REPORT ON COUNCIL
June 9, 2003
Committee of the Whole 9:08 am - 5:39 pm
Evening Meeting 7:07 pm 10:03 pm
All members of Council present.
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 3:51 pm 5:37 pm
BEACH SIGNAGE: Council discussed two versions of proposed signs to be placed at concession ends and in municipal beach parks, signs which included little diagrams of permitted and forbidden uses. The agreed upon wording, under the Township crest, is to read Welcome to the Township of Tiny. Please enjoy our municipal beaches. Underneath are 5 circles, 4 forbidding motorized vehicles, open fires, littering, and camping, and 1 permitting dogs on leashes and referring to the stoop and scoop by-law. There is no indication of the extent of the municipally owned beach.
In the agenda was a memorandum from Councillor Frank Hughes about the proposed signage (click here for the memo) that pointed out the failure of the proposed signs to distinguish between private and public property.
Signs recently installed by the Township at the 12th and 13th Concession ends are a possible solution. The one at the 12th shows the municipally owned 66' road allowance in green, with the private beaches on each side in white. The one at the 13th shows the 66' road allowance in green, the private beach to the south in white, and the municipally owned beach to the north in green. The legend at the bottom reads: Township-owned beach areas are marked in green. These would make the ownership situation quite clear, and would do so in non-inflammatory way.
WATER COSTS: Water rates are to remain at $600 ($200 for capital costs, $400 for operating costs) for the 3,000 or so households on municipal water systems in Tiny Township. However, in future years this not be enough to cover costs. To meet the requirements of the new Safe Drinking Water Act, the Water Department needs (and was given permission to hire) three additional employees two Operators and a Clerk/Operator -- at a cost of $84,207 for the balance of this year. There are also new equipment requirements (increasing capital expenditures to $3.44 million), which will probably be covered by an OSTAR grant.
PURCHASE OF HALF A BRIDGE: It was decided to purchase Penetanguishenes half of the bridge on the Tiny Trail between Tiny and Penetanguishene. Full ownership was required if bridge repairs were to qualify for SuperBuild funds. The purchase price was $1. No consideration was given to the fact that a third of the costs for such repairs come not from other levels of government, but from Tinys Parkland Reserve Fund. Penetanguishene participates in the TransCanada Trail. Why was no effort made to recover from Penetang its share of the costs that Tiny will bear for these repairs?
FLOOD HAZARD LIMIT STATUS: Last September, after Council finally recognized the importance of the Provincial Flood Hazard setback for shoreline property owners and for the Township's tax base, a letter was written to the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jerry J. Ouellette. Nothing was done by staff or by Council for FIVE months. On February 10, Jack Ellis, a long-time cottager, asked in question time what progress had been made on the issue, and an inquiry was finally made on February 27, 2003. Only then was it discovered that the original letter had not been received!
Several possible actions were discussed (and we hope that they will be undertaken, but our confidence has been shaken): namely, a phone call to Simcoe County to see what is happening vis-à-vis the Countys Shoreline Policy, which will govern Tinys policy; an inquiry to see whether The Nottawasaga Conservation Authority might act as an authority on setbacks in Tiny. There seems to be no thought of engaging in vigorous lobbying of the provincial government.
TINY TRAIL USES: Pedestrians, cyclists, snowmobilers (with a permit from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs), equestrians, and ATV users (with a permit from the Township) are all to be permitted on the Trail (but not dirt bikers). ATV users may use the Trail only after snowmobile season is over and only until grooming begins for the next winter season. In addition they must give way to non-motorized users, keep to the right, respect neighbouring properties, avoid excessive noise, obey signage, and keep off the Trail whenever the ground is so soft that ATVs leave ruts.
DEPUTATION RE PAVING OF WOODLAND BEACH PARK: Elaine Stevenson, a permanent resident of Woodland Beach, pointed out that the Official Plan of Tiny Township calls for Master Plans at the major shoreline parks before changes are made and that such a Plan has not been created for Woodland Beach Park. She argued that the changes already ongoing in the Park resurfacing, painting of parking lines should not be undertaken until a master plan had been prepared in consultation with area residents.
JACKSON PARK: The Jackson Park Master Plan calls for 22 parking spots for trailers and cars, and 16 for cars. The parking plan presented by Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, showed 21 spots for cars and trailers and 49 for cars. In discussion, the numbers were reduced to 21 cars and trailers, and 32 cars. The result is that the park becomes a parking lot, with surface treatment (tar and chip) and lines demarking parking spots.
SMOKING BYLAW PASSED AT LAST! Thirteen of the 18 municipalities in Simcoe County passed No Smoking Bylaws before Tiny finally got around to acting on this important health issue. The four members of Council who have been dragging their feet (Councillor Hughes being the honourable exception) finally felt they could move once Midland had passed a No Smoking Bylaw. Tinys By-Law takes effect on September 1, and it is comprehensive, prohibiting smoking in all public places and work places in the Township. It excludes only a) any part of a work place that is used as a private dwelling unit and b) outdoor patios.
The Simcoe County District Health Unit will deal with enforcement through an education blitz prior to the By-Law coming into effect, through inspections, follow-up on complaints, and the like.
Memorandum from Councillor Frank Hughes, May 29, 2003
Re Draft Suggestions for Beach Signs
The concept of the red circles with a line drawn through the wording is a good one.
However, there are problems with both samples.
Eight Circle Sign
On the sample with eight circles, one circle reads Swimmer, second reads Walker, Hiker the third reads Sunbather as permitted uses. There is no indication whatsoever that these are permitted uses only on Municipally owned beach properties.
Under the legal cease-fire which the Mediator has proposed, privately owned waterfront property owners are being asked to agree to allow non-owners to traverse or walk along their waterfront property as a first step in helping to reach a solution to the matter of beach access.
The sample with eight circles is an invitation to the public to use beach property, both pubic and private, to walk and to stay there to sunbathe and swim. This does not reflect the realities of beach ownership and is not acceptable.
Five Circle Sign
The appearance of the sign with five circles is more appealing to the eye.
For the circle in the middle may I suggest that Dog on Leash without a line through it, and the Poop and Scoop By-law below it may indicate the intention of the sign more accurately.
However, the wording on the sign is misleading. Welcome to the Township of Tiny. Please enjoy our beautiful beaches and help keep them clean is an invitation to the public to use all the beachfront property in Tiny regardless of whether it is privately or municipally owned. This draft wording has to be changed to indicate the municipal beaches which the public may use and enjoy.
Im sure that the wording in the draft signs were not intended to indicate my interpretation, but it seems to me that this is the way the public would interpret them.
I agree that this matter should be discussed at the next Committee of the Whole meeting on June 9th.