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This week’s council meeting includes a collection of ‘something old and something new’ items. Here’s hoping that council and staff can cross a couple of them off their to-do lists.

Parry Sound Power’s Power Gen project is back for discussion in a closed session prior to the open portion of the council meeting. I wonder when we will be told what is going on.

Interesting and Notable Agenda Items

Item 9.1 takes another run at the charitable waste issue. Okay team, the ball is on the one yard line; let’s see if we can this resolution across the goal line. No more punting on first down.

Item 9.1.2 concerns the use of town property for the development of additional assisted living facilities as recommended by the Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee. I’m interested in learning more about the proposal and it’s implication for the town. Parry Sound is little-by-little becoming the de facto services centre for the West Parry Sound District. This is a noble undertaking and responsibility so long as sufficient revenue is realized from these developments to ensure they are not being subsidized by other town residents and businesses. Reading the background/report it becomes more obvious that the proposal refers to a senior’s residence complex that would provide a range of services from independent to fully supported living.

Item 9.4.1 concerns the possible disposal of the former water pumping station, the house just off the shoreline trail and close to the water treatment plant. The property is currently rented out by the town and must be considered one of the more attractive rental properties in Parry Sound. Council will consider whether the property should be retained by the town or put up for sale. There are some environmental and logistical concerns that make the simple sale of the property a complex issue.

Item 9.4.2 suggests there will be another fight on Belvedere Hill to follow the parking lot dust up of last year. IKO Construction is contesting council’s rejection of a requested zoning by-law amendment for 9A Belvedere Street with an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. The wording of the resolution and its implications are interesting and worth reading. The town will apparently need to hire a consultant to prepare and argue their case before the Board.

Item 9.6.2 is a direction to staff to prepare terms of reference for a committee to look at core services that can be privatized. This is a path that has been wandered down by many other governmental bodies with varying degrees of success. Oh boy, another committee. Are these committees intended to actually get anything done or are they simply a way to keep interested town residents busy?

Item 9.6.3 is a resolution in support of an Ontario Mayor’s Coalition to become involved in a provincial task force examining provincial policing costs. Apparently a salary cost increase of 8.5% for OPP services is one of the triggers for this resolution.

Item 10.1.1 promises to be the most ‘interesting’ item on the agenda this week. One needs to read the whole by-law to understand its import and implications. Basically it will allow for a weekly ‘movie/laser show/beach party/beer tent’ every Saturday night from June 30th to September 1st. The organizers would be required to provide insurance coverage, all staffing and the temporary projection structure (which is substantial). The by-law includes a request to relax the local noise restrictions. The event would start at 8:00 PM and end by 12:00, with a $5 admission charge. The town would be paid a rental charge of $504, that is $56 per night, and would be required to provide power and washroom facilities.

I like the idea of having events for visitors and town residents, and I have received a couple of favourable comments suggesting local interest. I do wonder if this will take disposable entertainment dollars from our local theater and restaurants/bars that are open year round and depend on summer visitors to be profitable. The organizers are sweetening the deal for the community by offering to support our local Harvest Share.

These are the key issues to be covered on Tuesday; the agenda lists a number of additional items that may be of some interest to you. Details are provided in the packages available for view at the library and town hall. See you Tuesday night.