Council notes: town to adopt temporary measures for Centre Street boat launch, send feed back to IJC

Greater Napanee town council continues to meet virtually, holding Zoom meetings while broadcasting them to the public via the town's YouTube channel.

Adam Prudhomme

A temporary solution for the upcoming summer season has been drawn up for Greater Napanee’s much-discussed Centre Street boat launch.

At their March 8 meeting town council voted to adopt the staff recommendation of relying on signage, by-laws, education/outreach and enforcement to help keep the peace between boaters and motorists parking their cars at the downtown boat launch. In the meantime staff will compile detailed cost estimates for accessible non-motorized launching for the westerly launch, complete repairs to the main boat launch boardwalk and review the functional use of the upper parking lot.

Staff made the recommendation based on feedback collected from residents during a public consultation period, which ran Feb. 9-28.

With temporary measures in place for the 2022 summer season, the town will continue to seek online public consultation at until Sept. 1. Council also endorsed a long-term planning process through the Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC) to review public access to the waterfront. That committee is to include members of the Napanee District Rod and Gun Club as well as other interest parties.

Members who wish to have an in-person meeting can do so by calling 343-302-5881 or emailing

-Deputy mayor Max Kaiser took advantage of an invite for comment from the International Joint Commission (IJC), which is seeking input on its review of Plan 2014 regarding possible improvements to be made to Lake Ontario outflow regulations.

The IJC, which works with both the Canadian and U.S. governments to control dams along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, has drawn the ire of townships located along the shoreline, particularly in 2017 and ’19 when those areas experienced widespread floods.

Kaiser made the motion that council note and receive the letter while providing some feedback.

“I would ask staff that we communicate to the IJC that we want to ensure that any revisions to Plan2014 are done so with the interest of protecting property and municipal infrastructure and further that water levels seen in 2017 and 2019, those extreme highs, are certainly not welcome to be seen again,” said Kaiser.

He expressed some of the frustrations that were shared by residents.

“I know that through 2017, 2018, 2019, we heard a lot of comments from the IJC that the water levels were beyond their ability to control,” said Kaiser. “There’s also a lot of people out there who find that hard to believe given that the previous 70 years, they controlled them very well to a very narrow range of less than four feet of deviation. This plan, which saw a seven foot range of deviation, was working very fine to do a greater range of deviation. Nobody bought into their line that it was beyond their control. That’s what a dam is for, to open and close to allow the water to stay or go.”

-One correspondence that was much more welcomed was a thank you letter from First Nations Technical Institute, expressing thanks to Greater Napanee Emergency Services’ fire department for their assistance during the Feb. 24 fire at the Mohawk airport.

“Your quick response and the dedication of your firefighters was instrumental in preventing an already tragic event from becoming much worse,” reads a letter from FNTI president Suzanne Brant. “In the face of daunting circumstances and formidable weather, the firefighters still kept the flames from spreading to our other structures thus saving our student residence, our aviation simulator building and our Indigenous Learning Centre. While we lost our airplanes, the hangar and its contents; without your help we would be facing an even more costly and traumatic challenge to our aviation program and our organization.”

-Greater Napanee mayor Marg Isbester opened the council meeting with a message on the ongoing invasion of Ukraine from Russian forces.

“It seems very strange, I’m not sure that’s the right word, that we sit here, even virtually, discussing and deciding democratically, as things might move forward in our municipality while a world away people, almost three quarters of a million people are having to escape their homeland due to the tragedy, invasion and yes, war from a neighbouring country. None of us have all the reasons or the knowledge of why, but we do know that families are being torn apart by these actions as are their towns, their homes, their schools and hospitals,” said Isbester. “Please don’t let this be the start of something much bigger. Please pray for Ukraine and all those who oppose this invasion. Please pay for all those who have the power to set things on the right path again. Do what you can from home. Donate to things that will help. The Red Cross is doing a wonderful job and many other agencies are working to do what they can. I ask that you think of this country and the residents and the families daily.”

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