Business as usual at Council this Tuesday. It’s not a snoozefest, but there really isn’t that much of importance on this week’s a agenda. The letters are interesting, and the agenda items move business forward, but the budget, which is not on the agenda, promises to be the centre of Staff and Council’s attention for the next month or so.
Here are the agenda items that caught my attention.
4.1 – Letter. Logan’s of Parry Sound. Concerns regarding the proposed street closure from 8:00am-1:00pm every second Sunday for the months of June, July August and September 2015. This business is concerned that the closure of the street, to permit public activities such as cycling, skating, walking, etc., would severly impact their business and unreasonably inconvenience people at the First Baptist Church. They also suggest that “the potential atmosphere outside during street closures is quite conceivably incompatible with the nature of funerals”. There is mention that “This change can be viewed as a lack of consideration to the bereaved [sic]”. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out; this is a community member who I have seen ‘punch above their weight’.
4.2 – Letter. Concerns that fluoridation of the municipal water supply may be removed as Canadian dental and public health authorities continue to support the fluoridation of drinking water for good health and well being. A letter urging Council to continue with fluoridation of the Town water as is currently recommended by dental and public health authorities.
8.2 – Resolution. OPP Billing Model – Unorganized Townships. A letter to be sent to Queen’s Park in support of implementing a billing method for properties in unorganized townships. There seems to be a feeling that all communities benefiting from OPP service should pay their share.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Resolution. Transfer to Reserves for 2014 Capital Project Carry Forwards. This seems to be a bookkeeping exercise as the funds had been budgeted in 2014 but the respective projects not yet completed, and funds spent. The total is $391,000 for the following projects:
- Trails Master Plan $ 25,000
- Waubuno Beach Washroom Repair $ 25,000
- BOCC Roof Repair $150,000
- Culvert Replacement $ 30,000
- Bridge Repairs $ 60,000
- Playground Equipment $ 25,000
- BOCC Kitchen Equipment $ 5,000
- CP Station Roof Repair $ 25,000
- MS Office Upgrade $ 16,000
9.2.1 – Resolution. Commitment and Endorsement of Quality Management System. An important formality to have the new Council understand and acknowledge their responsibilities with respect to our water system.
9.3.1 – Direction. Rezoning Application – Z14-06 – Waltmar Inc. – 2 Oastler Park Drive. This is the dock company across from Sobey’s on Old 69. They have been in violation of zoning regulations and are required to do a couple of studies, with remediation as necessary, to ensure their use of the property is in compliance with zoning regulations. In particular there is a need for a traffic and environmental study. I suspect that Council will approve temporary use through the end of 2015. I’m not this is the message we want to send to the public and businesses. Don’t ask permission, beg for forgiveness. Let’s see how Council handles this. Staff wants to see the usual procedures followed, but realizes Council has the right and obligation to make the decision. What was it they did to the unpermitted construction on River Street last year? Let’s not have a two-tier system that depends on who you know and who you hire. There is no need to slap wrists, but let’s make regulations transparent and consistent.
9.5.1 – Resolution. 2014 Election Accessibility Report to Council. A necessary report and follow up to the 2014 Town of Parry Sound election that was in my opinion well managed and conducted.
9.5.2 – Resolution. Annual Integrity Commissioner’s Report – 2014. Nothing to see here – just move along. The Commissioner reported a total of 1 formal, 3 informal and 27 inquiries concerning complaints under the Code of Conduct. The one formal complaint, I believe it concerns Council’s actions with respect to the removal of the Chair of the Downtown Business Association, was not addressed as it fell outside the jurisdiction of the Commissioner. But it’s worth noting there were four inquiries from Staff and four from Council and nineteen from the Public.
9.5.3 – Direction. 2015 Strategic Planning Process. Basically the same as the 2011 process with an external facilitator.
9.5.4 – Resolution. Council, Board and Committee Training – Closed Meetings; Code of Conduct, Committee Policies. This is a four-hour workshop to be conducted by an external group for $4,000. It is targeted to Council and Town Committee Members, but appears to be open to all who might be interested. The intent is to hold the workshop in early April. I hope attention will be paid to reminding Staff and Council what can, and cannot, be discussed in closed sessions of Council. I suspect that considerable business is done in closed sessions that not only should be done in open session, but also would benefit from the transparency that open sessions offer.
10.2.1 – Vianet Agreement. This permits Vianet to increase their footprint at the north water tower. An interesting aside, apparently there will be free internet access at the tower. Top? Bottom? Wired? Wireless? Public use? Staff use?
10.3.1 – Disposal of Surplus Lands: 125 William Street. Oops – this is required to tidy up the sale and merger agreement between the Town and Lakeland Power.
10.3.2 – Agreement for the delivery of Services to Former OSPCA Property. It seems that the property is being developed as a storage and preparation facility for Kate’s Kart. While it resides in Seguin it is requesting services, water and sewer, from Parry Sound.
10.4.1 – Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with West Parry Sound Health Centre and North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit. This concerns the enforcement of Parry Sound smoking regulations on the West Parry Sound Health Centre property.
10.2.2 – Shared By-law Enforcement Services with the Township of the Carling. (I believe this should be item 10.4.2, not 10.2.2.). This renews the By-Law services provided by Parry Sound to Carling Township for the Year 2015 at defined rates.
There is more; check the Town’s website for a full copy of the agenda and supporting materials. I’m not sure I will be there, there isn’t much of importance being discussed and there are no scheduled deputations.
Thunder Creek Meets the Big Sound (It’s Nicer in Colour)