It’s a pretty light meeting this week with some large budget items unlikely to provoke much discussion or any surprises. That doesn’t mean these issues aren’t important and might benefit from some ‘out of the box’ thinking, but I don’t expect anything more than “CARRIED” and “Forwarded to Staff”. Here are the bigger issues in my opinion.
2.1.1 – Blasting regulation. An interesting request that has about zero chance of moving forward. The use of dynamite is federally regulated, like the railways, and anything that is legislated locally has no impact. That’s zero impact. The Town can regulate fireworks but not explosives. Think about that for a bit and ask yourself if it seems reasonable. I empathize with the concern of the local residents, not all individuals who are licensed to use explosives are ‘professionals’. I suggest they take this up with their insurance company. Professionals will always do an audit of the neighbourhood to set a baseline in case there should be damage to local buildings. It seems these are not professionals.
4.5 – Approval of Parry Sound’s Official Plan. The Town has been advised that it’s Official Plan is ‘good to go’ with the most recent modifications. Okay, let’s see if we can live by the Plan, it’s a good one in my opinion.
8.8 – Review of Key Performance Objectives on June 24th at 6:00 PM.
9.1.1 – ‘Remedial’ Roof Repairs Charles W. Stockey Centre. Approval is being requested for about $160,000 to repair the roof on the Stockey Centre. It’s what, ten years old? Don’t new roofs come with a 25-year warranty? I wonder what the heck went on a dozen years ago in terms of oversight. This year we will probably spend half a million dollars repairing roofs and rebuilding retaining walls, all before their time. Are we learning from these lessons? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Are up to the 10th, 20th or 30th lesson in doing it right the first time? Oh, the Stockey Centre repairs are going to cost about $340,000, we are only doing the first half now. Should we just keep our money in our pocket and look at putting on a metal roof? It should do much, much better than ten years. Sometimes you need to pay more upfront to save much more in the future. Argh!
9.5.2 – Reconstruction of Wakefield and Dufferin. Council is being asked to approve a tender in the amount of about $1.3 million for a reconstruction of Wakefield and Dufferin Streets. The Province will be responsible for 90% of the cost, so it looks like a no-brainer decision. Although he may not be a ‘Sunshine Boy’ I believe our Director of Public Works will keep a sharp eye on the project to ensure we won’t be required to make remedial repairs in a few years.
10.1.1 – Downtown Parry Sound Consumer Market Study. Staff is requesting approval to enter into an agreement with Industry Canada/FedNor to finance and conduct a Downtown Business market study. The budget for the study is $60,000 with the Town responsible for only $6,000 (10%) of the cost. The Request for Proposal has been issued and I hope we get a taker rather than doing it in-house with interns. (UPDATE – the question was raised whether the Town or the Downtown Business Association are responsible for the $6,000. The agreement is between the Feds and the Town and the DBA is responsible for the $6,000. I guess I’m confused at this point about where Town and DBA responsibilities start, end and overlap. The DBA is responsible for the cost but the Town is managing the process. The Town though wields the ‘hammer’.)
There really is more on the agenda than what is noted above. You’ll need to check out the full agenda at the Town’s website if you want to see all of the items and the details. I’ll probably leave quite early to get out on the North Shore Rugged Trail for some exercise and photos.
Zooming By 24x7x52 (Parry Sound in Black & White)