The meeting provided no surprises. It’s worth looking at the deputation summaries to get a better idea of what was presented. It’s quicker than watching the streamed meeting live or on YouTube. Some comments:

  1. It seems that the Closed Session discussion about staffing had nothing to do with senior leadership but rather was approval for a full-time position at the Stockey Centre (Item 7.1).
  2. The Strategic Plan was approved (Item 9.4.1). If you draft a plan that no one bothers to read or follow and has no real accountability, does it really qualify as a plan? This plan could have been put together with a simple listing of the results of a SurveyMonkey poll. (It’s a bit of a shame that we apparently don’t have enough picturesque scenes of our own town and are required to ‘borrow’.)
  3. The Connor Industries rezoning was approved (Item 10.3.1).
  4. The rezoning required to allow the French School to move into the Mall was approved (Item 10.3.2). Let’s see if the Mall folks can get their act together. Development of the apartments seem to have stalled for the past couple of years. (These are the same folks who purchased and are currently renovating the Whitfield.)

Closed Session
d) labour relations or employee negotiations, (new staff position); Carried

Questions of Staff
3.2.1 –
In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry regarding issues affecting the quality of roads over the past few days, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that the timing of the snowfall after the start of the business day today complicated the plowing process with the amount of traffic and parking already occurring. With respect to the past long weekend, staff were out on all days except one and stayed on top of the issues with the limited staff resources available.

4.1 –
Ken & Geraldine Cribbie. Concerns with base water charges applied on metered water. (Editor’s Note – no action noted in minutes)

4.2 – Danny Whalen, President FONOM. Invitation to attend May 13-15 2020 FONOM Conference in Timmins.
Direction. That staff be directed to apply to FONOM to host the conference in Parry Sound within the next couple of years. Carried

5.1 –
Linda Taylor, Program Director, WPSD Community Support Services. Community Support Services and 2020 Budget Request.
Linda Taylor, Program Director of the West Parry Sound District Community Support Services (CSS) addressed Council regarding the services provided including Meals on Wheels supporting 240 clients and delivering 11,600 meals in 2019; Volunteer Transportation; Diners Club; Senior Safekeeping; Lunch and Learn; Friendly Visiting; Adopt-a-Senior and Seniors’ Exercise Program. Ms. Taylor noted that program funding is provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Northeast Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and user fees for some services. Ms. Taylor reported that services are at user fee capacity, with seniors on limited fixed incomes finding it difficult to cover all costs. Therefore Ms. Taylor noted that CSS is hoping to fundraise $20,000 this year; have raised $11,000 so far and is requesting $2,000 from the Town of Parry Sound.
Councillor McCann commended the work of CSS and initiated the following motion. That the $2,000 request from Community Support Services be added to the 2020 budget for consideration. Carried

5.2 – Zack Crafts & Emma Kitchen. Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety Concerns on Isabella St at Wood St.
Zack Crafts addressed Council regarding pedestrian and cyclist safety at Wood and Isabella Streets, illustrating his concerns with an example of the Isabella Street route a grade one student would take along the sidewalks and streets from Parry Sound Public School to Victoria Ave. Mr. Crafts noted that snow, lack of light, and tandem salt trucks, especially when travelling during busy morning traffic periods heighten the safety concerns. Mr. Crafts requested Council consider means to make travel safe in that area, emphasizing that in our modern society active transportation is key, and that “we have to be able to get around in this town, without using a motor vehicle.”
Mayor McGarvey said that a good portion of property in that vicinity is owned by CN and CP with their own infrastructure in place, making it challenging for the Town to unilaterally make changes, and he requested that Director of Public Works Mike Kearns first investigate and find out where we are at with the two railway companies.
Councillor Horne said that he lives on Salt Dock Road and sees that with the growth in condos in that area and increasing foot and bicycle traffic, there needs to be an evaluation done all the way down Salt Dock Road with respect to bike lanes and sidewalks.
Councillor McCann queried whether there might be an arched pedestrian and cycle bridge built over the double tracks to which Councillor Borneman responded that there was a similar investigation done some years ago with a cost estimate at about $1 million with the remaining problem that the needed property for installation is privately owned.
The Mayor proposed direction to which all members of Council raised their hands in support, that the Director of Public Works provide Council with a report on the whole area (Isabella at the tracks through to the Salt Docks) with respect to improving road safety. Added to the approved direction was a request that a cost estimate be provided.

5.3 – Lis McWalter. West Parry Sound Smart.
Liz McWalter addressed Council from a prepared powerpoint presentation with respect to the background and current projects of West Parry Sound SMART. Ms. McWalter noted that the organization originated from the Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee (REDAC), formed as a not-for-profit in 2015, is made up of volunteers with a membership of 24 and 50% of membership according to Corporation by-laws are employed in the public sector. Ms. McWalter noted that the mandate is to focus on building high speed internet capacity, fundraising and advocacy.
Ms. McWalter noted that the Town is well served with high speed internet; however once outside the Town, problems exist as a result of physical barriers such as rocks, trees, lakes and wetlands, old copper telephone connectivity, no fibre trunk access, and distance to sparsely populated communities. As an example. Ms. McWalter reported that to get optical fiber 20 kms to the Industrial Park, a cost quote provided a couple of years ago was $2.5 to 4 million.
Ms. McWalter reported that last spring CENGN (Centre for Excellence in Next Generation Networks) issued Expression of Interest calls for two streams – community and technology; i.e. an ISP or communication equipment manufacturer. The West Parry Sound Area was selected as the community, and of five technology vendors who submitted, Vianet was selected. Outside of the CENGN initiative, SMART had acquired access to an existing 200′ tower near the old MNR Forest Fire Watch Tower in Parry Sound, now owned by the Township of the Archipelago. This provided the point of presence (POP) for WPS SMART who was working with Vianet to do something with the tower – now called the SMART Tower.
Ms. McWalter reported that Bayview Subdivision in Carling, a community of 250 homes was then selected as the community to be served by fiber from a secondary tower that would be built in Carling and served by the SMART Tower. CENGN is looking at this as a pilot project that if successful can be replicated throughout rural Ontario.
Ms. McWalter reported that this proposal of multiple micro-wave links seems a viable approach to reach many underserved; and that the Carling location opens up possibilities to feed other communities with fiber, install fiber to the home and fixed wireless. Benefits include a lower cost at approximately $500,000 per 1 tower project, accelerated plan and build plans, builds on skills of experienced rural ISP, investments can be made incrementally and enables fiber to the home for some. Ms. McWalter noted that the secondary tower in Carling makes it possible to get to the Industrial Park, and from there to Pointe au Baril and from the Industrial Park to McKellar and then to Whitestone. The SMART Tower can also access Seguin.
With respect to the tower builds, they are subject to Industry Canada rules with respect to structure and notification, and Transport Canada with respect to tower lighting and painting.
Ms. McWalter noted that WPS SMART is interested in municipal assistance with respect to acquiring suitable public land, supporting the public notification process, providing permits, funding support, and to help address dependencies.
Ms. McWalter responded to an inquiry regarding whether tower costs might be subsidized by contracts with tenants on each tower, saying that it is viable, but can depend on what the owner of the Tower wants.

Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda
7.1 –
Resolution. That Council direct staff to eliminate the contract position and establish a full-time complement position of Technical Director at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. Carried

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.4.1 –
2020-2030 Strategic Plan.
Resolution (as brought forward from the February 4, 2020 meeting: The Council for the Town of Parry Sound approve the 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form attached as Schedule A. The following amendment to the revised version of the Plan circulated with the agenda was made:
That the Quality of Life Strategic Goal be revised to include the word ‘play’; i.e. Parry Sound is a great place to live, work, play, invest and grow. Carried
That the revised Strategic Plan as circulated with the agenda and amended with the word ‘play’ replace the Strategic Plan attached as Schedule A to the postponed resolution under consideration. Carried
To approve the 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form attached as Schedule A as amended. Carried as amended

9.4.2 – 2019 Economic Development Report.
Economic Development Officer Vladimir Shehovtsov addressed Council from a prepared powerpoint presentation outlining key economic development initiatives and events undertaken in 2019 including familiarization tours, tradeshows and events, investment attraction, cruise industry, film industry and community building events as well as 2020 investment attraction projects.
Resolution. That the 2019 Economic Development Report be received for information purposes. Carried

10.3.1 – Site Plan Application S19/07 – 81 North Tudhope (Connor Industries)
By-Law 2020 – 7016. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Agreement with 2282722 Ontario Ltd. – Connor Industries (81 North Tudhope Street). Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.2 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/17 – 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario/Parry Sound Mall Inc.).
By-law 2020 – 7017. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario/Parry Sound Mall Inc.). Passed, Signed & Sealed