This week’s council meeting has a number of Closed Session items that are worth noting. I’m most interested in the whole issue of “Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Municipal Election”. Oh boy. This is the same person who suggested that a high-rise development in town should not be approved because there were not enough fire department resources to handle a fire at this new development and one of the existing higher rise developments. OMG – what if we had a fire at all four of the high-rises at Silver Birch, the three high-rises at granite Harbour and the hospital. Oh, and don’t forget the old hospital development. Would one more complex really raise the threat level? Sheesh.
I note the continuing interest and complaints regarding the proposed Splash Pad (4.1, 4.2). My suspicion is that some folks are concerned that a splash pad at Waubuno Beach would delay any potential pool complex. So, putting a stop to the splash pad would be good for a pool complex. It’s a bit Trumpian. The suggestion that the splash pad be constructed at another site makes no sense. There are no other public properties in Parry Sound that have the necessary existing space, parking, supervisory staff (lifeguards) and infrastructure (bathrooms and such) to support a splash pad. Only a pool complex would have the necessary infrastructure if Waubuno Beach can be knocked out. If Waubuno Beach is eliminated, and you really want a splash pad, then you need to support the pool complex. I wonder how many of the people chiming in on the splash pad discussion have really spent time in the public spaces in Parry Sound to realize what alternate options exist. If they had they would recognize there is no real alternative. And if they really want a quiet place to live without the ‘bother’ of visitors and tourists they should move to one of the area municipalities. They could be on a lake, or the bay, and enjoy lower taxes.
There is a resolution before Council (9.2.1) to opt-in and permit cannabis stores in the Town of Parry Sound.
Item 9.2.2 raises a point that has come up before. The Town’s effective subsidizing of regional community social services by hosting a number of tax-exempt resources (public housing, places of worship, social services …) creates a burden on Town services and by extension a financial burden on Town of Parry Sound taxpayers. This resolution acknowledges and accepts the Town’s responsibilities but requests that it be able to more easily address the unreasonable burdens placed upon it by existing legislation.
b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees. (Lay Appointees to Boards)
c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes. (Town`s Input as Interested Third Party to a Land Lease application)
d) labour relations or employee negotiations. (Municipal Office Hours during Festive Time)
e) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board. (Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Municipal Election)
f) the receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose. (Claim Against the Municipality Regarding 2018 Municipal Election)
4.1 – Susan Telford. Request for more discussion on location of proposed Splash Pad
4.2 – Colleen O’Hare. Opposition to splashpad at proposed Waubuno Beach location.
4.3 – J. Hinchliffe. State of property after infrastructure work on 40 Waubeek Street easement.
4.4 – Harald Themer. Request for formal permission to use area at 60 Seguin Street for parking.
5.1 – Darrin O’Brien, Gord Harrison. Appeal of municipal taxation on 86 Gibson St.
5.2 – John Myer, Rebecca Pollock. Parry Sound Area Active Transportation Current Priorities
5.3 – Ruth Beattie, Nancy Regan, Parry Sound High School Parent Council. Recommended amendments to provincial guidelines governing retail cannabis stores.
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.2.1 – Opt-in to permit Cannabis Retail Stores. Resolution. That Council for the Corporation of The Town of Parry Sound opts-in to permit cannabis retail stores in its community.
9.2.2 – Increasing Housing Supply. Resolution. Whereas the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Hosing has requested comments by January 25, 2019 in regard to Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario consultation document, as part of the Housing Supply Action Plan; and Whereas the Town of Parry Sound supports the goals of this document, being to expand the housing supply in Ontario, increase quality rental housing and enable home ownership; and Whereas the consultation document wishes to expand all housing types, which includes affordable housing; and Whereas Section 3(1)12iii. of the Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. A.31 provides an exemption from property taxation for any land owned by a charitable, non-profit philanthropic corporation organized for the relief of the poor if the corporation is supported in part by public funds; and
Whereas the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has determined this provision has been applied to certain affordable housing initiatives in Ontario and resulted in a 100% tax exemption for some of these developments; and Whereas these developments still place a demand on municipal services and their tax relief must therefore be recouped from other property owners, resulting in increased taxation; and Whereas this Section of the Assessment Act will adversely impact the goals contained in the Increasing Housing Supply in Ontario consultation document, by creating a negative stigma towards affordable housing and a reluctance to support future affordable housing projects; and Whereas it is very difficult to monitor an exempt development over time to determine if the development has changed its mandate or operations such that it would no longer qualify for the exemption; and Whereas an appeal of MPAC’s decision to exempt a property cannot be appealed to the Assessment Review Board but must be done through a Court Application which can be time consuming and costly.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Town of Parry Sound supports increasing the overall housing supply and supports affordable housing projects; and That Section 3(1)12iii. of the Assessment Act which places an unfair tax burden upon municipalities, should be amended such that the local municipality that bears the financial burden should be permitted flexibility and the ability to determine the extent of any financial relief provided in their community; and further That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honourable Steve Clark, MPP, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mr. Norman Miller, MPP, Parry Sound – Muskoka, the Director of the Market Housing Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).
9.2.3 – EMS Ambulance Replacements for 2019. Resolution. That upon the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee, the Town of Parry Sound approves the replacement of three ambulances to be delivered in late winter 2019; and That the supplier of record, Crestline, be awarded the contract for the supply of these three ambulances in the amount of $126,578.78 + HST each, with funding from the 2019 EMS equipment reserve fund; and That the upon delivery of the 2019 ambulances, the three being replaced be deemed surplus with two of them being donated to the First Response Teams in McKellar and Argyle, and the third being traded into Crestline for the sum of $10,000.00.
10.3.1 Downtown Business Association/Town of Parry Sound Memorandum of Understanding: Downtown Standard of Care. By-law 2019-6888. Being a By-law to authorize the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Corporation of the Town of Parry Sound and the Parry Sound Downtown Business Association for Downtown Standard of Care, and to repeal By-law No: 2017-6783.