Northeast Town Council Notes

Archaeological site display

Bill Strain and Pat Julig made a deputation to council regarding the establishment of an education display at the archaeological site in Sheguiandah.

Mr. Strain explained that in the 1990s there were public meetings and talk around the council table about developing an archaeological interpretation centre, but that nothing ever happened.

He suggested that council reconsider the idea of an education display and proposed the vacant lot that the township owns on David Street, opposite of the Esposto residence.

“The advantages to the site on David Street is that it is close to the highway and very close to the actual dig site,” said Mr. Strain. “Walking trails could be developed at a future date and another advantage of this location is that the lot frontage of 150 feet offers plenty of parking space.”

The pair noted that they had talked to neighbours who said they had no objective to the development.

Councillor Melissa Peters inquired if Mr. Strain and Mr. Julig were “envisioning something similar to the fish viewing station” in terms of the education display.

Mr. Julig responded yes, but a bit bigger, with seven to 10 panels and a covering.

Mayor Al MacNevin directed staff to begin looking into the suggested location and explained that council could not pass a motion regarding the proposal until its next council meeting as per council’s policy with deputations.

“It’s nice to see something being proposed for the site,” commented Councillor Michael Erskine.”

“Thank you for coming out and proposing this,” added Mayor MacNevin.

Manitoulin Streams

Council reviewed a letter from Manitoulin Streams, requesting funding support for the 2017 streams restoration initiative. Council commended the organization for getting its request in so early in the budget process, but deferred the request to a future 2017 budget meeting.

Signage request

The Northeast Town council received a letter from Lyle Van Every requesting signage at the end of North Channel Drive.

“Our cottage is located over the hill (on North Channel Drive) past the turn onto Cedar Cove,” wrote Mr. Van Every. “The concession road runs to the lake right beside us. We have had problems this summer with people camping overnight and leaving garbage behind. We have even witnessed one person dump brush off. Would it be possible to get a ‘no overnight camping/no parking or dumping’ sign put up?”

Council agreed it was a good idea and carried a motion for signage to be placed at the concession road.

Organ harvesting

Council received a letter regarding forced organ donation of the Falun Dafa by the Chinese government and carried a motion that the Northeast Town “urges the Canadian government to communicate with the Chinese regime to stop the forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and to end the inhumane persecution of all Falun Gong practitioners.”

Library minutes

Councillor Laurie Cook, council’s representative on the Little Current Library board, gave an update to council highlighting that the library is now open on Mondays. She also noted the knitting programs, games on Friday and other “good stuff” happening at the library. “The books are moving well, the DVDs are flying off the shelves and the young adults section has been very popular,” added Councillor Cook.

She said that she would not be speaking about the letter writing campaign, but that the library board was having a special meeting to discuss it.

“I read some of the emails,” commented Councillor Bill Koehler. “Does the librarian not work for the board?”

“The board had no input in what he was saying and we will be addressing this,” responded Councillor Cook.

“This is regarding an identifiable individual and some emails and a presentation made to the NEMI Taxpayers that contained misinformation,” said Mayor MacNevin. “I have been speaking with Councillor Cook and the board chair and asked them to deal with the assertions that were made. The statements were not made by the board and our relationship as a council is with the board not its employees. I will be attending the October 4 (library) board meeting.”

Council also carried a motion requesting that the library board chair attend the next council meeting: “Whereas the NEMI Public Library CEO’s presentation to the Taxpayers Association of September 8, 2016, stated that the library is non-compliant with current legislation and suffering from systematic neglect; And whereas that same presentation stated that current library services are in jeopardy and will not be provided in the future; And whereas several erroneous statements were made that reflect badly on the Library Board and its ability to oversee the affairs of the NEMI Public Library; Now therefore be it resolved that the council of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands request the board chair attend the next regular meeting of council to clarify the issues and provide council with assurances that the necessary steps are being taken by the board to address the issues of non-compliance, systematic neglect, service sustainability and ineffective governance.”

Planning update

Mayor MacNevin informed council that he met with representatives from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) regarding the town’s transition plan for leaving the Manitoulin Planning Board and establishing its own planning authority. He said that the MMAH expects the Northeast Town Official Plan to be in place by the end of the month, which will be followed by a 20-day waiting period. He added that the MMAH gave the date of January 1, 2017 for when the Northeast Town will be empowered as its own planning authority. He also said that the MMAH will be providing council with training as well and that he will be meeting with the Manitoulin Planning Board in the near future to discuss the transition plan.

Fire department report

Northeast Town Fire Department Chief Darren Bailey presented the department’s September report to council. He reported calls for service on August 19 regarding a lift assist at the Little Current hospital and a hydro pole fire in Rockville on September 8. He added that Fire Prevention Week will be held in October and that the department is preparing for schools visits to the fire hall.

Community services and public works

Reid Taylor delivered the community services report. He said that town staff are prepping the recreation centre for upcoming events and completing maintenance  and repair tasks. He added that the ice is in and is being used. This month at the recreation centre there are Skate Canada Manitoulin programs, Manitoulin Panthers, Shoot to Score Hockey School and user groups programs like ballet, martial arts and fitness programs.

“The trails, parks and washrooms are being inspected and maintained regularly and plans for building shutdowns and winterization are in place,” said Mr. Taylor.

“Spider Bay Marina continues to be busy at the service dock and staff are serving customers and completing maintenance tasks,” added Mr. Taylor. “There are cruise ships scheduled for September 23 and October 1 and the marinas close down on October 9.”

He also added that the Sheguiandah Fall Fair was a “great success.”

For the public works department, Gary May noted in his report that regular maintenance was under way. He also noted that the Smith well was decommissioned last week.

Building controls

The building controls report stated that there had been 39 permits issued to date and that there are another four applications that have been submitted and are under review. The total construction revenue to date is $3,564,252 with a total building permit revenue of $45,302.26.