It was a short meeting as suggested in the meeting preview post and was over by 8:10. I would have been dead on my prediction of 8:15 had a couple of the Councillors not been absent. Their reports would certainly have added in the necessary five minutes.
Not much of importance was discussed at the meeting. Council seemed to take a step forward with regards to Market Square Park (see 9.3.2 below) by giving some general approval to a TD Green Streets grant received by the Town. It’s subject to a meeting between the stakeholders on the best way forward with a facelift for the park.
Councillors Reports and Questions of Staff
The arms have been installed at the Cascade Street CN rail crossing and seem to be operating properly. Report any issues to the Town so that they can get back to CN for repairs. It was mentioned that there are discussions ongoing with regard to a corridor through Town to permit ATV traffic and that would connect the southern and northern trails. It was stated that the Town budget would be presented to Council for final approval at their next meeting. There should be a 1% increase in the levy, which means a net 2.5% increase in property taxes for most property owners when you factor in the property value increases as determined by MPAC. There was also mention that MPAC would be holding meetings at the Town Office one day a month to receive property owners and discuss any concerns they may have regarding their property assessment.
The security of property of the municipality or local board. (Market Square Park) [This seems to have been about the TD Green Streets grant application and was moved to open session, see 9.3.2.]
Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees. (Performance Review). [This was a performance review for Director of Public Works, Peter Brown, and was accepted. I’ll offer my review. Excellent performance, but don’t let it go to your head. Not only are the obvious things being well managed (snow removal, maintenance,…) but we are seeing some much overdue upgrades to infrastructure. And much of that is being financed by a well managed program of proactive grant applications.]
Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board (Stockey Centre Siding). [Nothing further was mentioned on this matter.]
Adoption of Minutes
That the February 18, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes be approved with the following correction to Resolution 2014-030: That Resolution No: 2013-111 is hereby revoked. CARRIED. [Resolution 2013-111 was the previous resolution concerning the assignment of signing authority for the Town that has been superseded by the last meeting’s resolution.]
4.1 – Association of Municipalities of Ontario requesting all Ontario municipalities send a letter to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills of the Ontario Legislature to request amendments to Bill 69. [On the consent agenda, Item 8.3. This concerns the terms of payments for services provided to municipalities by outside contractors.]
4.2 – Museum on Tower Hill, a request for a grant in the amount of $26,000 for the Museum on Tower Hill. [This is the annual funding support that the Town provides the museum. It was noted that this is already included in the 2014 budget.]
4.3 – Algonquin Regiment Veterans Association, a request to declare May 26 to June 1, 2014 Algonquin Regiment Week and to raise the flag at the municipal office on May 26th. [Forwarded to Staff.]
There were no deputations.
8.1 – Increase in Electricity Rates. Resolution. Support for Town of Arnprior’s Resolution 059-14 urging the provincial government to ensure that electricity rates both in the short and long-term allow businesses to remain competitive and ensure vulnerable residents of Ontario’s communities are not overburdened by ever-increasing electricity rates. CARRIED.
8.2 – Earth Hour, March 29, 2014, 8:30-9:30. Resolution. Mayor and Council declare March 29, 2014 at 8:30.p.m. “Earth Hour” in Parry Sound. CARRIED.
8.3 – Bill 69, Prompt Payment Act, 2013. Resolution. Council direct staff to send the letter, attached as Schedule “A”, to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills to request the Bill be amended to: reflect more realistic timelines for payments in infrastructure projects; allow time for due diligence before accepting work and certifying payments; and allow payments to continue to be tied to project milestones. CARRIED.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Waterfront Advisory Committee – Member Resignation. Resolution. That Council accepts, with regret, the resignation of Marianne King-Wilson from the Waterfront Advisory Committee of Council. CARRIED.
9.1.2 – Request to rent sign space on a Town Street. Resolution. That staff bring forward a by-law to define and authorize an agreement with the Sherk’s for a sign upon the Parry Sound Drive road allowance (per their request). DEFEATED [This has an interesting twist but is not really important enough to discuss here. The net/net is that Harris Furniture will be provided with a first right of refusal to rent the sign.]
9.3.1 – Appointments to the West Parry Sound Joint Election Compliance Audit Committee. Resolution. Larry Simons be appointed as a member of the WPS Joint Election Compliance Audit Committee and that Judy Keown be appointed the alternate for the term commencing March 1, 2014 to November 30, 2014; and the Town appoint Ed Ewing, Peter Spadzinski, and Larry Simons with Judy Keown as alternate to the West Parry Sound Joint Election Compliance Audit Committee for the term commencing December 1, 2014 to November 30, 2018. CARRIED.
9.3.2 – Regarding the Market Square grant application to TD Green Streets by the Parry Sound Downtown Business Association (DBA). CARRIED. [This was a last minute addition to the agenda so I don’t have the exact resolution wording. The bottom line is that the Town is willing to consider accepting the grant which was approved in the amount of $15,000, subject to a meeting of the park’s stakeholders and an agreement on the plan. The Town was one of only 15 communities across Canada to receive the grant. But one Councillor couldn’t help but criticize the DBA for putting in the grant application without full Council approval. A couple other of the Councillors suggested that Council should not be too critical of initiative. Remember, this application for funding was not binding on the Town, they could have rejected the funds (and possibly looked like a fool). I believe that the DBA and this grant application has received more public criticism from some members of Town Council than the builder who started a major building project in Town without approval or a building permit. Methinks this is a little bit of politicking in an election year.]
9.X – Regarding fleet tracking analysis and report. Direction. This was another last minute addition to the agenda and I don’t have the proper agenda ‘number’ for it. CARRIED. [This concerns an interest on the part of Council to provide the Public Works Department with the tools to track their fleet so as to improve effectiveness and efficiency. The Director of Public Works supported the initiative and was asked to prepare a report and recommendation for possible inclusion of the cost for hardware and software in the 2015 budget (next year’s).]
9.6.1 – Finance / Budget Committee, Spokesperson: Councillor Paul Borneman. [This item was not discussed.]
10.1.1 – Rezoning Application – Beatty Street. By-law. Lifting of Holding Provision. CARRIED. [This relates to the new elementary school construction that is scheduled to commence this Spring.]
10.1.2 – Rezoning Application Z14-01 – Crombie Property Holdings Ltd. – 25 Pine Drive. By-law. To amend By-law No. 2004-4653 for property on Pine Drive (Crombie Property Holdings Ltd.). CARRIED. [This concerns the Sobeys property that was the subject of a recent open meeting. It appears there are plans to build an additional 10,000 square feet of retail space that will include a pharmacy with a drive through lane. Construction is expected to start this year.]
10.5.1 – SRNMIF-CTL – Wakefield & Dufferin Funding Agreement. By-law. To authorize the execution of a Transfer Payment Agreement between the Province and the Town regarding a grant to support the reconstruction of Wakefield and Dufferin Streets. CARRIED.
Enough Said (Parry Sound in Black & White)
These notes review only those portions of the council meeting that I see as having greater importance or general community interest. See my agenda preview posts for additional comments.
The official minutes from council meetings are available at the Town of Parry Sound website, no later than the Friday following the meeting. The full council proceeding are available on video through Cogeco. Schedule details are available from the town office (705-746-2101).