Northeast Town Council Notes

Council holds public meeting for zoning bylaw amendment

The Northeast Town council held a public meeting for zoning bylaw amendment No. 2-32ZBL-15-001 for the Davis McLay Developments (subdivision). Members of the public with input were asked to speak.

The other input came from the applicant, Doug McLay. Mr. McLay explained that the project was ongoing for six years and that he has finally received approval on a six-lot pilot project.  He was present at the meeting, he said, to answer any questions.

“What was the Ministry of Environment’s concerns with the project?” asked Councillor Laurie Cook.

Mr. McLay explained that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has frozen development on Lake Manitou (which the subdivision is on) and that they were concerned with increased phosphorus levels from more septic systems.

“I will prove through the pilot project that with these new special septic systems I am installing that no phosphorus will enter the lake,” said Mr. McLay.

“This meeting is to look at changing the zoning from agricultural to shoreline residential,” added Mayor MacNevin.

“We are holding this public meeting as part of the process, but council has already commented to the Manitoulin Planning Board that they have no comment or concern with the bylaw amendment,” said Northeast Town CAO Dave Williamson. “Staff recommends that council defer this zoning issue until the OPA has been signed and approved.”

During the subsequent council meeting, council deferred the zoning amendment.

Water treatment report

Mr. Williamson reviewed with council the water treatment plan reports for both the Little Current and Sheguiandah plants.

In his review, council learned that last year, the Little Current plant exceeded its raw water flow (what the plant pulls from the lake) and its daily flow (what it pushes out for distribution).

“The water main break last year and the high use of water last summer for the number of fires (from the arsonist) accounts for these increases,” explained Mr. Williamson.

“The Sheguiandah plant is actually only using 10 percent of its raw water flow, which tells you there is room for potential development in the future,” said Mr. Williamson.

Mr. Williamson also reviewed that there were a few non-compliance issues, but that they were being corrected by OCWA.

Signage request

Council received a request asking for signage notifying users of the Rockville boat launch that there are blind spots.

Council carried a motion to post signs on either side on each direction of the road by the Rockville boat launch.

Council also received a request for stop signs to be placed at the corner of Park  Street and Water Street.

“I have witnessed many times children coming down Park Street towards Water Street to get to the park area travelling high speeds on bikes, skateboards and wagons, without looking both ways when reaching the intersection,” wrote Jim McBane to council, suggesting that the town install two more stop signs, making it a three-way stop.

Council carried a motion to place two more stop signs at the intersection.

Library board appointment

The Northeast Town council carried a motion to appoint Nina Coates to the Little Current Library board.

AMO review

Council heard a report from the town staff and council members that attended the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Niagara Falls.

Mayor MacNevin said that the municipality met with two ministers throughout the conference including the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer for an update on the 1990 land claim and Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) Laurie LeBlanc on the Northeast Town becoming its own planning authority.

“There hasn’t been much progress with the 1990 land claim negotiations,” said Mayor MacNevin. “During our meeting with the deputy minister (of MMAH) we reviewed our discussions with the past minister and our history with the Manitoulin Planning Board. She explained that the minister wouldn’t be in a place to do anything until they receive our report from the MMAH Sudbury District office, which is what we are currently working on.”

Councillor Michael Erskine commented that Niagara Falls put on a great reception and that there were a lot of good workshop speakers.

Councillor Laurie Cook remarked that the highlight of the conference for her was the climate-friendly workshop from the minister of environment. “He was a really inspirational speaker,” she told the rest of council.

Mr. Williamson said that the most valuable element of the conference for him was the networking with individuals in similar roles as himself in other municipalities and the learning and knowledge that comes from those conversations.

“The workshops were extremely invaluable as well,” added Mr. Williamson.

Age Friendly Community Plan

Mr. Williamson updated council on the Age Friendly Community Plan for the municipality. He explained that staff had received six tenders for the plan and that McSweeney and Associates had been the successful bidder of the $25,000 planning project that the town received funding for.

Mr. Williamson told council that McSweeney is a very reputable firm and has done other age friendly plans before for other municipalities as well as a cultural plan on Manitoulin.

Community services/

public works report

Reid Taylor delivered the community services/public works report to council. He reported that user groups will be using the recreation centre for new programs starting in the next couple of weeks including ballet, martial arts, Sea Cadets and fitness classes.

“Staff are completing maintenance tasks daily and beginning preparations to put the ice in,” said Mr. Taylor. “We also have a wedding at the end of this month.”

“Spider Bay Marina remains busy on weekends, but downtown dock traffic is slowing down,” he added. “Staff are taking care of customers and completing maintenance tasks at both facilities. Many staff will be leaving shortly to return to school. We also have cruise ships coming on August 24, 27, September 1, 5 and 12 to finish the season.”

He concluded that the public washrooms and parks are being cleaned and maintained regularly.

Mr. Williamson reviewed the public works report with council as public works manager Gary May was unavailable.

He read that regular maintenance is being done on the roads and that culverts are to be changed on Town Line Road at Bass Lake.

“Also there will be a grade raise in this area,” said Mr. Williamson. “Ditching will start in these areas as well where needed in the next week or so. The winter sand tender closed on August 14 and Calvin Pearson was awarded the contract.”

It was also noted in the report that landfill operations are going well and that the landfill bulldozer and compactor are still open for bids.