Report on Council: November 28, 2011

Report on Council: November 28, 2011
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 am –12:15 pm; 12:45 pm -1:27pm
Confidential closed session 1:27pm -1:48 pm
Regular Meeting: 7:00 pm – 7:18 pm
Mayor Millar, Deputy Mayor Lawrence, Councillors Claire, Warren and Wishart present

Georgian Sands/Lafontaine Water Supply Class Environmental Assessment – R.J. Burnside and Associates Limited – Update on Preferred Alternative
The preferred alternative from the environmental assessment of alternative solutions for the water supply to Georgian Sands and Lafontaine municipal water systems which are experiencing increasing nitrate concentrations was presented and discussed.
In the short term (4-6 months) the Georgian sands and Lafontaine water systems would be interconnected and the water blended for a cost of $1.5 million. Then a new well would be drilled at Concession 17 and Rue Jules Leger (cost $3.5 million) and the water would be connected to the Georgian Sands system (8-12 months) The works would be funded from the Water Department capital reserves. Agricultural practices and septic systems are known nitrate sources but it is difficult to determine which source has the greatest impact. Over time the township wil have the ability to regulate practices through the Source Water Protection Plan once it is implemented. The Source Water Protection Plan is to be approved by the Province of Ontario in 2013 and implemented over 2 years. Source Water Protection Plan will identify land use activity threats and plans will be implemented to manage, eliminate or reduce the risks associated with land use activity.  Eliminating sources of nitrates may result in long term improvement of ground water quality.

Property Standards By-law
The Committee considered a report from Steven Harvey, Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, regarding a proposed Property Standards by-law. In order to enact a Property Standards by-law an amendment to the Official Plan will be required. The Ontario association of Property Standards Officers has created a model Property Standards By-law for municipalities to use as a drafting template. The new provisions increase acceptable standards for properties and deal with properties with damaged or abandoned buildings, exterior yard issues not covered by the Clean Yards By-law. Municipalities would have the ability to respond to residents’ complaints, require the property owner to take action and failing that the municipality could complete the work at owner’s expense and apply the costs to the property taxes.
Mr. Harvey felt that additional staff training will be necessary to maintain qualified staff to properly enforce the by-law at a cost of $900/year/person. It would also be necessary to establish a Property Standards Committee to hear appeals. Council voted to direct staff to draft a Property Standards By-law and initiate the necessary Official Plan amendment and to schedule a public meeting, and also to draft an updated Clean Yards By-law for Council consideration and approval.

North Simcoe Economic Action Initiative
Doug Luker, CAO/Clerk, provided a summary of  the North Simcoe Economic Action Initiative. As background, 4 Mayors of North Simcoe initiated  the creation of the North Simcoe Economic Action Initiative which includes 5 strategies for economic success: build an educated workforce; change the maufacturing base; develop four season tourism; invest in healthcare; build on existing educational facilities; introduce agricultural bio-science. Part 1 of the report outlines the vision and strategy for the initiative and Part 2 providesdetail on the proposed organizational structure and funding options.Council voted to approve Part 1 and Part 2 Strategy Documents.

2012 Development Charge
Council approved the 2012 proposed development charge at $4,856 (from $4,656) per household for residential units and $16.59 (from $15.91) per square meter gross floor area for non-residential units.

Trew Avenue and Glen Forest Trail/Request for “No Parking”
Council discussed a staff investigation of the requests for “No Parking” on Trew Avenue and Glen Forest, and decided to seek input from the Bluewater Dunes Restoration Advisory Committee and the Community Recreation Committee prior to making a final deliberation.

Canada Post Mailboxes and Snow Clearing Efforts
Canada Post is replacing the old green mailboxes with superboxes. (Once the superboxes are in place owners of mailboxes receive a letter with keys and their new superbox location. Seasonal users of boxes should check on their mailboxes.) Glenn Desroches, Road Superintendent, reported that he was contacted by Chris Smith of Canada Post seeking his input on the placement/location of the new Mailboxes but the final decision rests with Canada Post. He also reported that clearing the snow in front of the mailboxes is Canada Post’s responsibility.