Lions denied issuance of municipal tax receipts
Council received a delegation from members of the South East Manitoulin Lions Club and Doug Tracey, a soon-to-be member. Upon reviewing a letter penned by Mr. Tracey to council on behalf of the club, requesting that, with Summerfest almost upon us, Assiginack remit donation receipts for the Lions, CAO Alton Hobbs denied the request on behalf of council. Mr. Hobbs explained that on the advice of the Canada Revenue Agency, Assiginack would not give out receipts for the Lions, as the club has the ability to do so itself.
“No, they’re not incorporated,” Mr. Tracey replied. “Central Manitoulin does it for the Providence Bay/Spring Bay Lions.’
“I don’t care about any other municipality but this one,” Mr. Hobbs responded.
“You should,” Mr. Tracey countered.
“They don’t pay me, Assiginack does,” Mr. Hobbs said, noting that he chooses not to “screw around” with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission or the Canada Revenue Agency.
“I’m very disappointed; if another township can do it, Assiginack can do it,” an increasingly agitated Mr. Tracey said.
Councillor Leslie Fields asked to go on the record with a show of support for the CAO’s decision.
Summerfest deemed a community event
Council deemed the South East Manitoulin Lions Summerfest as an event of municipal significance. This allows the club to apply for its liquor licence.
Lions Club President Bill Smith asked council if public works staff could again assist in helping with setup. Mr. Hobbs said they would again help, the same as the year previous.
After months of debate regarding the new horse ring, it was also agreed upon that a portion of the boards of the ring would be removed to accommodate the smashup derby.
Canada 150 funding options
Council reviewed a memo from Jackie White, projects and events coordinator, regarding the FedNor Canada 150 birthday grant. Ms. White put forward four items for council’s consideration that the grant might be used for: finish up the far end of the arena; fix up the 25B Spragge St. office building for library upgrades; finish the waterfront; and bring Burns Wharf up to code.
Councillor Hugh Moggy said he would like to see more community involvement in the choosing of the project. “The only reason there is a Manitowaning is because of the waterfront and I would like to see Burns Wharf be one of (the top) three,” he said.
“Will we be asked to put in for the Norisle too?” asked Councillor Brenda Reid, referring to the capital campaign currently underway by the S.S. Norisle Steamship Society.
“We could be based on the meeting Friday,” Mr. Hobbs responded, notin council’s meeting with the Norisle group the week before.
Ms. White explained that the grant was geared toward renovations and improvements over new items.
“While I’d also like to see any one of these done, I’d also like to see the Norisle moved,” said Councillor Reid. “We’ll never have the waterfront we want unless we have the Norisle moved.”
“The Norisle is a liability to us and if this project doesn’t go through, it’ll be an awful big bill to get rid of it,” Councillor Moggy said.
“What happens if we use this and they don’t get the money and we’ve lost our funding opportunity?” Councillor Fields questioned.
“And they’re only 50 cent dollars so we have to think about what we’re going to take out of taxpayer dollars to see where they want to spend it,” Reeve Paul Moffat added. “Why not a public meeting?”
Mr. Hobbs also suggesting putting a poll on social media.
Council agreed to ‘sleep on it’ before making any decisions.
Council gave first and second reading to Bylaw 15-17 to authorize an agreement with Realterm Energy Corporation for the design, installation and transfer of LED streetlight fixtures.
Council also gave first and second reading to Bylaw 15-18 to accept a tender for the municipal office renovations at 164 Arthur Street. The tender was awarded to Windows Unlimited in the amount of $175,687 plus HST.
Accounts for payment
At its June 16 council meeting Assiginack council approved the following accounts for payment: general, $113,868.86; and payroll, $18,813.06.
Smoke-Free Ontario Act
Assiginack council reviewed a report from the clerk on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. A representative from the Sudbury and District Health Unit (SDHU, the enforcers of the Act) dropped off the required signage to be put up in the municipality, it was explained, as the Act now prohibits smoking in certain outdoor places. The signs are approximately two feet by one foot and are to be placed 20 metres from either playground equipment or sporting areas. Smaller ‘no smoking’ signs are to be placed on the equipment, bleachers or fences in the areas where smoking is now prohibited, the clerk writes.
In Assiginack, these signs will be seen at the arena fairgrounds (tennis courts, baseball diamonds, etc.) and at the waterfront (volleyball court, playground equipment, etc.). The SDHU will be back to ensure that the signs have been erected.
“I think there’s a lot of liability here, and I don’t know how we’re going to police it,” said Councillor Hugh Moggy. “Bylaw enforcement will have to police it, which is hard.”
“It will be up to the people running the events,” added Councillor Leslie Fields, reminding council about the “uproar” over the first round of anti-smoking laws in restaurants and bars and how it eventually just became the norm.
Recreation Activities Policy
Council also reviewed the new Recreation Activities Policy.
“The Township has been able to run more recreational activities in the community in the past year than we have in recent memory,” the report states. “These programs have been very popular and well received by the community/participants. From time to time there are limited spaces for certain programs. This leads to some disappointment and frustration once the programs are full.”
“Staff feels that it is necessary to have this policy adopted by council to ensure there are proper rules and regulations that apply to all recreational events provided by the Township. By having this policy in writing, it ensures a fair process for individuals and families. This policy, once adopted, shall be applied to the summer recreation program as well as all other recreational activities provided by the Township.”
“It’s a good program,” Councillor Fields said of the recreation program.
“I hear nothing but good,” added Councillor Brenda Reid.
Accounts for payment
Council moved to authorize staff to pay the amounts of $155,732.52, general, and $21,638.41, payroll.
Support for Sea Cadets
Council passed a motion to donate $100 to the Manitoulin Navy League for Manitoulin Sea Cadet Corps support.
“It’s a good program, and the kids have certainly benefited from it,” said Councillor Fields.
Application for consent
Council received an application for consent from the Manitoulin Planning Board regarding Lot 6, Part Lot 7 and Lot 8, Concession IV in the Hamlet of Bidwell for the creation of two lots.
Council said it had no concerns with the application and directed staff to give the planning board its consent.
Office renovations tender accepted
Council reviewed the tenders received for the municipal office renovations, approving Windows Unlimited in the amount of $175,687. Other tenders received are as follows: Propseri Co. Ltd., $327,424; Krew Contracting Inc., $392,944.64; and First General Services, $215,113.28.
Staff and the consultant were instructed to negotiate potential cost savings and report back to council.
Council was advised that Windows Unlimited has expressed that it will be using local support contractors and building supply companies and is confident of a Thanksgiving completion date.
On the topic of the office renovations, council received a letter from Manitowaning resident Sheila Keys-Bobo expressing her concern on the change of location.
“I am very disappointed to hear of plans to move municipal government offices out of their home on Spragge Street,” she writes. “I believe this move is disrespectful to former local government (officials) and taxpayers. We all worked very hard to save and acquire funding to build a permanent home for municipal government.”
“You are located in a building that you can be very proud to invite anyone, officials/dignitaries to visit,” she continues. “We were very proud and happy for our community to have this privilege. Please don’t take this away from us. There is also lots of good, safe parking at this site (Spragge St.).”