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Is there anybody out there?

While it’s the middle of the summer there are still interesting/important topics on the upcoming Town of Parry Sound council meeting agenda. I want to remind people that I abridge the agenda presented below to exclude items that I think are neither controversial nor particularly interesting. Always refer to the full agenda at the Town’s website for the full agenda and the accompanying agenda documentation.

The top items on the agenda this week as far as I’m concerned are the following:

Closed Session c) – a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purpose, (potential property disposal), (2 potential property purchases)

Closed Session e) & f) – litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board, (municipal election court application update), (contractor services). The receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose (municipal election court application update), (conflict of interest opinion), (servicing agreement). There may be more of an issue here than I had ever imagined.

9.1.6 – Exemption Received from Provincial Approval of Official Plan Amendments. Direction. That the report be received for information purposes. This is a big ‘issue’. The Town is now able to approve items that are in conflict with the existing Official Plan without requiring Province of Ontario approval. It is possible that the Town may take advantage of this new power to approve items that are in conflict with the Official Plan and at odds with the wishes of impacted businesses and residents. It will make the approval process much quicker and hopefully promote more ‘appropriate’ development. Residents and businesses will still be able to contest any approvals by appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. There will be recourse through the Tribunal but there presumably won’t be any appeal to the Province on the basis of a conflict with the Official Plan. Overall, I guess it’s okay.

9.4.1 – Big Sound Marina – Floating Breakwater and Dock C replacement. (Direction or Resolution?) That the Council for the Town of Parry Sound authorize staff to develop a Request for Design Build services in conjunction with Tatham Engineering for the replacement of the floating breakwater and Dock C at Big Sound Marina; and further further that staff release an RFP for replacement of the Floating Breakwater and Dock C as a Design Build project. Okay, I have a big issue with this item. It proposes to look into an upgrade to Big Sound Marina that would cost on the order of $1.3 million. The are dire warnings of “imminent failure” of the breakwater without further explanation or reasoning for this investment. This would be about the third upgrade we’ve made to Big Sound Marina in the past 10 years and I estimate total costs with this new improvement would bring the expense up to $2.5-$3 million. This is to support transients with their 30-, 40- and 50-foot boats for a period of about two months. In theory the season is longer than that but in June and September we see less traffic and the marina is never filled to capacity, so there is no extended need for dockage. Yet we can’t find $150,000 to invest in a splash pad for the kids. I think before going and requesting engineering proposals, which will also be expensive, the Town should present the financial benefits of making this upgrade and the proposed payback. Is the Town itself making any money with Big Sound Marina? The contract with the operators is confidential so we have no idea who is benefiting financially from the upgrade. Full disclosure: my brother-in-law owns and operates Sound Boat Works. The proposed investment in Big Sound Marina from what I understand will neither benefit nor damage his business. Nonetheless, I’m sure he would be delighted if the town were to invest $1 million in his business so that he can better serve his customers who also come to Parry Sound, spend money in Parry Sound, and come back year after year. They are certainly not transients.
Let’s get information on the financial benefits for making this investment. Assuming a 10-year amortization for the $1.3 million suggests that our taxes will need to go up by about 1.5-2% for that period. Or equivalent services will need to be cut.
Yet Council quibbles and debates about $150,000 for the kids and people who can’t afford these half million dollar boats. Where are our priorities?

10.4.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/08 – 1 College Drive (Canadore College Board of Governors). By-law 2019 – 6949. Being a Temporary Use By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 1 College Drive (Canadore College Board of Governors and Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario). Staff is proposing that Canadore be permitted to host the French language school for one year. After that, who knows. Given that it is the middle of August I’m glad some accommodation has been reached. Not ideal, but it seems reasonable.

10.4.2 – Lease Extension Home Hardware Reciprocal Lease for Fitness Trail By-law 2019 – 6950. Being a By-law to Renew a Lease with Home Hardware Stores Limited until December 31st, 2029 for lands known as the Rotary Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail and Town Owned Lands. Well this was news to me. The Town doesn’t own the trail that runs by ‘Beaver Lumber’ but does own land that runs through the lumber yard. The two entities have been swapping access rights for the past 20 years and the agreement is up for renewal. It seems to be a win-win with the bigger win for McNabb Lumber Home Building Centre. I was totally confused reading the agenda item summary until I read the supporting documentation.

Closed Meeting

c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purpose, (potential property disposal), (2 potential property purchases);
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board, (municipal election court application update), (contractor services);
f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose (municipal election court application update), (conflict of interest opinion), (servicing agreement);
n) a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board, (potential property purchase), (boundary negotiations).

Public Meeting

2.1 – Official Plan Amendment No. 3 and Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/6 – Smith Crescent (YMCA/Wickman).

Correspondence

4.1a – Peter Scully. Request for traffic calming sign on Church St. at McMurray.
4.1b – Peter Scully. Appreciation for traffic calming sign on Church St. at McMurray

4.2 – Barbara O’Brien. Advocacy for Splash Pad

4.4 – David Coles, Chair, Downtown Business Association. Advocacy for Reinstatement of Waterfront Advisory Committee

4.5 – Dave Coles, Chair, Downtown Business Association. Request Town’s assistance in helping keep downtown clean and beautiful.

4.6 – Dave Coles, Chair, Downtown Business Association. Request Town`s assistance in addressing safety in the downtown area.

4.7 – Georgian Bay Forever. Responses to Council questions raised at GBF June 4th, 2019 deputation.

4.8 – Indigenous Services Canada. Wasauksing Swing Bridge – Public Consultation on future operations.

4.9 – Michelle Sims. Request for 4-way stop at James/William/Rosetta intersection.

Deputations

5.1 Vince Kulchycki – Chief Operating Officer, and Jennifer Montpetit – Advanced Planning and Communications Lead, Lakeland Holding Ltd. SPEEDIER and DEMOCRASI projects as part of ToPS-Lakeland solar agreement.

5.2 – Linda West, Hands Off Our Trees. Potential loss of trees along Fitness Trail as a result of proposed development.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Civic Scholarship Award. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the Scholarship Committee, Council awards the 2019 Scholarship to Nicole Babcock-Ritchie in the amount of $500.00.

9.1.2 – Parks & Recreation Master Plan: Letter of Invitation to Participate. Direction. That staff send the invitation to the Municipality of McDougall & Seguin Township to participate in an Area Parks & Recreation Master Plan (or update) per Schedule A.

9.1.3 – Market Square Park – Public Wi-Fi Hours of Service. Direction. That Council direct staff to contact Vianet and have the public Wi-Fi hours in Market Square Park amended to be available from 7am – 7pm daily.

9.1.4 – Memorial Bench & Tree Policy. Resolution. That Council approve the combined Memorial Bench & Tree Program, per Schedule A.

9.1.5 – Appointments to Library Board and EMS Advisory Committee. Resolution. That Resolution 2018-142 appointing individuals to various Boards and Committees, be amended by ratifying Parry Sound Public Library Board appointments of Tom Lundy representing the Township of The Archipelago, Susan Murphy representing the Township of Carling, Lynne Gregory representing the Municipality of McDougall; and that Colleen O`Hare be appointed as a member at large instead of representing the Town of Parry Sound; and
That Resolution 2018-143 appointing members of Council and staff to various Boards and Committees be amended by removing Dave Thompson from the Parry Sound District Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee, as Mr. Thompson is a staff resource person, not a Committee member.

9.1.6 – Exemption Received from Provincial Approval of Official Plan Amendments. Direction. That the report be received for information purposes.

9.4.1 – Big Sound Marina – Floating Breakwater and Dock C replacement. (Direction or Resolution?) That the Council for the Town of Parry Sound authorize staff to develop a Request for Design Build services in conjunction with Tatham Engineering for the replacement of the floating breakwater and Dock C at Big Sound Marina; and further that staff release an RFP for replacement of the Floating Breakwater and Dock C as a Design Build project.

9.5.1 – Deposit/Return Program for Single Use Plastic/Aluminum/Metal Drink Containers. Resolution. (Introductory text removed.)
THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the Town of Parry Sound endorses the Corporation of the Town of Halton Hills’ Resolution 2019-0141 calling upon the Province of Ontario, through the discussion paper entitled “Reducing Litter and Waste in our Communities”, to review and implement a deposit/return program for all single use plastic, aluminum and metal drink containers; and further
THAT that the Province of Ontario review current producer requirements and look for extended producer responsibility for all packaging; and further THAT a copy of this motion be sent to the Premier of Ontario; the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks; the Minister of Municipal Affairs; the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and all municipalities in the Province of Ontario.

9.5.2 – Opposition to Changes in 2019 Provincial Budget and Planning Act. Resolution. BE IT RESOLVED that Council for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound, accepting the facts and sentiments expressed in the City of Stratford’s resolution attached as Schedule A regarding opposition to Changes in the 2019 Provincial Budget and Planning, does hereby request a meeting with MPP Norm Miller, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, and other related ministries on the effects of downloading onto municipal governments; and
THAT this resolution be forwarded to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), to initiating municipality the City of Stratford, and to all other municipalities in Ontario.

By-laws

10.1.1 – Agreement: Nipissing-Parry Sound Student Transportation Services. By-law 2019 – 6948. Being a by-law to execute an agreement with Nipissing-Parry Sound Student Transportation Services for the provision of a school bus transfer site at the Kinsmen Park.

10.4.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/08 – 1 College Drive (Canadore College Board of Governors). By-law 2019 – 6949. Being a Temporary Use By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 1 College Drive (Canadore College Board of Governors and Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario).

10.4.2 – Lease Extension Home Hardware Reciprocal Lease for Fitness Trail By-law 2019 – 6950. Being a By-law to Renew a Lease with Home Hardware Stores Limited until December 31st, 2029 for lands known as the Rotary Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail and Town Owned Lands.