It’s a very light agenda this week with almost all items appearing to be straightforward. The only issue that picks up on an earlier, in my opinion controversial, decision is Item 10.5.1. This is the sale of about 23 acres of Town property for less than $2,000 per acre. Once I again I will suggest that while this transaction may be ‘good’ for the Town it belies Council’s claim that the Town does not offer financial inducements for private investment or development, especially because it is being sold for less than the property’s assessed value.

Here are the more interesting agenda items in my opinion.

4.2 – Letter. This follows up the deputation made at the previous Council meeting and is worth looking at a bit more closely. The issues raised are concerning.

4.4 – Letter. A letter inviting Council and the members of the community to attend Doors Open Parry Sound on September 27th. The focus this year is the centenary of the start of the Great War (WW I) and the waterfront. The dozen or so ‘doors’ open include those at the Canadian Coast Guard Base and the Tony Agnello Water Treatment Plant. See Doors Open Parry Sound for more information.

9.1.1 – Resolution. External EMS Efficiency and Effectiveness Review. Council is being asked to approve a $49,500 contract with Performance Concepts to provide a review of the District’s EMS services with special attention to service in the Argyle area. This is not the least expensive of the proposals received but is being put forward because it offers a “fresh sets of eyes”. Fresh eyes and creative solutions are what are required unless costs are to go up or service is to suffer.

9.3.1 – Resolution. 2013 Investment Report. This is a follow up to a recent request at Council for a summary of the returns the Town is receiving on its cash reserves and investments. Except for the Town’s past loan to Parry Sound Hydro/Power the annual returns have been pretty much less than 1%. The higher returns with Parry Sound Hydro, about 7% annually, are now history with the Lakeland merger. But they were fated to disappear because of provincial regulations regarding non-arm’s length transactions. Here’s a summary of the Town’s investments and returns (fund/amount/returns). See the Council package for full details.

Operating Accounts – CIBC
Revenue Fund                      $9,728,000 (<1% annual return)
Trust Funds                         $262,000 (<1% annual return)
Reserve Funds                    $3,328,000 (<1% annual return)

Revenue Fund (Non-CIBC)
Airport/Museum                   $73,000 (~2% annual return)
Parry Sound Hydro/Power     $3,968,000 (~7.1% annual return)

10.1.1 – By-Law. Paramedicine Funding. This is an agreement between the Town and the Province for funding to support a paramedicine program. The amount is not disclosed and will be announced at some point by the Province.

10.3.1 – By-Law. Town of Parry Sound Web Site Redesign. The Town at long last is preparing to have the website updated. The contract for the upgrade, in the amount of $29,850, was awarded to eSolutions of Waterloo. They were not the lowest bidder but still came in under the budgeted amount and received high marks from Staff. The site is to be launched by mid-February 2015.

10.5.1 – By-Law. Declaration of Surplus Land – 71 Parry Sound Road. This starts the process of ‘selling’ the 23 acre tract of land at 71 Parry Sound Drive to GK York Management Services. This company, for which we have relatively little information, manages properties in Parry Sound including the Pinelodge Apartments (former hospital) and property above the Subway on James Street. They are headquartered in Brantford Ontario. The property in question will be sold for $40,000, about $1,700 per acre, or what you would pay for two months rent at the cheapest apartment at the Pinelodge apartments on Bay Street.

That’s it. I’ll see you Tuesday night.

Doesn’t Lead to the Garden (Parry Sound in Black & White)