The more important notes from last week’s meeting of Town of Parry Sound Council included:
- It seems that the French school will be moving into the Mall on the north end for a couple of years starting next fall. There was no spoken or written opposition to the proposed zoning amendment required to permit the relocation. This should permit Canadore to return to operations as usual. I wonder what that will mean. (Public Meeting)
- The draft budget was light on details but there was a suggestion that the rate increase would be less than the rate of inflation. I’ll wait to see the actual budget document before offering additional comments. (Item 9.1.1)
- The Strategic Plan was briefly discussed and was left open pending comments from the Public. I remain unimpressed by the document in the way it seems to offer everything and nothing; a typical political statement. Prioritization seems to be an unknown concept. Public input has been requested. I will doubtless get myself into trouble by appearing to lecture Staff and Council about strategic plans with my written comments. Remember – they are playing with our tax dollars. It’s much easier to get up in the morning and see what the day brings rather than plan what you will do the night before. (Item 9.4.1)
2.1 Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/17 – 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario) to amend the C5 zone to permit a School.
Manager of Planning & Building Services Taylor Elgie advised that the proposed Zoning By-Law amendment would amend the C5 zone to permit a School. An elementary school is proposed to be located in the south western corner of a vacant unit in the Parry Sound Mall at 70 Joseph Street.
Mr. Simon Fecteau, Director of Education for the Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario responded to the Mayor’s invitation to speak in favour of the proposed Zoning By-law amendment. Mr. Fecteau noted that the request for a French Public School came through two years ago from parents in the Parry Sound community. Currently there are about 40 registered students from J-K to Grade 7, and 8 full-time staff members at the temporary accommodations located at Canadore College. Mr. Fecteau noted that the number of students is anticipated to grow in the coming years and that until a permanent solution is provided by the Ministry of Education, the Board is looking at other temporary accommodations. Mr. Fecteau reported that the Board believes the southwest section of Parry Sound Mall where Harvest Church has been located is suitable, with separate girls’ and boys’ washrooms, and at 9,000 square feet has sufficient space to support 5 classrooms, a small gym, and office and administrative space. The school will have its own separate entrance at the back with a fenced-in play area outside also at the back.
Mr. Fecteau noted that the Board has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education for funds to build a more permanent location in the future, and that they are looking at the Mall option for 2-3 years, signing a 3-year lease with the possibility of shortening it. Mr. Fecteau said that the Board has heard that some members of the community may be concerned with students at the mall, but he reiterated that there the school section has a separate entrance door; there is a locked door that exits into the mall used for emergency evacuation only.
No one spoke in opposition to the proposed Zoning By-law amendment. Mr. Elgie advised that he had received no correspondence with regards to this matter.
The Mayor advised that Council, at its discretion may approve the proposed Zoning By- law amendment and if so, must either circulate notice of passing of the by-law or give notice in the local press. Objections to the passing of the by-law will be received by the Clerk within 20 days from the date such notice is given, which objections will be forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. If an appeal is submitted and the appellant has not provided Council with an oral or written submission before the passing of the by-law, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal may choose to dismiss the appeal.
Questions of Staff
3.2.1 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry regarding snow clearing, Public Works Director Mike Kearns reported that as he has just started in his new position, he expects that the snow removal is status quo; he has made general inquiries as to how things are prioritized and the process used regarding snow removal and he’ll be looking at what works best.
3.2.2 – In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding what one does to get additional street lighting in an area such as Queen Street where when one of the street- lights burns out, it is quite dark, Mr. Kearns reported that he would start by looking at what is available, and whether there are alternative ways to illuminate the area. Depending upon what in-ground infrastructure is available and whether there are agreements with utility owners to use the poles, Mr. Kearns noted that a single streetlight can result in a lot of work and expense.
3.2.3 – In response to Councillor Backman’s inquiry regarding an upcoming Film Festival at the Stockey Centre, Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Norris reported that Stockey Centre staff is working with Leslie Mapstone of Mapstone Media to put together a 3-day Film Festival, seeking submissions throughout Canada and internationally. While the process is in early development, the Stockey Centre has put out information to “save the date” and will follow-up with more information as it becomes available.
3.2.4 – In response to Councillor Backman’s inquiry as to whether the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame (BOHF) Gift Shop renovation has had an impact on sales, BOHF Curator Caitlin Dyer reported that as the renovation was done in 2019, it is difficult to determine the impact without a full year cycle to compare to. Ms. Dyer suggested that a review done after the completion of 2020 sales would provide a better measure of comparison of one full year after the renovation. Ms. Dyer did note that there have been many positive comments from the community and returning patrons on how much more inviting the space is.
4.1a – Minister Todd Smith, Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services. Public consultations regarding new five-year strategy on poverty reduction.
4.1b – Minister Todd Smith, Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services. On-line survey available at Ontario.ca/povertysurvey until March 30, 2020 regarding new five-year strategy on poverty reduction.
Both items circulated to Mayor & Council and filed.
4.2 – Zach Crafts, Emma Kitchen. Request for road widening and inclusion of sidewalk and a bicycle lane on Isabella Street at Wood Street to address safety concerns.
Circulated to Mayor & Council, and Director of Public Works for response.
4.3 – Joe Beleskey. Water drainage issues at 7 Edward Street. Referred to Director of Public Works.
Circulated to Mayor & Council, and Director of Public Works for response.
4.4 – Dan DiNicolo, President, Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce. Summary of 2019 Activities as background to the Chamber of Commerce’s request for 2020 funding.
Circulated to Mayor & Council, and Director of Finance to bring forward for 2020 budget.
5.1 – Nadine Hammond, Curator/Manager, The Museum on Tower Hill. The Museum on Tower Hill 2020 funding request.
Ms. Hammond addressed Council with appreciation for funding in 2019, noting the exhibitions and programs that it supported. Ms. Hammond reported that the most notable achievement in 2019 was the installation of the model Ottawa Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway, scheduled for completion this year. Ms. Hammond reported on other anticipated exhibits such as a year-long logging exhibition and short run exhibitions.
Ms. Hammond played a short video showing the locations where visitors to the Museum in 2019 came from, illustrating that museums are an important part of tourism. Ms. Hammond noted that in 2020 the museum would be looking at its sustainability through repairs, upgrades, and maintaining or increasing resources.
In response to Councillor inquiries, Ms. Hammond reported that provincial and federal funding is dependent upon what they apply for, noting that every year they receive a CMOG (Community Museum Operating Grant). They’ve applied for a Trillium Grant for capital work last year, have applied and received a Seed Grant this year, receive NOHFC funding, and will be applying to Cultural Spaces funds to complete a feasibility study on the building. Ms. Hammond reported that some of the funding is project based, so it can depend on what projects are being worked on.
Ms. Hammond noted that the train installation is taking as long as this year, since the model is 10′ longer than anticipated from the detailed drawings, there is additional electrical work needed to meet fire safety codes, and because the track itself is electrified, protective glass needs to be installed to protect the artifact and viewers. In addition, the rest of the exhibit space needs to be restored to standard.
Ms. Hammond noted that due to a lack of storage space as a result of renovations to the Gallery, and with a new approach called “selective collecting”, the museum is selective in accepting donations at this time.
With respect to 2020 exhibits, Ms. Hammond reported that the “What’s New” exhibit is on and will be shut down soon, with the Avro Arrow exhibit opening on February 20th. At the beginning of March will be a logging exhibition set to run for the rest of the year; a train exhibit with images from across Canada will run for the rest of the year; starting in the summer will be an exhibit highlighting “the seedy underbelly of Parry Sound”, followed by “Christmas during the war” exhibit.
With respect to charitable status, Ms. Hammond reported that the Museum is a registered charity and that people can donate by cheque sent or given in person and made out to the West Parry Sound District Museum; donations over $25.00 are eligible for a tax receipt.
5.2 – Laurie Del Net, Executive Director, Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce 2020 Funding request – to be rescheduled.
5.3 – Dave Brunton, Linda West, President, Rotary Club of Parry Sound. Rotary 3-pitch Strikes Against Cancer.
Dave Brunton, past President of the Rotary Club and Linda West, current President, addressed Council from a prepared power point presentation with respect to the funds raised and various projects undertaken by the Rotary Club. Mr. Brunton noted that, in acknowledging the service provided by the Club in the West Parry Sound Area, and the support given the Club within the West Parry Sound Area, the membership has renamed the Club as the Rotary Club of West Parry Sound.
Mr. Brunton offered thanks for past support, and in particular acknowledged Manager of Parks & Recreation April McNamara and staff for assistance last year in Rotary’s first year operating the Annual Rotary Strikes Against Cancer 3-Pitch Tournament. Mr. Brunton provided an overview of last year’s event.
Ms. West and Mr. Brunton reported on other Rotary donations which received matching grants from Rotary International, including a total of $6,000 each towards the Museum’s model train installation, and the shade structure at the Parry Sound Public School. in 2019 Rotary donated: $2,500 to Strings Across the Sky; $3,000 towards the international End Polio Now program (multiplied to a total of $9,000 by Bill Gates); Christmas hampers for 100 Families, (in partnership with the Salvation Army); $40,000 towards Inspired Filmmaking, a project which will tell the stories of World War II vets and retain $22,000 worth of equipment; and $25,000 towards the Salvation Army’s emergency response vehicle.
Ms. West also reported that the need for mobility devices is increasing, and Rotary Club works with social services and other agencies to help fund the 25% cost required privately.
Ms. West noted that in 2019, Rotary donated $20,000 towards cancer care equipment, and that the Rotary 3-Pitch Tournament helps fund this donation. Ms. West and Mr. Brunton provided information on the sponsorship opportunities and features of the June 19-20 event this year, including the entertainment, fish dinner, and silent auction. Registration opens on February 13th at 9 AM at ps3pitch.com, and the first 31 teams to register with fee will secure a spot. In response to a Councillor inquiry, Ms. West confirmed that donations can be made at ps3pitch.com, or given to any Rotary member, and are eligible for a tax receipt.
Councillor McCann requested of Council that the donation request be referred to the budget process, and Mayor McGarvey responded that it would be, and as has been provided in the past, likely considered in the context of services-in-kind.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Draft 2020 Operating Budget. Resolution.
That the staff report, 2020 Draft Budget Package and presentation be received for information purposes. Carried
9.4.1 – Accessibility Advisory Committee Establishment & Terms of Reference. Resolution.
That Council authorizes the establishment of an Accessibility Advisory Committee according to the Terms of Reference attached as Schedule A and directs staff to advertise for members. Carried
9.4.2 – 2020-2030 Strategic Plan. Resolution.
The Council for the Town of Parry Sound approve the 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form as attached as Schedule A. (see later resolution to postpone consideration of approving the Strategic Plan)
Prior to voting on the resolution, Redbrick Consultant Andrea Montgomery addressed Council from a prepared Powerpoint presentation outlining the process that was undertaken and highlights of the Strategic Plan document that is attached as Schedule A to the proposed resolution.
Individually, members of Council provided the following feedback for consideration in amendments:
– Re-write Vision as: “The jewel of Georgian Bay, a sustainable community focused on opportunity, growth and healthy living.”
– Add to Mission: the word “sustainable” before “and healthy future”
– encourage elaboration of the values of “collaboration, honesty, accountability, respect and transparency” as they are rolled out in the organization.
– Consider whether there is a way of tying in adult education housing/student residences with the first bullet point under section #4 of Economic Growth on page 7 which currently reads “Support more housing options for new and existing employees as part of business attraction and retention.”
– Suggested subtitle rewrite to “Quality of Life” on page 9: “Parry Sound is a great place to live, work, visit, invest and grow year-round.”
– Suggested rewrite of first bullet point under “Quality of Life” on page 9: “Develop a Master Recreation, Culture and Parks Plan that will assess and look …”
– Suggested tie-in of last bullet point under “Quality of Life” on page 9 with housing as previously mentioned under Economic Growth and which currently reads: “Advocate retaining post-secondary education in Parry Sound”.
– Suggested posting of values not only on website, but at all municipal centres such as the BOCC, and Stockey Centre.
– with respect to building in accountability of the Plan, it was noted that tangible short- term, mid-term, and long-term actionable items are developed as result of the Plan through separate staff Key Performance Objectives (KPOs) which are reviewed and approved.
The following motion to postpone the resolution was made. That the resolution to approve the 2020-2030 Strategic Plan be postponed to the next council meeting in order that the public has an opportunity to view and comment on it. Carried – to Postpone to February 18, 2020 Council Meeting
10.4.1 – Department of Canadian Heritage – Canadian Arts Presentation Amendment to the Grant Agreement. By-law 2020 – 7014.
Being a by-law to authorize the execution of the amendment to the funding agreement with the Department of Canadian Heritage – Canadian Arts Presentation Fund – for Stockey Centre programming for the fiscal years 2018-2021. Passed, Signed and Sealed.