It started out as a plan to build a self-sustaining community of environmentally sustainable homes made of used tires and other materials, called Talking Trees. It then expanded into an initiative called “One Small Town” that was based on the concept of contributionism, and the philosophy of Ubuntu, as espoused by Michael Tellinger, the South African founder of the Ubuntu liberation movement.
Members of the community could contribute their labour towards a variety of initiatives in return for some of the benefits of the project. A simple example was a proposed apiary. By taking on some of the labour, contributors would not only get as much honey as they required, they would also share in the profits when the excess honey was sold.
The project, which was championed by North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins, eventually included a renewable energy component using lake water, as well as the potential for a self-contained
North Frontenac Council expressed its, somewhat reluctant, support for the venture on a couple of occasions, making sure to stipulate that the township was making no financial commitment.
In November of 2017, a group came to a meeting of council to formally introduce the concept. A home in Plevna was purchased and the first project, an apiary, was to start up in the spring of 2018.
Meanwhile, Ron Higgins was talking up the project. He appeared in CBC interviews and other public forums on social media. He told the CBC that the project was going to progress quickly.
"In two or three years time, once this is all done, we will go into the bigger $20-million projects," he said in an interview on CBC Ottawa on January 28, 2018.
Later, it appeared that that David Craig, who had spearheaded the Talking Trees tire home building project, began working independently from the group that was based in Plevna.
The Talking Trees – North Frontenac website indicates that a property has been purchased for the project and that 144 lots have been marked out. Of those, 5 are marked sold, 2 1.5 acre lots at a listed price of $66,000, a one-acre lot at a listed price of $44,000, and 2 ½ acre lots at a listed price of $22,000.
The site says that the lots will be formally approved in 2020.
“Once the Plan of Subdivision has been approved, lots will be available conventionally. (approval for Plan of Subdivision expected summer 2020)” it says on the site.
Late in 2018, Mayor Higgins said that a first nation from British Columbia was set to invest in the project.
There has been no further formal word until this week, when the agenda for the upcoming meeting of North Frontenac Council was released. The agenda includes an administrative report from Mayor Higgins under the heading “One Small Town”.
The very short report consists of the three council motions that have been passed regarding the project, and the following comment.
“Based on intensive research and analysis, since November 2017, of the proposed One Small Town program, I have concluded that the implementation of the proposed program was not going to be a viable option and have closed this proposed project.”
With that, it appears, the Mayor has, at the very least severed his involvement with “One Small Town” if he has not shut it down completely.
One North Frontenac Councillor, John Inglis, is not waiting until the council meeting next week before expressing his opinion about the demise of One Small Town.
“I am embarrassed for my township that we appear to have been so gullible. Even though Council backed away from the whole thing right at first introduction, and were questioned by the Mayor for being so negative, the public perception has always been that this was a township project. Unfortunately, this is the second promise of investment money from outside that has fallen through. The first was our Mayor’s promise that if we were able to keep wind turbines out of North Frontenac, investors were lined up to build hotel accommodation here. I actually believed that for a while. I’m sorry to say that I also believed there was a remote possibility that millions of dollars might come to this community as a result of the idealism of a group of urban visitors.” Inglis wrote on his personal blog on Tuesday afternoon (May 21).
The News called Ron Higgins late on Tuesday afternoon but he did not get back to us before our publication deadline at midnight on Tuesday night.
Higgins returned our call on Wednesday, but we did not speak until Thursday morning.
He said he had secured a contribution for the project but he found that the “organisation to get it kicked off just wasn’t going as planned. Conflicts were developing between different projects, and I could note get the kind of commonality I needed between the team leaders.”
By early March he said that he “had a nagging gut feeling that this isn’t right. We had a meeting with team members and I found out some things I had not known before. It was then that I pulled the plug.”
Higgins added that he is not connected with the Talking Trees project and does not know where it stands.
“I have maintained contact with the group behind the donation and I will be working on some individual projects that they may fund in the future, but I am no longer working on this as Mayor of North Frontenac, but as a private citizen.”
He added that the township never was asked to invest in the One Small Group project, but some staff time was spent developing a township position in relation to it.
(This article has been updated from the one that was included in the May 23 edition of the Frontenac News)
Nothing has really changed, so far, for Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health.
“From the food you eat to the water you drink, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we make sure it is safe. That hasn’t changed,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, the medical officer of health for the region and Chief Executive Officer of the public health agency.
The agency does not yet know how much money the Province of Ontario will contribute for the current fiscal year, which started on April 1st, but that is not unusual. What is different this year, is that in the provincial budget, the government indicated that it wants to cut the overall budget for public health by $200 million, a substantial cut, but it is unclear if there will be a substantial cut this year.
“Our municipal partners have committed to covering any shortfall in funding this year so our programs will continue even if there is a cut from the province,” Moore said. “and we have heard from the ministry, who tell us that our final budget allocation will be known in a month or so.”
The province of Ontario currently contributes $18 million towards the $24 million Public Health budget in KFL&A, 75%.
Fiscal 2020/21 is not at all certain, however.
A few weeks after announcing that they plan to restructure public health and consolidate 35 health units across the province into 10 larger regional entities, the ministry revealed their intentions for Eastern Ontario.
The proposal is to create a regional health unit, based in Ottawa, to cover Renfrew, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott Russel, Leeds and Grenville, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. The large region encompasses 29,000 square kilometres and 1.6 million residents.
Two main objections to the plan have been raised. The first is that public health organisations are most effective when they respond to the specific needs of the population that they serve, and this will be difficult to accomplish with the massive geography in the proposal.
Dr.Moore pointed out that KFL&A Public Health has developed cutting edge programs in response to Lyme Disease, which is more prevalent in its jurisdiction than elsewhere in the province, and has also been pro-active in studying and responding to high radon levels in homes, another locally significant circumstance.
“We know that smoking rates are higher in Hastings and Belleville than elsewhere, and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has developed their own response for that reason. They also don’t have the same level of primary care than is the case elsewhere so they provide more home nursing,” said Moore.
The second objection is based on a concern about how public health is structured in Ottawa. Whereas in KFL&A, public health operates as an independent entity governed by a board of municipal politicians and appointees, in Ottawa, the service is integrated into the administration of the City of Ottawa.
“If the province is looking for cost savings, they will first have to absorb the cost of creating a new Public Health Organisation with its own building, financial office, human resources department, etc.” said Moore.
Christine Elliott, the Minister of Health, has said there will be consultations before any final decisions are made, and Moore, along with his colleagues elsewhere in Eastern Ontario, are developing alternative proposals.
One possibility is to pair Ottawa with Renfrew County to form one organisation, and create another one for Prescott-Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Kingston and Cornwall, along with Hastings County.
“I think it is more workable,” Moore told the Ottawa Citizen.
On the political level, Dennis Doyle, Mayor of Frontenac Islands and Chair of the Board for KFL&A Public Health, proposed a motion to Frontenac County Council last week.
The motion extolled the virtues of Public Health, and said that “the proposed changes by the province to create 10 Provincial Health Hubs would cause unnecessary and negative unintended consequences,”.
It then asked that the province “stop the planned reduction of Ontario public health units from 35 to 10 and planned reduction of $200 million from public health, and instead initiate consultations with municipalities and public health agencies on the public health system in Ontario,” and requested the province commit to funding 75% of public health costs going forward.
The motion was approved by Council.
Joe Gallivan, Manager for Planning and Economic Development for Frontenac County, briefed Frontenac County Council last week on a communal services report that will be coming their way next month. This is a file that Gallivan has been working on for years, but he wanted some of the newer members of the council to be more familiar with the issues in the report in advance of its release.
The Province of Ontario encourages rural municipalities to focus on development within hamlets. Since there are no hamlets in Frontenac County that have municipal water systems except for Sydenham, and there are no municipal waste water systems in the county at all, development potential within and near hamlets is limited.
“The potential for communal services within subdivisions has been around since 1995, but municipalities have not taken it up within their jurisdictions, because of fears over the potential liability coming back to the public if a communal water or waste system fails,” said Gallivan. “Over the years, the technology for septic systems has progressed substantially, and that cuts the risk.”
Communal services would mean there is one large septic system to cover an entire development instead of separate systems for each building. In some case, one of more communal wells could be included as well.
Municipalities in Ontario have two options for creating multiple building lots on a single piece of property, ‘vacant land condominium’ development, and ‘plan of subdivision’ development. Under a ‘plan of subdivision’, the municipality assumes ownership, and the associated costs, for the public infrastructure (roads, ditches, sidewalks, etc.) within a development, after the developer pays to build them to a municipal standard, whereas within a ‘plan of condominium’ the infrastructure remains the responsibility of the property owners after construction is complete.
Plans of Condominium, Gallivan said, could include responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of communal services in addition to roads and ditches, keeping municipal liability to a minimum.
“As well, if there are a number these systems within Frontenac County, there may also be an opportunity to put together a single municipal fund to cover potential liability from all of them. Individual projects would not have to cover as much liability on their own.”
In making his presentation, Gallivan used an existing development on the southwest edge of Inverary as an illustration of how much more density can be achieved using communal services. The Mathias subdivision is a 27 - acre block of land with 16 lots. The minimum lot size in the development is 1.5 acres, and each lot includes space for a well and individual septic system.
If a communal septic system were in place, the same block of land would be able to contain 42 detached lots as well as 9 townhouse lots and a small apartment complex with 12 units, plus a commercial lot. Gallivan said that once the study is released, he will be proposing that Council authorise him to go to the township councils to see if they are interested in pursuing the type of development that communal systems will make possible within their townships.
“It really comes down to what the local townships envision for their future,” he said, “the timing is good for South Frontenac, which is facing a lot of development pressure right now. The council is starting to review their Official Plan, and they will have the opportunity to accept communal services in their new plan”.
Gallivan said that one of the key elements for developers would be a consistent process and cost structure for communal water systems across the county.
“That would put Frontenac County ahead of other municipalities,” he said.
While South Frontenac is the jurisdiction that would be the most likely to see developments using the communal system model, Gallivan said he could see applications in Marysville on Wolfe Island, as well as in Central and North Frontenac.
Just to be clear. The first week for amnesty loads at Central Frontenac landfills doesn’t mean said landfills will be open during the entire week, Council heard during its regular meeting Tuesday evening at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake.
Coun. Tom Dewey told Council some of his constituents found the dates listed for the first of three weeks for amnesty loads in 2019 confusing, asking if the Monday May 20 to Sunday May 26 listing meant that the Olden site would be open all those days.
Acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong replied that the regular hours for both Olden and Oso sites would still be in effect.
“And the Monday, May 20 is a statutory holiday (Victoria Day), so both sites will be closed.
The hours of operation for Olden are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The hours of operation for the Oso site are Mondays (except May 20, Victoria Day), Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Tuesdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Large items and construction waste that are part of an amnesty load are only accepted at Olden and Township staff ask that residents “make their best effort” to take amnesty loads to Olden.
There will be two more amnesty weeks in 2019 — July 153 to July 21 and Aug. 26 to Sept. 1. Regular landfill site hours will apply then also.
An amnesty load is a single load of household refuse at no charge (up to a $40 limit).
CF to switch to KARC for recycling, a “more responsible” option
Armstrong also asked Council for and received permission to negotiate an agreement with the City of Kingston to ship recycled items from Central Frontenac waste sites to the Kingston Area Recycling Centre.
Armstrong said for the past four years, Central has had an agreement with HGC Management Inc. in Belleville but “having seen both operations, I believe Kingston is more responsible.”
He said operating expenses would increase by about $8,000 per year by switching to KARC but there will be savings in staff time and fuel given that Kingston is closer to our waste sites and Central Frontenac would be eligible for a 2.6 per cent share of any revenues from recyclable sales.
He said by switching to KARC, it would free up 268.5 staff hours to be used on other maintenance activities and save nearly 6,000 litres of fuel.
He said the $8,000 is already accounted for in the 2019 operating budget.
Stairs contract, already underway, gets approved
Andy Dillon, manager of development services/chief building official, recommended Council accept the bid from Jones Contracting and Building Services for the stairs at Oso Hall in the amount of $30,850 plus HST. Work actually began May 10 but since it was under $50,000, the Mayor and Clerk-Administrator were authorized to sign a contract.
“There was some urgency so that the hall could be used,” said Mayor Frances Smith.
Dillon said the work is expected to be completed “by the end of the month” and will include four light standards and an extended landing “so a ramp can be built along the side of the building ensuring that everyone will be able to use the front door.”
$250 for fishing derby toilet needs
Council agreed to kick in up to $250 for a portable toilet at the government docks June 15 for a fishing tournament being put on by B.T. Productions.
Representing B.T., Kirk Chabot said the tournament will be smaller than last year’s, with about 60 participants.
Council also gave B.T. permission to hold a car show at Oso Beach Aug. 25.
A third request, to hold a canteen on Canada Day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. was withdrawn.
After flirting with the idea of constructing a new Frontenac County Administrative building, Frontenac County Council is being asked to look once again at renovating its current building.
A little over a year ago, after considering its long-term office space needs for over two years, Frontenac County was approached by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority about a shared accommodation solution. The idea of a brand new building was raised, and late last spring the idea gained more traction when South Frontenac Township expressed interest in a three-way partnership.
This led the county’s Administrative Building Design Task Force to look at the feasibility and cost estimates surrounding a new building for the three partners, located somewhere in South Frontenac, perhaps in Sydenham in order to save on water costs.
This process carried on through the fall of 2018, into the beginning of the new term of municipal council.
At a meeting in April, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal informed both the county and the conservation authority that South Frontenac Council had rejected the idea of a new building at their own meeting in early April.
In response, the task force decided to look again at using either the current Cataraqui Conservation Authority near Hwy. 401 or the current Frontenac County/Fairmount home site in Glenburnie for a joint office space.
“The lowest cost option would be to use the existing county site as all infrastructure and servicing is already in place,” said a report to Council prepared by Clerk Janette Amini and Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender.
Accordingly, the report recommends spending $10,000, to be taken from a provincial grant earmarked for modernisation, to look at renovating the existing county offices for use by the two entities.
If approved this week, the money will go towards, architectural analysis of the current county building, preliminary plans to meet partner needs, options for potential configuration of common areas, implications for parking, water & similar services; and initial budget-level estimates for comparison with a stand-alone option.
Strategic Plan to be presented
At that same meeting, Council will consider a draft strategic plan that was developed in association with 80/20 Consulting.
The previous plan, prepared in 2014, has become known for identifying four “wildly important goals” for Frontenac County. This new plan, by contrast, talks about three strategic priorities for this term of council.
Although the plan was prepared before the provincial government’s recent budget, which is already having an impact on municipal budgets, it is written with a sense of caution and a focus on maintaining programs and services that are already in place.
Here are the strategic priorities: 1 - Get behind plans that build community resilience and vitality in times of growth and change, 2 - Explore new funding sources and invest in critical long-term infrastructure using sound judgement, and 3 - Champion and coordinate collaborative efforts with partners to resolve complex problems otherwise beyond the reach of individual mandates and jurisdictions.
Within these priorities is everything from enhancing broadband coverage, securing the future of Fairmount Home, promoting economic development and improving planning processes across the county.
It’s probably fair to say the most controversial aspect of North Frontenac’s new Zoning Bylaw has been the inclusion of the Palmerston Lake ANSI (Area of Natural or Scientific Interest).
To that end, Mayor Ron Higgins has been corresponding with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) trying to get to the bottom of why it was established in the first place.
ANSIs in Ontario come in three flavours — Provincial, Regional and Proposed. In the Frontenac County Official Plan, Provincial and Regional ANSIs are recognized, including the Palmerston Lake one.
In a report to Council, Higgins wrote: “The MNRF has advised the Palmerston Lake ANSI is regional; however, the issue is that the current Council and staff has not been able to acquire the historical information and supporting documentation from MNRF to adequately address the concerns of our residents and the Township itself.
“Provincially and Regional significant ANSIs are treated the same in the County Official Plan, whereas MNRF does not have the same restrictions for regionally as Provincially designated ANSIs.”
Higgins went on to say “this issue is a concern for our Township and residents as many wee unaware of the Palmerston Lake ANSI designations due to the omission of this requirement in past Official Plans and residents stating they were never involved in any consultations by MNRF at the time (other ANSIs were shown on the 2003 Official Plan).”
“They (MNRF) haven’t provided their justification for designating,” said Coun. Vern Hermer.
“I suggest we delay the procedures until the MNRF responds,” said Coun. John Inglis.
“There are other aspects of the bylaw people need,” said Higgins.
“Perhaps some amendment where ANSIs can be revisited,” said Coun. Fred Fowler.
“At the public meeting, the ANSIs will be on the map,” said Clerk-Planning Manager Tara Mieske. “But, it’s a draft.
“If, after the public meeting, Council decides to take the out, they can.”
Higgins said he’d work with the County to get its Official Plan amended.
Township to rescind firearms bylaw
Mayor Ron Higgins said he’d received two complaints concerning the discharge of firearms in the Township and so the Township’s firearms bylaw was on the table at Friday’s regular meeting in Plevna, complete with a series of amendments.
However, there didn’t seem to be much support for the way things were worded.
“It’s too encompassing, too broad a brush,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “This is going to prevent people from hunting ducks on Malcolm Lake.
“We’re up here in hill country (and) we’re hillbillies.”
Coun. Fred Fowler, himself a retired police officer, said that any complaints should be investigated by OPP officers and perhaps the noise bylaw applied.
“If there are charges to be laid, they’ll lay them,” he said.
CAO Cheryl Robson agreed.
“Why do we even have this bylaw?” she said. “It’s all covered under the Criminal Code, the Hunting Regulations or it’s just not our jurisdiction.”
“I recommend we rescind the whole bylaw,” said Coun. Vern Hermer.
And that’s just what they decided to do.
Council asked staff to bring back a bylaw rescinding the firearms bylaw next meeting.
Good Roads report
Public Works Manager Darwyn Sproule’s trip to the Good Roads Conference was informative, he told Council.
“The age of the ‘expert’ is declining,” he said. “There is so much information available.”
But, with all the advancements in electronic communication and information, there is a bit of a downside, he said.
“Complaints are now easier to make,” he said. “And, with email, they can be made faster, which means people can complain while they’re still angry whereas in the past, they had to take time to write a letter, giving them an opportunity to calm down.”
Addington Highlands Township passed its 2019 budget at its regular meeting in Flinton Tuesday afternoon and the net result is that it will be asking its ratepayers for $2,937,616.22, in taxes an increase of 5.6 per cent over 2018’s 42,781,829.30.
Reeve Henry Hogg was quick to point out that the increase in the tax rate was 1.8 per cent.
Total expenditures for 2019 are expected to be $6,262,871.91 (as opposed to $5,574,53.37 in 2018).
Operating revenues are expected to be $1,451,499.57 ($1,021,850.07 in 2018) and its Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund allocation is up slightly to $2,053,400 from $2,040,300 in 2018.
One thing that didn’t get added to this year’s budget is the additional expenses accrued due to spring flooding, said Hogg.
“We decided not to amend the budget,” he said.
Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed said that if expenses from flooding turn out to be more than $79,000, they’ll submit a disaster assistance application to the province. Another option is to take funds from reserves to pay for flooding.
“We’ll have to see if, at the end of the year Brett’s (Road & Waster Management Supervisor Reavie) budget is over that,” she said. “But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
“If it isn’t flooded out,” said Hogg.
Some recent fire calls were false alarms, Fire Chief Casey Cuddy told Council in response to a question from Reeve Henry Hogg.
“Next one they’ll be getting an invoice,” said Cuddy. “(And) we won’t be waiting around for an hour for a keyholder to show up.”
They can provide us with one or we’re going through the door.
“There’s something wrong with their system.”
“Five trucks sitting there for an hour is some pretty expensive equipment,” said Hogg.
Cuddy also said they’re will be changes proposed to the wildfire bylaw to cover things like flying lanterns.
Road and Waste Supervisor’s comment on how busy his crews were with washouts: “There might have been a few guys got to have some time off on Easter Weekend.”
That prompted Dep. Reeve Tony Fritsch to move for an ad in the newspaper thanking the crews for their efforts above and beyond the call of duty.
Palliative Care program
Compassionate Care Program Co-ordinator Matt Walker has been making the rounds of local Councils (he was at North Frontenac last Friday) explaining the services his organization offers in the way of palliative care including visits from volunteers, consultation, bereavement counselling and equipment lending.
But, he said the number 1 thing he hears in his job is the need for affordable transportation.
To that end, Walker said he’s working on a plan whereby a bus could be used to travel the main roads to Kingston, Napanee and Belleville while the existing volunteer network could be used to ferry patients to the bus line.
Brenda Crawford and Pam Redden came to Council on behalf of the Harrowsmith Beautification Committee with a proposal for improving the landscape of the new village traffic light section, along with other community upgrades. Crawford assured Council that none of the additions, and the list is impressive, would cost the Township money. The Public Works and Building departments will, however, have to review and approve the projects, which include a (fully accessible) gazebo with a cement base, placement of stones and possibly a fence, several benches, installation of recently-commissioned metal poppies and removal of dead tree and brush. She also listed a bench for the children's play area at Centennial park, and a flagpole on Road 38 near Alton Road, in memory of Roy Leonard. All the work and materials for the items and improvements have been donated by individuals and businesses in the community. All donations will be recognized by (locally designed and also donated) plaques.
Mayor Vandewal asked that the flagpole be located where a local resident could take responsibility for raising and lowering it as appropriate, and complimented Crawford for her energy and considerable skill at fundraising. Council unanimously agreed. Crawford noted that the Beautification Committee and Harrowsmith S&A were looking toward working in cooperation to continue making Harrowsmith an attractive and comfortable community in which to live.
Staff Changes and Additions
Council formalized Christopher Beeg’s appointment as Building Inspector: Beeg is an experienced carpenter, has worked in the building supply area, and as a site supervisor for Guildcrest Homes overseeing construction of new factory built homes.
Interviews for the position of Township CAO are slated to take place within a week.
Faced with competing demands to: enhance services, reduce costs and protect the environment, Council plans to seek public input to help with choosing priorities. CAO Orr brought the chosen timeline and a proposal for an online survey to be used as a framework for discussion at open houses in each of the districts later this summer. Councillor Ruttan expressed concern that there needed to be more focus on values, rather than a list of concrete actions. Mayor Vandewal noted that this was not meant to replace the updating of the Official Plan, which would be a major part of Council’s task in the coming year, and would include an in-depth review of the Township’s goals and values, again with public input. This StratPlan is to more to guide the Township’s current day-to-day work, within the budget that has been set out for 2019.
Dates for the district Open Houses (at which the new CAO will be introduced to the public) are: Thursday August 01 Bedford; Wednesday Aug 7 - Storrington; Tuesday Aug 13 - Portland, and Tuesday Aug 20 - Loughborough.
Women’s Institute Week Proclaimed
Council proclaimed the week of June 17 to June 22 to be Women’s Institute Week in South Frontenac. This year is the Sydenham Women’s Institute’s centennial: there will be a special celebration on Saturday June 22, at Grace Hall. Over the past hundred years, this group has made important and lasting contributions to Sydenham and its surrounding community. More info on this later!
Council reviewed proposals by the County for finding a way to access funding through the County for regional Roads, particularly the former Provincial Highway 38, which was downloaded to the individual Townships at the time of amalgamation. At that time, the County had dissolved into a management committee, so there was no way, once the County re-formed, for it to access any funding support for the shared highway, now known as Road 38. Currently, South Frontenac’s road system is in good condition, but the other three Townships have smaller populations, and need more money than they have been able to raise for road maintenance and repair.
Of the five proposed options, South Frontenac Council cautiously preferred the third: to take a regional approach, with contracted engineering, and limited County involvement. They voted to endorse it, on the condition that any business plan for this option would require unanimous consent from all four Townships.
Waste Management in Frontenac County: Options
In response to a county report of waste management, Councilor Sutherland noted that while recycling depends heavily on provincial policy, diversion of organic waste from our landfill sites lies well within South Frontenac’s reach. Because half of the current Township waste stream is composed of organics, diversion could considerably extend the life of our landfill sites. As well as composting, either locally or centrally, Sutherland listed other creative approaches: the upcoming Repair Cafes (May 26 in Bellrock, June in Perth Road); roadside or landfill swaps, etc.)
The report was referred to the Public Services Committee for recommendations.
On Friday, April 26, 2019, students and staff at North Addington Education Centre gathered around for the unveiling of the new playground, donated and installed by The Township of North Frontenac. Principal Bonham-Carter as he gave a speech expressing NAEC's gratitude towards everyone that helped make it happen, especially the Parent Council and Mrs Salmond (the former principal), joined by Mayor Ron Higgins and Deputy Mayor Fred Perry. Once the ribbon to the playground was cut, students of all ages surrounded the structure with excitement. Caitlyn, a grade five student at NAEC exclaimed, "I love it! This is so awesome and I am really excited to play on it!"
Corey Klatt, Manager of Community Development at North Frontenac explained in an interview how the project all started. The Township was originally planning to install a new playground in Cloyne at the Ball Diamond and Tennis Court facility, but when the council heard that NAEC did not have one at the school for younger students, they arranged to install one there instead. "It was discussed that a playground would be well used at the school and well maintained," he said. As a closing remark when asked how he felt about the success of the project, Mr. Klatt said, "It felt excellent to see the students so excited about the playground today and we are pleased that everyone will be able to enjoy it for years to come."
The playground is a big hit among the students and staff of NAEC, and the generosity of The Township of North Frontenac is greatly appreciated by all.
Vandeross consulting (Ella Vanderburg and Katie Ross) is a new consulting company with a focus on helping small businesses in Kingston and Frontenac County.
They were approached recently by an organisation called Rural by Purpose to see if they wanted to participate in a pilot project that is focused on something that is normally associated with urban environments, freelance workers needing office space.
“We thought this idea was interesting, and approached Richard Allen to see if Frontenac County would like to participate in this, and when he said yes, we decided to give it a go,” said Katie Ross in a phone interview this week.
The local version of the project is called Coworking in Frontenac, and the week of May 6-10 is the target week for the project. During that week, participating Frontenac County businesses will be opening their doors and providing space for freelancers to work out of some unused space within their offices.
Vanderburg and Ross brought the coworking challenge concept to the April meeting of Frontenac County Council and have been helping find suitable locations over the last couple of weeks.
“So far we have found there are more people looking for places to set up than there are locations, and it looks like the main thing that freelancers in Frontenac County are looking for is reliable Internet service which many don’t have at home.”
An important aspect of coworking week, and one of the major goals of Rural on Purpose, which was co-founded by Belleville based Mary Doyle, is to retain and attract younger workers to rural communities. In blogs posted on the Rural on Purpose site, Doyle makes it clear that she believes it is only through retention and in-migration of youth that rural communities will survive. In one case, at the end of an entry, she talks directly to millennials, saying, “Do you want to create new ways of doing business? What support do you need from us?”
According to a media release from Frontenac County, the majority of the workforce is predicted to be freelance within a decade, and seventy-four percent of millennials are currently freelancing. Global coworking spaces are projected to grow from 14,411 in 2017 to just over 30,000 in 2022.
"More and more we find that people are working from their homes, so it has become important to let remote workers and entrepreneurs know they have places to connect in our communities. The Coworking Takeover Challenge is a great way to start thinking about how we can be freelance friendly," said Richard Allen, Manager of Economic Development at the County of Frontenac.
So far, a number of locations have committed to having space available for the coworking week, including the township office in Frontenac Islands, the Frontenac County office, Rural Frontenac Community Services offices in Sydenham and both of their Sharbot Lake locations, and Holiday Country Manor in Battersea.
Information about locations is available at coworkfrontenac.com by clicking on participating vendors. Further down the page, there is an option for both freelancers and potential hosts to register. The site also includes a voluntary survey.
“A major goal of the pilot is to identify the need for coworking within the four municipalities. Our goal is to bring together existing business with those working in isolation and providing access to resources such as reliable internet services, networking opportunities and business support,” said Ella Vanderburg.
“As we have gotten into it, we are seeing that we might need to extend the week to a couple of weeks to get the word out and get a true sense of the potential in Frontenac County. That will also give us time to locate more vendors throughout the county,” said Katie Ross. “We think the demand is there.”
Ross and Vanderburg will be monitoring the pilot to see how it is progressing, just as they are establishing their own permanent headquarters on Sydenham Road.