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Another longer meeting Tuesday night with deputations and lots of discussion at the Council level. Even some of the Councillors seemed to tire of the discussion and questions asked.

Most items reviewed by Council were approved. One notable approval was 9.1.2 Big Sound Marina: Power Upgrade, Resolution that Council grant 2012 pre-budget approval to upgrade the power at Big Sound Marina in the amount of $75,000. The Councillors in their wisdom, a decision I certainly support, felt the investment was necessary to keep Parry Sound at the hub of the big boat cruising scene. We are uniquely located in Georgian Bay, with pristine waters and wonderful scenery far from the big boat congestion of the Midland and Meaford areas, and a short day trip from almost all parts of Georgian Bay. And people who own big boats know how to spend big money which is appreciated by our Parry Sound merchants and service providers. Hopefully much if the expense will be covered by grants, but even if it isn’t it is the type of upgrade that will pay off for the town for the next decade or two. And this probably means we will get two major big boat cruising events this summer. As noted by Ms Middaugh, one of these events has been estimated by others to contribute in excess of $500,000 in local spending. Did I mention that big boat owners are big spenders?

In the same sense of planning for the future, Council approved 10.4.3 Heritage Designation By-law – 17 George Street – Tower Hill Garden. As one of the two Parry Sound icons, not neglecting Number 4 of course, Tower Hill has been part of the town’s history for almost a century. And as you read and hear about people’s memories of spending quality time in the gardens you get a sense of what it was and what it should continue to be. I applaud Council’s decision. What did surprise and disappoint me on this matter was the niggling by one of the councilors concerning the ranger cabin and whether it should be excluded from the designation. The question was well handled by Mr. Laing who pointed out that this was unnecessary given the latitude afforded Council by the Heritage Act. This was the same councilor who spent much time at one council meeting questioning whether the Town should allow the hanging of the Artists Round the Sound art in town hall because it was not explicitly stated who would be responsible for patching the holes that wold be required to hang the art. I think there are better things for the councilors to spend their time thinking about especially after seeing how the art has complemented town hall and established a visual sense of place for staff and visitors.

You can find more information on the meeting in the official minutes that will be posted in a couple of days. In addition, more information with additional reporting is always available in the North Star and Beacon Star a few days later. The same articles are often also available online at Cottage Country Now.