HIRA BRIEFING NOTE May 11, 2021

HIRA BRIEFING NOTE- May 11, 2021

This is a brief note to HIRA members and other residents of Howe Island about the Township of Frontenac Islands council meeting held on Monday May 10, 2021. In light of Covid-19 restrictions, the meeting was virtual. The public was provided with Zoom access to the meeting. A few of our HIRA directors called into the meeting. Only matters of particular interest to Howe Island residents are highlighted here.

STATUS OF ROAD MAINTENANCE INITIATIVES 2021:

  • North Shore Road: section of North Shore Rd from Howe Island Drive east to civic address No. 334 will have the roadbed rebuilt this year to improve drainage conditions in the area and provide long term stability for the roadbed.

Township to send memo to affected residents on May 11, 2021 to outline expected timelines for the project.

  • Baseline Road: from Howe Island Drive west to the municipal buildings will be completely resurfaced (gravel and hard surface).  Ditching and drainage is virtually complete. Expect stone to be applied week of May 17, 2021.

Hope to have hard surface applied July, 2021 pending decision on start date to be provided by Miller Paving.     

The section of the road west of the municipal buildings to Goodfriend Drive will have potholes patched and shoulders graded this season immediately after North Shore Road work is

completed.

  • Spithead Road: hard surface treatment to be completed this summer. Township hopes for completion, in concert with Baseline Road hard surface application, in July of this year.

FACILITIES & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT UPGRADES: and labour

  • Howe Island Administration Office & Library:

New windows to be installed in admin office, council chambers and library in July of this year.

Flooring in library to be replaced pending start date to be provided by contractor.

  • Helipad Upgrade:

This project will be a 2022 budget item for council consideration.

  • Howe Island Recreation Trail Maintenance:

Stone will be applied to the trail immediately after stone application is completed on Baseline Road…..so in the very near future.

  • Upgrades to Patrick Norris Park:

Project start is still indeterminate, awaiting approval on the federal portion of project funding.

STUDENT HIRED FOR PUBLIC WORKS:

  • A student has been hired for the summer to provide weed trimming, traffic control and labour on capital projects. Start date was May 10, 2021.

HOUSEHOLD WASTE BAG TAG PROGRAM:

  • 2021-2022 waste bag tags will be available to all Howe Island residents as of August 2, 2021. Each residence is to receive 104 tags at no charge.
  • Tags may be picked up at the Howe Island township administration office on or after August 2, 2021. Residents will be required to provide proof of residence to township staff to receive their tags.

ITEMS RELATED TO Hi-SPEED INTERNET TEST RESULTS:

  • Councillor Zborovsky conducted a public survey in February 2021 to assess internet speeds available to residents of the Frontenac Islands. Broadband coverage to Howe Island residents was found to be deficient. Download / upload speeds fail to qualify as hi-speed service.
  • At the April 8, 2021 council meeting, staff confirmed that a letter was sent to all local Internet Service Providers (ISP) advising of the results of the survey and requesting they submit proposals to correct the problem.  No response noted yet.
  • Council recognized the importance of upgrading connectivity and broadband coverage in rural areas.  Accordingly, it voiced complete support of The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) Gig Project which is designed to pressure the provincial and federal government to take concrete steps to improve broadband coverage in rural areas of eastern Ontario.

EORN is an alliance of municipal and regional governments. Membership includes the mayors, reeves and wardens of some 59 municipal bodies. It coordinates and cultivates communication between levels of government on issues that affect residents of eastern Ontario. EORN’s GIG Project is an attempt to have senior levels of government act to correct the lack of broadband coverage in rural areas such as Howe Island.

Township council, in cooperation with the EORN Gig Project members, has committed to lobby our local federal MP Gerretson and our provincial MPP Arthur to work on behalf of the residents of the Frontenac Islands to substantially upgrade broadband coverage in our underserved communities.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS:

  • Volunteer Covid-19 vaccine clinics:

Council formally recognized the excellent job done by all of the volunteers involved in the recent Covid-19 vaccine clinics held on Wolfe Island and Howe Island. A letter of appreciation is to be issued by council to recognize the outstanding contribution made by the members of both volunteer groups.

End of Council highlights

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HIRA BRIEFING NOTE- MARCH 11, 2021

This is a brief note to HIRA members and other residents of Howe Island about the Township of Frontenac Islands council meeting held on Monday March 8, 2021. The meeting was held on Wolfe Island. The public was provided with Zoom access to the meeting. A few of our HIRA directors called into the meeting. Only matters of particular interest to Howe Island residents are highlighted here.

 

 

 

MUNICIPAL BUDGET 2021:

 

The final budget for 2021 was tabled and received unanimous approval of Council. It is expected that Howe Island property owners will face a 2021 property tax increase of approximately 2.8% over their 2020 tax bill.

 

ROAD MAINTENANCE INITIATIVES 2021:

 

  • Spithead Road: hard surface treatment to be completed this summer

 

  • North Shore Road: section of North Shore Rd from Howe Island Drive east to civic address No. 334 will have the roadbed rebuilt this year to improve drainage conditions in the area and provide long term stability for the roadbed. This will entail raising the roadbed approximately 12 inches. Gravel bed will be applied this year. Hard surface will be applied in the spring/summer of 2022.

 

  • Baseline Road: from Howe Island Drive west to the municipal buildings will be completely resurfaced ( gravel and hardsurface).

The section of the road west of the municipal buildings to Goodfriend Drive will be patched.

 

TRACTOR PURCHASE:

 

Council has approved the purchase of a 2021 Massey Ferguson 4-wheel drive tractor, including a disc mower and grading blade. The tractor is to be used solely by Howe Island staff. It will be used primarily for cutting grass and clearing brush from the roadside but it will be available to Howe Island staff to use as the need arises.

 

Hi-SPEED INTERNET TEST RESULTS:

 

Councillor Zborovsky conducted a public survey in February 2021 to assess internet speeds available to residents of the Frontenac Islands. Broadband coverage to Howe Island residents was found to be deficient. Download / upload speeds fail to qualify as hi-speed service. Council has directed staff to contact local internet service providers to arrange a meeting to discuss the results of the survey and to solicit proposals to improve the quality of service available.

 

WASTE COLLECTION CONTRACT:

 

Council has extended a three-year contract to Island Property Management to provide roadside waste collection. Details related to the bid are available on the Frontenac Islands website.

 

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS:

 

  • Upgrades are planned for Pat Norris Park but council is still waiting for decisions from senior levels of government on funding requests.

 

  • An engineering study has been commissioned to improve ramp access on the township ferry and reduce the boarding challenges faced by residents in times of high or low water. It is to be finalized this year.

 

  • Work to upgrade the community recreation/hiking trail is to begin this spring/summer. Council has committed to providing for ongoing maintenance costs in future budgets.

 

  • Lighting is to be installed this year at the boat launch located just west of the township ferry landing.

 

  • Renovations to the municipal administration office and the library are scheduled for April/May of this year.

 

End of Council highlights

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HIRA Briefing Note February 10, 2021

Township of Frontenac Islands Council Meetings February 2021

Special Budget Review Meeting

The agenda and attachments can be found here:

Special Budget Review Meeting February 4, 2021

Council held a special budget review meeting on the afternoon of February 4, 2021 to review various departmental budgets and to give feedback to staff.  Council had directed staff to aim for no more that a 4% increase.  It should be noted that a 4% tax increase equates to an increase of $60000 revenue for the Township.

Two items of interest to Howe were the fire dept budget and the roads budget. 

  1. Chief Quinn noted the need to build the reserve fund in order to ensure timely replacement of fire vehicles (in order to maintain insurance coverage and meet the requirements of the Fire Marshall fire vehicles must be replaced based on age of the vehicle).
  2. Main items on the roads budget are the upgrading of North Shore Road.

As the budget process proceeds HIRA will provide further updates.

Township of Frontenac Islands Council Meeting February 8, 2021

The agenda and attachments can be found here:

Council Meeting February 8 2021

Issues of relevance to residents of Howe Island

  1. By laws – still working on some amendments to the bylaw for trailers on vacant land to be discussed again next month
  2. Delegation for Community Tree Planting on Frontenac Island looking for $3300.  To plant trees on public and private property on Frontenac Island, mostly on Wolfe Island maybe some on Howe.  Dennis said they would discuss at next budget meeting maybe give $1000-1500.
  3. There are still no funds for the upgrades to Pat Norris Park as we are waiting for Federal Government also looking for funding from the Municipal Modernization Program joint submission with Frontenac County.
  4. Township also supports the KFL&A Health Unit concerning regional reopening like before Christmas – letter sent to Doug Ford.
  5. Roads:  North shore Construction, Spithead surface treatment, Library and office repairs, Trail Maintenance and Baseline Road.
  6. Bruce Higgs asked to extend road repairs to Goodfriend Drive, however all repairs are waiting for budget approval.
  7. Jarda Zborovsky, Councillor for Wolfe Island District is conducting a survey on broadband speed for both islands for all the providers on islands and the towers on both islands.  It was suggested HIRA may be able to help to get different areas and service providers on island to do a speed test.
  8. Bruce Higgs asked if a hot patch will be used to fill the potholes in the road. The answer provided was that plant that produces the tarmac may not be open; if not a cold mix will be used.

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