At the inaugural meeting of the new Frontenac Municipal Services Corporation (FMSC), Frontenac County Warden and Township of Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith was elected President and Board Chair.
“The FMSC and communal services is an example of people from all of Frontenac’s municipalities working together to affect practical solutions to some of the social and land-use issues faced by rural communities everywhere,” Smith said. “Our work now and over the next few years lays the foundation for a bright future in Frontenac.”
At the same meeting, which took place in Sydenham on Monday, Jan. 15, 2023, the Township of North Frontenac Mayor Gerry Lichty was elected FMSC Vice Chair.
According to a release from Frontenac County, the FMSC was incorporated on November 7, 2023, to oversee the implementation and operation of communal water and wastewater services in Frontenac. Planning for the communal services strategy, however, has been ongoing since 2019, with then-County warden Denis Doyle and South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal presenting to the concept to the then-minister of municipal affairs Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, in August 2022.
“Communal services are innovative technologies and approaches to water and wastewater treatment for clusters of residences and businesses especially suited to small communities and rural areas,” the County stated. “They bridge a gap of unmet needs between the limitations of installing separate well-and-septic on each lot; and the financial impracticalities of building large, centralized treatment facilities found in more densely populated areas.”
In the release, the County noted that communal services make way for smaller lot sizes across Frontenac that will help stimulate local economies, provide for less expensive housing options, build upon livability, protect water quality and the natural environment, and more.
According to the County, the implementation of these new water and wastewater treatment possibilities by the FMSC initially clears the way for a much wider range of land use possibilities in three pilot projects across Frontenac: Development of the former Sharbot Lake Public School site in Central Frontenac, the expected growth of the village of Marysville on Wolfe Island, and development of 10 largely unused hectares in the village of Verona in South Frontenac.
Funding for the FMSC – $700,000 for the first five years of operation – is divided equally among the five founding municipalities: The County of Frontenac, The Township of Central Frontenac, The Township of Frontenac Islands, The Township of North Frontenac, and the Township of South Frontenac.