Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – April 16, 2019

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You are busy people, so I focus on what I consider to be the key issues. The highlights of the meeting along with my comments are at the beginning followed by a more comprehensive summary. Refer to the full agenda and minutes at the Town’s website as well as the online recording (YouTube) for additional information and details.

2.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/02 – Pine Drive. It looks as though there will be a 75 to 100 unit Best Western hotel going up across from The Source on Pine Drive. There are some complaints from the Big Box stores about blocking views and creating additional traffic, but these are unlikely to gain traction. I expect that some of the smaller hotels in Town will either need to upgrade their services or think about a conversion to apartments. There is only so much of a need for hotel rooms outside of the summer season.

7.1 – Settlement for an Appeal for Acorn Ridge. It also seems that the Acorn Ridge development on Louisa Street will be going forward. A settlement of some sort was reached with the folks on Louisa Street opposing the development. That’s good news for the Town in terms of additional tax revenue. It also means that Louisa Street will be upgraded from the mess it currently is.

9.3.1 – Sidewalk Patios in the Downtown. It will be possible for folks to have a sandwich on James Street this summer. I’m not sure about a beer or a cigarette, or heaven forbid a toke. It seems that the use of these patios will be restricted to customers. No brown bagging it folks. The after-hour folks should be able to have a beer and a toke if no one is watching too closely. Actually they will be able have a toke, but not a beer if I understand current provincial regulations.

9.4.1 – Canadore College Rental of Space for Non-College Uses. The Town put its foot down and said no. Seems reasonable to me. I understand how Canadore would like the guaranteed revenue, but you shouldn’t ask the kids to share a single bedroom so that you can take on boarders unless it’s make or break situation.

9.4.2 – 2019 Municipal Assistance Program Allocation. A copy of Schedule A was not included with the minutes so you may need to ask the Town if you are interested. It’s not much money.

Closed Session

(e) – litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board: (Planning Matter).

Public Meeting

2.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/02 – Pine Drive (John Jackson on behalf of V G Cox Limited). Clerk Rebecca Johnson reported that notice was given by prepaid first-class mail to the required prescribed agencies and property owners within 120 metres, posted in the newspaper, posted on the property, and was placed on the Town’s website. Manager of Building & Planning Services Taylor Elgie reported that the applicant has requested relief from the C3 zone for a hotel with a maximum height of 15.1 metres when currently only 10.5 metres is permitted and reduce sparking space sizes to 2.75 x 5.75 metres from the current requirement of 3 x 6 metres. The property is a vacant, cleared lot on Pine Drive, described as Part Lot 26 Concession 1, more particularly described as Parts 1 & 2 on 42R18868, in the Town of Parry Sound.

2.1.1 – Representing the proponents, John Jackson provided an update, noting that the property originally owned by Parry Sound Fuels has been transferred to the developers. Mr. Jackson reported that the developers are proposing to build a hotel of 75-100 units – the numbers dependent upon final architectural drawings with Best Western. The unconfirmed roof design may require a height of 15.1 metres, greater than 10.5 metres, which is the Town’s cap and will consist of 3 or 4 stories, like the Parry Sound Microtel. Location proposed is behind the car wash. In response to expressed concerns made by nearby big box businesses, Mr. Jackson said that the single storey in the sight lines of the big box stores will not block the view of them and that individual parking space sizes have been reduced to enable lots of parking without constraints. Mr. Jackson noted that the application is coming forward now, without certainty on roof height, because the proponents wish to move on the project so that it can be closed in by fall.

2.1.2 – No one spoke in opposition to the proposed zoning by-law amendment. Mr. Elgie reported that one letter, from Gerald Asa, had been received in opposition to the proposed zoning by-law amendment, citing the following concerns:
1) increase in height as it impacts negatively on the visibility of our buildings.
2) servicing works which may impact traffic flow along Pine Drive as the shopping centre is extremely busy in the summer time and requires all lanes be open and freely passable.
3) parking requirements.
4) sight lines for the access point to ensure that any vehicles exiting the hotel lands onto Pine Drive can be clearly visible to drivers leaving the shopping center.
5) exiting the hotel lot and ensuring a stop sign is a requirement.
6) storm water flows and ensuring none is directed onto our property.
Mayor McGarvey gave the following explanation on next steps: 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 inquiry regarding how to improve the pedestrian crossing situation at Waubeek Street/Avenue Road/Belvedere Avenue, Director of Public Works, Peter Brown proposed that crossing be improved by better signage in the area, and more definitive lines on the road. Mr. Brown suggested that this be included as part of the Wabueek Street reconstruction plans.

Correspondence

4.2 – Federal Minister of Infrastructure & Communities. Notice of the 2019 special 2.2 billion additional gas tax fund top-up to municipalities. This letter has been referred to all members of Council, the CAO and Directors.

Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda

7.1 – Settlement for an Appeal for Acorn Ridge – Z/18/04. Whereas the Council for the Town of Parry Sound approved Zoning By-law Amendment Application Z18-04 – Acorn Ridge by By-law 2018-6871 on November 6, 2018; and Whereas this By-law applied to the lands described as Part of Lot 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 (“the Subject Lands”); and Whereas this By-law was then appealed by Louis and Elise Rensonnet (the “Appellants”) to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and assigned case number PL180936 (the “Appeal”); and Whereas the Town of Parry Sound (the “Town”), the Appellants and Acorn Ridge Properties Inc. (the “Applicant”) have engaged in settlement talks to reach a compromise; and Whereas Minutes of Settlement have been negotiated which reach a settlement on the Appeal.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Mayor and Clerk are authorized to execute the Minutes of Settlement, attached as Schedule “A” to this resolution, And Further that Council directs staff to inform the signatories of the Minutes of Settlement when a site plan agreement is achieved, provide 30 days notice to the Appellants prior to the lifting of a holding provision on the subject lands, and that the site plan agreement be registered on title of the Subject Lands.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1– Ontario Regulation 284/09 – Excluded Expenses from the 2019 Budget. Resolution. That Council hereby adopts the compliance report for expenses excluded from the 2019 budget outlined in the staff Report and Recommendation “Ontario Regulation 284/09”, attached as Schedule “A”, as a requirement of Ontario Regulation 284/09 passed under the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25. Carried

9.2.1 – Water Inflow & Infiltration Study. Direction. That Council direct staff to continue working on the program of storm water separation from the sanitary sewer system, with the goal of removing all storm water inflow and infiltration from the sanitary sewer system. Carried

9.3.1 – Sidewalk Patios in the Downtown. Resolution. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound adopt the Guiding Principles for Sidewalk Patios and endorse a one-year pilot project for a maximum of 4 Sidewalk Patios; and further That fees as required in the Guiding Principles be waived for the one-year pilot project only. Carried

9.3.2 – EMS Base in Seguin. Direction. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee, Town of Parry Sound Council direct staff to pursue in a cooperative fashion with Seguin Township, an agreement that will change the location of the EMS base from the Foley Fire Hall #2 to the Humphrey Fire Hall. Carried

9.3.3 – Greystone Development. Resolution.
1. That Council authorizes Joshua Morgan Planning & Development Inc. and Greystone Project Management Inc. to apply for applications under the Planning Act for Town owned lands described as Parts 1 and 2 of 42R21034; and furthermore, all costs related to these applications, including but not limited to the preparation of studies, infrastructure upgrades and defending an appeal, shall not be the responsibility of the Town of Parry Sound; and
2. That despite paragraph 1. of this Resolution, the Town’s fees in the amount of $3,335 for rezoning and official plan amendment applications shall be waived for Greystone Project Management Inc.; and
3. That the Clerk and Mayor are authorized to execute an amendment to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale as per the attached Schedule “A” to this Resolution.Carried

9.4.1 – Canadore College Rental of Space for Non-College Uses. Resolution. Whereas the Town of Parry Sound has long recognized the demand for skilled trades and the need for a post secondary educational institution to serve the Parry Sound area; Whereas in 2010 the Town of Parry Sound provided Canadore College with land to construct a post secondary college in Parry Sound; Whereas the Canadore College West Parry Sound Campus was established to deliver programs in the trades, adult and post secondary education serving the West Parry Sound area; Whereas the Town of Parry Sound provided Canadore College with an interest free forgivable mortgage, with Restrictive Covenants to ensure that the college remains a post secondary educational and training facility; Whereas it has been brought to the Town’s attention that the College is considering leasing a significant portion of the campus’s classroom space for use as an elementary school offering French language education up to Grade 8; Whereas concerns have been raised by the community with respect to undermining the quality of post secondary programming and the appropriateness of elementary age school children in an adult college environment; Whereas the Town of Parry Sound and the area municipalities are actively pursuing economic development opportunities and a post secondary college is integral to achieving the area’s economic development objectives; Whereas the Province has continued to voice significant concerns regarding the shortage of skilled workers in Ontario; Whereas Canadore College has not finalized the lease arrangement for the French elementary school. Now therefore be it resolved that Canadore College be advised of the Restrictive Covenants which are part of the Purchase and Sale Agreement and mortgage and they do not permit leasing space to an elementary school; And further that the importance of a post secondary college to the Parry Sound area economic development strategy be conveyed to Canadore College; And further that this Resolution be forwarded to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Canadore College Board of Governors, the President of Canadore College, the West Parry Sound Canadore College Campus Administrator, M.P.P. Norm Miller and the West Parry Sound area municipalities.
The following Motion to Postpone was made: That the resolution be postponed to the next Council meeting for the collection of further information from Canadore College on the intention to rent space for non-College use. Defeated
The original motion was voted on and Carried

9.4.2 – 2019 Municipal Assistance Program Allocation. That Council approve the 2019 Municipal Assistance Program allocations per Schedule A attached. Carried

9.4.3 – Investing in Canada Infrastructure Project. Resolution. That the Town of Parry Sound supports a joint project with the Township of Seguin for the realignment and lengthening of the runway at the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport; and That the Town of Parry Sound will submit an application in the amount of $4.996 million for this joint project to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), for a total project cost of $9.996 million; and That the Town of Parry Sound supports the Township of Seguin as the lead applicant for the joint project, understanding that Seguin will cashflow the project, including the recipient’s total share of $1.167 million; and That the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport Commission is responsible for all cost overruns and ineligible expenses of the joint project, should the provincial and federal funding for the joint project be approved. Carried

By-laws

10.1.1 – 2019 Budget. By-law 2019 – 6910. Being a By-law to Adopt the Operating and Capital Budget Estimates for the Year 2019 Read a First, Second & Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.1.2 – Temporary Borrowing Authorization. By-law 2019 – 6911. Being a by-law to authorize temporary borrowing to meet the current expenditures of the Town of Parry Sound until taxes are collected and other revenues are received. Read a First, Second & Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.3.1 – Parking & Traffic Control By-law for the Town of Parry Sound. By-law 2019 – 6912. Being a By-law to Regulate and Control Parking & Traffic in the Town of Parry Sound. Read a First, Second & Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.3.2 – Burks Falls EMS Base lease. By-law 2019 – 6913. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with the Village of Burks Falls for the use and occupation of 150 Huston Street, known as the Ambulance Garage on the Almaguin Highlands Health Centre Site, for a five (5) year term. Read a First, Second & Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.3.3 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Barker, 21 Miller Street. By-law 2019 – 6914. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 21 Miller Street (Barker). Read a First, Second & Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.4.1 – Horticultural Society MOU for Town flower beds. By-law 2019 – 6915. Being a by-law to authorize execution of a memorandum of understanding with the Parry Sound District Horticultural Society for Town flower beds. Read a First, Second & Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

Council Agenda Preview – April 16, 2019

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Here’s what up at the Town of Parry Sound’s upcoming council meeting. Refer to the full agenda package for more detailed information. My comments are below followed by an abridged version of the agenda document.

9.3.3 Greystone Development. This concerns the vacant property behind the Tony Agnello Water Treatment Facility that is being developed by the company behind the Granite Harbour project. It’s nice to see them moving forward.

9.4.1 Canadore College Rental of Space for Non-College Uses. Staff is recommending that the French School not be located in the Canadore facility largely because it would limit the intended use of the facility. If Canadore were to house a public school I imagine that it would have created all sorts of issues in terms of security and access given the regulations surrounding public schools. Isn’t there a suitable facility in McDougall?

9.4.3 Investing in Canada Infrastructure Project. The application between the Town of Parry Sound and Seguin is for $10 million to support an airport expansion and longer runways. That sure seems to be a high price. Who locally actually uses the airport? Is the expansion for the benefit of high-end cottagers to fly in with their jets? I sure as heck don’t fly in and out of the airport and don’t know anyone who does. Seguin seems to be willing to cover any necessary municipal contributions which pretty much tells you who will benefit. Parry Sound will not be able to apply for grants to support a development of Louisa Street – there is only one application permitted per municipality, this is our’s.

10.1.1 2019 Budget. The 2019 tax rates are increasing 2.66%. Individual taxes may be higher if a property received a higher MPAC assessment in 2016.

10.3.3 Zoning By-law Amendment – Barker, 21 Miller Street. This concerns the former restaurant up the street from the Bobby Orr Community Centre and permits a 4-unit residential conversion.

Town of Parry Sound Agenda (Abridged)

Closed Session
(e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board: (Planning Matter).

Public Meeting
2.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/02 – Pine Drive (John Jackson on behalf of V G Cox Limited)

Correspondence
4.1 – Jo-Anne Demick, Executive Director, Community Living Parry Sound. Declaration of month of May as Community Living Month in Parry Sound.
4.2 – Minister of Infrastructure & Communities. 2019 additional gas tax fund top-up.
4.3 – Mike Konoval, Mayor, Township of Carling. Invitation to Carling Community Centre Grand Opening June 8, 2019.
4.4 – Georgian Bay Forever. April 27th, 2019 Workshop re: Practical Tips To Reduce Your Plastic Footprint.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Ontario Regulation 284/09 – Excluded Expenses from the 2019 Budget. Resolution. That Council hereby adopts the compliance report for expenses excluded from the 2019 budget outlined in the staff Report and Recommendation “Ontario Regulation 284/09”, attached as Schedule “A”, as a requirement of Ontario Regulation 284/09 passed under the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.25

9.2.1 – Water Inflow & Infiltration Study. Direction. That Council direct staff to continue working on the program of storm water separation from the sanitary sewer system, with the goal of removing all storm water inflow and infiltration from the sanitary sewer system.

9.3.1 – Sidewalk Patios in the Downtown. Resolution. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound adopt the Guiding Principles for Sidewalk Patios and endorse a one-year pilot project for a maximum of 4 Sidewalk Patios; and further That fees as required in the Guiding Principles be waived for the one-year pilot project only.

9.3.2 – EMS Base in Seguin. Direction. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee, Town of Parry Sound Council direct staff to pursue in a cooperative fashion with Seguin Township, an agreement that will change the location of the EMS base from the Foley Fire Hall #2 to the Humphrey Fire Hall.

9.3.3 – Greystone Development. Resolution.
1. That Council authorizes Joshua Morgan Planning & Development Inc. and Greystone Project Management Inc. to apply for applications under the Planning Act for Town owned lands described as Parts 1 and 2 of 42R21034; and furthermore, all costs related to these applications, including but not limited to the preparation of studies, infrastructure upgrades and defending an appeal, shall not be the responsibility of the Town of Parry Sound; and
2. That despite paragraph 1. of this Resolution, the Town’s fees in the amount of $3,335 for rezoning and official plan amendment applications shall be waived for Greystone Project Management Inc.; and
3. That the Clerk and Mayor are authorized to execute an amendment to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale as per the attached Schedule “A” to this Resolution.

9.4.1 – Canadore College Rental of Space for Non-College Uses. Resolution. Whereas the Town of Parry Sound has long recognized the demand for skilled trades and the need for a post secondary educational institution to serve the Parry Sound area; Whereas in 2010 the Town of Parry Sound provided Canadore College with land to construct a post secondary college in Parry Sound; Whereas the Canadore College West Parry Sound Campus was established to deliver programs in the trades, adult and post secondary education serving the West Parry Sound area; Whereas the Town of Parry Sound provided Canadore College with an interest free forgivable mortgage, with Restrictive Covenants to ensure that the college remains a post secondary educational and training facility; Whereas it has been brought to the Town’s attention that the College is considering leasing a significant portion of the campus’s classroom space for use as an elementary school offering French language education up to Grade 8; Whereas concerns have been raised by the community with respect to undermining the quality of post secondary programming and the appropriateness of elementary age school children in an adult college environment; Whereas the Town of Parry Sound and the area municipalities are actively pursuing economic development opportunities and a post secondary college is integral to achieving the area’s economic development objectives; Whereas the Province has continued to voice significant concerns regarding the shortage of skilled workers in Ontario; Whereas Canadore College has not finalized the lease arrangement for the French elementary school.
Now therefore be it resolved that Canadore College be advised of the Restrictive Covenants which are part of the Purchase and Sale Agreement and mortgage and they do not permit leasing space to an elementary school; And further that the importance of a post secondary college to the Parry Sound area economic development strategy be conveyed to Canadore College; And further that this Resolution be forwarded to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Canadore College Board of Governors, the President of Canadore College, the West Parry Sound Canadore College Campus Administrator, M.P.P. Norm Miller and the West Parry Sound area municipalities.

9.4.2 – 2019 Municipal Assistance Program Allocation. Resolution. That Council approve the 2019 Municipal Assistance Program allocations per Schedule A attached.

9.4.3 – Investing in Canada Infrastructure Project. Resolution. That the Town of Parry Sound supports a joint project with the Township of Seguin for the realignment and lengthening of the runway at the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport; and That the Town of Parry Sound will submit an application in the amount of $4.996 million for this joint project to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), for a total project cost of $9.996 million; and That the Town of Parry Sound supports the Township of Seguin as the lead applicant for the joint project, understanding that Seguin will cashflow the project, including the recipient’s total share of $1.167 million; and That the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport Commission is responsible for all cost overruns and ineligible expenses of the joint project, should the provincial and federal funding for the joint project be approved.

By-laws

10.1.1 – 2019 Budget. By-law 2019 – 6910. Being a By-law to Adopt the Operating and Capital Budget Estimated for the Year 2019.

10.1.2 – Temporary Borrowing Authorization. By-law 2019 – 6911. Being a by-law to authorize temporary borrowing to meet the current expenditures of the Town of Parry Sound until taxes are collected and other revenues are received.

10.3.1 – Parking & Traffic Control By-law for the Town of Parry Sound. By-law 2019 – 6912. Being a By-law to Regulate and Control Parking & Traffic in the Town of Parry Sound.

10.3.2 – Burks Falls EMS Base lease. By-law 2019 – 6913. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with the Village of Burks Falls for the use and occupation of 150 Huston Street, known as the Ambulance Garage on the Almaguin Highlands Health Centre Site, for a five (5) year term.

10.3.3 – Zoning By-law Amendment – Barker, 21 Miller Street. By-Law 2019 – 6914. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 21 Miller Street (Barker).

10.4.1 – Horticultural Society MOU for Town flower beds. By-law 2019 – 6915. Being a by-law to authorize execution of a memorandum of understanding with the Parry Sound District Horticultural Society for Town flower beds.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – April 2, 2019

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Once again, I’m back to posting the outcome of Town of Parry Sound council meetings. The intent is to provide folks with a more easily digested summary of what is going on at Town Hall. The local media covers, at most, a couple items. The official documents, while comprehensive, are a slog to get through. This council meeting ‘wrap’ is intended to provide an abridged summary of the council meeting minutes as a means to keep people updated on events in our town. These summaries are not intended to be comprehensive. If you want to completely understand what went down at council meetings I suggest you attend the meetings, watch the meetings live or as recorded on YouTube, and/or read the full agenda package and minutes of the meeting.

These posts complement the official agenda issued by the Town of Parry Sound and the Council Agenda Preview posted at this site. Refer to either of these documents for background information on the agenda items.

The most notable items on the agenda were:
7.1 – The Town has approved extending an offer of employment for the position of Director Finance/Treasurer.
9.3.1 – The Bobby Orr Community Centre ice surface rebuild was approved. It should be ready for September.

Reminder: the 2019 Town of Parry Sound Budget discussion will be held in the council chambers on April 9th starting at 6:00 PM. The meeting is open to the public.

Public Meeting

2.1 – Notice of a Complete Application and Public Meeting Concerning a Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/01 – 21 Miller Street (Barker). After an explanation of how notice of the Public Meeting was given, Manager of Building & Planning Taylor Elgie advised the public that the applicant has requested relief from the C1 zone to permit four residential dwelling units within a Converted Dwelling, in addition to all the uses in a C1 zone. Mayor McGarvey invited any members who wished to speak in favour of, and then in opposition to the proposed Zoning By-law to come forward. No members of the public spoke either in favour or, in opposition to the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment. Mr. Elgie reported that one adjacent property owner, Mr. Brian Moore, wrote in support of the application, indicating that housing is in demand and that this type of application is in the best interests of the community.

Questions of Staff

3.2.1 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry as to the train stuck on CNR tracks impeding road traffic in Town, Director of Public Works Peter Brown reported that he was not informed by rail company as is the protocol, and that it was by his own night crew staff at 8:30 P.M. last evening that he was alerted to the situation. In response to additional questioning regarding consequences to the rail company for this breach of protocol, Mr. Brown reported that he would be following up with a fairly aggressive email and phone call advising that the company needs to follow the notification procedures as required.

3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry as to how it is determined when plows are taken off the trucks, Mr. Brown reported that plows are kept on the trucks as long as there is possibility of snow.

Correspondence

4.1– Request for Silver level sponsorship of the 1st Annual Rotary 3 Pitch “Strikes. This item has been circulated to members of Council, the CAO and forwarded to the Manager of Parks & Recreation for follow-up, as well as forwarded to the budget process for Council’s consideration.

4.2 – Regarding concerns that a portion of the Canadore College building will be rented out to an organization that does not fit with the intended use of the building. This item has been circulated to members of Council and the CAO, with a motion added to the agenda under Other Business to address the issue.

4.3 – Request that before the Town considers a resolution urging the Ministry of Education to release funds for the building of a new school, which would effectively close Nobel and McDougall Schools, that a proper accommodation review commence to allow for public consultation. This item has been circulated to members of Council and the CAO, with a motion added to the agenda under Other Business to address the issue.

4.4 – Audit Plan for 2018 This item has been circulated to members of Council, the CAO and the Manager of Accounting for information purposes.

4.5 – Concern with Stockey Centre’s decision to not renew agreement with ARTS. This item has been circulated to members of Council, the CAO and the Programming & Events Manager at the Stockey Centre for follow-up. A related item #10.3.1 is on the agenda this evening, with respect to accepting a proposal in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) and signing an agreement for an art exhibition over the 2019 season at the Stockey Centre.

Deputations

5.1 – Dave Brunton, Linda West and Adam Jeffery; Rotary Club of Parry Sound. 3 Pitch Against Cancer.

5.2 – Anne Bossart, Tower Hill Gardeners. Tower Hill Update.

5.3 – Mr. Joe Bossart complemented staff on a well-done 2019 budget.

Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda

7.1 – By-law 2019-6909. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an employment agreement for the position of Director Finance/Treasurer. Read a First, Second and Third time, Passed, Signed and Sealed.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – RFQ – Sewer Flushing and Cleaning. Carried

9.1.2 – Tender – Sewage Pump Station 9 Modifications. Carried

9.3.1 – BOCC Ice Surface Rehabilitation Project – Tender Award. Carried

9.3.2 – Tender Award – BOHF Gift Shop Renovation. Carried

9.3.3 – 2019 Canadian Association for Sport Heritage Conference, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Carried

9.3.4 – Drinking Water Inspection Report. Carried

9.4.1 – 2019 Budget Presentation. Carried

9.5.1 – Canadore College Space Rental for non-College Purposes. Resolution 2019 – 035. That the Cormier/Shipman letter regarding concerns about the rental of Canadore College building space for non-College purposes, be referred to staff to report back to the next Council meeting. Carried

9.5.2 – Status Update Request of Education Ministry re: Parry Sound High School. Resolution 2019 – 036. Whereas the Town has been approached by the Near North District School Board requesting support to move the new Parry Sound High School project forward on the site of the existing Parry Sound High School, and Whereas the Town has received correspondence from the Municipality of McDougall requesting an updated accommodation review, Now Therefore Be It Resolved that: Staff be directed to send a letter to the Minister of Education, requesting a current status update on the proposed new school, and the process for moving forward. Carried

By-laws

10.3.1 – Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Art Exhibition. Resolution 2019 – 037. That Council accepts the Art Exhibit proposal from 18 James Street for the Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame. Carried.
By-law 2019 – 6904. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with 18 James Street for rental of wall space for an art exhibit at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.3.2 – Hatchets Rowing Centre use of Yvonne Williams Park MOU. By-law 2019 – 6905. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hatchets Rowing Centre for the use of Yvonne Williams Park as a rowing training centre. Passed, Signed and Sealed

10.3.3 – Tower Hill Gardeners & Tower Hill Park MOU. By-law 2019 – 6906. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tower Hill Gardeners & Georgian Bay Master Gardeners for maintaining gardens at Tower Hill Park. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

10.3.4 – Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Northern Ontario Internship Program Agreement. By-law 2019 – 6907. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation accepting the terms and conditions of the approval of the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Marketing & Digital Media Intern. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

 

Town of Parry Sound 2019 Budget – First Impressions

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Well, it took a long time to be delivered but it was certainly worth the wait. This year’s budget document is ahead of last year’s in terms of clarity and the wealth of background information that it presents. I am only part way through the 162 page document but wanted to offer my compliments to the team for what they have put together. I also wanted to provide readers with easy access to the budget document. It is available at the Town’s website as part of the April 2, 2019 Council Agenda package. It is apparently on the Town’s website as a standalone document but I was unable to find it with a cursory search.

So, I extracted the budget document from the agenda package and made it available through this link. Or you can just click the image below.

Council Agenda Preview – April 2, 2019

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The big issue this week from my perspective is the presentation of the draft Town of Parry Sound budget for 2019. I will not offer comments here. I hope to review the budget document this weekend and provide thoughts in a post prior to the formal presentation at Tuesday’s council meeting.

There are two topics on the agenda that reflect a little bit of area conflict. The first is a concern from McDougall about the decision to rebuild the current high school as a ‘mega school’ of sorts at the expense of schools in McDougall (Item 4.4). The second concerns the display of art at the Stockey Centre (Items 4.5 and 10.3.1). It seems to me the Town has made the appropriate decision. Sometimes community organizations just get a little lazy and start to take things for granted.

I’ll be at the meeting on Tuesday for the budget presentation.

Closed Session

  1. d) labour relations or employee negotiations: (Director of Finance/Treasurer employment agreement)

Public Meeting

2.1– Notice of a Complete Application and Public Meeting Concerning a Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/01 – 21 Miller Street (Barker)

Correspondence

4.1 – David Brunton and Linda West, President and President Elect of Rotary Club.  Request for Silver level sponsorship of the 1st Annual Rotary 3 Pitch “Strikes Against Cancer in support of Cancer Care in our WPSH and our local parry Sound Rotary Club’s Beneficiaries”, formerly The RACH! This June 14-15, 2019.
4.2 – J. Shipman and W. Cormier. Copy of letter to Honourable Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound regarding concerns that a portion of the Canadore college building will be rented out to an organization that does not fit with the intended use of the building.
4.3 – Dale Robinson, Mayor, Municipality of McDougall. Request that before the Town considers a resolution urging the Ministry of Education to release funds for the building of a new school, which would affectively close Nobel and McDougall Schools, that a proper accommodation review commence to allow for public consultation.
4.4 – Giselle Bodkin, Partner, BDO Canada LLP. Audit Plan for 2018
4.5 – Marc de Groote, Artists Round The Sound (ARTS). Concern with Stockey Centre’s decision to not renew agreement with ARTS.

Deputations

5.1 – Rotary Club of Parry Sound. Pitch Against Cancer.
5.2 – Anne Bossart, Tower Hill Gardeners. Tower Hill Update

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – RFQ – Sewer Flushing and Cleaning. Resolution. That Council accept the quotation from The Pipe Spy Inc. in the amount of $45,426.00, HST included, for sewer flushing, cleaning and camera inspection of approximately 12,000 meters of sanitary sewer, this quotation being the lowest of three (3) quotations received.

9.1.1 – Tender – Sewage Pump Station 9 Modifications. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council award the tender for the modifications of Sewage Pumping Station 9 to E.A. Shipman Electric, in the amount of $420,382.27, including HST, this tender being the lowest of five (5) tenders received.

9.3.1 – BOCC Ice Surface Rehabilitation Project – Tender Award. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Quinin Construction Ltd., Council of the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound accept and award the tenders for the Bobby Orr Community Centre Ice Surface Rehabilitation Project as follows:
A – Concrete slab demolition and excavation from Fowler Construction Limited in the amount of $86,064.20, this being the lowest tender of four (4) tenders received;
B – Concrete reinforcement steel and mesh supply from Harris Rebar in the amount of $40,688.75, this being the lowest tender of two (2) tenders received;
C – Concrete supply from Parry Sound Ready Mix in the amount of $40,528.00, this being the only tender received;
D – Place and finish concrete slabs from Centis Tile & Terrazzo in the amount of $38,255.00, this being the lowest tender of four (4) tenders received;
E – Rigid insulation supply from Simcoe Building Centre – Bracebridge in the amount of $43,299.03, this being the lowest tender of seven (7) tenders received;
F – Dasher boards, glazing and netting from Athletica in the amount of $152,500, this being the lowest tender of three (3) tenders received;
G – Slab refrigeration piping from Black and McDonald in the amount of $134,950.00, this being the only tender received.

9.3.2 – Tender Award – BOHF Gift Shop Renovation. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Brenda Ryan, FAD Architects, Council award the tender for the renovation of the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame gift shop to CFC Contracting, in the amount of $41,000, this tender being the lowest of two (2) tenders received, negotiated down from the original tender of $77,010.90.

9.3.3 – 2019 Canadian Association for Sport Heritage Conference, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Resolution. THAT Council authorizes Caitlin Dyer to attend the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick June 19-21, 2019, further to By-law No: 2019-6902 which requires prior Council approval for attendance at seminars, conferences and conventions outside of the Province of Ontario.

9.3.4 – Drinking Water Inspection Report. Resolution. That the report on the January 24, 2019 MECP Parry Sound Drinking Water Inspection Report be received for information purposes.

9.4.1 – 2019 Budget. Resolution. That the staff report, 2019 Draft Budget Package and presentation be received for information purposes.

By-laws

10.3.1 – Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Art Exhibition. Resolution. That Council accepts the Art Exhibit proposal from 18 James Street for the Charles W. Stockey Centre & Bobby Orr Hall of Fame. By-law 2019 – 6904. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with 18 James Street for rental of wall space for an art exhibit at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

10.3.2 – Hatchets Rowing Centre use of Yvonne Williams Park MOU. By-law 2019 – 6905. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hatchets Rowing Centre for the use of Yvonne Williams Park as a rowing training centre.

10.3.3 – Tower Hill Gardeners & Tower Hill Park MOU. By-law 2019 – 6906. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tower Hill Gardeners & Georgian Bay Master Gardeners for maintaining gardens at Tower Hill Park.

10.3.4 – Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Northern Ontario Internship  Program Agreement. By-law 2019 – 6907. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation accepting the terms and conditions of the approval of the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Marketing & Digital Media Intern.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – March 19, 2019

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Nothing surprising in these minutes. An abridged version is presented below. Refer to the full minutes provided by the Town of Parry Sound at their website for additional information. The meeting video is available through YouTube (here is the link). It’s about 1 hour and 20 minutes long. I haven’t bothered to tag it as there is nothing of particular note.

Minutes – Town of Parry Sound Council Meeting Minutes (abridged)

1.4.1– Mayor McGarvey declared pecuniary interest on item 9.3.2, due to his affiliation with the affordable non-profit housing group. Mayor McGarvey left the room for the item, and did not participate in discussion, nor vote on the matter.

Questions of Staff
3.2.1– In response to a query from Councillor Keith regarding potholes, Director of Public Works Peter Brown indicated that half of the roads have some form of potholes, and that staff have filled about 50 so far, with many more to go. Mr. Brown added that there is a night crew working exclusively on potholes, and that one crew works the day shift on pot holes.

3.2.2– In response to a query from Mayor McGarvey regarding the status of the train whistles report, Director of Public Works Peter Brown reported that the engineer is hoping to provide a draft as early as next week, but it has been a challenge to receive information from one of the railway companies in a timely matter.
In response to a related query from Councillor McCann regarding whether a compromise might be struck with shorter horn blasts if the Town’s request to have train whistles cease is denied, Mr. Brown responded that he understood the railway company response would be “all or nothing”. He reported that if the whistles continue, they are mandated by law as to the duration and location.

Correspondence
4.1– Gurneth Hoddy, President, Parry Sound Seniors Club. Request for 2019 increased grant, for increased time limit to four hours for parking in the seniors area from Mary to Rosetta Street, and placing a seniors crossing sign near the club from Mary to Rosetta Street. Forwarded to Manager of Accounting for budget consideration, Director of Public Works for sign installation and By-law Enforcement Officer with respect to parking time limit.
4.2– Nathan Beatty, Chair of Board of Directors, Beaconview Condominiums. Request for placement of no parking signs on Salt Dock Road adjacent to the private drive. Forwarded to Director of Public Works for sign installation consideration.
4.3– Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. Request to adopt resolution to participate in Partners for Climate Protection, to appoint a representative to area wide initiative and make a financial contribution to support establishment of Committee Terms of Reference. This item documents the deputation made by GBBR at the March 5, 2019 Council Meeting and has been referred to staff to bring forward to a future Council meeting.

Deputations
5.1– Susan Hrycyna, Brenda Ryan Downtown Business Association (DBA) Downtown Beautification Plan. Brenda Ryan of FAD architects, Chair of DBA Beautification committee, gave an update on the beautification plan which has ten recommendation and action items to be carried out over the next years. Ms. Ryan provided rationale for the need to create and maintain a beautiful downtown space for retail health. She reported on the installation of four inground planters last autumn with funding committed by the Town and the DBA, and future plans to build two parkettes, partnering with Canadore College’s carpentry program, and two to three in-ground gardens. The DBA plans to purchase planters for each business along James Street for the use of the retailer to soften the façade. Three businesses have signed up to receive design advice and Ms. Ryan encouraged the Town to continue the façade improvement program. There are plans for a downtown specific signage bylaw to replace overhanging overbearing signs with quaint blade signs at pedestrian eye level. A fourth banner with a trillium design has been created. Country Gourmet is interested in creating a sidewalk café and the DBA is assisting to make that happen. Ms. Ryan and Ms. Hrycyna responded to Councillor queries regarding addressing owners of vacant shops, and more details on the planters both in-ground and in front of businesses

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1
– Tender – Isabella Street Reconstruction. Resolution 2019 – 024. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council award the tender for the reconstruction of Isabella Street from Tudhope Street to William Street to Weeks Construction Inc., in the amount of $1,989,503.78, including HST, this tender being the lowest of three (3) tenders received. Carried
9.1.2– Salt Dock Road Culvert payment. That Council accepts the report regarding the additional costs encountered at the Salt Dock Culvert Replacement Project, and the additional costs be taken from the Salt Dock Reserves Fund. Carried
9.2.1– Consent Application – B 04/2019 (PS) (L.U. Maughan Co. Ltd on behalf of The Barrie YMCA). Resolution 2019 – 025. That a decision on Consent Application No. B 04/2019 (PS) (L.U. Maughan Co. Ltd on behalf of The Barrie YMCA) be deferred until an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment has been adopted and approved. Carried
9.3.1
– Pool & Wellness Centre report. Resolution 2019 – 026. That the Pool & Wellness Centre Report be received for information purposes. Carried
9.3.2
– DSSAB pay property taxes for HUB. Direction Approved for Staff Follow-up That staff be directed to request the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) pay to the Town of Parry Sound an amount equivalent to the amount of property taxes that would be payable each year by the HUB, beginning with 2018, had they not received 100% property tax exemption from MPAC.
9.3.3– Budget Meeting Schedule. Direction Approved for Staff Follow-up. That the dates as set out in this report for the 2019 budget deliberations be approved, including a Special Meeting on April, 9, 2019, and that staff update the Town’s Web site and Council calendar accordingly.
9.3.4– Georgian Bay Native Non-Profit Housing Property Taxes (PIL) – Request to DSSAB. Direction Approved for Staff Follow-up. That staff be directed to request the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) pay to the Town of Parry Sound an amount equivalent to the amount of property taxes (PIL’s) that would be payable each year by Georgian Bay Native Non-Profit Housing, beginning with 2018.
9.5.1– Bottled Water Reduction. Resolution 2019 – 027. Carried

By-laws
10.2.1
– Load Charge By-law. By-law 2019 – 6901. Being a By-law to amend by-laws 99-4113 The Heavy Load By-law and 2010-5408 Fees and Service Charges, and repeal 99-4114 The Water and Sewer Load Charge bylaw. Passed, Signed and Sealed.
10.3.1– By-law for Council remuneration. By-law 2019 – 6902. Passed, Signed and Sealed.

Council Agenda Preview – March 19, 2019

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A couple of quick notes and then my thoughts on selected agenda items.
1. The next post in the Amalgamation series will be a bit later than hoped. I continue to do research and don’t want to bother municipalities for more detailed information given their involvement in budget preparations.
2. What costs more: money foregone as income, or the same amount paid out as expenses? They seem the same to me, but other municipalities act as though they think the Town of Parry Sound, by hosting almost all of the non-taxable charitable and not-for-profit, organizations in the district breaks even. It doesn’t. There is not only the incremental expense to the Town associated with these organizations it is the assessment revenue lost on the land they occupy. A real-world example of the issues facing the Town is seen in Item 9.3.2.

4.4– Seguin Township. Donation of $10,000 towards Stockey Centre operating expenses. In my Amalgamation posts I did not acknowledge this donation. It doesn’t change the figures but it does reflect a positive sentiment on the part of Seguin that covers about 3% of the operating loss for the Stockey Centre.

9.1.1– Tender – Isabella Street Reconstruction. Ouch! The lowest tender came in at $600,000, almost 50%, above the budgeted amount. The difference will be paid with additional debentures.

9.1.2– Salt Dock Road Culvert payment. The parties have agreed to split the costs above the budgeted amount 50/50. That seems reasonable to me given the circumstances. Stuff happens.

9.2.1– Consent Application – B 04/2019 (PS) (L.U. Maughan Co. Ltd on behalf of The Barrie YMCA). The YMCA wants to sever a portion of their property for the development of residential properties. See the map at the bottom of the post for details about the location of the severed lot.

9.3.1– Pool & Wellness Centre report. This is a report that is interesting in the scope of communities involved. It’s very vague, but arguably a starting point. Refer to the full agenda for the Draft Committee Structure. All in or no deal, in my opinion.

9.3.2– DSSAB pay property taxes for HUB. The amount would be $78,000 annually. If the Town of Parry Sound is to support affordable housing for the district it needs to be appropriately compensated for the services it provides. I agree 100% with the benefits of affordable housing and the need for the Town not to be left alone to subsidize these necessary resources.

9.3.3– Budget Meeting Schedule. Okay we have a schedule. April 2ndfor a general overview of the budget and April 9thfor a Special Budget meeting commencing at 6:00 pm.

10.3.1– By-law for Council. Remuneration that compensates for lost expenses.

Agenda Items (Abridged)

Correspondence

4.1– Gurneth Hoddy, President, Parry Sound Seniors Club. Request for 2019 increased grant, for increased time limit to four hours for parking in the seniors area from Mary to Rosetta Street, and placing a seniors crossing sign near the club from Mary to Rosetta Street.

4.2– Nathan Beatty, Chair of Board of Directors, Beaconview Condominiums. Request for placement of no parking signs on Salt Dock Road adjacent to the private drive.

4.3– Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. Request to adopt resolution to participate in Partners for Climate Protection, to appoint a representative to area wide initiative and make a financial contribution to support establishment of Committee Terms of Reference.

4.4– Seguin Township. Donation of $10,000 towards Stockey Centre operating expenses

Deputations

5.1– Susan Hrycyna, Brenda Ryan. DBA Downtown Beautification Plan.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1– Tender – Isabella Street Reconstruction. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council award the tender for the reconstruction of Isabella Street from Tudhope Street to William Street to Weeks Construction Inc., in the amount of $1,989,503.78, including HST, this tender being the lowest of three (3) tenders received.

9.1.2– Salt Dock Road Culvert payment. Resolution 2019 – 008 (as postponed from February 5, 2019 Council Meeting) That Council accepts the report regarding the additional costs encountered at the Salt Dock Culvert Replacement Project, and the additional costs be taken from the Salt Dock Reserves.

9.2.1– Consent Application – B 04/2019 (PS) (L.U. Maughan Co. Ltd on behalf of The Barrie YMCA). Resolution. That a decision on Consent Application No. B 04/2019 (PS) (L.U. Maughan Co. Ltd on behalf of The Barrie YMCA) be deferred until an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment has been adopted and approved.

9.3.1– Pool & Wellness Centre report. Resolution. That the Pool & Wellness Centre Report be received for information purposes.

9.3.2– DSSAB pay property taxes for HUB. Direction. That staff be directed to request the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) pay to the Town of Parry Sound an amount equivalent to the amount of property taxes that would be payable each year by the HUB, beginning with 2018, had they not received 100% property tax exemption from MPAC.

9.3.3– Budget Meeting Schedule. Direction. That the dates as set out in this report for the 2019 budget deliberations be approved, including a Special Meeting on April, 9, 2019, and that staff update the Town’s Web site and Council calendar accordingly.

9.5.1– Bottled Water Reduction. Resolution. Whereas water is essential for human life to exist on earth, and access to clean drinkable water should be a basic human right, and water has been commodified by the sale of bottled water; and
Whereas Canada is a participant to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and
Whereas the United Nations has called on all countries to reduce green house gas emissions; and
Whereas single use plastics are significant items of unnecessary waste that damage our environment; and
Whereas Canada as a country and all of the provinces and territories are not likely to reach our targets to reduce green house gas emissions by 2030; and
Whereas many scientists and environmental advocates are asking us to end the fossil fuel-based economy as soon as possible;
Be it Resolved That the Town of Parry Sound will undertake a review/audit in 2019 of the Town facilities to identify areas where the use of municipal water can be further optimized, and the use of bottled water can be reduced or eliminated wherever possible; and
Further that a policy be developed to promote the use of municipal drinking water in the Town; and
Further be it resolved That the Town of Parry Sound will encourage our immediate neighbours in West Parry Sound Area to do the same; and
Further be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound will forward this motion as an aspirational objective to the following partners: City of Quinte West who passed the original resolution on the topic; the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), all other similar provincial and territorial organizations in Canada, all Premiers and the Prime Minister and the leaders of all Provincial and Federal Parties in Canada with the request that they enact legislation to do the same.

By-laws

10.2.1– Load Charge By-law. By-law 2019 – 6901. Being a By-law to amend by-laws 99-4113 The Heavy Load By-law and 2010-5408 Fees and Service Charges, and repeal 99-4114 The Water and Sewer Load Charge bylaw.

10.3.1– By-law for Council remuneration. By-law 2019 – 6902. Being a By-Law with respect to remuneration and expenses for members of Council and Local Boards.

Council Agenda Abridged Minutes – March 5, 2019

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Here is an abridged version of the March 5thminutes of the Town of Parry Sound council meeting. I’ve highlighted the more important items in my opinion. Refer to the full minutes that are available at the town’s website for additional information – http://www.parrysound.ca.

The only interesting item from my perspective is Item 9.3.1. I am not surprised by the decision of Council to top themselves up with the change in deductibility of expenses. I am also not surprised that Councillors Borneman and Keith voted against the top up. They have a sense of duty, but the top up is appropriate in my opinion. The two new councillors and the mayor voted in favour of a report on providing health/dental benefits. It perhaps represents the different personal situations of council members. Some may have these benefits as part of their current or past employment. I think that council should be compensated for the considerable work they do, but it shouldn’t become a job.

I am not providing timing links to the available video of meeting as there really wasn’t anything of note beyond what was included in the minutes.

Questions of Staff

3.2.1 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry about how frequently the fibre bins get emptied as they were full when he was at the Transfer Station recently, Director of Public Works Peter Brown indicated that typically they get removed before they reach or exceed capacity, and that a compactor is being purchased which should help to increase capacity in the future.
3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry as to whether there is a plan for snow clearance around various fire hydrants, including having nearby residents participate in clearing them, Director of Public Works Peter Brown indicated that water treatment plant staff typically do the snow clearing, they have been out a couple of times already this year but typically don’t start the snow clearing until it stops snowing. A piece of equipment has been purchased which aids in more efficient clearing around the hydrants. Mr. Brown noted additionally, that “we’re experiencing residents who bury the hydrants” through snow-blowing and asked that residents cooperate by not doing this.
3.2.3 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s inquiry as to the status of the fog testing report as a result of work done last autumn to determine whether and/or where storm water is entering the sanitary system, Mr. Brown noted that the report is on his desk and he hopes to bring it to Council next month, after he has further opportunity to review it.

Correspondence

4.1 – Ed Horba, Project Manager, Transportation, GHD. Noise By-law exemption request for Highway 400 work at Parry Sound. Referred to By-law Enforcement Officer for follow-up.
4.3 – Marsha Rivers, CEO, Belvedere Heights. 2019 Municipal Levy for Belvedere Heights. Referred to Manager of Accounting.
4.4 – Rebecca Pollock, Chair, Parry Sound Active Transportation. Request to allocate in the 2019 budget, monies to determine the feasibility of applying the road diet concept to Parry Sound’s arterial roads, including any necessary engineering and planning reviews. Referred to Director of Public Works and copied to Manager of Accounting.
4.5 – Leah Harris, Town resident. Request that after-hours water service bills to shut off water be removed from their account. Referred to Manager of Accounting

Deputations

5.1 – John Cochrane, Near North District School Board Trustee Zone 4. Update on new Parry Sound High School. John Cochrane Vice Chair of Near North District School Board, accompanied by Jay Aspin, Chair NNDSB; and Craig Myles, Superintendent of Education, addressed Council with respect to Parry Sound High School, noting that the current school is 68 years old and in need of replacing. Mr. Cochrane recommended that Council pass a resolution urging the Education Ministry to quickly approve the plan, get shovels in the ground this spring, with copies to Premier Ford, Minister Lisa Thompson, Vic Fedeli and local MPP Norm Miller.
5.2 – Becky Pollock, Executive Director, Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. Proposed “Community Energy Plan” for the biosphere region. Becky Pollock, accompanied by David Bywater, Environmental Scientist with GBBR, addressed Council with a presentation entitled Towards a Regional Energy Plan & Community Climate Action. Ms. Pollock reported on climate change indicators on Georgian Bay over the last 50 to 100 years, resulting in more frequent and severe weather events such as floods, droughts, storms and forest fires causing damage to infrastructure, a psychological toll, and increased insurance rates. Ms. Pollock advocated working together to create corporate and community wide energy plans with the Town, Townships and First Nations throughout the area to combat this and referred to the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), as an appropriate standardized framework to use. Ms. Pollock described the steps of using the PCP framework and requested that Council consider the following:
1. appoint a representative to the regional effort;
2. sign on to the PCP resolution;
3. provide seed funding of up to $5,000.
Ms. Pollock concluded noting that these requests were provided in a letter to Council, as follow-up to the deputation.

Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda

7.1. – EMS Advisory Committee appointments. Resolution 2019 – 016. That the Council of the Town of Parry Sound approve the nomination to the EMS Advisory Committee of; Mayor Jamie McGarvey, Scott Sheard, Rod Osborne, Kim Dixon, Maurice Turgeon, Lyle Hall and Cathy Still for the current term of Council. Carried

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – 2018 Water System Summary Report. Carried

9.1.2 – RFP – Biosolids Haulage & Beneficial Re-use/Disposal. Carried

9.1.3 – 2019 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiatives Annual Conference. Carried

9.2.1 – Revision to 2018 Land Ambulance Budget. Carried

9.3.1 – Council Members 1/3 Tax Exemption. That staff be directed to implement remuneration increases of elected officials retroactive to January 1, 2019, as recommended in this report and consistent with Council direction as set-out in By-law 2015 – 6554.
Recorded vote requested by Councillor Keith
Councillor V. Backman Yes
Councillor P. Borneman No
Councillor R. Burden Yes
Councillor B. Horne Yes
Councillor B. Keith No
Councillor D. McCann Yes
Mayor J. McGarvey Yes
Direction Carried 5 – 2
Direction for Staff Follow-up: That staff bring Council group benefits options (health/dental) for consideration to a future Council meeting.
Recorded vote requested by Councillor Keith
Councillor V. Backman Yes
Councillor P. Borneman No
Councillor R. Burden Yes
Councillor B. Horne No
Councillor B. Keith No
Councillor D. McCann No
Mayor J. McGarvey Yes
Direction Defeated 3 – 4
Direction for Staff Follow-up:
That upon approval of Council direction regarding remuneration increases retroactive to January 1, 2019, staff present a comprehensive compensation by-law for Council members to the next Council meeting. Carried

9.3.2 – Request for Faster Response time from Provincial & Federal Grant Funding Authorities. Carried

9.3.3 – Director of Finance Recruitment – Sub-Committee of Council Appointments. That pursuant to the Town hiring policy, the Sub-Committee for the hiring of the Director of Finance position be composed of the following Members of Council:
Councillor Borneman
Councillor Horne
Councillor Keith
Carried

9.4.1 – Motorized Mobile Ice Cream Truck. Carried

9.5.1 – “Right to Approve” Landfill Developments. Carried

By-laws

10.2.1 – Appointment of Will Williamson as a Building Inspector. Passed, Signed and Sealed this 5th day of March, 2019.

10.2.2 – Site Plan Development Agreement with Infrastructure Ontario (OPP Station – 1 North Road). Passed, Signed and Sealed this 5th day of March, 2019.

 

West Parry Sound Amalgamation – Part 4 (Crude Models)

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It’s time to take a look at how the amalgamation numbers shake out. Step One – take a deep breath. Step Two – be patient as you review the numbers. There are two scenarios, each of which are presented with two different sets of assumptions. These are not the final figures but are the easiest to model and understand. There will be additional scenarios presented in the next post that hopefully better model what amalgamation might mean for the individual municipalities. But, let’s start simple and work from there.

Key Assumptions and Descriptors:

  1. There are two basic scenarios, Scenario 1A with the five core municipalities – Carling, McDougall, McKellar, Parry Sound and Seguin. Scenario 2A has the core five municipalities plus Archipelago. This second scenario is a change in direction from an earlier post where I said I would not include the Archipelago. My decision to include a scenario with Archipelago results from my look at the Muskoka model. In Muskoka there are very urban and very non-urban centres, not unlike West Parry Sound. During the amalgamation process it was obviously felt that Muskoka Lakes was not that different and would benefit from, and contribute to, the district.
  2. Each of Scenario 1 and 2 are a simple summing of the tax revenues for all of the municipalities divided by the total assessment for the 5 and 6 municipality scenarios. This is a very crude first estimate and sure to raise complaints in a couple of the municipalities. Additional scenarios, 1B and 2B, are presented showing the impact of an overall 10% savings with amalgamation. I suspect that this is too optimistic but is worth sharing.
  3. The numbers presented include both the dollar and percentage increases and decreases for each scenario. There are enough figures provided to permit the interested person to work out their own numbers or simply check mine.
  4. The scenarios present the Residential tax rate figures, but the percentages can generally be applied to the Commercial and Industrial tax rates. To simplify the tables, a single $250,000 assessment is used for calculation purchases. For a $500,000 assessment just multiply by 2. For those lucky folks in Seguin, Carling and Archipelago multiply by 5, 10, 20 or 50 as appropriate.
  5. The scenarios also include Education taxes which have the same rate for all municipalities. Education taxes are a much higher proportion of total taxes in Seguin, Carling and Archipelago than the other municipalities.

Scenario 1A

This scenario is a simple add and divide exercise. All of the property tax revenues for Carling, McDougall, McKellar, Parry Sound and Seguin were added up and divided by the sum of the assessments for these municipalities. Here are the numbers.

Quick Comments:

  1. I can imagine the howls coming from Seguin and they are deafening. On the other hand, the people in Carling are saying – okay, that’s much better than I imagined. In Parry Sound the response is “YES”. The folks in McKellar are voicing complaints, but what’s new?
  2. This is the crudest of the calculations and does not properly reflect what would be seen with a well thought out amalgamation process. Future scenarios will try and model something more sophisticated that takes account of service levels.

Scenario 1B

This scenario is the same simple add and divide exercise. All of the property tax revenues for Carling, McDougall, McKellar, Parry Sound and Seguin were added up and the total was reduced by 10% to reflect some sort of amalgamation savings. As was the case for the previous scenario this figure was divided by the sum of the assessments for these municipalities.

Quick Comments:

  1. Okay, these numbers are a bit better for Seguin, but doubtless still unacceptable to a municipality that is addicted to low tax rates. McKellar ends up pretty much neutral and there are savings in Carling, McDougall, and Parry Sound.
  2. Scenario 1B sees that $250,000 property in Seguin paying an additional $342 per year. That’s a 26% increase over the current property tax rate. The same assessed Parry Sound property owner is seeing a $1,900 decrease.

Scenario 2A

This scenario uses the same approach as 1A and adds up the property tax revenues for Carling, McDougall, McKellar, Parry Sound, and Seguin plus Archipelago which is then divided by the sum of the assessments for these municipalities.

Quick Comments:

  1. Now the folks in Archipelago are howling and the Seguin folks are not any happier with only $100 shaved off the scenario without Archipelago. The folks in Carling, McDougall and Parry Sound all have smiles, some bigger than others. The folks in McKellar are sulking.

Scenario 2B

This scenario is the same as Scenario 2A with a 10% savings in the total amalgamated expenses as discussed earlier.

Quick Comments:

  1. The Seguin tax increase under Scenario 2B is $250 for a $250,000 property, about a 0.1% increase on the basis of the property value and 19% more than the pre amalgamation taxes. Archipelago goes up $200 or 15% for the same property. Carling and McDougall see not insignificant decreases and Parry Sound can’t believe their luck. McKellar is seeing a savings for the first time under an amalgamation scenario.

The Fine Print

Did I mention that these are crude estimates and will benefit from some tinkering? One of the obvious areas of tinkering has to do with garbage service. I’ll try to adjust for that in the next set of scenarios. There are also other adjustments that would seem to be reasonable to include. Overall, I’m not sure that these adjustments will make the people in Archipelago and Seguin much happier, but I think there is another way to make the increased cost of amalgamation worth considering for all municipalities. I’ll get to that two posts from now, #6 in this series.

McKellar, I am teasing you for your general demeanor when it comes to cooperation with area municipalities. Much of that attitude was seen in the behaviour of the two previous councils. How can we forget the entertaining coverage of council meetings and ‘Business Cardgate’ by the North Star? I am hopeful that the new council will take a more outward looking approach to regional cooperation. Reputation rests not on what you are now, or what you hope to be. It rests on what you have done. That can be changed for the better.

Supplemental Reading

So why does Parry Sound have such a large property tax burden in proportion to its assessment? There are some reasons worth understanding or considering.

Parry Sound Shot Itself in the Foot

  1. One of the biggest costs for Parry Sound is associated with the losses arising from the operations of the Bobby Orr Community Centre and the Stockey Centre. Together they account for about $600,000 or 5% of the annual tax bill. The Stockey Centre underwent renovations, roof and siding, last year that amounted to about $1.2 million. The Bobby Orr Community Centre had roof repairs that exceeded $100,000 and an expansion will cost close to $1 million. (I’m plugging in these numbers from memory. Feel free to send me a note with corrections.) Personally, I only get into the Bobby Orr Community Centre once a year for the Mayor’s Levee. I don’t think that I have been inside the Stockey Centre, or on the deck, in two years. But it costs me $250 annually in taxes to support these facilities. The Town would be better off selling both facilities for $1 and taking the savings. What would that do for the local and larger community? I suspect that West Parry Sound would be poorer without these facilities. There wouldn’t be the Festival which appeals to many of the seasonal residents in the surrounding municipalities. Do we need really another Pink Floyd or Eagles ‘note for note’ album performance? People must like it because they keep coming back, again and again. What about the community events hosted at the Stockey Centre? Parry Sound effectively subsidizes people who will be attending the upcoming Gordon Lightfoot concert. It promises to be a remarkable show in an intimate setting and without the added cost and time to travel to a Sudbury, Barrie or Toronto performance? Could locals even get decent tickets to these events in another urban centre? Do events like the visiting bonspiels, the Hockey Canada event or even local minor hockey cover their true costs? Of course not, it’s the right thing to do for the town and the larger community.
  2. The big box stores were effectively subsidized by Parry Sound. It seemed like a better deal at the time than it was. When push came to shove the town was obliged to take on considerable unbudgeted infrastructure expenses for services that support the much larger West Parry Sound community. And in the last couple of years these big box stores won a court case provincially that reduced their assessments by about a third. The difference in tax revenue directly hit the Parry Sound tax rates. Our neighbours? They just tell us how lucky we are to have them patronizing these stores.

For the Greater Good

Remember that sign as you head south on 400 and head into Simcoe County? “For the Greater Good” It should be Parry Sound’s motto.

  1. As I have noted earlier Parry Sound hosts many if not all of the local social service facilities. These institutions do not pay any local property taxes yet expect a full suite of services. More importantly, they occupy high value land that could be generating tax revenue to support services.
  2. Hosting schools is not without local Town of Parry Sound cost. In addition to occupying what is often prime real estate and not paying property taxes, these facilities use town resources and incur town supported expenses. The town is obliged to do extensive review to approve the building permits for these public facilities. The costs are not covered by any fees that might be charged. More importantly, these facilities often require infrastructure upgrades that are the responsibility of the town. The recently built William Beatty School presented the town with many infrastructure costs that were not budgeted or covered by the school board. And the conversion of the old school to affordable housing and a community hub has come with surprises in addition to the taxpayer infrastructure costs that came with the conversion. Now the organization behind the property renovation is petitioning to be exempted from property taxes. Their logic follows the thread that the property was not previously taxed as a school so it shouldn’t be now. With that type of logic I would be against any further efforts to provide public low income housing in Parry Sound. Low income housing like many other social issues is not a Parry Sound issue, it is a district issue, but as usual Parry Sound bears the brunt of the administration and infrastructure costs. And it trickles down to the taxpayer.
  3. Parry Sound is also home to the District Court House. That honour comes with a $50,000 or so annual bill for OPP protection. This is a district resource but a Parry Sound cost.
  4. Parry Sound also provides management oversight at the staff and council levels for district wide services such as EMS.
  5. And then there is the West Parry Sound District Hospital. They don’t pay property taxes yet require town resources. I would imagine that Parry Sound provided considerable infrastructure support at no cost to the hospital when it was built. Another rub for me at least is that most of the high-end folks working at the hospital, let’s say more than 90%, do not live and pay taxes in Parry Sound but rather support the tax base of the neighbouring municipalities. I don’t blame them. Why pay higher taxes and have to deal with the noise and the stink of a railway close by?

Possibilities

Four ideas that come to mind that can help address the imbalance of support for services that impact the whole West Parry Sound community.

  1. Go forward with amalgamation. It not only seems a reasonable way to address current imbalances, but it provides the basis to make the whole district better by providing for a shared vision of a larger community.
  2. Tack on a 1% salary levy to folks who work in Parry Sound that would be remitted to Parry Sound. If you pay property taxes in Parry Sound that amount would be deducted from your property taxes. If you live in one of the area municipalities you would not have the deduction, unless your municipality wanted to subsidize it. That’s the situation I faced when I lived in one township and worked in another in Pennsylvania. The tax was used by the township I worked in to pay for the required infrastructure to support the businesses. The 1% tax was deducted at source.
  3. Add 1% to the local sales tax for purchases in Parry Sound. This would be a relatively minor cost and would be remitted to Parry Sound. Heck, just 1% of the purchases at the LCBO and the Beer Store would probably go a long way to helping cover the many infrastructure costs assumed by Parry Sound.
  4. Add 1% to the bill for local services. That might range from tax preparation to massages to dental services. Would people start driving to Bracebridge to save 1% for a massage or an eye check up?

It’s always fun to ride for free or at a discount. But someone has to pay the bill. Right now that’s Parry Sound residents and businesses. If the community at large is to prosper we need to have everyone paying their fair share.

In the next post I look at the impact of adjusting the numbers presented earlier to account for differing service levels.

West Parry Sound Amalgamation – Part 3 (Muskoka Model)

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I’m glad that I didn’t try and squeeze the Muskoka Model into the last post. The District Municipality of Muskoka (Muskoka) presents a complex model of amalgamation, at least to this rookie. I will provide a superficial overview of the tax rate structure for Muskoka with the hope of better understanding how amalgamation might be implemented between Carling, McDougall, McKellar, Parry Sound and Seguin.

This post is neither a graduate thesis nor a consulting (paid) project so I will stick to top level assessments and comments and not bother with detailed research. I am comfortable that this first level examination will provide generally valid observations.

The Basics

Muskoka is composed of district municipalities.

Table 1 – Muskoka Demographics and Assessments

There are all sorts of interesting observations that can be made with this limited dataset. The key points that jump out at me are:

  1. This is a diverse municipality in terms of population and assessments.
  2. Individually the property assessment values of the individual urban centres are on a par with the more rural and cottage areas despite a considerable population difference.
  3. And then there is Muskoka lakes with 11% of the district municipality population and 37% of the assessment value. That has some similarities with the West Parry Sound District.
  4. Wow – Muskoka has almost $25 billion is assessments.

Well that’s a start and it’s time to slice up the data. I could overwhelm you right now and post up a simplified summary of the Muskoka Tax Rates. But I did not do that. You can find the tables at the end of the post for those who don’t believe what follows or want to do their own analysis.

Muskoka Tax Rates

Muskoka has separate tax rate schedules for all six of the district municipalities. These schedules have twelve different property classes. (The simplified summary only lists the three most important classes.) In addition to different tax rates for six municipalities there are five schedules for different services that are provided/taxed by Muskoka. Not all properties in all municipalities are subject to all tax schedules. (Yes, the details are complex but it’s not too hard to get a general grasp of the intent.)

Table 2 – Tax Rates and Applicability, Muskoka

General Tax Rates & Levies

In seems that all of the properties in all district municipalities are subject to, and pay, the same tax rates for general services and the hospital capital fund. The latter is an interesting concept for those of us who pay Parry Sound taxes and effectively subsidize a hospital that benefits all area residents and cottagers. It amounts to about $400,000 annually in Muskoka. It has been suggested to me that because of the area residents/cottagers we enjoy a better hospital than if they weren’t present. (Yup, because you have kids you get a government subsidy. Well, that covers their costs and makes life so much easier doesn’t it?)

The net/net is that if you have a home in Bracebridge or a cottage on Lake Muskoka your basic tax rate is the same regardless of the level of general services, and value, you believe you are receiving.

Waste Management Tax Rates & Levies

There are differences in Muskoka when it comes to the add on services, water, sewer and garbage. All properties in all municipalities pay for garbage services. But the waste management tax rate varies in terms of what municipality the property is located. The rate is highest in Bracebridge and is a bit lower in Gravenhurst (-10%) and Huntsville (-5%). Why? It’s probably an issue of service levels. The garbage tax rate in Georgian Bay is about the same as in Huntsville. For Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes the garbage rate is about 40% of that in the highest municipality, Bracebridge. Again, that probably represents different service levels. The important thing to note is that irrespective of the tax rate for waste management services, all properties in all municipalities pay for this service at a higher or lower tax rate.

Urban Areas A – Water Services

Things are different when it comes to water services. Water supply it seems is not available to all properties in all municipalities. That means some properties do not have a water assessment associated with their properties. For example, even in Bracebridge only a third of the assessed value of properties are taxed for water services. The figure is much lower in the nonurban municipalities. In Lake of Bays about 1% of the assessment is subject to water taxes. For all of Muskoka only 17% of assessed value is subject to this tax.

Urban Areas A – Sewer Services

A similar situation is seen with sewer services although it is not exactly the same. Why, I’m not sure and won’t investigate it further. The net/net is that if you have sewer service you pay in your tax bill. It’s also likely that the properties that receive Muskoka water and sewer services also pay for consumption. I can’t imagine that a car wash would be flat rated. In total about 15% of the assessed value in Muskoka is subject to sewer services taxes. It’s important to note that the Sewer Services rate, where applicable, is the most expensive of the services except for the General Taxes & Levy. In Bracebridge the sewer rate is 73% of the general levy rate. That is remarkably high and probably reflects the cost of replacing decaying infrastructure.

Muskoka Rates Summarized

With an understanding of what might be included in a property tax bill it’s time to look at the rates. These will be very top-level figures. Remember that tax rates are assigned by property class. These property class tax rates are the same in all municipalities when it comes to General Taxes and Hospital Capital Funding. For this discussion we will look only at the Residential, Commercial and Industrial property classes.

Table 3 – Muskoka General Tax Rates & Levies (2017)

Some quick analysis of the above table. Residential properties account for 93% of the Assessments and the same proportion of the taxes collected within rounding errors. This is reflected in part by the small premium, about 9%, charged to Commercial and Industrial properties. The discrepancy in the rounded figures, if you are wondering, is accounted for by the contribution of the other classes not included in the table above, for example Landfill, Pipelines, Farmlands and Managed Forest. It’s also worth noting that the Commercial and Industrial rates are the same.

Overall Muskoka Tax Rates

It’s possible to put together a highest and lowest tax rate for properties in Muskoka. This is done by adding the highest rates for a property that would be fully serviced (Water, Garbage and Sewer) and comparing it with a property that only is required to pay the General Tax Rate, Hospital Capital and Garbage (at the lowest rate).

Muskoka Tax Rates 2017

Table 4 – Highest Rate Possible (Bracebridge, 2017)

Table 5 – Lowest Rate Possible with Full Services (Muskoka Lakes, 2017)

Table 6 – Lowest Rate Possible with No Services (Muskoka Lakes, 2017)

The tables above summarize the tax rates depending on the services received. They define the high, the low and a middle scenario. It is possible to be located where there are no water or sewer services and that makes a huge difference on the tax bill. Depending on where the property is located the waste tax rate is higher or lower, but there is always a charge.

Total Tax Rates – Muskoka Versus Selected West Parry Sound Municipalities

The obvious next step is to compare these rates with those for the various municipalities outlined in the previous posts. In the case of the West Parry Sound municipalities the tax rates are what they are and are applied to all properties depending on class. The services provided for each municipality are defined by the municipalities themselves. The real tangible difference in terms of service concerns waste management. Parry Sound has curbside pickup once a week and this cost is included in the base tax rate. The other municipalities offer ‘bag and drag’ service to the local municipal waste facility. In theory at least, Parry Sound does not include charges for water and sewer services in the tax rate. These are accounted for separately and charged directly to the user. I’m not sure if there isn’t some ‘bleed’ into the tax rate. But a residence with a $200,000 assessment would pay about $1,300 per year for water and sewer service above the tax bill. That equals an effective rate of about 0.00650. For a $400,000 assessment it’s .00325 and for an $800,000 assessment it’s .00162. In Muskoka you pay a fixed rate on your assessment not a flat fee. Should a property assessed at $800,000 pay more for water and sewer services than a $100,000 property if they use the same service amounts? I’ll let you think about that.

Other than the items noted above the rates are broadly comparable with the understanding that the Parry Sound rates are even higher in comparison to Muskoka if you add in the water and sewer bills. Note – none of these tax rates include any Education Taxes.

Table 7 – Tax Rate Comparison, Muskoka and Selected West Parry Sound (2017)

Okay there you have it. Some quick comments:

  1. Parry Sound has by far the highest overall tax rates for Residential properties. It’s not even close. It’s the same case for Commercial properties. With Industrial properties Parry Sound is not that far from some other West Parry Sound municipalities but well above Muskoka .
  2. Seguin and Archipelago Residential tax rates aren’t that much higher than the lowest Muskoka rates, about 10% more. I assume that these are often seasonal cottage, albeit $10 million cottage, type properties. The same is true for Commercial and Industrial properties in the lowest tax areas, all of which probably enjoy the same service levels.
  3. I wonder how much the highest rates in Muskoka, presumably for the urban centres, are moderated by the high assessment value of the non-urban properties. The non-urban municipalities in Muskoka account for 65% of the total Muskoka residential assessment base. Since there is only one rate for all Muskoka properties regardless of their municipality it is possible to imagine that urban properties might well have a 20-30% higher tax rate if they were required to fund themselves.

Enough of the foreplay. In the next post we’ll start looking at amalgamation in West Parry Sound. After looking at all the numbers for Muskoka I think that I’ll put together a series of scenarios. It’s probably not as simple as adding all the numbers together, adding in a little bit of cost savings and dividing by the total amalgamated assessment value. But I’ll probably start with that to get everyone in the area who doesn’t live in Parry Sound hot and frothy. (It’s cold out there.)

Here are the more detailed Muskoka tax rates noted earlier. (Click on the image for a larger, easier to read, version.)