Brian Ritchie has forwarded us copies of his presentations made on Wolfe Island and here on Howe Island including a draft of the presentation for this Wednesday evening’s meeting at the Parish Hall here on Howe Island.
Also attached are the Wolfe Island presentations for reference. They contain population and income data from both islands and wish lists that might provide some ‘food for thought’ for ideas here on Howe Island. The March 14th presentation contains notes from the first meeting held here on Howe Island.
The goals of these meetings are to engage the residents of Howe Island in a dialogue regarding community development and to identify and prioritize 4-5 specific initiatives for Council’s consideration.
Please take advantage of this excellent opportunity for you to use our Howe Island websites and the internet to the benefit of our community by providing your feedback and personal wish list prior to this Wednesday’s meeting either as a response to this article or directly to Brian Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org. If responding by email, please put ‘”Howe Island” in the subject line. Note: Council has already signaled that transportation to the mainland is its top priority for this term. Accordingly, this consultation will not deal with ferry issues.
Here is the list that I emailed Brian the other day before I received his presentations:
- systems to improve communications between local government and ferry operations with residents
- enhancing local recycling efforts to include hazardous waste disposal (batteries, paint, oil etc.)
- promoting and assisting remaining island farms and business ventures
- facilities and services for our aging population
- preserving island history
- water access for inland residents
- improvement of inland right of ways for all residents to enjoy. ie; opening of the Baseline road allowance for hiking trails
- a bubble system to help with year-round operation of our Township Ferry
- incentives and projects to attract and retain young people who are needed for our volunteer services like Howe Island Fire and Rescue.
Here are some comments or additions for consideration I emailed to Brian regarding his Wednesday evening presentation which I will be unable to attend because I am working again that night:
Slide 3: “Unique characteristics”:
- add enjoyment of the winter activities on the frozen river, skidooing, skating, ice fishing.
- add no light pollution yet. We still have starry nights here unlike urban areas.
- add the small Township ferry is somewhat unique and a tourist attraction judging from the number of people who have their cameras out in the summer.
- add Historical area. Irish settlers moved here (see Jen’s historical link on the ‘Friend’s site)
- add Scenic area for weekend cyclists in the summer. Howe island is on an eastern Ontario bike trail.
Slide 4: “Challenges”:
- add Weak communication. Marg Knott’s local news in ‘The Heritage’ is no longer delivered to the island. On a positive note, we are receiving more frequent flyers in the email and the Township is starting to keep their website more up-to-date with council minutes. RSS syndication of the minutes would help other island websites pick up these minutes.
- Getting services or deliveries was made more difficult and costly with the seasonal closing of the Township Ferry but the seasonal closing might be cancelled effective next January.
- What are the interests that need to be balanced?
- There have been stores here, but business was not good enough. Recent population growth might make business more viable.
- Broadband is here via KOS and Ripnet for around $45 per month. Government subsidy or education would be an idea to get more islanders online.
- add Services for our aging population. Baby boomers are moving here only to have to move off the island at some point because of lack of support systems (periodic arranged transportation, affordable retirement residences, etc.)
Slide : “In 20 Years”:
- Items in Red were identified as the top three priorities flagged by attendees on Feb. 6. There is great potential for ‘cottage industry’ . This is especially important now that Canada is losing its manufacturing sector.
- add ‘Hiking trails’… i.e.: opening of the Baseline Road across the center of the island for hiking trails or inland development.
A report will be delivered to Council in May.Wolfe Island February 201.pdf Howe Island1.pdf HoweIsalndMarch141.pdf Wolfe Island1.pdf