Council applies for Official Plan amendment
The Northeast Town council carried a motion to apply to amend the Manitoulin Official Plan (OP), secondary plan for the town of Little Current, to change the zoning on a lot of town property along Highway 6 from industrial to commercial.
Northeast Town CAO Dave Williamson explained that the municipality had received correspondence from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding the potential zoning change, requesting that the town complete and submit a species at risk assessment.
Council directed staff to compete the assessment.
Following the council meeting, The Expositor inquired as to the reason behind the zoning change.
“I can’t talk details,” said Mayor Al MacNevin. “We have had a lot of interest from commercial companies in the past who would like to purchase the property, but it would be subject to it being zoned commercial.”
Northeast Town Fire Department Chief Darren Bailey presented the May department report to council.
He noted that there was a bush fire on April 30 on Indian Mountain Road and an apartment fire on May 1 on Vankoughnet Street.
He added that there had been 30 calls for service to date this year and that one member of the department is attending a course May 23 in Gore Bay.
Community services and public works reports
Reid Taylor delivered the community services report. In terms of the recreation centre, he said that the rooms were being well used by user groups, staff were busy completing maintenance tasks and preparing for the Trade Fair and upcoming summer events.
“Spider Bay opened for business on May 15 and the downtown docks are being installed and to be finished shortly,” said Mr. Taylor. “Town soccer started on May 20. The pubic washrooms are open at the Market Garden Pavilion and all other washrooms are to be opened over the next couple of weeks.”
Mr. Taylor added that the parks are being checked and cleaned regularly and that trees and shrubs have been planted for the season.
Also, the museum opened on May 4 and staff are prepping the facilities for summer programming and visitors.
Public works manager Gary May told council that road maintenance is being done and that culverts are being replaced where needed.
“Load restriction is still in force and tenders are out for gravel and roadside grass cutting,” continued Mr. May. “The Ministry of Environment is inspecting the landfill this week at the Highway 6 site and the Highway 540 site and Sunday landfill openings have started from 2 to 6 pm.”
He also noted that the town equipment is working well and that tenders are out for replacing the dozer.
Building controls and bylaw report
Mitch Varey reviewed the building controls and bylaw report with council.
“Open permits are being kept up with and inspections are taking place when called for,” said Mr. Varey. “We currently have 16 permits out in 2015 with a total value of $508,648.”
“There are no pressing issues in bylaw enforcement,” continued Mr. Varey, “however parking is still being monitored regularly and any complaints are being followed up on.”
Town treasurer Sheryl Wilkin presented the April accounts receivable reports for taxes and water/sewer.
There were $605,115.41 made in payments in April for taxes and $120,257.34 for water/sewer.
“There are currently 29 water accounts over $500, of which eight have been disconnected and 21 are due to recent billing on April 30,” said Ms. Wilkin.
Aundeck Omni Kaning Addition to Reserves
Council reviewed a letter from Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation informing council that it is moving forward with the Addition to Reserves process and would like to meet with council again in the near future to begin consultation.
Council accepts planning board requisition
The Northeast Town council discussed correspondence from the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) regarding the final requisition for funding for 2015.
“The requisitions to the municipalities remain unchanged from 2014,” reads the letter from MPB secretary-treasurer Elva Carter. “Thank you for your interim payment of $19,511, leaving a balance of $19,594.80.”
Council carried a motion to accept the requisition.
Council donates to Bluegrass in the Country
“I recommend we donate the gold sponsorship, $100, to Bluegrass in the Country,” said Councillor Michael Erskine in response to a donation request from the festival. “It is the main fundraising event for the Manitoulin Special Olympics and a great event.”
Council carried a motion to donate $100 to the event.
Yacht club on its own for North Channel race dockage
A motion to donate the dockage for the night of July 24 for the boats of the Little Current Yacht Club’s (LCYC) North Channel Regatta was defeated.
The LCYC requested that the Northeast Town donate dockage for 25 boats that will be participating and the use of the west pavilion.
Councillor Paul Skippen asked town staff what the cost of the dockage would be.
“The dockage would be $1,575 and the rental of the pavilion is $50,” responded Mr. Williamson.
“July 24 is peak season,” said Councillor Laurie Cook. “That is a lot of money to donate to a yacht club.”
“Maybe we could reduce that number if racers who already had their own slip parked at their slip instead of docking with the rest of the racing boats?” suggested Councillor Bill Koehler.
“I am in favour of this donation,” said Councillor Michael Erskine. “It really helps build and promote our port and it is a positive event for our community.”
“Just to clarify,” said Mayor MacNevin, “the LCYC runs the learn to sail program and this race and its predecessor the MacMan Challenge fundraised to help the club deliver the program. The race also gets us advertised in national magazines and promotes our community. If they aren’t able to fundraise from events like the North Channel Regatta, than the learn to sail program will disappear like it did last year.”
In a recorded vote, Councillors Micheal Erskine, Marcel Gauthier, Bill Koehler and Mayor MacNevin voted in favour of the dockage and pavilion donation, while Councillors Laurie Cook, Paul Skippen, Bruce Wood and Melissa Peters voted against the motion. The motion was tied and therefore defeated.
Mackenzie’s Run and Walk for CHEO receives $200 donation
Jillian Peltier wrote a letter to council asking for a $200 donation for Mackenzie’s Run and Walk for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).
“The event was such a success that we are planning to run it again this summer,” said Ms. Peltier in her letter to council. “Last year our event raised $4,431 which was donated to the CHEO Project Stitch, a $5 million project to fund the building of two new minor procedure rooms.”
Council carried a motion to donate $200 to the event and the use of Low Island Park on Saturday, July 18.
BIA to hold fundraising yard sale
The Northeast Town council granted permission to the Little Current Business Improvement Area to use The Expositor Square on Saturday, May 30 for a yard sale to raise money for Canada Day activities. Downtown merchants will also be having a sidewalk sale outside their stores on May 30.
Haweater deemed event of municipal significance
Council carried a motion to deem Haweater Weekend 2015 an “event of municipal significance.”
Council also donated the use of the recreation centre ice surface ($720) on Tuesday, July 28 to hold a prize bingo event as part of Haweater Weekend.