Mean Streets of Parry Sound

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“If you touch me I’ll punch you in the face” she screamed at me a half dozen times with her hand curled into a fist and cocked behind her right ear. Little did she realize that touching her was about the last thing I would want to do, for reasons beyond the prospect of being punched.

This went down Wednesday afternoon on the sidewalk on Bowes Street across from the construction going on at the corner of Louisa Street. I was walking on the sidewalk towards the downtown when this e-bike sped up the sidewalk assuming ownership of the right of way. I guess the person operating the e-bike assumed that if they were going fast enough I would jump out of the way. I didn’t, and that created the situation.

Forced to stop at the last moment, or hit me, the e-bike operator was pissed. It didn’t help that the first words out of my mouth was to tell them e-bikes should not be riding on the sidewalk.

What was surprising was who was operating this little red e-bike. It wasn’t some young person with an attitude. It was a woman who seemed to be about 50 years of age, no more than 5’2”, and 100 pounds of anger. And she was threatening to punch me out for making her stop. Actually she was threatening to punch me out if I touched her.

We all do things that ‘break the rules’ in one way or another. We have a choice as to how we respond when confronted with our transgression. Threatening someone with physical violence probably isn’t at the top of the list of suggested responses. It would have been simple enough for the person to explain why they were speeding up the sidewalk, or simply apologize, or simply accept the very short lecture and move on.

Neither of us probably learned a lesson with this confrontation. I’m sure she will continue to ride sidewalks fast enough to scare people out of her way. And I’m sure I’ll continue to not step out of the way and confront these folks. I’m able to move quickly, but there are others who might well get knocked over, and not bounce back up.

And in a short flashback to Hill Street Blues – “Let’s be careful out there”.

Council Agenda Preview – September 19, 2017

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The agenda this week is light, light, light. Get out and enjoy the beautiful evening weather. You can always catch this week’s council meeting as a replay later in the week.

Worth Noting:

9.1.1 – Water and Wastewater rates. There is a new pricing model based on usage from the first gallon. It only impacts homes and businesses with a water meter. As more and more houses are sold, and the new owners are required to install a water meter, more and more people will be subject to usage pricing. My sense is that it won’t be more expensive than the unmetered rates as long as you don’t have a leak somewhere, or insist on washing your driveway once a week. The issue has been open to comment for more than a month, so if you have a concern now is the time to raise your voice.

10.3.2 – Stockey Centre website refresh. The proposed cost is about $20,000, and it’s in the 2017 Budget at $30,000.

10.3.3 – The second phase addition to the Gardens (Retirement Residence) is up for approval. It was on last week’s agenda but pushed back two weeks to see if a sidewalk could be included in the plans. The developer preferred to wait until the third phase of the project because of the cost and the logistics. It seems that a compromise of sorts has been reached with a wider section of the road being dedicated and marked as a pedestrian lane. I’m up there often enough to recognize that this will probably meet the needs of the developer, the Town, and the people at the Gardens.

Closed Session:

c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Business Stimulus Plan)

e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Zoning Matter)

Correspondence

4.1 – Beverley Langford, resident. Re: Letter regarding concerns with Lakeland Power repair times.

4.2 – Peter Istvan, Canada College. Re: Offering of Leadership Series at Canadore College, Parry Sound

Deputations

5.1 – Bill McMeekan, Camp Oochigeas, Summer Camp for Children with Cancer. Raising awareness of this Summer Camp and fundraising.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – Proposed New Water and Wastewater Rate Structure. Direction. That the Accounting Supervisor proceed with establishing a water and wastewater rate structure similar to Option 3 that was presented on February 21, 2012 and return with proposed rates for 2018 to 2021. This rate structure would have a monthly fixed charge, based on meter size, and a consumptive rate (per gallon / per cubic metre) that is uniform for all customers. There will be the removal of the monthly allowable consumption, that is to say that metered users will pay for the exact usage.

9.2.1 – Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) – Isabella Street Realignment. Resolution. That Council direct staff to apply for OCIF top-up funding to offset the cost to realign Isabella Street from Summit Avenue to William Street to accommodate a sidewalk and improve the storm sewer system, as well as improve the sanitary connections.

9.5.1 – Goal Plan Update – 3rd Quarter. Resolution. That Council approves the September, 2017 Third Quarter Goal Plan update, attached as Schedule “A”.

By-laws

10.1.1 – Review of Investment Policy. By-law 2017 – 6768. Being a By-law to Approve an “Investment Policy” for the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and Repeal By-law 2015-6492.

10.3.2 – Stockey Centre/Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Website Redesign and Volunteer Online Database Development Approval. By-law 2017 – 6770. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and Future Access to redesign the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts and Bobby Orr Hall of Fame websites and to redevelop the Volunteer Online Database.

10.3.3 – Site Plan Amendment – M2 Developments Inc. – 12 College Drive. By-law 2017 – 6765. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Amending Agreement between the Town of Parry Sound and 12 College Drive (M2 Developments Inc.).

I will take my own advice and catch the meeting online, sooner or later.

Council Agenda Preview – September 5, 2017

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This evening’s agenda is pretty light in terms of issues but there are a couple of proposed expenditures that are worth looking at a little closer. Item 9.1.2 concerns a new Public Water Tap that is budgeted at $50,000. I see no issue with this new amenity that is largely targeted to non-Parry Sound residents, residents can just get water at home, but I do have an issue with the proposed funding. The suggestion is that the cost be taken out of the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve. This Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve is becoming a bit of a slush fund for municipal expenses. I don’t see why this expense can’t wait for the 2018 Budget process and be included, or not, in next year’s budget. The Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve is intended to manage the ups and downs of reviewed and approved budget expenses. Let’s not start dipping into this reserve to deal with issues unrelated to rate stabilization. Honey, the new Play Station just came out, the kids will love it. Can I use some of their university funds to pay for it? Reply: can’t it wait until Christmas when we will have saved up for this type of expense and decide if it’s what the kids really want?

The second budget related item is 9.2.3, Stockey Centre repairs in the amount of $850,000. Staff is requesting that the budget for the project be increased from the approved $700,000 and be paid for with a larger debenture. I guess it costs what it costs, but had Council known it would be this much would there have been some additional cuts when discussing the 2017 budget? And a comment on the proposal to save $10K by only putting Ice and Water Shield on the valleys and troughs. Suck it up and pay to have the whole roof done. That 35-year manufacturer’s shingle warranty isn’t worth squat; we will be lucky to get 15 years. If you won’t spring for a metal roof, at least make the best out of shingles with a full coverage of Ice and Water Shield.

Lastly, the Town is looking at selling property proximate to Canadore College. You can see the 1.5 acre lot in the image below. The sale is probably a good idea to stimulate a bit more development at the north end of Town. I hope that the proceeds of the sale will not simply be put into a slush fund. It’s too easy to cover a spending ‘problem’ by dipping into slush fund reserves and taking out debentures. It’s the same as a consumer taking on credit card debt and a home equity loan to handle what should have been saved for. It just delays the expenses and increases the cost. But it’s ‘less painful’ for some, including politicians, than exercising some self control and saying “No!”.

Closed Session Agenda Topics

  1. a) the security of property of the municipality or local board. (Potential Development Project), (Audit Questions of Council), (CP Station)
  2. b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Local Board)

(c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board; (Request for Proposal)

Correspondence

4.1 – Letter from Wendall Fisher, Resident. Town’s initiative to have a report prepared regarding the cessation of train whistling at the five crossing. Mr. Fisher is not in support of this.

4.2 – Letter from Thomas Buttineau, McDougall resident. Concerns with used needles surfacing at the local beaches and playgrounds and requesting support from Parry Sound to open a Treatment Centre.

Deputations

5.1 – Giselle Bodkin, CPA, CA, BDO Canada LLP, Parry Sound’s Auditor. Re: Year End Report for The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound

Consent Agenda

8.3 – Special Meeting of Council – Staff Succession Planning. Resolution. That ______________________ at 6:00 pm be scheduled as a Special Closed Council meeting for the purpose of staff succession planning; and That Resolution 2017-139 be rescinded.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.2 – Public Water Tap. Resolution. That Council approve the installation of a public water dispensing system adjacent to the existing commercial bulk water station located on Parry Sound Drive, and further; That Council authorize the transfer of up to $50,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve to finance the project.

9.2.1 – Report to commence closure of portion of Parry Sound Drive road allowance. Direction. That staff commence the procedures to stop up and close, appropriately rezone and dispose of a portion of the Parry Sound Drive road allowance.

9.2.3 – Tender – Stockey Centre Phase II Roof Repairs and Siding Replacement. Resolution. That Council accepts the tender from W.S. Morgan Construction Ltd. in the amount of $888,180.00 including HST for roof repairs and siding replacement at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts and Bobby Orr Hall of Fame, this being the only tender received; and That the budgeted debenture be increased to reflect the tendered amount.

9.5.1 – Approval of Consolidated Financial Statements for the year-ended December 31. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound does hereby approve the Draft Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2016 as attached in Schedule “A”.

9.5.2 – Financial Variance Report for Q2 (June 30, 2017). Resolution. That Council hereby receives and accepts the Financial Report for Q2 2017 (June 30, 2017) attached as Schedule “A”; and Further that Council hereby approves the expenses for members of Council for the period January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017, attached as Schedule “B”.

By-laws

10.2.1 – Site Plan Amendment – M2 Developments Inc. – 12 College Drive. By-law 2017 – 6765. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Amending Agreement between the Town of Parry Sound and 12 College Drive (M2 Developments Inc.)

10.5.1 – Execution of Agreement with Collection Agency. By-law 2017 – 6766. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Customer Retention and Collection Services Agreement between A-1 Credit Recovery & Collection Services Inc. (“A-1CRCS”) and the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound.

I won’t be at tonight’s council meeting. I figure my time is better spent digging a little deeper into the council package.

Council Agenda Preview – August 8, 2017

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This week’s meeting of Parry Sound Council is packed with a number of items. It’s a bit of a mix of operational and organizational issues. I have provided comment (italics) for several of the agenda items.

  1. b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Human Resources)
  2. c) a proposed or pending acquisition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (potential land acquisition) (Waterfront development)
    Waterfront development continues to be on Council’s closed session agenda without any information being shared with the public.
  3. d) labour relations or employee negotiations (personnel matter)

Correspondence

4.2 – Ministry of Finance. Transitional mitigation payment to eligible municipalities re: tax exemption for Long Term Care Homes

Deputations

5.1 – Chris McDonald & Erin Cardy. Splash Pad for Parry Sound

5.2 – Thomas Buttineau. Needles & Addictions, A Cry for Help

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

 9.1.1 – Tender – Bowes Street Retaining Wall. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Triton Engineering Services Limited, Council accepts the tender from Weeks Construction Inc. in the amount of $218,067.40, including HST, for the construction of the northwest retaining wall on Bowes Street and Louisa Street, this tender being the lowest tender of three tenders received; and further, That Council increase the allotment in the Capital Replacement Reserve Fund to cover the shortfall of $58,067.40.

9.1.2 – Pre-budget approval – Vacuum Truck. Resolution. That Council authorize pre-budget approval in the amount of $350,000 to purchase a new vacuum truck and further; That Council approve single sourcing the equipment through an authorized Vactor dealer.
This apparently is in the budget as part of the long term equipment replacement program.

9.2.1 – Cultural Spaces Canada Grant Application – Stockey Centre Audio and Projection Systems. Resolution. That Council approves the request for funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Cultural Spaces Canada, in the amount of $23,349 representing 50% of the total costs of audio and projection upgrades at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.

9.3.1 – Henvey Inlet EMS Service. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-up): That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee staff prepare documentation to justify the application to the Ministry of Health for 100% funding of a base located in Henvey Inlet FN and that staff enter negotiations with MOH to implement and manage the Henvey Inlet base.

9.4.2 – Succession Planning. Resolution. That September 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm be scheduled as a Special Closed Council meeting for the purpose of succession planning.
I believe that the Town will be looking to fill the CAO position in the next couple of years. I hope that the new CAO, whether promoted from within or hired from the outside, will be a resident of Parry Sound, not living in one of the lower tax surrounding communities. I have no issue with Staff living outside of Parry Sound but I believe the CAO, who directs the activities of Staff, needs to experience life in Parry Sound, as a resident. It’s pretty easy to overlook, or not understand, any number of quality of life issues of local residents and businesses if you don’t live here. Yes, people might let you know about what is right and wrong about being a resident of Parry Sound, but there needs to be first hand experience. Just my two cents. It may be a little like the experience of our neighbours to the south who have a president who doesn’t really ‘get’ the issues because he prefers to retreat to his out of Washington residences, rather than sit in the White House and get first hand experience.

9.5.1 – 2016 Reserve and Reserve Fund Report. Resolution. That Council receives the 2016 Reserve and Reserve Fund Report, attached as Schedule A, in compliance with the Town’s Reserve and Reserve Fund Policy.

9.5.2 – Reserve Transfers – Downtown Business Association. Resolution. That Council hereby approves a transfer of up to $8,000, conditional on a minimum $2,000 contribution from the Downtown Business Association, from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve for the purpose of funding the costs of a strategic plan for the Downtown Business Association.
It’s my sense that Council and Staff aren’t happy with the performance of the Downtown Business Association. The Town wants something to happen but they don’t really want to invest their own time and effort. They had an active Downtown a couple of years ago, but some members of Council resented their activism. Oh dear, how to find the right balance?

9.5.3 – Reserve Transfers – Website. Resolution. That Council hereby approves a transfer of $4,800 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve for the purpose of funding the implementation costs of the Form Builder module from e-Solutions.
This seems like a good investment.

9.5.4 – POA Write-offs. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound, hereby approves the write-offs for the Provincial Offences Act Court outlined in Schedule “A” attached.
Another round of ten-plus year old write offs; the total amount is $5,300.

9.5.5 – 2018 Budget Schedule. Resolution. That Council hereby approves the 2018 budget preparation schedule as set out per “Schedule A” attached.
Ladies and gentlemen, open your spreadsheets. It would be nice if the schedule included a note of what steps were open to the Public and when Staff and Council would prefer to receive public comment. How about a date of when the first draft of the budget will be available to the Public and a deadline for Public input and comment? With council meetings being streamed online it is likely more people will participate in the process, possibly too late to provide meaningful input.

9.5.6 – Creation of Hotel Tax. Direction. That the Director of Finance be directed to create an ad-hoc committee including industry members, to further research, develop and design a hotel tax system for the Town of Parry Sound.
This fits in with 9.6.1, and is necessary if the Town is to provide residents, visitors and businesses with the level of amenities and services they expect. Improving the business climate in Parry Sound generates little incremental revenue, at best it stabilizes the tax base.

9.6.1 – Local Share – 1% Sales Tax Increase. Resolution. Whereas municipal operating costs Provincially are growing at $1 billion annually, just to maintain current services, and Whereas the total annual municipal budget gap as calculated by AMO is estimated to be $4.9 billion annually for the next 10 years to maintain current services levels and finance infrastructure needs, and Whereas property tax and user fees would have to increase at about 8% per year to close that gap, and Whereas municipalities own approximately two-thirds of all public infrastructure, all of which needs to be maintained, and Whereas AMO has reviewed dozens of options to help finance municipal governments, and Whereas the Town’s 2016 Asset Management Plan estimated a backlog of approximately $36 million and an annual infrastructure funding gap for tax-supported assets of $4,626,000. Whereas Council has agreed and implemented a 1.8% annual capital levy in addition to acceptable cost of living increases, Now therefore be it resolved that Council of the Town of Parry Sound supports AMO’s ‘Local Share’ initiative that would see a new proposed 1% (HST) sales tax increase, to support local infrastructure investment.
Yup, the money has to come from somewhere. If you don’t like the 1% sales tax feel free to offer the Town alternatives. This tax would in some small part capture a contribution from our neighbours and visitors who appreciate and make use of Parry Sound’s services and infrastructure. I’m okay with a splash park, but who should be responsible for the costs?

By-laws

10.1.1 – Funding Agreement – Waubeek Street. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Transfer Payment Agreement between Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario as represented by the Minister of Infrastructure and The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound.
This represents a $1.1 million provincial grant for the Waubeek Street reconstruction. The total project is estimated to cost $5.4 million.

10.2.1 – Site Plan Approval Application – The Parry Sound Affordable Housing. Development Corporation – 82 Gibson Street. Being a By-law to grant Site Plan Approval and authorize the execution and registration of a development agreement with 82 Gibson Street (The Parry Sound Affordable Housing Development Corporation).
I guess this will be approved as the developer has already started building the foundation.

10.2.2 – Site Plan Approval Application – 1793951 Ontario Inc. / Greystone Project. Being a By-law to grant Site Plan Approval and authorize the execution and registration of a development agreement with Granite Harbour/1793951 Ontario Inc./Greystone Project Management Inc. – 11c Salt Dock Road.
This represents the third phase of the project. After much concern about the lack of activity following the first phase of Granite Harbour, the development is moving forward nicely.

10.5.1 – Accounts Receivable Policy. Being a By-law to Establish an Accounts Receivable Collections Policy.

10.5.2 – Tax Collections Policy. Being a By-law to Establish a Tax Collections Policy.

10.5.3 – Asset Management Policy and Asset Management Strategy. Being a By-law to Establish an Asset Management Policy and Resolution, That Council hereby adopts the Asset Management Strategy, attached as Schedule A.

I’ll be there. If you can’t make it check out the live stream.

Life on the Big Sound (August 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Agenda Preview – July 18, 2017

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This is a very slim agenda with no by-laws to be reviewed an approved. There are a few surprises but nothing of concern, a bit of real estate buy and sell comes to mind. The key items are listed below.

Closed Agenda

  1. b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Parry Sound DBA Governance, DBA Correspondence)
  2. c) a proposed or pending acquisition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Waterfront)

Correspondence

 4.1–  David Penfold, Pointe Au Baril resident. Request to have the words Parry Sound or Welcome to Parry Sound put on the north end water tower located in McDougall.

4.2 – Jane Jones, Chair, Artists Round the Sound (ARTS). Thank you note to Council for the 2017 grant through the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP).

4.4 – Elliot Sherman, Project and Construction Manager, SYN*MH LTD. Thank you letter for Council’s support of his company’s intention to carry out research, design and construction of the micro-home prototypes.

Deputations

5.1 – Andrea Gordon and Andrew Parker, (OPSEU) We Own. The costs of privatization vs. the benefits of public services.

5.2 – Ingrid Mueller, Chair and Neil Pirie, Manager, Parry Sound Area Airport Commission. Rehabilitation of runways at the Parry Sound Area Airport Commission.

Consent Agenda

8.1 – Support for Natural Gas Grant for the Township of Seguin. Resolution. Whereas the Township of Seguin wishes to expand access to natural gas within the Township; and Whereas one of the Strategic Priorities for Council for the Town of Parry Sound is West Parry Sound Area Cooperation; Therefore, Be It Resolved That Council for the Town of Parry Sound supports the Township of Seguin’s resolution, attached as Schedule “A”, for an application to be submitted by a natural gas distributor or supplier to the Government of Ontario, for a grant from the provincial Natural Gas Grant Program to expand the natural gas system to service the Township of Seguin; and Further that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Township of Seguin to be included with the application to Ontario’s Natural Gas Grant Program.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – 2016 Reserve and Reserve Fund Transfers at Year End. Resolution.
1. That Council approves the transfers to and from Reserves as summarized in Schedule “A”;
2. That Council approves the transfers to and from Reserve Funds as summarized in Schedule “B”;
3. That 2015 and 2016 capital projects which were funded from reserves may be completed in 2017 as previously budgeted, as these projects were previously approved and do not impact the 2017 levy requirements.

9.1.2 – Proposed Provincial Asset Management Planning Regulation. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-up). That the Director of Finance and POA Court Services send a letter to the Province of Ontario outlining that Council supports the MFOA letter dated July 4, 2017 regarding the proposed regulation EBR 013-0551, and that the proposed requirement for engineering certification should be amended.

9.3.1 – Tender – BOCC Dehumidifier. Resolution. That Council accept the tender from Cimco Refrigeration for the supply and install of one (1) RefPlus DDE-2500 Ice Rink Desiccant Dehumidifier, for a total of $31, 523.61, including HST.

9.3.3 – Consent Application – B 17/2017 (PS) – Halvorson. Resolution. That Consent Application No. B 17/2017 (PS) – Halvorson – Addie Street, be supported subject to the following conditions:
1. Payment for cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication in the amount of $5,354.00
2. An easement be dedicated over the private water/sewer lines in favour of the retained lands.

9.6.1 – Town Property – Parry Sound Drive. Direction. That the Principal Planner be directed to bring a Report & Recommendation to the September 19th Council Meeting regarding the potential sale and redevelopment, and rezoning if necessary, of the Town-owned property identified as a portion of the Parry Sound Drive road allowance to the west of Parts 2-4 of 42R19097 and to the west of Part 1 of 42R19887, being a portion of PIN: 52105 0429 along Parry Sound Drive.

Hold Them, Fold Them

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You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done
(The Gambler, 1978, performed by Kenny Rogers, written by Don Schlitz)

Late last week I made the decision to fold my appeal of Parry Sound Council’s approval of the Oastler Park Rezoning and Official Plan Amendment and advised the Town and the lawyers for the Oastler Park Mall of this decision on June 29th.

I initiated my appeal in January of this year for three reasons that are worth listing:

  1. I believed, and still believe, that the rezoning will significantly change the Parry Sound downtown (Downtown). It may not hurt the Town overall in terms of tax revenue, but things will change, and the changes may be painful for some.
  2. I felt that the parties most likely to be impacted by the rezoning had not yet organized themselves and needed additional time to properly appeal the rezoning and Official Plan amendment decision.
  3. The work submitted by the applicant in support of the rezoning contained significant errors of fact that put into question the impartiality and conclusions of the applicant’s experts.

My original January appeal of the Oastler Park rezoning was appealed two months later (an appeal of an appeal) by the Town and the rezoning applicant wishing to have the Royal Bank relocate to the Oastler Park Plaza in the location previously leased by the Easy Home people. Last Friday I received a communication from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) that my original appeal could go forward. This followed a communication earlier in the week from the Province of Ontario advising interested parties that the decision had been made to uphold the Town’s Official Plan Amendment (OPA) permitting a change in the Official Plan to allow for the rezoning of the Oastler Park Mall property to permit the Royal Bank to relocate there from the Parry Sound Mall. Existing Parry Sound Official Plan had required Banks, Booze outlets (LCBO, Beer Store) and Bars (licensed establishments), commonly referred to as the 3-B restriction (3-B) to be located in the Parry Sound Downtown.

If you find this issue confusing, be comforted by my suggestion that it is confusing. Unless you have been following the issue for most of the year you probably have read as much as you need to. For those of you more familiar with the situation, you may wish to read on and understand why the original appeal was an important part of process and my sense of what may be ahead for the Town of Parry Sound.

Background:

In January of the 2017 I filed an appeal with the OMB concerning the Town of Parry Sound’s (TOPS or Town) decision to permit a rezoning of the Oastler Park Plaza to allow the Royal Bank to move into an existing vacant building. In January I also filed a document with the Province outlining my concerns with the Official Plan Amendment (OPA) approved by the Town to permit the rezoning. The arguments in both filings are similar and I have linked a copy of my filing to the Province regarding the OPA rezoning for those who are interested in my specific concerns.

My appeal of the rezoning was appealed to the OMB by the Oastler Park Plaza folks. They wanted my appeal thrown out. A hearing, convened by the OMB, was held in Parry Sound in April with the lawyer for the Oastler Park Plaza, and me, presenting our arguments why my appeal of the rezoning should, or shouldn’t be heard, by the OMB. The appeal itself was interesting and a worthwhile exercise. On the Oastler Park side was their lawyer and his assistant, up from Hamilton, along with the Oastler Park Plaza’s planning consultant. On my side, it was me. The lawyers for the Oastler Park Plaza folks presented about 400 pages of documentation including precedents for why my appeal should be rejected. In all, the hearing took about 4 hours. As mentioned earlier, the OMB’s decision rendered this past Friday upheld my right to appeal. It’s a small consolation, but offers some validation for the merits of my concerns about the rezoning and the impact it might have on the Town.

The Process:

Since January I have been spoken to a number of people about the appeal, including those likely to be impacted by any lessening of the 3-B requirements in the Official Plan. Concern was expressed, but over time it became obvious that there was no interest in investing in the appeal process, either emotionally, publicly, or financially. My sense after the first appeal hearing was that it would take more than $20,000 to mount a credible appeal of both the Rezoning and the OPA. It’s likely that the Oastler Park Plaza people spent more than $10,000 to appeal my original Rezoning appeal, and that was just the first period of the game that would likely go into overtime

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the response of the business people in the downtown with regard to the issue. There certainly was concern, but it was a shared concern that no single individual or business felt hurt them specifically or immediately. It’s a variation of the commonly discussed term – Tragedy of the Commons. Because no single individual would be immediately hurt, there was no obvious reason to stand up.

What surprised me was a party who contacted me early in the process and expressed support, with the suggestion of financial and logistic resources to put together the necessary documentation to support an appeal that might win the day. They took a bit of my time and in the end didn’t even have the courtesy to promptly respond to an email once push came to shove. They were playing a game that I recognized they might be playing early on in the process. But they claimed to be sincere, and in the absence of contrary information, and being the appeal’s best hope for success, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

The Decision:

Late last week, and especially after the Province’s OPA decision, It became plainly obvious that the best intentions of others were not going to turn into material support. At that point I realized that no one cared enough about the implications of the Town’s rezoning and Official Plan Amendment to step up and support my appeal logistically or financially. Given that I would personally not be damaged by Council’s decision to allow the bank to move to the south end, and it would cost me thousands to properly carry the appeal forward, I decide to fold the appeal. Just like poker, if the cards don’t warrant raising or you are out of chips, the right thing to do is to fold. There was no room for bluffing when it would cost thousands to stay in the game and there was no personal payoff even if I had won the appeal. There would perhaps have been that nice warm feeling of having supported the Downtown. The same kind of nice warm feeling when you piss your pants?

The Future:

I think we can imagine the future already, not so much because of my decision to fold the appeal, but rather the Province’s decision to allow some grocery stores to sell beer and wine. You may have noticed that our local Sobeys has started selling beer and wine. My casual observation suggests that it has further increased their business. I have seen any number of people walking to the cash register with a six-pack in their carts, that didn’t require them to head to the Downtown. Of course perhaps they just wouldn’t have bought that six-pack or bottle of wine, so the Downtown lost nothing. Yeah, sure! In effect the second “B” restriction, booze, has already moved out of the Downtown. The only nail left to put in the figurative coffin is a restaurant in the south end serving alcohol. I understand there are individuals ready to make this happen. With the Royal Bank heading to the south end, and booze at Sobeys, I can’t imagine that Council will be in any position to oppose restaurant rezoning. The Town’s recent decision to apply for the right to approve their own Official Plan amendments would streamline the process. This is despite Mayor McGarvey public statement that he will not approve the move or establishment of any business that would be in contravention of the 3-B regulations. He has shown in the past that he can be ‘flexible’ if there are moneyed interests involved. These are the folks who can drive the local economy and they can’t be ignored or dismissed.

The real test will come in the next few months. The LCBO’s lease in the downtown will expire by October of 2018, and I understand that they are itching to get out of the Downtown and into a facility in the south end. And there are people with the land and resources to provide them with exactly the type facility they might want. And the Beer Store would like to do nothing more than get out of the real estate business and rent space in the south end. These are the near term ‘canaries in the coal mine’ when it comes to the future of the 3-B and the Downtown.

How will the fast food joints across the street from the LCBO do now that tourists or folks from Seguin and Carling who need (want?) a six-pack, or a bottle of wine, can avoid traffic and limited parking by picking it up at Sobeys? What about the downtown banks? How many people will move to the Royal Bank because it’s more convenient, and right beside Walmart? One stop less.

No, the town is not going to go to hell with this change, morally or financially. In fact the Town will probably benefit with booze and bars heading to the south end. Any development in the south end will result in additional property assessments that will increase the Town’s tax revenue base. It’s possible that the assessment base of the Downtown may drop, but not nearly as much as the south end development revenues will increase.

The Downtown will need to roll with this punch. Don’t bet on everyone’s hope that waterfront development will increase traffic and business to the Downtown. It won’t happen for the simple reason that the weather in Parry Sound sucks between November and April. You can’t create a stable economy based on four months of beautiful weather, especially if that weather is available to neighbouring communities. I love winter in Parry Sound, when there is snow and the Big Sound is frozen over, but that’s not November, December and April. Sometimes it’s not even January and March. Most people don’t like the snow, and certainly aren’t going to come to Parry Sound’s downtown in the winter to sit in a hotel or to shop. Casino anyone? Wait, that won’t be in the Downtown. Or might it?

There is the possibility though of turning Parry Sound’s downtown into a residential centre, with an emphasis on senior and social services. The Downtown has little charm in terms of wide treed streets and classy old buildings that can compete with Muskoka. Two very busy train tracks further detract from any charm that might be possible. But, the Downtown is perfectly functional and will appeal to many who have more limited means. This is a transformation that will be slow to develop and will be painful for many businesses.

Development in Parry Sound, even in the south end, has limitations as it currently exists. This may explain the Town’s interest is extending Parry Sound Road to Oastler Park Drive and their approval a couple of years ago of the rezoning of the properties north of Starbucks. If there is to be development there needs to be land. If Parry Sound doesn’t provide it, the development will move to Seguin, just up Oastler Park Drive. These Seguin properties may not have water and sewer services, but some businesses will not require them. Not all LCBO buildings are located in towns with water and sewer service. With property taxes in Seguin one-third those of Parry Sound, a well and septic, or holding tank, may just be financially attractive.

I do feel sorry for some of the business in the Downtown who will see things change, most notably those businesses that depend on regular traffic to sustain business. Things seem to have reached a point where change is assured. But, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless of course sea level is rising and you own beautiful oceanside property.

One Last Comment:

What really pissed me off about the whole process, and motivated me in part to appeal the rezoning, was the documentation provided in support of the rezoning application. An important part of the rezoning process is the requirement for the applicant to provide an independent opinion on the potential impact of the rezoning on the Downtown. In the case of the Oastler Park Plaza rezoning this involved planning and economic statements. These reports are expected to be independent and unbiased. While it’s possible to ‘shop’ for an opinion, I have seen this often done in legal situations, the analysis still needs to, at the very least, provide a sense of independence.

My concern is not with the conclusions reached by the reports that the rezoning would not have any negative impact on the Downtown. I think they are wrong, but we are all permitted our own analysis and conclusions. What pissed me off is that they actually didn’t do the necessary work to reach an unbiased opinion. This was evidenced by the reports, which are riddled with errors, most notably the location of businesses and even the Downtown. The Downtown area was expanded a couple of years ago, but this was not reflected in the two reports. They still made reference to the older footprint. Would the revised Downtown size have impacted their analysis and recommendation? Absolutely not. The consultants knew what their client wanted and they were prepared to deliver it. These are the same parties that advised the Town that the Walmart development would not negatively impact the downtown. At the very least they could have updated their earlier analysis to reflect the current situation even if their opinions were already fixed.

Is anybody else paying attention to the changes? Does anybody really care? It’s a sad consolation that regardless of what people do or don’t do it won’t impact my personal situation. You need to care, but not too much.

Council Agenda Preview – July 4, 2017

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Summer is here and things are slowing down, but still moving along. Item 9.2.3 related to train air horn noise abatement is worth noting.

Closed Session Agenda

b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees. (Licensing Matter)

f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose. (Zoning Matter)

j) educating or training council members and no member shall discuss or deal with any matter in a way that materially advances the business of the Council. (Performance Management)

Correspondence

4.1 – Peggy Hawthorn, Parry Sound Seniors Club. Request to waive building application fee for the new roof for their building.

4.2 – Wendy Kaufman, Manager, Community Planning and Development, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Approval of Official Plan Amendment No. 1 – Oastler Park Shopping Plaza – enabling the use of the subject land for either one bank or one financial office.
It looks as though the Royal Bank move to the Oastler Park Plaza will happen. I have advised the involved parties that I am dropping my appeal of the rezoning and will not appeal the Official Plan Amendment. I will be offering my thoughts on the whole process in a blog post later this week.

4.4 – Wendall Fisher, Chair, Parry Sound Area Active Transportation. Thank you letter for recent completion of cycling lanes on William Street.

Deputations

5.1 – Greg Mason, Chair, Downtown Steering Committee. Update on activities.

5.2 – Bob Griffiths, Sail Parry Sound. Update on activities.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.1 – POA Write-offs. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound, hereby approves the write-offs for the Provincial Offences Act Court outlined in Schedule “A” attached.
This concerns 608 cases from 1995 to 1998 and amounts to about $161,000 in provincial offence fines (traffic and other).

9.2.1 – Monument Restoration – Hillcrest & Sylvan Acres Cemeteries. Resolution. That Council award the tender to Sanderson Monument Co. Ltd. in the amount of Fourteen thousand, two hundred and eighteen dollars and seventy-nine cents ($14,218.79) taxes (1,635.79) included, for the repair and restoration of monuments at Hillcrest Cemetery and Sylvan Acres Cemetery, this being the lowest tender of three (3) tenders received.

9.2.2 – Quotation – Waste Water Treatment Plant Clean-Out Services. That Council accept the quotation from Bartels Environmental Services Inc. in the approximate amount of $74,030, based on estimated volumes of material, taxes extra, for Waste Water Treatment Plant clean-out services, this quotation being the lowest of two quotations received.

9.2.3 – Train Whistle Cessation. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-Up): That upon budget approval for 2018, Council direct staff to proceed with the “Procedure for eliminating whistling at public grade crossings” consistent with the requirements of Section 23.1 of the Railway Safety Act, Section 104 of the new Grade Crossings Regulations and Appendix D of the Grade Crossing Standards.
This is an interesting initiative and I encourage interested people to read the resolution and report in the agenda package available at the Town’s website. Here are links (link1, link2) to a couple of articles related to Kingston’s experience in trying to abate train whistling, actually air horn blasting. It’s an expensive process and likely will involve the installation of fencing along sections of the rail line, at the Town’s expense. But let’s see what the consulting engineer suggests if Council chooses to head in this direction.

9.3.1 – Sign Variance – 46 Bowes Street. Resolution. That the Chief Building Official is authorized and directed to issue a permit for the sign at 46 Bowes Street according to the conditions and variances on Schedule “A” attached.

9.3.3 – Façade Improvement – 2017 Terms of Reference. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the Facade Improvement Review Committee, Council adopts the revised Façade Improvement Program Terms of Reference, attached as Schedule “A”; and That Resolution 2009-201 be rescinded.

By-laws

10.3.1 – Bobby Orr Community Centre: Snack Bar Lease Agreement. By-law 2017 – 6751. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of an agreement with Jim Cox, “Mister Chips”, for a three (3) year term to provide services at the Bobby Orr Community Centre snack bar.

10.3.2 – Parks By-Law Update & Consolidation. By-law 2017 – 6752. Being a By-law to regulate the use of Public Parks within the Town of Parry Sound and to repeal 98-4016, 2003-4640, 2006-4016 and 2006-4917.

10.3.3 – Rezoning Application – Z/17/05 – Dennis Drive – Penco Homes Limited – Lifting of “h” symbol. y-law 2017 – 6753. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law) as amended to remove a holding provision (“h” symbol”) from Lots 47-49, Plan M405 in the Town of Parry Sound. Direction (For Direct Staff Follow-up): That if the above by-law is defeated, the Director of Finance, the Director of Public Works and the Principal Planner explore the possibility of a fees and charges by-law to provide municipal water and sewer services to all the lots zoned R1(h) in plan M405.

Happy 4th of July to all of our American friends and neighbors. (In their honor I have used American spelling.)

There Be Dragons in the Big Sound, and They Look Friendly (June 2017)

Council Agenda Preview – June 20, 2017

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It’s a very, very light agenda this week. The points of interest include:

  • Formation of the Belvedere Avenue Parking Ad-Hoc Committee (1.2).
  • Goal Plan Update (4.1).
  • 2016 Annual Investment Report (5.1)
  • Wasauksing Bridge Restriction (6.1)
  • Claw Back Percentages (5.1)

Depending on the weather I’ll either be at the meeting or out on a trail. It’s that time of the year where you had better have a good reason to attend a council meeting. Getting paid to attend qualifies as a good enough reason.

Correspondence

4.1 – Harry Kleinhuis, Rosseau resident. Concerns about the lack of sidewalks on Pine Drive. Response provided was that the property is private.

4.3/8.1 – Susan Hrycyna, ED, Parry Sound Downtown Business Association. Re: Request to add a member to the Board of Directors for the DBA

Deputations

5.1 – Vanessa Backman, Parry Sound Tourism. Update on Parry Sound Tourism for 2017

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.2 – Belvedere Avenue Parking Ad-Hoc Committee. Resolution. That Council approve the Belvedere Avenue Parking Ad-hoc Committee Terms of Reference, attached as Schedule “A”, and further; That Council appoint the following members to sit on the committee:

  1. Marsha Rivers, CEO, Belvedere Heights Home for the Aged
    2. Mario Buszynski, Board Member, Belvedere Heights Home for the Aged
  2. Kathleen McGill, Home owner, Belvedere Avenue
  3. John Patterson, Home owner, Belvedere Avenue
  4. Representative, DSSAB
  5. Representative, DSAAB

9.2.1 – Council Approved Sign Application – Georgian Bay Airways – Bay St. Resolution. That pursuant to section 3.(4) of the Sign By-law, the Chief Building Official is authorized to issue a permit for a sign on the Bay Street road allowance pursuant to the following conditions and variances:
a) The appearance of the sign shall be substantially according to the application,
b) The location of the sign shall be to the satisfaction of the Chief Building Official,
c) The Town reserves the right to remove or relocate the sign on occasion should the lands be required for municipal purposes,
d) A permit may be issued pursuant to this resolution, for the summer of 2018, 2019, and 2020 upon payment of a fee of $50 per season,
e) The 2017 permit pursuant to this resolution shall expire on October 31, and
f) All other regulations in the sign by-law continue to apply except for those revised by this resolution.

9.2.2 – Permit minor variances within two years of a zoning by-law amendment. Resolution. That in accordance with Section 45 (1.4) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, minor variance applications are permitted before the second anniversary of the day of a zoning by-law amendment.

9.4.1 – Goal Plan Update – 2nd Quarter. Resolution. That Council approves the June, 2017 Second Quarter Goal Plan update, attached as Schedule “A”.

9.5.1 – 2016 Annual Investment Report. Resolution. That Council accepts the 2016 Annual Investment Report, attached as Schedule “A”, in accordance with the Town’s Investment Policy.

9.6.1 – Wasauksing Swing Bridge Restrictions. Direction. That a follow-up letter be sent to the Ministry of Transportation regarding the planned restrictions to the operation of the Wasauksing swing bridge.

By-laws

10.5.1 – By-law to specify claw back percentages for 2017 property taxes. By-law 2017 – 6749. Being a by-law to Specify the “Claw-back Percentages” in Respect of Properties in the Commercial Class for the 2017 Taxation Year.
I don’t get it, but the amount is too small, $824, to worry about. I’ll need to ask for a tutorial on the whole claw-back process.

Honeysuckle Blooming along the Rotary Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail (June 2017)

 

 

Trestle Logic

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When entering a parking structure in the Big Smoke have you noticed how there is generally a bar of some sort hanging from a couple of chains that you are required to drive under? There is also a sign that advises you the maximum vehicle height that can safely park in the structure. But, because people don’t like to read signs, or they don’t have a good sense of heights and numbers, the hanging bar acts as a check. If there is a bump as you pass under the bar you know that you have bigger problems ahead. Time to back up and park somewhere else.

So what do you think would happen if a parking garage posted the correct maximum height sign but set the bar a foot higher? Do you think people would look at the sign and think that the bar is set too high? Or would they simply ignore the sign and see if they fit under? If they are driving a vehicle that is a bit higher, perhaps a pickup truck with a camper unit on the back, they would probably inch forward cautiously, and once they passed under the hanging bar, assume they are okay and drive into the garage. Surprise!

This is basically the situation on William Street in Parry Sound and the CN trestle where there have been three ‘decapitations’ complete and partial in the past year. As you approach the trestle there is a frame structure about 15 feet in front of either side of the trestle. The sign on the trestle says that the maximum height is 10’6”. That seems like enough information to warn the truck driver with an 11’ height to take another route. What would you think if I told you that the clearance of the trestle, where the trucks hit the trestle, is greater than 11’, offering drivers a considerable margin of error. But perhaps 10’6” is actually more reasonable. As you look at the photo below you realize that there is a drop down as the truck travels under the trestle but the box of the truck would still be at the higher road level. That would lead to an angle which might actually make it an effective 10’6”, even if it’s actually three-quarters of a foot higher directly under the trestle.

The problem is not just professional drivers not knowing the height of their rig, or not paying attention, it’s also the support frame about 15 feet in front of the trestle. This structure has a clearance of 13’. I can well imagine that a truck driver might cautiously approach this 13’ frame and, discovering that they are able to get under it, assume they can fit under the trestle. It’s a bit of an optical illusion the way the road dips down, suggesting there is more clearance than there is.

The answer it seems is pretty simple. Suspend a bar on chains under the two support frames at 10’6”, much as you see in parking garages. A truck would pretty quickly figure out that they weren’t going to fit if they heard a thump well before they ventured forward and tore the top off their trailer.

We have had three such incidents just this year. You would think that CN would have figured it out by now that something needs to be done.

Has the Town received a formal report from CN attesting to the integrity of the trestle? Three dings in the past year and many more over the past few decades could mean there is unrecognized structural damage. But, it seems the railways always find it cheaper to apologize and make repairs after the fact than practice prevention.

 

Council Agenda Preview – June 6, 2017

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This week’s meeting of Council is light on ‘meaty’ issues, but sets the path for some  important future initiatives. I have listed a few of the more interesting items in the sections below, with comments as appropriate.

But first, a few comments on this past week’s Special Meeting of Council to Review Strategic Priorities. From my perspective, it seemed much like a made for show production. The meeting lasted about 35 minutes and was for the most part very formalized. This followed a 60 minute closed session where I imagine all of the relevant discussion was held and general agreements were reached. The ‘Dotmocracy’ process was conducted with little surprise, and even less prioritization. A suggestion to the organizers, if there are five topics for review, provide the users with only three green stickers. That will help folks to make some decisions in terms of what really is a priority. It has been noted that the enemy of the best is the good. Obviously, none of the projects, which included last year’s priorities and this year’s new ones, were likely to be outright rejected, especially if there was previous discussion in Closed Session. So which of the 5 strategic priorities were both important and urgent? I couldn’t tell from the voting or the discussion. One of the best ways to find yourself in debt is to decide that a new car, a new snow machine, braces for the nine-year old, and a nice winter vacation are all 6 Green priority items. Sometimes you need to decide what is really, really the most important, and most urgent.

Here are the Dotmocracy results from Tuesday night:
Great North Road Infrastructure – 6 Green
Parry Sound Road Extension – 6 Green
Closed Item A – 6 Green
Innovation Park – 4 Green, 2 Yellow
Tourism – 3 Green, 3 Yellow

So what is Closed Item A? It seems to be something new, and an initiative that requires Town infrastructure investment. I have an idea of what it might be, but I may be totally wrong. What do others think it might be? Here are some clues:

  1. It ranked among the top of strategic priorities. So it is ‘important’, at least for now.
  2. It’s something new, or at least something that has once again become a priority.
  3. It’s unlikely to be the casino project. That would largely be addressed with the Great North and Parry Sound Road priorities.
  4. The Town recently spent about $1 million on the boathouse properties on the waterfront.
  5. The Town also spent about a quarter million dollars on property across Oastler Park Drive from the Canadian Tire.
  6. The Town last year entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding access and future servicing with the folks at Beatty Big Sound Property. This relates to the property north of the Smelter Wharf.

If you have any ideas you can provide a comment to this blog post or, if you prefer privacy, send me an email at parrysounds@gmail.com. I will share your thoughts but keep your name confidential. Let’s use the “wisdom of the crowd” to see if we can figure this one out.

If you want to skip forward to the more interesting agenda items here is what I suggest: 8.1, 9.2.1, 9.2.2, 9.6.1 and 9.6.2.

Closed Session

b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Licensing Appeal, Appointment)
c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board; (Request to Transfer Lease)
d) labour relations or employee negotiations. (Performance Review, Director of Emergency and Protective Services)

Correspondence

4.1 – Debbie White, Co-founder World Oceans Day. Raising awareness of World Oceans Day June 8, 2017 asking Parry Sound to recognize and support the need to protect our water, waterways and oceans for the life they give us and offering ways to educate the public on ways to protect our waters.

4.2a&b – Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. Removal of the tax-exempt portion of remuneration paid to local officials and the Municipality of East Ferris’ resolution. East Ferris Resolution in support of Ms. Gallant.
See 8.1 below for comments.

4.3a&b – Marlene Bisson. Questions about the Service Line warranty program, water and wastewater and tax concerns with responses from J. Boggs & T. Pinn

4.4 – Parry Sound Friendship Centre. Invitation to Mayor & Council to attend their 50th Anniversary celebration June 17th.

Deputations

5.1 – Vanessa Backman, Parry Sound Tourism. Providing an update on Parry Sound Tourism for 2017

5.2 – Margaret Walton. Regarding Habitat for Humanity.

Consent Agenda

8.1 – Removal of the tax-exempt portion of remuneration paid to local officials. Resolution. That Council for the Town of Parry Sound supports the letter from Cheryl Gallant, Member of Parliament for Renfrew, Nipissing, Pembroke and the resolution from East Ferris, attached as Schedules “A” and “B” which are against the removal of the tax- exempt portion of remuneration paid to local officials as stipulated in the 2017 Federal Budget; And further that copies of this resolution be forwarded to Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, Local MP Tony Clement, Local MPP Norm Miller and the West Parry Sound Area municipalities.
This tax-exempt issue concerns the current situation that about 1/3 of the remuneration received by members of Council is not subject to tax. This is intended to compensate these individuals for their out-of-pocket expenses related to discharging their duties as a Councillor or Mayor. Since most councillors serve in addition to their regular jobs, the tax on this 1/3 of their council remuneration would be rather significant. I believe that members of Council currently are reimbursed for any significant travel expenses, and in some cases receive honoraria for serving on certain boards, so it may be time for this little perk to disappear. If they want to avoid the additional tax burden they should just tuck this amount into their RRSP.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.2.1 – Revised Organization Chart for Development and Leisure Services Resolution. That Council approve the revised Organization Chart for the Department of Development and Leisure Services, per Schedule “A” attached; and That Resolution No: 2013-207 be rescinded.
The actual change here is a matter of tidying up the organogram for Development and Leisure Services. But the organogram is interesting, especially the large number of staff, full and part-time associated with the Stockey Centre. That certainly helps explain why the Town wants to keep it non-union. Click on the image below to see the ‘big picture’.

9.2.2 – 2017 Municipal Assistance Program. Resolution. That Council approve the 2017 Municipal Assistance Program allocations per Schedule “A” attached.
The numbers will be decided in closed session and announced in open session.

9.4.1 – Booth Street Park Water. Resolution. That a water service be installed to the Booth St. Community Park to be funded from the Parks Reserve.

9.6.1 – Train Whistle Cessation. Direction. That the Director of Public Works be directed to bring forward a report and recommendation for the July 4, 2017 Council meeting regarding train whistle cessation.
This is an interesting new initiative. Can they perhaps also look into having the railways better service their ‘greasers’ to reduce the amount of squealing as the trains round corners? We have a few curves in Parry Sound if you haven’t noticed.

9.6.2 – Potential Hotel Tax. Direction. That the Director of Finance be directed to bring forward to the September 5, 2017 Council meeting, pending release of regulations, a report and recommendation regarding a potential hotel tax.
Another interesting initiative. The Town almost totally depends on property taxation for revenue. If more tourists come to Parry Sound and spend more money it doesn’t translate into more revenue for the Town. That may explain why the Town has invested little in the Downtown with the exception of free parking. The bulk of new revenue will come from new construction like the Breakers project at the Smelter Wharf. Adding a hotel or hospitality tax would deliver a new and additional source of revenue. Better to get it in place now before any additional investment is made in capacity. Eventually a restaurant tax?

By-laws

10.2.1 – Bobby Orr Community Centre: Pro Shop Lease Agreement. By-law 2017-6743. Being a by-law to authorize the Mayor and Deputy Clerk/CAO to execute an agreement with 4 Sports Inc., for the purpose of Pro-Shop operation at the Bobby Orr Community Centre for a one (1) year period.

10.3.1 – On Call Municipal Law Enforcement Officer. By-law 2017-6744. Being a By-law to authorize the Mayor and Deputy Clerk/CAO to execute a service contract with Cameron Marshall for the provision of On Call Municipal Law Enforcement Services.

10.3.2 – Appointment Bylaw – Chris Everitt, Earl Smallwood, Tom Evans, Cameron Marshall, Municipal Law Enforcement Officers. By-law 2017-6745. Being a bylaw to appoint Chris Everitt, Earl Smallwood, Tom Evans, Cameron Marshall as Municipal Law Enforcement Officers.

10.5.1 – Business Improvement (BIA) Levy by-law – Downtown business area. By-law 2017-6736. Being a bylaw to Adopt the Estimates of the Board of Management of the Downtown Parry Sound Business Improvement Area and to Strike the Tax Rate Thereon for the Year 2017.

Columbine on the North Shore Rugged Trail (May 2017)