Northeast Town Council Notes

Zoning amendment

Council reviewed a site specific zoning amendment application from Craig and Kelly Timmermans to allow for a commercial building for the use of a production office/radio station on a property zoned rural.

Council heard that the Timmermans were hoping to move their office to the Manitoulin Country Fest grounds located on Harbour View Road.

CAO Dave Williamson told council that there aren’t any conflicts and there are no reasons why council should be concerned.

The motion to approve the zoning amendment was moved by Councillor Michael Erskine and seconded by Councillor Bruce Wood.

Councillor Laurie Cook asked Mr. Williamson about the habitat for possible goldenrod, as noted on the application form.

Mr. Williamson explained that this was not a planning issue and that the Timmermans were dealing with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in regards to the goldenrod.

Councillor Wood asked about water and sewer. Mr. Williamson reminded council that it is not a serviced lot and that it would be up to the owners and the Sudbury and District Health Unit to plan for a solution.

Audited financial statements

Council welcomed FCR representatives Corey Houle and Josh Blasutti to its May 21 meeting of council for an overview of the 2018 audited financial statements.

Mr. Houle called 2018 a “typical” year for the municipality with no big projects or major spends.

He noted that the municipality’s net assets came in at $2,039,684 which, he says, is the most important figure.

Mr. Houle told council that they were in a “fairly healthy” financial situation. “Not all municipalities are so lucky.”

He noted that expenditures were up last year because of the Ashley Drain.

The Northeast Town saw a deficit of $58,841, “which is about as close as you can get to break even as you can get on a $10 million budget,” Mr. Houle said.

Council made a motion to approve the 2018 audited financial statements.

Following the approval, council then made numerous motions for transfers from reserve accounts to cover items that were either over budget or owing in 2018, including the Ashley Drain, soccer field, arena dehumidifier and the Sheguiandah archaeological site.

Council then made a transfer of its 2018 surplus to the working capital reserve in the amount of $196,645.37.

Accounts for payment

Council approved the following accounts for payment: payroll, $96,637.73; and general, $649,904.89.

For water and sewer, treasurer Sheryl Wilkin told council that as of May 21, there were 36 accounts over $400, but that 35 of those accounts were overdue because of the last billing. Arrears notices had been sent out on May 3. One taxpayer will see the amount owing transferred to their tax account.

Councillor Michael Erskine asked if the accounts owing were mainly from Sheguiandah, where the water rates are much higher.

CAO Dave Williamson said that this isn’t the case and typically, it’s the opposite.

For taxes, $612,003.96 of $738,196.59 in billings have been paid.

Councillor Barb Baker congratulated Ms. Wilkin and staff on doing such a good job on collecting taxes.

Tax rates

Council made the 2019 tax rates official with the passing of Bylaw 2019-17. As this newspaper has previously reported, the various tax increases are as follows: Ward 1, 3.7 percent; Ward 2, 1.76 percent; Ward 3, 2.55 percent; and Ward 4, 2.55 percent.

Council asks

Council approved the Little Current Business Improvement Area (BIA) Canada Day request to see the main street closed from Expositor Square to the Anchor Inn and for the use of a pier for the in-water boat show.

Council approved a request from Shannon Cranston for a ‘children at play’ sign at Bay Estates.

Council also received a request from Jillian Peltier for a donation toward the annual Mackenzie’s Walk and Run, a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Councillor Michael Erskine made a motion to donate $200, which was carried.

Asset management policy

Council reviewed its asset management policy and plan. 

Kimberly Knobel, payroll and receivables clerk, reminded council that, as part of the process, they need to do an annual review of the asset management plan.

The plan, Ms. Knobel explained, summarizes all the infrastructure, how much its worth, the replacement value, how long it will last and how it serves the citizens.