Northeast Town Fire Chief Darren Bailey presented the Northeast Town Fire Department report for April to council. He reported that the department responded to a report of smoke in a Meredith Street basement on March 30, a fire alarm ringing at the Harbour View Road Manitoulin Transport depot on April 11 and a report of a grass fire on Indian Mountain Road on April 13, which ended up being a false alarm as it was a permitted fire.
Council carried a motion to approve a bylaw to establish the NEMI Public Library. Mayor Al MacNevin explained that council had previously reviewed a proposed bylaw prepared by staff as the town did not currently have a bylaw for the library in place. Mayor MacNevin said he also went over the proposed bylaw with the library board.
Town CAO Dave Williamson went over the tenders for town staff group benefits. The municipality had two bids: the Cooperators with a bid of $10,730.48 a month and Schuster Boyd McDonald for $10,487.64 a month. Mr. Williamson explained that these bids reflect a nine percent increase over last year. Mr. Williamson said that staff recommends going with the lowest bid from Schuster Boyd McDonald.
Councillor Cook asked how many people are covered under the benefit plan. Mr. Williamson responded that based on the number of staff and dependents, roughly 60 to 80 people.
Council carried a motion to accept the bid from Schuster Boyd McDonald.
Canadian Heritage funds
Council passed a motion to accept a funding grant from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage for $4,500 under the Celebration and Commemorative Program that will be used to help with the town’s Canada 150 celebrations.
Campbell Street wall mural
Mr. Williamson brought back a new draft of the Campbell Street wall mural design in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary. He noted that the artist incorporated council’s suggestions of adding in women and the cenotaph monument. Councillor Erskine also noted that he wanted farming represented in the mural. Mr. Williamson said he would take the suggestion back to the artist.
Community services and public works
Reid Taylor reviewed the community services report with council. He reported that the ice season was busy but the ice would be coming out on April 23, followed by preparations for the Manitoulin Trade Fair. He also noted that Spider Bay Marina would be open for business on May 19 and that the downtown docks would be moved into place shortly.
Mr. Taylor spoke to council about the route of the Community Services Advisory Committee walking/cycling path. Council suggested some changes which staff said they would incorporate.
Public Works Manager Gary May said that grading would be done on the roads as they start to firm up and that load restrictions for trucks were still in effect.
“Patching is being done where needed and street sweeping and sidewalk cleaning is underway,” said Mr. May.
He also noted that a new generator is being installed this week at the main lift station.
Council discussed the formal OPP boathouse property along Water Street in Little Current. Councillor Koehler and Councillor Marcel Gauthier discussed how a bridge to join the dock/walking trail would be ideal and Councillor Laurie Cook said that she would like to see a green space developed on the property. Council requested that staff look into the cost of building a bridge and developing a green space.
Strategic plan review
Mr. Williamson went over the Northeast Town’s Strategic Plan and where council sat relating to the outlined goals so far in council’s four-year term. Mr. Williamson commended council on all their hard work and not only meeting, but exceeding many of the goals that council had outlined.
Town Treasurer Sheryl Wilkin reviewed the accounts receivable for water/sewer and taxes for the month of March.
For water/sewer, Ms. Wilkin said that there were $16,126.69 made in payments and that there are currently nine accounts over the $400 maximum.
There were $296,599.79 made in tax payments in March Ms. Wilkin told council, with the next due date on April 28.
Council reviewed a letter from Jillian Peltier requesting the use of Low Island Park in Little Current on July 15 and a $200 donation towards the annual Mackenzie’s Run and Walk for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Council carried a motion granting the requests.
The Northeast Town council carried a motion to donated $100, the Gold Sponsor amount, to the Bluegrass in the Country fundraiser for Manitoulin Special Olympics June 9 to 11 in Providence Bay.
Council also carried a motion to donate $200 to the Little Current Fish and Game Club towards the purchase of fishing rods and reels for Island Grade 4 students that visit the walleye hatchery in Sheguiandah.
Council discussed how the Manitoulin Centennial Manor would benefit from additional government funding and carried a motion requesting that the province reassess the case mix index which determines the amount of funding the long-term care home receives. The motion was moved by Councillor Koehler and seconded by Councillor Erskine which read: “Whereas the Manitoulin Centennial Manor provides critical long term care to Northeast Town, residents and whereas the Manor has extensive operating and capital needs and lacks the available financial resources to meet those needs, be it resolved that the council for the Northeast Town request that the province reassess the case mix index to ensure that the operation of the Mano are properly funded and; be it further resolved that the province commit the necessary capital dollars to ensure the infrastructure is updated to properly service the residents.”
Builder’s terms for subdivision
Council decided to offer building terms on the Hayward Street Subdivision in Little Current to encourage development. A motion was moved by Councillor Erskine and Seconded by Councillor Koehler, “authorizing staff to prepare and offer qualified bidders the following builders terms on the purchase of three or more lots in the Hayward Street Subdivision: a minimum $60,000 purchase price for three lots; a 25 percent deposit on agreement to purchase with the balance payable upon sale of the first developed lot; a requirement that the first is built within 12 months of closing; and the transfer of ownership of the lots with a buy back option at 60 percent of the original purchase price.”