Northeast Town Council Notes

Committee

recommends 2014 draft budget

The Administration and Finance Committee had a final discussion and review of the 2014 draft Northeast Town budget last Thursday with the committee making a recommendation to council to approve the 2014 draft budget.

 

Administration and Finance Committee makes

recommendation to amend the procedural bylaw

When reviewing the Northeast Town council procedural bylaw, Councillor Melissa Peters made a recommendation to council to amend the bylaw to defer motions in such a way that an automatic deferment would apply to motions concerning issues that are brought forward to council during deputations. The deferment would delay any action on issues brought by deputations until the next council meeting in order for “staff to have time to review and make recommendations and for council to think things over and not act hastily.”

The proposed amendment would also include a specification that would exempt emergency situations.

“I think this is raising a good point,” said Councillor Paul Skippen in support. “Taking time to think things over is a good idea,” added Councillor Michael Erskine.

Mr. Williamson explained that the public would need a week’s notice prior to council reviewing and/or making Ms. Peters’ proposed amendment to the procedural bylaw.

 

Council concerned with three-month delay of new town office and council chambers

Town CAO Dave Williamson reported to council that the new Waterfront Artisan Incubator and Technology Centre project, which will house the new town office and council chambers, is three months behind schedule. December 15 had been the original targeted completion date.

“I am pleased to report that the project is on budget, but three months behind schedule,” said Mr. Williamson. “The delay is due to a number of supply issues, but that doesn’t change the fact that the project is three months behind. Luckily the municipal building hasn’t sold and we have received a February 14 commitment for project completion.”

Councillor Marcel Gauthier questioned if there was a financial penalty for the project being completed three months behind schedule, to which Mr. Williamson responded that there was not.

Due to the timing, Mr. Williamson explained to council that town staff would not be able to fully move into the new office until March because of the upcoming town audit and other commitments, but that they would begin slowly transitioning once the renovations are complete.

 

Committee approved financial reports

The Administration and Finance committee reviewed the financial reports for January with town treasurer Sheryl Wilkin.

Ms. Wilkin reported that there had been $92,417.73 in payments made in January. She also noted that there were originally 22 accounts overdue, but that through the efforts of staff that number has been reduced to eight.

For water/sewer, there had been $111,153.26 made in payments last month, with 50 accounts currently over the $500 limit. Ms. Wilkin noted that 45 of the overdue accounts were from the most recent billing on January 31.

 

Council supports VCARS funspiel

The Northeast Town council carried a motion to donate $100 towards the Manitoulin Northshore Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services (VCARS) second annual curling funspeil fundraiser on March 8.

“Last year, we were able to raise over $1,000 for our local Special Olympic athletes who attended the 2013 provincial games,” states the donation request sent to council. “Proceeds raised at this event will be donated to the Manitoulin Family Resources Help Centre Food Bank and the Espanola Helping Hand Food Bank.”

 

Panthers receiving donation to support upcoming

tournaments

After reviewing a donation request from the Manitoulin Panther Hockey Association, council carried a motion to donate $100 to the association in support of two NOHA (Northern Ontario Hockey Association) Tournament of Champions events.

 

Skate Canada

Manitoulin to host

Skate-A-Thon

Skate Canada Manitoulin wrote to the Northeast Town council informing them that they will be hosing a Skate-A-Thon event on Monday, February 17 to raise funds to offset ice time costs for the organization’s learn to skate and figure skating programs.

To support the event, council donated $100 to help offset the ice time costs.

 

Council donates to

LC Howland Minor Hockey Association

The Little Current Howland Minor Hockey Association requested a $100 donation from council for its Tykes/Novice Tournament on February 21 to 23 at the Little Current Recreation Centre.

Council carried a motion to donate the requested funds.

 

Manitoulin Fine Arts Association celebrates 20th anniversary

The Manitoulin Fine Arts Association is celebrating its 20th year with its annual 2014 Art Tour event from July 18-20. In support of the event and the organization’s donation request, council carried a motion to donate $100.

 

Northeast Town

council passes tax rebate bylaw

The Northeast Town council passed bylaw No 2014-06, being a by-law to provide for a tax rebate program for eligible charities and similar organizations last Tuesday night. Under the new bylaw, eligible charities can apply for up to 40 HST percent tax rebate.

 

January 21 council meeting

 

Council voices

concerns with AOK additions to reserve

The Northeast Town council reviewed a letter from Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation regarding its Additions to Reserves (ATR) proposal with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA).

Late last year council met with AOK Chief Patsy Corbiere and a representative from the MAA to discuss the ATR proposal and process.

Councillor Paul Skippen, seconded by Councillor Bill Koehler, moved a motion for council to accept the letter from AOK and furthermore, for council to direct staff to bring council’s concerns with the proposal to AOK chief and council.

“Be it further resolved that the council of the Corporation of the Town of Northeastern Manitouiln and the Islands has the following concerns with the ATR policy for the identified properties and directs staff to meet with staff from AOK to develop an agreement for council’s considerations that will address these issues and be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada,” reads the motion that was carried by council.

The issues listed included: the loss of property tax revenue to the municipality, compatible uses of the property with uses of adjoining properties from a zoning and planning perspective, drainage or environmental impacts of future land use and third party access through existing road allowances.

Councillor Koehler also suggested staff contact the town’s solicitor to review the ATR policy.

 

Northeast Town

council passes bylaws for interim tax levy and to borrow funds from TD Canada Trust

Council carried two motions at its January 21 meeting regarding finances, the first to pass bylaw 2014-02 “to provide for an interim tax levy” and the second to pass bylaw 2014-04 “for the borrowing from TD Canada Trust.” (Borrowing is done to cover the municipality’s expenses until taxes are paid.)

 

Pike Lake Farm

granted permission for temporary water line

After reviewing a request from Pike Lake Farms owners Greg and Anne Pyette, the Northeast Town granted the couple permission to run a temporary waterline and pump on the road allowance between May 1 and September 30 from the corner of their property.

Staff informed council that they prepared an agreement with the couple, which they had agreed to sign if council approved the request to protect the Northeast Town from possible liability issues.

The carried motion from council also stipulated that the work on the road allowance, setting up the temporary waterline, would also need to be done in consultation with the manager of public works.

 

Lions receive $50 towards Winterfest Weekend

In a recorded vote, Councillors Michael Erksine, Marcel Gauthier, Christina Jones, Bill Koehler, Dawn Orr, Paul Skippen, Bruce Woods and Mayor Al MacNevin carried a motion to donate $50 towards the Little Current Lions Club Winterfest Weekend to offset ice costs, as requested.

 

Council requests MTO improve highway

maintenance standards

Prompted by a letter regarding the highway conditions in Nairn, the Northeast Town council carried a motion requesting that “the Minister of Transportation (MTO) conduct a review of the existing standards and immediately implement changes to improve the maintenance standards on Highway 6 and Highway 540 to reduce the number of accidents and to ensure the safety of the travelling public.”

 

January 23 community services and

public works meeting

 

Rural CSAC recommendations reviewed

The community services and public works committee reviewed recommendations to council from the Rural Community Services Advisory Committee (CSAC). The seven recommendations include dockage at the Government Dock in Sheguiandah, the installation of stairs for viewing along the river by the fish ladder on Mill Street in Sheguiandah, the creation of a picnic area with water access on municipal property at Bay Estates, the creation of a rest area on the Limekiln Road, the removal of weeds at the new park/beach are in Sheguiandah, the development of the Sheguiandah archaeological site and the installation of dry fire hydrants.

Town CAO Dave Williamson went through the recommendations, explaining the costs associated with each.

Councillor Woods pointed out that council already had an extensive list of projects that they wanted to do throughout the municipality, which led to a suggestion from Mr. Williamson for each of the councillors to rate the seven recommendations in order of priority for staff then add to the overall list of municipal projects for when funding or grants become available.

Fire Department report

Northeast Town Fire Department Chief Darren Bailey presented the community services and public works committee with the January department report.

He noted that there had been three calls throughout the month including a carbon monoxide call from Sheguiandah First Nation, a motor vehicle collision on Highway 540 and a call to the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre regarding a stuck elevator.

Mr. Bailey explained that the department received the call about the hotel elevator on January 19 at 1 am and that three people (a child and two adults) had gotten stuck in the elevator.

He also reported that all the trucks and firefighting equipment was in good working order.

 

Community services and public works report

Reid Taylor delivered the community services and public works report, beginning with the ice at the recreation centre.

“It is being well used by user groups and customer rentals,” said Mr. Taylor. “The main hall is also being used on a weekly basis and the public skating schedule continues. Also, staff are busy maintaining the facility with painting and floor work.”

As for events at the recreation centre, Mr. Taylor listed that the Lion’s Winterfest Hockey Tournament would be taking place the weekend of January 31 to February 2, a minor hockey playoff tournament is scheduled for February 21 to 23, also noting the Manitoulin Panther games, Skate Canada programs, Mustang home games and winter walking program.

He also reported that the ice was in at Sisson Park.

As for the public works report, it stated that the snow crews had been “exceptionally busy with snow removal and ice control” due to the weather and that contactors were hired to assist with the snow removal in the downtown core.

“There has been an unusually high level of repairs required to the equipment this period,” the report continued. “The emission control equipment on two vehicles broke and had to be repaired. The differential lock had to be repaired on another truck and the trackless had to have a yoke replaced and we are looking to have to change the pump as well.”

 

Building controls and bylaw enforment report

Brock Sanftenberg reviewed his January building control and bylaw enforment report with the committee at its last meeting.

He reported that to date the town has issued a demolition permit and that follow-up inspections are being conducted from 2013.

Under property standards he stated that no new complaints had been received.

Under parking and bylaw enforment, Mr. Sanftenberg provided the committee with a graph indicating the various reasons for parking tickets that were issued in 2013. According to the chart, tickets were issued the most for cars parked facing traffic and cars parked during night hours in the winter months.

Mr. Sanftenberg also reported that Keller’s Garage in Mindemoya had taken over towing for the Northeast Town and that any cars parked on municipal roadways between the hours of 2 am and 7 am could be removed and towed to Mindemoya at the owner’s expense.

Mr. Williamson further explained that the town’s past towing company was unable to continue to provide the service due to liability issues.