Confidential/Closed Session; More Re: Parking Signs; Council’s Meeting with Co-Owners of Huronia Airport; First Meeting of Audit Committee; Expert Advice re: Parks and Recreation; New Rules re: Smoke Alarms; Province Seeks to Take Over Planning Decisions re: Energy Projects Including Wind FarmsREPORT ON COUNCIL
February 13, 2006
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:08 a.m. – 4:23 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:12 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
All members of Council present.
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 11:00 a.m. – 12:12 p.m.
MORE RE PARKING SIGNS: Because there have been many complaints about the township’s $60 parking fines, permit parking signs are to include words “$60.00 fine/Every 3 hours.” Additional signs spelling out the township’s parking regulations are to be erected in permit parking areas. These advise that that
there is no parking in permit zones between 10 pm and 8 am
permit parking rules are enforced only from May 15th to September 15th
150 non-resident parking permits are sold on a first come first served basis
permits are sold at the township offices, and
permits are not required at Jackson Park, Balm Beach and Lafontaine Beach.
Bluewater Park was removed from this list, because there are only 5 open spaces there, as was Woodland Beach until matters are clarified there.
One point that wasn’t mentioned is that permits are required at Jackson Park for vehicles with boat trailers.
COUNCIL’S MEETING WITH CO-OWNERS OF HURONIA AIRPORT: The Councils of Midland, Penetanguishene and Tiny met to discuss the Airport they co-own on February 7, 2006.
Tiny’s Council has been raising questions about the Airport for some time. In an effort to understand whether taxpayers’ money is being well spent on the airport, they have asked for statistics about users of the airport, financial statements, and a business plan, but to no avail.
With regard to the meeting, Councillors Breckenridge, Millar and Panasiuk said that they were dismayed to find that their opposite numbers in Midland and Penetanguishene did not share their concerns, and indeed did not appear to grasp that proper financial information had not been forthcoming from the airport.
It was decided that the Airport Commission should be advised of Tiny Township’s willingness to pay its share of hiring a consultant to complete a Business and Strategic Plan of the Airport, subject to specific conditions.
FIRST MEETING OF AUDIT COMMITTEE: The members of Council and two citizen representatives (Joseph Martin and James Lindsay) met as an Audit Committee for the first time. Representatives from BDO Dunwoody (the Township’s auditors) presented information about the functioning and role of an audit committee and spoke at some length about changes (both recent and anticipated) in audit practices with regard to municipalities. They commented that in their view Tiny Township is a low risk municipality, as it has appropriate internal financial controls in place and management is on top of things.
It was clear from the questions asked by the citizen representatives that they have a clear grasp of the job they have taken on.
The committee will have its next meeting after the audit is completed, probably in June or July.
EXPERT ADVICE RE PARKS AND RECREATION: Greig Stewart, of the Ministries of Citizenship, Culture, and Sport and Recreation, who lives in Springwater, came to give Council some advice about the management of recreation in the Township. Tiny Township is unusual in having incorporated parks and recreation associations. His recommendation was that the Township hire a consultant to prepare a Recreation Master Plan, and to make suggestions about how to restructure the financing and delivery of programs. Such a consultant would bring objectivity and analytical skills to the problem. He was able to supply a list of suitable consultants and to assist with acquiring grants for the preparation of a master plan.
Councillor Rob Panasiuk asked what percentage of municipalities’ operating budgets typically go to recreation (Tiny spends close to $800,000 on all aspects of recreation), and Stewart said that he would get figures from municipalities similar to Tiny Township for Council’s information.
NEW RULES RE SMOKE ALARMS: As of March 1, the Fire Code requires homes to have working smoke alarms on every level and outside all sleeping areas. According to Fire Chief Randy Smith, smoke alarms typically last 10 years, and when they are replaced they should not be put into the regular garbage, but be taken to the hazardous waste depot.
PROVINCE SEEKS TO TAKE OVER PLANNING DECISIONS RE ENERGY PROJECTS INCLUDING WIND FARMS: Bill 51, Section 23 has been given first reading by the Provincial Legislature. This would remove undertakings related to energy (such as wind farms) from municipal control. Council instructed staff to write a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs expressing its opposition to the proposed change.