Council Reports: May 10, 2004

MAY 10, 2004
Committee of the Whole: 9:01 a.m. – ?:?? p.m.
Evening Meeting: 7:00 p.m. – ?:?? p.m.
All Members of Council present.


DAVID LAMBDEN’S REPORTS AND MAPS DISCOVERED: In the course of the discussion of former Mayor Patricia O’Driscoll’s deputation (which recommended that David Lambden be asked to prepare specifications for Township mapping), Mayor Klug and Deputy Mayor Paul Maurice spoke about their disappointment during the last Council’s term that more material had not been forthcoming from the noted boundary expert. It was then revealed that a thick stack of Lambden’s reports and maps had been discovered recently in the Township Office. Council agreed that Lambden should be invited to report to Council about what he had accomplished and what remains to be done, and that he be asked what needs to be done to make it possible to use his maps. (Lambden is to come to a Special Meeting of Committee of the Whole on June 4 at 1 p.m.)

OPP JUSTIFIES ITS 15% BUDGET INCREASE: Inspector Greg Skinner had been asked by Council to explain the startling 15% increase in the OPP budget for 2004. This year’s estimate is $1,481,074. The huge hike is the result of a wage settlement which is retroactive to 2001. Skinner pointed out that in the 6 years from 1998 to 2003, the OPP bills to the Township have increased by only 8.5%.

MAYOR REPLACED ON SITE 41 CMC: Council first discussed its representation on the Site 41 Community Monitoring Committee on April 26. After discussing the matter again, Council decided by a vote of 3-2 that its representatives on the CMC were to be Deputy Mayor Paul Maurice and Councillor Ray Millar (the latter replaces Mayor Klug). Various points were made:
Councillor Ray Millar was glad of the two weeks’ reflection time, but observed that he would not have supported the initial appointment of Mayor Klug had he known that the Mayor would oppose the moratorium on Site 41.
Councillor Peggy Breckenridge said that better communication, particularly from the Mayor, is needed if this Council is to function as a team.
Deputy Mayor Pierre Paul Maurice had reflected on what would be accomplished by removing the Mayor from the CMC. The Committee has no real power, though it can influence events by speaking out; he felt that the Mayor might be persuaded to the majority point of view if he continued to be present at CMC meetings.
Mayor Robert Klug felt that the other members of Council had been influenced by public pressure. He pointed out that he had supported the peer review, and also the review of responses to the peer review. He wondered whether he could vote his conscience at the County or whether he must vote the majority view.
Councillor Rob Panasiuk observed that Council cannot control decisions about Site 41, but it can control its appointments to the CMC, and it should do what it can. He noted that the Mayor had urged the other members of Council to consider more and better information when he insisted that representatives from County come to provide Council with information about Site 41. Yet the Mayor was himself not willing to vote for a moratorium on the dumpsite that would allow consideration of more and better information about groundwater protection.

BEACH WATER QUALITY STUDY: Keith Sherman of the Severn Sound Environmental Association made a presentation about the investigative study his group had conducted last summer at three public beaches in Tiny Township – Woodland, Jackson, and Balm. The report is posted on the Township website – Under Community Information, click What’s New, then Beach Water Quality Report. Those who recall events in the summer of 2001 when signs were posted in stream outflows at three beaches will be interested in the careful research done on streams and in comments like – “Individual bathers were often observed wading or sitting in the water at the mouth of the streams at Balm Beach and Jackson Park Beach. These bathers could be at higher risk of being exposed to water flowing into the beach with elevated indicator bacteria.” For a summary of this study and its recommendations, see the front page of The Tiny Cottager newspaper.

LAFONTAINE GROUP HOME: The application for a group home/treatment centre in Lafontaine for young men aged 13 to 17 has been withdrawn.

DRAFT ENCROACHMENT BY-LAW: Apparently many landowners in the Township have encroached on adjacent Township property. The encroachments listed in a proposed by-law are “buildings, fences, concrete pillars, posts, poles, curbs, tree plantings, gardens, retaining works, drainage works, satellite dishes, supporting structures, towers, antennas and guy wires” but the by-law is not limited to those items. It sets out rules for notice to the property owner that an encroachment exists and for removal of the structure in question. It opens the possibility of an “encroachment agreement” under “special and extenuating circumstances” but only for road encroachments. There is a penalty clause. There is to be an opportunity for public input about the draft by-law at the May 31 meeting of Council. The draft by-law is available on the township website – Look under Community Info, click Public Notices, then click Draft Encroachment By-law.

RENTAL OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFT AT BALM BEACH: Two earlier Reports on Council supply background on this subject – those for January 26 when a by-law was passed permitting the rental of 8 Personal Watercraft at Balm Beach and for March 29 when two deputations, one by a waterfront owner south of Balm Beach and the other by the Federation, asked that the subject be reopened. Those most affected – residents directly on the shore – had not had a chance to speak in January because the wording in the agenda did not give the street address of the property and did not explain the issue at stake. Written notice went only to nearby neighbours and not to those who would be most affected, landowners along the shore. Council has learned that it cannot undo the basic effect (authorizing personal watercraft rental) of the January By-law Amendment. However, on May 31, there is to be a new Public Planning Meeting to consider a further amendment to the By-law with a view to restricting the number of personal watercraft available for rental. There is an opportunity for public input at this meeting.