Santa Claus parades spark off the 2014 holiday season

Santa Claus parades spark off the 2014 holiday season

For many it is the local Santa Claus parades that mark the start of the Christmas season in these parts and the numerous parades that took place in North, South and Central Frontenac are always welcom...

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Ten years later, 9-1-1 is a part of life.

Ten years later, 9-1-1 is a part of life.

It was ten years ago this week that 911 service was introduced in North and Central Frontenac and upgraded in Kingston and South Frontenac, tying civic address numbers to land line phone numbers in al...

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Frontenac Stewardship Foundation sees collaboration as its way forward

Frontenac Stewardship Foundation sees collaboration as its way forward

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: December-11-2014 | Category: FRONTENAC COUNTY
Tagged Under: frontenac stewardship, Environment

Much like some of the animals, plants and watersheds that it is devoted to protecting and fostering, the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation (FSF) has had to evolve quickly in order to survive in a chang...

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Frontenac Stewardship Foundation sees collaboration as its way forward

Frontenac Stewardship Foundation sees collaboration as its way forward

Written By: Jeff Green | Published: December-11-2014 | Category: FRONTENAC COUNTY
Tagged Under: frontenac stewardship, Environment

Much like some of the animals, plants and watersheds that it is devoted to protecting and fostering, the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation (FSF) has had to evolve quickly in order to survive in a chang...

...

Verona bottle drive for Christmas for Kids

Verona bottle drive for Christmas for Kids

On November 29, four student volunteers collected copious amounts of empty liquor and beer bottles at the LCBO in Verona for the Verona Community Association's annual Christmas for Kids program. This ...

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“Spirit of Advent” concert delights listeners in Verona

For about 40 years, Trinity United Church in Verona has been giving a choral Advent concert as a “gi...

Fallbrook potter sells out at MERA

On November 29, holiday shoppers at the annual Christmas Fair at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonalds C...

Seniors' fitness in Sharbot Lake

A senior's exercise program is offered free of charge through the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team, a...

Christmas Homecoming in Hartington

For over a decade now, associate Rev. Oscar Simpson has been inviting local musicians to perform at ...

South Frontenac Council

Council Sets Goal of 2%-2.5% Increase for 2015 Budget In recent years South Frontenac has held budg...

Central Frontenac Council

Councilors get computers; mayor a phone plan One of the first decisions Central Frontenac Council m...

Provincial funding under OMPF announced for 2015

The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund was originally set up as a way to compensate small, rural tow...

Twelve Days of Holiday Fire Safety

Join the “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” make the Fire Marshal’s wish come true for the most fire-s...

Sydenham Santa parade

Sydenham's annual Santa Claus Parade was the first holiday parade to take place in our coverage area...

Sydenham Golden Eagles cap off perfect season with National Capital Bowl win

Mike Love, head coach of Sydenham's senior boys football team, recalled the team's final game played...

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North Frontenac Council - Apr 29/14

North Frontenac Council - Apr 29/14

North Frontenac passes budget amid looming OPP cost crisis After several months of budget-crunching sessions between staff and council, North Frontenac managed to square the circle - almost, coming up with a 2014 budget that established a reserve for long-term infrastructure whi...

North Frontenac Council - Apr 8/14

North Frontenac tax levy to go up by 3% Most of increase devoted to long-term needs While the levy to ratepayers in North Frontenac is going up by 3% this year, the operating budgets of township departments have been trimmed. As part of the asset management strategy that Council took on late last year, North Frontenac has set aside 2% of the money they raise from taxation to put in a fund to cover replacement costs for all roads, bridges and buildings that the township owns. That left a tax increase for township operations of $53,214 (1.06%), even as a number of fixed costs went up. “There was some new spending, including $15,000 as part of our doctor recruitment commitment for the Lakelands Health Team and $54,000 for playground equipment, which will only be spent if we get a grant that we have applied for,” said township Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson. “In order to keep from a larger increase in the levy each department was asked to find cuts, which they did. There were no cuts to service, but it will be a lean year this year.” The township's draft budget, which will include a total levy of $5.2 million to North Frontenac ratepayers, was approved in principle at a meeting of council on Monday (April 7) and will be presented for public comment at the beginning of the next council meeting on April 28. It is anticipated that the budget document will be approved by bylaw at that time. The two other components of the tax bill that goes to North Frontenac ratepayers, county and education taxes, are each up by about $35,000 this year, for a total increase of $125,000 to be split among all the township's ratepayers. Pine Lake It's been almost eight years since members of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation occupied a piece of public land adjacent to a boat launch at Pine Lake, off Ardoch Road. The small property, which is managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, (MNR) has continued to be used as a boat launch and there is a small road running over it between Ardoch Road and the lake. Back in 2006, the Ardoch Algonquins asserted an Aboriginal claim to the property by cutting trees and putting up a portable metal building. Their stated intention was to establish a band office on the property. But nothing has happened on the property for a number of years, except that brush has grown where the trees had been cleared. The portable building has remained but has not been used at all. In February, the township authorized CAO Cheryl Robson to write the MNR asking that the portable be removed. “Council requests that MNR remove this derelict portable from this property, at your earliest possible convenience,” said Cheryl Robson in a letter to Michael Gatt of the Bancroft ministry office. Last week a letter of response came from Suzy Shalla, Resources Management Supervisor in Bancroft. “I did want to respond to thank you and the Council for bringing forward your concerns regarding the structure located near the boat launch at Pine Lake. MNR is aware of the structure that is located there, however we will not be pursuing removal of the building at this time.” Township office remediation update - Township staff remain housed in portable offices as well as a temporary office in the Clar-Mill fire hall as Service Master and Concord Engineering continue to work on the heating oil spill that took place in early February. Council received a report from Concord Engineering which says that there is no evidence that the ground under the building has been contaminated, but a number of walls and some flooring has been removed as part of ongoing clean-up efforts. There is no time frame for the completion of repairs, which are all covered by the township's insurance policy. Ompah fire hall and community hall back to square one Council soundly rejected two proposals for upgrades to the Ompah fire hall/community hall property. The first proposal, which came in response to a tender for repairs and upgrades, would have cost $360,000. It was supported by Councilor John Inglis and rejected by the rest of Council. The second proposal, which was put forward by Councillor Wayne Good, would have capped spending on upgrades at $50,000, inclusive of a $10,000 accessibility expenditures that is mandated by the Province of Ontario. Although Council has put aside over $200,000 for the project, Good wanted to redirect that money to build a new township office. Good pointed out that there is only one trained firefighter living within a 5 km radius of the hall, and a limited capacity hall would serve the community needs. His proposal was supported by himself, and no one else. Councilor Betty Hunter then proposed that $180,000 be spent on the hall, and that the Ompah fire hall task force, which came up with the proposal that led to the $360,000 tender, be brought back together to figure out how to spend only $180,000 on the building, and do so this year. Her motion was accepted. An additional $50,000 has been pledged by the Ompah volunteers, and there remains an additional $10,000 available for accessibility features.

North Frontenac Council Feb. 3

Septic re-inspection program Ed Gardiner, from Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health, made a proposal to council for a mandatory septic re-inspection program. Until now the township has been contracting with the Mississippi-Rideau Septic System office for a voluntary program. But each of the last two years the number of systems inspected has lagged below the target because a number of landowners have been unresponsive to repeated attempts to engage them in a re-inspection. Changes to Ontario legislation have permitted municipalities to engage in mandatory programs if they choose to do so. One of the stipulations is that the re-inspections be done by the same agency that is responsible for approvals to new septic systems. In the case of North Frontenac that agency is KFL&A Public Health. Gardiner said that it would cost the township $12,000 per year for the health unit to complete 160 inspections, with a focus on inspecting high risk systems, properties with no record of approved sewage systems, or properties with systems that are over 20 years old. He said that the program would be run out of the KFL&A office in Cloyne and that inspection reports would be sent to the landowner and the township. As far as enforcement is concerned Ed Gardiner said that if a report says remedial action is required, “a reasonable amount of time, determined by the township chief building official,” should be given. “If no action is taken the chief building official or the inspector will issue an order to comply,” he said. The township has now received two proposals, one from Mississippi-Rideau and one from KFL&A Public Health. In order to proceed they will have to choose one or the other to do all of their inspection work, on new and old systems. Planner ready to go to the OMB if necessary Joe Gallivan, the planner for Frontenac County, presented the second draft of the Frontenac County Official Plan to Council. Gallivan said the plan, which sets out a policy framework and leaves most of the detailed information to the township plan, has been submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for comment. Based on the response of the ministry to the Renfrew County Official Plan, and the North Frontenac Official Plan, Gallivan said he is concerned about how the ministry will likely respond to the approach the county is taking. “Frankly I'm not that optimistic at this point. It might be that we end up with an OMB challenge on this.” Two issues are of major concern to Gallivan, and to North Frontenac, who are at an impasse with the ministry with their own plan. One is the ministry position that no new development shall be permitted on private roads, even if there are strong rules in place about the quality and width of those roads. The other deals with the ministry's insistence that development be oriented to hamlets and villages, “which is totally contrary to the demand for development on the ground in places like Frontenac County,” Gallivan said. Construction up in 2013 Building permits were issued for over $7.3 million worth of construction in 2013, including six new inland and 20 new waterfront residences. The total for 2012 was $6.3 million. Mayor talks about County Mayor Clayton, who is also the Warden of Frontenac County, said he remains frustrated about the county budget process. “I still feel there is some push back from some of the managers at the county. When we ask them to make cuts they come back with reasons why it is impossible to make any. All we are asking of the two major programs, Fairmount Home and land ambulance, is that they bring costs to the average of costs among services of comparative size, instead of above the average. I think the administration of both programs could be a bit top-heavy,” he said. In summing up a strategic planning session, Clayton said, “There is an expression that goes 'if the people won't change, change the people'. There may be something that needs to happen like that.” War memorial funding frustration Councilor Gerry Martin has been chairing a task force that has been developing a proposal for a war memorial in the township for the past year. The task force was planning to submit an application for funding to the Community War Memorial Program, a five-year granting program administered by Veterans' Affairs Canada that was set to run until 2015. However, when the task force contacted Veterans' Affairs in January, seeking an application form for the program, they received the response that “unfortunately the Community War Memorial Program is no longer accepting funding applications due to higher than anticipated demand.” Martin prepared a letter to MP Scott Reid asking for his assistance in dealing with Veterans' Affairs on the matter. Council approved the letter.

Clayton Doubtful in North Frontenac

“I don't know yet,” said Bud Clayton when asked if he was planning to seek re-election as mayor of North Frontenac after one four-year term. “If things remain the way they are now, I would say it would be no, but things can change.” Clayton added that he had not planed to run during the last election in 2010, but decided at the last minute to give former Deputy Mayor Jim Beam a run for his money since there were no other candidates coming forward. He ended up winning. “I don't want to hang on past my best-before date,” Clayton said this week, “but I have not made a final decision by any means.” Gutowski leaning towards running in Central Frontenac “In all likelihood I will be running,” two-time incumbent Janet Gutowski said when asked if she was going to run for a third term as mayor of Central Frontenac. “I'm very committed to this township and I think there is still a lot to be accomplished,” she said. Among the issues that Gutowski will be addressing during the election year are seniors’ housing and the future of service delivery in Central Frontenac. “I can see us seeking partnerships with other townships and a continued role for Frontenac County as well,” she said. “Provincial policies are always impacting us as a township, and the City of Kingston has an impact on our residents on a daily basis because they run our social services. It is only through the county that we can even talk to them; there is no other venue.”

North Frontenac Council - Dec. 17/13

North Frontenac pulls back from hall redundancy. After meeting with user groups from the Snow Road, Harlowe, and Clarendon and Miller halls, North Frontenac Council decided to rescind part of a bylaw they passed last July, which stipulated that the halls were to be declared as surplus property in the future. Mayor Clayton had maintained that declaring the halls surplus did not necessarily mean they would be closing, only that they would no longer be in line for re-building at the end of their useful life. However, he has also talked about a township preference for building a single, central hall and township office. Councilors have been hearing from hall users ever since the bylaw was passed in July, and at their meeting the clause about declaring the halls surplus was removed. Asset management plan finalized Vicki Leakey, from KPMG, presented the final version of the North Frontenac Asset Management Plan to council. Municipalities in Ontario are required to have these plans in place if they are to be eligible for provincial infrastructure grants next year. Some municipalities have produced basic documents that were created by sending data to a consulting firm and receiving a template-based document back. In North Frontenac's case, KPMG has met extensively with staff and council and the plan has been under development all year. The North Frontenac plan encompasses paved roads, bridges, equipment, and all township-owned buildings. Next year information about gravel roads will be added. Leakey's report concludes, as she told council last month when presenting a draft, that the township has done a good job of investing in infrastructure needs over the last 10 years, and by parceling off an added 2% in taxation towards infrastructure spending into the future, they will come closer to keeping up with the requirement for rebuilding roads, bridges, equipment, and buildings as they age and need to be replaced. Leakey costed out the rebuilding at $7.5 million. “There is not a municipality in Ontario that is not falling behind, at least to some extent, and North Frontenac is probably doing better than most,” Leakey said. One factor that is not in North Frontenac's favour is its negative growth rate, which among other things, means less money is available from property taxes. The report presented it in stark terms. “While the province's population increased by 19.5% between 1996 and 2011, North Frontenac's population dropped by 3.9%.” And those who remain in North Frontenac are ageing. Thirty-nine percent of the total personal income among township residents is derived from pensions, while the provincial average is 14%. “The greater reliance on fixed income pension reduces the ability of the municipality to raise funds through taxation,” said Leakey's report. OPP billing questions The township supported efforts by other municipalities to scuttle a proposed new billing system for OPP services that would see the township charged on a per household basis, including seasonal as well as permanent residents. Township staff calculate this would bring the North Frontenac bill from $205,000 to $1.15 million - a 458% increase. “It's funny how they bill us for the seasonal residents but when it comes to grants they look only at our permanent residents,” said Mayor Clayton. “They like to play both sides of the coin.”

CENTRAL FRONTENAC NEWS

Seniors' fitness in Sharbot Lake

Seniors' fitness in Sharbot Lake

A senior's exercise program is offered free of charge through the Sharbot Lake Family Health Team, and on December 8 participants attended the final week of classes for the fall session. Judging by the 65 seniors who just wrapped up the program, local seniors know well that one o...

Central Frontenac Council

Councilors get computers; mayor a phone plan One of the first decisions Central Frontenac Council made at their first regular meeting on Tuesday afternoon (December 9) was to give themselves a $600 (tax included) computer budget. With that money, each councilor can purchase a laptop computer or tablet to read council agendas and other documents in advance of and at meetings. The move is consistent with the paperless council meetings policy of the township. The cost of the plan will be $5,400 for the eight councilors and mayor. Councilors can access the money only by providing a receipt to the township for the purchase of the equipment, and only once during the four-year term of council. According to a report by the IT department head Charlene Godfrey, the cost of printing paper agendas, including labour, comes to $1,500 per year or $6,000 per term of council, so providing the computers will result in a net cost savings for ratepayers. During the previous term of council, two of the nine members of council rejected e-agendas and received paper agendas before each meeting. There were no such requests from the new council. As well, council agreed to pay $60 per month in usage fees for a cell phone that will be carried by Mayor Frances Smith so she can be contacted by voice, text, or email when necessary. Speed limits in Sharbot Lake In response to a request by Heather Highet, Principal of Granite Ridge Education Centre, for a school speed zone of 40 km per hour, interim Public Works Co-ordinator Kyle Labbett brought forward a proposal to Council. Labbett pointed out that the Ministry of Transportation advises against changes in speed zones of more than 20 km/hr. Therefore he proposed that the speed limit on Road 38 between Highway 7 and 150 metres north of the school be cut to 60 km/hr, and then set at 40 km/hr from that point south to the entrance to the Maples Restaurant and Sharbot Lake Family Health Team, where it would go back up to 60km/hr. “I can't agree with 40 km per hour all the way through town,” said Councillor Tom Dewey, “I would like to see the 40 km zone in place near the school from 7:30 in the morning to 5:30 at night on school days, and a higher limit other than that.” “I agree with Tom,” said Councilor Jamie Riddell. “I can understand what Tom is saying, but I'm worried about confusion with different limits at different times,” said Councilor Sherry Whan. “This is getting a lot more complicated than I thought,” said Labbett. “I would entertain a motion to defer this,” said Mayor Frances Smith. “We need to look at our options with the school, the OPP, etc.” The matter was deferred Bridge over trail to be levelled if grant is forthcoming Council approved a proposal by Kyle Labbett to choose the option of eliminating the bridge on Road 38 over the former CP Rail line (now part of the Trans-Canada Trail) The bridge is in need of repairs and while it is more expensive to remove the bridge and bring the road down to grade with a level crossing over the trail, at a cost of $1.7 million, the decision needed to be made in time to apply for an Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund grant, the deadline being December 19. Most of the people who attended a public meeting on November 20 supported another option, replacing the bridge with a box culvert in order to allow trail users to still travel under the roadway, but the long-term maintenance costs of that option and the relatively low level of risk of a level crossing for trail users led Labbett to recommend eliminating the bridge completely. Council agreed to the proposal; however the project will only proceed if the grant is forthcoming. “If we don't get the grant this all goes away,” said Labbett. 2014 a down year for construction As of the end of November, permits had been issued for $4.66 million worth of residential construction in the township in 2014, almost a million below the amount after 11 months in 2013 ($5.62 million). In 2014, construction on 14 new residential units got underway, as opposed to 17 in 2013, and 26 in 2012. Ad Hoc Committees – At the request of interim Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Steve Silver, Council set up an Ad Hoc committee to deal with the hiring of a new full time CAO and a head of the public works department. Silver, who has a background in human resources, will be a resource to the committee, which will include Mayor Smith as well as Councilors Bill MacDonald, Tom Dewey and Victor Heese. A second committee, which will look at the future of the former Hinchinbrooke school and property, will include Mayor Smith and Councilors Phillip Smith, Brent Cameron and Sherry Whan as well as two members of the committee seeking to turn the building into a community centre. Building window found on small Garrison Shores lot All of the lots in the Garisons Shores development, near Arden, were placed in a holding zone when the development was approved as a vacant land condominium two years ago after existing in legislative limbo for almost 30 years. The holding zone meant that no further construction could be done on any of the small (.1 hectare) lots. Township planner Peter Young from Frontenac County appeared before Council with a recommendation that in the case of one particular lot, the holding zone can be lifted. Kingston Frontenac Public Health has approved a septic system for the lot, which is one of the key conditions for lifting the holding zone. A proposed expansion of an existing 600 square foot cottage on the lot to 900 square feet may be permitted, provided a number of other conditions and a site plan approval process can be completed.

Central Frontenac Council

Central Frontenac sending Tom Dewey to County Tom Dewey defeated Bill MacDonald 6-3 to become the second township representative, along with Mayor Frances Smith, for the new term of Frontenac County Council. Central Frontenac held their inaugural Council meeting on Tuesday evening (December 2) at the Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake. The meeting did not include any of the normal business of council; that will come at a meeting on December 9. Aside from taking the oaths of office for mayor and council, the major piece of business on the agenda was the selection of the county council member. Bill MacDonald, who represents ward 3 (Oso), was nominated by the other ward 3 councillor, Sherry Whan. MacDonald has a long history on Frontenac County Council, both before and after amalgamation. When it came time to vote, there was a geographical component to the results. Tom Dewey, a second term councilor who represents ward 1 (Kennebec) was supported by the other ward 1 councilor, Cindy Kelsey; both ward 2 (Olden) councilors, Jamie Riddell and Victor Haase; as well as both ward 4 (Hinchinbrooke) councilors, Phillip Smith and Brent Cameron. Sherry Whan and Mayor Smith voted for Bill MacDonald. Dewey's appointment to county council is for the entire four year term of council. Jamie Riddell was the only candidate for the largely ceremonial role of deputy mayor, a one-year appointment.

NFLT’s Aladdin a magical, exotic tale

After months of rehearsals, North Frontenac Little Theatre presented the play "Aladdin" last weekend, from November 27 to 30 Kudos to the cast and crew, who pulled off what will be remembered not only as the inaugural musical extravaganza at Granite Ridge's cafetorium but also as a production that enraptured theatre goers of all ages, who came out in the hundreds over a four-day run. The cast included a number of young thespians who made this production sparkle. Nick Alarcon played Aladdin with confidence and swagger. He not only saved the day by stepping into the lead role at the last minute, he did so with grace, mastery and modesty, making his first foray as the play’s leading song and dance man one to remember. His love interest, Princess Jasmine (Joelle Parr), was both picture and pitch perfect as the sweet and sassy Jasmine who helps Aladdin win the day. She was assisted by her loyal maids, expertly played by Sidney Drew and Savannah Gosse. Emma Brash, who played Aladdin's neighbour, was a delight, as was the beggar Tom Christensen, who was miraculously transformed. Barb Matson as Aladdin's doting mom was hilariously expressive, as was Aladdin's sister Neela, deftly played by Ellie Larocque. Charlotte Hilder, Gillian Hoffman and Annika Putman each perfectly performed their roles as the three exotic genies who were gorgeously bejeweled and who each brought their own unique brand of magic to the show. Comedy was a big part of this production and the irascible Mason Moore as Alakazam, Aladdin's beloved monkey, nearly stole the show with his clever animated antics; his low down chin/toe/finger tip crawl across centre stage will long be remembered. Cash Matson as the under-achieving executioner Chop Chop received multiple laughs and thankfully his giant silver sword never met flesh. Cayleigh Matson as the big-headed Ali Bubba also broke up the audience with his chronic whining. The huge dragon created by Mike & Jocelyne Steeves was a wonder to behold and was brought to life thanks to the expert voicings of Rob Moore. This love story would have fallen short without villains and the production had a cast of evil doers in spades. Martina Field was almost unrecognizable as the evil magician Jammal and she pulled out all the stops as the conniving, singing, mustachioed mischief-maker who kept the plot moving along. Jammal was egged on by his equally evil sister, Halima, played by a darkly demure Donna Larocque with her crystal ball – together the two made much of the play’s mayhem. Sarah Hale sparkled as always in her dual roles as narrator and the merchant woman. The play’s director Brian Robertson played the thick-bearded, hen-pecked sultan and with Karen Steele as his queen sultana, they amused the audience with their back and forth wife/hubby banter. Musically the show was a delight and the trio of flute, piano and bass (Sandy Robertson, John Inglis, and Gary Giller) was just what was required. Musical highlights included a duet by Halima and Jasmine, with the two nailing one of the show’s most difficult and beautiful songs. Jammal's song while disguised as a pedlar was pure vaudeville and Aladdin nailed his show-stopping tune with aplomb. He sang the theme song throughout the play accompanied by the lungi-clad young chorus, whose dances were beautifully choreographed. Visually, this production was stunning, with elaborate, colorful sets that included a beautiful background of far eastern spires and cupolas, curvy props and a plethora of silks and satins that together with the clever lighting made for a rich, textured stage. The costumes were of the highest caliber, each intricate and meticulous, with copious layers of satins and silks, lots of veils, vests and exotic head gear, and sparkling makeup and sequins that reflected beautifully in the gorgeous hues of the stage lights.

Aladdin - 1st ever production at GREC

(There is a video with this item - check it out) Aladdin (Nick Alarcon) seems to have caught the attention of Princess Jasmine (Joelle Parr) much to the consternation of the Sultan (Brian Robertson) in the North Frontenac Little Theatre's inaugural production at the Granite Ridge Education Centre Cafetorium. The play runs from Thursday to Saturday night this week, and there is a Sunday matinee.

SOUTH FRONTENAC NEWS

Verona bottle drive for Christmas for Kids

Verona bottle drive for Christmas for Kids

On November 29, four student volunteers collected copious amounts of empty liquor and beer bottles at the LCBO in Verona for the Verona Community Association's annual Christmas for Kids program. This year the program will offer Christmas gifts to 63 children in the local communit...

“Spirit of Advent” concert delights listeners in Verona

For about 40 years, Trinity United Church in Verona has been giving a choral Advent concert as a “gift to the community” and this year’s concert proved yet again to be a delightful and memorable gift. The choir was made up of the combined choirs of St. Paul's/Trinity United in Verona, St. Paul's Anglican church in Sydenham and singers from the local community. As listeners filled the beautiful church sanctuary, they were treated to music by the flute quartet Toute Ensemble, who set the mood for the evening. The choir opened with a processional, singing “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, then invited the audience to join in “O Come All Ye Faithful”. The choir was led by their long time conductor, Annabelle Twiddy with members of the choir also directing on a number of selections. The program included a delightful dramatization of the festive carol “Good King Wenceslas”, featuring Ralph McInnes as the king and the talented young singer Ava Ludlow as the page, joined on stage by a young cast of characters. The audience was invited to join in for a number of traditional carols including “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Once in Royal David’s City”, “Silent Night” and others. Brad Barbeau, organist at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Sydenham, accompanied the choir for one dramatic selection and choir member Tom Mawhinney conducted “One Day”, a song that he composed especially for the concert. The repertoire included songs from a number of musical genres and time periods, including an upbeat version of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”, the dramatic Laudate Dominum by Honegger, the gorgeous Coventry Carol from the early 1500s, the Irish traditional Wexford Carol and the French folk song “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”. As usual the soprano/alto/tenor bass choir dramatically expressed through song the diverse emotions that the festive season brings. The addition of a number of new singers to this year’s community choir also brought an added dimension to the sound. One of the most moving selections came at the concert’s finale when the singers lined the aisles of the sanctuary and performed a moving version of J. Purifoy's Christmas Blessing, enveloping the listeners in their sound and bringing the audience to their feet in a heart felt standing ovation. Following the concert the audience was invited to share in refreshments, and many congratulated the singers, accompanists and their fearless leader Annabelle for what has become one of most beloved concerts of the festive season.

Christmas Homecoming in Hartington

For over a decade now, associate Rev. Oscar Simpson has been inviting local musicians to perform at the Portland Community Church in Hartington as a way to kick off the festive holiday season there. On December 5, the Old Hims, comprised of Ross Clow, Charlie King, Joe Saunders, and Floyd Bauder performed a number of Christmas and gospel songs for an enthusiastic group of listeners who filled the sanctuary. Joining them on stage was Jon McLurg, one third of the well known trio Crooked Wood. Jon reported that the trio has expanded to include two new band members, upright bass player Noah St. Amand and fiddler Brian Flynn. On Friday Jon performed solo and played a number of seasonal favorites, country gospel tunes and holiday carols. He said that for him the concert is a way “to reconnect with his local musical roots”. Jon and Chris have performed for over six years at the annual Homecoming concert and while Chris was not able to make his usual appearance due to a scheduling conflict, Jon spoke for him, saying that they both always enjoy playing with the Old Hims, whom they have known since they began their musical career. “It's always a very relaxed and fun evening and is something that we really enjoy doing every year.” The Old Hims covered a wide range of material including Wonder of Wonders, Away in a Manger, Left Hand Side of the Cross and more, and of course there was a rousing and heart felt full group rendition of Silent Night. Rev. Simpson said the Homecoming Concert has been running for 15 years and the Old Hims have been their regular long time guests. The musicians never fail to attract a large crowd to the community church and as usual, following the concert guests had a chance to visit, enjoy refreshments and celebrate together the Christmas season.

South Frontenac Council

Council Sets Goal of 2%-2.5% Increase for 2015 Budget In recent years South Frontenac has held budget deliberations throughout November and by this time of year, would have had the Township portion of the budget (excluding County and Education levies) pretty well thrashed out. The election has necessitated this process be moved to the new year. CAO Orr brought a general summary of major budget issues facing Council, and requested their direction in setting a target increase in the Township’s levy for 2015. Orr’s report pointed out that although Council in the past few years has increased investment in capital projects and service delivery, decreases in Education and County levies have resulted in an overall decrease in property taxes for the average taxpayer since 2011. On the other hand, The Township faces increased OPP costs, a 1% staff wage increase commitment, and a reduction in Kingston’s contribution to upkeep of arterial roads.There are also commitments to maintain deteriorating infrastructure and buildings, meet Provincial/regulatory pressures, meet expectations for increased services in snow clearing of roads and sidewalks, enhanced weed control, facilities and solid waste, etc. All this must be balanced against political pressure to control costs and maintain taxes. Orr asked Council to provide direction to guide staff in the development of the 2015 preliminary capital and operating budgets. Based on Council’s direction staff will prepare a draft budget, assess impacts, review alternatives and present the details to Council for their budget meetings which will begin in mid-January. Goal is to achieve budget approval by March 3. Council was in general agreement that an increase in the Township levy of 2% to 2.5% would be acceptable. Proposed Official Plan Amendment Planner Lindsay Mills presented background information on a proposed Official Plan amendment which would permit the creation of a subdivision with freehold (ie, not condominium) lots to be located on a private lane which will be commonly maintained, as in a condominium development. Mills said that this would avoid the maintenance issues now common to shared private lanes, without requiring the Township to assume the road once the subdivision is complete. The province is now requiring that any new lanes created in Ontario be established as a common element in a condominium. (even though the lots they serve may be independently owned). This proposal will be brought to a public meeting at next week’s Council meeting, Dec 16. New Sound System Council directed staff to obtain and install an integrated sound system in the township hall which will make it easier for councillors, staff and the public to be able to hear the speakers during meetings. Committee Structure and Procedural Bylaw Update Considerable discussion accompanied these issues, which will be decided on at next week’s Council meeting. New E-Newsletter on its Way The Clerk’s Department is initiating a quarterly e-newsletter to provide updates from all departments, to include information about issues such as road construction projects, winter road maintenance, updates on the budget process, changes to garbage and recycling schedules, etc. The first edition will be available through the Township’s website in January 2015.

Sydenham Santa parade

Sydenham's annual Santa Claus Parade was the first holiday parade to take place in our coverage area and it attracted a large local crowd to downtown Sydenham on November 29, as well as young families from Kingston, who said that the Sydenham parade is one of their favorites of the holiday season. Numerous floats took to the main street and new this year were the owners of the Frontenac Friesians with a number of their locally bred silky black beauties, each decked out in festive red stockings and ribbons.

FRONTENAC COUNTY NEWS

Santa Claus parades spark off the 2014 holiday season

Santa Claus parades spark off the 2014 holiday season

For many it is the local Santa Claus parades that mark the start of the Christmas season in these parts and the numerous parades that took place in North, South and Central Frontenac are always welcome and exciting events, especially for youngsters and the young at heart. This ye...

Ten years later, 9-1-1 is a part of life.

It was ten years ago this week that 911 service was introduced in North and Central Frontenac and upgraded in Kingston and South Frontenac, tying civic address numbers to land line phone numbers in all of Frontenac County for seamless dispatch of fire, ambulance and police service throughout the county. The ceremony marking the launch of the service took place on December 8, 2004 at the North Frontenac Telephone Company office, which had become the central meeting point for the 16 key volunteers, municipal and EMS personnel who had been working on the 911 project, some of them for seven years. The project was in the early planning stages in the fall of 1997, months before the founding of North and Central Frontenac, and one of the first key pieces of information that was identified was the need for up to date mapping for the new townships. Marcel Giroux, who came on as chair of the 911 committee at that time, recalls that the only comprehensive mapping that was available then were the Ontario Base Maps. The problem was that those maps had not been updated for Frontenac County for decades. “The maps were dated from the early 1960s, and were pretty much useless for our purposes,” he said, when interviewed this week. “We pretty much had to start from scratch." The process suffered a few delays along the way, the first of which was the ice storm that greeted the newly amalgamated townships at the very start of 1998. The politicians and emergency services personnel, who put in countless hours dealing with the ice storm and its aftermath, would undoubtedly have benefited from all the mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) that are available today, which are in many ways an off-shoot of the 911 process. As it was, it was local knowledge and chain saw-wielding road crews and volunteers who were relied upon to keep everyone safe and warm. Giroux approached the townships in the late spring of 1998 to get them on board for the 911 system. Two people were sought from each of the seven former townships that made up the two new townships to do the hard work of identifying each of the over 8,000 properties on over 200 public roads and 400 private lanes within the two townships. The people who took this on were: Dick Hook and Bill Rowsome (Barrie), Dave and Nancy Smith (Clar-Mill) Colonial and Annette St. Pierre (Palmerston/Canonto), Marsden Kirk and Jack Nicolson (Kennebec), Faye Putnam and Elva Price (Olden), Gord Whan and Luc Salvador (Oso), and Lloyd Lee and Dave Hansen (Hinchinbrooke). Gleva Lemke took on the role of secretary of the 911 committee, with Marcel Giroux being the 16th member. “One of the big jobs for the committee members was to sort out all the roads in their own districts and match them with the maps. There were roads with no names, names with no roads, roads with more than one name, and names that appeared on a number of roads,” said Giroux. CGIS of Perth was contracted to develop brand new maps for the 911 project, beginning the process that has resulted, 15 years later, in comprehensive paper and electronic mapping covering all corners of Frontenac County. Exact locations of properties and buildings are now just a click away on a computer or smart phone. The 911 process continued for three years, and by the end of 2001, all properties had been identified and civic addressing was in place. It was time to wait for Bell Canada to do some internal work to prepare for the 911 switch over. In the meantime, the townships jointly hired Chris Matheson as 911 co-ordinator, in order to bring the project to its fruition and to provide the kind of support that the project would continue to require even after its launch. New properties would need to be added to the data base and the system would need to be upgraded over time. Matheson was later hired on as the full time IT (Information Technology) person for Central Frontenac and a similar position was created in North Frontenac, in recognition of the role that electronic information and GIS plays in the current workings of municipalities. Matheson, who now works for the City of Kingston as a systems analyst, recalls the 911 project fondly. “It was a good project to work on, particularly because of all the work that the volunteers did right up until the very end, matching phone numbers with addresses. We needed 98% of them assured for Bell to go ahead with it, and they made it happen,” he said. Marcel Giroux is still a little upset over a decision that Bell Canada made to delay the launch of 911 in Central and North Frontenac until South Frontenac and Kingston were ready for 911 enhanced. A process that was supposed to take a few months ended up taking twice as long. “I don't know if it cost anyone their lives or anything waiting the extra 18 months, but it did bother me at the time,” he said. When the system was brought on stream, the volunteers and emergency personnel were all smiles, celebrating the new millennium in Frontenac County. As 911 moves forward, hooking up GPS systems in cell phones with on-board computers in ambulances, police cars, even fire trucks, will make the service stronger yet as cell service penetrates the far reaches of the County. It's all a far cry from 1997, when there were not even reasonable paper maps of Frontenac County.

Frontenac Stewardship Foundation sees collaboration as its way forward

Much like some of the animals, plants and watersheds that it is devoted to protecting and fostering, the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation (FSF) has had to evolve quickly in order to survive in a changing environment. In its case that environment has not been a natural one, but a bureaucratic and financial one. The foundation began its life in the 1990s as the Frontenac Stewardship Council, a creation of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The ministry was pulling its own staff out of some of the educational and stewardship work it had been involved with, and turning that over to volunteers from local communities. The stewardship councils, which were established in rural counties throughout Southern Ontario, were funded to the tune of $25,000 each year as seed money for stewardship projects, plus they had access to a full-time stewardship co-ordinator, an MNR employee who provided administrative support, access to ministry resources, and knowledge about and skills in obtaining grants from a variety of government and non-government sources. Over time, the Frontenac Stewardship Council became a meeting ground for enthusiasts from all four Frontenac townships, and sponsored workshops and various projects throughout the county, supporting lake associations as they developed lake plans, and supporting property owners interested in maintaining and improving their lands as habitat for a variety of species. About three years ago, the Ministry of Natural Resources, facing cuts to their own budget, cut its ties with the stewardship councils, pulling funding as well as staffing. The Frontenac Stewardship Council had set up a not-for profit charitable foundation years earlier in order to attract more funding and to be able to offer tax receipts, and when the ministry pulled out the Council morphed into the FSF. In the post-ministry era the FSF has continued to operate, and after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 27, its president, Gord Rodgers, said he is more optimistic about the future of the foundation than he has been over the past 18 months. He points to a successful grant application for $5,000 towards public events from the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area, and the possibility of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, as well as an improving relationship with Frontenac County as reasons for optimism. He was also buoyed by the outcome of the AGM, which was a day-long event attended by representatives from a number of local and regional organizations that the FSF has been working with on stewardship project. Groups such as the Centre for Sustainable Watersheds, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, stewardship council reps from across the region, as well as Frontenac County, represented by Warden Dennis Doyle, all talked about work they have been doing over the last few months. The foundation is planning to sponsor seminars in 2015 on the Cameron Bog, the Cataraqui wetland, and the Kennebec watershed, among others, and is hoping to embark on a major project on invasive species in Frontenac County. Also in the spring of 2015 a tall grass project, funded by Shell Canada, will get underway on a property on Wolfe Island. The project is aimed at improving habitat for Bobolinks on the island by re-introducing native grasses. The foundation has enough money to maintain a part-time employee, Bret Colman, who provides administrative support and fundraising and grant-writing expertise. Colman was at one-time a stewardship co-ordinator with the MNR and later was a resort owner in Frontenac County, which gives him a background in stewardship and commerce. At the AGM, a proposal was put forward for the foundation to undertake a comprehensive invasive species strategy in Frontenac County. The idea behind the strategy is to apply provincial strategies at a local level, always using communication and education as tools instead of calling for new regulations and restrictions. The foundation plans to engage a range of groups, in particular Frontenac County, to bring this about. An application has gone in to the MNR for a grant to use the Elbow Lake Environmental Centre in South Frontenac as the location of a pilot study for the strategy. Meeting with Kelly Pender Anne Marie Joe Alison, areas of mutual interest – sustainablity adivisory committee. Foundation - Meeting send list of attendees, same sort of thing as Elbow Lake, Senior guy from Nature Conservancy, Vickie Shlomka, Gwyneth, Leslie Rudy Kingston Foundation of Greater Kingston Given the discussions we hade. If we get grant from Trillium for invaxive species. A few dollars to run seminar serivce, feeling goos about it. We continue to get littl ebit of exposure, people sitting around table, still going . Dennis Doyle there for the whole day. Only one CA, RVCA. CSW Barb King, if we get money from Trillium get them going on invasive species. We want to set out an overall strategy for hte couty, work with otehr groups to get htem to deliver on the grouns stufd, signage and edsucationla material, material abailable from OFAH, work with lake associations delivering stuff on the ground. Will want to zero in on species that are relevant. Bret put together a strategy paper that he used to put our grant request to Trillium. The idea is money to support individual enough money to keep him with us. I don't know, he found out that we had put in a trillium grant for an invasive species thing, had discussions at three of our meetings. He's happy with the way Bret put invasive species together, happy about us pushing money for seminar series. ALICE idea, we need something to reach agricultural community. County-wide stewardship plan we gt to have smoethingont he grouns trhat we can show that we are doing things, asking for a million dollars in the bank for us. Work plan set up seminars and workshops with county, februar and aoril, Barry has a piece of property ion the island, iff trillium, pushing forward with the county. In kind, maybe GIS work. Invasive species, on behalf of Frontenac County, seminar series more formal Cataraqui wetland in the south. Cameron Bog. Kennebec wetlands, naturally signifigant, natural history, a major presentation north and south. Likely, three seminars. Agenda to be worked. Trillium. Lanark is hanging. Lennox and addington still around. Getting a few retired MNR people.

Frontenac Stewardship Foundation sees collaboration as its way forward

Much like some of the animals, plants and watersheds that it is devoted to protecting and fostering, the Frontenac Stewardship Foundation (FSF) has had to evolve quickly in order to survive in a changing environment. In its case that environment has not been a natural one, but a bureaucratic and financial one. The foundation began its life in the 1990s as the Frontenac Stewardship Council, a creation of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The ministry was pulling its own staff out of some of the educational and stewardship work it had been involved with, and turning that over to volunteers from local communities. The stewardship councils, which were established in rural counties throughout Southern Ontario, were funded to the tune of $25,000 each year as seed money for stewardship projects, plus they had access to a full-time stewardship co-ordinator, an MNR employee who provided administrative support, access to ministry resources, and knowledge about and skills in obtaining grants from a variety of government and non-government sources. Over time, the Frontenac Stewardship Council became a meeting ground for enthusiasts from all four Frontenac townships, and sponsored workshops and various projects throughout the county, supporting lake associations as they developed lake plans, and supporting property owners interested in maintaining and improving their lands as habitat for a variety of species. About three years ago, the Ministry of Natural Resources, facing cuts to their own budget, cut its ties with the stewardship councils, pulling funding as well as staffing. The Frontenac Stewardship Council had set up a not-for profit charitable foundation years earlier in order to attract more funding and to be able to offer tax receipts, and when the ministry pulled out the Council morphed into the FSF. In the post-ministry era the FSF has continued to operate, and after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 27, its president, Gord Rodgers, said he is more optimistic about the future of the foundation than he has been over the past 18 months. He points to a successful grant application for $5,000 towards public events from the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area, and the possibility of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, as well as an improving relationship with Frontenac County as reasons for optimism. He was also buoyed by the outcome of the AGM, which was a day-long event attended by representatives from a number of local and regional organizations that the FSF has been working with on stewardship project. Groups such as the Centre for Sustainable Watersheds, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, stewardship council reps from across the region, as well as Frontenac County, represented by Warden Dennis Doyle, all talked about work they have been doing over the last few months. The foundation is planning to sponsor seminars in 2015 on the Cameron Bog, the Cataraqui wetland, and the Kennebec watershed, among others, and is hoping to embark on a major project on invasive species in Frontenac County. Also in the spring of 2015 a tall grass project, funded by Shell Canada, will get underway on a property on Wolfe Island. The project is aimed at improving habitat for Bobolinks on the island by re-introducing native grasses. The foundation has enough money to maintain a part-time employee, Bret Colman, who provides administrative support and fundraising and grant-writing expertise. Colman was at one-time a stewardship co-ordinator with the MNR and later was a resort owner in Frontenac County, which gives him a background in stewardship and commerce. At the AGM, a proposal was put forward for the foundation to undertake a comprehensive invasive species strategy in Frontenac County. The idea behind the strategy is to apply provincial strategies at a local level, always using communication and education as tools instead of calling for new regulations and restrictions. The foundation plans to engage a range of groups, in particular Frontenac County, to bring this about. An application has gone in to the MNR for a grant to use the Elbow Lake Environmental Centre in South Frontenac as the location of a pilot study for the strategy. Meeting with Kelly Pender Anne Marie Joe Alison, areas of mutual interest – sustainablity adivisory committee. Foundation - Meeting send list of attendees, same sort of thing as Elbow Lake, Senior guy from Nature Conservancy, Vickie Shlomka, Gwyneth, Leslie Rudy Kingston Foundation of Greater Kingston Given the discussions we hade. If we get grant from Trillium for invaxive species. A few dollars to run seminar serivce, feeling goos about it. We continue to get littl ebit of exposure, people sitting around table, still going . Dennis Doyle there for the whole day. Only one CA, RVCA. CSW Barb King, if we get money from Trillium get them going on invasive species. We want to set out an overall strategy for hte couty, work with otehr groups to get htem to deliver on the grouns stufd, signage and edsucationla material, material abailable from OFAH, work with lake associations delivering stuff on the ground. Will want to zero in on species that are relevant. Bret put together a strategy paper that he used to put our grant request to Trillium. The idea is money to support individual enough money to keep him with us. I don't know, he found out that we had put in a trillium grant for an invasive species thing, had discussions at three of our meetings. He's happy with the way Bret put invasive species together, happy about us pushing money for seminar series. ALICE idea, we need something to reach agricultural community. County-wide stewardship plan we gt to have smoethingont he grouns trhat we can show that we are doing things, asking for a million dollars in the bank for us. Work plan set up seminars and workshops with county, februar and aoril, Barry has a piece of property ion the island, iff trillium, pushing forward with the county. In kind, maybe GIS work. Invasive species, on behalf of Frontenac County, seminar series more formal Cataraqui wetland in the south. Cameron Bog. Kennebec wetlands, naturally signifigant, natural history, a major presentation north and south. Likely, three seminars. Agenda to be worked. Trillium. Lanark is hanging. Lennox and addington still around. Getting a few retired MNR people.

Provincial funding under OMPF announced for 2015

The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund was originally set up as a way to compensate small, rural townships for costs that were downloaded to them from the Province of Ontario in 1998. Since then it has morphed into a means of helping those municipalities deal with the fact that they lack the property assessment that larger municipalities enjoy, but still have significant obligations to live up to. The overall amount transferred through OMPF has been decreasing in recent years, but some municipalities have still seen increases. In Frontenac County it has been a mixed bag. Central Frontenac Township will receive $1.66 million, an increase of $42,000 over 2014. South Frontenac will receive $1.47 million, a marginal increase of $8,300. The most disappointed township will likely be North Frontenac, which will receive $1.1 million, an increase of $29,000. However, since North Frontenac is facing an increase in policing costs of almost $140,000, the small increase in their OMPF funding is cold comfort indeed. Frontenac County does not receive OMPF funding directly, but the province has taken back a number of the costs that were downloaded on the County in 1998, including some of the downloaded charges for the Ontario Disability Supports Program and some from Ontario Works. The province calculates that this upload is valued at $3,300,000.

ADDINGTON HIGHLANDS NEWS

Kaladar OAHSS home declared mold free

Kaladar OAHSS home declared mold free

Severe mold, later confirmed to be many times over safe limits, forced Danielle Pollard to vacate her home at Kaladar in late September, her young daughter in tow. This week, after a series of measures had been taken by the landlord, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS), t...

Addington Highlands Council

Luck of the draw sends Helen Yanch to L&A County Council In the run up to the municipal election, the probability that the deputy mayor/county representative position for the next four years would not be settled by the electorate was foreseen by the council. The way it works in Addington Highlands, the councilor who receives the most votes in the ward where the reeve does not reside is offered the position of deputy reeve and joins the reeve as a member of the eight- member Lennox and Addington County Council. Since it was likely that Henry Hogg, who resides in ward 1, would be re-elected, and the two candidates in ward 2 (Bill Cox and Helen Yanch) were acclaimed, a vote among the five-member council was a likely scenario, and a secret ballot is not permissible under the municipal act. Instead of subjecting themselves to a popularity contest to be played out in public, Bill Cox, who at that time was the deputy reeve, put forward a motion in early October that in the case of a tie, the matter be settled by lot. Both Yanch and Cox said they wanted the position, so on Monday afternoon (December 1) at the township office in Flinton, that's exactly what was done, although a plastic tub was used in place of a hat. Reeve Hogg pulled a piece of paper from the tub, unfolded it and read out the name, “Yanch”. This is Helen Yanch's second term as deputy reeve and county representative. She served in that role between 2006 and 2010. Kirby Thompson was also welcomed as a new representative from Ward 1, along with second term incumbent Tony Fritsch. Committee appointments – Council is considering whether to alter the roles of the waste management, public works, and recreation facilities committees. They decided to defer appointments to either committee until the next meeting while they consider their options. Other appointments were made – Kirby Thompson will sit on the Mississippi Valley Conservation Board; Henry Hogg will sit on the Quinte Region Conservation Board; and Bill Cox returns to the Pine Meadow Nursing Home Management Committee, which he now chairs. Helen Yanch and Kirby Thompson will sit as council representatives on the seven-member Addington Highlands Library Board; and Bill Cox, Henry Hogg and Kirby Thompson will sit on the Joint Fire Services Board with North Frontenac. Tony Fritsch remains the council-appointed manager of the Denbigh Community Centre (former schoolhouse). All members of council will sit on the Committee of Adjustment. Finally, Bill Cox was chosen to be the alternate to L&A County Council should the reeve or deputy reeve be unable to attend for any reason. Zamboni to be resurrected – Community members Dave Miles and Ron St. Peters appeared before Council to talk about the Zamboni that is parked in a shed near the Flinton ice rink. With the support of the Flinton Recreation Club, the two are proposing to have the Zamboni looked at to see if it can be put back in service without too much cost, and are willing to arrange training for volunteer drivers as well. “We are shy of taking ownership of the Zamboni,” said Councilor Bill Cox, but Council offered support for the initiative. Paul Isaacs proposes committees – Denbigh resident Paul Isaacs also appeared before Council to propose the formation of two new council committees, one to concern itself with the future of the Denbigh ambulance service, and a second on social issues. Council did not take immediate action on either proposal. Insurance premiums down - Paul Dorman from Jardine Lloyd Thompson Insurance Brokers (JLT), made his annual presentation about the township's insurance policy, which JLT is offering to renew for $$63,929, a slight decrease from last year’s premium $64,644. Council decided to renew the contract with JLT, but next year they will undertake a tendering process for insurance, which is required under their procurement bylaw. Township unhappy with proposed County Official Plan “We need to ask the county to make changes to the Official Plan before it is approved,” said Reeve Hogg. “I agree completely,” said Councilor Tony Fritsch. “My understanding was that it was not going to get into the detail that is covered in our Official Plan, but that's not what I see in the document.” “They said they would not duplicate what we have here, and would make it general, but as time went on they kept adding and adding to it,” said Councilor Bill Cox. One of the issues of concern to Addington Highlands is the plan’s insistence that development be concentrated within the boundaries of hamlets. OMPF grant – OMPF (Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund) is an annual grant from the provincial government directly to municipalities. In rural Ontario it is designed to compensate for the lack of commercial assessment, and costs related to distance from population centres. This year, Addington Highlands will be receiving $1,602,500 being an increase of $76,000 over last year. (see article on OMPF funding for the allocations in other townships and counties)

Land O' Lakes Seniors rock Pine Meadow Nursing Home

by Jean Brown Last week a large contingency of our Land O' Lakes Seniors visited two members at their home in Pine Meadow, notably Verna Cowdy and Betty Tarney, along with many other friends. Sharing laughs, telling hunting stories, and enjoying coffee made for a fun morning, in spite of the roaring snow outside. We donated funds to aid the Pine Meadow Family Council, whose mission is "to improve the quality of life for all residents by promoting an atmosphere of sensitivity, caring and support among staff, friends and family members of the residents." The Council supports the needs of staff and residents by offering fun and fundraising events that enable other events such as a steak BBQ for all residents, staff appreciation day, Christmas gifts for all residents, and much more. Pine Meadow is buzzing with excitement as Christmas approaches and as the new addition nears completion and folks move into their newly renovated rooms. Thanks one and all.

North Addington boys’ volleyball team qualifies for OFSAA

submitted by Joel Hasler For the first time in ten years, North Addington Education Centre is sending a team to OFSAA. The Senior Boys’ Volleyball team, coached by Mr. Hasler, will be travelling to Welland on Wednesday, November 19 to play in the OFSAA Single “A” Volleyball Championship. Our games will be played on Thursday, November 20 and Friday, November 21. The Senior Boys’ Volleyball team qualified for OFSAA after earning a silver medal at COSSA in Port Hope last Thursday. The team’s success demonstrates the nearly three years of dedication from many of the team members and coaches. Not only does this team have a strong group of senior-aged players, the team is privileged to have a great group of grade nine students. The future certainly looks bright for North Addington volleyball teams.

Heat & Hydro Costs bring some to a breaking point

James Norris lives a quiet life. He has lived in a small house in Northbrook for the last 15 years, after moving there with his wife from Oshawa. They both suffered health problems. He has Multiple Sclerosis and was forced to retire from the auto industry after injuring his back, and his wife suffered from lung disease, which ended up taking her life in 2006. Norris lives alone now, trying to make ends meet on a Disability pension from his work, and some support from the Ontario Disability Support Program. He receives $1085 a month, has a $285 mortgage, and he also has hydro, property tax, and phone bills to pay. That leaves only about $400 for food and day-to-day necessities. And then there is heat. “As the weather gets colder this year, I have no oil in my furnace, and no money to buy oil,” he said on a cool, cloudy afternoon, from his candle lit kitchen. He wore a housecoat over his clothes, and I kept my coat on in his kitchen. A small space heater was on in the sitting room. For the past seven years, ever since his wife died, James Norris has slowly built up a balance on his VISA card, to the point where he has to pay $400 each month towards the balance. He has a driver's license but could not keep a car on the road, and now faces the fact that he cannot afford oil this winter. There is a program that he has accessed in the past through the Ontario Works department in Napanee that has covered one tank of oil per winter in the past, but he cannot access that until at least January. Getting to January is a problem, however, and the fact that oil companies have a minimum delivery of $400 worth of oil has him basically out of luck. “It is really tight surviving right now. I only get food that is on sale. I basically shop when I need to. I certainly could eat better,” he said. “I try to get out and volunteer as much as I can. I'd rather be out doing something than sitting at home. Between my back and MS I can't work but when I feel ok I can volunteer, but I always need to be picked up and brought home.” He says that his situation is not unique. “There are many other people like me and worse. Costs go up but benefits don't. At $1085 a month, it doesn't add up for someone like me to get through the winter,” he said. Ann Marie Langan works for the Legal Clinic, which provides legal services for residents of Lanark, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington from an office at Northern Frontenac Community Services in Sharbot Lake. She has been providing legal advice to clients facing financial difficulties as well. “More and more families in the area are facing a lot of financial hardship,” she said, “and it only escalates when winter comes.” Kendra Godfrey lives in Mountain Grove with her husband Sean. Between them they have seven children ranging from five to 20 years of age, and six of them are living at home. Sean receives Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) support and Kelly works at the Maples in Sharbot Lake. They have had financial struggles, and not only do they face the coming winter and the cost of oil for their rental home, Ontario Hydro is threatening to pull the plug on their electricity. “Since we moved here two years ago, ODSP has been paying $240 a month to Hydro from Sean's funds all that time. I have been after Hydro One to send us bills that whole time, and each time gave them our address but the bill never came, so I had no way of knowing if we were paying enough,” she said. On October 2, a letter came to their home by Purolator, saying they owed $6,900 were going to have their power cut us off unless they made arrangements within 10 days to start paying off the debt. Hydro One is looking for $600 per month for service and $240 per month for two and a half years to pay off the debt. Anne Marie Langan is working on the case with Kendra Godfrey, and last week put in a demand for the bills but has not received them. Meanwhile in a subsequent phone call with a representative from Hydro One, Kendra found out that it is no longer $6,900 that Hydro is asking for in back payments. “I talked to someone on October 27 and she said that it is $8,500 that is owing, so I don't know what is going on at all now.” Not only are the potential hydro costs spiralling out of control, oil costs are very high in their home, leading Godfrey to wonder how they will keep the home warm and bright this winter. “We live as carefully as we can, don't leave lights on, and we close off part of the house in the winter to save money, but this hydro mess has made it impossible for us to budget,” she said. Michele Zigman administers a number of emergency funding programs for Frontenac County residents out of her office in Sydenham with Southern Frontenac Community Services. She is also worried about the coming winter. “We are still working with people who are trying to recover from last winter, which was cold and long and particularly hard on those who heat with propane. This coming winter could be really devastating to a lot of people,” she said. Wigman pointed out that most of the money she is able to access to support families struggling with costs is subject to strict conditions, one of them being that the families do not receive social assistance. She also said that the funds she makes use of are provincial dollars administered by the City of Kingston. “Frontenac County, based on its share of the regional population, should receive more funding than it does for these programs,” she said. A new homelessness initiative will bring a change in the supports for families in situations such as those faced by James Norris and Kendra Godfrey's family, but funding remains an issue. “The goal is for people to have sustainable housing in the long term,” said Zigman, “and my fear is that people will be forced to give up their houses if this winter is as bad as last winter was.”

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