Report on Council April 8, 17 and 29, 2019

REPORT ON COUNCIL

April 8, 17 and 29, 2019

Committee of the Whole Meetings: April 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m., April 17, 2019: 10:00 a.m. to 2:47 p.m. and April 29, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Regular Meetings of Council: April 8, 2018: 1:20 p.m.- 1:32 p.m. and April 29, 2018: 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Mayor George Cornell, Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma and Councillors Cindy Hastings, Tony Mintoff and Gibb Wishart present on the 8th and 17th. Mayor George Cornell absent on the 29th, the others present.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Tiny Connect – Sign up now at tinyconnect.ca
  • Town Hall Meeting – May 25, 2019, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Tiny Township Community Centre
  • De-paving Perkinsfield Tennis Courts – volunteers needed – June 1, 2019
  • Community BBQ – July 20, 2019, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Perkinsfield Park
  • Fire Department Family Fun Day – August 24, 2019, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wyevale Fire Station
  • Town Hall Meeting, September 19, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Wyebridge Community Centre

RECREATIONAL WATER SURVEILLANCE: Christina Wieder of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit gave a wide-ranging report about the SMDHU sampling of recreational water at five township parks. As usual the Health Unit used levels of E. coli as an indicator of water quality recommending posting when the geometric mean of all the samples taken at a particular beach exceeds 200 e. coli per 100 ml of sample, or if one sample exceeds 400. The Health Unit does not test for blue green algae or for nitrogen. If blue green algae is suspected, then the beach would be closed while samples taken are sent to Toronto for analysis. Ms Wieder confirmed that the Health Unit attended the volunteer water program training session and received the results of its sampling program.

CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN: Victoria Irvick made a presentation to Council about Sustainable Severn Sound’s proposed Climate Change Action Plan and next steps. This was discussed in conjunction with a CAO Report. The goal is to have the township administration reduce its emissions by 30% and the community by 6% by 2028. A question from Gibb Wishart revealed that the Action Plan did not include emissions from heating with wood stoves, only emissions from gas or oil. This is serious in a township where many homes use wood stoves for heat. There is no penalty if the goals are not reached. The township is to supply information about the Action Plan on the website, in its newsletters, and the like.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN WORKSHOP: On April 17, Council and senior staff devoted a special Committee of the Whole Meeting to updating the Strategic Plan that the previous Council had created in 2015. Once again, Karen Wianecki of Planning Solutions Inc supplied useful guidance, at the outset reminding them of the big picture against which their actions for the balance of their term would be played out, recurring regularly to the idea that problems/challenges/pressures could become opportunities. They reviewed the 13-page Strategic Plan Scorecard item by item, eventually listing 12 strategic priorities – things they hoped would be accomplished in the course of the coming term of office – namely (in no particular order) –

  • Move forward on a new or remodelled town hall (site, design)
  • Move towards the goal of 50 affordable housing units (only 4 now)
  • Improve internet and cell service capabilities
  • Make strides with infrastructure needs
  • Get transit in place to link to Simcoe County’s transit service (Uber? First Nations bus?)
  • Decide on and support a sewage treatment plan
  • Support the township’s artists and artisans, possibly with a gallery
  • Bring human resources management in house to spearhead the recruitment and retention of staff
  • Support economic development in North Simcoe so that there are jobs
  • Support outdoor recreation, beaches, trails, bicycle paths
  • Continue to develop an asset management plan (including making use of the airport)
  • Build resilience and sustainability

At the end, Council decided to put items from the Strat Plan that had been accomplished in an appendix so that the focus of the revision would be on things still to be done. They directed staff to work with Wianecki to create an updated draft of the Plan and Scorecard and have it ready for distribution to the community and for discussion at the Town Hall Meeting in May.

Anyone curious to know how this council views its job would find the live streamed version of this meeting revealing (and occasionally frustrating, when someone forgot to speak into the microphone).

 

2019 TAXES: The total to be levied this year is $29,176,752. This sum is shared among the Township ($11,706,034), the County of Simcoe ($10,853,338), and Education ($6,617,380). As usual, those on municipal water systems pay an additional levy of $200 for capital costs.

 

URBAN HEN KEEPING/BACKYARD CHICKENS: This serious matter is to be considered during the public consultation process for the Township’s new Zoning By-law.

 

BUILDING ACTIVITY SLOWS: Where, in the first quarter of 2018, 94 permits were issued at an estimated value of $6,768,000, in the first quarter of 2019, the number of permits issued fell to 65 at an estimated value of $3,742,800.

 

PARTIAL ROAD ALLOWANCE CLOSURE AT THUNDER BEACH: The passage of By-law No. 19-036 closing the part of the road allowance between Concession 18 and 19 that gives access to the Bay, should resolve a long-standing bone of contention. (The stretch to be closed is Parts 1, 2, and 3 on Reference Plan 51R-41868.)