MPB offers NEMI $20,000 cut of reserves

GORE BAY—In an effort to resolve the issue of reimbursement of reserve funds, the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) has passed a motion to offer the town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands $20,000 out of its reserve account.

At an in-camera session as part of their regular September 26 meeting, the MPB members passed a motion, moved by Lee Hayden and seconded by Richard Stephens, “that in the interests of both the Manitoulin Planning Board and the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, and to resolve the issue of the reimbursement of reserve funds, that legal counsels discuss $20,000 be paid to NEMI.”

Ken Noland chair of the MPB confirmed on Monday that the Planning Board members decided, “to offer NEMI $20,000 (from reserve funds).” He noted that the issue of reserves is currently in the lawyers’ hands for the MPB and NEMI.

At the in-camera meeting last week, the board reviewed the executive committee in-camera session of July 31 and the minutes of the in camera session of August 22. Both sets of minutes were adopted and carried by the MPB.

The MPB remained open at its March meeting to reconsideration of the request by NEMI for 33 percent of the reserves accumulated since November 2016, but NEMI at that point still requested 33 percent of the MPB reserves. MBP did propose providing NEMI support and maintenance of their mapping and that a  donation of some sort be made to assist NEMI with their planning could be considered.

A previous motion, from November 29, 2016 was put forth and moved by Paul Moffatt and seconded by Doug Head that the reserves of the MPB will remain property of the board being a body corporate under the Planning Act. This motion was carried unanimously by the board at their March meeting.

Then at a MPB meeting in April, a motion was put forward by Richard Stephens and seconded by Ian Anderson that with the town of NEMI having withdrawn from the MPB, and having been granted its own planning authority by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and NEMI requesting funding from the MPB to assist in the set up and operation of its own planning authority, that a donation of $15,000 be made to NEMI. That motion was defeated.

NEMI Mayor Al MacNiven told the Recorder on Monday, “there might be rumblings and rumours, but they can’t be talked about. We are going through the legal channels. This issue is still with the lawyers.”