Council Reports: July 12, 2004

July 12, 2004
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:08 a.m. – 10:43 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:11 p.m. – 9:07 p.m.
All Members of Council present.

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 5:59 p.m. – 7:04 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. – 10:42 p.m.

CONSIDERATION OF REQUESTS TO MAKE ORAL SUBMISSIONS: Oral Submissions is the new phrase for what used to be called Deputations. There were four requests. All of them were granted, two to be heard in September, and two at the next meeting of Council.

ANNUAL AUDIT OF TOWNSHIP’S BOOKS: Doug Holmes and Kathy Black of BDO Dunwoody, the Township’s Auditors, reported on their examination, on a test basis, of the Township’s books for 2003. In their opinion, the books fairly present the financial position of the Township.
When Councillor Rob Panasiuk asked whether it was appropriate that a termination payment to an employee of the Water Department be allocated to the Water Department, he was told that such a sum could appropriately be assigned either to the Water Department or to the Township’s general account. On balance, the auditor appeared to support allocating the sum to the Water Department, as such a payment was probably payment in lieu of notice – an extension of his wages. In Tiny, costs associated with municipal water systems are financed by users of those systems, not by the general taxpayer.
(Regular readers of these Reports on Council will be interested to know that the cost to taxpayers of having the auditors look into allegations made by former Mayor Anthony Lancia totalled $4,000. See the Report on Council for February 23, 2004 under “Deputations”.)

DRAINAGE PROBLEM SOUTH OF STOTT PARK: Several areas in the Township experienced flooding after the heavy rain at the end of May. One of these is along Tiny Beaches Road south of Stott Park, where there are large pools of standing water in ditches and flooding in some basements. The Manager of Public Works recommended that a pipe be installed to drain the water north to an existing pipe in Stott Park and on into the Bay through the culvert at the 8th Concession Road Allowance. He estimated the cost at roughly $40,000. The grade of the pipe is to be only .2% and there is to be erosion abatement to mitigate the impact on the beach. The stuff currently clogging the pipe in Stott Park is to be vacuumed out, not flushed into the Bay. At Councillor Panasiuk’s request, that part of the drainage works associated with Stott Park is to be financed out of the Parkland Trust fund. The balance will be funded from the Capital Trust fund.
A resident who lives near the 8th Concession Road expressed concern about the possible adverse effect of this additional water on the 66′ road allowance park, on adjacent private land, and on water quality in the Bay.
Council decided to have the pipe installed, even though property owners near the 8th had not been consulted.
It was not clear why this particular flooded area was being viewed as an emergency when other flooded areas were not.

Questioned about the removal of trees at the Woodland Beach Fire Station, Chief Jim Sawkins said that fire fighters removed 4 trees to free space for parking for the 15 volunteers attached to that station. He had met with Ron MacKinnon, president of the Woodland Beach Association, and together they had agreed upon 6 trees to be removed. According to Sawkins, still more parking space is needed.
Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, asked that a site plan be prepared and agreement reached about trees to be removed before any action is taken in future. Further, he asked that the Public Works Department, which has training and insurance, be entrusted with removal of trees from now on.
Asked about the Lafontaine Fire Department’s filling of swimming pools in the North West Basin area, the Chief said that the practice pre-dated his arrival (a statement confirmed by Deputy Mayor Pierre Paul Maurice who had been Deputy Fire Chief for a time). The Chief said that this activity helps the Fire Department meet a training requirement. A full tank of water (filled from the Lafontaine water system) is used to fill a pool, then a additional tanks of water are drawn from the Bay and emptied into the pool until it is full. Owners made “voluntary” donations to the fire station for the service. Four pools were filled this way, on the condition that water could be withdrawn from them in a fire emergency. Councillor Ray Millar asked the Chief to submit the Fire Department’s policy about filling pools to Council for review.
The Treasurer noted that payments for services performed by paid employees of the Township, on Township time, should go into general revenues.

PHASE II: PERRI SUBDIVISION, WOODLAND BEACH, AUTHORIZED: Originally, the developer wanted an additional 28 lots in the second phase of his subdivision. The Township did not grant the necessary Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments for environmental reasons, and was supported in this by the County of Simcoe. The upshot of the developer’s appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board was that the designation in the area was changed from Environmental Protection 2 to Shoreline Residential and the number of lots was cut from 28 to 16, with development conditions, one of which was that a special type of septic system be used for some of the lots, as the water table in the area is very high.
This additional subdivision will put more stress on an already heavily used stretch of the shore.

ORAL SUBMISSION RE ATTEMPTS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO TO GAIN CONTROL OF SHORE LANDS: In her presentation, former Mayor Patricia O’Driscoll reminded Council that, in 1940, the Government claimed to control the waterways up to the “high water mark”. (That Act was repealed in 1951 because the Attorney General recognized that the Act confiscated land without compensation.)
In 1990, the Attorney General of Ontario claimed that the Crown had never sold the lands between the “line of the wood” on the original Plan of Survey of the Township of Tiny and the water’s edge. The “line of the wood” stretched from Concession 3 to Concession 19 and in some places was as much as 1000 feet inland from the water’s edge. (The Court dismissed the claim, and confirmed that lots in Tiny were sold to the water’s edge.)
O’Driscoll sees the Natural Hazards Policy, which requires setbacks for shore dwellings from a geodetic elevation of 178 metres above sea level, as the most recent attempt by the Government of Ontario to gain control of shore lands.
In her view: “This Council, in order to protect its assessment base and to make sure that ALL waterfront properties are not devalued, should get the necessary tools — accurate mapping — and hire experts who have the knowledge and skills to stand up to the Government of Ontario on this issue and achieve a ‘made in Tiny’ solution.”