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Last night’s agenda was a little more dynamic than normal with three deputations on topics that were of concern to town residents. It’s nice to see people out and directly sharing their opinions with council and staff. It’s much more personal and probably more effective than writing a letter. Oh, neither council nor staff unreasonably question individuals making deputations. At worst they respond with a blank uninterested look and ask no questions. That of course is a tip off as to how your deputation was received. But don’t take it too hard, that’s often the case when they receive information that they really didn’t want, but needed, to hear.

We will have town guards, the Near North School Board was rebuked by council for their unilateral and apparently underhanded approach to the Grade 7 & 8 student move to the high school, the listing of the former pump house will be delayed by at least a couple of weeks, the town’s Inspector Gadget mobile will need to put up with a temporary shelter and the DBA boundary adjustment process will move forward.

One interesting note in the councilors’ reports was that the Chamber of Commerce will not be hosting the annual Canada Day festivities at the town dock. That means another organization or the town will need to step up and take responsibility. We are okay for the 2013 fireworks, they have apparently already been booked. But it looks as though the town’s Economic Development and Leisure Services group may have more work in 2013.

The town’s Google award and the plans for Parry Sound to become a leading e-town won’t mean much if we aren’t able to provide internet access for people at the town library. I have asked for information on this subject and will prepare a post once I have a response. This is an issue that was raised in a councilor’s report at the October 2nd meeting.

More details are provided below.

Meeting Highlights:

4.1, 4.2, 4.3 – three letters concerning the proposal to eliminate crossing guards received considerable attention from council. Council was quick to note that no decision had been made to eliminate the guards, and just as quickly stated that there was no intention to do so. The only action council decided to take was to contact the school boards and ask them to pay for, or share, the cost of the crossing guards. Makes sense to me as not all of the students on the street are Parry Sound residents, as was obvious from one of the letters received in support of retaining the crossing guards.

4.4 – a letter from Vianet requesting rental space on the north water tower to provide their services was noted and forwarded for staff to handle. Once again – I’m okay with this, particularly if Vianet, as part of the rental consideration, provides free internet service to the Parry Sound Public Library. Funding of the service will be ending shortly and it seems that Vianet could score a public relations win at no real cost to them.

9.1.1, 9.1.2 – resolutions to accept bids on providing winter sand and snow removal services from Adams Brothers were approved.

9.1.4 – a resolution to accept a bid for a new dump and plow truck ($182,000 plus HST) was carried.

9.3.1 – a resolution to accept a proposal to build a by-law garage for the ‘Inspector Gadget’ vehicle was defeated. The only bid for the construction of the building came in at about $26,000. Council did allocate about $1,500 for a tent like covering structure. This will do. It’s tough times and a new garage for the by-law vehicle seems a little bit of a luxury; perhaps in a couple of years.

9.3.2 – a resolution and direction related to establishing a safety committee in response to the perceived loss of crossing safety guards was made moot by council’s formal statement that crossing guards would not be cut.

9.4.1 – a resolution to permit staff and council to meet with Seguin Township to discuss the recent boundary adjustment overtures from property owners  was carried.

9.4.2 – a resolution to involve town staff with the DBA in developing a proposal and implementation plan for the expansion of the Downtown Business Association boundaries was carried. A deputation was received from a town resident whose properties would be affected by the expansion. Council did approve to involve staff with the understanding that this did not imply final approval or acceptance of the DBA proposal.

10.3.1 – a by-law to close the road shore allowance related to the old pump house was postponed until the next council meeting pending review and input from the Waterfront committee.

10.3.2 – a by-law to enter into a three year agreement with St. Andrew’s for the town to lease and manage the St. Andrew’s Parking lot as a municipal parking area was carried.

There was more, but nothing that seemed particularly worth noting in this post. Remember, the official minutes, North/Beacon Star articles and Moose-FM coverage are all great resources for keeping on top of what happens at council. And of course there is always the option to attend the meeting or catch it broadcast on Cogeco cable.

Bridge Art – Protect

Brisge Art - Protect