Northeast Town Council Notes

EDM festival organizers meet with council

Organizers of the Manitoulin Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival (Frec Me EDM Fest), Craig and Kelly Timmermans, met with council earlier this month to discuss the upcoming event and request support.

The upcoming two-day festival will run Friday, June 27 to Saturday, June 28 and will be held at the Timmermans’ Harbour View Road property (the Manitoulin Country Fest grounds).

“We are looking to mayor and council for an exemption to the current site plan agreement (with the town) which would allow us on this two-day event to extend our curfew—hours of music—which is currently 11:30 pm, to 1 am on both nights,” explained Ms. Timmermans. “An event of this type is very light and video wall intensive so the extended ‘dark hours’ would really enhance the overall experience of those in attendance. We are looking at limited hours of programming—for example starting at 7 pm on Friday and 6 pm on Saturday.”

Ms. Timmermans also noted that they were planning on a more scaled down version of the festival for its first year, expecting 1,500 people.

“We are also asking mayor and council to designate this event as one of ‘municipal significance’,” added Ms. Timmermans. “As well, we will be asking for placement of two NIM buckets on site—one in the camping area and the other in the venue area. We will pay for these buckets, but should the mayor and council be inclined, we would appreciate a donation back in a sum comparable to that of the cost of the NIM buckets ($100-$200) to help offset costs.”

The Timmermans also brought with them Ron Wells of Cancom Security, who will be assisting with the security of the festival, to answer any questions council had.

“We worked closely with Ron last year at Manitoulin Country Fest,” explained Ms. Timmermans. “As a matter of interest, due in part to these various events we are hosting, Ron is looking to host a job fair to hire security personnel from the Little Current area. For the purpose of this event we will have security on-site until 5 am. We would also like permission from mayor and council to post security guards at the intersection of Harbour View Road and the roadway leading to Loon Point Trail to reduce the risk of stragglers.”

Mayor Al MacNevin informed the Timmermans that the issue of security personnel at the intersection was something that council should discuss with town staff and not council, but that as for the rest of the requests, council would discuss them at their next scheduled meeting as per council’s policy regarding deputations.

“I just want to say that I have no problem with extending the (curfew) hours and I will be supporting this when it comes to the table,” said Councillor Bill Koehler.

MTA presents ‘new vision’

Manitoulin Tourism Association (MTA) President Ron Berti and manager Shelba Millette made a deputation to council recently, presenting the MTA’s new vision for the organization.

“Overall, we wanted to zoom back in our imaging of the Island and place Manitoulin Island in the Great Lakes,” explained Mr. Berti as he showed council examples of new promotional posters. “We also want to use green, blue and jewel tones and use words to describe the duality of the Island such as ‘heart and spirit of the Great Lakes of Canada’.”

“Culture defines the way we live our lives,” continued Mr. Berti. “We want to make a change to ‘cultural arts tourism’ for Manitoulin—celebrating our skills and knowledge.”

Mr. Berti also explained how this fall the MTA will be switching the ‘Taste of Manitoulin Festival’ up and calling it ‘A Festival of 1,000 Skills,’ with a focus on not only Manitoulin food, but all elements of Manitoulin culture.

Showing council a map of Manitoulin, Mr. Berti told council that the MTA would like to start marketing the Island by ‘lands’ or regions, instead of community names in order to better help visitors to the Island navigate the different areas.

“These are just some of the things we are working on,” added Ms. Millette, “and are looking for council’s support.”

Little Current business owner asks for change in downtown parking limits

Jim Bousquet of Cambrian Bousquet Insurance Brokers and owner of 24 Water Street made a deputation to council earlier this month requesting that council extend the two-hour parking in the downtown parking lot.

Mr. Bousquet explained that his clients, and clients of the tenants who rent space in his building, have been having difficulties with parking downtown due to the two-hour parking limit, noting that both employees and customers have received tickets.

“We have a large volume of clients who are there for more then two hours,” said Mr. Bousquet, adding that in general there shouldn’t be a daily parking limit anywhere downtown in order to encourage downtown business.

Through discussions with council, Mr. Bousquet narrowed his request, asking that the two-hour parking limit in the downtown parking lot (between his building and the Little Current Post Office) be changed to simply no overnight parking.

“There might be some push back from the BIA (Little Current Business Improvement Area) who historically wanted the two-hour parking limit downtown,” said Mayor MacNevin, “but we will see if we can strike a balance.”

Council declares ‘Park Day’

The Northeast Town council reviewed a recommendation from the Community Service Advisory Committee declaring Sunday, September 7, 2014 as ‘Park Day.’ Council carried a motion to support this request and directed staff to work with the committee to develop the event.

Stop up, close and sell

Council carried a motion at its last meeting directing staff to initiate the process to stop up, close and sell a portion of public road not travelled, “being described as Lane PL” abutting LT210 to LT 220 PL. Town CAO Dave Williamson noted that all costs of the stop up and close would be carried by the buyer and not the town and that the profits would be recognized as one time funds.

Town to receive annual Gas Tax Fund

Council carried a motion authorizing the mayor and CAO in enter into an agreement with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to participate in the Federal Gas Tax Fund after reviewing a document from AMO.

Northeast Town supports ‘Safe Septic Pump-out Program’

Mr. Williamson explained to council that the Northeast Town economic development officer had been working on an application for the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund for its ‘Safe Septic Pump-out Program’ and was looking for support from council. If the Northeast Town receives the grant they would be able to offer financial initiatives to residents towards pump-outs, in addition to educational packages and a public education session on safe pump-outs.

Council carried a motion to support the application ‘in principal.’

“I think this is a great idea,” said Councillor Michael Erskine. “Protect the Great Lakes and help people is a win-win as far as I can see.”

Northeast Council supports Muskoka Lake initiative

After reviewing a letter from Muskoka Lake regarding the numerous errors from the Ministry of Government Services (MGS) Land Titles Electronic Registry System, the Northeast Town council carried a motion to support Muskoka Lake’s resolution requesting that the MGS correct errors moving forward at the ministry’s own expense.

Mr. Williamson explained that currently, landowners are expected to pay to correct errors and omissions from the Lands Titles Electronic Registry System when the system is often at fault, not the individual.

Library board accepts new members

Council reviewed a recommendation from the Little Current Library Board and carried a motion to appoint Ellinor Leonard, Dorothy Atchison and Barbara Baker to the board.

Council donates funds to Fun Run

The Northeast Town council read a letter and donation request from Chantal Charbonneau regarding  ‘Mackenzie’s Fun Run and Walk’ on July 12 to raise money towards the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Council carried a motion to donate $200 toward the fundraiser and the use of Low Island Park for the run and walk.

Cycling advocate group receives funds to promote Manitoulin

The Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA) sent a letter to council informing them of their efforts at the 28th Annual International Bicycle Show in Toronto recently where they promoted Manitoulin. Council was impressed with their work and carried a motion to donate $200 towards their next bike show trip.

Council donates $200 to fish and game club

The Northeast Town council donated $200 to the United Fish and Games Clubs of Manitoulin towards their ongoing efforts of renewal and wildlife initiatives.

Seniors month

After reviewing correspondence from Ontario Seniors, the Northeast Town council carried a motion to proclaim June 1-30 as Seniors Month and to “encourage all citizens to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our seniors.”

Council accepts drain tender

The Northeast Town council accepted the tender from Lacroix Construction in the amount of $97,500 plus HST for the Robinson Street force main and related works project.