Council Reports: February 23, 2009


February 23, 2009
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9.01 a.m. – 12:33 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:07 p.m. – 7:19 p.m.
Four members of Council present. Deputy Mayor George Lawrence absent (attending a meeting of the Ontario Good Roads Association).


BUDGET DISCUSSION: Staff has recommended the hiring of a full-time assistant by-law officer at a cost of about $34K, an Assistant Road Superintendent, and an additional person for the Treasury Department. Mayor Breckenridge said there must be fuller reports to justify such additions. Councillor Nigel Warren echoed this.
The total tax levy for Tiny could rise by either 2.5% or 2.75%, to be decided on March 9, the target date to pass the final budget.
County levy will likely be up about 2.5%, education has not stated yet. Capital spending will be double that of last year due to senior government infrastructure programs. Tiny must contribute 33% of the cost of these. Over $3,266,000 will go to water projects from the “Build for Canada” fund.

ANOTHER PORTABLE AT THE TOWNSHIP OFFICES: Council gave pre-budget approval for a new Office Portable and furniture and also for modest renovations to the main office (including the creation of an office for Mayor Breckenridge).

• “Occurrences” (in response to a complaint or from pro-active enforcement) were down from 697 in 2007 to 560 in 2008, the lowest number in the past 5 years. A few violations increased – those to do with weeds, parking, zoning, and dog control. Infractions related to noise, fires, clean yards, motorized vehicles in parks, signs, and watering were down. Charges laid were 26 in 2008 vs 16 in 2007.
• 471 beach patrols were made, with action taken in 74 patrols. The top 5 locations for “action” were: Balm Beach, 25 actions in 97 patrols; 13th Conc., 12 actions in 42 patrols; Woodland Beach, 8 actions in 47 patrols; 11th Conc., 9 actions, 34 patrols. Mayor Breckenridge observed that seasonal residents always want more beach patrols.
• Parking permit sales were down slightly in 2008. The revenue received was $30,254 from resident permits and $8,475 from non-residents. Parking machines are to be installed this year on a trial basis at Jackson’s Park and Woodland Beach Park.
• Parking tickets have steadily trended down over the past 5 years: 991 in 2008, vs. 1042 in 2007. As usual, the largest number of infractions were at Jackson’s Park, the 13th Conc., Waterview (Conc. 4), Woodland (Conc. 2), and Balm.
• Mayor Breckenridge, and Councillors Andre Claire and Nigel Warren asked that campground inspections be conducted on a pro-active basis. Steven Harvey, Chief Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, is to “provide an update relating to the licensing of campgrounds in the second quarter report of the 2009 By-law activities.”
• The need for 2 officers in patrol cars was questioned. In quiet areas such a north Tiny, only 1 is used.
• Councillor Clair requested more enforcement of the sign by-law.
We asked Steven Harvey about this and were pleased to learn that “In previous years there has been one summer officer that takes the lead on dealing with this by-law concern. This will be happening again in 2009.”
We urge anyone who notices advertising signs nailed to trees along Township roads to report their existence and location to the By-law Department at 705-526-4136.

COMMON REED / PHRAGMITES AUSTRALIS: Councillor George Cornell pointed out that the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation is hosting a workshop on ways to control Phragmites in Southampton on April 3, and said that representatives of staff and local sprayers should attend. (Note: FoTTSA will report on this workshop in the Spring Tiny Cottager.)
We learned from CAO/Clerk Doug Luker that one member of Township staff will be attending and that local sprayers are being urged to learn more about Phragmites.