Members of Frontenac County Council
C/O Jannette Amini
Manager of Legislative Services/Clerk Frontenac County
2069 Battersea Rd.
Glenburnie On K0H 1S0
Re Howe Island County Ferry Lifting of the Farm Vehicle Restrictions
I am writing in my capacity of Chair of the Howe Island Ratepayers Association (HIRA). HIRA has a paid membership of approx. 100 households on Howe Island which is approx 40% of all households. As HIRA represents all taxpayers we don’t generally take positions that will pit one side against another, we do however object to the process that the County has employed in this matter. More specifically we object to the lack of transparency, the lack of opportunity for community input and the fact that Council apparently had no regard for the Township Official Plan when Council made the decision to lift the restrictions. More particularly, section 3.4.3 Ferry Services of the Official Plan reads in part:
“Council’s policy is to continue to work towards improving transportation services………… by making efficient use of existing infrastructure to help reduce wait times at the ferry docks”
We fail to see how this relief to the farm vehicles meets this policy of the Official Plan. HIRA also notes that the policy in the Official Plan is in concert with the stated policies of the Provincial Policy Statement Section 126.96.36.199 states “ Efficient use shall be made of existing and planned infrastructure”.
We believe it is incumbent upon Council to seek a solution that ensures the most efficient use of the ferry as enunciated within their OP. Further we believe the commuters have a right to reasonable, timely, and predictable access to the ferry.
HIRA has also been made aware that the ferry operators have expressed concern as how they will differentiate between farm and other vehicles some having stated they will just let all vehicles on regardless.
HIRA would therefore urge Council to re-examine and reverse their decision. If Council is inclined to bring this matter forward again, that Council act in a manner that best serves the needs of the Howe Island community at large.
Cc Kelly Pender