Report on Council
MEMBERS OF COUNCIL:
Mayor Peggy Breckenridge
Deputy Mayor George Lawrence
Councillor André Claire
Councillor George Cornell
Councillor Nigel Warren
ADMINISTRATION CHANGES: Doug Luker joined the Township staff as CAO/Clerk at the beginning of December.
Steve Harvey became the Township’s Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer at the beginning of February.
TIME AND PLACE OF COUNCIL MEETINGS: Council meets on the second and last Mondays of each month in the Council Chambers at the Township Offices, 130 Balm Beach Road West. Committee of the Whole meetings generally begin at 9 a.m. and continue for the morning and much of the afternoon. This is the time to observe the members of Council at work as they discuss issues and reports. At the Regular Evening Meetings of Council, which begin at 7 p.m., the members of Council vote on the issues discussed during the day.
CHANGES TO THE TOWNSHIP’S GENERAL ZONING BY-LAW 06—01
i) Regarding Fences: In response to issues raised by the building of a solid wooden fence to the south of Balm Beach, Council passed By-law 07-076, which includes the following provisions:
“a) A fence shall not exceed a height of 1.9 metres;
“b) Fence height is to be calculated by taking the measurement from grade to the top of each post. No single fence post shall exceed a maximum height of 1.9 metres;
“c) Decorative caps on top of a post may encroach into the height restriction to a maximum of no more than 0.3 metres;
“d) No fence is to be constructed from ungraded used lumber, unsightly and/or deteriorating used material. In all residential zones, no fence is to be constructed from barbed wire or any device designed to transmit electric current through a fence;
“e) Fences to enclose swimming pools shall not be subject to the above provisions, however must comply with all other Municipal By-laws and Ontario Building Code regulations; and
ii) Suggested Changes to Zoning By-Law 06—01: The Planning Department recommends a number of “housekeeping” changes to make the By-law “more complete and user-friendly.” These concern
• the definition of a “Bunkie”
• the definition of “Established Grade”
• the definition of “height”
• reduction in the setback of buildings and structures from laneways
• development on vacant lots with an area of less than 10,000 square feet
• and amendments to 10 zoning maps
There is to be a public meeting about these changes at a time convenient to seasonal residents.
NOISE BY-LAW AND OUTDOOR PATIOS: Council decided to continue with the 24-hour-a-day prohibition of noise from commercial outdoor patios if it disturbs someone’s peace. Tiny’s rules regarding such noise are similar to those in neighbouring municipalities.
POWER OF ENTRY BY-LAW: In November, in accordance with the 2001 Municipal Act, Council passed By-law 07-082 providing authority for the municipality to inspect land for compliance to all Township By-laws. The Municipal Act says that during an inspection, a municipality may require production of documents;
• inspect and remove documents for the purpose of making copies or extracts;
• require information from any person concerning a matter related to the inspection;
• examine or take tests, samples or photographs necessary for the purposes of the inspection.
STUDY OF VISUAL IMPACT OF WIND TURBINES AUTHORIZED: For details see page 10.
BEACH WATER QUALITY REPORT: Jerry Capko, of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, explained to Council that the SMDHU is in the first stage of a three-stage initiative, to
• reduce the number of unnecessary postings
• reach an understanding of factors at each beach that indicate that a particular location should be posted immediately, even before samples are taken and analyzed
• anticipate the arrival of such conditions and issue anticipatory warnings.
Only once did the HU recommend that a beach be posted in summer 2007. However, it failed to demonstrate the accuracy of its decision not to post on seven other occasions where initial sampling indicated poor water quality because it did not do any follow-up sampling.
SSEA FINAL REPORT RE INVESTIGATIONS INTO BEACH WATER QUALITY: Each summer season from 2003 to 2007, the Severn Sound Environmental Association has attempted to ascertain sources of pollution along the shores of Tiny Township. At first the focus was Balm Beach, Jackson Park, and Woodland Park and streams associated with these public beaches. Later, work was done on effluent from the Nottawasaga River, which emerges into the Bay at Wasaga and has a negative impact on water quality in Concessions 1-3. More recently the SSEA has done work on the Lafontaine Creek, which emerges south of Concession Road 13W.
For the streams, the SSEA collected data concerning such things as flow, temperature, E. coli (usually not a problem itself, but an indication that dangerous bacteria may be present), nitrates, nitrites, suspended solids, phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and pH. However, there was not enough explanation in the Report as to why all this data was collected and how it relates to beach water quality. And there was no recommendation that monitoring should continue at regular intervals to keep watch for trends and sudden changes that might require action.
Not surprisingly, it looks as if the E. coli (and associated bacteria) in streams affects the quality of water at beaches near stream mouths. Because the Nottawasaga River and the Lafontaine Creek are large, they have a strong impact, but smaller creeks may also have a negative effect. Sampling showed that the streams and creeks pick up E. coli on the way through built up areas. It is encouraging that “It would appear that a significant source or sources of E. coli contamination to Balm Beach Creek have been eliminated through the Township’s re-inspection program.” (The Balm area was the first to be re-inspected and all septics found to be faulty have been repaired, replaced or upgraded.)
The Report recommends five actions —
• Continue the re-inspection program.
• Consider treatment of storm water runoff.
• Consider moving the stream outlets discharging directly onto the Balm and Jackson Beaches (and other beaches) to locations off points where dispersion and mixing of their discharge would be accomplished more effectively.
• Consider removal or modification of selected groynes in order to improve water circulation.
• Prepare shoreline landowner guides about care of sewage systems, the value of dune systems to beach quality and the value of naturalization rather than the development of turf grass next to beaches. Measures to protect public beach areas from the modification by adjacent landowners should be considered by the Township.
COST OF LIBRARY SERVICES RISES: Tiny Township households may use one of the libraries in Midland, Penetanguishene and Elmvale at the expense of the township. The cost per user household rose again this year, by $10 to $110 (Midland), by $10 to $100 (Penetanguishene), and by $5 to $75 (Springwater).
COUNCIL REMUNERATION: Last fall, the North Simcoe heads of Council prepared a report for consideration by each of the four participating municipalities, which argued that Council remuneration needed to be addressed because of increased responsibilities and a heavier workload.
The four-year Council term coupled with the workload has resulted in Council members losing benefits and having to give up their regular jobs. Mayor Breckenridge noted, for example, that she spends 35 – 40 hours each week on Township business, and that she has not been able to continue her consulting business.
Tiny’s new CAO/Clerk, Doug Luker, prepared a report comparing Tiny’s compensation with several comparables and recommended:
That compensation for the Mayor’s position be adjusted to the median of the comparator group (adjusted for 2007-08 CPI) totaling $29,733, the compensation for Council members be set at 65% of the Mayor’s base compensation at $19,326 and that the Deputy Mayor’s base compensation be set at 75% of the Mayor’s position at $22,300.
Mayor Breckenridge and Councillors Claire and Cornell agreed with the recommendation, while Deputy Mayor George Lawrence and Councillor Nigel Warren expressed discomfort with the size of the increases and with the notion of voting themselves increases. The recommendations carried 3-2.
(For the complete report, see Clerk’s Report CR-005-08 in the Regular Meeting of Council Agenda for February 11, 2008 under Reports of Staff > Committees > Consultants > Third Parties.)
“TOWNSHIP PROPERTY RECORDS” UPDATE: In two separate reports (October 9 and March 31), Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, reported that identification of Township owned property is complete in Concession 1,2,3,5,6, and 7. Concession 4 is 80% complete, Concession 8 and 9 66%,Concession 10 90%, and Concession 11 66%.
Surveys are planned this year for the “Beach Re: Becking, Concession 5”; Wahnekewening Beach in Concession 13; Asselin Park in Concession 17; the Beach Block at the end of Bow Road in Concession 16 and Tee Pee Point Parkette Beach in Concession 16.
SEPTIC RE-INSPECTION UPDATE: Last summer’s inspections covered the northeast corner of the Township . C.C. Tatham & Associates estimates that the first pass of the re-inspection program will be completed by the end of the summer of 2009. (Only the northwest quadrant, north of Concession 16, remains to be done.)
The properties inspected in 2002 – the first year of the program – now have properly functioning septics. However, 34 properties re-inspected in 2003, 2004 and 2005 have orders not to occupy until remedial work has been completed. Both C.C. Tatham and the By-law Department check from time to time to make sure those properties are not in use. Follow up work is also being done on problems discovered in 2006 and 2007.
Once the entire Township has been re-inspected, it’ll be time to start back at the beginning, since many properties will, by then, not have been re-inspected for more than 10 years.
2008 BUDGET: Overall, Tiny’s residential tax rate is up 2.45% compared to 2007. (The Township’s one-third of your tax bill is up 2.50%; the County’s third is up 4.75%; and the education third remains unchanged).
Water fees continue to be $200 for capital and $556 operating. A plan to eliminate anticipated future nitrate level issues at Lafontaine and Georgian Sands is to be prepared. The new testing for lead costs $75,000 annually, and the required reserve fund for replacing water systems mean that water fees are unlikely to fall any time soon.
The budget includes monies for various strategic planning initiatives. There is to be a Township Office functionality/needs assessment, continuation of the identification of Township-owned land, a study about future management of septage and hauled waste, and an update of the Township’s Official Plan. Reserves and Reserve Funds are to increase by 8.4% to $4,824,166. Of particular interest to shore area residents are:
• a Secondary Master Plan for Balm Beach
• a Master Plan for Lafontaine Park
• implementation of the Woodland Beach Master Plan
• washroom upgrades and repair at Jackson Park and Stott’s Park
•wind barrier fencing, boardwalks, and educational signage at Bluewater Beach Park
• a Beach Management Plan (required, apparently, before the DFO will approve changes at beach parks).
For the complete budget presentation, see tiny.ca > Administration > Departments & Services > Treasury > 2008 Budget Information
THE TOWNSHIP’S OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW: Nothing to report so far – no strategy, no public meetings.
ELECTRONICS RECYCLING: Electronic equipment may now be taken to the North Simcoe Transfer Station during regular hours, Monday to Saturday. The usual modest weight charge applies (the County is running the program at a loss, but all parts of computers, printers, monitors, TVs, fax machines, modems, pagers, telephones, cameras, radios, speakers, and video equipment will be recycled by GEEP in Barrie).
FIRST STEP RE COMMON REED: Following a deputation by FoTTSA about the dangers of Common Reed and the need for action, Council agreed to
“funding of up to $3,000 to retain a field consultant to report back on the current level of spread of the Common Reed within the Township and on public lands, and further;
“That staff work/liaise with other levels of government and agencies to research mitigation and education programming, and;
“That staff report back on the resources required to implement a Township-wide Common Reed Education and Mitigation program.”
For FoTTSA’s deputation, see Letters & Deputations at http://www.tinycottager.org. (pdf)
A CONSERVATION AUTHORITY FOR TINY? Mayor Breckenridge drew Council’s attention to the fact that the Province’s new Clean Water Act requires that all of Tiny be under the guidance of a local conservation authority. Currently, only the eastern side of Tiny Township is included in the Severn Sound Environmental Association’s catchment area. If the western half of the township were to be included in the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, the cost would be very heavy. Ideally, all of Tiny should come under the aegis of the SSEA.
We note that public meetings designed to arrive at a Sustainability Plan for our area are being held under the guidance of Lura Consulting. This Plan will define the direction the SSEA takes in the future, possibly including expanded coverage for Tiny. The meetings are being held from 7-9 p.m. at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, on April 1, May 6, July 8, August 12, September 9, November 4, and December 2. Information is available on the SSEA website.
MAYOR’S PIG ROAST AND CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT: This year, the Mayor’s Pig Roast is to take place on Saturday, July 5 in the Perkinsfield Park and the Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday, August 16th at the Balm Beach Golf Club. The funds raised are to go to the Huronia Hospitals Foundation.
ONE BAG LIMIT COMING THIS FALL: A “green bin” organic waste collection will begin this fall. At the same time, the bag limit for regular household garbage will be reduced from two bags to one.
The following items are to go into the green bin:
• fruit/vegetable peelings & table scraps
• bones, fat, meat, chicken & fish
• bread, rice & pasta
• coffee grounds, filters & tea bags
• vacuum cleaner bags, soiled paper towels & dryer lint
• houseplants, hair & fur.
NOTE: Disposable diapers are NOT included. On the other hand, vacuum bags, dryer lint, hair & fur (all items that cannot be put into green bins in Toronto) are included in the Simcoe green bin program.
TINY TO DO ITS OWN LEAF COLLECTION: Because Simcoe County charged $24,024 for leaf and yard waste collection last fall, Council decided to have “in house” brush, leaf & yard waste pickup this year from the last week of October to mid-November, at an estimated cost of $13,215.