MAY TOWNSHIP COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA AND HIRA NOTES: The May 10 Council meeting was held on Wolfe Island. Of interest to Howe islanders, the following comments as they relate to the agenda.
Item 5: This was a strange one. In 2005, Mr. Daechsel wanted to sever his lot but was denied by Council and supported by the OMB as the severance wouldn’t meet the intent of the Official Plan. At that time, Bob Clark acted on behalf of the Township and argued against the severance. On Monday, Mr. Clark of Clark Consulting Services, now in the private sector, argued against the 2005 ruling. Although the lots had been rearranged (nothing up my sleeve), Council determined it still didn’t meet the intent of the Official Plan and the severance was denied. Mr. Daechsel has owned the land located across from the Pilszaks and next to the Goodfriend farm for 55 years.
Item 9: Austin Page addressed Council on a stop sign that keeps disappearing at the corner of Goodfriend Drive and Baseline Road. The sign has been on private property (Goodfriend Drive is a private road) and Austin stated that there had been two serious accidents at that corner and that a sign was needed…Council will look at placing the stop sign on municipal land. Austin also stated that the section of Baseline Road from Goodfriend Drive to the end is in need of repair due to heavier traffic and the lack of care in attending to the road…Council will look at the road and make recommendations. Austin also asked Council to consider a litter by-law that would include a “serious” fine for litter bugs…Council will review other municipalities’ by-law for littering on public land.
Item 13: The Township has appointed Matt Fiene to be our representative on the County of Frontenac Green Energy Task Force. HIRA has been in contact with Matt since the County announced that it sees energy production as an economic driver and that the wind farm on Wolfe Island is the catalyst for the county to establish itself as the alternative energy capital of Ontario. HIRA wants to know how this statement impacts the residents of Howe Island. Stay tuned for further information.
Other Business Item 15: At this point, save the Howe Island schoolhouse is dead. Briefly, HIRA in earlier comments stemming from Council meetings, had stated that there was interest by residents to preserve the building. The building and land is owned by the Catholic School Board and the Board wants to sell it. Council wrote to the School Board and asked that a date of May 31, 2010 be granted in order to review the next steps in preserving the building. HIRA led a small study group to see if the building could be moved to the Municipal land on Baseline Road (Pat Norris said he wasn’t opposed to moving the school but costs needed to be determined). HIRA wanted to ensure both Pat and Matt were together on this initiative before moving forward following two meetings with a contractor who could move and restore or keep on its current site and restore. HIRA suggested it would lead a group to detail a business plan that would get such costs to the Township, building ownership and the form of organization that would operate such a building. HIRA recognized that for the project to be successful, passionate and capable leadership must steer the project through the funding and organizational hurdles. Matt wanted the involvement of the Historical Society from the beginning and the Society would be reconstituted to get this initiative moving. This activity took place in October and November, 2009. Since then, HIRA hasn’t attended a meeting nor has there been any discussion. Matt asked what Council wanted to do with the schoolhouse, the Mayor said he hadn’t seen anything that would move this initiative further, asked Pat if he had seen anything and Pat hadn’t. Council will not move forward. In closing and to quote a local historian, “Once heritage is destroyed, it is gone forever. The damage is irreparable.”
Other Business Item 15: Pat brought up the need to regulate the days and times of propane trucks coming on and going off Howe. Seems more and more residents are using propane and delays can be extreme with the number of suppliers lined up to get on the ferry. Wolfe Island has such regulations for the Wolfe Islander. Whatever will be determined will not provide a hardship for both suppliers and residents…simply a little planning on behalf of the suppliers.
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