Municipalities request meeting with Manor board to discuss capital costs

EVANSVILLE—At least three of five Western Manitoulin councils, including Cockburn Island, have passed a motion (that council representatives of the five had recommended) to again request a meeting with the Manitoulin Centennial Manor Board to discuss the long-term viability of the Manor.

“We modified a motion that had been passed by Burpee-Mills council, but are still requesting an evening meeting with the Manor Board, to accommodate any reeves/mayors or representatives who work during the day, looking at coming up with a 5-10 year long term capital costs projection,” said Lee Hayden, reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island Township after a council meeting earlier this week. “That way we will be able to prepare and put money aside in our budget to account for our share of costs.”

“Our main concern is in knowing when capital costs are coming up, so we can set aside funds for our share of projected costs,” said Reeve Hayden. 

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“Our council (Burpee-Mills Township) passed a motion at our meeting (held Monday) on requesting a meeting with the Manor Board,” said Ken Noland, reeve of Burpee-Mills. “And we hope the other four municipalities, Gordon/Barrie Island, Cockburn Island, Billings and Gore Bay councils agree to pass the same motions.”

The motion passed by council Monday reads, “the council of the Township of Burpee and Mills has concerns with the ongoing financial operations of the Manitoulin Centennial Manor. We are requesting an evening meeting to discuss the long-term viability of the Manor.”
“Previously we (Burpee-Mills) had requested a meeting with the Manor Board and that all other municipalities should be at the meeting as well,” said Reeve Noland. However, “we were later told that we were the only municipality that had voiced concerns so the board didn’t feel a meeting was necessary. I was invited to attend a regular board meeting but circumstances didn’t allow for that. And since then, four other contributing municipalities have expressed their concerns as well.” He said what the municipalities are looking for is to find out what the financial situation is at the Manor and its long-term capital plans.

As had been reported earlier this spring, with concerns related to the Manor’s aging infrastructure and the recent one-time expenditure allocation to Island municipalities, Burpee-Mills township council had requested a meeting to be held involving the Manor board and Manitoulin municipal representatives.

Burpee-Mills had seen an increase it its normal yearly requisitions with the one-time expenditure requisition as well, in total there was a 25 percent increase in their requisition. Council raised the concern that all municipal leaders should meet the Manor board to discuss the long-term viability of the Manor. 

In a letter to the Manor board dated March 13, 2018, Burpee Mills clerk-treasurer Bonnie Bailey wrote on behalf of council, “Re: Concerns with costs of updating of the Manitoulin Centennial Manor’s Aging Infrastructure; Dear Manitoulin Centennial Manor Board, The council of the Township of Burpee and Mills has concerns with the 2018 one-time expenditure funding allocations and are requesting a meeting with the Manitoulin Centennial Manor Board and the municipalities to discuss the long-term viability of the Manor.”

As was reported previously the Manor Board of Directors had set its 2018 budget which saw Island municipality’s requisitions increase two percent. As well, municipalities shared in  the one-time costs for the needed HVAC system at the Manor, a cost of $93,000.

At a council meeting this past Tuesday, Billings council passed in favour a similar request as Burpee-Mills did earlier this week.