This is a brief note to HIRA members and others on the Township of Frontenac Islands meeting held on Tuesday April 14, 2020 at the Howe Island Township Hall. In light of COVID 19, the meeting was held virtually for some councilors and, as advised in the HIRA Briefing Note dated April 14, the public was provided with a call-in number. A number of our Directors attended the meeting by calling in. Only matters of particular reference to Howe Island are highlighted here.
County Ferry—-In HIRA Briefing Note dated April 15, 2020, we included the e-mail from Mayor Doyle dated April 15, informing everyone that the decision, by the County and MTO to reduce the number of cars on the ferry to 7, has been modified to permit 15 cars provided that a limit of only 22 passengers are permitted. If for example, each car has only a driver and no passengers, 15 cars would be permitted; if five cars had three passengers each and 7 cars had only a driver each, only 12 cars would be permitted to board the ferry. HIRA and a number of Islanders wrote to Mayor Doyle and Councilors pointing out that the original decision by the County and MTO was completely unnecessary and not in line with the Transport Canada directive which the County had said was the reason they initiated the change. HIRA has thanked Mayor Doyle and the other Councilors for working to get the original decision changed. It is essential that ferry users comply with the ferry guidelines by staying in their cars with the windows up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garbage Collection—–In the HIRA Briefing Note dated March 12, 2020, we reported that at the March 9, 2020 meeting of Council, a report had been delivered to Council by the Public Works Manager (PWM) recommending that Council consider implementing a plan to control the cost of roadside garbage pick-up. Well, Council is now considering a By-law implementing a bag-tag system. The By-law was before Council at the April 14, 2020 meeting and it was deferred to the next meeting in May for some minor working changes. As currently worded, permanent residents get 104 tags per year; seasonal residents get 40 per year. Bags cannot exceed 30 pounds each. Extra tags may be purchased at $2.50 per bag. Tags must be affixed to each bag when at the roadside for pick-up. Tags for each year will be a different colour. Assuming the By-law passes, the tag system will go into effect in September, 2020.
Actions Pending On Howe—-The PWM’s report to Council provides that the Byrne Point guardrail and the surface treatment for the Spithead Circle have been deferred to the 2021 budget at the request of the Howe Island Councilors. The PWM has prepared various options for Council to consider for covering the cost of the North Shore Road rehabilitation. The Quinn’s Hill/Gibson curve culvert and the Spithead cross culvert are listed as being subject to 2020 budget approval.
Mainland Cameras—–These cameras at each of the mainland ferry terminals (they already exist at the Howe Island side ferry terminals) have been deferred at the request of the Howe Island Councilors. No written explanation as to why the request was made is contained in the PWM’s report.