This is a briefing note to members of HIRA and others on the Township of Howe Island Council Meeting which was held on Wolfe Island on Monday, July 13, 2020.The meeting was attended by all Councilors and Mayor Doyle. The public was provided with a call-in number for listening to the proceedings. The Township providing a call-in number was initiated because of the COVID-19. It is hoped the call-in number will continue to be provided so that constituents from both Islands wishing to listen to the proceedings can do so without travelling to the Island where the meeting is being held. Only matters of particular reference to Howe Island are highlighted here.
Roads—–At the June, 2020 Council meeting (in closed session) the Public Works Manager (PWM) was authorized to recruit a lead hand to assist with everyday supervisions and work with Howe roads and marine services. No suitable candidate was found at the pay grade offered. Council has now approved the PWM cancelling the hiring of the lead hand. It has also approved the PWM proceeding to tender the resurfacing (called Double Surface Treat) of the North Shore Road from 125 North Shore Road to the Nokomis entrance (approx 4.6 kms) at a cost of $249,000. This is an overlay solution, not a reconstruction of the Road. Council has also approved the Double Surface Treat for Spithead Road Circle at a cost of $60,000. Total cost for these two projects is $328,312.50 with taxes. Culvert work will also proceed at Quinn’s curve and at the entrance to Spithead Road. The money designated for the lead hand (not being hired) will be used to pay the extra costs for the extra time required by the PWM to deal with issues in road surfacing and for Wolfe Island crew to assist with the culverts. The contract award is expected to come before Council at its August meeting.
Ferry Fee Collection—Council has authorized an agreement with Honk Mobile Inc. to implement a touch less payment option system for the collection of ferry fees. In the PWM report to Council, there was not much detail on how operators know whether users of the ferry service have tapped before boarding, have tapped the correct amount or have tapped for a trailer if applicable. Although there was some information on the cost of each tap ($0.25) and the Visa and MasterCard fee ( from 2.99% to 3.99% per tap), there was no information in the report on the overall financial impact on total ferry net revenue, of the fees being paid to Honk and the credit card companies. Honk Mobile is the company that operates some of the parking lot fee collection systems in Kingston.
No Parking—If you are using the Howe Island Trail, you are requested to park in the parking lot on the west side of Howe Island Drive. A No Parking sign will be going up at the entrance to the Trail. The purpose is to make sure emergency personal can access the Trail if required to do so.
Garbage Collection—Bag tags will soon be mailed to Howe Islanders. Correspondence will also be issued to ratepayers outlining the reasoning behind the introduction of the bag tag system and how they are to be used.
Big Ferry Traffic Camera—-Big ferry traffic camera is now up and running at the mainland terminal. Log on to the HIRA web site at howeisland.org to get the link and make it a favorite. You will also see the links at the HIRA web site to the Small ferry and big ferry traffic cameras. Thanks to our Councilors for supporting the installation of cameras.
howeisland.org PLEASE NOTE: If you are a member of HIRA, thank you for your support. If you are not a member, please consider joining at $10 per year and $100 for life. Yearly membership dues are due on January 1 of each year. If you have paid, thank you. If you have not paid, please send or deliver a cheque payable to HIRA to one of our Directors or place a cheque into the HIRA mailbox at the roadside at the Township Office