Northeast Town Council Notes

Application for consent

The Northeast Town’s planning authority received an application for consent from Mark Anderson and Candace Hall at its January 23 meeting of council. The couple was asking to grant an easement across their property to three individual property owners. CAO Dave Williamson explained to council that this ask was a result of a conflict between neighbours with Mr. Anderson and Ms. Hall stepping in to help.

Mr. Williamson said there were no issues with the application from a planning perspective and that all three landowners could be granted an easement with one bylaw.

Council granted the easement and the motion was carried.

Later in the meeting, council also received a request from one of the thankful landowners, Glynn Clarke, who asked that council allocate a name to the new access road that runs through the Anderson/Hall property, suggesting Anderson Sideroad or Anderson Lane. Council passed a motion to name the road ‘Anderson Lane.’

Budget passed

Council passed its 2020 budget at the January 23 meeting which included a 4.62 percent growth to the levy, equating to a tax increase in each of the wards: Ward 1, 0.09 percent; Ward 2, 3.12 percent; and Wards 3 and 4, 1.34 percent.

In a recorded vote, Councillors Michael Erskine, Barb Baker, Dawn Orr, Al Boyd, Bruce Wood and Mayor MacNevin voted in favour of the budget. Councillors Bill Koehler and Laurie Cook voted against it. Councillor Jim Ferguson was absent from the meeting.

Donation requests

Council received three donation requests, two of which came from the Lions Club.

The Little Current Lions Club requested a donation for its Winterfest Weekend to go toward the cost of ice-time rentals. A motion was made to donate $200 to the club’s endeavours.

Councillor Michael Erskine shared that the Lions Club was in need of Winterfest volunteers and that he would be spending some time bartending on the weekend and suggested that council look to find ways to help the club out too.

The Lions’ second donation was regarding the municipality’s annual Haweater Weekend contributions and included a thank you for council’s annual support. Mr. Williamson explained that as this is a line item in the budget, council could disregard the ask.

Thirdly, representatives of the Sheguiandah Fall Fair and Manitoulin Genealogy Club thanked council for its support of the 2019 Fall Fair and asked for its support for 2020. Council passed a motion to donate $200 to the Sheguiandah Fall Fair.

“This is an excellent cause,” Councillor Dawn Orr said of the fair.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry work permit

Council received a well-documented work permit request from Sarah Warburton and Dr. Stephen Cooper.

“Last year, due to numerous storms and rising water levels, we sustained damage to a section of an existing erosion control structure on our waterfront,” the couple writes. “In front of our cottage there are two peninsulas that have been in existence since we purchased the property in 1998.” They note that a look on Google Earth will show council how the peninsulas once looked.

As part of submitting a work permit to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to clean up the damage and bring the peninsulas back to the way they once were, the couple needs municipal documentation stating that the work corresponds with local bylaws and the Northeast Town Official Plan.

Mr. Williamson said the municipality does not have concerns with the permit.

Councillor Erskine said he knows that people often do the work without the permission and that he was “glad to see people doing things right,” commending Ms. Warburton and Dr. Cooper.

Councillor Laurie Cook asked what happens if the permit is not granted but the work is still done. Mr. Williamson explained that they could face hefty fines and even charges from the MNRF.

Councillor Al Boyd said he agreed with Councillor Erskine, “it’s rare that people do it the right way.”

Councillor Bruce Wood asked if town staff monitored the work.

“We would leave this to the MNRF,” Mr. Williamson responded.

Manitoulin Brewing Co. request

Manitoulin Brewing Co. (MBC) president Blair Hagman wrote to council seeking permission for the use of the Spider Bay Marina grounds to launch its Current to Killarney Race, taking place on July 4.

MBC is seeking space for a registration tent on July 3 and a place to store 15 large canoes overnight and access to the boat ramp the following.

Fire Department

Northeast Town fire chief Duane Deschamps presented the fire department’s January report to council.

The fire department responded to five calls for service: a report of an open barrel burn on December 27 with nothing found; a fire at the Legion on January 1; a chimney fire on January 10; a tractor trailer fire on January 11; and a false activation fire alarm on January 18.

Mr. Deschamps explained that the department has recruited two new members since the start of the year, putting their complement at 12.

On Sunday, February 2 the fire department was also to take part in ice water rescue training in the North Channel.

Community Services

Manager of Community Services Reid Taylor spoke of the many events currently taking place at the recreation centre by both community groups and the municipality including minor hockey, Mustangs hockey, Manitoulin Panthers, Skate Canada Manitoulin, karate, ballet, craft and cooking workshops, indoor walking and the Lions Club’s Winterfest hockey tournament.

He also noted that the tender for the ice plant is out and waiting bids, explaining that in January, 11 companies from across the province looking to bid on the project did a walk-through of the arena.

Public Works

Ian Phillips gave the public works report, sharing that regular winter maintenance was being performed as required, landfill operations were going well and that the equipment was all working well. He also noted that the 2019 Freightliner was back from repairs with a brand new steering pump.

In other public works news, the crew has all been trained for working at heights by Northern Safety Solutions.