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.
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).
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
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.
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
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.