Looking back-week of March 29

– Local Armed Forces members and supporters protested the demolition of the Deseronto airport as workmen from Montreal started to dismantle the buildings. Those opposed to the move also sent telegrams to Minister of Defence Brook Claxton, representatives of the Liberal and Conservative parties, and Deseronto and Napanee town councils and business associations.

Officials responsible for the demolition work told the Deseronto Post that only the heating equipment was being dismantled as it was to be used at the air base in St. Hubert, Que.

– Premier George A. Drew announced that Ontario would institute an inspection process for all tourist camps in the province, regardless of their size. The tourist operators would be required to secure a licence from their local municipality if they were providing accommodations.

Drew said the intent of the order wasn’t to put people out of business, but to ensure the general reputation of Ontario tourism — an industry valued at $200 million that year — would not suffer from unsatisfactory operations.

– Fred Vanvolkenburgh had been missing for four days after tending muskrat traps on Big Creek March 21. A search had been conducted since his disappearance became known, but crews feared he drowned. They suspected his body would not be found until flood waters in the creek subsided.

40 Years Ago

March 15, 1978

– Napanee councillors approved a budget that would see a $17,567 reduction in expenditures from 1977 to $1,580,472. With the town only estimating $994,531 in non-tax revenues, it expected to increase taxes.  Reeve Ernest Marshall said the budget was “pared to the bone.” He indicated the increase would mean about $8 more in taxes per month for the average homeowner and added council worked “a lot of hours” to get to that point.

– Ontario’s correctional services minister, Frank Drea, was in Napanee to tour the Quinte Detention Centre. He spoke to media and local service club members about a new policy that would see jail be used as a last-resort for non-violent crime.  Offenders could do community service work, rather than costing taxpayers $40 a day to be incarcerated in a jail providing little rehabilitation.

– Deseronto contracted Canadian Pipeline Cleaning Ltd. to flush and disinfect all water pipes and taps in the town prior to the start-up of a new $3.6-million water system. The process would take two weeks with services cut off in different areas in the town for six-hour intervals on short notice.

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