At the April 5 meeting of council, Councillor Brenda Reid asked staff to look into having tablets for council members and cell phones for the public works crew and to investigate the merits of cell phones over radios.
Councillor Hugh Moggy noted that the Hughson Cemetery sign had fallen down and said that, as a member of the multi-municipality Cemetery Board, he was going to soon call a meeting.
Library renos nearing completion
Councillor Reid noted that the new part of the library is complete “and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s lot of room and it looks very professional.”
Red Lodge Road
Following a review of the Manitoulin Planning Board minutes dated March 30 and a letter from the Northeast Town responding to a concern made by Assiginack in regards to the McLay Subdivision and the potential for wear and tear on Red Lodge Road in its current state, council expressed its disappointment.
“I’ve been in many conversations with NEMI councillors and they’re not willing to move on Red Lodge Road,” Mayor Paul Moffatt said.
Maintenance for Red Lodge Road is shared jointly between the Northeast Town and Assiginack. For years, residents have asked both municipalities to consider hard topping the road, with Assiginack agreeing to pay its share but with the Northeast Town saying no, as it is not high on its list of priority roads. Assiginack felt this was a good time to act, with the amount of construction traffic that will soon be on Red Lodge Road with the development of the new subdivision.
“I was disappointed,” he added.
“Well, we can just keep pushing every chance we get,” Councillor Reid added.
“There’s no point in investing in that road at this point in time,” Councillor Leslie Fields said.
“We’ve done our part and made our point—there’s no point in going any further with it,” the mayor concluded.
Drain maintenance plan
Council reviewed the Municipal Drain Maintenance Program 2016.
CAO Alton Hobbs explained that it would be a policy going forward to perform maintenance on one drain per year while doing engineering on the next year’s drain. “Each year we would address one of our drains and prepare for a future project.”
None of the drains will require a major rebuild.
Reduced marina services
Council also reviewed the Bay Street Marina Reduced Services 2016 Season Proposal.
“The Township has reviewed the costs of operating the marina in Manitowaning for 2014 and 2015,” the report states. “We determined that the net costs of operating the marina were in the range of $45,000 per year.”
By reducing staff, gas bar and pump out hours to two hours a day, the municipality hopes to save $25,000 per year.
“If we accept it, does this mean we’re doing it?” Councillor Reid asked.
“Yes,” Mr. Hobbs responded. “That will give us time to contact the seasonals.”
‘I’d hate to see it closed down—that would be the end of it,” said Councillor Moggy.
“We’re not closing it down, we’re just not going to staff it 10 hours a day,” Mr. Hobbs responded. “It ends up costing us $45,000 a year.”
Councillor Moggy said there are lots of other things the summer students could be doing such as cutting grass or keeping the hill clean. Councillor Fields countered that they do that already.
“But it could look so much better,” Councillor Moggy said.
Clerk Jeremy Rody noted that the three-week student hired to run the Manitowaning weigh station for the Salmon Classic will also be trained in gas and pump outs.
“Will the washrooms be open?” Councillor Moggy asked. Mr. Hobbs answered in the affirmative. “Well, that’s more work too,” the councillor said.
“Well let’s try it for a year, we can always turn it back,” Councillor Reid said.
Council accepted the report.
Accounts for payment
Council approved the payment of $42,232,87, general; and $16,994.96, payroll.
MTA Sustainable Tourism
Councillor Brenda Reid will be the Assiginack representative on the Manitoulin Tourism Association’s Island-wide Tourism Steering Committee for its Sustainable Tourism Management Plan.
March 15 Arena happenings
Councillor Leslie Fields spoke of the successful March break events at the Manitowaning Arena. CAO Alton Hobbs noted that the ice would be out of the arena by the end of this week.
Library goings on
Councillor Fields spoke of the library renovations moving right along with new carpet being laid last week.
Councillor Hugh Moggy spoke of the Senior Community Grant and using it for a project to glean community history from Assiginack seniors. Councillor Fields explained that there has been some discussion on revamping the veterans wall located at the library with anecdotes about each of the vets. This, she said, could also be done using the government grant.
Assiginack council noted the short meeting of the Manitoulin East Municipal Airport Commission March meeting. It was asked of Mayor Paul Moffatt if the meeting was indeed 10 minutes. He responded that it might have been 12 minutes.
Mayor Moffatt commented on Northeast Town taxpayers having to pay their officials (three of them) to attend the meeting, with agreement from around the table.
“Well here they don’t have to worry about that,” the mayor chuckled.
Accounts for payment
Council approved the following accounts for payment: general, $131,153.87; and payroll, $17,407.39.
Councillor Fields commented that the hydro costs of the lagoon show that the municipality needs to take a look at the operation of the plants.
Council opposes Northeast Town’s wish to leave
Council carried a resolution stating that: “Council supports the Manitoulin Planning Board’s position of May 26, 2015 in opposition of the request for the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands to form their own planning authority and withdraw from the Manitoulin Planning Board.”
“I’d be quite concerned if they do pull out because of the costs to the municipality,” said Councillor Hugh Moggy. “I think we should all work as one.”
“We need the strength of all communities and all organizations and I see that becoming more and more important,” Councillor Fields added. Councillor Brenda Reid and Mayor Moffatt agreed.
Support for Me to We volunteer trip
Council passed a resolution to donate $100 to Ashley Quackenbush for her Me to We volunteer trip to Tanzania this coming May. During the trip, Ashley will be volunteering on a development project alongside the local community members by helping to dig water wells, build a foundation for a school, planting crops and much more.
“It’s wonderful that we have kids from this community doing this kind of thing,” said Councillor Reid.