(Note: there is a correction to Item 10.1.1 – there is only one multifunction machine, not three as originally posted. I apologize for the error.)
This is a rather full meeting agenda that will take an hour and a half or the better part of three hours depending on how talkative the Councillors are. There are two interesting presentations that will probably exceed the generally allotted limit of ten minutes. Add on a dozen or so resolutions and by-laws, councillor reports, questions of Staff, and you have the potential for a longer session. I’m betting on shorter rather than longer given the weather and the season.
In the closed session of Council an issue of boundary adjustments with McDougall is continued. Is this perhaps related to the Hall project on Louisa Street? It would be simpler if the developer only had to work with a single municipality.
4.1 – the Parry Sound Downtown Business Association regarding concerns about a lack of designated pedestrian crossings, traffic lights or stop signs along James Street from Seguin Street to Rosetta Street to assist people crossing the street. [This is on the agenda for discussion as 9.5.1.]
4.2 – Lev Nikiforov with a request to meet with Council regarding the construction project on 81 River Street. [This is also the subject of a deputation, item 5.3. I’ll provide more detail there.]
4.3 – a petition with 50 signatures requesting the transit bus operate on December 24 and December 31, 2013. [It seems the bus is not scheduled for the 24th and 31st. A number of residents feel these are days when the bus should run, the eves of Christmas and New Year. I agree, it’s the time of the year when things are busy and generosity is appreciated. But where is the public transit study and discussion that Council has promised? I thought we were to have a discussion and decision on the future of the public transit system several months ago. How are we doing with compliance to the new regulations?]
5.1 – Marianne King-Wilson, Waterfront Advisory Committee with a presentation on Branding. [This follows up a discussion at the last meeting of Council regarding logos and ‘slogans’ for the Town.]
5.2 – a presentation by Tulloch Engineering regarding the Town’s Asset Management Plan. [This is a big deal from what I can tell and a requirement the Town has to receive future provincial funding for infrastructure projects. No plan, no money, or at least no money until you have a plan, and it appears we may have one soon.]
5.3 – a deputation by Lev Nikiforov regarding the construction project on 81 River Street. [This is the project that was started without the necessary Town approvals and was forced to stop. Recently the necessary approvals were granted but the builder is asking for some relief with regard to the fees to be paid. From what I can tell he is asking to make a partial payment that will allow him to complete only the structural portion of the project. A cash flow issue I imagine.]
8.1 – Parry Sound Hydro Corporation board appointments for Roger Alexander, Gord Rempel, Bill Lawrence and Al Downing through June 30th, 2014. [While it’s not a secret, it’s not widely appreciated that the merger between Parry Sound Hydro and Lakeland Holding will not take place on January 1st, 2014 as mentioned in presentations. The merger can only take place once provincial approval is received. This may take months, so Parry Sound Hydro needs to operate, and that requires a board of directors whose terms were set to expire the end of December.]
8.2 – a revision to the schedule of council meetings to include an additional special meeting of Council to discuss the 2014 budget. [This will be the penultimate public discussion of what is in, and out, of the 2014 budget. I will remind you that these public budget meetings generally only cover new and exceptional items for the upcoming year. The much larger part of the budget is generally just carried over from the previous year and adjusted for inflation. That’s why taxes always go up, expenses are added not subtracted, if we are lucky only as much as inflation.]
Resolutions and Directions to Staff
9.2.1 – a resolution to approve the 2014 Land Ambulance budget in the amount of $8,138,658, which is an increase of 2% over the 2013 budget. [This is largely a rubber stamp approval as the business of the land ambulance service is supervised by the EMS Advisory Committee.]
9.3.1 – a resolution to install a “Former Village of Carrington” sign on Parry Sound Rd. at a cost of $450 plus HST. [This is a nice nod in recognition of the Town’s history. A small thing but part of developing a sense of community.]
9.4.1 – a direction for Town Staff to provide notice of changed rental rates at the Stockey Centre effective 2014 (I think). [The new ‘slimmed down’ rates are targeted to daytime uses of the Stockey Centre and are intended to reflect the reduced facility needs of local non-profit groups. It seems reasonable in my opinion. It’s a public building, let’s make it easier for the public to use it. A too often empty facility soon becomes considered a ‘white elephant‘.]
9.5.1 – a direction for Town Staff to investigate the cost of an analysis of pedestrian traffic on James St. [See also item 4.1. There is some concern that it is difficult for pedestrians to cross the busy shopping area of James Street. There are no lights or stop signs, and with cars parked along the street it can be hard for drivers and pedestrians to see each other. Rather than do a study to determine ‘traffic’ it seems like something that should just be done. Any impact on lost parking spots will not be major if it is more convenient to park in the municipal lot and safely cross the street. Parking on James Street when it’s busy is a challenge for even those who consider themselves parallel parking experts. Sometimes studies are just a waste of time and money and seem a way to delay or avoid the obvious.]
9.5.2 – a resolution to increase the per tag price of household waste disposal from $3 to $5, effective February 1st 2014. [You lost the chance to stock up on permanent postage stamps, but you have until February 1st to stock up on garbage tags in case this resolution is passed. The Town doesn’t, and won’t, make money on this even with the proposed increase.]
9.5.3 – a resolution to reimburse sellers $0.25 per Garbage Tag sold on behalf of the Town effective January 1st 2014. [Hmm! Why not buy up a few hundred at $3.00 and then sell them at $5.00? That’s arbitrage in action, and a few hundred dollars in profit.]
10.1.1 – a by-law to enter into a three-year leasing agreement with De Lage Landen Financial Services Canada for one copier to be used at the Stockey Centre. [This is separate from the copier agreement approved at the last meeting of Council that was for the town office.]
10.2.1 – a by-law to renew the Rose Point Area Fire Protection Agreement, with the Township of Seguin to have Parry Sound provide fire protection for the Rose Point area and a couple of other properties proximate to Parry Sound. [It’s much faster for the Parry Sound Fire Department to repond to emergencies in the Rose Point area. In exchange Seguin provides Land Ambulance space in their fire station. It’s a win-win and a small demonstration of the benefits of municipal co-operation.]
10.4.1 – a by-law to grant Site Plan Approval and authorize the execution and registration of a Development Agreement with the Near North District School Board. [This continues the process of constructing a new K to 6 school off of Beatty Street. It seems all of the necessary documentation and adjustments have been received to allow Council to grant the requested approvals.]
Warmer Days (Parry Sound in Black & White)
Note: Not all agenda items are covered here. I typically skip 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 along with the supporting documents? The full package can be found at the town’s website (http://townofparrysound.com/pagesmith/14).