So packed, the council package had to be broken into two parts. And it may, or may not, drive the Councillors a little crazy. Some of the pages are rotated 90 degrees and others 180 degrees. If you have worked with an iPad it’s not as simple as ‘turning’ the iPad to read a rotated page, you need to lock the device orientation. Let’s hope they learned how to do this, or there will be frustration. Here’s a one-file version of this week’s agenda (it’s no smaller than the two separate files) with the pages all in a standard orientation. I suggest you read it in portrait mode and ‘pinch to zoom’ to read the detail on the landscape oriented pages. Unfortunately this PDF version doesn’t provide links from the agenda portion to the corresponding reports. Choose your poison.

Despite the almost 340 pages, most of the items aren’t really ‘mission critical’. There are a couple of deputations scheduled, but most of the pages are taken up by reports. Item 9.1.3, Public Transit System, is an important item that is finally coming before Council. And I consider Item 9.6.1, Request for CN & CP Bridge Structural Engineering Reports, to be important in the context of the ‘unfortunate’ events that have been plaguing the railways.

Closed Session

There is mention of an employment agreement in the closed session of Council. I expect that this may suggest the hiring of a new Director of Finance and POA Court services is imminent. Interviews were held last week and the current director is scheduled to retire by the end of February. And it’s budget season.

Correspondence

4.1 – Belvedere Heights Board of Management with an invoice for Parry Sound’s annual contribution to the operation of Belvedere Heights in the amount of $108,053.24.

4.2 – A request from the Royal Canadian Legion to support advertising in the Military Service Recognition Book being developed to recognize Veterans both past and present in print form.

4.3 – A Municipal Blue Box Recycling payment of $11,216.55 for 3Q2013 in the amount.

Deputations

5.1  – Anne Bossart regarding Doors Open Parry Sound.

5.2 – Lis McWalter-DBA and Anne Bossart regarding Market Square Park.

Consent Agenda

There are several items, the most important in my opinion being the scheduling of an additional meeting of Council to review and discuss the 2014 budget. See the agenda package for full details.

Resolutions and Directions to Staff

9.1.1 – Asset Management Plan for the Town of Parry Sound. Council endorses the Asset Management Plan, as a living document, for the Town’s Roads, Bridges, Water Treatment, Water Mains, Wastewater Treatment, Sanitary Sewer Mains and Storm Sewers as prepared by Tulloch Engineering, attached as Schedule “A”. [This is a major report that needs to be accepted by Council to meet certain provincial requirement for future funding.]

9.1.2 – Pre-budget approval – Hanging Flower Baskets. [Oh, oh another one of those pre-budget items, in this case for $15,000. This amount includes watering services, although the actual R&R is not included in the agenda package.]

9.1.3 – Public Transit System. Whereas the current operation of the Parry Sound public transit system is not in compliance with provincial legislation; and Further, it has been determined that it is not financially feasible to achieve compliance the way the current transit system is being delivered; Now therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound will cease all public transit operations in the Town of Parry Sound, as currently provided, by the end of the fiscal year 2014; and that staff provide an AODA compliant public transportation proposal for Council’s consideration by August 2014. [This is a big issue from both a public service and budget perspective. I think it’s great that Staff has had the courage to go on record stating that the current system won’t work going forward and a new model needs to be developed. This will mean considerable work for Staff, but it is important.]

9.2.1 – Request to Amend the No Smoking By-law. That a ratepayer’s request to amend Bylaw 2012-6087, Smoking Bylaw, to include entrances at multi-unit dwellings in the smoking prohibition section, be denied. [I guess Staff’s recommendation comes down to two considerations; it’s the request of a single individual, and enforcement would be an issue. From my perspective there is also the issue of the unreasonable intrusion of government in private business operations. It’s an issue for the landlord to address with the tenants. No smoking at the entrance seems a reasonable request, but it perhaps is not an obvious right.]

9.2.2 – Permit Parking Request. That the property owner’s written request for an additional parking permit in front of their building at 19 Parry Sound Road, be denied. [It’s an issue of not enough street space. The conversion of single family dwellings and business to multi-unit apartments doesn’t come without issues for the landlord. We are starting to see some of the issue of ‘big cities’ as density increases.]

9.2.3 – Partnership Community Living – People to People Program. That Council support in principle the partnership with Community Living to assist with their educational program – “People to People” and provide a letter of support for the funding application.

9.3.1 – Departmental Business Plans and Key Performance Objectives (KPO’s). That the 2014 Departmental Business Plans be approved as attached Schedule “A”; and that the 2014 Key Performance Objectives Summary for all departments be approved as attached Schedule “B”. [Another big chunk of the Council package. It’s worth reading.]

9.4.1 – Tom Thomson, Signage Partnership. That upon the recommendation of the Waterfront Advisory Committee, Council supports the Tom Thomson Centenary Signage Project in partnership with the West Parry Sound District Museum and the Rotary Club of Parry Sound, per Schedule ‘A’ attached; and That Council authorize $2,000 to be allocated from the Waterfront Advisory Committee Reserve for this project.

9.4.2 – Consent Application 146 and 154 Louisa Street. That Council supports Consent Application No. B36/2013(PS) for a lot addition conditional upon confirmation from the Town that the resultant lots would meet the requirements of the zoning by-law, and each lot is serviced by private well and septic systems which are located entirely on each lot.

9.4.3 – Lot Grading Report Follow-up. That Council receives for information the Lot Grading Report, dated December 3, 2013, attached as Schedule “A”, and that Council directs that no further action be taken with respect to the Lot Grading Report, dated December 3, 2013. [It turns out that asking the Town to get involved in grading issues that result in neighbouring property complaints is a ‘can of worms’. The recommendation is that the Town stay out of it completely and let the parties fight it out themselves, in court if necessary.]

9.6.1 – Request for CN & CP Bridge Structural Engineering Reports. That Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways be requested to provide the Engineer’s Bridge Structure Report(s) for all the railway bridges within the Town of Parry Sound to the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Parry Sound. [Yes! Apologies for an ‘event’ because of their infrastructure failure is not enough. Both railways are currently cleaning up multiple ‘accidents’ and in a couple of cases they are fighting with individuals regarding the extent of their responsibility. In this case an ‘ounce of prevention’ is worth ‘a ton of cure’.]

By-Laws

10.2.1 – Shared By-law Enforcement Services with The Township of the Archipelago. Being a Bylaw to execute an agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and the Township of the Archipelago for By-law Enforcement Services for a period of one year. [Yes, I get it, but in many ways we are subsidizing Carling Township and the Archipelago. How much would it cost them to do this on their own? Much more than we are being paid. Have you looked at the relative assessments for Parry Sound versus in comparison to these communities? Carling has 1.1, and the Archipelago 2.3, times Parry Sound’s assessment base. At $37.00 per hour we are subsidizing their operations. I’m waiting to see how these communities figure out the dollars and cents of their own police force. Let’s see, you will need at least six officers to provide 24x7x52 coverage when you consider there are 168 hours in a week, there are office duties, court appearances, training, vacations … And then there needs to be an office, support staff, two or three vehicles, and the list just grows. Jeez, it’s nice to have Parry Sound next door and ready to indirectly subsidize your community. I get why this by-law makes sense but I really don’t like it.]

10.5.1 – Letter of Agreement with MTO for Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for Public Transportation. A by-Law to authorize a Letter of Agreement between the Province of Ontario and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound, related to funding provided by the Province of Ontario to the Municipality under the Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for Public Transportation. [Same as usual.]

10.6.1 – Parry Sound Hydro Corporation. A by-law to confirm the proceedings of the October 12, 2012, November 19, 2012, February 11, 2013, March 19, 2013, April 22, 2013, July 26, 2013, September 17, 2013, October 24, 2013 and November 19, 2013 Meetings of the Board of Directors for Parry Sound Hydro Corporation.

Oh Parry Sound. We Stand on Guard for Thee. (Parry Sound in Black & White)

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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).