Township home burns to the ground

A smoke alarm likely saved the lives of a Kincardine Town ship family early Saturday morning.

Rick and Susan Smith and their two daughters were awakened by the alarm about 4 a.m. and were able to escape the house safely.

Kincardine Administrative fire chief Jamie MacKinnon said Monday that the home, located on the 7th concession, just east of the 20th Sideroad, was burned to the ground. Damage is estimated at $150,000.

Cause of the fire is undetermined, said MacKinnon. With an old house, it could have been one of many things, he added.

Biogas fuel makes energy out of waste

Kincardine’s farmers might be getting more out of their waste if the municipality’s environmental advisory committee can follow through on an idea presented at its February meeting.

Clare Riepma, president of PlanET Biogas Solutions Inc., was at the Walker House Thursday morning to discuss the benefits of generating electricity through anaerobic digestion.

Riepma’s company creates digesters that turn carbon products, usually farm animal manure, waste vegetables and grease and fats into energy and heat that can be used to power homes and farms.

PlanET Biogas started in Germany, where the technology is much more common place. In 2006-2007, Riepma helped build his company’s first digester in Ontario at a Niagara-area greenhouse.

Making time stop


Some people are strong willed.

Agnes MacDonald died Friday, Feb. 13 - just about the time her grandfather clock stopped.

The story starts about 10 years ago when Nancy McKinley, a financial advisor, met Agnes through business. They became good friends and when Agnes’s sister died, Agnes asked Nancy to look after her legal affairs. Since that would be a conflict of interest, Nancy had to end the business relationship. However, the friendship continued and Agnes was just like part of the family.

It's back

After a nice run of warm temperatures and melting snow, Kincardine residents woke up Friday to a fresh dumping of the white stuff. Howard Mank was one of many people seen shovelling out their driveways Friday morning. The winter weather continued with heavy snowfall and winds for most of the weekend. (Kiel Edge photo)


Nothing sinister about meetings, says Haight

Deputy mayor Laura Haight attempted to put the rest of council at ease Feb. 18 after allegations surfaced about private meetings between her and mayor Larry Kraemer.

Councillor Marsha Leggett told a local radio station that Haight and Kraemer met monthly with CAO John deRosenrooll. Leggett was concerned that council was not informed of these meetings, or the topics being discussed.

Haight, speaking as a delegation, said the meetings are held to try and improve communication between the mayor and herself. There is no set agenda, Haight said. The topics vary and all of council is aware of the meetings and invited to attend.

“While the mayor and I will continue to disagree on many issues,” Haight said, validating the meetings, “our discourse has been less strained and more civil during the council meetings.”

Kincardine in the dark

The former town of Kincardine was left in the dark Thursday evening during a blizzard that had most area highways closed.

Pat Protomanni of Westario Power said Friday that a crew was despatched to Kincardine because of near brown out conditions in the town that started at about 6 p.m. As the linemen got closer to Kincardine on Highway 9, the problem seemed to worsen.

Because of the strange voltage fluctuations, Westario asked  Hydro One to turn off the main line into town to prevent damage to the equipment of Westario customers. Fluctuating voltage can burn out motors in fridges, furnaces, etc.

A burned off lead on the main line, two poles outside the bounday, was the problem, said Protomanni. Once found, Hydro One quickly had the problem fixed.

Council bails out pavilion

The Kincardine Beach Pavilion has started to become a bit of a money pit for Kincardine council.

The municipality agreed to forgive a $122,500 loan owed to them by the Friends of the Pavilion and is also planning to loan the group an additional $350,000 after committee member Barb Fisher told council the pavilion has accumulated debts of almost $350,000 during its four-year refurbishment.

“We’ve been working at both ends to make debt repayments,” said Fisher Feb. 18. “We’re asking you for forgiveness (of the municipality’s loan).”

Friends of the Pavilion took over control of the building when it was ready to be demolished in 2004. Through four years of restoration, which culminated with its official opening last April, the building’s value has risen from $30,000 to approximately $1.2-million.

Nice ice

From left, sisters Sarah, Lauren, Emily and Hannah Cassidy put their creativity to use painting the Ripley Community Centre ice Saturday afternoon. (Katrina Stewart photo)

Kincardine, Huron-KInloss get infrastructure grants

Huron-Bruce’s federal and provincial Members of Parliament were busy handing out money for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects in the riding on Saturday.

The federal and provincial governments are each putting $17,680,300 into the projects.  The benefiting municipalities will contribute the cost of the other third of each project.

“This is a partnership (with the federal government) that we’ve been waiting for for a long time,” said MPP Carol Mitchell. The infrastructure projects are laying the foundation for more jobs down the road.

The two levels of government want to see jobs right away, she said. The shovel has to be ready to go in the ground if a project is to get funding.

Playhouse $20,000 behind in rent

After its worst season ever, the Bluewater Summer Playhouse has seen its debt to the municipality of Kincardine rise to almost $20,000.

In two-and-a-half years of arrears, the Playhouse has accumulated a debt of $19,484.72. The owed money stems from overdue rent payments owed on the theatre space in the Kincardine Arts Centre on Queen Street.

The Playhouse’s Jennifer Webb told council Feb. 11 that the group has trimmed its 2009 budget considerably. It has hired a new creative team at a lower cost and has finalized its lineup early to enable bookings from bus tours and other seasonal tour groups.

“It’s nothing you can guess ahead of time,” said Webb.  “I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to pay rent plus money towards our deficit.”