High tech library
The councillors discussed the many high-tech additions that are now housed within the Assiginack Public Library that will soon be available to the public, including virtual reality, a green screen and much more.
All greased up
Council reviewed a report from Public Works Superintendent Ron Cooper regarding the automatic greaser purchase for the municipal grader. He explained that the pricey greaser injects a small amount of grease every hour while the vehicle is in operation.
“It’s a good thing,” Mr. Cooper explained.
The total bill to fix the aging grader came in at just above $52,000 still cheaper than purchasing a new one, it was noted.
Manitowaning lagoon report
Council reviewed the Manitowaning lagoon preliminary engineering study report which found the lagoon in need of two new master aerators to replace the nine mechanical aerators currently in place. The two aerators come at a cost of $120,000 with an estimated annual energy savings of 121 MWh and an estimated simple payback of four years, saving $14,400 each year in energy costs.
“It will be a nightmare, but we really have to do it because of the savings that will be realized,” said CAO Alton Hobbs.
Mr. Hobbs explained that the report was funded, but the project wouldn’t be.
Councillor Hugh Moggy asked if it would be billed back to the users. Yes, Mr. Hobbs replied, adding that these costs would ultimately impact taxpayers positively through the savings in operating the facility back to them through savings.
“You’ve got to spend money to get money,” Councillor Moggy added.
Councillor Fields noted its cost effectiveness in terms of maintenance as well as in hydro savings.
Council approved the following accounts for payment: $344,726.49, general; $36,996.04, payroll.
Budget donation line items
Council reviewed a letter from Fixing our Felines for a $200 donation from the 2017 budget.
Councillor Leslie Fields noted the decrease in the number of stray cats in Manitowaning. “I give them credit for that,” she said.
Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA) also requested its annual donation for the June ‘Passage Ride’ event.
Water Committee struck
Council approved a Water Committee comprised of Councillor Fields, community rep Phil Blake, Clerk Jeremy Rody and CAO Alton Hobbs. The Water Committee will determine whether a call for proposals or negotiation with OCWA for the next five years should be undertaken; if it’s a call for proposals, develop the terms and oversee the process, including interviewing prospective companies; develop mechanisms within the next contract that require the operating authority to investigate and report on possible cost savings or discrepancies between Assiginack and similar plant operations in other communities; meet semi-annually with the operating authority to review operations; and report regularly to council.
Council reviewed a letter from the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association noting that postal banking was left out of government discussions recently and expressing their concern and calling for the resurrection of postal banking.
“If they go that route, how many small towns will lose a bank because of this?” one councillor asked.
Reeve Paul Moffatt said he didn’t think this was something that should be encouraged.
Council passed Bylaw 17-03 to authorize an agreement with Xplornet Communications Inc. for the lease of property owned by the Township.
Council also passed Bylaw 17-04 to authorize a memorandum of understanding between the Township and Chief Building Official Gerry Strong.
Bylaw 17-05, being a bylaw to authorize a recyclables acceptance agreement with the City of Greater Sudbury, was passed as was Bylaw 17-06, a bylaw to authorize an agreement with the Manitowaning Agricultural Society.