REPORT ON COUNCIL
February 26, 2010
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 am – 12:32 pm and 1:10 pm -2:49 pm
Regular “Evening Meeting”: 3:01 pm – 3:14 pm
All members of Council present
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 1:10 pm – 2:48 pm
SALE OF UNOPENED ROAD ALLOWANCES
Concession 5 – A complex situation regarding two unopened road allowances, beach access, and several private property owners was partially resolved several years ago when a settlement was reached with owners on the east side of the traveled road. The second stage – with owners on the water side of the road — is still under discussion. The beach that is accessed is all municipally owned. Staff is to consider the resolution proposed by landowners and report back to Council with options and a recommended solution. Members of Council will then decide on what appears to be the best option and it will then go to a public meeting.
Proposed closure and sale of the unopened road allowance between Concessions 20W and 21W abutting Lots 20 & 21 Blairhampton Properties Inc. Here the part of the road allowance nearest the water was closed and sold many years ago. What’s at issue is closure and sale to the developer of the balance (from Nipissing Ridge Road to Cedar Point Road). What happens next is a survey of the unopened road allowance, an appraisal, and then a public meeting about the matter.
2010 BUDGET PRESENTATION HIGHLIGHTS
1) An increase of 11.2% ($619,954) over last year’s operating budget. This came as a surprise to Council who hadn’t recognized the full impact of decisions made since January 28th.
Three things were blamed for the increase – a loss of $200,000 bank interest revenue because of current low rates; a hike in the Policing budget of $157,000; and “Fire wages and WSIB” which weighed in at $232,000. This last included increased activity and training for volunteer fire fighters coupled with a mandatory change in the way insurance is handled for all Township staff. The latter two items are expected to continue at this level, while the first is market related. Councillor Claire emphasized the importance of reining in the Operating Budget – but not this one (judging by the tenor of the discussion that ensued).
2) A net capital budget reduction of 2.7% or $35,801 from the 2009 budget, in spite of the fact that gross capital spending was up 49.5% or $3,365,887 from the 2009 budget. Significant infrastructure grants and use of reserves account for the difference.
Large expenditures include the Georgian Sands watermain at $3,197,590 (2/3s covered by a grant, 1/3 from water reserves); the Baseline Road bridge ($1,521,867 covered by a grant); the Lafontaine Pavillion ($639,129, 2/3 covered by grants); Balm Beach improvements amounting to more than $376,000 (probably covered by the Parkland Reserve Fund).
3) Reserves and Reserve Funds to fall by 9.8% or $709,684. (Some funds were increased, the Water Reserve Fund fell by $724,083 because of the watermain).
4) Presentation to be improved by the addition of information about grants, reserve funds, and other non-tax sources.
5) $900,000 of last year’s budget not spent. Affected projects are to be done this year. (This is an ongoing problem. We cannot remember when all budgeted projects have been completed.)
6) Average assessment $287,000 in Tiny. Average assessment increase 6.47%. Total municipal tax rate increase 1.5%.
7) According to Mayor Breckenridge County tax rate is to fall in most municipalities, but in Tiny, because of MPAC’s property assessments, it is to increase by .71%.
BUILDING PERMIT ACTIVITY
Where construction value at the end of January in 2009 stood at $902,000, this year it is only $524,000.
HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE
The Treasurer, Doug Taylor, reported to your observer that Bell Alient expects to make changes to Bell’s existing towers in Tiny in April/May that will make broadband service available at a reasonable rate to all but a strip of properties across the north end of the Township. An approach is to be made to the CRTC in September by many municipalities across the province on behalf of such unserved properties, as there is a new technology that might be used.