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This evening’s agenda is pretty light in terms of issues but there are a couple of proposed expenditures that are worth looking at a little closer. Item 9.1.2 concerns a new Public Water Tap that is budgeted at $50,000. I see no issue with this new amenity that is largely targeted to non-Parry Sound residents, residents can just get water at home, but I do have an issue with the proposed funding. The suggestion is that the cost be taken out of the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve. This Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve is becoming a bit of a slush fund for municipal expenses. I don’t see why this expense can’t wait for the 2018 Budget process and be included, or not, in next year’s budget. The Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve is intended to manage the ups and downs of reviewed and approved budget expenses. Let’s not start dipping into this reserve to deal with issues unrelated to rate stabilization. Honey, the new Play Station just came out, the kids will love it. Can I use some of their university funds to pay for it? Reply: can’t it wait until Christmas when we will have saved up for this type of expense and decide if it’s what the kids really want?

The second budget related item is 9.2.3, Stockey Centre repairs in the amount of $850,000. Staff is requesting that the budget for the project be increased from the approved $700,000 and be paid for with a larger debenture. I guess it costs what it costs, but had Council known it would be this much would there have been some additional cuts when discussing the 2017 budget? And a comment on the proposal to save $10K by only putting Ice and Water Shield on the valleys and troughs. Suck it up and pay to have the whole roof done. That 35-year manufacturer’s shingle warranty isn’t worth squat; we will be lucky to get 15 years. If you won’t spring for a metal roof, at least make the best out of shingles with a full coverage of Ice and Water Shield.

Lastly, the Town is looking at selling property proximate to Canadore College. You can see the 1.5 acre lot in the image below. The sale is probably a good idea to stimulate a bit more development at the north end of Town. I hope that the proceeds of the sale will not simply be put into a slush fund. It’s too easy to cover a spending ‘problem’ by dipping into slush fund reserves and taking out debentures. It’s the same as a consumer taking on credit card debt and a home equity loan to handle what should have been saved for. It just delays the expenses and increases the cost. But it’s ‘less painful’ for some, including politicians, than exercising some self control and saying “No!”.

Closed Session Agenda Topics

  1. a) the security of property of the municipality or local board. (Potential Development Project), (Audit Questions of Council), (CP Station)
  2. b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Local Board)

(c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board; (Request for Proposal)

Correspondence

4.1 – Letter from Wendall Fisher, Resident. Town’s initiative to have a report prepared regarding the cessation of train whistling at the five crossing. Mr. Fisher is not in support of this.

4.2 – Letter from Thomas Buttineau, McDougall resident. Concerns with used needles surfacing at the local beaches and playgrounds and requesting support from Parry Sound to open a Treatment Centre.

Deputations

5.1 – Giselle Bodkin, CPA, CA, BDO Canada LLP, Parry Sound’s Auditor. Re: Year End Report for The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound

Consent Agenda

8.3 – Special Meeting of Council – Staff Succession Planning. Resolution. That ______________________ at 6:00 pm be scheduled as a Special Closed Council meeting for the purpose of staff succession planning; and That Resolution 2017-139 be rescinded.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.2 – Public Water Tap. Resolution. That Council approve the installation of a public water dispensing system adjacent to the existing commercial bulk water station located on Parry Sound Drive, and further; That Council authorize the transfer of up to $50,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve to finance the project.

9.2.1 – Report to commence closure of portion of Parry Sound Drive road allowance. Direction. That staff commence the procedures to stop up and close, appropriately rezone and dispose of a portion of the Parry Sound Drive road allowance.

9.2.3 – Tender – Stockey Centre Phase II Roof Repairs and Siding Replacement. Resolution. That Council accepts the tender from W.S. Morgan Construction Ltd. in the amount of $888,180.00 including HST for roof repairs and siding replacement at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts and Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, this being the only tender received; and That the budgeted debenture be increased to reflect the tendered amount.

9.5.1 – Approval of Consolidated Financial Statements for the year-ended December 31. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound does hereby approve the Draft Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2016 as attached in Schedule “A”.

9.5.2 – Financial Variance Report for Q2 (June 30, 2017). Resolution. That Council hereby receives and accepts the Financial Report for Q2 2017 (June 30, 2017) attached as Schedule “A”; and Further that Council hereby approves the expenses for members of Council for the period January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017, attached as Schedule “B”.

By-laws

10.2.1 – Site Plan Amendment – M2 Developments Inc. – 12 College Drive. By-law 2017 – 6765. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Amending Agreement between the Town of Parry Sound and 12 College Drive (M2 Developments Inc.)

10.5.1 – Execution of Agreement with Collection Agency. By-law 2017 – 6766. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Customer Retention and Collection Services Agreement between A-1 Credit Recovery & Collection Services Inc. (“A-1CRCS”) and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound.

I won’t be at tonight’s council meeting. I figure my time is better spent digging a little deeper into the council package.