Northeast Town Council Notes

Library update

Little Current Public Library board chair Ned Martin made a deputation to the Northeast Town council, addressing questions raised by council over comments made from the recently resigned library CEO.

Mr. Martin attested that the comments made by the former CEO to the NEMI Taxpayers were made without the board’s approval.

“The library is currently in a transition,” said Mr. Martin. “We have a hiring committee and anticipate advertising (for the CEO position) in December and we have a transition committee in place to manage the change.”

Mr. Martin said that the board would also be meeting with Ontario Library Service North in the New Year for guidance and training.

Road concerns

Council reviewed concerns submitted by a town resident about Little Current roads and sidewalks and visibility. Council directed staff to look into the concerns and report back to council.

Applications for consent

Council reviewed several applications for consent sent to council for comment from the Manitoulin Planning Board including: B20-16, Daniel and Matthew Freeman; B21-16, Wayne and Carolyn Cosby; B25-16, Grenville Phillips; and B26-16, Jim and Linda Ferguson. Council carried motions for each stating that they had “no comment or concern.”

Bidwell Road ramps and speed limit

Council carried a motion to reduce the speed limit on the ramps on Bidwell Road from 80 km/hr to 50 km/hr.

Town CAO Dave Williamson explained to council that concerns had been raised about the Bidwell and Limekin corner and the Green Bay and Bidwell corner. Yield signs had been placed at both ramps as well.

Little Current Veterinary Service

Council approved signage for the new Little Current Veterinary Service including an illuminated 1.82 m by 1.12 m sign with an overall height of 2.74 m, located perpendicular to Meredith Street, and an illuminated sign 2.43 by .06 m, located parallel with Meredith Street.

MHC donation request

The Manitoulin Health Centre sent a letter to council asking them to consider donating the cost of the building permit (approximately $14,800) for the new emergency department back to the hospital.

Mr. Williamson explained that the building controls department is a user pay system and that if council decided to donate the funds back, it would need to come from the donation budget.

Council directed to staff to contact MHC and explain that they wouldn’t be donating the funds.

Sheguiandah Fall Fair

Council reviewed a donation request from Sheguiandah Fall Fair Youth Coordinator Marjorie Collie requesting a donation towards small cash prizes for the school/youth program (entries).

“This is a great thing to encourage kids to submit entries to the fair and reward them for their work—it’s nice for the kids,” said Councillor Michael Erskine, adding that he personally donates to the cause.

Councillor Marcel Gauthier agreed with Councillor Erskine, saying that it was a good thing for council to donate to.

Council carried a motion to donate $200.

Pride Paws

The Northeast Town council discussed a proposed pilot project from Judy (Blue) Fisher of Pride Paws.

“Over the last three years we (Pride Paws, a Little Current rescue group headed by Ms. Fisher) have been able to help over 358 cats and dogs,” said Ms. Fisher. “Our group has no formal funding so we function on local donations and by using our own money for our rescue efforts. In the Northeast Town there is an issue with feral cats that often have FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). This disease is the equivalent of HIV in cats. The feral cats are spreading the disease to domestic cats which is posing a major problem in our community.”

Ms. Fisher proposed a shared cost pilot project in which the cost of testing for FIV, spaying and neutering feral cats in the Northeast Town would be split between the town, Pride Paws and a Island vet—$1,500 each.

Councillor Bill Koehler and Councillor Laurie Cook both said that they thought it was a good idea and recognized the growing number of feral cats in the community and the problems it poses.

Councillor Melissa Peters said she would like to see a budget set up for the pilot project.

Council passed a motion to take part in the pilot, subject to the approval of the budget.

Donations

Council carried a motion to donate $200 to the Manitoulin North Shore Victim Services curling funspiel on November 26 at the Espanola Curling Club.

Council also carried a motion to donate $200 to the Manitoulin Family Resources’ Help Centre and Food Bank 2016 Christmas food basket campaign.

Bridge light

Council discussed the new bright lights on the towers at Goat Island that Hydro One installed during the recent power outage. Mayor Al MacNevin said a number of residents have expressed concerns with the light and that they find it distracting.

Council directed staff to contact Hydro One to enquire as to the reason for the new light and if there was a way to mediate the impact on surrounding residents.

Planning board

The Northeast Town received a letter from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) notifying the municipality that the appeal time for the town’s Official Plan (OP) had ended and that there had been no appeals and that the Northeast Town OP is now officially approved.

Council carried a motion to be forwarded to the Manitoulin Planning Board

(MPB) stating that they should receive one-third of the MPB’s reserves upon their leave from the board in January.

Representatives of council had already discussed the reserves with the MPB, but council decided to carry a motion to make an official request.

Fire department

Northeast Town Fire Chief Darren Bailey presented council with his November report. He reported that the department responded to a small bush fire on White’s Point Road on October 21, a house fire on Bidwell Road on October 23, a fire alarm at the Hydro One building on October 31, a chimney fire that turned out not to be a chimney fire on Dupont Street on November 4, a car fire in Sheguiandah on November 5 and a fire alarm at Little Current Public School that was called off en route.

He said that there had been 48 calls for service to date and that fire apparatus and equipment was in good working condition.

Public works and

community services

Reid Taylor presented the community services report to council. He said that the ice schedule had been busy at the recreation centre. “Staff are prepping for upcoming events and completing maintenance, repair and painting tasks,” said Mr. Taylor.

He also noted that the Skate Canada Program is continuing at the recreation centre and that Manitoulin Panthers are having their games on Sundays, and the Manitoulin Secondary School boys’ team plays on Fridays. Mr. Taylor said that a holiday event calendar would be going out in the mail.

“All buildings are winterized and closed,” continued Mr. Taylor. “Buildings will be monitored over the winter and Christmas decorating has begun. The Santa Claus Parade will be held on Saturday, December 3.”

He added that Spider Bay Marina is closed for the season, as is the Port of Little Current and all the marina buildings are shut down and have been winterized.

Public works manager Gary May reported that the roads were to be graded before the freeze up and patching was being done where needed. He also noted that the brusher would be in the area in the next couple weeks.

He said that the landfill operations were going well and that the equipment was ready for winter operations and signs are on order to replace weathered ones on connecting link highways.