Please Note: HIRA Pancake Breakfast-Monday May 18, 2020 at St Philomena’s Hall-8:30 am-11:00 am
This is a brief note to HIRA members and others on the public meeting held on Wednesday March 4, 2020 at Queen’s and on the Township of Frontenac Council Meeting held on Monday March 9, 2020 at the Township Hall on Wolfe Island. A number of our Directors attended both meetings. Only matters either discussed at the meetings or forming part of the meeting agenda and of particular interest to Howe Island are highlighted here.
March 4, 2020 Meeting:
High Water—-On Wednesday March 4, 2020 a public meeting was held at Duncan McArthur Hall at Queen’s sponsored by United Shoreline Ontario Inc, a non-profit organization, and others. The speaker reviewed the role of USO in lobbying the various governments to get the high water issues under control and the role of the International Joint Commission in dealing with water levels around us and elsewhere in the St. Lawrence Seaway system. The USO anticipates another year of high water in 2020. We encourage you to check out the USO web site at: www.unitedshorelineontario.ca
March 9, 2020 Council Meeting:
Cataraqui region Conservation Authority—-The CCA presented an overview of their responsibilities such as tree planting, education, land assessments and watershed oversight. During the amalgamation discussions back in the late 1990’s, Frontenac Islands opted out of direct oversight by the CCA. Since 2015, Frontenac Islands has been using CCA in an advisory capacity dealing with construction. To revert to the CCA having oversight would cost approximately $35,000. Council will be discussing this option.
Population Growth Report——The County of Frontenac has contracted a population growth study using the 2014-2016 census data. The study concluded that the County will experience a 7% growth over the next 20 years.
Garbage Collection——Part of the Council agenda included a report from the Public Roads Manager recommending that Council consider implementing a plan to control the Curbside Household Waste Program to assist with reducing costs. Costs for the Curbside pick-up are rising: for 2017 costs were $43,932.77; for 2018 costs were $48,307.37; and for 2019 costs were $62,548.37. The PRM has put options before Council for their consideration such as: (a) the use of clear bags so that the curbside contractor can see that only household waste is in the bag; (b) limiting the number of bags per household per week to two (down from three); (c) purchasing tags for extra bags to offset costs. Some of the issues with the current system are the weight of bags at the curb exceeding 30 pound limit, numerous residents leaving four to ten bags per week and residents putting broken glass and other hard goods in bags. If residents wish to keep the current system in place, it’s time to up your game and recycle more, put out only the maximum number of bags per week (3 is the limit), keep the bag weight to the limit (30 pounds) and discourage visitors from bringing their waste to the Island for our curb side service.
Sandbag Equipment——At the February 18, 2020 Council budget meeting, direction was given to staff to proceed with the acquisition of a Sand Bag Unit for “public” use in connection with the anticipated high water. The Unit has been purchased and is on site at the Wolfe Island Public Works Garage. HIRA has inquired of the Township whether the Unit would be brought to Howe at some point for use by Howe Island residents. The Township has said the Unit was purchased by Wolfe Island Ward and will remain on Wolfe Island, presumably for the convenience of Wolfe Islanders. Considering the direction to staff was to purchase the Unit for public use, why the Unit was not purchased jointly by both Wolfe and Howe for joint use for the convenience of the “public” (all Islanders), needs an explanation. Why the Unit, even if purchased by Wolfe Ward, cannot be shared on some reasonable basis needs some rethinking by Council.
Roads——There was not much information on the road situation as the PWM was not at the meeting. His report of pending items referred to the Byrne Point guard rail being put over to 2021, the Spithead Circle being in the pending 2020 budget, mainland ferry terminals cameras being in the 2020 budget pending Council approval, North Shore Road improvements being in the March 2020 budget meeting and the culvert east of the Spithead Circle being in the 2020 emergency management budget.
howeisland.org 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.