris and Keith McLaren, long time volunteers with the Friends. Jared Salmond graduated recently from the North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne and is currently studying Engineering at Queen's University. Jared's knowledge and commitment to Bon Echo Provincial Park began many years ago. From the time he was a young child, Jared has spent many weeks every summer camping with his family. As soon as he was old enough, Jared was involved with the Mazinaw Lake Swim Program, first as a student, then as a volunteer, an instructor and as the Program Supervisor. For the last three years, Jared has worked at Bon Echo--initially as the Wood Lot Attendant and most recently as a Gate Attendant. For Jared, summer has meant Bon Echo. He understands the importance of community and volunteerism and has spent countless hours working with community children in a variety of activities. Although pursuing further education has taken Jared out of his community, his hope is to return and continue this contribution in new ways. Whatever the future brings for Jared, one thing is certain. The roots he has in Bon Echo have enriched and encouraged his genuine interest in people and the environment. Abby Follett is in the Environmental Science/Studies program at Trent University, currently completing her third year. Her courses are focused on environmental law and species-at-risk with the hope of going into one of these fields once she completes her degree. This past summer was her first at Bon Echo. She served as a Natural Heritage Educator and found the experience amazing and very fulfilling. She hopes to return this summer. Abby was fortunate enough to spend the majority of her childhood summers traveling across Canada with her family on camping trips. She loved being outside, taking part in programs and activities where she could help the environment. She was a junior member of the horticulture society, and helped plan Earth Day clean up programs in her neighbourhood. In high school, she was part of the Green Team and initiated recycling programs. Abby is committed to do her part to enhance awareness and to motivate others in efforts to serve the