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Tuesday night’s council meeting was a rather low-key affair with little on the agenda and two of the councilors absent. The open portion of the council meeting followed a closed session on the subject of Parry Sound Power, and presumably the possible multimillion dollar investment in additional power generation capacity. But we need to keep quiet about it; I think it’s supposed to be a secret. Or maybe it’s a surprise, sort of like when your kids get you a Christmas present and charge it to your credit card. A $16 million surprise. I’ll be providing my thoughts on this whole issue of ‘private company’ secrecy in a day or so.

No raspberries this week. Attendance for the March 6th meeting: council and mayor – 5 (down two), staff – 5, media – 3, audience – 4. The limited audience stuck it out to the end, while staff left after their particular agenda item(s) were dealt with. Maybe we could get a better turnout if staff and council started getting into fights like some of the other municipal councils.

Councilors Reports

Interesting points raised in the councilors’ and mayor’s reports included:
– Parry Sound Power will apparently be offering gas water heaters
– with the high water levels for the last three months Parry Sound Power has been generating hydro continuously which has led to a small operating profit
– no Molson funding will be made available for the Belvedere parking lot because of insufficient community response

Interesting and Notable Agenda Discussions and Decisions

I made a deputation to council on the subject of keeping community in the loop through with traditional and social media. A copy of my presentation is available through this link. Mayor McGarvey responded to one point, a request to make available archival copies of council meetings. He said that he had made a request to Cogeco for archival copies, and that they were ‘considering it’. If you are a Cogeco subscriber, cable, internet or phone, why not give them a call and tell them that you think making a copy available to the community would be a good idea. I will be contacting them. I don’t have cable so I can’t catch up with the broadcast of the council meetings on television, although I do subscribe to their internet and phone service (which is really quite good).

Item 9.1.2, a resolution to address charitable waste was punted by council. The item was pushed back indefinitely until the 2012 budget was discussed and agreed.

Item 9.1.3, a related resolution regarding municipal assistance was similarly drop kicked until after budget discussions.

Item 9.3.1 to prohibit open air fires for the burning of brush in residential parts of Parry Sound was passed. This means people will need to take their branches and leaves to the transfer site for disposal.

Item 9.6.1 is a resolution requesting town staff to pursue opportunities for senior level (provincial and federal) funding to support infrastructure improvements in the proposed Parry Sound / Seguin boundary adjustment area was passed.

There really wasn’t much more discussed than I noted here. Read the official council meeting minutes for more information, they are available now at the Town of Parry Sound website. Information, often with additional background, is generally available at the North Star website a few days after the meeting. But these notes and articles really don’t capture much of the thinking that went into the decisions. The best way to understand what went on is to attend.