Sunshine List – Expanded Summary

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By popular demand here are the figures for all of the West Parry Sound District. There are some interesting observations to be made.

  1. The CAOs for the most part all make the same money. For other positions it seems the Town of Parry Sound is at the low end of salaries, notably Public Works. I wonder if Mr. Kearns took a pay cut to take a similar position in the Town of Parry Sound. Perhaps next year’s list will tell us. He has much greater responsibilities in his new position (water (supply and sewer), facilities, …). Even sidewalks and traffic lights are a challenge he didn’t face in his last position. It seems we were underpaying out last Director of Public Works.
  2. The Archipelago certainly has a larger number of ‘chiefs’ for the population they serve when compared with the other municipalities. They also have the best Christmas party from what I’m told.
  3. The Town of Parry Sound actually has a smaller total considering that it is responsible for the largest population, provides many more services, and supplies oversight for a number of district services, most notably EMS.

In the case of Carling, McKellar and McDougall it could be that they have a number of employees just below the $100K cut-off for reporting. It also could be that they replaced staff in 2019. Salaries are reported by individual, not position. That means a person who was earning $120K per year and left the end of October would have only earned 3/4 of a full-year salary or $90K, and would not have been reported.

 

Sunshine List 2019 – Town of Parry Sound

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With all the COVID-19 concerns people seem to have forgotten that the 2019 Sunshine List dropped a few days ago. Here are the Town of Parry Sound employees on the list. We had the council member numbers last week and this rounds it out.

I’m okay with the numbers. They are consistent with the numbers from similarly sized communities. The Directors’ compensation packages are on par with constables and firefighters in other municipalities.

Here is a link to the full report.

The Dark Side of Human Nature

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We have all probably read about the individual in Tennessee who drove over a three state area to purchase all of the available stocks of hand sanitizers and wipes for resale. It turned out not so well, but I suspect he also made a profit before disgorging the remainder of his stock after being outed.

Similar stories are also coming from the Muskoka area where folks from the GTA are taking the ride up 11 to clear the shelves of grocery stores in Huntsville, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge. People will be people, I guess. The only solution is to say no. It’s not easy to say no when someone wants to check out with 50 boxes of Kraft Dinner or all of the ground beef on the shelf, but it needs to be done, not by the minimum wage clerk but by management. Or by the person next in line. It takes courage.

There will always be this type of attempt to hoard or to make a profit, but it is somewhat limited. What is more of an issue are individuals who buy more than they need – just to be safe. A recent example of this came to my attention.

A local area resident went to the grocery store to buy milk, they were looking for their usual weekly 4 litre 3-bag amount. When the first grocery store they went to had none they went to a second store and found a supply. Did they take one bag? Of course not, they decided to buy three bags, 12 litres, with the intent of freezing the two extra bags.

I understand the sentiment, but I don’t subscribe to it. We were presented with the same exact situation yesterday and bought the usual 4 litre bag. We met our needs, rather than choosing to feed our anxieties.

This hoarding type approach has two negative consequences. It denies milk to the person who needs it sooner rather than later. The less obvious consequence is that it screws up the supply chain. People who buy and freeze milk, buy 120 rolls of toilet paper, will, with time, consume these goods. How do companies plan production and inventories? At some point in the hopefully not too distant future there will be a glut of toilet paper as supply catches up with the hoarding. What then? Will production be cut back or shut down? Covid-19 does not cause the shits, so there won’t be an increase in wiping. Perhaps people are just shitting themselves with worry.

As people start to freak out, take a moment or two to think about the people in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands who didn’t have power and supplies for weeks and months on end. Not only were there more deaths and disease, their infrastructure was destroyed. Or think about the people in Syria who don’t just deal with shortages but bombs raining down on their homes. We have the system and infrastructure to get through this with very little sacrifice if we don’t freak out and start hoarding. Trust the system.

Let’s be careful out there. And considerate.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – 2020-03-18

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It seems that the 2020 Town of Parry Sound budget was approved last Wednesday night with the addition of a few more items. I’m not sure how this impacts the overall tax rates as some of the added expenses don’t seem trivial although some are covered under Water and Wastewater expenses that are budgeted separately.

I’m a bit confused by these minutes and I’m not sure it’s worth investing any time investigating any further.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 –
2020 Operating and Capital Budget
Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
That the amount of $60,000 in the 2020 budget to facilitate the work necessary to improve drainage and properly assess the condition of the culverts under Parry Sound Drive in the vicinity of Smith Crescent be approved and funding for the culvert lining project at $150,000 be approved so the project can proceed if conditions allow for completion of the works.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
That Council approve paving the operations yard, including the road section through to the transfer station in the 2020 budget for $130,000.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
That the budget of $40,000 towards SPS#5 be revised to $20,000 funded from the Wastewater Stabilization Reserve.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
Staff recommend $1.25 million in the capital budget allocation for 2020 to begin the process of completing the necessary upgrades to SPS#6.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
Continue with the equipment replacement of these mowers as planned in the Town’s 20-year equipment replacement forecast. The mowers are funded from the equipment replacement reserve. The Town currently contributes $165,594 yearly to this reserve to fund the replacement of equipment that is currently operational.
Future replacement of equipment at Hillcrest will be referred to as replacement of the “Cemetery” equipment to remove the connotation that it to be used solely at that location.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
That Council replace the aged furnace(s) at the CP Station on Avenue Road with one energy efficient model at a cost not to exceed $27,500. The furnace replacement will be tendered to get the best pricing.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
The recommended salt dock boat dock replacement includes a commercial dock designed not to protrude past the main dock. Three-ton anchors will secure the dock similar to the installation at the Champagne Street docks.
The future dock replacement plan includes a similar dock replacement at the Waubuno Beach location followed by the Shoppers dock at the Town Dock.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
That the entire garbage can replacement be funded by transferring the amount needed from the tax rate stabilization reserve.
Carried

Staff Recommendation for Council’s Approval
Staff recommend approving the project with funding for the additional $25,500 expenditure for a solar powered crosswalk at the intersection of Waubeek St./Belvedere Ave./Avenue Rd. to be included in the larger project debenture.
Carried

Resolution 2020 – 028
WHEREAS aging storm water infrastructure combined with increasing extreme weather events has increased the need for storm water capital replacement and maintenance,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council approve the creation of a Storm Water Management Reserve in the amount of $100,000 to be transferred from the Winter Control Reserve for the purpose of storm water capital replacement and maintenance requirements.
Carried

Resolution 2020 – 029
WHEREAS the Town has submitted an Expression of Interest for additional third-party review funding,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the unspent municipal modernization funding received in 2019 be transferred to a newly established Modernization Reserve for the purpose of funding projects that create efficiencies that lower and/or avoid future costs.
Carried

Resolution
That Council receives the storm drainage information on Georgian Bay Avenue provided by Director of Public Works Mike Kearns.
Carried

Resolution 2020 – 030
That the 2020 Operating and Capital Budget as amended, be approved; and
That the Budget By-law be brought forward for ratification following adoption of this resolution.
Carried

By-laws
10.1.1 –
2020 Budget.
By-law 2020 – 7028
Being a By-law to adopt the Operating and Capital budget estimates for the year 2020.
Passed, Signed and Sealed.

Council Agenda Preview – March 17, 2020

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I hope everyone is safe and healthy with access to an appropriate supply of toilet paper. I wonder if there was a similar run on the LCBO.

There are a few interesting items on the agenda.

9.3.1 Consent Application – B/03/2020 (PS) – Kondwani Corporation. This relates to an application to separate the property on Emily Street, the former helicopter service facility, to allow for potential residential and commercial development. There are about 20 hectares involved.

10.3.1 – Amendment to Parking and Traffic Control By-law 2019-6912 for the Town of Parry Sound. This change will permit reparking in the downtown. This will be to the advantage of downtown employees who are too lazy to walk up from the Bobby Orr Community Centre but at the expense of customers and clients. It doesn’t bother me, I can walk or ride my bike to our downtown.

10.3.3 – New Smoking By-law for the Town of Parry Sound. This new By-law adds in restrictions on the use of cannabis and electronic cigarettes, i.e., vaping devices.

9.1.1 – 2019 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members. I expect you are all interested in these numbers so I have clipped them from the agenda and pasted them below.
Closed Session
c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes; (potential acquisition of property for municipal purposes)
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board (potential claims regarding issues on private property);

Correspondence
4.1 –
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing. Provincial Policy Statement, 2020.

4.2 – Kami Johnson, Administrator, Belvedere Heights. 2020 levy.

4.3 – Frank Fernandez, Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump. OPG’s plan to build a nuclear waste repository in Kincardine abandoned.

4.4.a – North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. Health Unit Preparing for Covid-19.
4.4.b – Ministry of Health. Province Implementing Enhanced Measures to Protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Deputations
5.1 – Leslie Mapstone. Film Festival June 4-6, 2020

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – 2019 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members.

Resolution. That the 2019 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members, attached as Schedule “A”, be accepted.

9.2.1 – 2019 Water System Summary Report.
Resolution. Whereas the Town of Parry Sound owns and operates the Parry Sound Drinking Water System (M.O.E. Designation Number 2200000585) which has been categorized as a “Large Residential” Drinking Water System, and
Whereas Ontario Regulation 170-03 (as amended) under the Safe Drinking Water Act requires, according to “Schedule 22 Summary Reports for Municipalities” that all large Municipal Residential Drinking water systems have a report prepared no later than March 31st of each year addressing the items detailed in the Regulation and is given to the members of Council in the case of a drinking water system owned by a municipality;
Therefore, be it resolved that Council of the Town of Parry Sound hereby acknowledges receipt of the report titled: “Town of Parry Sound Tony Agnello Water Treatment Plant, Large Municipal Residential Drinking Water System Summary Report 2019”, as prepared by Kyle Hall, Manager of Water Systems.

9.3.1 Consent Application – B/03/2020 (PS) – Kondwani Corporation.
Resolution. That a decision on Consent Application No. B/03/2020 (PS) (Kondwani Corporation / 58 Emily Street) be supported, subject to conditions of consent that require:
1. The payment of cash-in-lieu of parkland;
2. The retained lands be rezoned to recognize the lands do not have frontage and access onto a year-round maintained road, and also that a holding symbol be applied which requires the submission of Record of Site Condition and the evaluation of the landfill site prior to any sensitive use; and
3. The submission of an environmental impact study supporting the proposed consent application.

9.4.1 Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) Grant Application 2021-2024.
Resolution. THAT Council authorizes that application be made to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) for the 2021-2024 Stockey Centre programming season; and THAT the CAO, Clayton Harris be authorized to execute the application and other relevant documents.

9.4.2 – Grant Funding Opportunity Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport.
Resolution. WHEREAS on the 21st day of August, 2000 The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and The Corporation of the Township of Seguin entered into an Agreement for the operation, control and management of the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport;
AND WHEREAS The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and The Corporation of the Township of Seguin hold title to the Airport lands;
AND WHEREAS the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport Commission has prepared applications to FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for funding for a Runway and Airside Business Development Project;
AND WHEREAS the Town of Parry Sound and the Township of Seguin as contributing funding partners to the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport, in the event there are cost overruns for this project, the Town of Parry Sound (20%) and the Township of Seguin (80%) are obligated to provide financial assistance to the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport Commission as required;
THEFEFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, as owners of the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport lands, the Council of The Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound does hereby support the applications for funding from FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for capital improvements at the Airport (Runway and Airside Business Development Project);
AND THAT the Township of Seguin will provide cash flow assistance to the Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport Commission as required for the municipal portion, in the form of a long-term repayable loan of a maximum of 2.5 million, with specific terms of repayment to be determined at a later date;
AND THAT Council approves the Township of Seguin to act as the lead Applicant for the above referenced Project;
AND THAT the Township of Seguin, as lead applicant will establish appropriate measures, project oversite, including status updates to minimize the risk of cost overruns.

By-laws
10.1.1 – MPAC Lease Agreement – Extension.

By-law 2020 – 7022. Being a By-Law to authorize extension of lease agreement with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) for office space from November 1, 2020 to October 31, 2025.

10.3.1 – Amendment to Parking and Traffic Control By-law 2019-6912 for the Town of Parry Sound.
By-law 2020 – 7023. Being a By-law to amend the Parking and Traffic Control By-law 2019-6912.

10.3.2 – Updated agreements with Chris Everitt, Earl Smallwood and Gary Kloetstra for on call after hours Municipal Law Enforcement services.
By-law: 2020 – 7024. Being a by-law to enter into an agreement with Chris Everitt, Earl Smallwood and Gary Kloetstra for the provision of on call after hours Municipal Law Enforcement services.

10.3.3 – New Smoking By-law for the Town of Parry Sound.
By-law 2020 – 7025. Being a By-law to Prohibit Smoking on Town of Parry Sound Property.

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – March 3, 2020

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It seems that councillors were on Spring Break this week with only 4 members present. The agenda was light and there were no surprises. A few notes:

5.1 – OPP Billing Model.
There is a nice summary of the presentation provided in the minutes and is worth reviewing to understand why police protection costs us $2 million per year or 20% of our individual tax bills. It would be nice if people were a little more honest and honourable. It would save me over $1,000 a year, or $500 if they were only half as honest.

9.1.1 – Water & Wastewater Rate Study.
It looks as though water bills will go up by an amount equal to inflation, probably a 2-3% increase.

9.1.2 – Tender Award – New Reception Desk.
The $60,000 reception desk was approved. Be sure to drop by and admire it when it is completed. Your tax dollars at work.

Closed Session
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board, (claim against the municipality);
f) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, (Agreement for services) (claim against the municipality);
n) educating or training council members and no member discusses or otherwise deals with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of Council, (Water and Wastewater Rate Structures).

Public Meeting
2.1
Municipal Zoning By-law Amendment – Additional Dwelling Units
Council held a public meeting to consider a proposed Zoning By-law amendment under Section 34 of the Planning Act, as amended. After the Mayor adjourned the regular meeting and declared the public meeting open, the Clerk advised that notice was given by prepaid first-class mail to the required prescribed agencies, posted in the newspaper, and was placed on the Town’s website.
Manager of Planning & Building Services Taylor Elgie advised that the proposed Zoning By-Law amendment would permit secondary residential units within single detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, and within ancillary units (i.e. garages) to these forms of residences. Mr. Elgie noted that this is following Provincial direction per Section 16(3) of the Planning Act and is a Town wide initiative and applies to Residential Zones.
No one spoke, and no letters had been received either in favour of, nor in opposition to the proposed zoning by-law amendment.
The Deputy Mayor advised that Council, at its discretion may approve the proposed Zoning By-law amendment and if so, must either circulate notice of passing of the by- law or give notice in the local press. Objections to the passing of the by-law will be received by the Clerk within 20 days from the date such notice is given, which objections will be forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. If an appeal is submitted and the appellant has not provided Council with an oral or written submission before the passing of the by-law, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal may choose to dismiss the appeal.

Questions of Staff
3.2.1 – In response to Cllr. McCann’s inquiry regarding a watermain break last week on Cedar Street, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that there were 2 watermain breaks within 2 weeks in that area, and that such events are not uncommon in particularly cold weather given the type of pipe, being cast iron which is a brittle inflexible pipe and if exposed to movement through frost heaving, will crack. Mr. Kearns said that he was not aware of a particular problem in that area, and that both issues were repaired very quickly.

3.2.2 – In response to Councillor Borneman’s inquiry about what might be done to reduce instances of vehicles proceeding without stopping through intersections at Isabella-Gibson and Mary-Miller, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that the Isabella-Gibson intersection is well signed, with lights flashing. From an enforcement standpoint regarding a stop sign, someone must witness the drive through; red light cameras will not work as they are tied to the signalization of traffic lights, and there is uncertainty as to admissibility of video evidence in court. Mr. Kearns suggested the best course of action is continued education of the public about the importance of maintaining safety at the crosswalks for all users.

3.2.3 – Director of Public Works Mike Kearns agreed with Councillor Keith’s suggestion to promote the importance of stopping and safety at these intersections through putting notices in the next Town newsletter and on the Town website and indicated that the OPP might also have advice on best prevention practices

Deputations
5.1 – Sergeant Kelly Withrow and Staff Sgt. Jeremy McDonald. OPP Billing Model.
Sgt. Kelly Withrow of the OPP Municipal Policing Bureau addressed Council from a prepared powerpoint presentation about the OPP municipal policing billing model.
Sgt. Withrow reported that in 2019 the Province provided the OPP with a provincial policing budget of $1.174 billion; 64% ($752.7 million) was the provincial responsibility provided at no cost recovery to the municipality, and 35% ($409.6 million) was the municipal policing resource provided with costs recovered from municipalities.
The provincial responsibility includes: Traffic Safety – aircraft enforcement, provincial traffic safety program, snowmobile all-terrain vessel enforcement, waterways and King’s highway; Investigations – criminal investigations, child sexual exploitation investigations, anti-rackets, organized crime, investigation and support; Intelligence – covert operations, provincial anti-terrorism and hate crimes, analysis and information, field intelligence; Specialized Response Teams – tactical emergency medical services, aviation services, canine unit, emergency response team, negotiations, tactics and rescue unit, underwater search and recovery unit, urban chemical response team; Auxiliary Policing; Community Safety; Unincorporated Territory; Indigenous Policing.
The municipal policing resources with costs recovered from municipalities includes Detachment Staff – supervision, frontline constables, civilian administrative and support; Support Positions – communication operators, prisoner guards, provincial police academy and in-service training, uniform recruitment, municipal policing bureau, quality assurance, forensic identification, IT and telephone support, regional headquarters.
Sgt. Withrow reported that in 2012, the Auditor General, upon receiving complaints about the then-OPP billing model as confusing and unfair, formed a team to investigate which concluded the same and made recommendations to the OPP with respect to creating a fairer and more transparent billing model. The recommendations suggested seeking ways to: simplify and make more transparent the cost recovery methods; address issues in costing and billing methods that result in municipalities paying different rates; and consider a policy that identifies services provided to support municipal police forces and the proportion to be recovered.
Sgt. Withrow noted that between 2012 and 2015, through an extensive consultation process, a new billing model was created based on the recommendations. Implemented in 2015, the new billing model has municipalities paying the same cost per property; and the model is made transparent through outreach at conferences, webinars, annual call for service billing summary report, meetings, and on the http://www.opp.ca/billingmodel site.
Sgt. Withrow reported that the 2020 budgeted cost recovery is $411.7 million divided into three sections. The first, at $210.8 million is for base services – crime prevention, officer training, administrative duty – allocated among municipalities on an equal per property basis of $183.23/property based on over 1,150,000 properties in Ontario; the second, at $162.8 million is calls for service (CFS) – crime calls (assaults, break & enter, etc.), provincial statutes (e.g. Trespass to Property Act), motor vehicle collisions, general calls for service (lost property, missing person, etc.) – charged to municipalities according to their usage (% of provincial CFS cost); and the third at $38 million are other costs allocated directly to municipalities based on contract arrangements and usage; i.e. overtime, court security, prisoner transportation, accommodation/cleaning and enhancements.
For greater clarity, Calls for Service (CFS) costs per municipality is based on usage percentage of the $162.8 million budget over most recent 4-year average. CFS are divided into nine categories for which an hourly time standard is developed for each of the nine types of service call.
With respect to the third category of other costs at $38 million, Sgt. Withrow reported that municipalities which have a court in their municipality, pay for court security;
prisoner transportation is recovered on a basis of $1.99 per property; accommodation and cleaning is recovered on a basis of $4.78/property if it is provided by the OPP; enhancements – for example a dedicated officer in a school – include costs which must be recovered at 100%.
Sgt. Withrow reviewed the estimated costs of Parry Sound’s 2020 Annual Billing Statement based on the different categories and rates as previously described, which results in a total billing for 2020 of $2,088,667 or $174,056 monthly.
Sgt. Withrow noted that each billing is an estimate for the year, and that year-end adjustments for over or under-estimates are reflected in the next billing year. Sgt. Withrow reviewed annual billing comparisons from 2015 to 2020 for all of Ontario municipalities, noting the slight reduction in per unit costs as a result of more municipalities contracting with the OPP for services. Sgt. Withrow reviewed the Town of Parry Sound’s specific billing estimate for 2020 Calls for Service, showing the calculations that result in the Town’s 0.8097% of the provincial total costs.
In response to Councillor queries, Sgt. Withrow clarified the following issues:
– calls for service: if a call was received regarding a break & enter, and OPP patrols found 20 other issues, the calls for service would still be tabulated at one;
– a call for service that deals with multiple issues is considered one call in the highest respective reporting category;
– on-line reporting does not count as a call for service;
– there are court security grants available to offset court security costs which financially burden only those municipalities which have courts within their jurisdiction,

5.2 – David Sweetnam, Executive Director, Georgian Bay Forever (GBF). Georgian Bay Forever update and request for support for Seabins.
Executive Director David Sweetnam of Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) addressed Council with an update on the Divert & Capture program since March, 2018, including the following:
– in the first collection of microplastics/fibres from 70 volunteer households, 7 kgs of fibres or close to 3 million microfibres was diverted;
– all 100 filters are now installed and an additional 100 will be installed;
– effluent from the wastewater treatment plant shows a decrease of approximately 10% in microfibres, roughly equivalent to the percentage of Parry Sound households included in the project;
– 13 shoreline cleanups were conducted in 2019 with over 1,200 lbs of garbage removed from coastal shorelines; as the majority is dock foam, future projects contemplated will look at how to avoid this source of pollution;
– educated over 1,000 individuals through workshops and presentations.
With the positive results of microfibre/plastic diversion, Mr. Sweetnam reported that GBF is advocating at all levels of government that manufacturers be required to install filters at time of washing machine production, instead of installing after market.
Mr. Sweetnam noted that GBF has researched and is promoting another technology/product called the Seabin which is essentially a trash skimmer, designed to be installed in the water of marinas, and any water body with a calm environment and suitable services available. Mr. Sweetnam reported that a number are being purchased for Georgian Bay locations and he suggested that the Seabin provides an educational opportunity if located and working at the Town Dock for example, with accompanying educational signage aimed at reducing pollution thrown into the water. As they are expensive to purchase, Mr. Sweetnam reported that GBF is applying for a grant for purchase and requested that the Town provide a letter of support for the application. In addition, once installed, Mr. Sweetnam requested that the Town consider providing on- going maintenance, such as providing electricity to run the pump for the Seabin and assist in making the public aware, through the Town’s communication devices such as Town newsletters, website, etc. communication.
In response to Councillor queries, Mr. Sweetnam noted that the pore size of the Seabin material does not negatively impact or trap microorganisms; algae would flow right through. This will be the first year that Seabins are used in this area, with marinas in Pointe au Baril installing units as well as the City of Toronto with 10 planned, and Collingwood and The Archipelago also considering sites and installation.

Consent Agenda
8.1 – Public Health Funding.
Resolution.
That Council of the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound supports the Township of Strong’s resolution requesting that public health be funded through regular provincial taxation, not municipal property taxation, per the following:
Whereas the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has advised municipalities of the following changes in the funding formula:
• change from 25/75 municipal/provincial to 30/70 for mandatory programs, and; 10
• change from 100% provincial funding to 30/70 for a number of other related programs;
And Whereas these changes will result in a 42% increase in the municipal levy, commencing in 2021, with no increased service delivery;
And Whereas small rural Northern Ontario municipalities do not have the financial resources to fund this 42% increase due to:
• sparse populations and small tax bases making it difficult to raise the requisite funds, and also provide core mandated municipal services to residents; and
• residents’ annual income being well below the provincial poverty level, with many on fixed incomes and raising municipal property taxes will create significant hardship;
hence, the Town of Parry Sound states that it requests the Corporation remain under the auspices of the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, and under the Rural & Northern Ontario designation;
And Whereas the Province of Ontario is currently reviewing the mandate and operations of Public Health Units;
Therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound requests that Jim Pine, Facilitator of the Public Health Modernization consultations, review the current funding formula for Public Health and Rural & Northern Ontario municipalities; proposing exemptions, for the province to implement for 2021;
And that the Town of Parry Sound contends that Public Health, as a pillar of our Ontario Health Care system, be funded through regular provincial taxation, not municipal property taxation;
And Further That this resolution be distributed to all 22 Municipalities in the District of Parry Sound for endorsement with copies forwarded to the Minister of Health, Minister of Long Term Care, MPP Norm Miller, MPP Vic Fedeli, Ontario Health Board Chair, FONOM Chair, NOMA Chair, AMO Chair, and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. Carried

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Water & Wastewater Rate Study. Resolution 2020
WHEREAS the water and wastewater rates enacted by By-law 2012-6091 for the year 2020 are expected to adequately recover necessary operating and capital related expenditures for water and wastewater in 2020,
NOW THEREFORE Council hereby confirms the water and wastewater rates as enacted by By-law 2012-6091 for 2020; and further
THAT pricing structure changes be deferred for a staff report and recommendation on additional pricing structures for consideration of updated rates for 2021. Carried

9.1.2 – Tender Award – New Reception Desk. Resolution.
That upon the recommendation of Brenda Ryan, FAD Architects, Council award the tender for the New Reception Desk (Front Counter Redesign) to CFC Contracting Inc., in the amount of $51,939 plus HST, this tender being the lowest of three (3) tenders received. Carried

9.3.1 – Consent Application – B 02/2020 (PS) (Wylie). Resolution.
That a decision on Consent Application No. B 02/2020 (PS) (Wylie) be approved subject to a condition of consent:
That the retained lot ensure compliance with the Zoning By-law as a result of the reduced frontage, or that the severed lot be realigned to ensure no road frontage is reduced. Carried

By-laws
10.3.1 – Site Plan Application S19/05 – Microsuite Properties Ltd. (Church Street).
By-Law 2020 – 7020
Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Agreement with Microsuite Properties Ltd. (Church Street – S19/05). Passed, Signed & Sealed.

The American Health System – An Insight

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I came across this article and I think it’s worth reading to understand the difference between the American and UK (and Canadian) healthcare systems.

I lived in the U.S. for about three decades and had access to a platinum level health plan for most of that time. You get that as management in the pharmaceutical industry, or at least you used to. I’m not sure anymore. At the time I was dismissive of the Canadian healthcare system because it had obvious compromises. Of course that was a more than a decade ago and our family had very little need for healthcare beyond regular annual checkups. The system worked well.

Things changed when I went out on my own. A healthcare policy for the two of us, with no pre-existing conditions, cost about US $7,000 per year with a $10,000 deductible. We never had a major health issue so the real cost was the monthly premium of about $600. We never had to deal with the paperwork issues discussed below but we know of people who did. This article from Vice does a nice job of comparing the U.S. and UK systems in what is a remarkable coincidence.

Living in Canada again I have come to appreciate the Canadian healthcare system. Yes, you do have to wait and things may not always meet your expectations. But, there is no direct cost, the care is typically excellent, and there is no paperwork. The American healthcare companies go far beyond ‘nickel and diming’ their clients. It’s a profit generating machine and they wring you out to get more profit. The more confusing the paperwork the easier it is to convince you to to pay the bill and get on with your life, especially if you are ill or recovering.

Here is a link to the article at Vice. I have copied and pasted it below to make things a little easier.

One Twin Got Cancer in the UK. The Other Got It in the US

Vice · by Katie Way

As identical twins, 67-year-old Nancy and Nora Groce share the same DNA. They also share a family history of breast cancer, and both had breast cancer treatment in the last five years. One thing they don’t have in common is where they live.

More than 10 years ago, Nora moved to London, where she works as a university professor. Nancy works for the U.S. government, and splits her time between Washington D.C. and New York City.

In scientific research, studying twins can help compare how situations or environments affect an outcome since, genetically, the subjects are the same. Last week in The BMJ, Nancy and Nora wrote up a “comparative twin study” of their own. It’s about what it’s like to get cancer treatment in two remarkably different healthcare systems. Nora is covered through the National Health Service, the publicly funded healthcare system in England, and Nancy has private health insurance through her job.

Though their “study” is limited to two participants, it offers a view into how two people with the same disease and the same DNA can experience treatment in radically different ways.

Nora didn’t have to deal with any bills or insurance paperwork, while Nancy had to negotiate with her insurance providers, pay $14,000 out of pocket along with her $3,500 annual premium just to have insurance, fight mistake bills, like one for $40,000, and deal with extreme stress throughout the whole process—on top of dealing with cancer. Nancy’s experience reflects larger trends in U.S. healthcare: In 2016, the U.S. spent almost twice as much as 10 other high-income countries on medical care, all while underperforming on health outcomes. Even with health insurance, being admitted to the hospital can result in bankruptcy.

Today, Nancy and Nora are both in remission. They took some time to speak with VICE about the very disparate paths they walked to get there. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

VICE: Tell me about your family history with cancer.

Nora: We have a spectacular family history of breast cancer. Great-grandmother died of it. Our grandmother died of it. Our mother died of it. So, we knew we were at risk and we were getting regularly tested. Nancy actually got diagnosed in her early 40s for her first bout, but we have been careful about following up because we have such a strong history.

I moved to the U.K. in 2008 and I could either go to a general practice and enroll in the national health insurance or I could get private insurance. My husband still works in the U.S. and so I could have also stayed on an American health plan.

I went in for an initial consultation with the local GP and I was very impressed. I went in on a Monday thinking I’d have to make an appointment and they said, “The doctor can’t see you right away.” I thought, “Oh, I’ve heard this about the NHS.” And then they said, “Could we see you on Wednesday?” I wasn’t expecting that.

They asked, “Do you have any health concerns?” And I said, “Well, you know, we have this history of breast cancer in the family,” and I immediately got sent to a family genetics clinic to assess my risk. I was 55 at the time, so I was at the age where women in the U.K. regularly get mammograms. But, because of my history, I was told that I’d have a mammogram each year, which I had at a nearby hospital 15 minutes from my house, and I did that regularly for about four years.

One day, I went in for the annual screening, and they called me back about two weeks later and said that they wanted a biopsy. It was clear when I went back for the second screening—I was in the room with the counselors and they said there might be a risk of breast cancer given my family history.

Then they proceeded right on and scheduled a lumpectomy and another lumpectomy. That sometimes happens. They couldn’t get ahead of it and they decided that what they really needed was a double mastectomy, and that all took place over the course of about four or five months.

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VICE: And during all of that, what kind of bills or paperwork were you getting?

Nora: I think when they were wheeling me in for the lumpectomies, I had to sign some sort of consent form. That’s the only paperwork I ever got related to my cancer or anything else with the NHS. You get free medicine also: Since I’m over 60, all my medicine is free. Under age of 60 the most they can charge you is now £9 for any drugs. People in the U.K. sometimes are so unaware of what goes on elsewhere that they will grumble about the £9.

VICE: Nancy, in contrast, even before your second round of treatment, you were running into some issues, because of where you lived and the fact that you had cancer before.

Nancy: When I had my first bout of cancer in 1994 I was about 40. I had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy for nine months, and radiation for two months. After I recovered, I was seen by my team at a major New York teaching hospital and I had a wonderful oncologist, so I liked my team there.

I worked in New York until about 2000 when I started to come down to Washington for jobs. At my present employer, I got the more expensive policy that allowed me to retain doctors outside of network so I could keep my oncological team in New York. Also, until Obamacare, I was not covered in Washington because my cancer was a preexisting condition. New York put in a statute saying that you couldn’t be denied coverage because you had a preexisting condition, and that was one of the decisions for me to retain my place in New York, my apartment in New York.

I also pay a higher premium because it’s termed within my insurance company as “high value medical insurance.” It’s a considerable percentage more than if I just went with in-network.

VICE: Nora, did you have any choices like that to make when you signed up with the NHS—higher premiums for out of network, or pre-existing condition concerns?

Nora: Not really. They refer you based on where you live. I was referred to the local clinical breast service, but I live in central London, and the local clinical breast service actually is one of the university teaching hospitals for University College London. They took my medical history, and there was no problem with the preexisting condition. Nobody stopped while I was signing up for the NHS and said, “Oh, wait a minute, history of cancer … we’ve got a problem,” because, quite frankly, everybody gets taken—100 percent of people who live in the U.K. are eligible to sign up for the NHS. Nobody is excluded as long as they meet the requirements of having residency here.

VICE: Was another difference between your experiences the labor of figuring all the health insurance stuff out?

Nancy: Almost everybody I know has had run-ins with their insurance company, strange billings, and paperwork. I found it totally exhausting and frustrating. Because I had had cancer before, one of the things I did initially is set up a chart, an Excel sheet, and I kept meticulous records about when I was going in, for what, and who I talked to. If I called an insurance company, I would take down the names of everybody I spoke with or needed to get back to, a nurse who was going to send someone something or confirmation of this or that.

It’s exhausting when you’re in the middle of recovering from lumpectomies and MRIs and all sorts of things, but I realized that would drive me crazy later trying to reconstruct it.

Nora: And Nancy’s doing this with a PhD. With a PhD, she’s really struggling to sort this out. When we lived in the U.S., we would struggle at home with filling out forms even when my kids had earaches, we’d encounter the same sort of thing. I think that it’s such a lugubrious system, it’s designed not to be clear.

Nancy: When I had to call a doctor’s office or call the insurance company, I spoke to a lot of very pleasant people. They were very sympathetic. I probably called the insurance company two dozen times to try to clarify what a charge was for or why they were only paying a certain percentage of my claim to the doctors. I would say 90 percent of the people I spoke to were women, and I think they’re used as frontline venters for people. They very rarely could resolve things. They were there for me to blow off steam to and be sympathetic, but they weren’t in the position, usually, to make any major decisions.

VICE That inconsistency must be so frustrating too—feeling like the costs are somewhat negotiable or not set in stone.

Nancy: Let’s say a claim was processed, $300 for example, and they decided that I owed out of pocket. They would pay $200, but I owed out-of-pocket $100. Very often, if I called up, the lab or the doctor or the radiation department involved would say, “Oh, well, if you pay right away or if you give us your credit card number, we can lower it 20 percent or 10 percent.” I was saying to Nora, “What is this, a post-Christmas sale?” How can they do these things? And, what happens to people who don’t think to make that call?

Some departments would never negotiate. It seemed to be the whim of the person who answered the phone. Here I am: My employer is paying a large amount for insurance. I’m paying monthly into insurance. And then, you have to call up and negotiate as if you had nothing in place.

VICE: Nora, what was it like for you to hear about Nancy’s experience?

Nora: First of all, I thought, “Thank God I’m in the NHS.” I felt just terrible for Nancy. It was continuous stress and it went on for a month. Sometimes, I’d call up, and she’d obviously been just out of radiation and she was not feeling hot and she had to call up this place or that place.

Maybe if Nancy had a partner living with her who, on a day-to-day basis, was getting all the information, that partner could have been some help. But, for people who are on their own, which are millions and millions of people, this is just on top of whatever your illness is. This is like another disease.

Nancy: And I worked throughout this. There were days I’d go to radiation early in the morning, and then I’d go and work an eight-hour day. I’d come home, I’d open the mailbox, and there was yet another bill. I would sometimes just come up to my apartment and scream at the walls. I’d get really, really angry, and I tried not to call to negotiate things when I was really angry because I thought that was going to be counterproductive.

It was not good for my blood pressure, which apparently had already been raised by the lumpectomy. I used to have low blood pressure. Now, suddenly, I was having issues with high blood pressure.

VICE: Both of you are in remission, which means that you ultimately ended up at the same place, healthwise. But it sounds like the stress did take a physical toll?

Nora: We have a very small sample size. We can’t say that there’s a one-to-one correlation between Nancy’s blood pressure and all the stress she went through. We think it’s related, but a physician could say, “Well, it could have been other things.”

Nancy: I just know as far as stress, it was something that was ever-present throughout, not only the time I was being treated, but for the months afterwards when I kept getting new bills or trying to resolve old bills. It wasn’t like I finished treatment and I could go out and celebrate. I had to keep monitoring the situation.

I had to go for an MRI this summer just to make sure that nothing had come back. The MRI was very expensive and I went through the same sort of nonsense. Initially, I think I got a bill for $6,000. Then they decided it wasn’t $6,000. And then, they resubmitted it. It’s going back and forth. I think I paid $500 or something toward it. This was last summer—I’m not sure it’s resolved. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think an awful lot of Americans go through something very similar with any medical bill.

Nora: A key point of our article is that, as Americans, we’re so used to assuming that health insurance has to be like this—everybody gets bills, everybody gets stunning letters, everybody gets calls from collection agencies. But, in fact, no, there’s another way to handle it. Again, I got no paperwork at all from the NHS.

My colleagues in the U.K.—none of them know that this exists. They assume that if you have private healthcare in the U.S. that a Cadillac rolls up to your door and takes you to some wonderful private hospital.

VICE: When you say you didn’t get any bills, my brain almost can’t comprehend that.

Nora: Having come from the U.S., I kept asking people, “Do I need to sign something? Do I need to fill out something?” And they kept looking at me like, “What? No, we have it all here.” At first, I was surprised. And then, to be very honest, I was just relieved. Having cancer is really no fun in anybody’s book, but I could concentrate on being sick rather than paperwork.

VICE: If you were in charge of redesigning healthcare, what would you do?

Nora: The U.S. is the only high-income country that doesn’t have some form of universal healthcare. Some of the forms of universal healthcare are better than others, but they’re all better than what we currently have, which is only some people getting good care, but with all the stress, and other people not getting care. Why there’s a health insurance system between the doctor and the patient is a mystery to me. We’ve come to accept this, but these are not people with expertise in clinical care or health policy or public health. This is an industry.

It’s like if somebody set up a for-profit middleman between you and the grocery store. You can’t go into the grocery store anymore. You have to go through these guys. They’ll have a tremendous markup. They’ll decide what groceries you can and can’t get, or sometimes not get at all. And then, if you can’t pay this middle man, then you can either go to a food bank or starve.

Nancy: And when you go to the grocery store, nothing would have prices on it. You wouldn’t know the prices until a couple weeks later when you got home, and they would decide that some items are free; some items have a copay, and some items are just not for you.

VICE: Nora, there was one out-of-pocket expense you had—will you share what that was?

Nora: I was in one of the many big London hospitals, and their food was okay British food, but not really good. The one expense I had for my care was that the night before I was going to be sent home, my husband went next door to Marks & Spencer, which is a big grocery store chain, and got me a takeaway meal for £6.95. That was my one expense.

Even the next day, when I’d just had a double mastectomy, I said to my husband, “We should get a cab home.” The nurse said, “Oh, no, it’s covered by the NHS. We’ve already paid.” And there was a cab waiting for me. They had ordered one, and I just got into it.

Nancy: After my lumpectomy, I was on the Upper East Side. I lived about 10 blocks away. I was there starting at 6 in the morning, and by the time it was over, it was about 4:30, and it was rush hour. I was with a friend because they don’t let you go without someone to take you home. My friend and I walked out, and there was not a cab to be had. So, in the end, I just walked home.

Nora: That’s about half a mile.

Nancy: I didn’t feel that bad, but it’s like, “Really?” At that time, I didn’t know that Nora had gotten a free cab home.

VICE: So Nora gets a paid-for taxi and Nancy walks home.

Nancy: I think that’s a good analogy for the differences in our healthcare system.

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Council Agenda Preview – March 3, 2020

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Another short meeting with two points that caught my attention.

5.1 – OPP Billing Model. This deputation is the most transparent overview of why we are paying $2.1 million per year for our policing services. I won’t go into a summary or analysis of the presentation; I do encourage you to take a look at it if you are interested. I may return to it later in the year for particular points of interest.

9.1.2 – Tender Award – New Reception Desk. Town Staff is requesting approval of a replacement for the existing reception desk at a price of $51,939 plus HST and another $6,000 for project coordination. What??? I remember the heated discussion about upgrading the chairs in the council chambers for much, much less. So why exactly do we need a new reception desk for this price? The arguments put forward in the agenda package do not resonate with me. “Workspace for signing documents”? Jeez. I didn’t realize that as a Town we are as rich as that. I will be interested in seeing how a couple of our Councillors react to this. FYI – this ‘upgrade’ amounts to about 0.5% of your 2020 tax bill.

2.1 – Municipal Zoning By-law Amendment – Additional Dwelling Units. More infill it seems. That’s probably the best future for the Town, more residents and more services. I don’t suppose you saw that as a core theme of the Strategic Plan? Don’t define it – just do it.

Other: Wellness Centre & Pool Citizens Advisory Committee. The agenda for their March 3rd meeting is linked here. Not much has been heard from them but it seems things are moving forward. There are plans for a public consultation meeting the end of March.

Closed Session Agenda
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board, (claim against the municipality);
f) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, (Agreement for services) (claim against the municipality);
n) educating or training council members and no member discusses or otherwise deals with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of Council, (Water and Wastewater Rate Structures).

Public Meeting
2.1
Municipal Zoning By-law Amendment – Additional Dwelling Units.
The Town of Parry Sound is proposing to amend the Zoning By-law to permit secondary residential units within single detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, and within ancillary units (i.e. garages) to these forms of residences. This is following Provincial direction per Section 16(3) of the Planning Act.

Correspondence
There is none this meeting. Strange!

Deputations
5.1 –
Sergeants Withrow and McDonald. OPP Billing Model

5.2 – David Sweetnam, Executive Director, Georgian Bay Forever (GBF). GBF update and request for support for Seabins.

Consent Agenda
8.1 – 
Public Health Funding.
Resolution. That Council of the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound supports the Township of Strong’s resolution requesting that public health be funded through regular provincial taxation, not municipal property taxation, per the following:
Whereas the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has advised municipalities of the following changes in the funding formula:
change from 25/75 municipal/provincial to 30/70 for mandatory programs, and;
change from 100% provincial funding to 30/70 for a number of other related programs;
And Whereas these changes will result in a 42% increase in the municipal levy, commencing in 2021, with no increased service delivery;
And Whereas small rural Northern Ontario municipalities do not have the financial resources to fund this 42% increase due to:
– sparse populations and small tax bases making it difficult to raise the requisite funds, and also provide core mandated municipal services to residents; and
– residents’ annual income being well below the provincial poverty level, with many on fixed incomes and raising municipal property taxes will create significant hardship;
hence, the Town of Parry Sound states that it requests the Corporation remain under the auspices of the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, and under the Rural & Northern Ontario designation;
And Whereas the Province of Ontario is currently reviewing the mandate and operations of Public Health Units;
Therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound requests that Jim Pine, Facilitator of the Public Health Modernization consultations, review the current funding formula for Public Health and Rural & Northern Ontario municipalities; proposing exemptions, for the province to implement for 2021;
And that the Town of Parry Sound contends that Public Health, as a pillar of our Ontario Health Care system, be funded through regular provincial taxation, not municipal property taxation;
And Further That this resolution be distributed to all 22 Municipalities in the District of Parry Sound for endorsement with copies forwarded to the Minister of Health, Minister of Long Term Care, MPP Norm Miller, MPP Vic Fedeli, Ontario Health Board Chair, FONOM Chair, NOMA Chair, AMO Chair, and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 –
Water & Wastewater Rate Study
Resolution. WHEREAS the water and wastewater rates enacted by By-law 2012-6091 for the year 2020 are expected to adequately recover necessary operating and capital related expenditures for water and wastewater in 2020,
NOW THEREFORE Council hereby confirms the water and wastewater rates as enacted by By-law 2012-6091 for 2020; and further
THAT pricing structure changes be deferred for a staff report and recommendation on additional pricing structures for consideration of updated rates for 2021.

9.1.2 – Tender Award – New Reception Desk.
Resolution. That upon the recommendation of Brenda Ryan, FAD Architects, Council award the tender for the New Reception Desk (Front Counter Redesign) to CFC Contracting Inc., in the amount of $51,939 plus HST, this tender being the lowest of three (3) tenders received.

9.3.1 – Consent Application – B 02/2020 (PS) (Wylie).
Resolution. That a decision on Consent Application No. B 02/2020 (PS) (Wylie) be approved subject to a condition of consent:
That the retained lot ensure compliance with the Zoning By-law as a result of the reduced frontage, or that the severed lot be realigned to ensure no road frontage is reduced.

By-laws
10.3.1 –
Site Plan Application S19/05 – Microsuite Properties Ltd. (Church Street).
By-Law 2020 – 7020. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Agreement with Microsuite Properties Ltd. (Church Street – S19/05).

Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged) – February 18, 2020

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The meeting provided no surprises. It’s worth looking at the deputation summaries to get a better idea of what was presented. It’s quicker than watching the streamed meeting live or on YouTube. Some comments:

  1. It seems that the Closed Session discussion about staffing had nothing to do with senior leadership but rather was approval for a full-time position at the Stockey Centre (Item 7.1).
  2. The Strategic Plan was approved (Item 9.4.1). If you draft a plan that no one bothers to read or follow and has no real accountability, does it really qualify as a plan? This plan could have been put together with a simple listing of the results of a SurveyMonkey poll. (It’s a bit of a shame that we apparently don’t have enough picturesque scenes of our own town and are required to ‘borrow’.)
  3. The Connor Industries rezoning was approved (Item 10.3.1).
  4. The rezoning required to allow the French School to move into the Mall was approved (Item 10.3.2). Let’s see if the Mall folks can get their act together. Development of the apartments seem to have stalled for the past couple of years. (These are the same folks who purchased and are currently renovating the Whitfield.)

Closed Session
d) labour relations or employee negotiations, (new staff position); Carried

Questions of Staff
3.2.1 –
In response to Councillor Keith’s inquiry regarding issues affecting the quality of roads over the past few days, Director of Public Works Mike Kearns reported that the timing of the snowfall after the start of the business day today complicated the plowing process with the amount of traffic and parking already occurring. With respect to the past long weekend, staff were out on all days except one and stayed on top of the issues with the limited staff resources available.

Correspondence
4.1 –
Ken & Geraldine Cribbie. Concerns with base water charges applied on metered water. (Editor’s Note – no action noted in minutes)

4.2 – Danny Whalen, President FONOM. Invitation to attend May 13-15 2020 FONOM Conference in Timmins.
Direction. That staff be directed to apply to FONOM to host the conference in Parry Sound within the next couple of years. Carried

Deputations
5.1 –
Linda Taylor, Program Director, WPSD Community Support Services. Community Support Services and 2020 Budget Request.
Linda Taylor, Program Director of the West Parry Sound District Community Support Services (CSS) addressed Council regarding the services provided including Meals on Wheels supporting 240 clients and delivering 11,600 meals in 2019; Volunteer Transportation; Diners Club; Senior Safekeeping; Lunch and Learn; Friendly Visiting; Adopt-a-Senior and Seniors’ Exercise Program. Ms. Taylor noted that program funding is provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Northeast Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and user fees for some services. Ms. Taylor reported that services are at user fee capacity, with seniors on limited fixed incomes finding it difficult to cover all costs. Therefore Ms. Taylor noted that CSS is hoping to fundraise $20,000 this year; have raised $11,000 so far and is requesting $2,000 from the Town of Parry Sound.
Councillor McCann commended the work of CSS and initiated the following motion. That the $2,000 request from Community Support Services be added to the 2020 budget for consideration. Carried

5.2 – Zack Crafts & Emma Kitchen. Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety Concerns on Isabella St at Wood St.
Zack Crafts addressed Council regarding pedestrian and cyclist safety at Wood and Isabella Streets, illustrating his concerns with an example of the Isabella Street route a grade one student would take along the sidewalks and streets from Parry Sound Public School to Victoria Ave. Mr. Crafts noted that snow, lack of light, and tandem salt trucks, especially when travelling during busy morning traffic periods heighten the safety concerns. Mr. Crafts requested Council consider means to make travel safe in that area, emphasizing that in our modern society active transportation is key, and that “we have to be able to get around in this town, without using a motor vehicle.”
Mayor McGarvey said that a good portion of property in that vicinity is owned by CN and CP with their own infrastructure in place, making it challenging for the Town to unilaterally make changes, and he requested that Director of Public Works Mike Kearns first investigate and find out where we are at with the two railway companies.
Councillor Horne said that he lives on Salt Dock Road and sees that with the growth in condos in that area and increasing foot and bicycle traffic, there needs to be an evaluation done all the way down Salt Dock Road with respect to bike lanes and sidewalks.
Councillor McCann queried whether there might be an arched pedestrian and cycle bridge built over the double tracks to which Councillor Borneman responded that there was a similar investigation done some years ago with a cost estimate at about $1 million with the remaining problem that the needed property for installation is privately owned.
The Mayor proposed direction to which all members of Council raised their hands in support, that the Director of Public Works provide Council with a report on the whole area (Isabella at the tracks through to the Salt Docks) with respect to improving road safety. Added to the approved direction was a request that a cost estimate be provided.

5.3 – Lis McWalter. West Parry Sound Smart.
Liz McWalter addressed Council from a prepared powerpoint presentation with respect to the background and current projects of West Parry Sound SMART. Ms. McWalter noted that the organization originated from the Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee (REDAC), formed as a not-for-profit in 2015, is made up of volunteers with a membership of 24 and 50% of membership according to Corporation by-laws are employed in the public sector. Ms. McWalter noted that the mandate is to focus on building high speed internet capacity, fundraising and advocacy.
Ms. McWalter noted that the Town is well served with high speed internet; however once outside the Town, problems exist as a result of physical barriers such as rocks, trees, lakes and wetlands, old copper telephone connectivity, no fibre trunk access, and distance to sparsely populated communities. As an example. Ms. McWalter reported that to get optical fiber 20 kms to the Industrial Park, a cost quote provided a couple of years ago was $2.5 to 4 million.
Ms. McWalter reported that last spring CENGN (Centre for Excellence in Next Generation Networks) issued Expression of Interest calls for two streams – community and technology; i.e. an ISP or communication equipment manufacturer. The West Parry Sound Area was selected as the community, and of five technology vendors who submitted, Vianet was selected. Outside of the CENGN initiative, SMART had acquired access to an existing 200′ tower near the old MNR Forest Fire Watch Tower in Parry Sound, now owned by the Township of the Archipelago. This provided the point of presence (POP) for WPS SMART who was working with Vianet to do something with the tower – now called the SMART Tower.
Ms. McWalter reported that Bayview Subdivision in Carling, a community of 250 homes was then selected as the community to be served by fiber from a secondary tower that would be built in Carling and served by the SMART Tower. CENGN is looking at this as a pilot project that if successful can be replicated throughout rural Ontario.
Ms. McWalter reported that this proposal of multiple micro-wave links seems a viable approach to reach many underserved; and that the Carling location opens up possibilities to feed other communities with fiber, install fiber to the home and fixed wireless. Benefits include a lower cost at approximately $500,000 per 1 tower project, accelerated plan and build plans, builds on skills of experienced rural ISP, investments can be made incrementally and enables fiber to the home for some. Ms. McWalter noted that the secondary tower in Carling makes it possible to get to the Industrial Park, and from there to Pointe au Baril and from the Industrial Park to McKellar and then to Whitestone. The SMART Tower can also access Seguin.
With respect to the tower builds, they are subject to Industry Canada rules with respect to structure and notification, and Transport Canada with respect to tower lighting and painting.
Ms. McWalter noted that WPS SMART is interested in municipal assistance with respect to acquiring suitable public land, supporting the public notification process, providing permits, funding support, and to help address dependencies.
Ms. McWalter responded to an inquiry regarding whether tower costs might be subsidized by contracts with tenants on each tower, saying that it is viable, but can depend on what the owner of the Tower wants.

Ratification of Matters from Closed Agenda
7.1 –
Resolution. That Council direct staff to eliminate the contract position and establish a full-time complement position of Technical Director at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. Carried

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.4.1 –
2020-2030 Strategic Plan.
Resolution (as brought forward from the February 4, 2020 meeting: The Council for the Town of Parry Sound approve the 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form attached as Schedule A. The following amendment to the revised version of the Plan circulated with the agenda was made:
That the Quality of Life Strategic Goal be revised to include the word ‘play’; i.e. Parry Sound is a great place to live, work, play, invest and grow. Carried
That the revised Strategic Plan as circulated with the agenda and amended with the word ‘play’ replace the Strategic Plan attached as Schedule A to the postponed resolution under consideration. Carried
To approve the 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form attached as Schedule A as amended. Carried as amended

9.4.2 – 2019 Economic Development Report.
Economic Development Officer Vladimir Shehovtsov addressed Council from a prepared powerpoint presentation outlining key economic development initiatives and events undertaken in 2019 including familiarization tours, tradeshows and events, investment attraction, cruise industry, film industry and community building events as well as 2020 investment attraction projects.
Resolution. That the 2019 Economic Development Report be received for information purposes. Carried

By-laws
10.3.1 – Site Plan Application S19/07 – 81 North Tudhope (Connor Industries)
By-Law 2020 – 7016. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Agreement with 2282722 Ontario Ltd. – Connor Industries (81 North Tudhope Street). Passed, Signed & Sealed

10.3.2 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/17 – 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario/Parry Sound Mall Inc.).
By-law 2020 – 7017. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario/Parry Sound Mall Inc.). Passed, Signed & Sealed

Council Agenda Preview – February 18, 2020

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This coming week’s council meeting sees an even shorter list of agenda items. The key items are:

  1. New staff position (Closed Session d). My sense is that the Town is starting to recognize that it is getting a bit ‘thin’ at the management level and which is also  becoming obvious to the public.
  2. The Strategic Plan is up for formal acceptance (Item 9.4.1). The agenda package includes a response to the comments received regarding the strategic plan. The strategic plan can be summarized as follows. More of the same with higher taxes and an environmental emoticon for good measure. Sigh! Strategic plans are hard to do and require lots of work. I guess it’s “good enough”. The Town intends to do tomorrow what it did yesterday but happy to realize that that the results will at best be no better than yesterday, with a risk of being worse.
  3. The economic development officer on 2019 accomplishments and plans for 2020. (Item 9.4.2). For the most part his activities have been focused on light industrial investment which is more appropriate for regional (Business Park – Carling) rather than urban development. That’s okay, I guess. He needs strategic direction from Council on Town objectives and timelines. The biggest economic development opportunities for the Town proper are related to services (housing, medical, dental, legal, social, food, business to business, and craft type services). These don’t seem to be the focus of the economic development officer’s activities as per his report
  4. Connor industries is planning a major expansion to their manufacturing facility that requires site plan approval (Item 10.3.1). This is one of the only light industrial businesses in Town and the expansion represents a positive step. Council will approved this.
  5. Rezoning to permit the French School to move into the mall for the 2020/21 school year (Item 10.3.2). The recommendation is that Council approve the requested rezoning and it will be approved. In the end there was no reason for Council to have taken the aggressive posture they adopted in August, except perhaps to curry favour with the coalition who were against the school for a variety of reasons.

Closed Session
d) labour relations or employee negotiations, (new staff position);

Correspondence
4.1 – Ken & Geraldine Cribbie. Concerns with base water charges applied on metered water.

4.2 – Danny Whalen, President FONOM. Invitation to attend May 15-18, 2020 FONOM Conference in Timmins

Deputations
5.1 – Linda Taylor, Program Director, WPSD Community Support Services. Community Support Services and 2020 Budget Request.

5.2 – Zack Crafts & Emma Kitchen. Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety Concerns on Isabella St at Wood St.

5.3 – Lis McWalter. West Parry Sound Smart.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.4.1
– 2020-2030 Strategic Plan. Resolution. The Council for the Town of Parry Sound approve the 2020 – 2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form as attached as Schedule A.

9.4.2 – 2019 Economic Development Report . Resolution. That the 2019 Economic Development Report be received for information purposes.

By-laws
10.3.1
– Site Plan Application S19/07 – 81 North Tudhope (Connor Industries).
By-Law 2020 – 7016. Being a By-law to authorize a Site Plan / Development Agreement with 2282722 Ontario Ltd. – Connor Industries (81 North Tudhope Street)

10.3.2 – Rezoning Application – Z/19/17 – 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario/Parry Sound Mall Inc.).
By-law 2020 – 7017. Being a By-law to amend By-law No. 2004-4653 (The Zoning By-law), as amended, for 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario/Parry Sound Mall Inc.)