Break’s over. Back on your heads. Well after a relaxed summer it’s back to business in a big way. There is more of importance on this agenda than I am going to summarize in this post. Take a look at the agenda package to see what it is that I haven’t included. The summary is available at the Parry Sound website, and the full package is available from the menu at the top of this page.
What’s not on the agenda and has been gaining momentum is the creation of a West Parry Sound Recreation Centre Advisory Committee, or more explicitly a swimming pool committee. Parry Sound has already approved the formation of the committee and Seguin Township and the Township of the Archipelago confirmed their participation. It’s exploratory at this stage but I’m hoping they will keep the public informed as to the ongoing developments. I believe a pool can be defined as a hole in the ground that you throw money into.
Let’s look at the agenda.
2.1.1 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/15/2 (6963510 Canada Incorporated) – Louisa Street. This rezoning will approve a long list of uses for the property, from auto repair garage to service station to machine or welding shop to warehouse to building supply outlet, with no more than a 25% retail component. It a property off Louisa Street past Starbucks on the left side. There has been some earth moving going on in this location for the last couple of months. The property is owned by 6963510 Canada Incorporated, which has Alan Furbacher of Brampton Ontario listed as the only Director.
2.1.3 – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z15/4 (Van Gelder – 48 Bowes Street). The final proposed Zoning By-law Amendment is an application to amend an existing Special Provision 26.67 zone to permit a Business or Professional Office and an accessory dwelling unit. This is the property directly across from Forest Street and beside the lot that had the house burn down a couple of years ago.
5.1 – Mr. Frank Hinde. Re: Three near misses encountered on Great North Road and Bowes Street while trying to cross the street. This is rescheduled from last meeting.
Resolutions and Directions to Staff
9.2.1 – Olympic Sailing Bid. Resolution. Now therefore be it resolved that Council of the Town of Parry Sound supports Sail Parry Sound’s recommendation for 2024 Olympic sailing to be held in Parry Sound. Hmm, this is thinking big. Well we have the most necessary part, the Big Sound and great sailing. Unfortunately we don’t have the sewage and garbage that is being offered at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Will this result in the Toronto Olympic bid being downgraded? I’m not sure about the Toronto Olympic bid, but if the bid is filed I think Parry Sound would be a great site for at least a portion of the sailing competition. I imagine that Kingston would also be part of any plan for Olympic sailing, they are close to Toronto and have hosted it before.
9.3.1 – Information Technology – Infrastructure Replacement. Resolution. Hmm, this is an emergency, single supplier, expense of about $123,000 to basically replace the existing in-house network. It means hardware and software. I am surprised to see that an option for hosted servers is not included. This generally offers substantial savings, provides expert support and regular hardware and software upgrades. In my opinion there is a bit of a conflict here. The consultants that did the assessment, discovered the problems, and prepared the hardware and software recommendations, are also the folks who are being considered as the sole source supplier for the upgrade. We multiple tender $5,000 expenses, but not this? We pay people good money to make sure the Town is getting the best value for their money, so I’m sure they are on top of it. I am a little surprised by the mention in the R&R report of the “recent “retirement” of the Town’s IT Co-ordinator Dan DiNicolo”. Retirement – really? Was there a retirement celebration?
9.3.2 – POA Write-offs for Under Payments. Resolution. It seems a large number of ‘nickel and dime’ deadbeats haven’t paid a variety of Provincial Offence Act fines, about 1,200 of them at an average of about $11.60 each, for a total of almost $14,000. The Town and the Province suggest writing them off as there is no profit in pursuing them.
9.4.1 – Fluoride system upgrades for the Tony Agnello Water Treatment Plant. Resolution. More bucks, and the reason many municipalities have decided to forego fluoridation – the cost. The proposed upgrade to the system is estimated to cost about $250,000 between engineering and construction.
9.4.5 – Waubeek St. Reconstruction – Expression of Interest. Resolution. This is the next major road priority for the Town. In this case it concerns an application to the Province under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) – Capital Program. I’m glad to see we have a plan and are prepared for these funding opportunities.
9.5.1 – Regional Marketing Plan. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee (REDAC), Council accept the proposal received from HCA Mindbox in the amount of $60,300 (HST extra), for the development of a Regional Marketing Plan.
10.4.1 – CN Agreement – Isabella Street Grade Crossing. Being a by-law to execute an agreement with Canadian National Railway Company for modifications at the grade crossing of Isabella Street including the installation of flashing lights, gates, bell and constant warning device. This has been a long time coming, but it takes time to get the necessary railway and Federal agreements and approvals. I am a bit surprised that there is no mention of Canadian Pacific. It is a double track arrangement but perhaps CN is the contractor on behalf of the two railways. The Town’s portion of the project is $42,000 plus any other civil work that is the Town’s responsibility. This amount is not budgeted but won’t be an expense for 2015, more likely 2016 and/or 2017.
10.4.2 – Funding Agreement – Emily Street. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund Agreement between Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound. The Town is responsible for one-third of the project cost, about $765,000. It is expected that most of the Town’s portion will come from the water and wastewater reserves. That explains in part why water costs are what they are. It’s not the water, it’s getting the water to you and the waste to the sewage plant. You can pay it now, or you can pay more later. We may be exercising the paying more later option in this case, but not as much as a few years from now.
10.5.2 – NOHFC Funding Agreement: Regional Marketing Plan. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a funding agreement between the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC) and the Town of Parry Sound for the development of a Regional Marketing Plan. This covers 90% of the expense noted in Item 9.5.1.
One thing I have noted is that the summary agenda, what’s available on the Town’s website, never seems to include the cost of the various items before Council. You need to read the full package to get those costs. I think it would be best if the public had access to these figures without having to ‘dig for them’.
I won’t be at the meeting this Tuesday. It’s more important to read the full agenda package than listen to the debate. Council will make their decisions regardless of who is in the audience. Better to get on top of the issues before the meeting and let people know what’s going on so that they can reach out to Staff and Council prior to the meeting or attend the meeting and make a deputation.
Enough Said! By Request. (Parry Sound in Colour)