Accounts for payment
Council approved the following accounts for payment: general, $106,000.67; and payroll, $19,966.87.
Councillor Hugh Moggy had a question about an almost $900 charge regarding the Norisle/library from McAnsh Electric. Roads superintendent Ron Cooper explained that an electrician was hired for an exploratory mission as a transponder was down that caused an issue both at the Norisle and at the library.
Councillor Christianna Jones asked about a cheque to a municipal employee for beaver trapping services. Mr. Cooper told council that trapping services used to go to tender, but without much success. The employee has done it for some time now, he added, and everyone is pleased with his work. Mr. Cooper also noted that the trapping is done on the employee’s own time.
Burns Wharf Committee
Council passed resolution number 06-01-19 to establish a Burns Wharf Theatre Advisory Committee to search for theatre building renovation funding opportunities and that the following individuals be appointed to the committee: Peter Baumgarten, Burns Wharf Theatre Players; Chuck Vanderveen, Burns Wharf Theatre Players; David Ham, Assiginack council; and Robert Maguire, Assiginack council.
Economic Development Officer
Mayor Ham led a discussion surrounding the need for an economic development officer. He told council that he and Councillor Maguire had a meeting with FedNor’s Arik Theijsmeijer in December to talk about the various initiatives that FedNor would support.
“I was very impressed by the amount of money they throw in,” the mayor said, noting that the maximum grant on offer is 90 percent of $300,000.
There is also funding available for the hiring of an economic development officer.
Councillor Moggy asked if this would just be for an intern or if it could be for someone with experience.
“If you mean a seasoned individual able to carry out the tasks at hand, then yes,” Councillor Maguire responded.
“It’s something…” Mayor Ham began.
“We need!” Councillor Moggy completed the mayor’s sentence.
Council took turns discussing their priorities for this term. Councillor Hugh Moggy thought this was a good idea, as this had not been done during the previous term, he said.
Councillor Dave McDowell began the discussion by sharing his list of priorities including developing short-, mid- and long-term plans. He said he would like to tour the municipal buildings and facilities to have first-hand knowledge about the things they are discussing in a council setting.
“I would also like to go through some of the equipment requirements and staffing needs,” Councillor McDowell said.
He also asked whether anything deemed “extra income” could be used to fund projects right away.
“My pie in the sky item is a waterfront development complex with 100 units,” Councillor McDowell continued.
The councillor also listed the Burns Wharf Theatre, Rogers Creek Bridge, private road concerns and bylaw enforcement as other issues he’d like to see addressed.
“I don’t know anywhere else in Ontario where you can park in front of a fire hydrant, but we do here,” Councillor McDowell said.
Councillor Maguire said he wants to see council working towards economic development initiatives and suggested putting together an economic development committee that would involve members of the public and the business community too.
It was decided that community membership to the committee would be sought through advertisements.
Councillor Jones said she is also keen on the topic of economic development, as well as the waterfront.
“There’s got to be something to bring traffic from Highway 6 to our town, our nice town,” she said.
She thought the municipality should be better advertising the many interesting things going on in the municipality, including to members of the boating community to entice them to the Manitowaning Marina.
“The whole idea of how people vacation has changed,” she added. “It’s about experiences.”
Councillor Jones also encouraged building relationships with neighbouring Wiikwemkoong.
Councillor Moggy listed the municipality’s infrastructure as a cause for concern, specifically a new roof for the museum, the public works garage, getting the Burns Wharf Theatre building up to code, Roller Mills siding, the landfill, Rogers Creek Bridge “and we have to keep improving our network of roads.”
Rogers Creek Bridge committee
Council passed a motion “That Assiginack council approach the Township of Tehkummah council regarding a preferred solution for the Rogers Creek Bridge which is currently closed due to its deteriorating condition and that Assiginack council requests that both councils appoint a designated member to work together on a preferred solution, cost estimates and funding discussions; and, further, that the members contact the Ontario Good Roads Association to inquire about any assistance they may be able to provide.”
Council meeting times
Following a concern raised by Councillor Jones, effective February, all council meetings will now be held at 7 pm on the first and third Tuesday of the month.