The Mayor Pulls Wool

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While reviewing the council meeting video of this past Tuesday I was astounded to hear the comments of Mayor McGarvey regarding parking and Trestle Brewing Company (Trestle). I think he showed poor judgement in how he handled the discussion. What is going on?

You can watch the session at this link on YouTube – the action starts at 2:21:43.

Councillor Bachman raised a fair proposal to defer a decision, with a waiver, for two years while things could be worked out. Either Council could revisit the fee in lieu of parking by-law, the company could join and be accepted by the DBA, or the company would pay the required fee.

Rather than consider the suggestion and its implication the Mayor chose to suggest the Councillor did not understand the process. As a rookie, Councillor Bachman deferred to the Mayor. I would have liked to have seen him try and pull that on Councillor Keith, who was strangely silent.

Let’s be clear ‘everyone loves Chris’ and I am among them. But this decision by Council is a precedent setting decision. Can other businesses who paid a fee in lieu of parking now ask for a refund? What was the reason for the exception? The Mayor offered no support for waiving the requirement.

Don’t ask for permission, beg for forgiveness. And make sure the Mayor is there to cover you.

The Mayor’s actions perhaps can be explained by a bit of tiredness; there was more than an hour of deputations earlier in the meeting that will require difficult decisions. And I’m sure he has a heavy schedule with work and his provincial obligations. But, that’s an excuse and not a reason for his behaviour. I have no issue with the Council’s decision, they are elected to make decisions like this. Rather my concern is how the Mayor handled the meeting and his treatment of a councillor who disagreed with what was obviously his preferred, or the most expedient, decision.

The Mayor said that this parking item had been in process for some time and that there was no need for this type of surprise. Yes – but! Staff’s recommendation only was provided on Friday, about two business days before the meeting. The whole issue that $40,000 was at stake was not presented or discussed at the public meeting held two weeks earlier. I think there would have been more comment had the public been informed of the ‘gift’ that was being requested. At this point there is absolutely no reason for the Trestle Brewing Company to join the Parry Sound DBA, they received what they wanted and will be able to avoid the additional financial responsibilities that come with DBA membership.

Councillor Bachman’s suggestion was not a surprise to me at least. We had happened to cross paths at Hillcrest Cemetery the Saturday before the meeting after I had read the council agenda. I was attending an interment and she was out for a run. Let’s discuss the underlying reasoning behind her proposal.

If you establish a business or a residence you are required to provide for appropriate parking. There are two choices, you can provide the proscribed number of parking spots or you can pay a fee in lieu of the parking. There was similar topic before Council perhaps five years ago when an apartment conversion was done in the downtown and the landlord hoped to get a waiver for the parking obligations. I’m pretty sure Council didn’t grant it. It was a little different because the parking would be required overnight and that would cause an issue with snow removal and similar services.

In the case of Trestle Brewing Company, the additional 25 spots were required because they opened patio seating. The parking number was based on the number of seats in this expansion. The patio though is likely to be open or used from perhaps mid-May to mid-October, tourist season. The rest of the year that parking would not be used or required. That would suggest there was some basis for exempting in part Trestle’s parking requirement.

What I have seen to date is that there are very few people sitting in the patio area. That may be because the business does not yet need the extra capacity. It could be that the business never expects to use that extra capacity but wanted to give patrons a place to sit closer to the water, or to spread out the crowd. If this is the case the existing parking is tight but manageable. Then again, it’s possible that the business will be inundated with customers using all of the available seats and cars will be parked up and down Great North Road blocking views and possibly creating safety issues. Or people will start parking at other businesses in the area. There is little or no on street parking in the area at present.

The suggestion to provide Trestle with a two-year waiver of the requirement to provide parking or pay the full fee seems reasonable. Perhaps there will be no issue and the patio seating will offer patrons options on where to sit and not double the number of folks there at any given time. Or, it may be a real issue with business booming and the Town needing to somehow provide additional parking in the area, at taxpayers’ expense, to manage safety and congestion issues. Or, Trestle could be accepted into the DBA and there would no longer be an issue of a parking penalty, although there might still be a parking issue that would hit the Town’s taxpayers. Or perhaps it’s a 50-50 and the Town would need to find a compromise that fits the situation. Parry Sound is a small town and we need to be flexible. A two-year window would have provided everyone involved, especially the taxpayers and other businesses in similar situations, the opportunity to create a solution that best fit the situation.

Mayor McGarvey can blame me for the suggestion. After sitting through, and watching, about two and a half terms of Council deliberate on a wide variety of issues I know that Councillor Bachman’s suggestion was not out of line. She was reflecting her own, and at least one other taxpayer’s suggestion. I will take the blame for the suggestion. I can tell when I’m being misled, even when it comes to council procedures.

Mayor McGarvey owes Councillor Bachman a public apology for the way he treated her at the meeting. He has done it before. A mayor is there to preside and assist, not decide. Decisions are the responsibility of the councillors. It is likely that her suggestion would not have gained traction, but it deserved to be heard and properly processed. It seems however, that the decision had already been reached and her suggestion was an unnecessary distraction.

Trains, Trestles and Cold Reality – A Trilogy of Sorts

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Not quite a Gord Lightfoot trilogy of course.

A couple of things popped up in the last few days that stimulated this post.

Trestles

Yesterday evening was quiet around my house, certainly in the backyard. The heat and humidity lifted and there was blessed silence. Why the silence? It appears that a truck ran into the trestle on William Street possibly causing damage and necessitating a stop of operations on the CN Line that runs behind our house.

Why did the truck hit the trestle? It clearly was an issue of human error. Was it avoidable? In my opinion quite possibly. A couple of years ago I was sitting at an open house in the Town of Parry Sound town hall and had a discussion with a couple of members of Council and Staff about the William Street trestle. I told them that I had gone out with a tape measure and measured the height of the trestle and the height of the frames that sit about 5 metres in front of the trestle on both sides. The yellow and black striped frames were at least a foot taller than the trestle. That might allow a ‘rookie’ truck operator who was unsure of the height of their vehicle to assume that if they were able to get under the frame that they would fit under the trestle. The driver would not only be wrong I suggested; they might even be deceived by these frames.

During the discussion at town hall I suggested the town suspend a swinging bar or chains at the same height as the trestle or even a little lower. My thinking was that a driver who approached the trestle and heard/felt the top of the vehicle strike something would hit the brakes and either stop before hitting the trestle or at least hit it with much less force.

My idea was not original. I have been to enough parking garages to have seen the signs that tell me the maximum height inside but also have some sort of structure at the entrance that prevents vehicles from entering that exceed the lowest height in the parking garage. The folks that run these garages don’t want to be pulling cars that are stuck on the third floor.

The Councillor thought that this was a good idea. The Staff member disagreed. He suggested that there might be a Town liability if a vehicle was damaged by this hanging bar or chains. Would there be a liability if they hit the current structure? How much damage might be caused by hanging chains? Jeez – “You can’t tell a Heinz pickle nothing”. I will note that this individual was also against crossing arms at the Cascade Street crossing when the Railway Safety Committee I participated on made the suggestion. He said people would just go around them. Thank goodness Council did not agree. One life lost is too many.

We all make errors of inattention, young, old and especially impaired. I think it behooves us as a community to help people make the right decisions when we know there is a serious risk involved.

Lac Megantic

You have forgotten about it haven’t you? Well the New York Times published an article a couple of days ago about the accident and what has followed in the years since. It’s worth reading and understanding the risks we all face. What would happen if a larger truck were to barrel under the William Street trestle while one of the ‘oilers’ was running across?

Here is a link to the article at the New York Times. If you can’t access it at their site, I have posted a copy here. (Note: PDF reader required.) I have a subscription to the Times and feel this article needs to be shared. A New York Times online subscription can be had for $4 CDN per month; cheaper than the North Star.

Train Noise

In an earlier post I had expressed my position that chasing the railways about the non-airhorn noises was a fool’s errand. I’ll expand on this. The engines do not squeal, they make lots of noise related to the propulsion system, but that’s it. They pass quickly. In contrast it is the rail cars that squeal. Not all of them, perhaps one in ten. You can hear the squealers coming down the track. So, it’s not a consistent noise like airhorns. Figuring out which rail cars are squealing would be a challenge. No company wants the bother and expense of fixing all of them for a non-safety issue.

The real reason this is not an issue that can be easily addressed is because – the railways don’t own the railcars in most cases. The railways transport the railcars, but they don’t own them. They may own some of the container carriers, but they rarely own the oil and chemical cars, or the potash cars, or the grain cars. These railcars are probably not even owned by the companies whose goods are being transported but rather by leasing companies. No business except a financial services company wants to have that much capital invested in rolling or flying stock.

I hope Council will get Staff to do the bare minimum work necessary to convince themselves that attacking the squeal of the railcars is a waste of time and energy. You will end up chasing a dozen or more companies. Time is better spent on things under their control, like preventing crashes into the trestle on William Street, or stopping airhorns in Parry Sound.

Council Agenda Preview – July 16, 2019

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A light agenda this week but two open meeting items are sure to guarantee a large public turn out at the meeting. These are:
(2.1) The expanded development on Salt Dock Road.
(2.2) The proposal for a French Public School at Canadore College.
Trestle Brewing Company parking is the only by-law item on the agenda and Staff is recommending that requirements for additional parking for their seasonal patio be waived (4.7, 10.4.1). A couple of residents seem to have legitimate concerns with Town services as expressed in their letters (4.1, 4.5).

Public Meeting

2.1 – Official Plan Amendment No. 2 and Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/4 (Morgan Planning and Developments Inc. on behalf of Greystone Project Management Inc. for Salt Dock Road, the Lighthouse) to re-designate the lands from public open space to residential high density.

2.2 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/08 – 1 College Drive (Canadore. College Board of Governors) to permit Conseil Scolaire Public du Nord-Est de L’Ontario to locate a French Public School at the campus for two years.

Correspondence

4.1 – Jane Hinchcliffe. Concerns with communication regarding Waubeek Street reconstruction project; and specific property concerns affected by the reconstruction.

4.2 – Brandy Harris-Green, Treasurer, Rotary Club of Parry Sound. Delivery of cheque for $2,500 towards a Splash Pad with caveat to retain right to reallocate funds if the splash pad is not built.

4.3 – Bill Liggins. Request for the installation of audible traffic signals at the Church/Isabella Street intersection.

4.5 – Joe Beleskey. Concerns with effects of blocked culvert on his property.

4.7 – Chris Pettinger, Trestle Brewing Company. RE: Parking Relief Request explanation in support of zoning by-law amendment application.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – 2019 AMO Delegation Requests to the Province. Direction. That the staff report on delegations with Provincial Ministers that the Town has requested during the 2019 AMO Conference be received for information purposes.

9.3.1 – Pedestrian Crossing – Isabella Street and William Street. Direction. That Council direct staff to instruct the Engineer to install an appropriate pedestrian crossover at the intersection of Isabella Street and William Street using Option A of staff report, being a crosswalk located at the north end of the radius to Isabella Street, including a hard-wired corresponding flashing light at the top of the hill on William Street.

9.3.2 – Bottled Water Report. Direction. That Council receive the Bottled Water Report for information only.

9.3.3 – 2019 Suez Ultrafiltration Users’ Group Conference. Resolution. That Council authorizes the Manager of Water Systems to attend the 2019 Suez Ultrafiltration Users’ Group Conference to be held in Rapid City, South Dakota, September 29 to October 1, 2019, pursuant to Schedule C, Section 5e of By-law 2019-6902, which requires prior Council approval for attendance at seminars, conferences and conventions outside the Province of Ontario.

By-laws

10.4.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/07 – 9 Great North Road (1929330 Ontario Inc.). By-law 2019 – 6944. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 9 Great North Road (1929330 Ontario Inc.).

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – July 2, 2019

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Nothing to comment on at this past meeting. Take a quick look in case there is something decided that you have an interest in.

Additions to Agenda/Notice of Motion

1.1.1 Recreation Master Plan. THAT staff be directed to bring back a letter in a later meeting to invite municipalities of West Parry Sound to participate in the upcoming recreation plan. Carried

Other

1.4 Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof. Mayor McGarvey Declared Pecuniary Interest on item 6.4.2 in the Closed Meeting as his wife works for the Festival of the Sound.

Public Meeting

2.1 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/07 – 1929330 Ontario Limited (9 Great North Road). Subsequent to an explanation of how the public was notified of application Z/19/07 – 1929330 Ontario Limited (9 Great North Road),Taylor Elgie, Manager of Building & Planning Services gave an explanation of the purpose of the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment, reporting that the applicant, Trestle Brewing Company has requested to amend the C3 zone to reduce the on-site parking spaces requirement by 25 spaces and permit an accessory structure between the roadway and the main building. The request is to meet parking requirements due to a proposed patio.
No member of the public responded to the Mayor’s invitation to speak in favour of the proposed zoning by-law amendment. Vivian Ibey of 24 Great North Road, living directly across from Trestle Brewing Company reported that she is opposed to the motion as there is not enough parking for what is currently there and she questions whether in future there will be enough parking for the Company as well as the public parking for the walking trail.
Mr. Elgie reported that one letter from Diane Waters of 22 Great North Road has been received in support of the zoning by-law amendment, noting that Trestle Brewing Company has been a huge asset to the Town, including their community outreach and fundraising events. Ms. Waters expressed that she believed the addition of a patio would provide more opportunity for locals and tourists to enjoy Seguin River and the historic trestle bridge and will be a benefit to the Town.
Mayor McGarvey concluded the public meeting with notice that the public should contact staff or check the Town’s website to see when this amendment will come back for a decision. Council, at its discretion, may approve the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment. If so, it must either circulate notice of passing of the by-law or give notice in the local press. Objections to the passing of the by-law will be received by the Clerk within 20 days from the date such notice is given, which objections will be forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. If an appeal is submitted and the appellant has not provided Council with an oral or written submission before the passing of the by-law, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal may choose to dismiss the appeal

Questions of Staff

3.2.1 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiries, Director of Public Works Peter Brown reported that River Street is basically done; it has been resurfaced with line painting all the way through and staff will monitor to ensure there is sufficient drainage. With respect to Waubeek Street, Mr. Brown reported that the work is on schedule and that he expects the work will be move to another phase within the next three weeks. The paving company is following behind, and expectations are to have single surface done in late- August.
With respect to the intersection and top of the Waubeek Street hill at Avenue Road, Mr. Brown reported that he will be bringing a report back to the next Council meeting for information, as well as a report regarding a pedestrian crossing at Isabella and William Street as previously requested by Council.

3.2.2 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding paving on Hillcrest Street, Mr. Brown reported that the asphalt paving budget for 2019 has been exhausted, but that Hillcrest Street is on the list with others that need work. Mr. Brown noted that the Town has the opportunity of taking advantage of federal gas tax funding that was just announced. Mr. Brown also pointed out that the Town just hired a company to do a complete roads assessment review, and that once completed, there will be a better handle on the priority of roads that need to be done.

3.2.3 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding garbage pick-up time, Mr. Brown reported that it is not recommended to put out garbage in the evening, but rather by 7:00 A.M. the day of garbage pick-up.

3.2.4 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding blue recycling bins, Mr. Brown concurred that a reminder to the public through the Town’s website on what can go in them would be useful and that this information is also already posted on the blue recycling bins.

Correspondence

4.1 – Bayside Family Church – Concerns with municipal service causing flooding at 4 Parry Sound Drive. Referred to the Director of Public Works for investigation and follow-up.

4.2 – Lori & Doug Kerr. Objection to Greystone Project vis a vis building height as it will block view. Referred to the Manager of Building & Planning, with the project the subject of a public meeting at the next Council meeting.

4.3 – Lynn Martin. Concerns with and suggestions for Stockey Centre recycling/waste practices Referred to the Programming & Events Manager at the Stockey Centre for follow-up.

4.4 – Jeremy Cross, Executive Director, National Coaches Association of Ontario. National Coaches Week September 21-29, 2019. Covered by a resolution on the Consent Agenda this evening.

Deputations

5.1 – Rita Orr, CEO, Hartley Hutchinson, Parry Sound Public Library. Library Commercial & Cottage Dockside Reads. Library CEO Rita Orr and Hartley Hutchinson, through a 2-minute library commercial and verbal report, advised that the Library was undertaking a new outreach program this summer with various authors featured at Cottage Dockside Reads being held at the new Carling Community Recreation Centre starting next Thursday, July 11th.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Caitlin Dyer appointed VP Communications to CASH (Canadian Association for Sports Heritage). Direction. That the announcement of Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Curator Caitlin Dyer’s appointment as VP Communications to the Canadian Association for Sports Heritage be received. Carried

9.2.1 – 2019 Budget Analysis in relation to 4 per cent challenge. Direction. That the Report be received for Information Purposes. Carried

9.4.1 – Façade Improvement Project Recommendations. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the 2019 Façade Improvement Review Committee, Council approves:
97a Bowes Street (Maurizio’s Pizzeria) in the amount of $10,750.50;
47 Gibson Street (Don Corbett) in the amount of $12,427.20;
69a Bowes Street (Parry Sound Insurance) in the amount of $562.50;
42 Gibson Street (Georgian Bay Software) in the amount of $1,250.00;
19 James Street (White Squall) in the amount of $1,525.00; and
67 James Street (FAD Architects) in the amount of $9,570.00.
And that Agreement Letters be drafted and executed by the successful applicants. Carried

By-laws

10.3.1 – The Cemetery By-law. By-law 2019 – 6940. Being a by-law to establish the maintenance, management, regulation and control of Hillcrest Cemetery and Sylvan Acres Cemetery. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.4.1 – Transfer of surplus lands to the Township of The Archipelago.By-law 2019 – 6941. Being a By-law to declare property surplus to the Town’s needs and to identify a means of sale for Town-owned property legally described as HARRISON LOCATION CL 16222; CON 2 PT LOTS 24 AND 25 RP;42R19262 PART 1 RP 42R19322;PART 1 now located in the Township of The Archipelago. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.4.2 – Municipal By-law Enforcement on call service agreement with Gary Kloetstra. By-law 2019 – 6942. Being a By-law to enter into agreement for municipal by-law enforcement on-call service and appoint Gary Kloestra as a Municipal By-law Enforcement Officer. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

 

Council Agenda Preview – July 2, 2019

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A rather limited number of items on this week’s council agenda. There are a few items worth noting:

Closed Session c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purpose, (CP Station; Big Sound Marina). It seems things are hotting up with respect to the Town’s purchase and sale of real estate.

2.1 – Zoning By-law Amendment. This concerns the number of parking spots that Trestle Brewing Company is obliged to provide. I suspect that there is a requirement for a defined number of parking spaces based on the number of establishment ‘seats’. The brewery is planning to add additional patio seating.

9.2.1 – 2019 Budget Analysis in relation to 4 per cent challenge. This item seems to be a ‘red herring’ of sorts. The Province has challenged municipalities, notably cities, to reduce their budgets by 4%. The Town of Parry Sound’s obligation to manage the Land Ambulance services as well as additional direct billed expenses such as OPP, DSSAB, Belvedere and MPAC ($12.3 million in total) are not in the Town’s control. Asking the Town staff to reduce that expense by 4% is not reasonable. It still would have been interesting to see how the Town might address the 4% reduction challenge with respect to the other budget elements. I don’t think that the budget items listed as “Limited Control” ($5 million) are that. If the Town takes on debt or an obligation it ‘owns it’ and needs to control it one way or another. For example, if you take on student loans you need to manage that as part of your personal budget. To hit a 4% reduction in your personal expenses, and the loan can’t be reduced by 4%, you need to cut by more in other areas.

Closed Session

c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purpose, (CP Station; Big Sound Marina).

Public Meeting

2.1 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/07 – 1929330 Ontario Limited (9 Great North Road). The applicant has requested to amend the C3 zone to reduce the on-site parking spaces requirement by 25 spaces and permit an accessory structure between the roadway and the main building. The request is to meet parking requirements due to a proposed patio.

Correspondence

4.1 – Bayside Family Church. Concerns with municipal service causing flooding at 4 Parry Sound Drive.

4.2 – Lori & Doug Kin. Objection to Greystone Project vis a vis building height as it will block view.

4.3 – Lynn Martin. Concerns with and suggestions for Stockey Centre recycling/waste practices.

4.4 – Jeremy Cross, Executive Director, National Coaches Association of Ontario. National Coaches Week September 21-29, 2019.

Deputations

5.1 – Rita Orr, CEO, Parry Sound Public Library. Library Commercial

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1 – Caitlin Dyer appointed VP Communications to CASH (Canadian Association for Sports Heritage). Direction. That the announcement of Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Curator Caitlin Dyer’s appointment as VP Communications to the Canadian Association for Sports Heritage be received.

9.2.1 – 2019 Budget Analysis in relation to 4 per cent challenge. Direction. That the Report be received for Information Purposes.

9.4.1 Façade Improvement Project Recommendations. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the 2019 Façade Improvement Review Committee, Council approves:
97a Bowes Street (Maurizio’s Pizzeria) in the amount of $10,750.50;
47 Gibson Street (Don Corbett) in the amount of $12,427.20;
69a Bowes Street (Parry Sound Insurance) in the amount of $562.50;
42 Gibson Street (Georgian Bay Software) in the amount of $1,250.00;
19 James Street (White Squall) in the amount of $1,525.00; and
67 James Street (FAD Architects) in the amount of $9,570.00.
And that Agreement Letters be drafted and executed by the successful applicants.

By-laws

10.3.1 – The Cemetery By-law. By-law 2019 – 6940. Being a by-law to establish the maintenance, management, regulation and control of Hillcrest Cemetery and Sylvan Acres Cemetery.

10.4.1 – Transfer of surplus lands to the Township of The Archipelago. By-law 2019 – 6941. Being a By-law to declare property surplus to the Town’s needs and to identify a means of sale for Town-owned property legally described as HARRISON LOCATION CL 16222; CON 2 PT LOTS 24 AND 25 RP;42R19262 PART 1 RP 42R19322;PART 1 now located in the Township of The Archipelago.

10.4.2 – Municipal By-law Enforcement on call service agreement with Gary Kloetstra. By-law 2019 – 6942. Being a By-law to enter into agreement for municipal by-law enforcement on-call service and appoint Gary Kloestra as a Municipal By-law Enforcement Officer.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – June 18, 2019

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Well I guess it would have taken a little courage on the part of Council to have decided to move forward with Item 9.2.1 – Train Whistle Cessation within Parry Sound. It was so much easier to simply decide that whistle (air horn) cessation would create a safety issue and be too expensive.

At our home we are not particularly impacted by the air horns. But there are some folks who are literally blasted by it. With the decision to run trains in only one direction on each line some people are getting blasted twice as much as they were ten years ago. To the best of my knowledge only one of the Councillors lives anywhere close to where they might be subject to the impact of the air horns. The rest live far enough the way that it doesn’t directly impact their lives unless a resident complains. And most of senior staff, who make the recommendations, don’t even live in Parry Sound.

Somehow the Town can find almost a million dollars to buy property on Oastler Park drive for purposes that still haven’t been shared with taxpayers, and a couple hundred thousand to upgrade Big Sound Marina for the benefit of visitors, and $1.2 million on the Stockey Centre so that the facility can lose more than a quarter million dollars a year while mostly servicing tourists, yet air horn cessation is too big a cost. The Town knows how to debenture. This is an investment for the present and the future.

The issue of safety is being used as cover for a lack of courage. Who is at risk if the recommended changes were to be made? It would be people trespassing. So, we protect the people who ignore the law and punish others with the air horns. I sat on a Town rail safety committee about 5 years ago that made a number of recommendations on how to improve rail safety. It was received by Council and ignored except for the very obvious recommendation to install gates at all town rail crossings. That too was met with skepticism by some members of staff. Don’t tell me we really care about rail safety, it’s all about CYA.

The suggestion to do a study about the squealing of the trains is misdirection and a waste of money. The noise pollution caused by the wheels squealing is as bad as the air horns. The railways know how to fix the problem, but they don’t because it is an expense and their only responsibility is to literally keep the trains on the tracks and return an ever-larger profit to shareholders. Employees can die through safety and equipment failures, and whole towns can be destroyed, but there are never any real consequences or changes in railway operating practices. Blame the victims and worry about the next quarter’s financials. You can go online and find lots of information on wheel squeal abatement. The reason I call the Council suggested initiative bogus is that while you can spend more money, do the study, and come up with a recommendation, the railways will just ignore it. And they will probably charge you to even read the recommendation that they will dismiss. Let’s remember the few occasions the Town has asked the railways for even minor concessions, sometimes for just a day, and were flatly rejected. They don’t even reliably address rail stoppages on crossings. A solution to wheel noise is not within the control of the Town. Air horns are in our control. Council has decided to punt. That’s not a strategy for winning.

Yes, it’s hard to be courageous. But that’s what defines the character of an individual, a company, a team, a council and even a town.

The members of Council are tasked with making tough decisions, not deflecting them.

The video of the Council discussion is available at this URL (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTu1fXRAPPo). The discussion starts at 1:06:55.

A few comments on the discussion:

  1. They are air horns. That’s not what “some people call them”. Here is the Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_horn
  2. Sound changes reported as decibels are not measured in percentages. The decibel scale is logarithmic. If an air horn is required to be 100 dB and the actual is 110 dB the power ratio difference is not 10% greater, it’s 900% greater, and the amplitude ratio is 300% greater. According to psychoacoustics 10 dB is sensed as twice the volume. A 10 dB reduction then would be half the perceived volume. How you present data in unfamiliar units can have a major impact on how it is understood and processed. Does it help you if I tell you the temperature in degrees Kelvin? Can you make a decision on how to dress if I told you tomorrow it will be about 298 degrees Kelvin? Sounds hot doesn’t it?
  3. A simple question. If safety is an issue why don’t trains blast their air horns every quarter mile or so even when they aren’t in the presence of a crossing? I would be interested in knowing how many of the fatalities in Ontario occurred in areas where there has never been an obligation to use an air horn, for example between rail crossings in rural areas. People don’t just trespass in towns and cities.

Enough on that. For now, at least.

No, wait. Why bother with this? If it’s been this way for almost 100 years, why make changes? The future of the Town depends on these incremental improvements to compete and prosper. What kind of development are we seeing close to tracks and crossings? What kind of development are we seeing distant from the train? Are investors going to look at rehabilitating the downtown with the train noises and increasingly common air horns? Is that why the south end is so attractive?

Woof!

Presentations:

Mayor McGarvey presented Fire Chief Dave Thompson with the Governor General’s Fire Services Exemplary Services Medal, in recognition of 20 years of service to public safety in Canada.

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof

1.4.1 – Councillor Backman declared pecuniary interest on item 9.3.1 as she received remuneration from a vendor. Councillor Backman left the room, did not participate in discussion, nor vote on the matter.

Questions of Staff

3.2.1 – In response to Councillor Backman’s request for an update on the Strategic Plan, CAO Clayton Harris reported that currently, staff down to the Manager level are looking at the previously adopted strategic plan to build buy-in support and identify changes thought necessary from a staff perspective.
That a special meeting of Council be scheduled in September to review the Strategic Plan and that a public meeting be scheduled thereafter. Carried

3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s inquiry regarding the former St. Joseph’s Hospital building condition, Director of Development and Protective Services noted the owner has responded to an order to install fencing, but that an order requiring an engineering report on the stability of the building is still outstanding.

3.2.3 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s inquiry as to whether there was a traffic control plan for Isabella at William Street subsequent to completion of construction projects there, Director of Public Works Peter Brown reported that there is no set traffic control design for that location with options under consideration including a lit crossing, road painting and/or a 3-way stop.
That the Director of Public Works be directed to bring a report and recommendation to the next Council meeting on recommended options for traffic control at the Isabella/William Street intersection. Carried

3.2.4 – In response to Mayor McGarvey’s inquiry as to the status of the 4-way stop on reported that the 4-way stop is awaiting for school to finish, and that with significant planned advance warning, the hope is to have the lines painted in early July, followed by implementation of the 4-way stop. Mr. Brown also reported that line painting throughout the Town would commence when it stops raining and the ambient temperature is sufficiently high for a sustained period.

3.2.5 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry regarding crossing safety from Avenue Road left onto Waubeek Street, Mr. Brown reported that he expected the planned realignment as part of the road reconstruction would make it safer. He also reported that slowing down is essential and that additional line painting and new 3-dimensional type crosswalks could be considered as long as compliant with transportation regulations.

3.2.6 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding the potential for installing a crosswalk on Waubeek at the trestle, Mr. Brown reported that there may be a problem with sightlines, however he would look into the matter and report back to Council.

Correspondence

4.1 – Jim & Marian Ferris, 143a William Street. Location suggestions for Georgian Nordic Ski and Canoe Club structures and programming currently operating at William Street Park. Item referred to the Manager of Parks & Recreation who has responded to Mr. & Mrs. Ferris, with a copy to Mayor & Council.

Deputations

5.1 – Ian Fleming, President; Dan DiNicolo, Member, Festival of the Sound Board. Festival of the Sound’s Upcoming 40th Anniversary Season. Dan DiNicolo presented Council with the core goals of Festival of the Sound (FoTS), highlights of the past forty years, new and special events this year, and an overview of the economic impact of the FoTS. In conclusion Mr. DiNicolo invited members of Council and the public to “Come to the Party”, this being the 40th anniversary of the Festival of the Sound.

5.2 – Russell Becker, Community Relations Director, The Gardens. The Gardens – Expansion. Russell Becker addressed Council with appreciation for the Town’s original acceptance of the proposal submitted on behalf of The Gardens for a retirement home in Parry Sound. Mr. Becker noted that 70 suites were created, and that their success has prompted expansion by another 37 suites, including one-bedroom, one-bedroom with balcony, and two-bedroom at 1,000 square foot options ready for occupancy on July 1st. Mr. Becker reported that an information session on the expansion would be held on-site on Monday June 24th at 6:30 P.M. and that an open house would be held August 4th, time to be determined.

Consent Agenda

8.1 – Resolution 2019 – 066. Be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound supports the national recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day, by declaring June 21st as Indigenous Peoples Day in the Town of Parry Sound. Carried

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – 2018 Annual Investment Report. Resolution. That Council accepts the 2018 Annual Investment Report in accordance with the Town’s Investment Policy. Carried

9.2.1 – Train Whistle Cessation within Parry Sound. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-up). That Council direct staff to not proceed any further with train whistle cessation in Parry Sound due to the risks to public safety and potential Town liability, as well as overburdening costs of implementing train whistle cessation. Carried
The following additional direction for Direct Staff Follow-up was proposed: That Staff be directed to continue its efforts to have the railway take steps needed to minimize screeching of rails, which is a longer, more piercing noise than the train whistles; and That budget monies be included in 2020 to undertake professional noise studies in order to support the advocacy of minimizing screeching of rails. Carried

9.2.2 – Tender – Equipment – 4-wheel drive articulating loader. Resolution. That Council accept the tender from Toromont Cat for a 2019 CAT 918M loader in the amount of $171,195.00, including taxes, delivery, and the trade-in of a 2009 CASE 521 E, this tender being the lowest of four received; and That Council also accept the tender from Toromont Cat for a weigh scale attachment in the amount of $11,650.30, including taxes and delivery; and That additional funds required to purchase said equipment be taken from the Public Works culvert replacement capital project. Carried

9.3.1 – Pick-up truck Replacement (Fire Department). Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound award the tender for a 2019 New Model 4X4 1/2 ton Pick up Crew Cab Short Box for the Fire Department to Williamson Chrysler/UBIC Vehicle Solutions Inc. in the amount of $45,263.28 including HST; And further that the offering of $12,600 for the purchase of the replaced 2007 GMC by Gore Bay Gordon Barry Island Fire Department be accepted. Carried

9.4.1 – WPS Geography Network wins MISA Award. Presentation of award-winning West Parry Sound Geography Network web-based GIS application /portal. Direction. That the report and presentation be received for information purposes. Carried

9.4.2 – Join the FCM – ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) Partners for Climate Protection Program. Resolution. That Council hereby adopts the resolution attached as Schedule A, being a resolution prepared by FCM–ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) Partners for Climate Protection Program to:
endorse the Government of Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to below two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius; and commit to reviewing the guidelines on PCP member benefits and responsibilities and then communicate to FCM its participation in the PCP program and its commitment to achieving the milestones set out in the PCP five-milestone framework; and further That Council hereby appoints Forrest Pengra to oversee implementation of the PCP milestones and be the point of contact for the PCP within the municipality. Carried

By-laws

10.1.1 – By-law to specify claw back percentages for 2019 property taxes. By-law 2019 – 6934. Being a By-law to Specify the “Claw-back Percentages” in Respect of Properties in theCommercial Class for 2019 Taxation Year. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.1.2 – Strategic Asset Management Policy and regulatory changes. By-law 2019 – 6935. Being a By-law to approve the Strategic Asset Management Policy for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.2.1 – StreetScan Agreement for Road Assessment Service. By-law 2019 – 6936. Being a by-law to execute an agreement with StreetScan Canada ULC for a Road Assessment Service. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.3.1 – Building Permit By-law amendment to include Alternative Solution proposals and fees. By-law 2019 – 6937. Being a By-law to amend the Building Permit By-law to establish a process for evaluation of Alternative Solution proposals; and amend the Fees By-law to set fees. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.4.1 – MOU – YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka for drop-in recreational programs. By-law 2019 – 6938. Being a bylaw to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Simcoe/Muskoka YMCA for delivery of drop-in recreation programming at the YMCA of Parry Sound. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

The Mayor announced a 5-minute recess and adjourned to a closed meeting at 9 PM in order to attend to unfinished items from the Closed Agenda. Upon the conclusion of dealing with matters in Closed Meeting, Mayor McGarvey reconvened in Open Meeting at 9:30 P.M.

 

Council Agenda Preview – June 18, 2019

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There are a few items of note on the agenda this week. I’m most interested in 9.2.1.

9.2.1 – Train Whistle Cessation within Parry Sound. Staff is recommending that the Town terminate the investigation of train whistle cessation in the Town. (Note: everyone likes to call them train whistles, but let’s be clear these are air horns. There is nothing about them that is quaint or romantic.) The Town commissioned an extensive report that is included in the full agenda package. The logic behind the recommendation is that the cost of cessation would be on the order of $750,000. But more importantly the recommendation basically says that with the inherent noise of the trains, stopping the air horn blasts would make very little difference in the overall noise. That’s a bit like the health system saying that we won’t treat your hearing loss because you live beside a rail crossing and the difference will be negligible. If you look at the sound plots, which are in beautiful colour and well done, you will see that those who get nailed the most by the air horns, really do get blasted. We are not in that situation at our house but I have empathy for those that are in the path of a 110 db air horn.
On the subject of trains, it has been a few years since CN and CP started routing northbound trains on the CP track and the southbound trains over the CN track. I have never been told the logic for this. The trains approach town on their separate tracks before switching to the designated line. As soon as they leave Parry Sound they get back on their own tracks. My suspicion is that with the ‘oilers’ running crude and LNG from the west the railways would prefer that if there were to be a derailment that it not be over the Seguin River trestle. That would be a real disaster for all concerned. Otherwise the split and assignment of lines makes no sense. It would seem more efficient to run the fully laden southbound trains over the CP Seguin River trestle. There is much less of an incline to climb with these very heavy rail cars. When we have train breakdowns in town it’s always on the southbound CN line that blocks Forest Street. They-just-can’t-get-it-up.

If you have an opinion on this either attend the meeting or speak with/email/write Council. The easy answer for Council is to say ‘we tried’ but it ‘doesn’t work’ given other priorities. (The agenda package this week is large, about 66 MB, but worth looking at.)

4.1 – Jim & Marian Ferris, 143a William Street. Locations suggestions for Georgian Nordic Ski and Canoe Club structures and programming. It’s worth understanding the concerns of these folks. I was as surprised as they were about the proposed location of the structures given past correspondence.

Closed Session

c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purpose, (local board property);
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board; (two property matters; zoning compliance matter);

Correspondence

4.1 – Jim & Marian Ferris, 143a William Street. Locations suggestions for Georgian Nordic Ski and Canoe Club structures and programming.

Deputations

5.1 – Ian Fleming, President; Dan DiNicolo, Member, Festival of the Sound Board. Festival of the Sound’s Upcoming 40th Anniversary Season

5.2 – Russell Becker, Community Relations Director, The Gardens. The Gardens – Expansion

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – 2018 Annual Investment Report. Resolution. That Council accepts the 2018 Annual Investment Report in accordance with the Town’s Investment Policy.

9.2.1 – Train Whistle Cessation within Parry Sound. Direction. That Council direct staff to not proceed any further with train whistle cessation in Parry Sound due to the risks to public safety and potential Town liability, as well as overburdening costs of implementing train whistle cessation.

9.2.2 – Tender – Equipment – 4-wheel drive articulating loader. Resolution. That Council accept the tender from Toromont Cat for a 2019 CAT 918M loader in the amount of $171,195.00, including taxes, delivery, and the trade-in of a 2009 CASE 521 E, this tender being the lowest of four received; and
That Council also accept the tender from Toromont Cat for a weigh scale attachment in the amount of $11,650.30, including taxes and delivery; and That additional funds required to purchase said equipment be taken from the Public Works culvert replacement capital project.

9.3.1 – Pick-up truck Replacement (Fire Department). Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound award the tender for a 2019 New Model 4X4 1/2 ton Pick up Crew Cab Short Box for the Fire Department to Williamson Chrysler/UBIC Vehicle Solutions Inc. in the amount of $45,263.28 including HST;
And further that the offering of $12,600 for the purchase of the replaced 2007 GMC by Gore Bay Gordon Barry Island Fire Department be accepted.

9.4.1 – WPS Geography Network wins MISA Award. Direction. That the report and presentation be received for information purposes.

9.4.2 – Join the FCM – ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) Partners for ClimateProtection Program. Resolution. That Council hereby adopts the resolution attached as Schedule A, being a resolution prepared by FCM–ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) Partners for Climate Protection Program to:
endorse the Government of Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to below two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius; and commit to reviewing the guidelines on PCP member benefits and responsibilities and then communicate to FCM its participation in the PCP program and its commitment to achieving the milestones set out in the PCP five-milestone framework; and further
That Council hereby appoints Forrest Pengra to oversee implementation of the PCP milestones and be the point of contact for the PCP within the municipality.

By-laws

10.1.1 – By-law to specify claw back percentages for 2019 property taxes. By-law 2019 – 6934. Being a By-law to Specify the “Claw-back Percentages” in Respect of Properties in the Commercial Class for 2019 Taxation Year.

10.1.2 – Strategic Asset Management Policy and regulatory changes. By-law 2019 – 6935. Being a By-law to approve the Strategic Asset Management Policy for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound

10.2.1 – StreetScan Agreement for Road Assessment Service. By-law 2019 – 6936. Being a by-law to execute an agreement with StreetScan Canada ULC for a Road Assessment Service.

10.3.1 – Building Permit By-law amendment to include Alternative Solution proposals and Fees. By-law 2019 – 6937. Being a By-law to amend the Building Permit By-law to establish a process for evaluation of Alternative Solution proposals; and amend the Fees By-law to set fees.

10.4.1- MOU – YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka for drop-in recreational programs. By-law 2019 – 6938. Being a bylaw to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Simcoe/Muskoka YMCA for delivery of drop-in recreation programming at the YMCA of Parry Sound.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – June 4, 2019

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Everything presented to Council was approved. The only real item of note was that with this meeting’s green light from Council, the developer is now on the hook to ‘get it done’, or not. The presentation from the West Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Officer reinforced the need for additional housing.

Deputations

5.1a – Gord Knowles, General Manager, CBDC. Introduction of new General Manager Gord Knowles, General Manager of CBDC introduced himself to the Town, noting that he has taken over the position since the recent retirement of Bill Spinney. Mr. Knowles expressed appreciation on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Town’s continued contribution to the CBDC, including support of the Regional Economic Development Project.
Mr. Knowles gave an overview of CBDC, noting that it provides about $1.1 million in small business loans, and that it is about 40% beyond that with five months left to go in the fiscal year, potentially necessitating additional finances to cover loans. Mr. Knowles noted that there is a lot happening in the service, industrial, metal fabrication and tourism sectors. He is seeing a lot of businesses starting up brand new or being taken over by young first-time entrepreneurs, including people coming from outside the community.

5.1b – Glen Barnden, West Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Officer. Status Update. Mr. Barnden addressed Council with an update regarding regional economic activity. With respect to CIINO, (Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario), Mr. Barnden reported that the investment attraction strategy, REDAC Regional Bargaining Plan, West PS Digital Marketing Plan and workforce strategy are completed. There is a community network of entrepreneurs available to meet with new businesses considering locating here. There is ongoing work at the airport, with a number of businesses expanding. The Industrial Park to the north has a new acquisition with Four Season Log Homes now located there.
Mr. Barnden noted that with any businesses considering establishing in the area, there is a tour available to showcase opportunities at the Industrial Park, and along the Oastler Park corridor where there are currently 16 manufacturers and 895 people employed by them. Many are international importers/exporters with opportunity to network for new businesses starting up.
Mr. Barnden reported that in terms of retention, economic development is moving in the direction of a grass roots approach, and that with the people he has encountered, he understands that there is a lack of workforce employee accommodation. There was a housing summit in April with local stakeholders, larger employers, businesses, and local government representatives to address this issue. Information gathered at that meeting suggests that over the next 18 months there are 238 new employees coming into the area in addition to the 99 employees coming with businesses soon, and there is very little accommodation; a problem which needs resolution.
With respect to employment opportunities for young people, Mr. Barnden said that there is gap in technology, with computer coding at the high school in its infancy. Mr. Barnden reported that participation at the November robotics demo at the BOCC was encouraging, which prompted the recent technology expo at the Stockey Centre with 130 youth in attendance, with presentations from northern colleges including Canadore on career possibilities in STEM. Mr. Barnden suggested encouraging the school board to incorporate coding into school curriculum and dovetail that with courses offered at Canadore to enable youth to have STEM coding skill set that will fit in with industry and help compete on a global scale.
Mr. Barnden noted that a summer market will be starting in June at the harbourfront, showcasing locally manufactured products. The local production and consumption helps keep money in the area, and additionally may support manufacturing opportunities if tourists buy locally, return home and can then obtain those items through export. In response to Councillor inquiries, Mr. Barnden confirmed that the majority of entrepreneurs looking to settle in the area are in the 30-40 year age group. Coding is essentially what used to be termed “basic programming”, and that with greater automation, any kind of coding with computers is an up and coming sector of the workforce, and a skill set that if learned by youth, can enable them to work globally, yet remain here making a higher than average income for the area.

5.2 – Lisa Cook, Team Leader, YMCA Employment and Learning Services. YMCA Employment and Learning Services. Ms. Cook gave an overview of programs and services provided by the YMCA Employment & Learning Services, information which was largely contained within a fact sheet circulated with the agenda.

5.3a – Heather Sargeant, Georgian Bay Forever; Feedback & Report from April 27th Reduce Your Plastic Footprint Workshop, and; Plastic-Free Parry Sound Pledge. Heather Sargeant, Communication Director for Georgian Bay Forever, a registered charity with a mandate of the protection of water, addressed Council with respect to current and planned programs and events. Ms. Sargeant reported that “Families for Change” has launched, offering a starting point for families to impact change with 49 tasks in 4 categories from which families can choose and work at their own pace and ability. Ms. Sargeant requested Council’s support in helping with communication around this.
Ms. Sargeant invited Council to an awareness event at Honey Harbour on July 3rd, between 1 and 3 PM to demonstrate the autonomous underwater vehicle. Ms. Sargeant said that this technology will revolutionize water quality testing in Georgian Bay, with sensors to navigate and map chemical and physical features of bodies of water, including such things as depth sensors, side scan and sonar. It can measure chlorophyll, torpidity, pH and dissolved oxygen. It can map the underwater landscape of Georgian Bay. Ultimately the data collected could help assess the effects of climate change, water levels, industrial and municipal spills, municipal sewage overflows, bacterial contamination and the success of conservation measures. In addition, Ms. Sargeant noted that at the July 3rd event there would be updates on the Divert and Capture program and mini-workshops given by GBF staff on microplastic reduction and phragmites removal.
With respect to the Divert and Capture Program, Ms. Sargeant reported that there are three prongs to this program being the washing machine study with 23 volunteers still needed for 100 in total and the filters installed by end of July; shoreline clean-up on June 29th at Champagne Street, July 22 at Waubuno Beach; and educating and encouraging the public to reduce plastic litter, focusing on the results of the April 27thworkshop – Practical Tips to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint. With respect to the latter, Ms. Sargeant noted that with only 9-11% of plastic being recycled, and most ending up in landfill, the best way to deal with plastic is to reduce its use. There was lots of enthusiasm at the April 27th workshop, with Plastic Free Parry Sound offering some suggestions. Ms. Sargeant noted that a representative of Plastic Free Parry Sound was to present this evening however had to depart before the deputation, but promised to return.
In response to Council queries, Ms. Sargeant indicated that she would attempt to find a date when the autonomous underwater vehicle could demonstrate in Parry Sound Georgian Bay waters. Divert & Capture Coordinator Cassie Weston noted that anyone wishing more information on the washing machine program, could contact her at info@gbf.org.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.3.1 – Seguin EMS Base Memorandum of Understanding. Resolution. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound authorize the Director of Development and Protective Services to enter into an MOU with the Township of Seguin for the relocation of an EMS Base to the Humphrey Fire Hall. Carried

9.3.2 – Council Approved Sign – 17 Miller – Prichard. Resolution. That the Chief Building Official is authorized and directed to issue a permit for a sign in front of 17 Miller Street according to the conditions and variances attached as Schedule A. Carried

9.3.3–  Health and Safety Policy. Resolution. THAT WHEREAS The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that organizations review their health and safety policy annually, and; WHEREAS the Town’s health & safety policy manual is under regular review by the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), AND WHEREAS Council is aware of its role as the directing mind regarding Health and Safety of its employees, NOW THEREFORE Council directs that the health and safety statement attached be executed by the corporate officers and distributed to all holders of the health & safety policy manual, and that it be posted on all corporate safety bulletin boards. Carried

9.4.1 – The importance of advance Provincial Consultation with the Municipal Sector and other impacted stakeholders. Resolution. Whereas engagement and consultation are critical to finding sustainable solutions; Whereas a recent FCM survey found that Canadians believe municipal governments best understand the challenges facing residents; Whereas the FCM survey found that 61% of Canadians believe that municipal governments are best placed to find solutions to community problems; Whereas meaningful consultation creates buy-in and builds support; Now therefore be it resolved that the Provincial government be strongly encouraged to undertake meaningful consultation with municipalities, AMO and other associations which represent the interests of the municipal sector as part of development and implementation of proposed changes that directly or indirectly impact municipalities; and That this resolution be forwarded to the Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing Steve Clark, Minister of Health Christine Elliot, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli, President of the Treasury Board Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP Norm Miller, and AMO.
The following amendment was proposed before the final paragraph. That meaningful consultation must include consideration of municipal budget cycles; and Amendment carried The amended resolution was voted on: Carried as Amended

By-laws

10.3.1– Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.) Zoning By-law Amendment. By-law 2019-6931. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.) Passed, Signed and Sealed
Resolution 2019 – 060. That with respect to Rezoning Application – Z/19/05 – Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.), reduction of parking space sizes to 5.75 x 2.75 metres and additional regulations to the driveway dimensions does not require any additional circulation in accordance with Section 34(17) of the Planning Act. Carried

10.3.2– Amendment to Parking and Traffic Control By-law 2019-6912. By-law 2019-6932. Being a by-law to amend By-law 2019-6912, known as the Parking and Traffic Control By-law. Passed, Signed and Sealed

Council Agenda Preview – June 4, 2019

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Another light agenda in terms of items with significant consequence. Some quick observations:

Closed meeting c). It seems the Town is considering acquiring the Big Sound Marina facility. This is an asset that the Feds have been interested in divesting for some time now based on past meeting agendas.

10.3.1 – Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.) Zoning By-law Amendment. It looks as though the development of townhouses behind the high school is in principle being given the green light by the Town.

Closed Meeting

c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purpose, (Big Sound Marina);
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals affecting the municipality or local board; (property matter; zoning compliance matter);
f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose; (property matter).

Deputations

5.1a – Gord Knowles, General Manager, CBDC, Introduction of new General Manager.
5.1b – Glen Barnden, West Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Officer Update.

5.2 – Lisa Cook, Team Leader, YMCA Employment and Learning Services. YMCA Employment and Learning Services.

5.3 – Heather Sargeant, Georgian Bay Forever; Ellen Walker, Plastic-Free Parry Sound. Feedback & Report from April 27th Reduce Your Plastic Footprint Workshop, and; Plastic-Free Parry Sound Pledge.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.3.1 – Seguin EMS Base Memorandum of Understanding. Resolution. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound authorize the Director of Development and Protective Services to enter into an MOU with the Township of Seguin for the relocation of an EMS Base to the Humphrey Fire Hall.

9.3.2 – Council Approved Sign – 17 Miller – Prichard. Resolution. That the Chief Building Official is authorized and directed to issue a permit for a sign in front of 17 Miller Street according to the conditions and variances attached as Schedule A.

9.3.3 – Health and Safety Policy. Resolution. THAT WHEREAS The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that organizations review their health and safety policy annually, and; WHEREAS the Town’s health & safety policy manual is under regular review by the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), AND WHEREAS Council is aware of its role as the directing mind regarding Health and Safety of its employees,
NOW THEREFORE Council directs that the health and safety statement attached be executed by the corporate officers and distributed to all holders of the health & safety policy manual, and that it be posted on all corporate safety bulletin boards.

9.4.1 – The importance of advance Provincial Consultation with the Municipal Sector and other impacted stakeholders Resolution. Whereas engagement and consultation are critical to finding sustainable solutions; Whereas a recent FCM survey found that Canadians believe municipal governments best understand the challenges facing residents; Whereas the FCM survey found that 61% of Canadians believe that municipal governments are best placed to find solutions to community problems; Whereas meaningful consultation creates buy-in and builds support; Now therefore be it resolved that the Provincial government be strongly encouraged to undertake meaningful consultation with municipalities, AMO and other associations which represent the interests of the municipal sector as part of development and implementation of proposed changes that directly or indirectly impact municipalities; and That this resolution be forwarded to the Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing Steve Clark, Minister of Health Christine Elliot, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli, President of the Treasury Board Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP Norm Miller, and AMO.

By-laws

10.3.1 – Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.) Zoning By-law Amendment. By-law 2019-6931. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.)
Resolution: That with respect to Rezoning Application – Z/19/05 – Winnifred Ave (W.E.H. Developments Ltd.), reduction of parking space sizes to 5.75 x 2.75 metres and additional regulations to the driveway dimensions does not require any additional circulation in accordance with Section 34(17) of the Planning Act.

10.3.2 – Amendment to Parking and Traffic Control By-law 2019-6912. By-law 2019-6932. Being a by-law to amend By-law 2019-6912, known as the Parking and Traffic Control By-law.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – May 21, 2019

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There is not much to comment on with respect to the last council meeting. The highlights and decisions are noted below. 

Closed Meeting

e) Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Election; Town property matter)

f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-Client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose. (Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Election; Town property matter)

Public Meeting

2.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/05 – W.E.H. Development Phase 2 (W.E.H. Developments Limited). Subsequent to an explanation of how the public was notified of Z/19/05 – W.E.H. Development Phase 2 (W.E.H. Developments Limited), Taylor Elgie, Manager of Building & Planning Services gave an explanation of the purpose of the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment, reporting that the applicant has requested to amend the R2, R2 (h), S.P. 26.49 (h) & S.P. 26.50 (h) zones to:
1. Permit single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, and triplex dwellings (in the form of rowhouses);
2. Reduce the minimum lot frontage for single detached from 15 metres to 12 metres, reduce the minimum lot frontage for semi-detached from 10 metres to 7 metres per unit, and reduce the minimum lot frontage of a three-unit row house to 5.8 metres per unit;
3. Reduce the minimum lot area for a semi-detached dwelling from 300 square metres to 240 square metres per unit, and reduce the minimum lot area for a three-unit row dwelling to 190 square metres per unit;
4.Reduce the minimum interior side yard to 1.3 metres for semi-detached units and end units of three-unit row house units (interior units will be 0 metres);
5.Increase the lot coverage for semi-detached dwellings and three-unit row house units from 30% to 40% (including accessory buildings); and
6.Rezone the rear portions of the lots abutting the ravine/railway to an Open Space buffer zone.
The property is vacant and at the end of Winnifred Avenue, described Lots 21-49 and Blocks 51-54 of 42M648,
No member of the public responded to the Mayor’s invitation to speak in favour of the proposed zoning by-law amendment.
Al Kinnear of 16 Avery Court responded to the Mayor’s invitation to speak in opposition of the proposed zoning by-law amendment. Mr. Kinnear said that he thought the area would be pretty crowded, especially with 3 row houses, reducing the frontage to 5.8 meters, (only about 16-18′ wide per unit), with parking in front of these units. Mr. Kinnear proposed that the frontage should be 7 meters per unit. Mr. Kinnear also suggested that the frontage should be 14 meters for the single detached and 9 meters for the semi detached. Otherwise Mr. Kinnear reported that he has no qualms about the development; Mr. Hall has shown him the plans and he gives him credit for developing the property.
Mr. Elgie reported that two letters have been received as a result of the zoning by-law amendment notice. One letter is in opposition, alleging that the frontage will not permit enough snow storage. The second letter from CN rail submitted general comments which will be discussed in greater detail in the upcoming report.
Mayor McGarvey concluded the public meeting with notice that public should contact staff or check the Town’s website to see when this amendment will come back for a decision. Council, at its discretion, may approve the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment. If so, it must either circulate notice of passing of the by-law or give notice in the local press. Objections to the passing of the by-law will be received by the Clerk within 20 days from the date such notice is given, which objections will be forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. If an appeal is submitted and the appellant has not provided Council with an oral or written submission before the passing of the by-law, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal may choose to dismiss the appeal.

Questions of Staff

3.2.1 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry as to how the recent EMS Fundraiser went, Director of Emergency & Protective Services Dave Thompson reported that the fundraiser, with drive thru tolls set up in various area locations over the past weekend went well, with the goal to raise money for public access to and training on the use of defibrillators. Mr. Thompson extended thanks to those volunteers who participated in the fundraiser and those who donated.

3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s inquiry of CAO Clayton Harris regarding the implications of the recent announcement from the province on budget cuts, Mr. Harris reported that there is a direct impact of 166,000 to the Town, shared with other municipalities with respect to cuts to Land Ambulance. As the Town’s budget was already set when the provincial announcement was made, Mr. Harris reported that staff is looking at what adjustments need to be made. In addition, Mr. Harris reported that earlier in the year, the provincial grant to the Town of $668,000 was announced, with the accompanying suggestion that municipalities look at modernization, technological advances and collaborate with neighbours to make local government more efficient. In response, Mr. Harris reported that the Town is looking at all its technology projects scheduled for 2019 and beyond with an aim to prioritize them for the biggest financial benefit, with a report scheduled to come back to Council on how to achieve savings. Mr. Harris noted that the indirect implications of the provincial announcement on service delivery such as consolidating health delivery into 10 regional health units likely has greater impact. When this happens, not only the Town, but the community will experience this.
Mr. Harris noted two things in response to these provincial announcements and implications, i.e. that it is fortunate that our Mayor is the President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), with the opportunity for consultation between AMO and the province before certain initiatives are undertaken; and that staff are encouraged to get involved in their respective professional associations to bring forward issues to the province; e.g. the Manager of Taxation is involved in the Ontario Municipal Tax and Revenue Association, which may be consulted on property tax assessment.

3.2.3 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s follow-up inquiry as to what position AMO has taken on the provincial announcements, Mayor McGarvey reported that AMO has been reaching out to the government on numerous occasions, is at Queen’s Park every day and has responded to provincial consultations, such as a new housing plan. The Mayor noted that unfortunately with issues such as land ambulance and public health, the province did not consult, and it is difficult to make suggestions to an initial provincial announcement only that a general review is being undertaken. Mayor McGarvey noted that municipalities are receiving funding at 2017 levels, and it is unknown from recent announcements if municipalities are additionally responsible for First Nations and Unorganized Townships’ costs which have previously been funded by the province.
In response to Mayor McGarvey’s suggestion that the Town might advocate a message to the provincial government that it needs to consult with municipalities, the following motion for direction was made:
THAT a resolution be prepared for the next Council meeting which advocates for meaningful consultation by the province with municipalities on issues which impact municipalities.Carried

Correspondence

4.1 – Tom & Lianne Piddington. Concerns with water pooling on private properties from a plugged culvert ostensibly the Town’s culvert. The concerns documented in this correspondence have previously been forwarded to the Director of Public Works. Any further action is at the direction of Council.
Moved – That the Piddington letter be referred to staff for a report to Council at the June 18th, 2019 meeting. Carried

4.2 – Kyle Boyko on behalf of Inspire Tech Canada Corp. Request for Financial Support to host Future Technology Expos in Parry Sound Referred to the Finance Department to include with other requests to be brought forward at the end of the year, for the 2020 budget process.

4.3 – Township of Essa. Request to support circulation of Essa Public Library’s petition requesting reinstatement of funding to the Ontario Library Service (North and South) agencies to a minimum of 2017-18 funding levels. A resolution related to this issue is on the agenda – item 9.5.1

Deputations

5.1 – Shawna Woods. Concerns with planned removal of anchor from Georgian Bay. Shawna Woods addressed Council with concerns over the planned removal of the anchor belonging to the Atlantic from its Georgian Bay resting place, as reported in the May 8th North Star. Ms. Woods noted that there are already 10 anchors located on grounds in Parry Sound, some without any history chronicling them, and none under proper conservation. As an avid scuba diver and manager of the local dive club, Ms. Woods advocated that the anchor be left where it is in Georgian Bay, and protected as an official dive site, to be a linking dive to the wreck itself. Ms. Woods noted that a dive site like this is a draw for other visiting divers, increasing tourism revenue. Ms. Woods noted that upon naming her objections to the person who located the anchor three years ago, he has reported that if the Town of Parry Sound agrees to leave the anchor alone, he has no objections, and will provide her with the coordinates so it can be registered as a protected historical dive site. Ms. Woods concluded her deputation requesting that the Town leave the Atlantic anchor where it lies and permit it being protected as an official dive site.

5.2 – Renata Purcell, Debra Jones. Strings Across the Sky. Renata Purcell introduced the program Strings Across the Sky, developed initially for Indigenous youth, empowering them to be self confident, proud and instilling a love of music. Ms. Purcell noted that Strings Across the Sky runs a music camp in the summer in Parry Sound, this year starting on July 22nd, and is requesting $2,000 to keep this camp running. Executive and Artistic Director Debra Jones provided further background on the program, noting that it is a registered charity, founded in 1989 by her aunt Andrea Hansen, who had become aware through a tour of the far north, of a 400-year old fiddling heritage there, and was impassioned to rekindle this tradition. Ms. Jones said that more importantly, the program targets at-risk indigenous youth and with its inclusion of non-indigenous youth, builds cross-cultural bridges, empathy and compassion. Ms. Jones described the unique and effective teaching method which has received numerous awards, as well as the social, mental and intellectual benefits of music making. Ms. Jones noted that the one-week summer program came to Parry Sound in 2004 in partnership with the Festival of the Sound and the Parry Sound Friendship Centre, and that as of last year, a weekly program has been developed, located at the HUB. Ms. Jones concluded her deputation with the financial support request, following which 2 members of the program – Eli Martens and Zaria Purcell performed a fiddle and guitar piece.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Approve Signing Authority. Resolution. Whereas the Council for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound approved Resolutions 2014-030 and 2014-228 approving signing authority and credit card authority to Members of Council and certain members of staff; and Whereas there are no changes to the position or authority levels at this time; and Whereas there has been a change in the Director of Finance position; Now therefore be it resolved that Resolution 2018-026 be amended to formally remove Kim Chen, Director of Finance/Treasurer as a signing authority; and Further that Stephanie Phillips, Director of Finance/Treasurer be added as a signing authority. Carried

9.2.1 – Cemetery By-law Price List. Direction. That staff be directed to increase the price of Interment Rights only on the Cemetery Price List by 10%. Carried

9.2.2 – Cemetery Truck (08-090) Replacement. Direction. That Council approve staff to single source a new model vehicle for the replacement of the current cemetery vehicle (08-090) after no bids were received through the tender process.
Moved that the direction be postponed until dealers in Town can respond to the question as to why they did not bid. Direction to postpone defeated. The original direction was voted on: Carried

9.3.1 – Fire Department Health and Safety Policies. Resolution. That the Council for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound approves the Fire Department Health and Safety Policies attached as Schedule A, And further, that upon the agreement of the Parry Sound Fire Department Joint Health and Safety Committee, the CAO and Fire Chief are authorized to make changes to the policies attached as Schedule A to ensure that they remain current and in compliance with Occupational Health and Safety standards. Carried

9.4.1 – Appointment of a Designate for the Lakeland Power Shareholder Meeting. Resolution. That Councillor Borneman be appointed as the Mayor’s designate for the purposes of Lakeland Power shareholder meetings. Carried

9.4.2 – Negotiating Team – Seguin-Town Boundary Adjustment. Resolution. That Council appoint the Mayor, Councillor Horne, Councillor McCann and the CAO, Mr. Clayton Harris to the Town’s Negotiating Team regarding Seguin Township-Town of Parry Sound boundary adjustment. Carried

9.5.1 – Township of Essa Petition re: Provincial funding to Libraries. Resolution. WHEREAS the Ontario Library Service North and Southern Ontario Library Service provide the support for interlibrary loans, staff and board training, bulk purchasing, collaborative programming, technological supports, shared electronic book collections and shared catalogue databases; and WHEREAS the Town of Parry Sound supports the Essa Public Library Board in their initiative to circulate a petition seeking support for the Ontario Public Library Board in The Corporation of The Town of Parry Sound Council Meeting Minutes May 21, 2019 their request for the reinstatement of funding to the Ontario Library Service (North and South) agencies to, at a minimum, 2017-18 funding levels, in order for these agencies to continue their day-to-day support of Ontario Public Library Services, and to continue to maintain base funding for Ontario Public Libraries; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT this resolution be forwarded to the office of MPP Simcoe-Grey Jim Wilson, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka Norm Miller, AMO, and the initiating municipality – Township of Essa and to Minister of Tourism (friendly amendment). Carried

By-laws

10.1.1 – Business Improvement Area (BIA) Levy By-law – Downtown Business Area. By-law 2019 – 6924. Being a By-law to adopt the estimates of the Board of Management of the Downtown Parry Sound Business Improvement Area and to strike the tax rate thereon for the year 2019. Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.1.2 – Striking tax rates for fiscal year 2019. By-Law 2019 – 6926. Being a bylaw to Strike the Tax Rates for Municipal Purposes for the Year 2019. Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/3 – 32 Riverdale Road (Laforme/Hubert). By-law 2019 – 6925. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 32 Riverdale Road (Laforme/Hubert). Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.2 – Housekeeping – Deem Planning Applications Complete. By-Law 2019 – 6927. Being a By-law to amend By-law 2007-5089 to Delegate Certain Powers and Duties of Council Under the Planning Act (Deem Complete). Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.3 – Deeming By-law – W.E.H Phase 2 – Lots 46 – 49. By-law 2019 – 6928. Being a By-law to deem certain lots in the Town of Parry Sound not to be part of a registered Plan of Subdivision (W.E.H. – Lots 46 – 49, Winnifred Avenue). Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.4 – Appointment Bylaw – Ulysses Gibson – Municipal Law Enforcement Officer. By-law 2019 – 6929. Being a bylaw to appoint Ulysses Gibson as a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer. Passed, Signed & Sealed