Report on Council: September 12, 2011

Report on Council
September 12, 2011
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 am – 12:15 pm and 1:00 pm – 1:20 pm
Confidential closed session 1:25 pm – 3:40 pm
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:00 pm – 7:50 pm
Mayor Millar, Deputy Mayor Lawrence, Councilors Claire, Warren and Wishart present

Three representatives of Le Villageois de Lafontaine requested that Council consider reducing the letters of credit that are currently being held against the water and sewage works. Council discussed a letter from R. J. Burnside & Associates Limited explaining the various issues and options to meet the Drinking Water Objectives of the Safe Drinking Water Act with respect to the water supply at Le Villageois complex. Council decided that the existing securities in the amount of $167,860.00 for water be retained in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Municipal Responsibility Agreement.

McMahan Woods Development, owner of Part Lot 23, Concession 4 West, was earlier denied Council approval for a plan of subdivision in the present greenbelt area. Council voted to direct Burgar Rowe, Township Solicitor, to attain party status at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing and support the position of the County of Simcoe. In a recorded vote only Mayor Millar voted `no`.

Inspector Jacques Bois introduced himself to members of Council as the new Detachment Commander. He has been with the Ontario Provincial Police for the past 23 years in various capacities. He is now in the process of developing a policing plan for the Township. A discussion took place with respect to shoreline ownership and ways the Township could assist the officers when they are called out on trespassing issues in the Township.

Mayor Millar provided an update on Site 41. Site 41 consists of 4 lots: On the west side there are 147 acres of tile drained Class 1 agricultural land. On the east there are 112 acres of non tile drained Class 2 farmland plus a ½ acre building lot. In the middle are 63 acres of disturbed land plus 23 additional acres. The County of Simcoe passed a motion to the effect that Site 41 falls under the jurisdictions of the County and the Ontario Farmland Trust. They drafted an agricultural easement to cover all lots so that when potential purchasers do a title search they will see that easements prevent the land from being used for anything other than agricultural. The remaining 86 acre parcel (63 acres of disturbed land plus an additional 23 acres) is being held in abeyance until March 15, 2012, pending receipt of an acceptable business plan for a water research facility at the site from Dr. W. Shotyk. He heads up the Elmvale Water Foundation and has served as Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and starting in October will hold the Bocock Chair in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Alberta. If Dr. Shotyk’s business plan is not accepted, county staff have been authorized to declare the parcel surplus and report back through the Performance Management Committee with recommendations that it be sold.

Councillor Claire asked about the impact of spraying on the wells in the township. Henk Blom, Manager Public Works explained that the chemical spraying is tightly controlled by licensed applicators and that in the case of poplars the trees are wicked with a glove to limit distribution of the chemical. Henk’s staff are also mowing saplings so that the roots will eventually die. Invasive and noxious weeds in the ditches are hand wicked as well. The idea was floated to certify and train staff to become licensed applicators and thereby save money. Andre Claire suggested engaging a naturalist to develop a Master Plan covering the process for handling complaints, and Henk is including a person in the 2012 budget discussions to be responsible for township flora.

Shawn Persaud, Manager of Planning & Development, presented a report on adding a Property Standards By-law to the Official Plan. Council directed staff to provide a further report outlining the advantages and disadvantages of the enforcement and effectiveness of a Property Standards Bylaw and exploring all other options available under the Municipal Act.

Council considered a proposed four-year plan for the Bluewater Dunes from Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works. Blom was instructed to arrange a site meeting of his staff with the Bluewater Dunes Restoration Advisory Committee members and the consultant. Various items can be implemented this year and others can be carried forward to the 2012 budget.

Deputy Mayor Lawrence referenced a letter dated September 6, 2011, from Linda Lockyer, President of the Woodland Beach Property Owners’ Association, regarding the installation of sand fencing at Township-owned rights-of-way in the Woodland Beach area. Council instructed staff to meet with Linda Lockyer to discuss the location for installation of fencing by the Township for the winter of 2011/12.

Mayor Millar updated members of Council with respect to the discussion at County Council regarding the collection contract for waste management and the standardization of a collection agreement for all municipalities within the County of Simcoe. The annual heavy garbage pickup has been dropped. The Corporate Services Committee is looking into options for collection. One is a phone in with a $25 charge. The large item would be taken to a transfer station where it could be recycled. They are also looking at a tag system for regular garbage where every household would be given a set number of tags for the year. This would be advantageous to seasonal residents because there would be no limit on the number of bags picked up during the summer and they don’t need bags in the winter. Deputy Mayor Lawrence asked that members of Council and the public forward options and alternatives for waste management that he can convey to Corporate Services during the on-going waste management deliberations.

There was a lengthy discussion of a proposal from Simcoe County to all municipalities re becoming a ‘Blue Community’. Finally, Council voted in favour and Tiny became the second municipality in Simcoe County to go blue. With a motion by Lawrence and a second by Claire, in a 5-0 vote, Tiny recognized access to clean drinking water as a right and will call upon the provincial and federal governments to enshrine this as a human right in federal and provincial law. A resolution, moved by Warren, seconded by Wishart, was passed banning the sale of single use bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events where there is access to municipal water in the form of a faucet in the bathroom or a drinking fountain. Council passed another motion 5-0, moved by Lawrence, seconded by Claire, to oppose the privatization of water treatment services, including P3s (Public-private partnerships), to retain these services in the public domain; and to continue to lobby the Federal and Provincial governments to fulfill their responsibilities to support municipal infrastructure by investing in a national water infrastructure fund that would address the growing need to renew existing water infrastructure and build new systems; and that Council forward this resolution to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for circulation to its members. P3s have a lack of transparency and accountability to the public; increased costs and higher user fees. P3 projects can also be delayed or cancelled leaving governments to deal with the consequences. The privatization of municipal water services through P3s or contracting out turns water into a commodity to be sold for profit.