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This is a short summary of last week’s meeting. As I noted in my meeting preview notes I was away for the meeting, so I’m relying on the minutes. This post is being provided for continuity in case I want to quickly look back at council decisions.

It looks as though the April 16th meeting was remarkably short. The minutes note that it was concluded at 8:15. Nonetheless it seems council addressed all of the items before them and didn’t defer any for future discussion. Good work. Council seems to be working efficiently and effectively. Let’s hope they can carry over their focus to next week’s budget meeting.

I’m happy to see that council took a position on the sign issue, Item 9.3.3, that should benefit the town in the future. For reasons similar to why the town has building codes and property appearance by-laws, it’s reasonable to have, and enforce, a basic standard regarding signs. Less is often more, particularly when it comes to signs. I don’t know about you but when I am traveling along a US interstate and I come across a large number of ‘tacky’ signs urging me to stop, I see it as a warning to keep on going. Anyone been to ‘South of the Border’ on I-95? Anybody stopped more than once? Anyone learn a lesson?

Correspondence and Deputations

4.1 – a request to proclaim May 2013 as “Community Living Month’ was circulated to town staff and approved as below.

4.2 – a letter advising the town that it had earned $13,755 related to 4th quarter 2012 blue box recycling.

4.3 – Andrew Ryland, President of the Parry Sound Chamber of Commerce has provided a report on the chamber’s membership numbers and categories.

4.4 – the Parry Sound Chamber of Commerce has requested a discussion with the town regarding the operation of the marina. This is was not included in the council package so I don’t know what it’s about. The Chamber as you know operates Big Sound Marina so I hope there are no significant operational issues, it’s a very important town asset.

5.1 – John Jackson Planner Inc. made a presentation that proposed a total of 168 residential units to be built in the harbour area with a view over the water.  The timeline for implementation is 5 to 10 years. The development seems to depend on the town being able to provide sufficient water and sewage services. I believe this was also an issue with another harbour area development that in the end did not go forward. The presenters also asked the town to approach Imperial Oil regarding the use of their waterfront property. Bravo, in my opinion. Let’s see if we can’t get this big, lazy, risk averse corporation to take responsibility for their presumably polluted waterfront property and turn it into some sort of community asset rather than a liability.

5.2 – there was a follow up deputation regarding the use of all terrain vehicles on town streets. I don’t know what went down but this is an item not likely to be reviewed by council until September given staff’s other priorities.

5.3 – Distler Construction provided some background to Item 10.3.2 by way of a deputation.

Consent Agenda

Council approved designating May 2013 as Community Living month.

Resolutions and Directions to Staff

9.2.1 – a ‘bookkeeping’ item related to the Stockey Centre’s unfinanced capital outlay, about $32,000, was carried.

9.3.1 – council approved the report on the use of the Bobby Orr Community Centre and the creation of a committee to solicit public input into the use of the centre.

9.3.3 – another run at council regarding a realtor’s sign on the Mid-Town Hotel was denied. As per my earlier comments I think this was a good decision. In my opinion it has nothing to do with the realtor, or the real estate profession, but rather represents an investment in the town and it’s appearance. At some point you really need to create standards of appearance if you want to be taken seriously. As a town, a business or an individual. Even I realized I needed to cut my hair once I left school. (That was when my hair was brown and my teeth were white ;-)

9.4.1 – a resolution related to the new public school infrastructure was approved. There is more detail here than I properly understand. Presumably council went along with the recommendations of staff. A couple of items impacting the 2013 budget will be discussed this coming week.

By-Laws

10.3.1 – the by-law to authorize the execution of a land sale to M6 Developments, the ‘Age in Place’ project beside Canadore College, was passed.

10.3.2 – the by-law to authorize the condominium agreement with Distler Construction for the third phase of the Silver Birch development was passed.

10.3.3 – the by-law to grant site plan approval for the development of a three-unit building on Seguin Street in front of the curling rink was passed.

There was more, so I suggest you go to the town’s website to download a copy of the complete minutes.

I’ll be at the budget meeting this Tuesday, the 23rd that starts at 6:00. I expect there will be lots of empty seats, so don’t worry if you come a few minutes late. There will be room right up front, or at the back, depending on your preferred seating location.

In case you don’t remember. Yes, they are funny.

South of the Border - Exhibit A