Council Agenda Preview – September 18, 2018

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A very, very light agenda this week as Council heads towards the election. Nothing caught my attention as being a major issue.

Deputations

5.1 – Susan Hrycyna, Executive Director and Brenda Ryan, Board Member Parry Sound Downtown Business Association (PSDBA). Presentation of the Downtown Business Association’s Beautification Plan

5.2 – O.P.P. Staff Sergeant Mike Gordon and Rob Gibson from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Update on the state of Parry Sound Fire 33.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.2.1 – 2019 Council Meeting Dates. Resolution. That pursuant to By-law 2018-6814, Section 3, paragraph 4, Council approves Schedule “A” as attached, which provides the schedule of dates for the 2019 Regular meetings of Council.

9.2.2 – Updated Code of Conduct for Council, Boards and Committees. Direction. That Council direct the Clerk to provide notice of the new draft Code of Conduct on the Town’s website for public review and comment; and To bring back to Council a by-law for deliberation and discussion to the October 16, 2018 Council Meeting.

By-laws

10.1.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/7 – 32 Great North Road (Istvan). By-law 2018 – 6863. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 32 Great North Road (Istvan)

10.1.2 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/5 – 24 Albert Street (Jackson on behalf of Moore). By-law 2018 – 6857. Read a First and Second time on August 14th, 2018. Being a By-law to amend By-law 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 24 Albert Street (Jackson on Behalf of Moore)

10.1.3 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/08 – Church Street (Jackson on behalf of Microsuite Properties Ltd.). By-law 2018-6864. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for Church Street (Jackson on behalf of Microsuite Properties Ltd.)

10.3.1 – Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Mastercard Sponsorship Agreement. By-law 2018 – 6865 Being a By-Law to authorize the execution of an agreement between Mastercard International Incorporated and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound for a Five-Year Event Sponsorship for The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame and Mastercard-Bobby Orr Celebrity Golf Classic (2019-2023).

The 2018 Race Is On – 2010 and 2014 Election Redux

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With the sprouting of election signs in the Town of Parry Sound it’s pretty apparent that municipal elections are not too far away. In a series of weekly posts I’ll take a look at elections past and election impending. In this first post I’ll review some of the numbers from the 2010 and 2014 Town of Parry Sound elections. The numbers in this post have all been publicly released although some now are seemingly hard or impossible to find on the Town’s website.

2010 & 2014 Vote Totals

The Town of Parry Sound election permits registered voters to select one individual for the position of Mayor and to select six individuals to serve on Council. No voter is required to vote for mayor, nor are they required to select as many as six individuals for council.

The table above summarizes the vote totals for 2010 and 2014. The numbers are remarkably similar. Even though e-voting was introduced in 2014 there was no real uptick in the number of individuals who voted. (Note: The Council “Votes Eligible” figures for 2010 and 2014 reflect that it was possible for voters to cast 6 votes each. More on these figures in the next post.)

2014 Votes Segmented

The chart below summarizes 2014 voter participation by age and sex. A quick look at the data reveals that the highest voting participation was in the group of voters between the age of 40 to 89, averaging 60% and above. There is little difference in the participation rate by sex, except for women in their 40s who voted at almost double the rate of men in that same age group.

The chart below summarizes the number of eligible voters in 2014 by age group.

Councillor Voting Results – 2010 and 2014

The two charts below summarize the distribution of votes received by candidates for Town of Parry Sound Council in 2010 and 2014. There is a remarkably smooth drop off in the number of votes and it seems that receiving 1,000 votes is the threshold for election, with 1,200 almost a guarantee of election. This 1,200 vote figure amounts to receiving a vote from 50% of the folks who actually showed up to vote. (Green bars indicate candidates elected.)

 

 

Council Agenda Preview – September 4, 2018

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Oh boy, this is an interesting agenda from so many perspectives. But my favourite has to be Item 4.3. It’s not often where a problem can be solved in so many ways without raising Town of Parry Sound taxes. I offer some thoughts on the other matters before Council this week in the following section. The commentary section is followed by an abridged summary of the major items on the agenda as presented in the council meeting package.

4.3 – Barry Ridout, resident of the Township of The Archipelago. Complaint that Parry Sound has no public drinking water available. (Letter)
Oh dear, another out of towner who enjoys low local property taxes and no water/sewer charges that is disappointed by the Town’s cessation of providing free water taps. But there are several solutions, none of which require additional Town of Parry Sound taxpayer expense. The first is my favourite.
a) Ask your Township to provide water from their 9 James Street offices in Parry Sound. The Archipelago already has access to Town water and presumably pays commercial rates for their current water use. If they were to supply their residents with the water that some require, the building water costs would rise only a little and that small amount could be passed on in the form of slightly raised Archipelago taxes. The cost ends up being covered by the beneficiaries.
b) Support the Water Depot on Miller Street. I have to believe that they can provide bulk water at a more reasonable price than the grocery stores.
c) Contact one of the businesses you claim to spend thousands at and ask to fill up your water jugs at their business. Don’t be shy, you are their customer.

Closed Session – d) labour relations or employee negotiations. (Stockey Centre) (Union Negotiations).
I’m leaning towards supporting the unionization of the Stockey Centre. As it stands now it is a non-union Town facility that does not benefit from any existing town services for things such as maintenance, snow plowing or grass cutting. Everything is contracted out. It may cost a little bit more but it tidies things up in so many ways.

9.4.1 – Tender – Denis Drive and MacKlaim Drive Servicing.
I was surprised by this one, it’s almost a million-dollar expense that I did not remember Council approving as part of the 2018 budget. Reviewing the R&R I realized that this was part of an agreement earlier this year to cost share with a developer the expenses of providing services for a potential of 19 new lots in the Town. So, I guess that works. The Town puts up most of the money now, probably in the form of a lower cost debenture, and then gets reimbursed in part by the developer with the balance coming in the form of future tax revenue from the new properties. That type of approach mostly worked with the Granite Harbour development.

10.1.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/6 – 1 Joseph Street.
It looks as though the rezoning request for this new twelve unit development will be approved.

Abridged Version of the Town of Parry Sound Council Agenda of September 4. 2018

Closed Session
a) the security of property of the municipality or local board. (Audit Questions of Council)
d) labour relations or employee negotiations. (Stockey Centre) (Union Negotiations)
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Planning Matter)

Public Meeting
2.1.1 – Council will hold a public meeting to consider a proposed Zoning By-law amendment under Section 34 of the Planning Act, as amended. The purpose of the proposed Zoning By-law amendment is the applicant has requested to amend the Special Provision 26.44 holding (SP 26.44(h)) and Residential Second Density (R2) Zones to permit up to 160 apartment dwelling units at a maximum height of 16.5 metres. The property is currently zoned to permit up to 74 retirement residence units. The property is a vacant lot on Louisa Street and described as Part of Lots 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 on the west side of Louisa Street on Plan 21, or more particularity described as Part 3 42R9332, Part 2 of 42R9754, and Parts 2 and 8 of 42R10238.

Correspondence
4.1 – Letter from the City of North Bay. Request to the province for more stable, long term or permanent funding to give stability to the film industry in Northern Ontario.
4.2 – Joseph Raedts, 7A Addie Street. Sale Halverston to Raedts, 7A Addie Street, Parry Sound. Concerns with Right-Of-Way.
4.3 – Barry Ridout, resident of the Township of The Archipelago. Complaint that Parry Sound has no public drinking water available.
4.4 – Rick and Jean Beckett, 10 Meadow Street. Concerns with flooding issues on their property due to changes in near by properties.

Correspondence – Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/18/04 – Louisa Street (Acorn Ridge)
4.6 – Larry & Joy Hall, 114 Church Street North. Opposing the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment
4.7 – Louis and Elise Resonnet, 38 Louisa Street. Opposing the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment
4.8 – Mary Bertrand, 45 Louisa Street. Opposing the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment
4.9 – April Leach, 40 Louise Street. Opposing the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment

Deputations
5.1 Thomas Dowswell, 22A Belvedere Avenue. Citizens on the fringe of society – “Fringers”

Consent Agenda
8.1 – PSDBA Request for Board Appointments. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound appoint Bernard Keating, Amy Black and Tanis Mack to the Parry Sound Downtown Business Association Board of Directors for the term ending November 30, 2018.

8.2 – Support for City of North Bay’s Resolution – Stable Funding for Film Industry Resolution. Whereas the film industry in Parry Sound added approximately $25 million in 2016, $600,000 in 2017 and 10 million in 2018 to the economy of Parry Sound; and Whereas NOHFC funding of the industry is a large part of the attraction to utilizing our Town and our people as staff in the productions, as well as in other northern cities; and Whereas the NOHFC funding application process continues to be short term, with current information on their website indicating funding applications are only currently open until fall of 2018; and A more stable, long term or permanent funding would give more stability to the industry and the jobs and impact it has here, as well as across Northern Ontario; Therefore Be It Resolved that Council for the Town of Parry Sound supports the City of North Bay’s Resolution 2018-229, attached as Schedule “A”, and calls upon the Province to make the funding of the film industry either more long term, as in 10 year commitments, or a permanent commitment.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.2.1 – Discarded Needles. Direction. That the CAO’s September 4, 2018 report on discarded needles be received for information.

9.2.2 – Potential Waubeek St. Non-Profit Housing Development. Resolution. Whereas the Parry Sound Affordable Housing Development Corporation has requested Council support in principle for the development of an affordable housing initiative on Waubeek St. and; Whereas the proposed development would require a rezoning; and Whereas the Planning Act obligates Council to remain neutral in its position on proposed rezonings until the public consultation process has been concluded; Now Therefore Be It Resolved that Council defer indicating whether it supports in principle the development of an affordable housing initiative on Waubeek St. until the public consultation process through the Planning Act is concluded.

9.2.3 – Withdrawal of 2018 BOHF Scholarships from Reserve Fund. Resolution. That Council authorizes the withdrawal of $2,000 from the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Scholarship Reserve Fund to pay the two recipients $1,000 each, further to By-law No:2018-6859 which established the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Scholarship Reserve Fund and authorized the annual expenditure of $1,000 to two recipients.

9.3.1 – 2017 Audited Financial Statements. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound does hereby approve the Draft Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 in Schedule “A” as attached.

9.3.2 – Financial Variance Report for Q2 2018. Resolution. That Council hereby receives and accepts the variance report for Q2 2018 (June 30, 2018) in Schedule “A” as attached; and Further that Council hereby approves the expenses for Council members for the period from January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018, as in Schedule “B” attached.

9.4.1 – Tender – Denis Drive and MacKlaim Drive Servicing.Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council accept the tender from Fowler Construction Company Limited for the reconstruction of Denis Drive and MacKlaim Drive including water, wastewater, and roadwork, in the amount of $905,599.12, excluding HST, this tender being the lowest tender of two received. This includes $174,179.77 of work to be completed as part of the Isabella Street reconstruction project.

9.4.2 – Tender – Gibson Street and Logan’s Lane Retaining Wall. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council accept the tender from Fowler Construction Company Limited for the replacement of the existing concrete retaining wall on the southeast corner of the intersection of Gibson Street and Logan’s Lane, in the amount of $75,850.00, excluding HST, this tender being the lowest tender of four received.

By-laws
10.1.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/6 – 1 Joseph Street (John Jackson Planner Inc. on behalf of Microsuite Properties Ltd.). By-law 2018 – 6861. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 1 Joseph Street – (John Jackson Planner Inc. on behalf of Microsuite Properties Ltd.)

10.2.1 – Union Gas Franchise Agreement. By-law 2018 – 6841. Being a by-law to execute the Union Gas Franchise Agreement and repeal by-law 98-4008.

No, Parry Sound is Not Bankrupt

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A couple of weeks ago friends of ours in Seguin Township told us that a Seguin candidate had dropped by their home and in the course of the discussion said, or implied, that Parry Sound taxes were as high as they were was because the Town of Parry Sound was bankrupt. These are knowledgeable folks who were surprised by the statement and mentioned it to us for confirmation, or not.

I ended up speaking with the Seguin candidate about what our friends had heard. The candidate said that was not what they had said. I simply advised the candidate that this was the message that was received, probably because of what was, or how it was, communicated. The candidate did say, perhaps in their own defense, that a recent KPMG report stated Parry Sound carried a higher debt load than the neighbouring municipalities. To that I would reply – guilty as reported, but that is far from being bankrupt, or drowning in debt. It’s like criticizing a neighbour for having a larger mortgage for their more expensive property than you have for yours. If the debt is less than the value, and the mortgage payments are manageable, there is no problem. You may not prefer that level of debt, but then you are you, not them.

What also isn’t regularly mentioned is reserves and assets. The Town of Parry Sound maintains reserves that are higher than average in terms of both dollars and percentage of tax revenues.

A saying we have in our house is that you don’t need to put other people down to make yourself look better. The Town of Parry Sound and Sequin Township have quite different business models that are built to meet the needs of their residents. Comparing the two isn’t fair, and Parry Sound’s debt is actually a benefit for Seguin residents by providing the infrastructure that can support big box stores, an area hospital, and even places of worship and social services that would be less tenable if they had to depend on well and septic systems. As a Parry Sound champion, I understand the benefits that we bring to our municipal neighbours. I am not so sure what benefits our municipal neighbours provide for Parry Sound residents. I know I can’t park my car in many municipalities to go kayaking without worrying about a ticket. Some may argue that our municipal neighbours spend their dollars and support Parry Sound businesses. If you look closely you will find that many, if not most, of these Parry Sound businesses are owned by folks who live not in Parry Sound, but in the surrounding municipalities.

In the end it all works pretty well. There is no need to throw stones at each other’s business model.

For those of you wanting to better understand the Town of Parry Sound financial situation, hopefully Parry Sound Council candidates who have never attended a budget meeting, here are a couple of documents that should be helpful.

2018 Town of Parry Sound Budget Presentation (2018-12-12)

2017 Town of Parry Sound financial Statements (Draft)

(Note: original post edited to clear up the ‘they’ references.)

 

Council Agenda Preview – August 16, 2018

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Reviewing the Town of Parry Sound Council Agenda and the attachments provides insights into the issues the Town faces and is wrestling with that don’t surface in most discussions or editorials. This week’s agenda is a reminder of a couple of these issues:

4.5, 10.1.2 – Intensification. The Town of Parry Sound occupies a unique position in the larger region with respect to real estate and services.

Properties represent an especially interesting dilemma. With two trans Canada train lines running through the Town with the accompanying noise and pollution, and no available waterfront property, there is little incentive for the construction of higher end residential properties in Parry Sound. If you want peace and quiet, albeit with a bit of travel for services (and limited high-speed internet) you build your dream home in one of the neighbouring municipalities. As a bonus you pay about half the property taxes that you would in Parry Sound. That leaves Parry Sound property best suited for lower cost, and higher density, development, including subsidized housing. Since there is such a shortage of lower cost rental properties in the area, renters really can’t quibble about the trains. This is neither good nor bad, it reflects market realities. There is little possibility that Parry Sound will ever be subject to gentrification. It’s all about the trains, an issue that no one wants to acknowledge and address. (Yes, there is little that can be done, but sometimes acknowledging a reality can lead to creative solutions.) The issue is that Parry Sound is undergoing the opposite of gentrification, and that’s probably not ideal, certainly not balanced. There are too many landlords, and would be landlords, in Parry Sound who want to cram as many people as possible in the smallest space possible with the lowest construction costs possible. There is nothing wrong with this approach, it makes the best possible use of the available land. This may explain in part why Parry Sound isn’t as pretty as Port Carling or Bracebridge or Huntsville. Why spend money on aesthetics if it’s a rental property? An architect with an inspired design, and a few more windows, only cost more and likely will have higher operating costs. Many of the stately older homes in Town have been renovated to permit multiple apartments, and it’s likely that more and more will be converted. Why would an individual spend the money to buy and update an older home when they can get more for less in one of the neighbouring municipalities?

Both 4.5 (subsidized housing) and 10.1.2 (triplet to quadplex) represent another step in this direction. Like putting on a few pounds, it’s best to acknowledge the change rather than ignore it or pretend our underwear has shrunk. Perhaps adding on a few more pounds is exactly what we wanted, or perhaps not.

9.3.1– Expenses: The most interesting part of this short item is the decision by Council to refinance the Smelter Wharf loan rather than pay it off as planned. I wonder what the thinking was on this? Also notable is the uncollectable amounts related to tax appeals. It seems that the Big Box stores continue to appeal for lower assessments, and the town doesn’t expect to win. From the agenda package (bold highlights are my addition):
“Total tax levy surplus in 2017 amounted $197,319, mainly due to the refinancing of the Smelter Wharf loan ($324k) which was budgeted to be paid off, and a one-time grant from the Province to compensate for the loss of tax revenue on the Lakeland Long-Term Care facility ($173k), offset by higher allowance for anticipated uncollectable tax amounts for the properties under appeals (-$240k)and winter control expenses (-$83k). During the year, staff adjusted the timing of some approved expenditures based on operational needs and resource availability. As a result, some expenditures that would be funded by reserves or reserve funds have been delayed into 2018. The delay will have no impact on the 2018 levy.”

Closed Session

(c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board; (Agreement of Purchase and Sale)

Correspondence

4.1 – Parry Sound Active Transportation Committee. Writing with concerns about the safety of St. Charles crossing on Isabella St for pedestrians and cyclists.

4.3 Parry Sound Anglers and Hunters Sportsman’s Gun Show, August 25th, 2018. Concerning denial of their request for a sandwich board sign near McDonald’s for their gun show which will be held in MacTier this year due to their temporary relocation due to scheduled renovations at BOCC.

4.5 – Parry Sound Affordable Housing Development Corporation. Requesting support in principle in the development of an affordable housing initiative on Waubeek Street in partnership with Parry Sound DSSAB.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Application for Council Approved Sign – 21 William Street. Resolution. That pursuant to section 3.(4) of the Sign By-law, the Chief Building Official is authorized to issue a permit for a ground sign in front of 21 William Street pursuant to the following conditions and variances:
a) The appearance and size of the sign shall be substantially according to the application,
b) The setback for the sign may be as little as 1.0m from the back of the sidewalk, and
c) All other regulations in the sign by-law continue to apply except for those revised by this resolution.

9.3.1 – 2017 Year End Transfers. Resolution. That Council approves the transfers to and from Reserves as summarized in Schedule A attached; That Council approves the transfers to and from Reserve Funds as summarized in Schedule B attached; And That 2017 capital projects which were previously budgeted to be funded from reserves or reserve funds may be completed in 2018.

9.3.2 – 2017 Audited Financial Statements. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound does hereby approve the Draft Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 as attached in Schedule A.

9.5.1 – Sandwich Board signs for events outside of Parry Sound borders. Direction. That staff be directed to explore the option of delegating approval and terms/conditions for the placement of signs on town property to advertise events outside of the boundaries of the Town of Parry Sound to the CAO.

By-laws

10.1.1 – Declaration of Surplus Lands. By-law 2018 – 6856. Being a By-law to declare Lot 1 of Plan 63 in the Town of Parry Sound surplus to the Town of Parry Sound.

10.1.2 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/5 – 24 Albert Street (Jackson on behalf of Moore). By-law 2018 – 6857. Being a By-law to amend By-law 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 24 Albert Street (Jackson on Behalf of Moore).

10.1.3 – Big Sound Marina Agreement One Year Extension with Massasauga Management Co. By-law 2018 – 6858. Being a bylaw to amend By-law No: 2014-6428, the operating agreement between Massasauga Management Co. Inc. and the Town of Parry Sound for operation of Big Sound Marina and the Town Dock, and supersede amending By-law No: 2017-6704 conditional on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada approving the operating agreement and the extension of a head lease between the Town and Department of Fisheries and Oceans or the completion of the divestiture process.

10.4.1 – Establish Bobby Orr Hall of Fame (BOHF) Scholarship Reserve Fund. By-law 2018 – 6859. Being a By-law to provide for the establishment of a reserve fund to be known as the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Scholarship Reserve Fund.

 

 

(Updated) Council Agenda Preview – July 17, 2018

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UPDATE – the agenda for the 2018-07-17 meeting has been updated. The only changes as I can determine are in the Closed Meeting agenda. The additions are noted in bold font.

A light agenda for next week’s meeting week that’s out a day early. Three short comments:

Closed Session d)– the local rumour is that Clayton Harris will be named the new Chief Administration Officer (CAO).

9.1.1– relates to utility services for the redeveloped Georgian Bay Airways facility.

4.1 – no, it’s not that Stephen Covey.

Closed Session

a) the security of property of the municipality or local board. (National Broadcast Event)
c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Waterfront Property)
d) labour relations or employee negotiations. (Contract for CAO Employment Position), (Union Negotiations)

Public Meeting

2.1.1 – Council will hold a public meeting to consider a proposed Zoning By-law amendment under Section 34 of the Planning Act, as amended. The property is 24 Albert Street, known as Part of Lot 3 on the East Side of Albert Street on Plan 104/105 or more particularly described as Part 5 of 42R9595, in the Town of Parry Sound. The purpose of the proposed Zoning By-law amendment is to provide relief from the Residential Second Density Zone. The effect of the proposed Zoning By-law amendment will be to permit the construction of two new residential units (for a total of four) and permit five parking spaces in the front yard (only three are permitted).

Correspondence

4.1 – Stephen Covey, Chief of Police and Chief Security Officer – CN Rail. Request of a resolution to declare September 23-29, 2018 Rail Safety Week

4.2 – Chris Pettinger, Co-founder, Trestle Brewing Company. Request for wayfinding signs for the Brewery within the Town of Parry Sound. Response from Staff included.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Consent Application – B 18/2018 (PS) (Solitude Investments Inc.). Resolution. That Consent Application No. B 18/2018 (PS) (Solitude Investments Inc.), be supported.

9.2.1 – BOHF Reserve Fund Signing Authorities. Resolution. That Nicole Mullen, Stockey Centre Programming & Events Manager and Caitlin Dyer, Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Curator be designated signing authorities for the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Reserve Fund.

9.4.1 – 2018 Suez Ultrafiltration Users’ Group Conference. Resolution. That Council authorizes the Manager of Water Systems to attend the 2018 Suez Ultrafiltration Users’ Group Conference to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, September 16 – 18, 2018 further to By-law 2002-4549, which requires prior Council approval for attendance at seminars, conferences and conventions outside the Province of Ontario.

9.4.2 – Tender – Fleet. Resolution. That Council accept the tender from Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC for a 2019 GMC 2500HD in the amount of $57,912.50, including taxes, delivery, and the trade-in of a 2012 F250, this tender being the only one received.

By-laws

10.1.1 – Encroachment Agreement – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (58 Seguin Street). By-law 2018 – 6848. Being a by-law to execute an encroachment agreement between St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Town of Parry Sound.

10.3.1 – Employee Training & Development Policy. By-law 2018 – 6849. Being a by-law to adopt the Employee Training & Development Policy and to repeal Bylaw 90-3443.

Shingles – Vaccination Options

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At a physician visit last year my physician offered me vaccination to prevent shingles, more formally known as herpes zoster. It’s a mostly preventable condition with vaccination. Shingles itself is a very painful infection that can lead to lasting consequences in the form of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Here are a couple of references on shingles and PHN.

The Province of Ontario provides the shingles vaccine, Zostavax from Merck, at no charge to residents between the ages of 60 and 69. For those older and younger the cost is on the order of $250. It involves a single injection and is said to be 74% effective, what this means in practical terms is discussed below.

When given the option of the shingles at no cost last year I declined, I had read about a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine for shingles, Shingrix, that was in the registration phase and was reputed to be more effective than Zostavax. Waiting a year for Shingrix to be available seemed a reasonable choice.

Well, Shingrix is available but it is not covered by the Province of Ontario. Zostavax is covered at no cost. Shingrix costs about $300 for the two-injection protocol (Zostavax requires a single injection). So what is the best option? In the next few paragraphs I lay out some numbers and my decision process regarding which vaccine makes more sense for me. Some of you facing a similar decision may find it helpful.

How Common is Shingles?
The clinical trials for Zostavax and Shingrix involved immunizing patients with either drug or a placebo (sham injection). What they found was that patients 60 and older contracted shingles at the rate of about 10 infections per 1,000-person years. What this means is that if you took 100 people and followed them for a single year about one person in that group would contract shingles. Look at that same population of 100 people over 10 years and 10 of them would contract shingles, about 1 in 10. Take that same population and look at them over a 20-year period and about 20 people would contract shingles in that 20-year period, or 1 in 5.

This suggests that if you are in your 60s and you live for an additional 20 years your chance of developing shingles is about 20%, or 1 in 5. If you are a little younger, or are an optimistic person with plans for 30 more years, your chance of contracting shingles rises to about 1 in 3. The older you get the more serious a shingles infection can be, especially if you are immunocompromised.

Zostavax
Zostavax is reported to reduce the number of cases of shingles by 74%. An individual receiving Zostavax immunization would have a 4% chance of contracting shingles over the next 20 years, about 1 in 25. This is versus a 20%, or 1 in 5 chance, of contracting shingles without vaccination.

Shingrix
Shingrix is reported to reduce the number of cases of shingles by 97%. An individual receiving Shingrix would have a less than 1% chance of contracting shingles over the next 20 years, or about 1 in 100. This is a 95% reduction over no vaccination, and a 75% reduction over Zostavax. The chance of contracting shingles after vaccination with Zostavax is rather small and the question is how much you want to further reduce the risk.

My Choice
I’ll pay the $300 for Shingrix. If I can reduce the chance of a shingles infection by 95% over the next 20 years, and improve outcomes versus Zostavax, it will have cost me $15 per year. I’m not sure there are many things that can offer this type of value.

But – nothing is guaranteed. Not only is it possible to develop shingles after being vaccinated, there is also the possibility that the vaccine will wear off before I reach my 20-year expiration date. The studies to date with Shingrix only cover 3 years. It’s possible that the efficacy drops off in 5 or 10 years. But by then it is likely that there will be information about this and as necessary I’ll pay a bit more and get a booster. It’s still a bargain in my opinion. I have a cousin, aunt and brother-in-law who all developed shingles before Zostavax was available. They ranged in age from mid-50s to 90. They did not have a very pleasant experience and one of them developed a mild but nasty case of post herpetic neuralgia.

Bottom Line
Get your shingles vaccine when you reach the age of eligibility to receive it for free. And if you are younger or older, consider paying to be vaccinated. If you are paying, Shingrix seems to be the better choice. It may be a little bit more, but it seems to provide better value especially if you have to pay for either Zostavax or Shingrix. As discussed above, if you are eligible for Zostavax at no cost the choice is a little more difficult.

As always, talk to your physician and pharmacist about the pros and cos of vaccination and the benefits of Zostavax and Shingrix. The numbers above were rounded to make the overall figures a little easier to understand, but they fairly summarize the three options, Zostavax, Shingrix and no vaccination

Council Agenda Preview – July 3, 2018

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Here are the key agenda items for the upcoming meeting of Parry Sound Council. I have nothing to add in the way of comments or analysis.

Closed Meeting

c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Agreement Regarding Property Purchase), (Waterfront Property)

Correspondence

4.1 – Rebecca Pollock, Chair, Parry Sound Area Active Transportation. A thank you letter for the Town’s work developing, signing and formally recognizing “Wink’s Link”.

4.2 – Chris McDonald, Erin Cardy, Co-Chairs, Sound Splash Pad Steering Committee. Requesting that the Manager of Parks and Recreation be provided the go ahead from Council to begin the application process for the 2018 Trillium Capital Grant.

4.3 – Mary Jane Zissoff, Trilogy of Art. Transfer of the stained glass artwork, “Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge” from the Town office to the Trestle Brewing Company on Great North Road.

4.4 – Christy Cafovski, Executive Director, Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce. A letter of appreciation to the Town for donating funds to the Chamber of Commerce.

Deputations

5.1 – Brenda Muller of Whispering River Orchestra. Information regarding the Whispering River Orchestra and the search for a new home for the Orchestra in Parry Sound.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.2.1 – Splashpad – Trillium Grant Application. Resolution. Resolution. That Council of the Town of Parry Sound supports the Sound Splash Pad Steering Committee’s request for submission of a Splash Pad Trillium grant application.
Direction for Direct Staff Follow-up): That staff be directed to coordinate development of a comprehensive operational plan to include design details, infrastructure and operating impacts as well as capital and operating costs in conjunction with the Sound Splash Pad Steering Committee and that the plan be prepared in time for Council’s deliberations during the development of the 2019 Budget.

9.2.2 – Re-purposing of 2018 Triathlon Budget. Resolution. Whereas the 2018 Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Triathlon, budgeted for and approved in 2018, will not be taking place this year due to road reconstruction on Prospect Street; Therefore, Be It Resolved That Council of the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound reallocate the funds from the 2018 Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Triathlon to a new 2018 Waubuno Beach Canteen budget as identified in Schedule “A”, attached.

9.5.1 – Advancement of a Housing Summit. Spokesperson: Mayor Jamie McGarvey

By-laws

10.2.1 – Site Plan Agreement Exemption – Century 21 – 51 Bowes Street. Amendment to Site Plan Control By-law. Resolution. Whereas By-law 2017-6723 requires site plan approval for commercial additions in excess of 50 sq. metres; and Whereas Section 11 of this By-law permits Council to omit any development from aspects of the site plan control by-law; Now Therefore be it resolved that Council omits the requirements of By-law 2017-6723 for an addition to 51 Bowes Street, except that drainage largely occurs in the format as detailed on Schedule “A”; and Further That 50% of the application fee be returned to the applicant due to the simplicity of this request.

10.3.1 – Memorandum of Understanding: Hatchets Rowing Centre Yvonne Williams Park. By-law 2018 – 6844. Being a by-law to approve the memorandum of understanding for the use of Yvonne Williams Park as a rowing training centre, between the Town of Parry Sound and the Hatchets Rowing Centre.

10.4.1 – Investment Policy Update / Powerpoint Presentation. By-law 2018 – 6845. Being a By-law to approve the updated “Investment Policy” for the Corporation of Town of Parry Sound and repeal By-law 2017-6768.

 

Council Agenda Preview – June 19, 2018

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There are a few items on this week’s agenda that caught my attention, and at least one of them had me shaking my head. A bit of commentary precedes the key agenda items.

Closed Session c) – a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Two potential Property Purchases) The Town is looking at acquiring more land. I wonder what’s up. Is it related to a pool complex, the Parry sound Road extension? Let me know if you have some inkling as to where the Town is planning on spending money.

4.2– Seeking payment for damage done when a tree on town property fell on her home. My response is wow. Sometimes is easier to just accept responsibility and move on – but that might create precedent, so deny responsibility. The big organizations can do this because they have the resources to wait out the ‘little people’, (aka the taxpayer). This has to do with a tree branch that fell off a Town tree and pulled down a power line leading to a home. The homeowner is asking the Town to reimburse them for the $900 cost to have the power standard repaired. I am familiar with the situation as it took place in the home across the street from us. After more than 33 pieces of correspondence, and 3 months the claim was denied based on the contention that the tree was healthy and the branch falling down was an act of God. The Town of course proceeded to take the tree down at a cost of about $3,000 by my estimate. There was evidence that the tree was diseased but no one is willing to accept responsibility or declare the tree diseased and a Town responsibility, especially the Town’s insurer. I have attached the full correspondence thread from the agenda package through this link (40 pages). It’s a not very artful example of ‘passing the buck’. The buck it seems stops with the taxpayer.

9.1.1 – Façade Improvement Program Recommendations.There is quite a bit being invested by the Town in improving business signage.

Closed Session

  1. a) the security of property of the municipality or local board. (Boundary Matter)
    b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees. (Internal Staff Issue)
    c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Two potential Property Purchases)

Correspondence

4.1 – Richard and Marilyn Mooder. 16 Rosetta Street. Concerns regarding the flushing of wastewater pipes on Rosetta in 2017 as part of the annual maintenance and how it effected their house.

4.2 – Elaine Pelleboer, 7 Redwood Drive. Seeking payment for damage done when a tree on town property fell on her home. Response from Staff provided.

Deputations

5.1 – John Meyer and Teryl Faulkner, Parry Sound Area Active Transportation. Presentation of a proposed Bicycle Route on Bowes Street

5.2 – Brenda Muller of Whispering River Orchestra. Information regarding the Whispering River Orchestra and the search for a new home for the Orchestra in Parry Sound.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Façade Improvement Program Recommendations. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the 2018 Façade Improvement Review Committee, Council approves:
a) 93 James Street (No Ordinary Days) in the amount of $18,606.61;
b) 15 James Street (Bearly Used Books) in the amount of $6,100.00;
c) 10 Bowes Street (Sound Ideas Audiology) in the amount of $2,875.00; and
d) 25 Mary Street (Parry Sound Bikes) in the amount of $12,418.39.
And further that Agreement Letters be drafted and executed by the successful applicants.

9.1.2 – Consent Application – B 14/2018 (PS) (Downing) – 8 Edward Street. Resolution. That Consent Application No. B14/2018 (PS) (Downing) – 8 Edward Street, be supported subject to a condition which requires an easement over the drainage course in favour of the Town; and That the owner of 8 Edward Street be advised that it is their responsibility to restore the drainage course to its original abilities to dispose of stormwater should any drainage issues result from their recent alterations.
Resolution.
That the Mayor and Clerk are authorized to execute the easement documentation. That all legal costs to register the easement be paid for by the Town.

9.1.3 – Council Approved Sign Application – Georgian Bay Airways – Bay St. Resolution. That pursuant to section 3.(4) of the Sign By-law, the Chief Building Official is authorized to issue a permit for a sign on the Bay Street road allowance pursuant to the following conditions and variances:
a) The appearance of the sign shall be substantially according to the application,
b) The location of the sign shall be to the satisfaction of the Chief Building Official,
c) The Town reserves the right to remove or relocate the sign on occasion should the lands be required for municipal purposes,
d) A permit may be issued pursuant to this resolution, for the summers of 2019 and 2020 upon payment of a fee of $50 per season, and
e) All other regulations in the sign by-law continue to apply except for those revised by this resolution.

9.2.1 – 2018 International Sports Heritage Association Conference, San Francisco, California. Resolution. That Council authorizes Caitlin Dyer to attend the 2018 International Sports Heritage Association Conference in San Francisco, California September 26th – 28th, 2018, further to By-law No:2008-5173 which requires prior Council approval for attendance at seminars, conferences and conventions outside of the Province of Ontario.

9.2.2 – Council Member Pregnancy, Birth and/or Adoption of Child Leave Policy. Resolution. Whereas the Ontario government passed legislation under Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act; and Whereas the Bill received Royal Assent on May 30, 2017 and is now in effect; and Whereas a number of Ontario Regulations were provided with the Bill; one of which was the policy development of a Pregnancy/Parental Leave policy by all Ontario municipalities;
Now, therefore be it resolved that Council for the Town of Parry Sound approve the Council Member Pregnancy, Birth and/or Adoption of Child Leave Policy attached as Schedule “A”.

9.2.3 – Second Quarter Goal Plans Update. Resolution. That Council approves the June, 2018 Second Quarter Goal Plan update, attached as Schedule “A”.

9.3.1 – 2017 Annual Investment Report. Resolution. That Council accepts the 2017 Annual Investment Report and the attached Schedule “A” in accordance with Town’s Investment Policy.

By-laws

10.2.1 – Amendments to the Election Sign By-law. By-law 2018 – 6838. Being a by-law to regulate Election Signs in the Town of Parry Sound in federal, provincial and municipal elections and to repeal By-law 2018-6831.

10.3.1 – DBA Lease Agreement Renewal. By-law 2018 – 6839. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of an agreement between the Parry Sound Downtown Board of Management and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound for a lease renewal for use of a specified portion of the Municipal Office.

10.3.2 – By-law to specify claw back percentages for 2018 property taxes. By-law 2018 – 6840. Being a By-law to Specify the “Claw-back Percentages” in Respect of Properties in the Commercial Class for 2018 Taxation Year.

10.4.1 – Union Gas Franchise Agreement. By-law 2018 – 6841. Being a by-law to execute the Union Gas Franchise Agreement and repeal by-law 98-4008.
Resolution. That Council hereby resolve that:
1. This Council approves the form of draft by-law and franchise agreement attached as Schedule “A” and authorizes the submission thereof to the Ontario Energy Board for approval pursuant to the provisions of Section 9 of The Municipal Franchises Act; and
2. This Council requests that the Ontario Energy Board make an Order declaring and directing that the assent of the municipal electors to the attached draft by-law and franchise agreement, attached as Schedule “A”, pertaining to the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound is not necessary pursuant to the provisions of Section 9(4) of the Municipal Franchises Act; and
3. That the Clerk be directed to provide Union Gas with four certified true copies of this resolution and attachment per their request.

 

Council Agenda Preview – June 5, 2018

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There are a number of items on this week’s Parry Sound Council Meeting Agenda. The full agenda with attachments can be accessed at the Town’s website. Here are a few items that caught my attention followed by a list of the agenda items from this week’s meeting agenda.

Closed Session c)– the Town continues to acquire properties for reasons unknown.

9.1.1– Pumper Truck Purchase for about $550K all in. I guess we need what we need.

9.2.2– Splash Pad. It looks as though any splash pad that is built will be located at Waubuno Beach. This seems to be the right place for it. There was some earlier discussion that the future of any splash pad would be co-located with an aquatic recreation centre. The pad, if constructed, would be located close to the beach in the corner between the parking lot and the road leading to the boat launch.

9.2.3– Lakeland Holdings Share Allocation Adjustment. The Town’s shareholding in Lakeland increases from 13.5% to 15.57% with the new generating plant coming online. And from what I understand the new plant was built on time and on budget.

9.3.1– 2019 Budget Schedule. Things will be delayed a month or so with a new council to be elected in October. The full schedule is available in the meeting agenda package.

On a separate note, the new metal roof on the Stockey Centre looks pretty sharp.

Closed Meeting Agenda Items

  1. c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes; (Property Purchase)
  2. e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Property Matter)
  3. j) educating or training council members and no member shall discuss or deal with any matter in a way that materially advances the business of the Council. (Potential National Event)

Deputations

5.1– Edith Paulus. Backyard flooding since the blasting for the building of the new School on Gibson Street, 2016

5.2– Daryl McMurray, PS Downtown Business Association. Newly adopted Strategic Plan for the Downtown.

5.3– Chris McDonald, Erin Cardy, Sound Splash Pad co-chairs. Update on their progress, current situation, and future goals with regard to the development of a Splash Pad facility at Waubuno Beach in Parry Sound.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1– Recommended Supplier for 2019 Fire Department Pumper Rescue. Resolution. That the Council for the Town of Parry Sound award the purchase of the 2019 Fire Department Pumper Rescue to Dependable Emergency Vehicles in the amount of $522,888.00 +HST inclusive of the trade in value of $27,000 for the current 1998 GMC Rescue and the 2000 Metalfab Pumper; and Further that Council authorize discretionary additional funding of $30,000 for possible additions to the vehicle which may be prudent upon factors identified in the Pre-Build meeting with Dependable Emergency Vehicles.

9.1.2– EMS Paramedic Response Unit. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee through the approved EMS budget that the Council of the Town of Parry Sound approve the bid from Bayview in the amount of $36,400.00 +taxes for the supply of a 2018 Pickup Truck.

9.2.1– Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Exterior Building Sign. Resolution. That Council accepts the only proposal received for the Exterior Building Sign Request for Proposals from Sign City Inc., for the Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in the amount of $3250 + HST.

9.2.2– Splash Pad – Response to request for location. Resolution. That Council designate space at Waubuno Beach for future development of a Splash Pad as identified on Attachment #1.

9.2.3– Lakeland Holdings Share Allocation Adjustment. Resolution. That the Mayor and CAO be authorized to sign the Lakeland Holdings Ltd. Subscription of Common Shares resolution, attached as Schedule “A”.

9.3.1– 2019 Budget Team Schedule. Resolution. That Council hereby approves the 2019 Budgeting Schedule as set out in the attached Schedule “A”.

9.3.2– Purchasing of Budgeting Software Questica. Resolution. That Council authorizes to purchase the budgeting software Questica at approximately $37,000 of one-time cost and $3,000 of annual license and maintenance fee; That Council approves withdrawals from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve for the unbudgeted $27,000 to implement the software; and That conditions of the Procurement Policy By-law are waived.

9.4.1– Stone Pillar Gatepost Rebuild – Hillcrest Cemetery. Resolution. That Council award the repair and restoration of two stone pillars at the main entrance of Hillcrest Cemetery to Paul Langford Masonry in the amount of $17,500.00 (Seventeen thousand, five hundred dollars) taxes extra, this being the lowest of two (2) request for quotations received.

9.5.1– Fitness Trail Maintenance. Discussion.

By-laws

10.1.1– Fire Department Establishing and Regulating By-law. By-law 2018 – 6835. A By-law to Establish and Regulate a Fire Department and to repeal Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound By-laws 89-3357 and 93-3617.

10.1.2– Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – Macklaim Drive and Dennis Drive Municipal Services Installation. By-law 2018 – 6830. Being a bylaw to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between property owners along Macklaim Drive and Dennis Drive and the Town of Parry Sound.

10.2.1– G Cash Management Systems Agreement. By-law 2018 – 6836. Being a By-law to enter into an agreement with G Cash Management Systems for the continued placement of an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.