REPORT ON COUNCIL
January 12, 2004
Committee of the Whole: 9:03 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Evening Meeting: 7:05 p.m. – 9:58 p.m.
All members of Council present: Mayor Robert Klug, Deputy Mayor Pierre Paul Maurice, and Councillors Peggy Breckenridge, Ray Millar, and Rob Panasiuk.
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED: 4:20 p.m. – 5:34 p.m. Part of this in camera session involved legal advice concerning a proposed development on Giant’s Tomb. See the Report on Council for January 26.
THIS WAS ANOTHER MEETING WHEN PROCEDURES WERE QUESTIONED AND THE FINANCIAL PROCEDURES BY-LAW EMPHASIZED.
REPORT ON SEPTIC RE-INSPECTIONS FROM C. C. TATHAM AND ASSOCIATES: To date, 1,419 properties have been covered in the re-inspection program, 312 in the summer of 2002 and 1,107 last summer. Some 314 of the total did not need to be re-inspected, as their systems were less than 10 years old. To date older septic systems in the shore areas of Concessions 8, 9, and 10 and of Concessions 1 and 2 have been re-inspected.
In the first year, 74 lots needed follow up for problems. Most owners complied but Council now has to establish procedures for 7 who have not had the required pump outs and 7 others who say they cannot afford the required new systems.
Out of last summer’s re-inspections, 224 need follow up (and there will be more tanks are inspected after the obligatory pump-outs). So far the score is —
53 lots with excessive vegetation on the leaching bed
61 with unsafe tanks
13 with leaching bed failures
77 with structures or driveways over the bed
6 with grading or erosion problems
1 with exposed distribution pipes
11 with physical component problems such as improper tank covers or
2 with outhouses
Re-inspections will continue at the current pace — somewhat over 1,000 a year.
DEPUTATION FROM CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR SAFE WATER: Former Councillor Bob Buchkowsky and former Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury urged Council to pass a motion supporting a moratorium on construction of Site 41 for a number of reasons, including anticipated provincial groundwater protections. They intend to make presentations to other municipalities in North Simcoe and to send information packages to the balance, in order to raise awareness and knowledge of the dangers of Site 41.
All members of Council commended them on an effective presentation.
Councillor Panasiuk asked the obvious question – why had the Council on which Buchkowsky and Salisbury served not passed such a motion? The fact that there were new factors at play (recent elections, new provincial legislation) didn’t explain why the last Council failed to try to get the balance of the municipalities in Simcoe on side once serious concerns had been raised in peer reviews and once Salisbury had come to the conclusion that installation of a double liner meant that the dump could be moved to a different location.
Mayor Klug decided that Council should not make a decision until the County had a chance to present its side of the issue to the new members.
2004 ASSESSMENTS: John Theriault, the Township Treasurer, reported that the average increase in property assessments across the whole Township was 19.84%. If Council were to decide to keep taxes at the same level as last year, and your assessment went up 19.84%, then your taxes would remain the same. If you assessment increase were greater than the average, then your taxes would go up, even if the total of taxes raised were to remain the same. And if your assessment increase were less than the average, then, if Council were to hold the line, your taxes would go down.
BANKING CHANGE: On instruction from Council, John Theriault approached the six major banks in the area for quotations on services, and to his surprise, two came back with packages that were significantly better than that offered by CIBC, the Township’s current bank. The chief contenders were the TD Bank and the Royal, and in the end the TD Bank was chosen. The vote on this was 4 to 1; Ray Millar voting in opposition to make the point that the Financial Procedures By-law must be followed to the letter.
SKIRMISH ABOUT A SKIRMISH AT BALM BEACH: Without instruction from Council, Earl Evans, Clerk/CAO, introduced the possibility of the Township hosting an imaginary historical skirmish at Balm Beach on Thursday July 22. This would be more modest than the re-enactment battle of 2001 and would involve a fee of $5,000 to the organizer Dave Brunelle. (There is to be a weekend of reenactments at Wasaga Beach on July 23-25.)
Questions from Council elicited the information that Evans had pursued this matter himself in a series of meetings with Brunelle, and that there had been no request for funds by the usual deadline. The clerk said that there was some urgency that the decision be made that day. Council asked that they be given a breakdown of additional costs (fire department, police, garbage pickup, by-law etc.) before making a decision. That evening, Evans unexpectedly had Dave Brunelle on hand to make an unscheduled deputation. Council then ascertained that they could make a decision on the matter later. Surprisingly, a motion approving the expenditure of $5,000 was on the agenda. Councillor Rob Panasiuk observed that he thought they were to have more financial information in hand before making the decision and the decision was delayed.