It seems last Tuesday’s meeting was a bit of a marathon in terms of the deputations. There continue to be requests made by the social service and not-for-profit sectors who serve much more than the Town itself to provide services, support and/or considerations. It’s a bit of a Catch-22. These organizations do not pay taxes but occupy prime real estate that is not available for uses that would provide the Town with revenues to provide the requested services. The Town of Parry Sound property tax rates are more than 100% higher than some of the surrounding municipalities, and no less than 50% higher than the others, not because we are spendthrifts but because we are effectively required to provide support to the organizations that service the District, not just the Town.
And now we are looking at taking on the largest individual municipal share of a multi-municipal aquatic and wellness centre. We can’t afford everything, and I think the locals would revolt if there were cutbacks in local services like snow management to subsidize organizations that support a much larger district wide population.
Thanks to the Town Clerk for the summaries of the deputations. I suggest you watch them live for their full impact. Here is the link on YouTube.
Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof
1.4.1 – Councillor Horne Declared Pecuniary Interest on item 9.2.1; the land ambulance budget was developed in conjunction with the West Parry Sound Health Centre, as his spouse Heidi Stephenson is the Chief Operating Officer of WPSHC.
Questions of Staff
3.2.1 – In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry as to how things went with the last snowfall and whether there was any change with respect to citizens’ response to the request for patience, Director of Public Works Peter Brown reported the following: the snow event in question started on Sunday afternoon, response was a bit slower than usual because of the amount of snow that fell. A truck was out until 11:30 pm with a full crew on at 4:00 am. There were a few phone calls received with one being very rude and extremely abusive to staff. Someone took a swing with a shovel at the wing of a plow, and Mr. Brown indicated that if that happens again, he has instructed staff to call the OPP. People are shovelling snow onto town streets after a plow has gone by which is an offense under the Highway Traffic Act. There are still problems on Belvedere Ave., as it is difficult to get through with a 7 ton. Mr. Brown appealed to people to be patient and urged Council members to take a turn in the wing seat this winter to learn what staff are up against, to which Councillors Keith and Backman responded that they would take up that opportunity.
3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Backman’s inquiry regarding the status of Belvedere Ave. vis-à-vis 1-way vs. 2-way street, Mr. Brown reported that he regrets that the issue of returning Belvedere Ave. to a 2-way street was not completed during his time as Director of Public Works. Mr. Brown reported that it is extremely difficult to drive the 7- ton truck through this street at anytime, and he advocated that the street be returned to a 2-way street, and that on street parking be eliminated in winter months.
4.1 – Eric McIntyre. Request for improving and installing sidewalks; areas cited include Avenue Road, Margaret, Marion, Ethel and Victoria Streets.
4.2 – Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. Response to Town inquiry on status update on consolidated school project.
4.3 – Tamara Wilson, Health Outreach Coordinator, Parry Sound Friendship Centre. Warming Centre to accommodate 20 clients overnight.
4.4. – Rick Zanussi, Chair, DSSAB. Request for support of District of Parry Sound Ontario Health Team
5.1 – Tamara Wilson, Health Outreach Coordinator, Parry Sound Friendship Centre. Warming Centre to accommodate 20 clients overnight.
Ms. Wilson addressed Council with respect to the Parry Sound Friendship Centre and partner Mary Street Centre/St. James United Church intention to provide a warming centre for homeless over the coming winter months. Ms. Wilson requested financial support for this project.
In response to inquiries, Ms. Wilson provided the following additional information: In her position as Health Outreach Coordinator, she has done research and consulted with representatives of the Salvation Army and DSSAB and concludes that homelessness in the area is at a crisis point that needs to be addressed. The proposed warming centre is specifically for men, since Esprit Place does exist and takes in women and children, but there is no men’s shelter. Weekly anticipated costs are estimated at $896, with $40 for utilities, $776.05 for 1 staff member for three nights, and $50 for incidentals.
The following motion was made: That the warming centre as identified in correspondence and deputation at the December 3, 2019 Council meeting be considered in budget deliberations for 2020. CarriedIn response to additional inquiries, Ms. Wilson provided the following information:
There is a member of DSSAB on the Committee addressing this issue, and DSSAB has offered to pay for cots and a steamer to clean them. DSSAB has indicated that they have no more additional funding for this project.
The following motion was made: That the Town send a letter to DSSAB reminding them of their role on housing and homelessness and asking them for further support given that they represent the District of Parry Sound where many of the homeless needing shelter may come from. Carried
Again, in response to additional inquiries, Ms. Wilson provided the following information: Trillium Foundation funding has been researched, but unfortunately the process will take so long, that by the time any funding is received, the shelter would be closed. This funding option may be more useful for establishing a permanent shelter. Ms. Wilson has not contacted other municipalities with a similar request for funding, but upon the suggestion from a member of Council, indicated that she would do so. The warming centre is proposed for only Monday-Wednesday to get it up and running and if it goes well, may open for more nights. It is proposed to start on December 9th with volunteers only, because there isn’t the funding yet for staff. When the centre is opened, there will be an intake and registration process that will capture information on the men. Councillor Keith suggested that it would be useful if the intake process captures information on the registrant’s home base, as that information may be useful in determining if x number of people are coming from certain municipalities. Ms. Wilson confirmed that she has called all the churches and there were about 17 in attendance at a first meeting; there are now about 13 people involved with the Committee. Councillor McCann suggested contacting service clubs like the Lions Club and Knights of Columbus who might not be so constrained to a budget process as organizations like the Town are.
5.2 – Deborah Randall-Wood, Chief Nursing Officer and Director Patient & Family Centred Care; Heidi Stephenson, Chief Financial Officer, West Parry Sound Health Ctr. Our Changing Health Care Environment.
Ms. Randall-Wood and Ms. Stephenson addressed Council from a prepared power point presentation on the changing health care environment.
Ms. Stephenson began with an overview of the recent move to electronic health records (EHR) which went live on October 1st, perhaps the biggest transformation since the new health centre opened in 2005. The project began two years ago and in addition to IT staff, involved physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, lab & pharmacy technicians, as well as finance and procurement staff. Ms. Stephenson indicated that they worked with Sault Area Hospital and North Bay Regional Health Centre and because they were the first in the Region to go live, had an extra 50 people on site the first 3 days. 140 nurses were trained with 18 hours of training each. The command centre was running for 24 hours/day for the first 14 days. By 2022, the other 21 hospitals in what was the Northeast LINH will be going live with EHR and will look to what the WPSHC has created.
Ms. Stephenson reported that another big project of the WPSHC is the purchase of a new CT scanner, superior to the current scanner purchased in 2005. The new scanner costs $1.5 million instead of $4 million, has 128 slices instead of 64, and releases a lower radiation dose. Currently there is a trailer parked outside the emergency entrance with a portable CT scanner while the old scanner is being removed.
Ms. Stephenson credited the Foundation and supporters in the area for financially supporting both of these projects and making them happen.
Ms. Randall-Wood addressed Council with respect to changes happening in the Ontario health system, noting that a new agency called Ontario Health has been created to partially replace the LHIN (Local Health Integrated Network). A number of agencies which used to report directly to the Minster of Health, now report to Ontario Health, a transition that has been happening over the last two years. In addition, the LHIN system of 14 regions has been reduced to 5 regions. Parry Sound has remained in the North Region which has a lot of advantages. In so doing, the LHIN functions have carried on as usual with staff transferring to Ontario Health. The only agency which has not yet transferred is the Trillium Gift of Life Network, due to complications in making sure that people who are involved in an organ transplant process are not disrupted.
Ms. Randall-Wood reported that additionally there will be reconfiguration of other systems including public health, land ambulance, and ambulance communication, with public consultation to be undertaken on the future of these services. Ms. Randall-Wood noted that the West Parry Sound Ontario Health Team would be advocating as strongly as possible for services currently managed in Parry Sound to stay in Parry Sound due to efficiencies of that model, as a larger province-wide EMS system doesn’t make sense for rural and northern communities.
Ms. Randall-Wood said that the biggest news is the formation of Ontario Health Teams (OHT) which is different than Ontario Health, the latter being a large provincial organization. OHTs which would still work together, are under Ontario Health.
Ms. Randall-Wood identified the various organizations that worked together in submitting an application to create an Ontario Health Team for West Parry Sound (OHTWPS), and reported that they were assigned by the Ministry of Health the “In Development” status, which means essential elements are in place. Ms. Randall-Wood reported that in actively working on full application, the OHTWPS recognizes that Muskoka, Algonquin, Nipissing and Sudbury are moving forward into “full application” with announcements coming out now.
Working on full application includes recognizing what populations the Team is going to be working with. Ms. Randall-Wood noted that the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) out of the University of Toronto has identified referral patterns. The system therefore is built around where people go for care, starting with primary care where the physician is, then to where the physician sends people; i.e. to where specialists practice. ICES then attributes populations to that. Most physicians in WPS refer people into WPSHC. Specialists who come to work, work within WPSHC. When patients move they tend to go north to Sudbury and south to Royal Victoria, and from time to time to Toronto Sick Kids or to Waypoint. Some patients go to Orillia including high-risk Moms and babies but most referral patterns are north and south, so the Team is trying to understand how to service people in these corridors.
Ms. Randall-Wood noted that the “in development” status allows the Team a chance to watch how other OHTs are developing, and what they are using for governance structure.
Ms. Randall-Wood noted that priorities in the next application stage are seniors and those in long term care, and people living with mental health and addictions issues because of the high population in those two categories.
In response to Council members questions, Ms. Randall-Wood and Ms. Stephenson clarified the structure with Ministry of Health at the top, Ontario Health delivering health care to the population, divided into 5 regions responsible for the business of Ontario Health, with about 40 Ontario Health Teams. The advantage of the OHT is that for the first time all services can be pulled together under one governance structure which will cut down barriers, reduce application processes, time, etc. West Parry Sound was successful in convincing the Ministry of Health that although the area does not meet the suggested minimum population threshold, it constitutes a unique entity, and there is no benefit to enlarging the area and linking with hospitals, north, east or south. Other OHTs have already been approved at full application which also don’t meet the minimum population threshold. With respect to boundary divisions in the district, Ms. Randall- Wood noted that the attributive population is considered; i.e. people in Burk’s Falls would be associated with the Muskoka-Algonquin Health Team; Powassan with Nipissing; and McKellar, Dunchurch and Magnetawan with West Parry Sound.
5.3. – Nick Ryeland, President; Peter Searle, Executive Director & General Manager. Park to Park Trail update and budget.
Mr. Ryeland addressed Council from a prepared power point presentation, providing background on the Park to Park (P2P) Trail Association, noting that they operate over 230 km of highly rated trails just outside of Killbear to just outside of Algonquin Park, in relatively close proximity to Toronto, which brings in tourism, and people looking for an adventure. Mr. Ryeland suggested that the trail contributes culturally, environmentally, economically and socially to the area. The trail essentially runs from Hwy 400 to exit 214, then east to Huntsville – the most populated area of the trail and is used by ATVs dirt bikes, bicyclists, and hikers.
Mr. Ryeland reported that they are seeking an investment from Parry Sound of $6,000 for 2020, more than has been asked for in previous years. Mr. Ryeland noted that most money comes from trail passes sold to ATVers and dirt bikers, and sales in 2019 of $80,000 contributed to 2/3 of revenue. This amount has almost doubled in the last three years, likely as a result of good social media presence, proximity to Toronto and the quality and landscape of the trail. Mr. Ryeland noted that in 2018, the Parry Sound 33 Fire negatively affected trail pass sales, and that the number of passes sold was 952, which jumped in 2019 to 1143, up 19%.
Mr. Ryeland made comparison to Eastern Ontario Trail Alliance which had trail pass sales in excess if $500,000 in 2019 and to the Hatfield McCoy Trails which raised $1,500,000. The P2P annual Father’s Day Rally raised over $10,000 in 2019 and $10,000 donation was received from Henvey Inlet Wind.
Using Ontario’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM), Mr. Ryeland reported the economic impact of the P2P Trail included total visitor spending of $731,000; full-time employment of 5; retail trade of $50,000; accommodation of $70,000; food & beverage of $50,000 and indirect tax of $106,000.
With respect to social impact, Mr. Ryeland reported that people inevitably go with friends, and/or family.
Mr. Ryeland reported that trail work in 2019 addressed bridges, as P2P manages 14 aging bridges. 4 bridges were re-decked in 2019, with plans to do 4 more in 2020. One additional original rail bridge needs to be replaced in its entirety and is currently closed. P2P is working with the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) to source funds from the province to complete this expensive work.
In response from Councillor inquiries, Mr. Ryeland confirmed that no funding comes from the province to pay for the P2P trail maintenance, including bridge repairs. P2P trail manages the trail under a land use permit from Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF). For major repairs like the old rail bridge, P2P works with OFSC, and otherwise uses its own funds from trail pass sales and municipal contributions.
Mr. Ryeland noted that the number of volunteer person hours of labour spent on the trail was estimated to be at approximately 1,000.
With respect to the “One Pass” system, being a pass to access various trails, Mr. Ryeland indicated that it has proved be difficult because organizations can be defensive of their trails; P2P is concerned that a pass bought elsewhere to be used here, does not contribute financially to P2P for trail upkeep.
Mr. Ryeland noted that although he doesn’t see ATVs frequently in Parry Sound, the decision by Parry Sound to permit them on Town streets is a forward step as it helps send a message that Parry Sound is open for business and helps build acceptance of the sport.
Councillor Keith suggested that although the cost to maintain the bridges is an issue, the number of bridges might be considered as part of a marketing campaign.
Mr. Ryeland agreed that the main purchases by trail users were for food, gas and lodging, but also suggested that they make other goods and services purchases contributing to the area economy.
In response to an inquiry regarding naming rights and sponsorship, Mr. Ryeland reported that CF Motor, manufacturer of ATVs, is a corporate sponsor and provides 5 side by sides for annual use to work on trails, and that a number of organizations sponsored the Seguin Falls bridge repair in 2007 and they are named on the bridge. Mr. Ryland said that P2P will be making deputations to other municipalities requesting financial assistance.
5.4 – Fritz Distler, Tyson Shurr, Bayside Family Church. Mr. Shurr read from a June 17th, 2019 letter addressed to Council reporting that for the past 9-10 years there have been intermittent problems with their sewer line and sewage pump and that they believe the problems relate to uninsulated sewer lines buried 2′ below ground in front of Bayview and Homestead Plumbing which freeze, reversing pressure back to their location and burning out their pumps, resulting in flooding of their basement.
Mr. Shurr requested that the Town correct the installation of the sewer lines in the low area in front of Salvation Army Thrift Store, Homestead Plumbing and Bayview by providing more insulation or lowering the line; and that the Town consider paying a portion of the approximate $10,500 since 2009 borne by Bayside Family Church for their repairs.
Mr. Distler said that Bay Area got a new grinder pump installed by the Town and that The Salvation Army Thrift Store pump was looked after by the Town.
In response to the Mayor’s invitation to provide more information, Director of Public Works Peter Brown reported that the June 17th letter read from this evening has been responded to by his office with copies already circulated to members of Council. Mr. Brown said that with respect to Bay Area Electric and Bayview, the Town’s agreement with them stipulates that the Town maintains their system. It is clear in the agreement with Bayside Family Church, that the Town does not maintain their system. Mr. Brown indicated that in good faith, the Town has helped Bayside Family Church by providing a pump two times in the last year without charge.
Mr. Brown reported that the forcemain recently installed was a minimum of 6′ deep in most areas and where it was only 5′ deep, was insulated, and the pipe itself in that area had a layer of insulation. Mr. Brown reported that in addition, a check valve was installed at the Pentecostal Church as an extra security measure.
Moved and Seconded: THAT a report on this issue be provided by staff and brought back to the next Council Meeting. Carried
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Update on Sidewalk repairs and replacements in the Town of Parry Sound, Resolution. That the Sidewalks Repairs and Replacements Report, 2015-2019 be received for information purposes. Carried
9.1.2 – Pedestrian Crossing at Waubeek Street & Avenue/Belvedere intersections. Resolution. That the report on Pedestrian Crossing at Waubeek Street & Avenue/Belvedere intersections be received for information purposes. Carried
9.2.1 – 2020 Land Ambulance Budget. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee the Council of the Town of Parry Sound approves the 2020 Land Ambulance Budget in the amount of $9,995,709.00. Carried
9.2.2 – EMS Ambulance and Paramedic Response Unit Replacements for 2020 Spokesperson: Dave Thompson, Director of Development and Protective Services. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee the Council of the Town of Parry Sound approves the replacement of two ambulances to be delivered in late winter 2020 and further that the supplier of record, Crestline, be awarded the contract for the supply of these two ambulances in the amount of $129,427.21 +HST each; said ambulances funded from the EMS equipment reserve fund; and
That the upon delivery of the 2020 ambulances the two being replaced be deemed surplus and donated to First Response Teams within the District of Parry Sound. Carried
Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee the Council of the Town of Parry Sound approves the replacement of one Paramedic Response Unit (PRU) to be supplied by Rowland Emergency Vehicle in the amount of $70,475.00 + HST; said PRU funded from the EMS equipment reserve fund. Carried.
9.2.3 – Reappointment of Councillors to Committee of Adjustment Spokesperson: Taylor Elgie, Manager of Building and Planning Services. Resolution. That Councillors Horne and Keith be reappointed to the Parry Sound Committee of Adjustment until December 31, 2020. Carried
9.2.4 – Re-Parking, Downtown Parry Sound. Direction. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound receives the Re-parking report and directs staff to bring the proposed changes forward in January 2020. Carried
9.3.1 – Information Update: Town of Parry Sound Culture, Parks & Recreation Master Plan. Resolution. That the staff update on the Town of Parry Sound Culture, Parks and Recreation Plan be received for informational purposes. Carried
9.3.2 – Modernization Program – Intake 1, Digital Strategy. Resolution. WHEREAS the Province announced the provision of the Municipal Modernization Program which is a funding program to identify efficiencies,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that staff be authorized to indicate to the Province the Town’s Expression of Interest and subsequently submit an application for municipal modernization funding resulting in a third-party assessment of opportunities to utilize information technology to achieve efficiencies, taking into consideration needs, resource requirements, best practices and also the identification of cost saving/sharing with other municipalities through shared technology opportunities. Carried
9.4.1 – Financial Variance Report for Third Quarter 2019. Resolution. That Council hereby receives and accepts the variance report for the Third Quarter 2019 (September 30, 2019); and
Further that Council hereby approves the expenses for Council members for the period from July 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019. Carried
9.5.1 – Council Selection Sub-Committee for Director of Public Works. Resolution. That due to a conflict of interest, Councillor Horne be removed from the Council Selection Sub-Committee for the hiring of the Director of Public Works and that Councillor Burden be appointed in his place. Carried
10.1.1 – Stewardship Ontario MHSW Amending Agreement. By-Law 2019 – 6996. Being a by-law to execute the Stewardship Ontario MHSW amending service agreement and amend Bylaw 2008-5281. Passed, Signed, and Sealed
10.1.2 – Encroachment Agreement – 4 River Street. By-Law 2019 – 6997. Being a by-law to execute an encroachment agreement between the owner of 4 River Street and the Town of Parry Sound. Passed, Signed, and Sealed
10.1.3 – Electronic Waste Agreement. By-Law 2019 – 6998. Being a by-law to amend Bylaw 2011-6029 to continue the electronic waste agreement and to reflect the change in ownership from Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP) to Quantum Lifecycle Partners and to execute the Notice of Assignment to confirm the Town of Parry Sound’s agreement with the change in ownership. Passed, Signed, and Sealed
10.2.1 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/14 – College Drive (M2 Developments Inc.). By-Law 2019 – 6999. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for Z/19-14 – 12 College Drive (M2 Developments Inc./Gardens of Parry Sound). Carried to table