This week it’s a 232-page meeting package. I wonder how Council likes reading this stuff on their iPads. I find it tough enough to review on a 27 inch (1920×1200) monitor. There is nothing particularly critical on the agenda. In some cases it seems Staff is suggesting Council agree to adding a fresh coat of paint rather than address the underlying issues. The locals will recognize the charade but probably not the tourists.
Once again this review is focused only on the actual business of Council rather than the letters and deputations. My comments are provided in italics. Check out the full package online for information on what isn’t included.
Correspondence and Deputations
4.3 – this is the one piece of correspondence I will point out. It concerns an issue of excessive noise associated with the operation of the new Pioneer gas bar. Apparently neighbours are unhappy with the excessive noise related to the air conditioning units. They have spoken to Town Staff with little success, in their opinion, and have now brought it to Council. Unlike train noise this is an area where Council has authority. I’ll be watching to see how this turns out.
Resolutions and Directions to Staff
9.1.1 – Municipal Dog License Program (Direction); Council to direct Staff to prepare a new Animal Control By-law for Council’s consideration at the November 5, 2013 meeting. (This item is accompanied by a rather long supporting document that explains the reasons for the proposed changes to the management and administration of dog licenses, with the aim of reducing Staff time and improving service. On balance it seems reasonable and well thought out.)
9.1.2 – Reallocating Feral Cat Funding (Direction); Council to direct staff to use the Feral Cat Program funding in the amount of $3500 to host a Spay/Neuter Day event in November 2013 in partnership with the Barrie OSPCA High Volume Spay/Neuter Clinic. (This program intends to use the current feral cat spay program funds to host a Spay/Neuter Clinic Day offering spay and neutering services at a cost to residents of $60 per animal. The By-law staff will assist residents to attend the Clinic Day with their animals by providing transportation as necessary.)
9.2.1 – Mission Park Playground Equipment (Resolution); request that a ‘web climber’ playground structure be purchased from ABC Recreation at a cost of a little more than $32,000 plus HST. About two-thirds of the funds are coming from funds raised by the community. (From the photo included in the council package it seems to be quite pricey; essentially a series of supported cables. Hopefully the unit planned for Mission Park is more elaborate and larger. Unfortunately there was no RFP or quote information included with the council package to provide more detail on the unit and what other options/suppliers were considered.)
9.4.1 – Renaming Smelter Wharf (Resolution); request that upon the recommendation of the Waterfront Advisory Committee, Council rename Smelter Wharf to Sunset Wharf. (Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? I would be happier with the change if the committee had proposed a name that captured a little more of the history of Parry Sound. The name Smelter Wharf tells a story. Sunset Wharf is a functional name but very generic.)
9.4.2 – Renaming Salt Dock Road (Direction); request of Council that upon the recommendation of the Waterfront Advisory Committee, Council direct staff to seek public input on the name change of Salt Dock Road from residents on Salt Dock Road. (Another apparent attempt to enhance the image of the Town by changing names. Perhaps my concerns about the impact of trains in town can be solved by calling them ‘Puppies’ instead of trains. Who doesn’t love puppies? Sure they make a mess every so often, but puppies are so cute, who would think to criticize them?)
9.4.3 – ‘Seattle’ and ‘Atlantic’ Anchors (Direction); another recommendation of the Waterfront Advisory Committee, in this case asking Council to direct Staff to work with Belvedere Heights regarding a plan to relocate the ‘Seattle’ and ‘Atlantic’ anchors to the Stockey Centre. (Seems like a great location to provide significant ‘visibility’ for these artifacts.)
9.4.4 – Council Approved Sign Application (Resolution); request to authorize the Chief Building Official to issue a Sign Permit for a sign on the Bowes Street Road allowance in front of number 80. (This is for the Fincham’s business. Oh boy, more signs along the main road into town. How about we change the name of Bowes Street to Paradise Trail? It doesn’t change the view but it sounds more inviting.)
9.5.1 – Parry Sound Canoe Club, (Direction); request that Council direct Staff to prepare a lease agreement between the Town and the Parry Sound Canoe Club for the use of property adjacent to the William Street Park. (Seems like a good idea to me. I hope the publc will be able to make use of the docks at those times when the club is not actively using them. It will provide an opportunity for the public to have better access to this stretch of the Seguin River.)
9.5.2 – Wakefield & Dufferin Reconstruction Funding (Direction); request that Council identify the rehabilitation of Wakefield Street and Dufferin Street as the highest priority item for the Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund – Capital Program. (This project has seemingly been on the top of the Director of Public Works priority list for some time now. Let’s hope the Town can get the necessary funding.)
9.6.1 – Airport – Found Aircraft Debt Deferral, (Resolution); request that Council approves the deferral of the long term debt principal and interest payments related to the Found Aircraft Canada leases at the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport Commission. (Well at least they didn’t leave town in the middle of the night and stick it to staff and creditors.)
10.1.1 – EMS Contract Renewal (By-law) to authorize the execution of an agreement between the West Parry Sound Health Centre and the Town of Parry Sound for the provision of Emergency Medical Services for three years (2014-2016).
10.1.2 – Emergency Plan Identified Positions (By-law) naming David Thompson, Peter Brown and Jesse Langford as the Town’s emergency contact personnel. Also a By-law to amend By-law 2004-4669, a By-law to adopt a Emergency Management Program, and to repeal By-law 2011 – 6006. (The Town’s Emergency Management Program is a secret document, so I can’t say more.)
10.2.1 – Closed Meeting Investigator Fee Increase, (By-law) appointing Local Authority Services Ltd. as Parry Sound’s Closed Meeting Investigator and to repeal By-law 2007-5127. (This is interesting. Apparently Parry Sound and many other municipalities contract with outside services to investigate concerns from the public that Council might be discussing business at closed sessions. So, if you think Council is doing ‘business’ in the closed sessions you now know there is a process through which you can get answers.)
10.4.1 – Fleck Street Service Manager Housing Facility Agreement, (By-law) to authorize the execution of a Service Manager Housing Facility Agreement between the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board, 905888 Ontario Inc. and the Town of Parry Sound. (This is related to the ‘gifting’ of property on Fleck Street for the development of affordable housing.)
10.4.2 – Fleck Street Purchase and Sale Agreement, (By-law) to authorize the execution of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale between 905888 Ontario Inc. and the Town of Parry Sound. (More Fleck Street affordable housing business.)
10.6.1 – Parry Sound Area Airport Commission Representation, (By-law) to amend the Airport Commission Agreement with the Township of Seguin. (This changes the representatives on the commission to 3 from Town of Parry Sound and 4 from Township of Seguin. I don’t know what they were previously, I’ll ask on Tuesday.)
That’s pretty much it. See you Tuesday.
Welcome to Sunset Wharf (Parry Sound in Black & White)
Note: Not all agenda items are covered here. I typically skip those items that have little material impact on the town. These items include simple requests for Tag Days (permission to canvas), Awareness Weeks/Months, road closures for civic events, and the like. Want to see everything that is on the agenda? The full agenda can be found at the town’s website (http://townofparrysound.com/pagesmith/14).