Report on Council: July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 a.m. – 12:44 p.m.
Regular Meeting of Council: 6:28 p.m. – 7:02 p.m.
All Members of Council Present: Mayor George Cornell, Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma, and Councillors Cindy Hastings (arrived at 11:25 a.m.), Richard Hinton and Gibb Wishart

TOWN HALL MEETING AND COMMUNITY BBQ: Saturday August 15, 2015, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Town Hall Meeting followed by a Community BBQ, Pavillion, Perkinsfield Park.

MCMAHAN WATER SYSTEM: At the Council Meeting on June 29, Terry Hudson and Joanne Bodrucky, residents on the McMahan Water System, made a presentation to Council detailing the history of the township’s handling of the system and supplying relevant documents back to 1982 regarding ownership and assignment of costs.

     A by-law passed in 2004, which requires those on township water systems to pay both capital and operating costs whether they were charged for them at the time or not, proved to be key to Council’s approach to the issue. Where the Manager of Public Works had recommended that benefitting 22 households be required to pay the full costs incurred by the system, some $15,447 each, Council decided on a cost recovery amount in the mid-range of what users would have been paying since 2004 — $8,277.90 plus 3% interest to be amortized over nine years. The balance is to be drawn from the Water Reserve Fund.

MOBI-MAT FOR BALM BEACH: Richard Gould, member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, made a presentation regarding a mobi-mat for Balm Beach to allow access to the beach and water to individuals using a wheelchair, stroller, or walker. Council supported the purchase of a mobi-mat for installation at Balm Beach, drawing on funds in the Accessibility Capital Reserve Fund. Funding partnerships with local organizations are to be investigated.

GREEN RIBBON CHAMPION PROGRAM: Karen Alexander of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (LHCCC) described the Green Ribbon Champion Program to Council. Meant to improve the quality of beach sand and lake water, the program provides advice, resources and support to shoreline residents. After registering their desire to participate online, individual property owners receive a visit from a LHCCC staff member who completes a beach health review. The resultant report describes five targets and makes recommendations for how to reach them. A Green Ribbon Champion Award is given to participants who successfully implement all the recommendations. In 2014, there were 25 participants, with six winning Awards. By July 27, 2015, 36 property owners had registered. Council decided to support Lafontaine Beach as a priority beach under the Green Ribbon Champion Program and arranged to have the program advertised on the township website.

PARKING AND EMERGENCY VEHICULAR ACCESS WEST OF COUNTY ROAD 6: Asked to supply a list of roads between County Road 6 and the shore that cannot safely accommodate emergency vehicles under the current parking conditions, Fire Chief Tony Mintoff supplied a long list, all in the first 11 concessions.

     Much of this stretch of shore is more densely populated than the township’s hamlets. Lists and maps of streets that should be signed “No Parking” are appended to Public Works Report-37-15, in the Complete Committee of the Whole Agenda for July 27, 2015, on the township’s website,, under Your Government / Council Meeting Agenda /

     Council directed staff “to provide an implementation plan for 2015 based on available funding and internal staff resources with consideration of cross departmental assistance regarding the signage installation, and that the implementation plan be presented at the August 10, 2015 Committee of the Whole Meeting.”

     We are relieved to hear that action is at last being taken on this important safety issue.