CAO Alton Hobbs told council that the municipality is invited to a conference call in the near future with members of the SS Norisle Steamship Society and the provincial Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Coteau. However, he continued, “it occurred to me that I really wouldn’t know what to tell him.”
Council again discussed the pros and cons of the SS Norisle Steamship Society’s $18 million plan to refit the Norisle and see her once again sail Great Lakes waters.
Council raised the concern of the fact that both parties (the municipality and the Norisle buffs) would each be applying for the same pot of government funds for their respective projects.
“Nothing against them (the Steamship Society), but what if they can’t reach that goal?” one councillor asked.
Mr. Hobbs asked council to permit staff to seek out a maritime solicitor for advice, noting that there are only a handful of municipalities in the province facing a similar problem, one of them being Sault Ste. Marie, whose port hosts the Norisle’s sister ship the Norgoma. (It is going to cost the Soo $300,000 to scrap the old ferry.)
“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” he added.
Councillor Hugh Moggy said the municipality should give up some of its grants to help the group as the alternative is facing a hefty price tag, not unlike the Soo.
“It’s not their problem (the Steamship Society), it’s our problem,” added Councillor Brenda Reid. “I’d love to go after these grants, but we have this big albatross around our neck that we’ve got to get rid of.”
Mayor Paul Moffat said he’s scared the Steamship Society will get government funds that will go into the refit pot, but that their $18 million goal is never reached.
Council gave Mr. Hobbs the go-ahead to seek a maritime lawyer and to participate in the teleconference, saying that Assiginack supports the project so long as it doesn’t cost taxpayers.
Accounts for payment
Council passed a motion to approve the signing of cheques in the amount of $169,776.90, general, and $26,364.89, payroll.
Financial statements reviewed
Council reviewed a copy of the financial statements as of June 30 as provided by treasurer Deb MacDonald.
Councillor Hugh Moggy noted that 65 percent of the recreation and culture budget has been spent. Councillor Les Fields added that thanks, to the recreation and culture program, money comes into the municipality.
The departments were all in line for spending.
Michael’s Bay Road tenders
Assiginack received four tenders for Tender No. 2015-03 to reconstruct a portion of Michael’s Bay Road in Manitowaning: R.M. Belanger Ltd, $95,937; C. Pearson and Son Excavation and Haulage Ltd., $21,131; TAC Contracting, $37,119.37; and Mike Varey and Sons Excavating, $27,084.97.
Calvin Pearson and Sons was chosen as the winning tender.
The 2015 Manitoulin Tourism Association’s (MTA) 25-day Little Current Welcome Centre statistics report was included in the August 4 agenda package.
From June 29 to July 23, 2,877 visitors passed through the Welcome Centre doors with the average number of visitors per day at 115. Most of those visitors came from Canada followed by the United States and Europe, Africa and Australia. The majority of those visitors were choosing to stay in a cottage or cabin followed by trailer park, hotel/motel and bed and breakfast.
Council passed Bylaw 15-22 to authorize the CAO to sign a master service agreement with Paymentus Corporation. This will allow for taxpayers to now have the option to pay their taxes online.
Museum turns 60
Councillor Moggy told council that this is the 60th anniversary of the Assiginack Museum and the committee is working on a celebration date. Cake and refreshments will be served and there will be music too!