The hard-fought completion of the K&P Trail to the junction with the Trans Canada Trail in Sharbot Lake, is being funded by Frontenac County this year.
As part of the its 2019 budget deliberations, County Council agreed to spend up to $250,000 to complete the last section of trail, a stretch between Bradshaw Road, north of Tichborne, and St. Georges Lake. The trail is already complete between St. Georges Lake and the trailhead just south of Sharbot Lake, where it meets the Trans Canada Trail.
Frontenac County Manager for Economic Development, Richard Allen, told Council that the final section includes a swamp (see photo) a watercourse, and must be re-routed around 2 existing houses as well.
“$250,000 will cover the cost for sure, hopefully it will be less,” he said.
It was not that difficult to convince council that the trail must be completed.
“We’ve been working on this for years, and we’ve spent millions. We would look pretty foolish if we didn’t get it done,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal from South Frontenac.
“I sat on the first trail committee. That was over 10 years ago,” said Mayor Dennis Doyle from Frontenac Islands.
In terms of funding the final section, Richard Allen pointed to a slide that included bars, of various lengths, marking all of the granting programs that the county has tapped in order to build out the trail until now, over $3.75 million worth. A lot of that money came from various granting programs from the federal and provincial governments and foundations, including trail grants and others. There were x’s over all of the bars on the graph because the programs have all either been discontinued or the trail is no longer an eligible project for them.
The largest amount of money, over $1.7 million, came from the county share of federal gas tax rebate funds. A few years ago, however, Council decided to give its share of gas tax monies to the Frontenac townships for their own infrastructure needs.
Allen suggested that Council consider borrowing to finance the last section of trail construction.
“That way it will not have a huge impact on taxes in a single year,” he said.
This year the money will be taken from reserve funds to cover the construction, with a view towards securing a loan from Infrastructure Ontario once the final costs are known.
The completion of this section of the K&P Trail will result in a trail that runs from Lake Ontario in Kingston all the way up to Sharbot Lake. The completion of this part of the K&P Trail results in the inclusion of two major Frontenac sections in the national trail system, which would otherwise have bypassed most of Frontenac County by following Hwy 7 into Lanark County.
The K&P Trail section between Harrowsmith and Sharbot Lake will become part of The Great Trail (AKA the Trans Canada Trail). It will also bring the bulk of the Cataraqui Trail, the entire run between Harrowsmith and Smiths Falls, into the Great Trail family.
Further trail projects, including projects on Wolfe and Howe Islands, as well as the northern section of the K&P through Central and North Frontenac and into Lanark County and beyond, are next on the agenda for Frontenac County.
Central Frontenac Township owns the K&P trail between Sharbot Lake and the North Frontenac border, where the trail has gone into private hands until just north of Snow Road. The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority owns the trail from Snow Road to the border with Lanark County.
Frontenac County will be requisitioning over $10.25 million from the four Frontenac Townships this year, up from $9.75 million in 2018.
The tax hikes come mainly as the result of salary increases, both among unionised employees at Fairmount Home and Frontenac Paramedics, and among non-unionised staff throughout the county departments. Thanks to a decision of the outgoing council last fall, County Council members will share in those salary increases as well.
The increases are spread throughout the major county operations. They include a $137,000 in the county share of the cost of running Fairmount Home, an 11% increase. The increase for Frontenac Paramedic Services is smaller, $74,000, a 3.8% increase. Among exclusively county funded operations, the Planning and Development Department budget is up by $67,000, a 10% increase, and corporate services is up by $72,000, an increase of 3.7%.
There were two requests for money from external agencies. One was quite large, $600,000 for a night-shift at the Robertsville ambulance base. With Frontenac Paramedic Services undertaking a service review this year, that request was pulled off the table by the North Frontenac Township representatives, until the review is completed. Another request, for $10,000 by Central Frontenac Not-for Profit Housing, for site improvements at the Clement Road housing complex, was rejected.
“I think we would be setting a precedent if we agreed to this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle.
The target that council set for the tax levy increase is the annualised Consumer Price Index as of October, 2018. That figure is 3.1%.
But when presenting the budget to Council, Treasurer Susan Brant included a figure of 2.1%, the increase in the total assessment of Frontenac County properties based upon information provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. That 2.1% was then subtracted from the 5.2% levy increase to bring a total of 3.1% under the heading of Total Levy Impact.
That 3.1% levy impact figure was reported by Global News as a 3.1% tax increase
Maple syrup producers in the Lanark & District area gathered at the Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in Perth on Saturday, January 26, for the Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association’s (LDMSPA) Information Day and Annual General Meeting.
This annual event celebrates the accomplishments of member producers in the industry. This year’s event attracted more than 80 participants interested in obtaining additional resources and education for new and existing maple syrup producers.
Honoured at the event was Dwight James of Jameswood Maple, who received the Sugar Maker of the Year Award, a prestigious award presented to long term maple producers, or those that encourage and support start-ups in maple production. Recipients of the award demonstrate a willingness to share with a hands-on, innovative approach, and have worked towards the betterment of the maple industry as a whole. The award is sponsored by Springdale Farms.
Another local maple syrup producer, Jasper Norwood, was presented with maple syrup equipment by Leader Evaporator, Zoeller Maple Producers, and Bruce Leggett at the event. Norwood is a high school student who has been making syrup using homemade equipment and he was brought to Leader’s attention as a dedicated young maple syrup entrepreneur deserving of support.
In recognition of his achievements, Norwood was gifted with a small arch evaporator, finishing pans, and associated equipment, in addition to paying Norwood’s membership with the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association for 2019.
The meeting also featured presentations by industry leaders on a range of topics, including the economics of maple syrup production, syrup grading and judging, and updates on the forest tent caterpillar and its impact on the maple syrup industry, among other topics.
Equipment dealers were on hand to discuss equipment needs and new technology impacting the industry. An annual general meeting was also held during the event.
LDMSPA is a group of over 90 maple syrup producers located in the Lanark, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville Counties, as well as the Ottawa-Carleton areas of Eastern Ontario. LDMSPA is one of 11 local organizations that make up the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (OMSPA), a provincial organization that represents maple syrup producers across the province.
As a membership-based organization LDMSPA supports its members by providing a forum to promote the production of maple syrup products, assisting members to stay current on changing industry regulations, and providing opportunities for networking, and education on the maple syrup industry in Ontario.
Thursday, Jan 24th was the official grand opening of Jeff’s – a new local neighborhood lounge in the Holiday Country Manor in Battersea. Jeff’s boasts good food and a cozy atmosphere, topped off with a wood-burning fireplace that throws a comforting warmth.
The grand opening was attended by many, including major Ron Vanderwaal, councillor Ron Sleeth and Mark Segsworth along with many within the community. Highlighted by the music by Doug Reansbury, there was also an abundance of food to showcase items on Jeff’s a-la-carte menu. These included a homemade nacho platter, baked brie, shrimp and pork wontons, the manor burger which features DFC bbq sauce, peking duck, butter chicken bowls, porchetta sliders, and springrolls which went well with the complementary beer and wine offered. In short, no one went away hungry.
Jeff’s will be open every Friday and Saturday in the winter season from 4-10pm. Kitchen open from 5-9pm. Jeff’s features an a-la-carte menu with weekly features, a lobby bar serving local Perth Brewery on tap, a wine selection, signature drinks and specialty coffees. There will be live entertainment on the last Friday of every month, with Jenica Rayne on Jan 25th and Kevin Head and Mrs. V on Feb 22.
On January 29, 2019 Central Frontenac Fire & Rescue responded to a truck fire at 0944 hrs located at a residence on Guigue Road.
On arrival the truck was fully involved in fire and there were small explosions due to ammunition inside the vehicle. The resident and his handicapped wife were in the vehicle when the truck ignited in fire. The husband was able to remove his wife to safety by dragging her through the snow. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be mechanical at this time.
There is a new South Frontenac Council, but the instructions to the Treasury department and the various department heads within the township has not changed with turnover. The target for a budget increase for township delivered services remains at a 2% increase for the average ratepayer.
Township staff have more leeway with the budget than it appears however, because the township received a 1.2 % increase in revenue as the result of growth, recent construction of both new homes and renovations to existing homes that adds to the assessment base.
In terms of raw dollars, the budget that was presented to North Frontenac Council last Saturday morning (January 26) called for a total of $1,974,000 to be raised by taxation, an increase of $525,000 from the $1,913,000 that was raised last year. That translates to a 3.2% increase, with 1.2% being offset by the assessment growth mentioned above.
The average property in South Frontenac was valued at $257,000 in 2018, and through the phased in assessment system that the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) uses, that average value is up to $261,000 this year. If the draft budget that was presented to Council on Saturday were approved as is, that average property would have a tax increase of $31.
Council made some proposed changes to the budget document at their meeting, said Treasurer Louise Fragnito, including a request for an extra $20,000 to be allocated to community grants, in order to support festivals within the township. Council also sought clarification concerning some of the Capital Works projects that were included in the budget.
There is one major unknown that Fragnito does not expect to see clarified before the budget is approved. The province of Ontario is revising the program with the intent of saving money and narrowing the focus onto rural and remote municipalities, which could lead to a decrease in revenue for South Frontenac. The township received $1.52 million last year, and Fragnito has plugged that number into the new budget.
“We don’t know when they will announce the changes and what the impact will be on South Frontenac. We will have to make an after-budget adjustment when the new Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) announcement is made.” she said.
Fragnito expects she will bring a revised draft budget to the February 12th Committee of the Whole meeting for discussion, followed by the formal adoption of the 2019 budget on February 19th.
The local budget levy figures will be combined with those provided by Frontenac County and the Ministry of Education to make up the total levy to ratepayers.
The Frontenac County budget process is kicking off on February 5.
Both the township and the county have established the practice of completing their budget process before the start of the calendar year. 2019 is an exception because there was a municipal election last fall and the outgoing council did not want to tie the hands of the incoming council by passing a budget for them. That means there will be a second budgeting exercise in 2019 in the township and the county, beginning in the early fall.
Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health made a presentation at the January meeting of Frontenac County Council earlier this month.
The agency provides a broad basket of services, ranging from vaccinations to septic restaurant inspections, smoking cessation and active living promotion. Frontenac County provides a share of the funding for KFL&A Public Health, $771,000 in 2019, which represents just under 5% of the $15.7 million in public money that will go to the agency.
Of that $15.7 million, $9.4 million (63%) comes from the government of Ontario, and the rest comes from the three municipal partners, based on population. Frontenac County residents will be paying $771,000 in 2019, an increase of $13,000 over 2018, and about 5% of the overall Public Health Budget.
Their presentation to Council was delivered by Dr. Linna Li, with support from Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health. Li pointed to the three areas of 3 P’s of Public Health; prevention, protection and promotion.
Under prevention, service areas include: food and water safety, immunization, communicable diseases prevention, and emergency preparedness. Under prevention, they include: chronic disease prevention, substance use and injury prevention. And under promotion, they include: healthy environments, school health, and healthy growth and development.
Public Health has a large headquarters on Portsmouth Avenue in Kingston and satellite offices in Napanee as well as two in Frontenac County – Sharbot Lake and Cloyne.
Dr. Li pointed out to statistics which show that dollars invested in public health result in a healthier population and a cost savings by lessening the burden on the healthcare system. According to her presentation, every dollar spent on mental health and addictions services results in thirty dollars in increased productivity and social services savings. Every dollar spent on immunization programs saves sixteen dollars in healthcare costs. Every dollar spent on tobacco prevention saves twenty dollars in future health care costs. Every dollar spent in early childhood development saves nine dollars in future spending in health, social and justice services.
Dr. Moore said that Public Health is looking to “increase our profile in Frontenac County by enhancing the use of our offices, hopefully turning them into community hubs for our services and those of our partners.”
In addition to the work that Public Health has taken on in recent years, in tobacco use prevention and administering the Smoke Free Ontario Act, a new initiative to inform the public about the implications of cannabis use through an information campaign, has been initiated. Last year, KFL@A Public Health initiated an information campaign about radon gas and sponsored radon testing in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Counties, where radon contamination is well above the national average.
Participants parents and staff of New Leaf Link (NeLL) react happily to the news that their program has just received $20,700 from from the United Way’s Community Investments fund.
NeLL began ten years ago when a small group of parents met together to plan some way of providing socialization and ongoing stimulation for their special needs children, now young adults, who had completed high school. They began carefully, putting in countless hours of their time, building community support, holding fundraising campaigns and yard sales. Now, ten years later, they have the use of a fully accessible, kitchen equipped space at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist church, and a two day a week program, Fall to Spring, for 16 participants. The programs are wide ranging, including theatre and visual arts, physical activities, computer skills and food preparation and sharing.
This new grant will make it possible to extend the winter program to three days a week and continue through the summer. “This has been one of our goals all along;” says Karin Steiner, the Executive Director, “to have more continuity in the program, especially over the summer.”
Program participants pay $35 a day, and the program will still depend on community support, but this gift has been a big step towards sustainability for NeLL.
Community members who would like to learn more about this program are always welcome to come visit on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the gym at Harrowsmith Free Methodist
Church any time between 9 and 2.
The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region (MRSPR) is seeking Source Protection Committee members who are interested in protecting municipal drinking water sources in the Mississippi and Rideau Valley watersheds.
The MRSPR Committee was established in 2007 as a result of the Province’s Clean Water Act. The committee guides local efforts to protect drinking water at the source and is made up of one-third municipal, one-third economic and one-third public sector representatives. The composition ensures that a variety of local interests are represented at the decision-making table as the committee works to oversee the implementation of science-based source protection plans.
The committee is currently undergoing a renewal to ensure that it remains in compliance with Ontario Regulation 288/07, the regulation that governs Source Protection Committees under Ontario’s Clean Water Act. The committee is looking for two economic sector representatives to liaise on behalf of commercial, industrial and agricultural interests, as well as two public sector representatives to liaise on behalf of general public, environmental, First Nations and non-governmental organization interests.
“If you have experience and knowledge in one of these two sectors and have an interest in protecting drinking water sources we hope you will apply,” said Marika Livingston, Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Project Manager. “Among other qualifications, these positions require a multi-year commitment, an ability to understand scientific and technical reports and attendance at the two or more Source Protection Committee meetings held each year. Applicants must also live or work in the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds.”
Future work of the Committee includes the review of new scientific and technical information to ensure that the Source Protection Plan and its supporting reports remain current and relevant.
Further details regarding these part-time positions including descriptions of roles and responsibilities and an application form are available online at mrsourcewater.ca/en/source-protection-committee-member-recruitment. A
small per diem as well as expenses (mileage and meals) will be paid while working on Source Protection business.
Applications are being accepted until March 8, 2019.