For the actual wording of the motions indicated, a link will be provided.
REPORT ON COUNCIL
April 30, 2001
Mayor Bob Klug, Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury, Councillors Bob Buchkowsky and Pierre Paul Maurice in attendance. Frank Hughes still absent, recovering from his heart attack.
SELECTED DEPUTATIONS: 1) OPP UPDATE: Staff Sergeant Greg Skinner stated that the OPP now has a computerized statistical analysis programme which will be used to record the number and type of crime incidents occurring in Tiny Township, their location, and date and time of occurrence. It will also record the number of calls received and number of hours spent policing Tiny Township. This statistical analysis will be used to track crime trends in Tiny, and allow for targetting specific crimes in specific areas. The OPP will report to Council quarterly.
2) PROPOSED BAY WATER TESTING INITIATIVE: Judith Grant, on behalf of the Federation of Tiny Township Beach Associations, and John Neil, fresh water expert from Thunder Beach, proposed that a weekly water testing programme be undertaken this summer season for the full length Tiny Township's shoreline and for Farlain Lake. Samples would be collected by the Simcoe County Health Unit for some beaches and the balance by shore area volunteers trained by the health unit. All samples would be analyzed by a laboratory in Orillia. It is expected that most of the results will be reassuringly excellent.
This regular sampling would establish basic data about water quality in the Bay and in Farlain Lake, and would allow better understanding of the source and duration of occasional sudden elevations in e-coli levels at some locations. Future years would require only random sampling to ascertain that no change in the established pattern had occurred, except in trouble spots. Council was asked to lend moral support to the programme, possibly have the Water Department assist in transportation of the collected samples to Orillia, and fund analysis of samples collected by volunteers. (The province covers the cost of analyzing samples taken by the Health Unit.) Council responded positively and said that the request for township support would be considered. Click BAY WATER TESTING for full deputation.
3) SCRAPPER'S DAY JUNE 3: Bob Miskimins and Corrie Hamelin urged residents of Tiny to contribute scrap metal to this fundraising programme which supports activities of the Tiny Community Policing Committee. Pickup is available. Call Bob Miskimins at 361-1913 or Corrie Hamelin at 549-7141 Call the Scrappers' Day Hotline at (705) 526-4204.
PART OF RENOUF WATER SYSTEM CLOSED: In the midst of the regular Committee of the Whole, Council had a special meeting, with its own agenda, wherein, after a closed session, a by-law was passed which closed a seasonal portion (25 households) of the Renouf water system in Balm Beach due to health concerns and the inability of that portion of the system to be repaired or improved at a reasonable cost to meet present Ontario water health standards. Special arrangements will be considered for those residents this summer.
PARKS AND REC LEASES AND YET ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH TOWNSHIP LAND OWNERSHIP: A deputation on behalf of the Recreation and Community Centres Committee stated that the proposed five year lease agreement which Council presented to the Committee has been redrafted by their lawyers with more friendly wording. Council agreed to review this new agreement prior to both parties signing it. In addition, it was stated that the rink on municipal property next to the French language school in Perkinsfield extends 30' onto the school property, a shared use that had been agreed to verbally for many years. However, the French school has now been closed and will probably be sold. The Committee asked that Council consider purchasing the property in question.
IN CAMERA SESSION: Five (undefined) items regarding litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals affecting the municipality, were considered.
ECONOMIES AT COUNTY: It was announced that there will be significant restructuring at Simcoe County. The County's press release states that -- "Upon the completion of the necessary process under The Municipal Act, County Council shall be reduced by fifty (50) percent, from thirty-two (32) elected officials down to sixteen (16). Seven (7) Standing Committees shall also be reduced to three (3). (Corporate Services, Human Services and Performance Management and Strategic Planning.) While reducing the cost of government, these changes shall enhance Council's ability to focus its attention on the most strategic issues of the day." The savings to the ratepayers of Simcoe County are estimated at between 4 and 6 million. There is to be restructuring of administrative staff to reduce duplication. And there is to be an initial investment of $1.5 million in "upgrading its technology base, both in hardware and software."
In question period, Ian Ferguson (Bluewater Georgina Wendake) asked if the restructuring at the County level might include forced amalgamation between Tiny and its neighbouring municipalities. (South Simcoe municipalities have apparently been considering some form of amalgamation by way of staving off moves by Barrie to absorb them within its jurisdiction.) He suggested that it may be in the best interest of Tiny to form a standing committee to consider the implications of amalgamation so that we are not in the position of being blindsided once again by a restructuring proposal. Council saw no need for this.
PUBLIC MEETING RE OFFICIAL PLAN SEPTIC SYSTEM CLAUSE AFFECTING SHORE AREA: Ian Ferguson asked that the public meeting about the change to the Official Plan concerning shore area septic inspections be held in mid-June at the earliest to allow cottagers to become familiar with the issues. He also asked how the Council intended to notify the shore area community of the proposed meeting. He said that this proposal affects more than 5000 seasonal dwellings and might entail fees totalling as much as $3,000,000.
DEPUTATION to the Council of the Township of Tiny April 30, 2001
By Judith Grant
President, Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations
Limnologist, Thunder Beach
Re WATER TESTING PROJECT to Establish a Baseline Understanding of the Quality of Swimming Water Along the Shores of Tiny Township and in Farlain Lake
I would like to begin by introducing John Neil, who has been a cottager at Thunder Beach for most of his life, and who is an expert in the testing of fresh water. He was head of the Ministry of the Environment laboratory at highway 400 and 401 for 10 years, and his thinking lies behind the deputation I am about to make.
For some time, residents in the shore areas of Tiny Township have felt that the quality of water in the Bay has been deteriorating. There are unsubstantiated worries about the chemical run off from golf courses getting into our streams and thence into the Bay and other worries about farm chemicals and e. coli from manure likewise getting into creeks and into the Bay. There is concern about the effluent from culverts and ditches. There is concern about septics contaminating ground water. There are worries about concentrations of Canada geese and cormorants because of the e. coli in their droppings. It did not go unnoticed that there was an advisory against swimming at the Lafontaine Beach last summer.
Some citizen groups have been concerned enough to set up their own testing programs, or to involve themselves in testing programs organized by the Ministry of the Environment, or to search out such data as is available about the waters in their immediate area.
The Thunder Beach Association has had a water testing program in place for several years. The Farlain Lake Ratepayers Association tests its lake water weekly for clarity and for total phosphorus levels and forwards the results and samples to the Ministry of the Environment as part of the Lake Partner Program. And the Nottawaga Beach Association reviews the results of the testing done by the Simcoe County Health Unit at the 12th and 13th Concession ends.
The water that surrounds Tiny Township is one of the municipality's precious assets, as is that in Farlain Lake. Yet, specific information on bacterial quality--the level of e. coli -- has been gathered for only a few beaches. The Health Unit takes 5 or 6 samples at regular intervals at each of Woodland Beach, Ossossane [ie the road allowance at the end of the 8th Concession Road], Balm, the 12th and 13th Concession ends and Lafontaine Beach. Staff at Awenda Park samples the water in its four swimming areas and Camp Marygrove does sampling off its shore. We believe that it is important that a comprehensive evaluation of the shoreline and influent streams and of Farlain Lake should be conducted through one summer season to provide a clear understanding of the safety of the water along Tiny's whole shore and in Farlain Lake. Once thorough testing had been conducted through a full season, only random sampling, to pinpoint departures from the established pattern, would be necessary.
Judging by the Simcoe County Health Unit's test results for the last 10 years -- and the Health Unit tests only for e. coli -- such a program would provide much needed assurance that most areas have water of high quality most of the time. But it would also produce some disturbing results -- especially near creeks and ditches for a period after heavy rainfalls. Knowing when such spikes in the e. coli counts in swimming water occur -- knowing what triggers them and how long they last -- would certainly change people's swimming habits. And proper data should spur remedial action.
We feel that a number of groups should be partners in creating a base line understanding of the quality of swimming water in Tiny Township and in dealing with remedial action.
One essential partner is the Simcoe County Health Unit. It has practical experience with testing for e. coli in swimming areas and it has the authority to require remedial action if septics are involved. John Neil and I have met with Ted Devine of the Simcoe County Health Unit in Barrie and with Eric Watson of the Midland Health Unit, to discuss what assistance they might be able to give to a comprehensive monitoring program. They are willing to contribute in a number of important ways. They are willing to work with us to establish appropriate sites for sampling along the full length of the shore of Tiny. They are willing to train volunteers to do all the additional sampling. They are willing to test the six public beaches every week, rather than just every other week. They are going to investigate whether they could double the number of beaches they monitor to 12 or 14. And they think it possible that the analysis of the samples from these 12 or 14 beaches could be carried out by the government laboratory free of charge. They are also willing to write a report about what the sampling reveals.
Another partner should be the Township of Tiny. It would be helpful to have a letter of support sent to the Health Unit. A second way the Township could help would be in having Tiny's water department transport the water samples to the laboratory in Orillia once a week -- if that laboratory is chosen to do the analysis. A third kind of assistance would be financial, to cover the cost of the analysis of water samples.
Another partner in this testing program should be the people who live in the shore area. We have made preliminary inquiries and it looks very much as if there will be enough volunteers beach by beach willing to be trained by the Simcoe Health Unit in how to collect samples and willing to do so at regular intervals right through the summer.
A final partner in this testing program should be the Severn Sound Remedial Action Group. Its farm inventory will eventually serve as the basis for remedial action, farm by farm, of a sort that has already begun on the Severn Sound side of the township. Proper testing of e. coli levels in creek water will reveal where remediation is needed, and at a later stage would make it possible to grasp how effective such action is.
The cost of such thorough-going examination of the quality of Bay and Lake water in Tiny Township is not prohibitive, especially if volunteers do the sampling, if the Simcoe County Health Unit doubles the number of beach it monitors, if the Township makes some of its resources available, and if a good deal is struck with the laboratory which analyzes the samples. We ask that the Township underwrite the cost of analysis.
When you consider the feasibility of this project and your part in it, you'll be interested to know that such a bacteriological Study of Surface Water was undertaken with the help of volunteers in the Southeastern Area of Georgian Bay in 1999. The Township of the Archipelago also got involved in a longer term evaluation of water quality through three summer seasons - 1996, 1997 and 1998. I have brought copies of both reports for Council. This year the Kawartha Lakes Stewardship Program is undertaking a similar study. The Saturday just past was training day for volunteers.
President, Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations
Limnologist, Thunder Beach