This is a brief report to HIRA members and others on the Township of Frontenac Islands Council Meeting held on February 11, 2019 at the Township offices on Howe Island.
Two of the HIRA directors attended the meeting. Only matters of particular reference to Howe Island or of general interest are highlighted here.
- Severance Application Part Of lot 12 North Shore Road (Goodfriend) Approved this was a reconfirmation of an application that was considered and approved by Council a year Due to some external administration matters the application lapsed so the matter was re-‐tabled and approved. The application allows for the severance of an existing dwelling unit on a 3, 6 acre lot.
- Minor Variance 312 baseline Rd (MacDonald) ApprovedThe applicant has applied for a minor variance to permit an expansion to an existing cottage. Council approved the application subject to a number of conditions centering on mitigation of any environmental impact and to ensure construction of all living space was above the high watermark.
- Tree Canopy By-‐law
The previous provincial government had amended the Municipal Act requiring all municipalities to adopt a “Tree Canopy By-‐law” by March 2019. The present Provincial Government has now indicated that it intends to rescind this requirement and as a result Council chose to take no action at this time and will simply rely on the existing policies contained with our Official Plan.
- County Ferry ConcernsDeputy Mayor Higgs tabled the following action item respecting a number of issues respecting the County Ferry operations:The number one concern for Howe islanders is to have a timely and reliable ferry service, especially in the mornings going to work or appointments and getting home in the afternoons. The number of cars and trucks using the ferry is increasing every year to a point where vehicles are waiting for two or three ferry loads to get off and back on in the evening.
- Howe Islanders believe that the ferry is being operated at a slower speed than it is capable We believe that the ferry should be able to make four trips per hour, thus moving sixty cars in each direction per hour during the 6:00 am. To 9:00 am. Rush hours in the morning and again from 4:00 pm. to 6:30 pm. in the evenings. When the ferry is operated slowly, it makes only three trips per hour, thus moving forty-five cars in each direction. We are asking the Frontenac County Ferry Management to monitor and record the number of trips and vehicles that cross the ferry on an hourly basis, with the objective of four trips per hour especially during the busy times. The ferry currently takes approximately six minutes to cross. If this requested rate of four round trips per hour is not possible with the current drive system, we would further ask that MTO be approached for their suggestions to increase the speed which may necessitate a new faster Drive System.
- We would then request a meeting with MTO, Frontenac County Ferry Management team and Frontenac Township representatives to discuss solutions to thisFor your information, the Howe Township Ferry at the Foot of our Island makes six to eight trips per hour. Secondly, on a number of occasions (three or four times) the ferry could not be operated due to lack of an operator. Howe Islanders, in this situation, had to travel to the Howe Island three car ferry and were up to two hours late for work or appointments. This is an issue that needs to be addressed with procedures and protocols to insure this essential Service. Howe Island residents would like to know the Frontenac County Ferry Management’s plan to resolve the ferry speed problem and the problem of the occasional operator’s failure to come to workFollowing Bruce Higgs’ tabling his suggested action item, Mayor Doyle said that he had discussed the action item with Campbell Daley (the onsite ferry supervisor) and that Daley had told Mayor Doyle that he thinks he can make the 4 trips per hour target.
- Councilor Zborovsky requested that Council take a pro-‐active position in trying to improve transparency and communication with MTO regarding various ferry issues and while his focus was with Wolfe Island he also noted that Howe Island issues and concerns could also be advanced, Council agreed to initiate a monthly letter to MTO in this
- Other Business-Eric Wainwright, in response to Mayor Doyle’s invitation for comments at the end of the meeting, said he thought Council should have video conferencing between the two Islands for Council meetings. Council said they would look into that.