The Parry Sound Council Meeting Agenda is on the light side this week after last meeting’s packed agenda. There really is very little to highlight in my opinion. Some thoughts on the various items that warrant comment are included in the summary below.
4.1 – Allan Edward, resident. Re: Has many concerns about the project at the former William Beatty School. Response attached. It interesting to see how often people wait until a decision has been made before coming forward with concerns and suggestions.
It’s also interesting to see how often people fail to do any kind of ‘homework’ regarding an issue before firing off a letter of complaint. Staff seems always available to answer questions and provide the necessary background when issues of concern arise. They are a resource for Council and the Public. Bottom line? Barking up the wrong tree.
5.1 – Geoff West, former resident, Re: Vision for Parry Sound and suggestions for Affordable Housing.
5.2 – Dustin Turner, Regional Economic Development Officer. Re: Introduction.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1 – 2015 Investment Report. Resolution. That Council accepts the 2015 Annual Investment Report, attached as Schedule “A”, in accordance with the Town’s Investment Policy.
There is nothing here that might be considered controversial, basically a statement of accounts.
9.1.2 – 2015 Reserve and Reserve Fund Report. Resolution. That Council receives the 2015 Reserve and Reserve Fund Report, attached as Schedule “A”, in compliance with the Town’s Reserve and Reserve Fund Policy.
This is more interesting and summarizes the Town’s reserve, which totaled almost $11 million at the end of 2015, an increase of about $500,000 over the end of 2014. The only Reserve of any real concern from my position is the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve which dropped $117,000 in 2015 and is projected to drop another $120,000 in 2016 to cover unbudgeted expenses. It’s worth reviewing the whole report.
9.2.1 – Tender – Emily Street Reconstruction. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of C.C. Tatham and Associates, Council award the tender for Emily Street Reconstruction to Fowler Construction Company Limited, in the amount of $4,343,396.16 plus HST, this tender being the lowest tender of three (3) tenders received. A town torn up in two. Two places that is, with major street reconstruction likely to be ongoing at the same time on William and Emily Streets. I note that Weeks Construction lost the project because they came in a mere 0.1%, or $3,422, higher than Fowler. Ouch!
9.5.1 – West Parry Sound Area Joint Municipal Meeting. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the REDAC Marketing Sub-committee, Council of the Town of Parry Sound agrees to attend a joint meeting of the participating Councils to receive the Regional Marketing Plan presentation and to vote on the adoption of the Plan and, That upon the recommendation of the Tourism Steering Committee, the Tourism Summit Report be added to the WPS Area municipalities joint meeting agenda with a recommendation seeking the WPS Area municipalities’ support to hire a tourism person and implement recommendations in the report.
This is a little bit confusing for someone who hasn’t been part of the process. It appears that a plan is being advanced that needs to be reviewed and voted upon by six area municipalities at the same time, July 21, 2016. I’m not sure why it can’t be voted on separately, but I guess it’s being done in this manner to prevent one or more municipalities from suggesting changes that then need to be subsequently approved by the municipalities that had earlier approved the original plan. It seems that it is an all or nothing proposal. If it fails, then a new plan will need to be offered for approval, not one that is the product of serial amendments. But that’s only my take on the process. The actual plan supposedly will be made available to the public well before the July meeting date.
9.6.1 – Business Welcome Team Program Outline. Resolution. That the terms of reference for the Business Welcome Team be approved, as Schedule “A” attached.
Reading the title of this resolution I originally thought it was a ‘Welcome Wagon’ for businesses who had set up a business in Parry Sound. Reading the supporting material suggests it’s a cross between a ‘meet and greet’ and ‘wine and dine’ initiative to woo potential business investment in Parry Sound. This is a valuable initiative in my opinion. I do note that there is an interest in securing local business people to join the team, and that these individuals will be so appointed by Council. A reminder, as Council can appoint at their sole discretion, they can also dismiss. Perhaps now they won’t do so ‘with prejudice’. Come on Staff and Council, it’s time to make the whole committee process appointee friendly. I know you don’t like to publicly respond or act on criticism, but past actions do not engender confidence in future behaviour.
That’s it from my perspective. Check out the full agenda at the Town’s website, or from the links above, to see that might be of more interest to you than me. I won’t be at the meeting and leave it to the people who are paid to be there, Council, Staff and Media, to keep an eye out for Joe Public.
So Started the 2016 Dragon Boat Festival