Councillor Leslie Fields noted that it was Volunteer Appreciation Week and said how fortunate they are in Assiginack to have the volunteers they have, adding that she is “so proud of the work they do” in helping to make the municipality a great one in which to live.
Councillor Brenda Reid shared that the Pumpkin Festival committee had its first meeting of the year and spoke of the exciting things to come for this burgeoning community festival.
“It’s going to be bigger and better,” she said. “Thank God for volunteers!”
Councillor Hugh Moggy said he’d like to see some sunshine. The mayor said he’d put it on the next agenda.
Following the receipt of two marina lease request for proposals, from Michael White and Troy Cooper, council accepted the lease proposal from Mr. Cooper.
The goal of Mr. Cooper’s proposal is to attract the commercial fishing industry to the Assiginack Marina. He also indicated that a bait and tackle business should be part of the marina’s assets.
Mr. Cooper said he will provide the necessary insurances, refill the gas tanks at the end of the season, pay employees and the utilities.
Council has offered a financial incentive of $20,000 to the successful applicant to assist in making it a profitable venture.
“He’s got some great ideas,” said Councillor Fields.
“We have to breathe life into that marina,” commented Mayor Moffatt.
All councillors agreed that it was a good proposal and wished Mr. Cooper all the best.
Accounts for payment
Council approved the following account for payment: general, $200,005.99; and payroll, $18,443.75.
Council passed the 2018 budget.
“Thank you for all the hard work,” said Councillor Fields, addressing Treasurer Deb McDonald.
“And answering all our questions,” added Councillor Reid.
The 2018 budget sees a 0.5 percent decrease to the municipal tax rate.
Support for Township of Baldwin
Councillor Fields suggested Assiginack throw its support behind a Township of Baldwin resolution regarding Bill C-71, Canada’s new firearms bill.
Baldwin Mayor Vern Gorham writes, “Rather than create new legislation, why not spend the time and money in enforcing the laws that are on the books today that never really seems to matter as a deterrent to the criminal and gang element?”
“Much of our country was founded and built with the use of firearms first in the fur trade and then in the rebellions/uprisings in the 1790s and 1800s and then the wars,” Mayor Gorham continues. “For many Ontarians, firearms are a part of their lifestyle and culture and heritage, especially those living in the North and even, to some extent, those in the GTA.”
“I’m asking that you make a wise move and cancel Bill C-71 and simply enforce the legislation that is in place,” he concludes.
Council passed a series of bylaws at its last meeting, including Bylaw 18-10 to adopt the 2018 tax rates: municipal mill rate: residential, 0.01505052; multi-residential, 0.01505052; commercial occupied, 0.01429799; commercial vacant, 0.01000860; industrial occupied, 0.01158890; industrial vacant, 0.00753279; pipelines, 0.01687916; landfill, 0.01429799; farm, 0.00376263; and managed forest, 0.00376263.
The rates are a 0.5 percent decrease from last year.
Bylaw 18-11 was also passed, amending Bylaws 98-02 and 98-03 to set annual water rates for Sunsite Estates and the annual water and sewer rates for Manitowaning.
The Sunsite Estates rate is $1,517.13 for the year for treated and piped water service.
In Manitowaning, a single-family home’s total water and sewer rate for 2018 is $1,316.22 while a multiple family home and apartments (per apartment) is $704.88. A store/and or restaurant plus one apartment or attached residence has the following rate: $1,316.22.
Coyote control bylaw passed
Council passed Bylaw 18-12 to provide for the control of nuisance coyotes, which will come into effect immediately.
The bylaw states in part “and whereas the council of the Corporation of Assiginack deems it advisable to enact such regulations and to provide compensation, for the taking of nuisance coyotes to reduce conflicts between such nuisance coyotes and livestock of stockowners in the Township of Assiginack, now therefore that the council of the Corporation of the Township of Assiginack enacts as follows: 1) That the townships shall provide reimbursement to a licenced trapper or licenced hunter for each coyote that has been taken as a nuisance animal, subject to the following conditions: a) the nuisance animal was taken within the boundaries of the municipality; b) a completed Coyote Predation Compensation Claim form has been submitted to the municipality; c) the trapper or hunter, providing such service to the landowner, shall be currently licenced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and shall provide a valid small game or trapping licence number; and d) the trapper or hunter must follow all hunting and trapping rules and regulations…”
Coyotes must be brought to the municipal designate at the Assiginack Landfill during landfill hours where the pelt will be marked by cutting one inch off the top of the ear and then returned to the trapper/hunter. That hunter/trapper will then receive $50 from the municipality. The yearly budget for the compensation program is $2,000.
“At what point does council look at this again and see if it’s working?” Councillor Reid asked.
Clerk Jeremy Rody said either at the end of the calendar year or once the $2,000 has been exhausted, whichever comes first.
If the number of livestock kills stays the same when pelts are being brought in, the municipality will know there’s a problem, Mr. Rody said.
Council asked for thoughts from Assiginack farmer Dave McDowell, who was in attendance.
“You’re not going to see results in a year,” he said, adding that coyotes are abundant only on a cyclical nature and that it could take at least 10 years to track the predator’s ebbs and flows. Mr. McDowell also encouraged council to check in with the other municipalities who have adopted similar programs (so far Burpee and Mills and Gordon/Barrie Island).
“It’s also limited by the amount of money put into it,” the mayor said.
“But it’s a start,” Councillor Fields said.