Door funds reserved for arena redesign
A Public Works committee motion that “recommended support in principal for the redesign of the southern portion of the Mindemoya arena and further that the amounts originally budgeted ($10,000) for the arena doors be utilized for the engineering redesign of the arena or placed in a reserve for that said purpose” was passed by the Central Manitoulin council during its March 13 meeting.
“We had a delegation come to the public works meeting where Mr. Sheppard and Dale Scott asked that since in the future the arena would like to do some renovations related to the front, we would need some money set aside for the design work,” said Councillor Adam McDonald.
Three Providence Bay landfill monitoring wells funded
Council passed a recommendation from the Public Works committee that three monitoring wells for the Providence Bay landfill be included, with funds coming from the town’s reserves. “We have a report from Cambrium Engineering calling for more monitoring wells at the Providence Bay landfill,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. “We are predicting that we will be drilling some at Spring Bay as well.”
“This is money we have put away,” noted Mayor Gerry Strong.
Councillor McDonald agreed, adding that “this is a very long and slow process. Hopefully the province works with us.”
Monitoring report accepted
The Providence Bay Landfill Monitoring Report was accepted by council, with a recommendation that the report also be distributed to the appropriate parties.
Ride Manitoulin beer garden approved with conditions
A motion that council support the Ride Manitoulin beer garden application, provided it meets the requirements of the municipality’s upcoming Alcohol Policy, was carried.
Councillor Gloria Haner asked if the organizers would be coming to council for a declaration as a community event, to which CAO Ruth Frawley replied that this would likely be coming later in the process.
Water and sewer
The water and sewer budget for Central Manitoulin was accepted with a 2.1 percent increase. “This is a modest increase,” noted Councillor Adam McDonald. “We kept capital costs to what was recommended by OCWA,” noted CAO Ruth Frawley.
“There are reserve funds salted away for future costs,” noted Councillor McDonald. “It is hard, a judgment call as to how much, but we are pretty sure we will be close.”
The financial reports were also accepted and passed by council in a separate motion.
Referendum questions on one ward
A motion from the Finance and Administration committee to withdraw the proposed referendum question “Do you support a council review of the existing ward system that might result in amending or eliminating the existing ward structure” was passed by council. The preamble to the motion noted that the municipality would require a 50 percent turnout in a vote on the referendum question, and that 50 percent plus one must vote in favour in order to pass, and that in reviewing the last three elections the municipality had failed to reach the 50 percent voter turnout threshold, and further that the council did not wish to force the municipality into the expense of holding an election where it might not be necessary (in the case of acclamation of the mayor and councillors).
Mayor Gerry Strong noted that the municipality had held a number of meetings on the subject and entertained several delegations with either point of view. “We have had mixed reviews from council members,” he said. He noted that council’s decision does not tie the hands of the current council or future councils. “We can do it on our own.”
Councillor Adam McDonald noted that he had been working toward seeing that question being placed on the ballot, but that in light of it appearing to not be feasible, “I would still like to see the change (take place).” He noted the present system was implemented at the time of amalgamation but that “things have changed.”
“I am in favour of change,” noted Councillor Gloria Haner, but Councillor Ted Taylor said that he did not gauge a lot of interest in the subject among the electorate.
Request for proposals on engineering
Council passed a motion that the municipality seek requests for proposal from engineering firms for a two-year period, with a 90-day opt out clause.
“This is a result of an ongoing need for engineering services,” noted Mayor Gerry Strong. “Every time we go out for an RFP we end up tendering for the work. We wind up doubling up all the time.” The proposal would expedite the process and tighten up the time frame for securing the services, it would also open up the possibility of approaching other municipalities on Manitoulin to share the process, enabling economies of scale.
“I think it is a very good exercise,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. “That possibility (of sharing with other municipalities) is the main reason for the 90-day opt out clause.”
“If it speeds things up a little bit that would be a good thing,” suggested Councillor Ted Taylor. “That way we can get work started while it is still good weather for working on project.”
“It will be better for staff as well,” said Councillor Gloria Haner.