Town treasurer Sheryl Wilkin reviewed the accounts receivable for taxes and water/sewer with council. For taxes, Ms. Wilkin reported that there were $1,267,817.76 in payments made in July and that the next due date is September 25. For accounts receivable for water and sewer, Ms. Wilkin said there were $146,712.12 in payments made in July. She noted that there are 33 accounts over $500, seven of which are disconnects, three of which are due to penalty applied in July and 23 due to the recent billing.
Councillor Bill Koehler requested that an item be added under new business pertaining to policing on Haweater Weekend 2015.
“I was told it was a quiet Haweater Weekend,” said Councillor Koehler. “I had many people comment to me how nice the police presence was and not seeing drunk people around downtown, so I’m really confused about The Expositor’s (the August 5 Manitoulin Expositor) editorial.”
Councillor Koehler expressed that he felt the editorial was negative towards the OPP and its coverage of Haweater Weekend.
“I think we should send a letter to Staff Sgt. Webb saying how much we appreciate the work they did on Haweater,” added Mr. Koehler. “The letter (editorial) insinuates that because the 50th anniversary is coming up, they want to let things go all wild west again.”
“I think when we had a problem a few years ago and things were getting out of hand, they brought in a lot of the hard cops from across the North,” said Councillor Michael Erskine. “I think it was needed at the time, but the message has gotten out that Manitoulin isn’t the ‘wild west’ anymore and perhaps things don’t need to be so harsh. I talked to a number of people who said they felt an overwhelming level of intimidation. The OPP is doing a great job, I agree with that point, but I have heard from other members of the community that there doesn’t need to be so much police presence. As I said I think they are doing a great job, so I will support Bill’s motion.”
“My perspective is that things have calmed down because of the presence,” added Mayor Al MacNevin.
Councillor Koehler also wanted it clarified that there were no additional costs to the municipality if the OPP has to bring in additional officers. However, Councillor Erskine noted that the municipality does pay for Manitoulin detachment officers who work overtime.
Council carried a motion to send a letter to Staff Sgt. Webb thanking him and the OPP for their work throughout Haweater Weekend 2015.
Hawkers and peddlers
Council heard a deputation from 3 Cows and Cone owner Phil Blake regarding the Northeast Town’s rules around hawkers and peddlers in the municipality.
“Before I get to the nature of my reason for speaking to council, let me make it 100 percent clear I support small business in the Northeast Town and appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of the Vareys and the young people they have running their mobile carts,” said Mr. Blake to council. “They are polite and run their carts very well. I have offered my freezer available to them if needed to store their products and will continue to support their efforts.”
Mr. Blake explained that he was very concerned that council has chosen to allow mobile vendors. “Bylaw 98-21 clearly states hawkers and peddlers must stay to certain locations and pay licence fees for the privilege. I am asking that council allow the Vareys to continue to be allowed their mobile ice cream carts at no fee next year, however before other vendors be allowed in the future, that council refer them to Bylaw 98-21. It must be an equal playing field for all.”
Town CAO Dave Williamson explained to council that council had given the Vareys permission to operate their mobile ice cream carts as it was being run by youth, only asking that the youth had insurance and that council allowed this outside of the bylaw.
Mayor MacNevin explained that businesses must either buy a hawkers and peddlers licence or ask council for an exemption which, in this case, council granted.
“Phil is asking us to be consistent with the bylaw,” clarified Mayor MacNevin.
Memorandum banning fracking
Council reviewed Zackory Nicholls’ request made to council last month through a deputation, requesting council to pass a resolution to ban fracking in the Northeast Town.
Mayor MacNevin said that council can’t create a bylaw banning something the municipality doesn’t have control over, but that council could choose to support Mr. Nicholls in principle by carrying a motion supporting a memorandum banning fracking in the Northeast Town.
The motion of support was carried by the Northeast Town council.
Council donates to Parkinson Society Canada
Little Current resident Mark Smith wrote to council requesting support in the form of a donation to Parkinson Society Canada’s Parkinson Superwalk, which he and his wife Rachel would be walking in.
Council carried a motion to donate $200 to Parkinson Society Canada.