Tehkummah Council Notes

Public participation

John Budd Park seasonal resident Rick Lafleur voiced his concerns to council regarding increased rates at the park based on the services available there. He said he had concerns about people traveling through town to use the washroom facilities and not paying, as well as people driving motorized vehicles all over the lots. He offered his services as a ‘micromanager’ if the township was looking for someone to take care of the park.

Fees and services bylaw

Council briefly discussed the pending amendments to the fees and services bylaw, especially as it pertains to the landfill charges. Councillor Michael McKenzie requested a list of current charges as well as the suggested items, as well as a very clear distinction of who is permitted to use the facility. Councillor Lorie Leeson expressed concern over the disposal of large items such as mattresses and furniture and wanted to ensure there were costing provisions in place for such items. She also expressed the concern of per-usage rates for commercial businesses which may suffer as a result of the higher prices.

Little Schoolhouse and Museum staffing

The museum had applied for provincial funding for a summer student. Due to cutbacks, the grant was disallowed. Curator Loretta Mucha requested that the township direct its outstanding funding owed to the museum to be put toward a student’s wages.

Municipal policy reviews

Clerk-Administrator Roy Hardy told council he had plans in place to have a full review of the township’s policies by August, due to his company’s contract with the township expiring at that time (council voted during this meeting to extend his contract to the end of August from its original ending date of June 30, 2019). He provided drafts of the township’s revised procurement policy, staffing process policy, recreation committee terms of reference, notice policy, sale and disposition of land property, members of council and staff relations policy and accountability and transparency policy. The tree canopy protection policy and pregnancy/parental leave of council members policy drafts were not available at the time.

The new procurement policy will provide for more purchasing options than the current process of obtaining two quotes or sending an item out for tender. There will also be considerations in the new policy for considering past work completed by a company for the township as well as requests for proposals which could foster innovation.

The staffing process policy, or hiring policy, allows for council to make a decision as to the hiring process that makes the most sense in each case. It also gives staff authority to fill the role in an interim basis (up to eight weeks) before the hiring panel makes a decision on a permanent candidate. It also delineates the definitions between temporary/casual positions, seasonal positions and ongoing positions. Regarding the number of councillors involved in a hiring decision, Councillor Rick Gordon asked if council really wanted to add a special meeting to conduct the process, at the expense of the municipality.

The recreation committee terms of reference removed the eight-year term limit and stated that personnel must consist of a museum representative, up to two councillors and up to three members from the surrounding area. Council chose to vote on and accept this draft policy at the meeting, the only one that was passed.

Other policies discussed at the meeting included the standard operating policies to incorporate best health and safety practices, the provision of in-kind municipal support services policy regarding the township’s responsibilities for maintaining things on municipal property in response to the Fairview United Church’s request for cemetery maintenance and snow removal—Councillor Eric Russell noted that he believed the cemetery predates the church and would be municipal property— as well as the designation of municipal assets policy regarding the renaming of a township roadway to Russell Road.

Marina space tender results

The township received three bids for the marina space but none met Tehkummah’s reserve bid amount to cover operating costs. The space will remain unoccupied for the summer, leaving the township able to use the building for its own purposes such as storage or other needed services.

Q2 2019 water and sewer rates

Council voted to issue water bills for the second quarter of 2019 at the 2018 rates plus five percent, the amount allocated in the budget as this year’s increase. There was to be a public meeting the following night regarding water and sewer rates.

Drainage petition

Council authorized the roads superintendent to make a petition under section four of the drainage act to connect the drainage ditch along the 10th Sideroad to the Blue Jay Creek, effectively making it a municipal drain. This will enable town crews to remove beaver dams and other obstructions which often cause flooding in the spring.

Council also authorized K. Smart Associates to update its drain assessment studies under section 76 of the act, to be completed in accordance with the work on the 10th Sideroad to save on costs.

Winter sand and salt, gravel

Council approved a request to tender its winter sand and salt, a total of 1,600 m3 of sand, with an increase in salt content from three percent to six percent. The mixing is to be done by the municipality to save on costs.

Council also approved the roads superintendent’s request to use funding set aside for tar and chip to increase the gravel budget, with that $40,000 being able to cover five kilometres of gravel for the roads that need it the most.

Lottery licence

Council approved a special lottery licence for a bingo game at the Triangle Club on Sunday, July 14.

Increased water intake sampling

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks informed the township that it would be increasing its sampling around the water system’s intake due to new regulations concerning blue-green algae. This would mean an extra $1,600 per year to the township, a cost that will have to be absorbed in the water and sewer rates.

Closed session motions

Council gave Mr. Hardy direction to hire the part-time seasonal marina attendant, it extended its shared services contract with Central Manitoulin for a health and safety co-ordinator until 2020, directed Mr. Hardy and Reeve David Jaggard to continue exploring shared services opportunities with other municipalities and approved an agreement to continue the township’s use of the Tehkummah MTO patrol yard for five years.

NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that blue-green algae monitoring at the municipal water supply intake is conducted by Public Health Sudbury and Districts. This is, in fact, mandated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and municipal water monitoring is not overseen by PHSD.