Northeast Town Council Notes March 12

Country Fest organizer requests extended beer tent hours

Country Fest organizers Kelly and Craig Timmermans made a deputation to council last week, requesting an amendment to their site plan agreement with the town to extend their beer tent hours from 11 pm to 1 am on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of Manitoulin Country Fest in August.

“As you may recall, we spoke about this with council back in 2012 with the hopes of extending it at that time,” said Ms. Timmermans. “There were concerns expressed, especially considering the venue was new and there was so many unknowns going in.”

Ms. Timmermans explained that for the past seven years, they have hired OPP and in the past few years even supplemented that with private security to “ensure we have a safe, family friendly environment.”

She also noted that the change would help keep the “party crowd” to a more controlled environment (the beer tent) and away from campers who wish for a quieter time at their tents and trailers and which would allow the OPP to better supervise the crowd, with the private security company patrolling the camping area as well.

Councillor Marcel Gauthier told the Timmermans and council that he had “no problem supporting the request,” but suggested that temporary permission be granted to extend the beer tent hours just for this year and that if it goes well, discuss making the change permanent.

“I’ll also support this,” said Councillor Bill Koehler. “They (the Timmermans) have held Country Fest now for eight years without incident (with the OPP).”

Mayor Al MacNevin told the Timmermans that it looked like extending the beer tent hours “wouldn’t be a problem,” but explained that council had to wait for its next meeting on Tuesday, March 18 before a motion could be put on the table due to council’s new procedural bylaw (that prevents council from making motions based on deputations on the night they are made).


Town to hold community picnic

The Northeast Town council carried a motion based on a recommendation from the Community Services and Public Works committee to hold a community picnic in July.

Many councillors were concerned with the high price tag of the picnic at $4,000, leading to a stipulation in the motion that the children’s entertainers at the picnic would only occur if the town secured the funding to cover the cost ($2,000 of the $4,000 total picnic costs).


Northeast Town request spring bear hunt

be expanded to include municipality

While reviewing a letter from David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources and a map outlining the areas in Northern Ontario which will be included in the spring bear hunt, the Northeast Town council carried a motion requesting that the MNR expand the spring bear hunt to include all of the Northeast Town due to past problems with bears.


Council declares October Lupus Awareness Month

The Northeast Town council carried a motion last week recognizing May 10 as World Lupus Day and October as Lupus Awareness Month.

“Be it resolved that October 2014 is hereby designated as ‘October is Lupus Awareness Month’ during which lupus organizations around the globe call for increases in public and private sector funding for medical research on lupus, targeted education programs for health professionals, patients and the public and worldwide recognition of lupus as a significant public health issue,” reads the motion carried by council.


Northeast Town supports renaming of Highway 6 in honour of veterans

The Espanola Royal Canadian Legion Branch 39 sent a request to the Northeast Town council, asking for their support in the renaming of Highway 6 from the junction of Highway 17 and 6 to Little Current, as the “LaCloche Foothills Veterans Memorial Highway.”

“The members of the Espanola Royal Canadian Legion Branch 39 is desirous of renaming the above noted portion of Highway 6 south to a name that would show our continued respect, appreciation and support of all who have served in the Armed Forces to preserve the rights and freedoms of this great county,” states the letter from branch president Jack Fraser.

Council carried a motion to support the Legion in its endeavour of renaming the highway.


Council approves financial reports

Town CAO Dave Williamson reviewed the Northeast Town’s financial reports with council at last week’s administration and finance committee meeting as town treasurer Sheryl Wilkin was away.

The committee recommended to council that the financial report be approved.


Canada Post to reduce office hours

Mayor MacNevin shared a letter with council from Canada Post, informing the town of its intent to reduce the hours of operation at many of their locations, including Manitoulin Island, across Canada.

“Their rates are up, coupled with massive reductions to service,” said Councillor Michael Erskine. “This is privatization by stealth. I am not happy.”

“The post office in Sheguiandah is very important to the community,” added Councillor Dawn Orr. “I won’t support this.”

The administration and finance committee recommended to council that they carry a motion opposing this change that would then be forwarded to Canada Post.


Town land sale completed after 30-year gap

The Northeast Town council reported after an in camera session last week that it had carried a motion directing staff “to complete the sale of Howland Concession 1 Lot 37 to Evert and Barb Jansen as per the letter dated December 8, 1982 at the established price of $192.50 and on condition that the purchaser covers all legal and survey costs associated with the disposition. It is further understood that the property is sold as is.”