By Sue Tiffin
Published April 27 2017
The following are brief reports of items discussed during an April 20 meeting of Algonquin Highlands council.
Council discussed the plight of the monarch butterfly after receiving a letter from 48-year seasonal residents Elvira and Elmar Theisen of Toronto.
“I remember [the monarch butterfly] in past decades fluttering in Stanhope in September to their far-away destinations…stopping to nectar on abundant flowering plants on sunny spots on the sides of Shangri-La and Elmar Roads” the Theisens wrote.
The letter notes a concern that populations of monarch butterflies have increasingly diminished and recommended the township ban the use of pesticides avoid cutting roadside milkweed and nectar-producing wildflowers create a butterfly garden next to Stanhope Museum and partner with other townships to ensure livelihood of the endangered butterfly.
“Endangered means: once it is lost it is gone forever and we in cottage country are all the poorer for it” the Theisens wrote.
Moffatt said she had received correspondence in the past regarding the monarch butterfly.
“We appreciate there’s concern and we’ll certainly do what we can within our parameters to do something” she said.
“It’s not the township’s role to eradicate the problems of monarch butterflies” she said “but we can encourage our own citizens to participate.”
Moffatt said the township doesn’t spray pesticides and that the existing garden at the Stanhope Museum was butterfly-friendly.
“It may as well be a butterfly garden” she said “it has 10 of the qualifying pollinating flowers.” Roadside brushing was deemed necessary for safety of pedestrians cyclists and drivers. “Definitely we have to keep the roadsides mowed” said Mike Thomas operations manager. “Once the grass gets so tall it’s hard to see around the corner especially with our roads not having sidewalks.”
Moffatt said she had received a further letter about the monarch butterflies and encouraged public education and participation in planting milkweed and pollinating flowers.
Frequent deer-car collisions
Forty-four deer and one bear have been hit in vehicle collisions this year.
“That’s high for it only being April” said Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt.
Moffatt acknowledged the MNRF for working with the OPP to keep animal collision incidences low through public education.
The Ministry of Transportation will be installing electric signs on Hwy 35 reminding motorists to watch for deer according to Moffatt.
Renovated Dorset Recreation Centre fitness room grand opening
A ribbon cutting for the revamped Dorset Recreation Centre fitness room will take place at noon on June 1. The room will be open for use free of charge from June 2 until June 11 when membership opportunities become available.
The room was improved with new fitness equipment sport flooring an aerobics area and general renovations to the room.
The project cost $35100 with $25000 being federally funded through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.
Councillor Marlene Kyle said a couple who recently moved to the area full-time expressed their admiration of the room and had told her “if everybody knew they’d have lineups at the door.”
Councillors said the room was frequently used but could be used more. The Dorset Recreation Centre is located at 1051 Main Street.
Defensive driving ice water fentanyl awareness and emergency child birth were topics of training for firefighters throughout the township in March.
“We did do some awareness on fentanyl and opioid use in the province” said fire chief Mike Cavanaugh “more just awareness for our firefighters should they encounter it during our increased population during the summertime. Not to treat it but just awareness in how to protect themselves.”
Guest speakers visited from the Huntsville hospital to present to Algonquin Highlands firefighters on what to do in case of responding to emergency or unexpected childbirth.
“Hopefully it doesn’t happen” said Cavanaugh.
Sale of Club 35 goes through
Club 35 has been sold for $125000 plus HST with a closing date of May 1.
“I’m just glad to see more than anything that a building got a new life that somebody wants it and that it can be made into something good” said Moffatt.
The prospective buyer would like to turn the building into an antique shop restaurant and accessory dwelling unit according to a previous staff report.