Northeast Town Council Notes

New washroom facilities coming to Sheguiandah

The municipality secured a funding grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation for $111,500 for a new washroom facility at the museum park in Sheguiandah as well as to upgrade other municipal washroom facilities.

Sixty-five thousand dollars of the funds received will cover the cost of the construction of a new washroom facility at the playground park with $36,500 covering the purchase of touchless features (faucets, paper towel, toilet paper, soap and hand sanitizer dispensers and their associated batteries) with the remaining $10,000 covering installation fees for the new touchless amenities.

Councillor Barb Baker congratulated Heidy Ferguson, economic development officer, for securing the Trillium grant.

Councillor Michael Erskine said he was pleased to see the Sheguiandah project finally coming to fruition.

Police Services Board

Mayor Al MacNevin gave council a rundown on the discussions surrounding the new Manitoulin Police Services Board (which will take the place of the Community Policing Advisory Committee) and the municipal and public makeup of it. 

Accounts for payment

Council approved the following accounts for payment in April: expenses, $1,042,640.43; and payroll, $129,457.82.

For water and sewer, $247,618.90 had been billed in the month of April, with $179,805.83 received in that same month. At the start of May, there were 32 accounts over $400, all of which were due to the most recent billing.

For taxes, $633,544.27 had been received in April.

Capital facilities bylaw

Following the donation of land to the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) for a seniors’ affordable housing project, Northeast Town council passed Bylaw 2021-26 to “provide for municipal capital facilities for municipal housing project facilities” as required under the Municipal Act. The bylaw acknowledges that the municipality “deems it desirable to provide certain forms of financial or other assistance at less than fair market value as provided in Section 110 (1) of the Municipal Act for the provision of municipal housing project facilities as municipal capital facilities on certain terms and conditions…”

Borehole request

Council received a request from TankTek Environmental Services, seeking to drill between three and seven environmental delineation boreholes to monitor groundwater adjacent to 32 Water street East, on municipal property, on behalf of Little Wally’s Dock Service.

CAO Dave Williamson explained that the municipal boreholes would show if any contaminants have left the business property and if so, how far.

Mr. Williamson said there are two issues should the boreholes find contamination: either cleanup would be required by the business owner or by the municipality.

Councillor Bill Koehler asked if there was a cost to the town. Mr. Williamson said there is not. He then asked if contaminants were found on the property, who would pay for cleanup? Mr. Williamson replied that it could be either party, but that should it fall to the municipality, insurance would become involved. Councillor Koehler then noted that environmental cleanups are costly, which the CAO confirmed.

Community garden donation

Council received a letter from Gloria Goodwill-Aelick on behalf of the NEMI Community Garden, outlining the garden’s plans for the growing season.

“While NEMI Community Garden continues to receive support from Local Food Manitoulin and Noojmowin Teg, a large portion of our annual operating budget is needed for water access at our garden,” Ms. Goodwill-Aelick writes. “You can help now by donating funds to help cover the seasonal cost of $480 for municipal water. This would help free up our limited funds for other tools and resources to support our mission.”

Councillor Koehler made a motion to donate $200 to the community garden, seconded by Councillor Dawn Orr, which passed.

Asset Management Plan review

Staff presented council with its annual asset management plan for review, which includes long- and short-term priorities.

Councillor Baker asked after the Low Island washroom upgrades which were discussed last year. Mr. Williamson explained that they had already been done and were therefore removed from the list.

Councillor Erskine asked about repairs to the downtown interlocking brick sidewalk, which he called hazardous, and whether a contractor to do the work had been found. Mr. Williamson replied that they had not found a contractor yet. Councillor Erskine then suggested public works staff do the work, with agreement from the CAO.