Council went over the minutes of the November 7 Assiginack Museum board. In the report from the curator, Jeannette Allen, she noted that the museum had three bus tours in 2013 where the visitors were served lunch at a cost of $7 per person.
Despite the bus tours (there were no tours the year before), the museum attendance was down resulting in a $400 difference from 2012. It was noted that as June was especially slow, this could have been a direct result from the Chi-Cheemaun ferry not running due to low water levels.
It was also reported that the community heritage market, located on the museum grounds, was a great success and will be welcomed back this summer.
Minutes from senior affordable housing committee reviewed
Assiginack council reviewed the minutes from the inaugural meeting of the Assiginack Senior Affordable Housing Committee, December 18. Members of the committee include Hugh Moggy, chair, Jean McLennan, Marguerite Peltier, Dave Ham and Jane Tilston, secretary.
Councillor Leslie Fields questioned whether this committee would be putting a survey together to gauge current and future interest.
Clerk-treasurer Alton Hobbs suggested that Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) CAO Fern Dominelli be invited to attend the next committee meeting and talk about the direction seniors’ housing is heading from the DSB’s standpoint. (The DSB has recently announced that it will be converting many of its rental units to seniors-only housing.)
Mr. Hobbs explained that there was a fairly recent study (2012) done on this topic for the region.
Cheque register passed
Council passed two motions for accounts for payment: $111,893.32, general account, and $48,788.31, payroll.
Fairness for all
Assiginack council received correspondence from the Townships of Baldwin and Nairn and Hyman regarding the proposed OPP billing model. The letter explained that these two municipalities would stand to benefit from the proposed billing model “yet we cannot in good conscience support this model. There are too many unknowns, and from our perspective, too little analysis has gone into the preparation of this model. Additionally, we feel this is a kneejerk reaction to the comments made by the Auditor General and the requirement that each provincial ministry reduce costs.”
Reeve Brad Ham noted that Assiginack also stands to benefit from this model.
“I just don’t think they put that much thought into it,” he added. “Some municipalities are going to just get pounded.”
“There has to be some equity and fairness,” Councillor Fields added.
Highway 17 standards
Council reviewed an open letter to Minister of Transportation Glen Murray from the LaCloche Foothills Municipal Association regarding highway maintenance standards on Highway 17 between Sudbury and Spanish.
“We recognize that sometimes ‘common sense’ must be the common denominator that we as representatives of our citizenry make decisions with,” writes Nairn Centre Mayor Laurier Falldien, spokesperson for the LaCloche Foothills Municipal Association. “To that end, we are urging you to look at the statistics and advise us how you intend to deal with the large number of accidents causing serious injury and death along this section of the Trans Canada (Highway) due to the poor level of winter maintenance.”
A series of bylaws
Council passed bylaw 14-01 to authorize short-term borrowing to meet the municipality’s current expenditures ($750,000) until taxes are collected. The estimated revenue is $2,331,250.
Bylaw 14-02 was also enacted at the January 7 meeting of council, establishing a municipal alcohol policy which is now in place for those using municipal property under a Special Occasion Permit.
Bylaw 14-03 was passed, appointing Jackie White as the municipality’s new project and events coordinator.
Lastly, council passed bylaw 14-04 to adopt an asset management plan.
Councillor Fields thanked public works for their hard work over the holidays, saying what a good job the crew did considering the inclement weather.
She also suggested Assiginack send a contingent to the annual Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association joint conference to meet with ministers about their concerns, especially regarding small water treatment plants.