Central Manitoulin Council Notes March 5

Landfill monitoring wells

Council passed a motion on a recommendation of the Public Works committee that monitoring wells be drilled at the Spring Bay landfill site up to a cost of $27,000, if necessary.

“The township has been committed to bringing our landfill sites up to standard and to prepare them for closure, when that becomes necessary,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. Councillor McDonald noted that, depending on what data was found by the monitoring wells, the municipality may need to move to close the Spring Bay site.

Councillor Derek Stephens questioned whether the municipality could use a previously prepared provincial report to supply the necessary information, but CAO Ruth Frawley explained that the data from that report would no longer be valid for regulatory purposes.

A further motion to institute the same type of monitoring program at the Mindemoya landfill site be established was passed by council. Monitoring has been done at that site, explained Councillor McDonald, but the Ministry of the Environment wants new monitoring to take place at that site as well.

The council passed a motion to enter into conversations with landowners adjacent to the landfill sites and on Carnarvon Concession 2, Lot 27.


Marina parking lot removed from landfill expansion report

Council passed a motion to remove all references to the Providence Bay marina parking lot property as a potential future expansion site for landfill operations from the Cambium Report operational report and application. “This is a sensitive piece of property,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. “There is no need for us to use this property. In the spirit of community support it was felt that we should just let it go.”

Councillor Derek Stephens noted that removing the parking lot property from the plan could unnecessarily tie the hands of future councils. “It really doesn’t mean anything,” he said, suggesting that future councils could undo the removal from the plan and noting that the present council was elected in part to deal with the issues surrounding future landfill needs. “We need to look at waste management and not tie the hands of future councils,” he said.

Mayor Gerry Strong said that he disagreed with any suggestion that removing the property from the plan would tie the hands of future councils.

Councillor Stephens rejoined that the removal would mean that future councils would have to wait for a change to be made to the landfill’s certificate of approval. “That could take years,” he said.

At the vote council was divided on the issue, Mayor Strong voted in favour of the motion to break the tie.


Tallman Drain maintenance tenders sought

Council passed a motion unanimously to seek tenders for maintenance work to be performed on the Tallman Drain.


Negative impact of new OPP billing model

Council passed a motion expressing its concerns over the potential negative impacts of the new billing model for OPP services. “There has been a lot of discussion on this across the Island,” noted Councillor Adam McDonald.

Mayor Gerry Strong noted that a number of motions have gone forward from municipal groups requesting that the province take back responsibility for policing communities with populations less than 5,000, noting that he and the CAO had prepared a motion of support for that position for council to consider.

“Policing is costing us a bundle of money,” said Councillor Derek Stephens. “They need to re-look at it.”

“Policing should be looked at by the province,” agreed Mayor Strong. “Paying for each piece of property you own just doesn’t seem right to me.”

“And no distinction between seasonal and year-round residents,” added Councillor Stephens.


Housekeeping motion on roads standards passed

Council passed a housekeeping motion on setting standards for newly constructed roads and streets. “This came up in committee, but we had not taken action on it,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. “This is more of a housekeeping issue, the standards pretty much run the same.”

“A lot of people wanted to look at the bylaw recently,” said Mr. Stephens. “We did not really know what it was.” With the passage of the standards bylaw any confusion or ambiguity over standards would be clarified.


Request sent to MTO to sign and paint intersection, again

Council passed a motion to send a request to the Ministry of Transportation to place signs and paint the intersection of Highway 542 and Highway 551 as per provincial regulations.

“There seems to be some misunderstanding between the MTO and the municipality,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. “At the end of the day, the municipality feels the intersection should be properly in place and properly signed in the interests of public safety.”

“They come to us asking for our recommendations and then they don’t listen to us,” said Councillor Derek Stephens. “Now the MTO suggested this to us and they still are not doing it.”

“They came back and said that we didn’t want it,” said Mayor Gerry Strong, shaking his head in disbelief. “Why did they ask us for our input and then send us a letter saying ‘no, we can’t do that’? This is a safety issue, there are school buses that operate there.”


Guard rails along Highway 542 a hazard

Council expressed concern that the new guardrails installed on Highway 542 along Lake Mindemoya create a hazard during the winter months, passing a motion requesting that the Ministry of Transportation change the style of guardrails in place at that location to help improve the winter road conditions.

“We have had a lot of discussion on this,” said Councillor Adam McDonald. “There have been numerous road closures along that section of highway this winter. There have been motorists stranded where rescuers have had to use a rope to make sure people were able to cross safely. It is frustrating the MTO has not worked with us to make sure this road is safe.”

“Yes, it is important that somebody does something before someone dies,” said Councillor Ted Taylor.

“Adam (Councillor McDonald) and I sat in a meeting with them and they just looked at us,” said Councillor Derek Stephens.

“I took (Algoma-Manitoulin MPP) Mike Mantha down to have a look,” said Mayor Gerry Strong. “The new road is lower than the old road. The problem is poor design and regulations that there have to be guard rails that close to the lake, but it doesn’t work.”


Drain appeal withdrawn

Council passed a motion that the mayor and CAO meet with the owner of property roll #1-33600 and 1-33700 regarding the net assessment on Schedule C of the Amended Mindemoya Drain.

Council was informed that the meeting had taken place and that the municipality and the property owner had come to an agreement and as a result the property owner’s appeal of the drain had been withdrawn.


Council authorizes Mindemoya Drain to proceed

Council passed a motion to proceed with the Mindemoya Drain with many councillors expressing relief that the process is finally moving forward. “This has been a four-year process for us,” said Mayor Gerry Strong. “We have spent a lot of money on engineering.”

Councillor Derek Stephens called for a recorded vote on the approval of the Mindemoya Drain going forward. “It isn’t that I have a problem with the drain going forward,” he said. “I just want it to be very clear that council fully supports this project.” All councillors present voted for the motion, as did the mayor. Councillor Beverly Cannard Pearson was not present at the February 13 council meeting.