Happy New Year to all Howe Island Residents from your Howe Island Ratepayers Association
Your HIRA executive is sending you this note to inform you about a couple of issues that are important to all Howe Islanders.
Heavy Vehicle Restrictions County Ferry:
This is a brief summary on the continuing story of the lifting of the Heavy Vehicle Restrictions applicable to the Howe Island County Ferry during rush hours-high volume usage. The decision to lift the restrictions applicable to agricultural related vehicles was made by the Frontenac County Council at their meeting held Nov 16, 2016 in closed session without notice to the folks most affected, Howe Island residents. Numerous residents objected to this decision including some who hired lawyers to make their objections known to the Council. In addition, Howe Island residents Bill Robertson and George Thomson made presentations to Council at its meeting on December 21, 2016. At the conclusion of this meeting Council deferred to its January 18, 2017 meeting reconsideration of its decision to lift the restrictions. HIRA strongly objects to the process employed by the County Council in making their original decision; making such decisions behind closed doors without adequate notice is not in the best interests of Howe Islanders no matter which side of the decision one supports. We want an open and transparent process.
For your information the Kingston Whig Standard reported on the meeting of December 21,2016. You can find the article at the following URL: http://thewhig.com/2016/12/21/decision-to-lift-farm-equipment-restriction-on-ferry-under-fire
The meeting on January 18, 2017 beginning at 9:30am at the County Council Offices is open to the public. If you are able please attend the meeting to make your views known to our County representatives.
Unscheduled Shut Downs of County Ferry:
HIRA has been made aware that the County Ferry has had 3 unscheduled shut downs over the last few weeks, the most recent being on Christmas Eve. HIRA has requested an explanation from the County and asked that they develop a contingency plan to ensure continuous service.
Your HIRA will closely monitor these situations to try to ensure that our Council representatives act in the best interest of all Howe Islanders and that Council ensures that all decisions impacting Howe Island residents are made in an open forum where all views can be expressed.