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

Author:

I'm a retired IT guy with a passion for helping others navigate this thing called "technology". I live on the south shore of Howe Island on the mighty St. Lawrence river.

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