A service club in Frontenac County is asking for the gift of hope this Christmas.
“Storrington Lions Club has been working hard to revitalize its community hall in Sunbury,” says John Beskers, President of Storrington Lions Club. “Working with very little money, we have accomplished a great deal and have now started the second phase of repairs to the hall. We are asking residents to share the gift of hope this holiday season by making a donation to the Lions Club to save the Storrington Lions Hall.”
Operated by a small group of volunteers, the hall is a central meeting place for dozens of community groups. It is a polling station, blood donor clinic and gathering place for residents to celebrate engagements, marriages and birthdays.
“We’re here as a service,” Beskers explains softly about the club and the hall. “We help people by providing an affordable and convenient space to learn, connect and celebrate life.”
Located in the heart of Frontenac County, the hall is a major part of the community. Volunteers have been working to revitalize it for more than a year despite a major setback in August when a $5,000 air conditioning unit was vandalized for a couple hundred dollars’ worth of copper coil.
“The sides were left in place. The robbers basically just cut everything and took the coil,” confirms Beskers who discovered the broken equipment while hosting a youth dance. “It was a major setback for the club, but we persevered.”
According to Beskers, volunteers have spent the last year upgrading the bathrooms, infrastructure and exterior.
The club estimates it could use another $50,000 to complete all of the renovations and upgrades needed for its sustainability.
“We have also been busy with our paint brushes inside the hall and have now moved into phase two which is an urgent upgrade of our bar area and kitchen,” he explains. “Most people have enough socks and ties. Please give the gift of hope this holiday season by donating to Storrington Lions Hall. What better way to achieve peace, love and joy than investing in our community.”
To help Storrington Lions Club save its community hall, donations are gratefully accepted through the mail at 2992 Princess Road; Inverary ON K0H 1X0 or on the club’s electronic fundraising page Go Fund Me at https://www.gofundme.com/dzyxmr7y
Local hockey families will be celebrating their rural roots this January in true country style.
“Our annual dance this year is a Redneck Hoedown,” confirms Lisa Greenwood, a lead organizer of the Storrington Stingers Hockey Association’s annual fundraising dance to be held at Storrington Lions Hall on Jan. 20.
One of the most popular events of the year in Frontenac County, the dance is an important fundraiser for the hockey club which has been running for approximately 60 years.
“We sell-out every year,” says Greenwood with a smile. “People get excited just to know our theme.”
A resident of Battersea and volunteer with the association for the past 10 years, the married mother of one contributes the event’s success to the tightknit community in Storrington.
“Residents take care of each other,” says Greenwood proudly. “Many of the children develop lifelong bonds when they start hockey together at five or six years old and continue to play until they are 18. Along the way, parents become friends. The entire process makes the community closer, stronger and better. Our hockey club is just an extension of an incredible district in Frontenac County.”
According to Greenwood, a small army of volunteers works hard to make the event bigger and better every year.
“It’s a lot of hard work,” she admits with a laugh. “We set our expectations high and work to outdo ourselves every year.”
Reflecting back to last year’s dance and its winter wonderland theme, Greenwood notes, “I had my most fun last year.. We had a lot of positive feedback after that event which made it worth the time and effort. We’re hoping for similar results this year.”
Although most of the food, prizes and raffle items are donated to the dance, expenses such as music and decorations are covered by revenue from the sale of poinsettias; a fundraiser by the club held in late November/early December.
“This time of year is pretty crazy,” admits Greenwood from a busy manufacturing plant in Kingston where she has worked for the past 22 years.
“We’re accepting poinsettia orders until Nov. 25 and the plants will be delivered on Dec. 6.”
According to Greenwood, profits from the dance are directed back to the players.
“What’s raised at the dance goes to the players’ end-of-year party,” she says. “Approximately 115 players and volunteers receive a memento of their hockey year.”
The club will also use the money to replace jerseys and purchase socks.
“We’re always getting new jerseys,” she says thoughtfully. “Thankfully, sponsors also help out because jerseys cost a lot.”
Grateful for the support of the community, Greenwood is looking forward to another successful fundraiser in support of the local hockey club.
“I enjoy doing this,” she replies when asked to describe her involvement. “I love being hands-on. I love to see the kids and parents enjoying their hockey season.”
To order a poinsettia or reserve tickets to the Storrington Stingers hockey dance on Jan. 20, please call Lisa Greenwood at 613-353-7561 or text 613-770-1017.
The community of Stirrngton is reeling from a string of thefts targeting volunteer groups and children.
“This is a problem in our area,” says John Beskers, Acting President of the Storrington Lions Club which had its community hall vandalized the middle of August.
Run by volunteers, the Storrington Lions Club launched a campaign earlier this year to revitalize its aging hall. A popular and affordable meeting place for youth and families, the hall experienced a major setback recently when the air conditioning (AC) unit was vandalized.
“The sides were left in place. The robbers basically just cut everything and took the coil,” says Beskers who discovered the broken equipment while hosting a youth dance at the hall on Aug. 19.
The club estimates it will cost $5,000 to replace the unit; money the club can ill afford.
“We’re disgusted this type of thing is happening in our community,” says Beskers, visibly upset.
A volunteer with other community groups in the district, Beskers is joining a chorus of other residents who say they are troubled by a rash of break-ins, thefts and vandalism in the area.
Beskers cites examples as a broken sign and fence at the local school and a recent break-in and theft at the soccer association’s clubhouse. Other residents in the area have reported items stolen such as ATV’s and bicycles.
One family even went public with a $500 reward for the return of their new four wheeler which was stolen from their house while the family was at work and school.
“We’re here as a service,” Beskers says about Storrington Lions Club.
“We help people by providing an affordable and convenient community hall to connect residents and celebrate life. It’s disheartening to have this happen to us; especially when we’re in the middle of a revitalization campaign. We took a step forward, and now we have taken two steps back. It seems unfair that we have to take money and fix what vandals destroyed on us.”
The club has raised approximately 20 per cent of its fundraising goal of $75,000 to upgrade the washrooms, heating system and entrance ramp. The destruction of the AC is a heavy blow to volunteers who are trying to save the hall.
“It’s disgusting to think there are people in our midst, or outside our community, who would vandalize the Storrington Lions club Hall at a time when the club is working to raise funds to upgrade that much-need facility,” says Ron Sleeth, Storrington District Councillor with South Frontenac Township.
“Unfortunately, it would appear as though there is an increase in vandalism and petty crime in our community. Hopefully the OPP will catch the perpetrators soon.”
Speaking on behalf of the South Frontenac OPP Detachment, Media Relations/Community Safety Officer Roop Sandhu says thieves broke the AC to steal the copper wire. An attempt to vandalize a second AC unit at the hall was unsuccessful.
“The OPP Forensic Identification Unit was called in to gather any evidence at the scene,” confirms Constable Sandu.
“It’s hard to pinpoint what’s happening because it’s so varied,” he replies when asked if vandalism and theft is on the rise in the area. “It’s just a wide-variety of mischief and thefts that is happening.”
To help solve the problem, the OPP encourage residents to call the police at 1-888-310-1122 to report a suspicious person, vehicle or activity.
“Why do people steal stuff like that? It’s tremendously sad,” says Beskers about the missing wires in the club’s AC unit and stolen items from the soccer association’s clubhouse.
“It’s crazy what people will steal these days.”
To help Storrington Lions Club save its community hall, donations are gratefully accepted through the mail at 2992 Princess Road; Inverary ON K0H 1X0 or on the club’s electronic fundraising page Go Fund Me at https://www.gofundme.com/dzyxmr7y
Home | Local Weather | Editorial Policy
Feature ArticleSeptember 22, 2005
. | Navigate | .
ArchiveImage GalleryAlgonquin Land Claims
Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright
South Frontenac institutes curbside recycling, bag tags
by Jeff Green
Bag tag systems are continuing their march through Frontenac County. Several years ago, Central Frontenac instituted a $1.00 bag tag at its waste disposal sites. Last year it was North Frontenac’s turn to bring in bag tags, instituting a $2 bag tag, but with an added wrinkle. A free tag is given out by dump attendants for every blue box of recycling that is brought to the site. Bag tags are not distributed to ratepayers in either township on an annual basis. They are purchased as needed by residents.
After spending a little over a year developing a waste management system to meet the needs and expectations of ratepayers in each of the four districts of the township, and at the same time seeking to comply with provincial regulations concerning recycling programs, South Frontenac has established a bag tag system in the three districts that have garbage pickup.
For residents in Portland, Loughborough and Storrington districts, garbage pickup will carry on as before, once each week. The only difference is that bag tags must now be affixed to the garbage bags. One hundred bag tags are being distributed annually to each residence at no charge, and further bag tags are available at a cost of $3 each. Recycling pickup is being commenced on a bi-weekly basis this month. Blue boxes are being distributed by recycling contractors.
South Frontenac Councillor Peter Roos, chair of the township’s sustainability committee, says the new recycling program in South Frontenac is extensive.
“The recycling will be picked up in three streams. All plastics, including plastic film, containers, styrofoam trays, and cans and glass can be mixed together. Paper, including milk and juice cartons, egg cartons, magazine and newsprint should be kept in a separate pile. The only exception is corrugated cardboard, which must be separated from other paper products.”
Recycling can be placed in a blue box, or separately if there is too much volume.
In Portland and Loughborough the new system replaces a curb-side pickup system whereby up to two bags per week were picked up each week, but recycling was not picked up at all.
In Bedford district, where there is no garbage pickup, the dump sites are being upgraded with new fencing. A full recycling depot drop off service is now available at the Bradshaw, Salem, Green Bay, and Massassauga Waste Disposal sites, and some site hours have been extended for the Victoria Day to Thanksgiving time period. Bag tags are not required for dumping at Bedford Waste Disposal Sites.
With waste disposal being run by district in South Frontenac, whereas it is managed on a township basis in Central and North Frontenac, coming up with a harmonious system throughout the township has been a challenge for the sustainability committee.
“There was a lot of diversity in points of view,” offers Peter Roos, in describing the process undertaken by the Sustainability Committee to set up the new system.
Residents in Portland, Loughborough, and Storrington will have to put bag tags on their garbage, which is a change, but since they are receiving 100 free bag tags, costs should not increase for the average resident.
Taxpayers in South Frontenac pay a waste disposal fee each year as part of their tax bill. The fee varies by district but exceeds $100 in all cases.
Feature ArticleJanuary 12, 2006
Return to Home
Endings and Beginnings:CFCSCNews
As 2006 begins, it is amazing to think that this time last year, CFCSC had a staff of nine, had not yet begun to offer licensed home child care or the adult day service, and before-and-after school care and volunteer hospice visiting service were just goals on our annual plan. By the end of January 2006, staff will have grown to 14 and we will be looking at expanding existing services rather than building new ones.
Before and after school care: Many of you will have read the articles in local papers about the need for programming in Storrington District. At the end of November, CFCSC was approached to develop Before and After School programming to Storrington Public School to start on January 9. This is a government licensed program so we have required quick action from KFL&A Public Health, South Frontenac Township Building and Fire officials, the City of Kingston Social Services, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation in addition to CFCSC Staff. Family Services Coordinator Jillian Manning, ably assisted by Home Visitor Lesley Dixon, pulled together the inspections required for approval and developed forms and parent information packages from the Before and After School Care Policy.
Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation agreed to fund an intern position for the first two months of the service. The Ministry through the City agreed to cover health and safety costs for needed items such as a fridge, microwave, and first aid kits. Both of these funding applications and the policy were drafted by Executive Director Beth Freeland in nine days with help from her wonderful staff. When the program is fully operational, it will employ two full-time staff and serve 30 children.
As part of the Community Awareness Series sponsored by Central Frontenac Community Services, volunteers from the Canadian Cancer Society will be presenting a 7 step program for men and women interested in maintaining their health on Wednesday, January 18th, 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Rural VISIONS Centre in Sydenham. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please call Mary Gaynor-Briese at 376-6477or 1-800-736-9610.
Back toHomeFeature Article -April Fools Biosphere Reserve Promotes Local Sustainable TourismBy Wil McKenny
In a recent press release, a UN spokesperson has made a rather unique suggestion for South Frontenac Township. After a number of brainstorming workshops which have focused on the development of sustainable tourism in areas within the designated Biosphere Reserve, they have found one idea coming to the forefront ahead of all others.
As a result of this recommendation, the recreation committees of Portland and Loughborough districts have agreed to hold a trial period this summer during which the public beaches at both Sydenham and Verona will permit suit-free swimming.
A proposal to use the beaches in Storrington district for this activity has been rescinded for safety reasons, because, as Mayor Davidson said recently, “The sun always shines in Storrington district.”
It is hoped this plan will attract tourists who might otherwise not consider venturing to Ontario. The Land O’ Lakes Tourist Society is a partner to this project, and is planning a marketing campaign in France under the slogan “Les Lunes sont nues Frontenac.”
Back toHomeFeature Article - September 18, 2008 Portland Residents Critical of Waste Management PlanBy Jeff Green
Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth face a barrage of questions and comments in Verona last week
Guy Laporte, the engineer from the firm Totten Sims Hubicki, who has been working with the South Frontenac Township Sustainability Committee, and township Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth, were faced with a series of provocative, often angry questions at a public meeting in Verona last week.
The meeting was one of four that took place to present a draft plan to amalgamate and overhaul the township’s waste management system. Meetings took place in each district of the township, and since the districts all have their own systems in place, and would be impacted differently by the changes, the tones of the meetings varied considerably.
The Verona meeting was the largest and most contentious of them all.
One of the reasons for this response is that Portland is the home of the largest capacity dump in South Frontenac, with 39 years of projected dumping available if it is limited to the use of Portland residents and current dumping practices are maintained.
The draft waste management plan envisions increased recycling, and other practices aimed at diverting more waste and reducing the amount of garbage each South Frontenac resident sends to landfill by at least 25% over the next few years.
If those reductions are achieved, with the Portland dump being integrated into a township-wide system, the township is projected to run out of dumping capacity in 32 years. If Portland residents increased the amount of waste they divert by 25%, and continued to have exclusive use of their own dump, they would have “50 or 60 years of capacity” said Guy Laporte.
Another reason for the controversy is that Bill Robinson, a long-serving Portland councilor and the current deputy mayor of the township, actively promoted the meeting as an opportunity to try to save the Portland dump.
Guy Laporte explained the ins and outs of the draft plan, which, among other things, would call for a true user-pay system, with $2 bag tags being available at local stores, and current waste fees ($125 per household in Loughborough and Portland and $25 in Bedford) being eliminated. It would also mean an end to the practice of shipping waste out of Storrington District to a commercial landfill site at a cost of $85 per tonne plus shipping. The draft plan envisions a single waste stream for the entire township, with curbside pickup of garbage and recycling on all township roads and the orderly filling up of all township dump sites.
“What we have been trying to do is establish a 20-year plan for waste management throughout the township of South Frontenac,” said Mark Segsworth. “We have come up with a draft plan but nothing is set in stone, and this is a great turnout to talk about it.”
Deputy Mayor Bill Robinson addressed the audience after Guy Laporte was finished. “You've made my heart just race. I'm so thrilled to see you all. These people have created a crisis here, when there never needed to be one,” he said.
What followed was 90 minutes of questions and statements, most of them running counter to the idea of opening up the Portland dump to waste from outside the district.
“There are a lot of people here who want to keep what they have,” said one individual, “and you people are trying to take it away from them.”
“It's very clear that you've already made up your minds and are going to shove this down our throats,” said another.
Another question arose concerning the garbage that is generated in Storrington district. The report concluded that it would be more efficient, and more cost effective, to keep that garbage within the township.
“The principle is that we should take care of our own garbage,” said Mark Segsworth.”
“When you look at all the costs, you see that it makes more sense to dump it at home,” said Guy Laporte.
This did not go well with many of the people in the hall.
“We have worked to develop our dump and keep it up,” said one person, “and in Storrington they sold off their dump, and then we are supposed to take their garbage for free? How are you going to compensate the people of Portland?”
“We have identified that compensation should be considered,” said Segsworth.
The Township Sustainability Committee, which produced the draft plan, is made up of four councilors and four volunteers, with each district having at least a councilor and in most cases another member of the public on the committee.
Councilor David Hahn from Bedford, who is one of the committee members, spoke out in favour of the plan and the process through which it was developed. He said the plan is an attempt to be fair to everyone, “and to ensure that garbage is dealt with tomorrow and in 20 years while encouraging recycling, setting up a hazardous waste centre, doing everything we can do to have a good, solid system that works for everyone.”
Councilor Jim Hicks from Portland pointed out that “neither myself, nor Pam Redden [the non-council rep. from Portland] nor Councilor John Filion from Storrington voted for this plan. We opposed it.”
Most members of South Frontenac Council were in attendance at the meeting, including Mayor Davison, but they kept quiet, leaving Public Works Manager Segsworth to represent the township.
The public meetings in the other districts were neither as contentious nor as crowded as the Verona meeting, but common concerns were raised, including a resistance to the user-pay bag tag system that is being proposed.
All of the commentary from the public meetings, as well as written submissions, are being compiled and a report is being presented to the sustainability committee this week.
The matter will eventually come before the entire Council.
Hens on the Horizon?
Last week, Rachel Melnik-Proud asked Council to reconsider their rejection of hens on lots under three acres in size. Accordingly, township planner Lindsay Mills reported that Council could consider an alternative, such as the addition of a notwithstanding clause to section 5.41 (Hobby Farm) of the zoning by-law, which would permit a maximum of ten hens (defined as female chickens) on lots between two and three acres in size. Council agreed to proceed with the necessary zoning by-law amendment, which will require a public meeting.
Verona Community Improvement Plan (CIP)
Representatives from Frontenac County and FoTenn Consultants outlined the goals, objectives and incentive plans that would be part of a CIP for Verona. Goals are: 1) Improvement of community safety by making the main street pedestrian friendly with traffic speeds appropriate to a village-oriented atmosphere; 2) improving community appearance and amenities, and 3) improving building conditions and land use. They reassured Council that any applications for financial incentive programs would require Council approval.
There was some discussion about how long the CIP program should run, with general consensus that the tenure of the present Council might be appropriate. A draft CIP document will be released for public input and discussion prior to a public meeting scheduled for the July 5 Council meeting.
Motocross Racing on Day Farm
Both sides of the motocross racing issue were well represented, leaving standing room only. Dr Jen Scott, speaking on behalf of the local residents listed several concerns: 1) noise, 2) dust, 3) demands on SF emergency services, 4) lowered property values. She asked what if any benefit the races would bring to the community, saying in summary that the mototrack is not compatible with the continued peaceful use and enjoyment of the neighbouring properties.
Speaking on behalf of himself and Bill Day, the property owner, John McGuire of McGuire Motocross racing said his company operates racing tracks in seven municipalities in Ontario, and has a record of providing fun, safe, well managed and maintained racetracks. His business is committed to serving children and families, and accommodates racers aged 4 to 65 years old. He said races had an average of 350 entries, with 200 participants, most of whom would have only two supporters, for a total of 600 people. In order to demonstrate his wish to be a good neighbour, the race originally planned for June has been postponed.
Councillor Bill Robinson said he felt the proposed races were new, and should not be confused with problems in the past. “I hope you people will give this operation a chance.”
A straw vote saw all but Stowe and Davison in favour of a one-year trial of the racing program.
Swim Program needs staff: Recreation Director Ashley Brown said that unless she can find qualified staff, the Storrington swim program, which already has 45 registrants, is in jeopardy. As well, liability issues make it impossible to offer the level 8 (senior) program unless the township can provide a boat escort for the required long-distance swims which have to occur outside the buoy areas. She said the township lawyer had advised that local residents who choose to swim beyond the marked-off areas are voluntarily assuming the risk of encounters with motorized boats, but the township has responsibility for the safety of swim program participants.
Council advised Brown to do all she can to find some way to run the Storrington swim program, but agreed the level 8 lessons might have to be cancelled, at least for this year.
The swim programs begin in three weeks: any qualified swim instructors who might be able to help out are encouraged to contact Ashley Brown at the township as soon as possible.
Arlene Seale lives in a picturesque house on a tiny peninsula on Loughborough Lake. She is presently engaged in a dispute with South Frontenac Township that is going to the Ontario Municipal Board, and one thing that all the combatants in the dispute would agree on is that the house could never be built today.
The front, back, and west sides of the house are all located a few feet from the water, and as waterfront property owners throughout Eastern Ontario are certainly aware of, no new construction is permitted within 30 metres of any lake in the region. This has been the case in South Frontenac ever since the township approved its first Official Plan in 2001.
All of those waterfront homes that were built before 2001 were given a special status by municipal planning departments. They were given the logic-twisting status of “legal-non conforming”. That means that the homes are legal, although they do not conform to the comprehensive zoning bylaw of the township. The only time that this becomes an issue for the properties' owners is when they want to renovate. Putting in additions, new decks, etc. has been difficult or impossible because the new construction would be located within 30 metres of the water.
The only exceptions have been cases where a deck or a section of a home are being replaced, and in those cases the planning departments typically insists that the new construction remain within the ‘footprint’ of what it is replacing, to minimise potential run-off into the lake.
It does not take long when looking at an overhead photo of Arlene Seale’s property to figure out that she would have trouble getting approval for any new construction.
Arlene Seale tried to do just that in 2011. Her husband had just died in late November of 2010 after an extended illness, and she wanted to make a change to the house because the most commonly used doorway, the one facing the driveway, had a runoff problem from the roof. This meant flooding in the spring and danger from falling snow in the winter.
In order to rectify the problem, Seale wanted to either put in a garage at that location, or close off the porch with a small addition/mudroom at the side of her house.
Alan Revill, then the township's chief building official, met with Seale in February of 2012.
The porch was 17ft. by 7ft. and the new construction was slated to be 15ft. by 7ft.
According to Seale, Revill told her that she could not build the garage but closing off the porch would be acceptable. As well, she said that Revill also informed her that since the new construction was less than 108 square feet, a building permit would not be required.
So, in June, Arlene Seale’s son began building the addition.
As he was working on the project, Krista Johnston, a building inspector with the township, paid a visit and asked why construction was going on without a building permit.
The construction was halted on the spot, and Arlene Seale called the township. The very next day she met with Lindsay Mills, the township’s planner.
At this point, Arlene Seale says that she did not know that there may be zoning issues in her case.
“Lindsay Mills told me that Alan Revill had retired and he would have to contact him to confirm my story. I thought he was the new building official. I did not know he was the township’s planner. I showed him the picture of the house the way it looked and had drawn in the enclosure,” said Arlene Seale.
A little over a month later, on July 17, 2012, Lindsay Mills called Searle back, and according to her he confirmed that Alan Revill had approved the construction.
“I asked Lindsay Mills to put it in writing, but that never happened” Seale said.
Arlene Seale went ahead and built her extension.
Then earlier this year, she received a letter from the township’s lawyer ordering her to remove the structure because it was constructed without approval.
In one of his emails to Arlene Seale, Lindsay Mills put forward his own understanding of the phone conversation the two had engaged in on July 17, 2012.
“I wanted to emphasize the point that you and I initially
met in my office and later, on July 17, 2012, I left a message with you that the Planning Department would only support construction of an attached uncovered deck a maximum of six feet out from the cottage and extending the full width of the cottage. I specified that nothing more than this would be permitted.”
Mills did delay the demolition order so that Arlene Seale could apply to the township's Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance to allow the construction, even though the process normally requires that a minor variance be received before construction commences and not after it is completed.
However, Lindsay Mills also told Seale that he would be recommending that the committee reject her application for a minor variance.
“I have determined that you would be requesting approval for a setback of approximately 6 metres on two sides whereas the required setback is 30 metres …
I should tell you that these policies and provisions would not support your application and, thus, I would recommend denial of the application. It is not minor and it does not meet the intent of the Official Plan or zoning by-law. Consequently I would not regard it as appropriate development,” he wrote.
Seale did apply for a minor variance nonetheless, and received supportive documentation from both the Cataraqui Region Conservation Agency and the Public Health.
Nonetheless the application was rejected by the committee on August 8.
She described the committee hearing as “non-transparent and unprofessional”, and said that while other applicants were given an opportunity to speak as soon as members of council were finished “I had to ask for an opportunity to speak.”
An appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board has been filed, and if the board decides to hear the case it will likely be three months before a hearing can be arranged.