The right bet was the push to 9:30, actually 9:33. I was a bit surprised that the meeting went on for as long as it did, Council moved through sections I thought would take time and got bogged down with other matters. Council reached agreement on a couple of issues and surprisingly left a couple open, most notably the 2014 budget (9.4.1).
Councillors Reports and Questions of Staff
There really wan’t anything worth noting in the questions of Staff or the Councillors reports.
Closed Agenda Items
The security of property of the municipality or local board (Confidentiality of Closed Agenda Items). [The net/net of this was that there will be ‘training’ offered to (required of?) Town appointed members of committees and boards, see 9.3.2. below.]
Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Employment Agreement – Manager of Operations). [An offer of employment was extended for this position to Greg Darby.]
4.1 – North East Community Care Access Centre, an invitiation for Mayor & Council to attend the March 25, 2014 Heroes in the Home, Caregiver Recognition Award. [Forwarded to Staff for follow up.]
5.1 – Donald Sanderson, CEO, West Parry Sound Health Centre and Lakeland Long Term Care and Jim Hanna, Public Relations/Communications with an update on the state of health care in our community. [Well this was interesting as a look into what the regional carpetbaggers are thinking and possibly plotting with regards to the Parry Sound Hydro merger proceeds. See my recent post, The Alley-Oop, for details.]
5.2 – Chris Litschko, CEO, Lakeland Holding Ltd. Re: Cascade Generation Station Update. [A nice presentation on the upgrade to the generating plant on Cascade Street. We will be getting a new, smaller facility that will be capable of generating more power. Target date for operation is 2016. They are looking for volunteers to participate on a committee to help design the look of the new facility to fit in with the community. A cynic might suggest cheap vinyl siding and as few windows as possible based on the more recent builds in town. A community open house is scheduled for April 5th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. And the merger seems on track with final provincial approval expected in a few weeks.]
5.3 – Dean Adams, Adams Bros. regarding contracted our services. [This deputation was not made.]
8.1 – World Autism Awareness Day, declaring April 2, 2014 as World Autism Awareness Day. CARRIED.
8.2 – World Lupus Day, declaring May 10, 2014 as World Lupus Day. CARRIED
8.3 – Muskoka/Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services, approving a Tag Day for the Muskoka/Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services on June 7, 2014. CARRIED
Resolutions and Direction To Staff
9.1.1 – 295 MacPherson Squadron – 70th Anniversary. Resolution. The Town declare the 70th Anniversary Annual Inspection an event of municipal significance, and provide free use of the Bobby Orr Community Centre for the purpose of the Ceremony/Inspection. CARRIED.
9.1.2 – Parry Sound Festival of Beer, Noise By-law relief. Resolution. Council provide relief from By-Law 2009-5301, being the by-law to regulate noise in the municipality on Saturday May 17, 2014 from 1pm – 11pm at Waubuno Beach & Park. CARRIED. [Another ‘fest’, another by-law relief approval.]
9.1.3 – Request for Proposal, Highest and Best Use of Property – 71 Parry Sound Road. Resolution. Council authorize staff to proceed with obtaining an appraisal for the property; and advertising a Request for Proposals for the development of the Town owned property at 71 Parry Sound Road. CARRIED. [It looks as though we may get some additional development in Town. The Mayor ticked off the many development projects going on in Town. All-in-all Parry Sound continues to grow in terms of in-fill.]
9.2.1 – Fire Department Aerial Purchase. Resolution. Council waive the Purchasing Policy and award the contract for the supply of a E-One Aerial Device in the amount of $1,022,180.00 +HST, and a further allocation of up to $10,000.00 to be utilized for vehicle improvements/changes during the pre-delivery inspection. CARRIED. [There was limited debate, but it seems enough work has been done over the past three years to make us comfortable with both the need for this new piece of equipment and the specified unit.]
9.3.1 – Annual Report of the Integrity Commissioner. Resolution. The 2013 Annual Report of the Integrity Commissioner, attached as Schedule “A”, be received by Council. CARRIED. [See 9.3.2 below for comments.]
9.3.2 – Boards & Committees. Resolution. That the Integrity Commissioner be requested to present a governance and procedural information and education session for Council, staff, and Town board and committee members. CARRIED. [This item was agreed with some discussion. It my be that there has been some nastiness going on at the board and committee level and Council wants to shut down any public leaks.]
9.4.1 – 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets. Resolution. Council approves in principle a budget with a levy of $8,642,079.00, reflective of a 1.0% increase in the 2013 tax rate, as attached in Appendix A and Appendix B, and that staff be directed to bring a by-law forward for formal adoption of the Budget once all external levies have been submitted. WITHDRAWN. [This item took much more discussion that I had expected. There were two issues discussed. Unhappiness on the part of Council that Staff had not cut expenses to meet a 1% levy increase target, but rather had relied on new MPAC data that indicated assessments had risen sufficiently to obviate the need for further cuts. And a brand new suggestion that the Town not increase the tax rate, or even reduce it, rather than approve the 1% increase. Neither issue was resolved at the meeting and Council agreed to meet March 24th at 6:00 PM to continue the discussion. The discussion of when to have the meeting was actually quite entertaining (you had to be there), with Council members protesting suggested dates and times until a compromise was reached. My two cents on this. Council, don’t get too high on your horses about a budget meeting interfering with other board or committee meetings. I have attended enough of these meetings to know that you are quite comfortable arriving late, leaving early or not showing up. It’s about priorities. The budget is important and you are paid to show up for meetings unlike most board and committee members. Get over it and show up.]
9.5.1 – 2013 Water Treatment Plant Summary Resolution. Council acknowledges receipt of the report entitled: “Town of Parry Sound Tony Agnello Water Treatment Plant, Large Municipal Residential Drinking Water System Summary Report of 2013″, as prepared by Kyle Hall, Manager of Water Systems. CARRIED. [Our water meets and exceeds standards.]
10.1.1 – Property Disposal – Town Owned Waterlot. Bylaw. To authorize the transfer of Town owned lands to Parry Sound PowerGen Corporation. CARRIED. [Part of the merger agreement follow on activities.]
10.1.2 – Artists Round the Sound & the Rutke Group. By-law. The execution of an agreement between Artists Round the Sound (ARTS), the Rutke Group, and the Town for the use of wall space at the Town Office for the purpose of a year-round art gallery. CARRIED.
10.1.3 – Big Sound Marina/Town Dock – Operating Agreement. By-law. To enter into an operating agreement with Massasauga Management Co. Inc. for the operation of Big Sound Marina and the Town Dock conditional on approval from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Small Craft Harbours. CARRIED. [I think one councillor expressed it best when he suggested that the Town’s hands were tied, they had to do this deal as there was no practical alternative. A classic example of “If you want a deal real bad, I have real bad deal for you.” Doing a little bit of research I find that the parties behind the Massasauga Management Co. Inc. previously had an agreement with the Town regarding ‘Pier 99’ that ended up in litigation. Here’s a link to the little bit of information concerning the litigation that I was able to find online. I think the Town lost that one. This will be fun to watch.]
10.5.1 – Energy Use Assessment Services. By-law. The execution of an Energy Use Assessment Services Agreement between Parry Sound Power Corporation and the Town. CARRIED.
Yippee! A New Fire Truck. Rides for Council! (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).