Assiginack Council Notes

Accounts for payment

Council received the following accounts for payment: general, $161,146.41; and payroll, $38,095.21.

Backyard chickens

CAO Alton Hobbs said council has received several requests for taxpayers looking to have backyard chickens on their properties. He went on to say that staff will look into the query and prepare a report for council.

Councillor Dave McDowell said he had some concerns regarding several issues that come with housing chickens including rodents, manure, deadstock and numbers of animals.

Councillor Christianna Jones said she knows many communities have allowed for chickens and that the number of animals is based on square footage and often, no roosters are allowed.

“I’ve been approached a few times,” Councillor Jones said. “I’m quite happy this is going forward.”

Community garden

The municipality has received an offer of private land for use as a community garden in Manitowaning. Mr. Hobbs said staff will contact the municipal insurance company regarding liability as well as community groups who might be interested in taking on the garden project.

Councillor McDowell asked for more details, such as whether the garden would be in the form of raised beds or rows.

Councillor Jones explained that she and Councillor Rob Maguire met virtually with events co-ordinator Jackie White to discuss the garden. She noted that Manitowaning currently houses five raised beds courtesy of Local Food Manitoulin and that the idea would be to move all of these initiatives to one location which would also have an in-ground garden for root crops.

Councillor Jones said she has extensive knowledge on raised beds and would assist the municipality by offering community workshops.

“I think this is a very important thing at the moment,” she said. “COVID-19 has really made people realize how vulnerable they are when it comes to food.”

Councillor Maguire clarified that the land is not being donated but being made available for use.

Bylaws

Council passed three bylaws at its May 5 meeting: Bylaw 20-04 to set tax ratios for 2020; Bylaw 20-05, to set tax rates and penalty and interest; and Bylaw 20-06, to set water and waste water rates.

Assiginack residents will see a zero percent increase in tax rates for 2020 while water and wastewater rates have risen slightly. Sunsite Estates water users will see an increase of approximately $27 a year, largely due to a slight increase in the annual contract with Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA).

Manitowaning residential water/wastewater users will see a combined increase of approximately $78 a year. This increase is largely made up by an increase in the hydro costs for the wastewater budget, as well as a slight increase in the annual contract with OCWA for both the water and wastewater.