There were no surprises with respect to the decisions made by Council. It is always worth taking a quick look at the abridged minutes below in case something catches your attention.

Town of Parry Sound Council Meeting (Abridged)

Additions to Agenda/Notice of Motion
1.1.1 – Deputation: Michelle Ogilvie, Dogs ‘n Dos – re: Pet Grooming as an Essential Service

Questions of Staff
3.2.1 –
In response to Councillor McCann’s inquiry regarding water main repairs on Cedar Street, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns confirmed that specific work dealing with 1950s cast iron pipes is being addressed in problematic areas, in the context of attempts to deal more systematically and holistically with infrastructure work in Town.

3.2.2 – In response to Cllr. Keith’s request for an update on the Cascade St railing to be installed, noting that the bottom half of the sidewalk is quite treacherous, Mr. Kearns reported that the freeze-thaw cycles have made for icy conditions there. During recent extreme cold, salt applied there became ineffective and staff have returned to apply more material.

3.2.3 – In response to Cllr Borneman’s inquiry regarding concerns circulating in the community questioning the estimated operational costs of the proposed Recreational Centre, CAO Clayton Harris confirmed that the concerns have been provided to consulting architects CS&P who prepared the pro formas in conjunction with the YMCA. The closest facility that approximates the programming envisioned for the West Parry Sound Area Recreation Centre is Gravenhurst, and the YMCA as operators of that facility with access to information that others might not, are tasked with and are well underway in reviewing this issue with CS&P.

3.2.4 – In response to Councillor Backman’s request for an update on funding applied for through Transport Canada regarding rail safety, Mr. Kearns reported that he has not yet heard anything back and will follow-up, as there is a lot of traffic in the particular area on Isabella Street at the double tracks.

4.1 – Krista St. Amant, on behalf of community members.
Request that ice remain in BOCC to resume programs after lock-down.

4.2 – Parry Sound District Social Services Administration Board.
Response to Town’s request to pay property taxes on social housing.

4.3 – Chris McConnell, President OPSEU Local 317.
Call for lobby efforts to reject the plan to close the Ontario Fire College.
Dealt with under item 9.5.1

5.1 – ED David Sweetnam, Nicole Dimond, Brooke Harrison, Georgian Bay Forever.

Divert & Capture Program Update; Introducing Diversion 2.0.
Nicole Dimond, Project Coordinator with the Diversion 2.0 Program addressed Council with Georgian Bay Forever’s mission, and introduced Brooke Harrison, Project Coordinator for Divert and Capture – the fight to keep microplastics out of our water. Ms. Harrison reported on preliminary findings of the project to divert synthetic textile microplastics/microfibres from entering the water system through the installation in 2019 of filters on 100 washing machines in Parry Sound. With approximately 1000 homes in Parry Sound, Ms. Dimond reported an expected decrease of microfibres by 10% which is exactly what preliminary findings show. Microfibres were reduced by 4.5 fibres per litre. With 3 million litres entering the Bay every day, a reduction of even 1 fibre per litre would represent a reduction of 3 million microfibres per day.
Ms. Dimond introduced the Diversion 2.0 program, noting that 10 million kg of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes every year from washing machines, littering, open storm drains, blowing garbage and breakdown of in-water products such as dock foam. GBF tactics to divert this pollution include the use of in-water seabin devices, gutter bins (installed at drain openings), and trash traps (installed at storm water outlets). Seven seabins, eight gutter bins and three trash traps will be installed across Georgian Bay this year.
Ms. Dimond invited Parry Sound to partner with GBF by installing one seabin, and one to two trash traps through a $3,200 purchase investment of the seabin and commitment to routinely dump collected refuse from both/all receptacles as well as enter data on trash collected. Data collected helps further public education on mitigation efforts and supports policy change, such as MPP Norm Miller’s Private Member’s Bill 228 which seeks to ban the sale of dock foam; unencapsulated dock foam is the largest source of lake water pollution. In addition, Ms. Dimond requested a $5,000 investment in plastic litter mitigation to support continued public education, for a total request of $8,200.
Ms. Harrison and Ms. Dimond responded to Councillor inquiries with the following: – alternatives to dock foam include steel pipe and thick plastic tubes;
– analysis of the amount of glass in sea bins will help determine whether glass fragments found along shorelines are on-shore remnants or are washed up from the water;
– seabins ideally should be emptied daily; response on the lifespan of a seabin will be forwarded;
– because of the usually tiny size of the litter collected in each of the receptacles, and inability to efficiently separate it into recyclables, the refuse should be deposited as garbage in trash receptacles for proper disposal;
– seabins will collect COVID-19 pandemic PPE such as facemasks which are not recyclable; public education will continue to recommend disposal of these items in the trash.
The Mayor received no objection to his suggested direction, and it was therefore carried: That GBF’s financial request of $8,200 be referred to the 2021 budget for consideration.

5.1 – Michelle Ogilvie, Owner/Operator of Dogs ‘n Dos.
Request for support of pet groomers as an essential service during COVID-19 lockdown orders.
Ms. Ogilvie provided information to Council with respect to regular pet grooming, citing the potential health hazards to dogs if issues such as matted, long hair and long nails/claws are not attended to. Ms. Ogilvie also reported on the safety measures that she and other groomers have undertaken since the onset of COVID-19, making the transaction virtually contact-less, one appointment at a time, supported by thorough sanitization between appointments.
Ms. Ogilvie noted that some other regions are permitting pet groomers to stay open with curbside pick-up and drop-off and that by-law officers in those regions have been told that tickets will not be given to groomers until there is a clear answer given from the provincial government. Ms. Ogilvie asked if the Town could follow suit and allow pet groomers to open and continue to operate safely.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – COVID-19 Pandemic – Property Tax Support for Taxpayers.

Whereas on January 12, 2021, the Province of Ontario once again issued a State of Emergency order; and
Whereas the Province has ordered non-essential businesses to close to the public during this time; and
Whereas fewer businesses were deemed non-essential under this newest order allowing more businesses to carry on their business and keep their employees working; and
Whereas there should be an incentive for property owners to continue to pay their property taxes and not encumber their property into the future; and
Whereas property taxes are the Town’s primary source of revenue and it is important to encourage payment to maintain sufficient municipal cashflows to fund operations and meet the Town’s payment obligations; and
Whereas the Province of Ontario currently makes small business support grants available to businesses and these programs include property taxation and energy rebates; and
Whereas not all taxpayers are unable to pay their property taxes;
Therefore, given the Provincial financial assistance program for small businesses, staff be directed to work with those taxpayers having difficulty paying their taxes, including developing payment plans as an alternative to an across-the-board waiving of penalty or interest on tax and water/sewer accounts in 2021.

9.1.2 – 2021 Budgeting Schedule (Revised).

That Council hereby approves the Revised 2021 Budgeting Schedule as set out in the attached Schedule “A”; and
That the Special Budget Meeting scheduled for February 9th, 2021 is hereby cancelled; and, That Resolution 2020-122 is hereby revoked.

9.2.1 – Pre-budget Council expenditure approval – Computer Hardware.

That Council authorize a pre-budget expenditure related to the procurement of computer hardware equipment and devices.

9.2.2a – Pre-budget Council expenditure approval – Water/Wastewater capacity study.

That Council authorize a pre-budget expenditure related to the procurement of professional services to assess water and wastewater servicing/capacity and develop computer models for these systems.

9.2.2b – Sole Source Award to Tatham Engineering for Water & Wastewater Servicing Capacity Studies.

Whereas the Town is receiving a number of development inquiries and it is therefore important to undertake water and wastewater capacity studies as soon as possible;
Whereas the Town’s Procurement Policy provides for sole-sourcing;
Whereas Tatham Engineering is a well recognized engineering firm providing services in the municipal and private sectors;
Whereas Tatham Engineering has significant experience with municipal infrastructure projects and has gained knowledge and an understanding regarding the Town’s infrastructure through involvement in various projects over the years;
Whereas Tatham Engineering has proven capable of delivering quality services and products in a timely manner and has become familiar with the Town’s current circumstances related to both water and wastewater challenges;
Now therefore Council of the Town of Parry Sound hereby authorizes the sole source purchase of services from Tatham Engineering related to the development of Water and Wastewater servicing capacity studies in accordance with the Municipal Purchasing Policy.

9.3.1 – EMS Paramedic Response Unit Capital Purchase.

That Council for the Town of Parry Sound authorize the purchase of two Ambulances from Crestline in the amount of $152,957 + HST, and
That Council approve the purchase of one Paramedic Response Unit from Rowland Emergency Vehicles in the amount of $71,219.00 + HST; and
That said units to be funded from the EMS Capital Reserve Fund.

9.4.1 – 2020 Economic Development Report, and;
Introduction of Regional Economic Development Officer James Cox.

EDO Vlad Shehovtsov addressed Council from a prepared presentation, identifying 2020 economic development activity including COVID-19 and Local Business Support; Cruise Industry; Film Industry; Investment Attraction Projects, and Key Goals for 2021. The presentation is available as part of the Council agenda.
After concluding his presentation, Mr. Shehovtsov introduced James Cox, recently appointed Regional Economic Development Officer with the West Parry Sound Economic Development Collaborative (WPSEDC), a partnership of the seven area municipalities. Mr. Cox addressed Council with a brief update on the direction of the WPSEDC, with its specific mandate to build West Parry Sound as a region, complementing local work as identified by Mr. Shehovtsov in his presentation. Current focus of the WPSEDC is on business retention and expansion with outreach to area businesses to assist not only in recovery from the pandemic, but to understand specific challenges in doing business, and thereby seeking to take steps to remove those challenges and build a long term strategy for economic development. Mr. Cox reported that other work priorities include making the region development-ready and improving engagement between the WPSEDC and municipalities, and that he expected to report on a semi-regular basis to Council.
That the 2020 Economic Development Report attached as Schedule A be received for information purposes.

9.5.1 – Support to Keep Ontario Fire College Open.

WHEREAS the Ontario Fire College has been in existence since 1949; and
WHEREAS the Ontario Fire College is one of the primary sources of certified training for Ontario Firefighters; and
WHEREAS the Ontario Fire College has built a reputation of integrity, credibility, and reliability in providing some of the best training to our Fire Services within the Province of Ontario; and
WHEREAS the Ontario Fire College has been used to train and certify both Volunteer, Part-Time and Career firefighters throughout Ontario; and
WHEREAS the Ontario Fire College gives Ontario Firefighters another option other than Regional Training Centers to obtain National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certifications; and
WHEREAS the Ontario Fire College is the most cost-effective method to certify Firefighters to NFPA Standards in Ontario; and
WHEREAS the Ontario Government enacted and revoked 0. Reg. 379/18: Firefighter Certification in 2018; and
WHEREAS when the Ontario Government revoked 0. Reg. 379/18: Firefighter Certification, it was made known by the Office of the Solicitor General that the act would be amended and brought back in the future;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Town of Parry Sound requests that the Province of Ontario reverse their decision to close the Ontario Fire College as the OFC is one of the best and most cost-effective methods for municipalities to train their firefighters which assists us in protecting our residents; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this Resolution is forwarded to the Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario; the Honourable Sylvia Jones, Ontario Solicitor General; Norm Miller, Member for Parry Sound Muskoka; the Ontario Fire Marshal, Jon Pegg; District of Parry Sound municipalities, ROMA, OSUM and AMO.

9.5.2 – Support for Pet Grooming to be Declared an Essential Service.

That Whereas pet grooming is important to the health and welfare of these animals, and
Whereas pet grooming businesses have adapted best practices during the COVID pandemic, developing high standards of health and safety, and making their businesses contact-less;
Now Therefore the Council of the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound authorises the Mayor to send a letter to the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, with a copy to the local North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit requesting that pet grooming be deemed an essential service, for purposes of enabling pet grooming businesses to stay open during the current Stay-At-Home Order.

10.1.1 – Appointment of Deputy Treasurer.
By-Law: 2021 – 7101
Being a By-law to Appoint Suzanne Diller as Deputy-Treasurer for the Town of Parry Sound.
Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.1 – Amendment to the Fees & Service Charges By-law 2010-5408.
By-law 2021 – 7102
Being a By-law to amend the Fees & Service Charges By-law 2010-5408 to include an Appeal Fee, Property Standards and Clean Yards Administrative Fee, Planning Fee and Cost Recovery for Damage to Municipal Property by Motor Vehicle Accident Fee.
Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.4.1 – Lakeland Holdings Shareholders Agreement Amendments.
By-law 2021 – 7103
Being a by-law to authorize the execution of Lakeland Holding Ltd. Amended Shareholders’ Agreement, substantially in the form attached as Schedule A.
Passed, Signed & Sealed