A nod to agricultural roots
Councillor Hugh Moggy made note to his fellow members of council that in the lead up to Manitowaning Agricultural Society’s 140th fall fair, two trees were planted at the Agriculture Society’s stone gates at the fairgrounds to honour the municipality’s past farmers.
Community Policing review
Following a review of the Community Policing Advisory Committee (CPAC) minutes, Councillor Leslie Fields asked Councillor Moggy, who represents Assiginack on the committee, about the Espanola detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and whether or not Manitoulin will welcome it under its umbrella. Councillor Moggy replied that Staff Sergeant Webb said that it would at least be a year.
Councillor Fields also asked about the digital speed sign on Cardwell Street, which Assiginack had requested be posted there some time ago.
There was much discussion on the topic of needed repairs to the Assiginack grader, which is currently out of commission. The estimated cost of repairs is $60,000.
When asked if that amount will add years on to its life, roads superintendent Ron Cooper replied that no, it would just put them back at square one. He also noted that Assiginack operators put approximately 500 hours on the grader each year. The municipality is currently renting a grader and using it as minimally as possible to keep costs down.
Before spending the $60,000 on repairs, it was decided to have staff look at all options, including prices for year-long rental or inter-municipality rental, for the following meeting.
Following a delegation from the Burns Wharf Theatre Players, asking that Assiginack consider making a Canada 150 Fund grant application on its behalf to see the Burns Wharf Theatre restored up to code, council discussed the pros and cons of the application.
As the fund is a 50 percent, ‘non-stackable’ fund (meaning they cannot apply other grants toward it, just the municipality’s own money), the 50 percent share of the Burns Wharf project would come in at $300,000.
“If we apply to Canada 150 and get 50 percent, let’s face it, we won’t be paying for it,” Mayor Paul Moffatt said. “This municipality can’t afford it.”
Councillor Fields suggested using the Canada 150 Fund to apply for acoustic tiles for the arena.
CAO Alton Hobbs explained that as the community survey looking for suggestions for Canada 150 Fund applications did not include acoustic tiles, it probably isn’t a good idea, with Councillor Fields agreeing.
Councillor Brenda Reid said she doubted the municipality could afford to apply for anything.
“It’s like buying something on sale when you don’t really need it,” Councillor Fields added.
“We don’t have the money, we can’t bolster $300,000,” the mayor said, referring to the Burns Wharf restoration. “We’re still paying for the arena, fire truck, snowplow.”
Council decided not to apply for the Canada 150 Fund application.
Council authorized the following accounts for payment: general, $216,782.61; payroll, $49,807.66.
Council passed Bylaw 16-11 to exit the tax capping program for the commercial, industrial and multi-residential property classes for the year 2016 and for subsequent taxation years.
The council also passed Bylaw 16-12 regarding remuneration and expenses for members of council.
Mr. Hobbs explained that there is no change to the remuneration, it is simply a ‘dumbed down’ version of the bylaw for the benefit of the government.
The mayor still receives a flat rate of $750 per month with council members receiving $450 a month.