February 1, 3, 8, 24, 2021
Committee of the Whole Meeting: February 3, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.; February 24, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 3:33 p.m.
Regular Meeting of Council: February 3, 2021: 4:35 p.m. – 5:24 p.m.; February 24, 2021: 4:03 p.m. – 4:26 p.m.
Special Meetings: February 1, 2021: budget meeting; February 8, 2021: CAO Recruitment (closed session).
Mayor George Cornell and Councillors Cindy Hastings, Tony Mintoff and Gibb Wishart present at all meetings. Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma present during Committee of the Whole Meeting on February 24 only from 11:42 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Visit the Township’s COVID-19 webpage at www.ca/coronavirus for municipal service impacts and updates.
- Tiny Connect – Sign up now at tinyconnect.ca
PARKING BY-LAW AMENDMENTS: Open Parking on Peek-a-boo Trail and a portion of Champlain Road is to be converted to Permit Parking and staff is to report back on a recommendation for an increase in non-resident parking permits for 2021.
GYPSY MOTH SPRAYING: On considering the Public Works Report regarding a proposed Gypsy Moth overspray policy, Council voted 3-2 that Option #1 be approved, Mayor Cornell and Councillor Mintoff in opposition. Accordingly, the township will not do any spraying to protect the township’s trees from depredation by gypsy moths. The adopted policy establishes for private landowners a “method of obtaining permission from the township to overspray onto municipal land.” Mintoff pointed out that this is only a policy; there’s no mechanism for enforcement. Btk is widely accepted as a safe product, which poses no risk.
This is Public Works’ interpretation of the January 13 instruction that it was to present a report on February 3, 2021, saying generally that “over spraying will be permitted on municipal property through planned activities so the Township is aware.”
AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS: After hearing a presentation from Sue Bragg of Baker Tilly (which was of the view that the “financial statements are free from material misstatement”), Council approved the 2019 Audited Financial Statements. In its presentation, Baker Tilly made two negative points:
- The Township’s Asset Consumption Ratio has been slowly moving in the wrong direction.
- The unrestricted deficit is growing, and the reserves/reserve fund ratio is not favourable compared to the provincial average.
DISCUSSION TEEDON PIT: Council discussed alternative measures that could be taken to protect the groundwater during which it considered a municipal well monitoring program and inviting Dr. Cherry et al to speak to Council about the groundwater study progress to date. The balance of the discussion then took place in a closed session.
STAFF APPOINTMENT: On February 24, Robert J. Lamb was appointed Chief Administrative Office/Deputy Clerk, effective February 22, 2021. (We have learned that Lamb served as the CAO/Deputy Clerk of Tay Township from 2013 to 2019, then took a position with the Township of Brock in Nov. 2019. He also spent a number of years as Simcoe County’s Manager of Economic Development.
PHRAGMITES ERADICATION FUNDING: Kate Harries, President of the MTM Conservation Association, asked for funding for a Tiny Marsh Phragmites eradication project and for a staff letter of support to accompany her application for an EcoAction grant. The sum she asked the township to contribute towards the project was $3,000 in year 1, $2,000 in year 2, $1,000 in year 3 – $6,000 in all. Council supported giving her $3,000 from the Public Works budget and agreed to supply the necessary letter of support to accompany the application for the Eco-Action grant.
NEW ZONING BY-LAW: Jamie Robinson of MHBC Planning explained that the new Zoning By-law will implement the Official Plan’s goals and policies regarding land use, location of buildings and other structures, types and use of buildings, lot sizes, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street. To engage the community MHBC will use the township’s website, TinyConnect, the Midland Mirror, newsletters, emails, social media, and notice of the project commencement to those who participated in the OP process.
Wes Crown (who is working with Robinson) envisions a number of formal consultations – discussions with indigenous peoples, surveys, two open houses, and a statutory public meeting. There was no reference to citizen committees.
BUDGET: Haley Leblond, Acting Director of Finance, presented the budget. It is predicated on a 2.42% municipal increase. The lion’s share of the capital budget (62.5%) went to roads and of the operating budget went to public protection and transportation (31%, for policing and fire and 24%, for roads). The budget was approved and adopted.
MEETING SCHEDULE: The next meetings would occur on March 17 and April 7, then the regular twice monthly meetings will resume, but on Wednesdays rather than Mondays, beginning with April 28, May 12 and May 26.
SHORT-TERM RENTAL LICENSING: Last June, staff was instructed to create a report about STRs. After some delays, STRs were considered on February 24th. That day, Council heard a presentation by Samantha White (and Graeme Dempster) of Granicus Host Compliance, a firm that would like to be hired to manage all aspects of STRs. It also had in hand a report about STRs by Steven Harvey, Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer. In the end staff was instructed
- to develop a public survey, in consultation with FoTTSA [which had done such a survey last year], for consideration at the first Committee of the Whole meeting in March
- to draft a short-term rental licensing bylaw including a renter’s code of conduct after the public consultation process has been completed
- to report back on next steps for the summer 2021 program with an implementation target date of the end of May
- that Granicus Host Compliance not be utilized at this time
- to continue the strict enforcement policy approach, targeting specific concerns while maintaining cost effectiveness.
Updates on progress are to be supplied at every meeting until the end of May.
FoTTSA Notes: In the event, Staff did not consult FoTTSA about a public survey and did not present the proposed public survey for consideration at the first Committee of the Whole meeting in March. Instead, in the last days of February, it put its own survey on the township’s website.