Northeast Town Council Notes

January 19

Coyote bounty

George Hagen of the Manitoulin Trappers Council gave a deputation to council January 19, requesting council consider a coyote compensation program similar to other Island municipalities.

Council reviewed the matter at its January 26 meeting. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Please see the full story on Page 3.)

Fire Department report

Northeast Town Fire Department Fire Chief Duane Deschamps gave his calls for service report to council. From December 13 to January 13, the fire department responded to seven calls for service: December 13, single vehicle accident on Highway 540 south of Bidwell Road; December 16, a chimney fire on White’s Point Road; December 17, single vehicle accident on Highway 540; December 18, single vehicle accident on Highway 540 at McLean’s Mountain Road; January 7, carbon monoxide call in Little Current; and January 9, single vehicle accident on Highway 6, which was called off en route.

Councillor Bill Koehler asked Mr. Deschamps if the fire department bills the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) when responding to traffic accidents. Mr. Deschamps replied that they do, but hadn’t for two of the aforementioned accidents as they had minimal involvement. He explained that if they are called off en route, they do not bill the MTO. He also noted that there are issues in billing as the department sometimes has a hard time receiving an incident report number from police, which is required by the MTO. Fire departments only have 60 days in which to issue an invoice.

“If we can be compensated for any amount, I think we should bill for it,” Councillor Koehler said.

Councillor Al Boyd asked who dispatches the calls to traffic accidents. Mr. Deschamps said that most calls originate from the Central Ambulance Communications Centre.

Community services report

Reid Taylor, manager of community services, supplied his report to council, noting that the rec centre is currently closed to the public and that arena ice was to have been removed last week.

The outdoor rink, located at the tennis courts, will be created soon, weather permitting.

Community services staff has been busy cleaning and sanitizing the rec centre and other town buildings, Mr. Taylor added, noting that there is a long list of winter projects to accomplish.

Mr. Reid also shared that events co-ordinator Lisa Hallaert is planning some Facebook Live programming in the coming weeks.

Councillor Laurie Cook asked why the outdoor rink is no longer located at Sisson Park at Low Island. Mr. Taylor explained that the distance from the rec centre to Low Island made it harder to manage and maintain. He also said the tennis court location is also better protected from the wind. The councillor then asked which location sees more usage, to which Mr. Reid replied that he believed the rec centre location saw slightly better use, judging by the amount of garbage left behind.

Building controls report

Northeast Town CAO Dave Williamson gave the building controls report, explaining to council that 2020 saw a new record for the number of building permits and new builds at 23 new residential buildings, one multi-residential unit and seven new seasonal dwellings. 

2020 also brought in $116,000 in building permit revenue with Mr. Williamson reminding council that any surplus in this account goes into the buildings control reserve account.

Public works report

Wayne Williamson gave the public works report on Tuesday night, sharing with council that daily road patrols are being conducted with trucks being dispatched as required.

At the landfill, operations are going well and three new recycling bins to replace old, worn out bins will soon be in operation.

Mr. Williamson shared that the municipality’s 2010 Freightliner is experiencing ‘engine coding’ and BAMM is currently investigating the cause.

Mr. Williamson also said that staff is currently on the winter schedule with operations beginning at 5 am, ending at 1:30 pm, unless otherwise required. Staff are currently being isolated to their own shops—Sheguiandah, Little Current and landfill—as per COVID-19 protocols.

He also noted that John Anderson has been hired as a temporary staff member for one employee who is currently on sick leave.

2021 Census

Council passed the following resolution regarding the 2021 Census, “that the council of the Corporation of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands supports the 2021 Census and encourages all residents to complete their census questionnaire online at www.census.gc.ca. Accurate and complete census data support programs and services that benefit our community.”

New subdivision

While not in the Northeast Town, council received a notice of application for a plan of subdivision from the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) for Leah Pezzutto as the subdivision comes close to Northeast Town boundaries at Bay Estates. The location of the planned 48-lot subdivision is Lot 22 and Part Lots 23 and 24 and Lot 25, Concession 7 and Lots 22 through 26, Concession 8 in Assiginack, adjacent to the north side of Sunsite Estates.

A public meeting on the proposed subdivision was to have been held via teleconference on Tuesday, January 26 at 7 pm at the MPB office in Gore Bay. For more on this story, see Page 3.