HIRA Briefing Note-September 19, 2020

This is a brief note to HIRA members and others on the Township of Frontenac Islands meeting held on Monday, September 14, 2020 at the Wolfe Island Township Hall. The public was provided with a call-in number to provide an opportunity to listen to the meeting. One of our HIRA directors called into the meeting. Only matters of particular reference to Howe Island are highlighted here.

Public Works Manager’s (PWM) Report—-(a) There is an on-going project being undertaken to determine to identity of properties in the Township which are owned by the Township, which would include road allowances and other shoreline accesses. This is identified as a large project. (b) The Byrne Point guardrail proposed along the north side of the North Shore Road has been differed to the 2021 budget. In connection with this proposed project, no evidence has been put forth by the PWM to indicate a particular need for a guardrail based on prior accidents in the area. (c) Surface treatment for the Spithead Circle has been deferred to the 2021 budget. (d) Re-construction of the North Shore Road from east of Howe Island Drive to Nokomis is on hold (again!) pending the PWM dealing with two drainage issues in the section from east of Howe Island Drive to the boat yard . Each issue resolution requires the involvement of landowners with land adjacent to the Road.  On one issue, the PWM has involved a Land Evaluator to prepare an offer price; on the other issue, the PWM has requested a closed or in-camera session with Council.  There was no mention of pot-hole filling being on-going while the reconstruction is on hold. (e)  Construction of the culverts on Spithead Circle and at the Quinn Hill has been completed. (f) The garbage tag program is now well underway and the PWM has reported there have been very few issues so far. (g) The expansion of the board room/Council chamber at the Township hall is essentially completed.

Integrity Commissioner Advice—–It appears that in connection with discussions and motions at Council on planned improvements to North Shore Road, Deputy Mayor Higgs declared a pecuniary interest due to the fact that his laneway connects with the Road. The Deputy Mayor requested a ruling from the Integrity Commissioner as to whether he had a pecuniary interest and if so whether he was therefor disabled from participating in and voting on matters pertaining to the Road improvements. In an eight page ruling,(cost not disclosed yet !) the Commissioner said the Deputy Mayor  has a pecuniary interest but is not disabled from participating or voting on the Road improvements. The basis for the ruling is this: the law provides that if a councilor has a pecuniary interest in a matter before Council which is an interest common with electors’ generally, that councilor is not disabled from participating in and voting on that matter.       

Fire Department—–The Fire Department pumper has broken down. The cost of repair will come from the Township reserve fund. In the meantime the City of Kingston is the back up. A new communication system for the Department is proposed at an annual cost less than the current cost and with wider coverage. This cost will come from the Municipal Modernization Fund a fund set up by the Provincial government to assist small municipalities in providing services to its residents. The initial published amount for Frontenac Islands was $302,000.

Trailer By-law——Council is again looking at the By-law dealing with regulating trailers on the Islands. If you are concerned with the influx and use of trailers on Howe please express your concerns to our councilors, Bruce and Noreen.

Foot Ferry Dock—–The planned reconstruction/rehab of the foot ferry docks is still in the hands of the engineering design firm (where it’s been for some time now!)  To receive adequate funding for this project, the Township needs to hear from them with plans before October.

COVID 19—– If you are looking for the latest update on the local state of affairs regarding COVID19, go to kflaph.ca which is the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health site. Please be a mask wearer where required and practice social distancing. Stay safe Howe Islanders!


howeisland.org   PLEASE 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    

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