This is a more interesting upcoming meeting of Parry Sound Council with a number of important issues on the agenda for review and approval. Here are the items that caught my attention:
4.3 – Boundary adjustment discussion with Seguin. See the full agenda for additional information on the resolution. The net/net is that Seguin is willing to discuss an adjustment of the Parry Sound / Seguin boundary to allow for the construction of a road from the back of the hospital to Oastler Park Drive. It’s easier to think about it as going behind the Canadian Tire and RONA and connecting up with the road behind the hospital. The Seguin resolution lists the benefits and considerations. It’s notable that they clearly state that they have no interest in assuming any costs for the road extension. That’s okay if the Town of Parry Sound can make a case to the taxpayers of Parry Sound that it is a good investment of tax dollars. I know this is a pet project of the Town and I think it’s time for the taxpayer to better understand the ‘dollars and sense’ of the project. Too little information has been shared with the Public to date.
9.1.1 – OMG. I read through the whole Downtown Business Association Strategic Plan and it is consistent with other documents I have seen in the past. I refer everyone to the story we all heard when we were children – The Emperor’s Clothes. You can only change what you can see and are willing to accept. In particular I think that the downtown retail businesses have not wrapped their heads around the reality of doing business here. With Amazon delivering in two days or less, and Barrie 75 minutes away, the consistent year-round active retail economy is pretty much limited to gas, groceries and alcohol. What does enjoy a rosy 12 month a year economy is services – medical, dental, auto repair, legal, financial, social services and the like where it takes weeks to get an appointment. Somehow the DBA hasn’t fully wrapped its head around that, and I’m not sure that there is an answer if/when they do. Retail was much simpler when it was a two-hour drive to Barrie down Highway 69, and you had to drive the Aspdin Road to get to Huntsville, and there wasn’t a Wal-Mart in town. Those times are long gone. The plan proposed by, and for, the DBA doesn’t seem to acknowledge these realities. Enhancing the Waterfront would be great, but it doesn’t change the retail environment. And even if we were to attract twice as many tourists in the summer with a beautiful waterfront what would they do? Where would they stay? Where would they eat? And can any business rationalize investing to build additional hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions if the tourist season is three months long? I suppose with a new strategic plan in hand the Town and the DBA can feel that they have done their work and they can move on to other priorities. After fifty years it seems the Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to win once again. Was that fifty-year drought a matter of back luck or was it a case of refusing to acknowledge reality and develop an effective winning strategy in the context of that reality? The business issue in Parry Sound is bigger than poor strategy and tactics. Until local businesses decide to engage and contribute, Parry Sound will continue to experience the same old, same old. I am not criticizing the people who were responsible for the new strategic plan, they showed up and did their best. A great plan depends on the involvement and commitment of the many, not the few, and a willingness to look in the mirror and acknowledge what they see, not what they want to see. The retail businesses in the DBA would like others to make things better but not change themselves, or contribute to the change. They need to stop acting like victims.
9.1.3 – The rink rebuild at the Bobby Orr Community Centre is pushed back a year.
9.2.1 – This is a more administrative point, but important. The Town it seems is a bit closer to gaining the ability to approve its own Official Plan amendments. This means shorter timelines for these approvals as the Province’s review and approval will no longer be required. It’s not clear if these Official Plan Amendments are still subject to appeal, but the documentation provided by the Town suggests that they will be.
9.4.1 – 2017 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members. Interesting but the information on what Council and Board members received, as indicated being summarized in Schedule A 1, is not included in the council meeting package. Actually the whole 9.4.1 section is not included. Hmmm! I’ll put in a request for the information and make it available in a separate post
10.2.1 – The Town is approving the installation of a septic system for a proposed triplex. The Town really wants more development and the resulting tax revenue. As per the CAO’s comments, “Requiring 120 meters of sanitary lines from the main to the property line would in all likelihood not result in the property being developed.”
Abridged Agenda Item List
4.3 – Andrea Spinney, Deputy Clerk, Seguin Township. Resolution enclosed for discussions with Parry Sound for proposed boundary adjustment.
5.1 – Donald Sanderson and Jim Hanna, West Parry Sound Health Centre. Update on activities over the past year.
8.3 – Change of Dates for December 2018 Council Meetings. Resolution. Whereas Parry Sound’s Procedural By-law 2018-6814, stipulates that the Inaugural Meeting of Council shall be held no later than the second Tuesday in December at 8:00 p.m.; and Whereas Council’s current set of 2018 meeting dates has scheduled a Regular Council Meeting December 4, 2018; Therefore, Be It Resolved that Council for the Town of Parry Sound cancels the Regular scheduled meeting for December 4, 2018 and sets the date for the Inaugural Meeting of the 2019-2022 Council-Elect for December 11th, 2018; and Further that the scheduled Regular Meeting of December 18th shall remain unchanged.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Downtown Business Association Strategic Plan. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the Downtown Steering Committee, Council receive the Downtown Business Association Strategic Plan, attached to Schedule “A”.
9.1.2 – Downtown Steering Committee. Resolution. Whereas the Downtown Steering Committee was appointed with the mandate to provide stewardship to the Downtown Sustainability Plan ensuring the long-term viability of the downtown; and Whereas a number of the recommendations have been implemented including the approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Downtown Business Association and the Town and the development of a Downtown Strategic Plan; and Whereas the Downtown Strategic Plan recommends a number of strategic initiatives and further recommends that ad hoc/working committees be established to implement the initiatives: Now Therefore upon the recommendation of the Downtown Steering Committee, Council rescind Resolution No: 2016-207 being the Resolution approving the Downtown Steering Committee Terms of Reference and member appointments.
9.1.3 – Bobby Orr Community Centre Ice Surface Rebuild. Resolution. That Council proceed with the investigation, assessment and design phase for the Bobby Orr Community Centre (BOCC) Ice Surface Rebuild in 2018 and the actual construction in 2019; and That the 2018 capital budget for construction of the ice surface rebuild, which would be financed through a debenture, be deferred to 2019 budget.
9.2.1 – Town of Parry Sound/Parry Sound Area Planning Board. Resolution. Whereas the Town of Parry Sound has had ongoing conversations with the Minister and staff of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs as it relates to being exempted from Official The Corporation of The Town of Parry Sound Plan Amendment Approval and being released from the Parry Sound Area Planning Board; and Whereas the Province recently announced that it is proposing to expand its municipal empowerment strategy to exempt Parry Sound from Provincial Official Plan Amendment approvals.
Now Therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound supports this initiative and appreciates the Province’s proposal; And Further That a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to Minister Bill Mauro and the Northern Region of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
9.2.2 – Consent Application – B 10/2018 (PS) (Marynissen) – Macfarlane Street. Resolution. That Consent Application No. B 10/2018 (PS) (Marynissen) – 18 and 20 Macfarlane Street, be supported subject to the following conditions:
1. Payment for cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication for one new lot.
2. That the applicant be advised that each of the severed and retained lots have separate and individual water and sewer services.
3. That the severed and retained lots obtain relief from the Zoning By-law to ensure the newly created lots are compliant (frontage).
9.4.1 – 2017 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members. Resolution. That the 2017 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members, attached as Schedule “A”, be accepted.
10.1.1 – Big Sound Marina/Town Dock – Lease Agreement – Department Fisheries. By-law 2018 – 6826. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a lease agreement between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Town of Parry Sound for Big Sound Marina and Town Dock.
10.2.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/18/3 – Hanna Road (Fuller). By-law 2018 – 6827. Being a By-law to amend By-law 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for a property on Hanna Road (Fuller).