Tehkummah Council Notes

Note: There was no meeting for July 6 as the meeting agenda was not approved by the council.

In person attendance for the August 10 meeting were Reeve Dave Jaggard, Deputy Clerk Barbara Grigg, Councillors Mike McKenzie, Eric Russell, Rick Gordon and Lorie Leeson. Also present was Fire Chief Jeff Wilson.

There was an hour of a closed session which discussed “personal matters about an identifiable individual” and “advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.” Following the lengthy in-camera session, the reeve read a resolution that the municipality hire Roy Hardy, consulting principal at Rurbanal Community Services, “to formulate a performance review policy and process and facilities a review of the clerk/administrator.” (Mr. Hardy was Tehkummah’s former acting clerk/administrator before Silvio Berti was hired on.)

Following the approval of the June 1 and July 6 minutes, Councillors Rick Gordon, Lorie Leeson and Eric Russell disputed the wording of the sparse July 6 minutes. The June 1 minutes were approved, but the July 6 minutes were deferred.

Fire Department Report

Fire Chief Jeff Wilson’s report discussed good attendance at the weekly practices, and that the on-site breathing air compressor’s air samples are good and the department can now fill their SCBA tanks at the fire hall. Due to recent sufficient rainfall, the fire ban has been lifted at this time. The fire hall equipment is all in good working order. The South Shore Volunteer Firefighters Association have decided to postpone their fundraising “fireman’s sale” for the time being.

Treasurer’s Report

Barbara Grigg provided the accounts payable report as treasurer Barb DeForge recently resigned. Councillor Gordon commented on and questioned the $24,076.54 and $7,024.84 that was paid towards The Public Sector Digest Inc. and PSD Citywide Inc. respectively for asset management plan services. Councillor Russell commented on the $31,645.57 that was paid to United Rentals for a mulcher and queried if there had been differing quotes. The quarterly report was provided and as of June 15, Tehkummah’s revenue is $1,355,631 (56 percent of the 2021 budget) and the expenses are $839,350 (35 percent of the 2021 budget).

Health and Safety Report

Workplace inspections were good with exception of a problem identified with the toilet system and potable water supply at the public works garage. There are plans for an employee luncheon to recognize an extended period of time without a WSIB claim by any township worker and staff. The luncheon date is to be announced.

Tehkummah Township Public Library

There are hopes to re-open the library September 11.

External Reports

The Ontario Clean Water Agency reports (included certificate of analysis and work order summary) for South Baymouth were provided, along with the Manitoulin Planning Board’s meeting minutes, the 2021 budget, and the audited financial statements as at December 31, 2020. Also included, the Public Health Sudbury and District’s minutes, in which there was a presentation highlighting the need for a wide ranging community response to the opioid crisis.

Regular Items

Council reviewed several tenders at its August 10 meeting.

Council received three tenders for an on-call/emergency electrician: Henderson Electric, $80/hour emergency rate with an annual $1,200 retainer; South Bay Electric, $160/hour for a minimum of two hours or $100/hour for three plus hours, no retainer; and McAnsh Electric, declined due to inconsistent availability.

Councillor Russell questioned Henderson’s retainer fee, calling it “a lot of money.’

“Have we ever had any trouble getting someone (in an emergency)?” he asked.

Councillor Gordon said he couldn’t understand the need for either an on-call electrician or plumber. Councillor Leeson agreed.

“We’ve survived this long without one, why now?” Councillor Gordon asked.

Reeve Jaggard pointed out this gets the municipality a set rate.

Ms. Griggs reminded council that in case of emergency, issues would need to be dealt with quickly. Councillor Gordon noted that they “never have been before.”

The motion to accept a tender was defeated.

For the tender of on-call/emergency plumber council received one bid, from Cooper and Sons Plumbing: $70/hour regular rate, $105/hour emergency rate and no retainer. The tender for Cooper and Sons was accepted.

There was some discussion regarding South Baymouth porta-potties following an ask from a marina attendant to have a porta-potty located near the attendant building. It was explained that there were two porta-potties, one located outside the public washroom facility and another across the marina harbour near the boat launch, one of which was paid for through government COVID-19 funds.

Councillor Mike McKenzie said he was of the opinion that only one porta-potty was needed, specifically the one near the public washroom.

“Back in the day we didn’t need any; I don’t know why we need them now,” Councillor Leeson added.

It was explained that the public washrooms are closed when the marina attendants are home for the night and that the ferry terminal washrooms are open to those with ferry tickets only.

Councillor Leeson said she didn’t understand why the municipality needs to cater to groups, adding that there isn’t anybody at the marina.

Councillor McKenzie made a motion to return the second porta-potty to its rental company. The motion was carried.

Council received correspondence from the Huron Shore and Manitoulin Island Community Owned Fiber Infrastructure project seeking financial support of, at a minimum, $266,887.

“We cannot afford this type of investment,” said Councillor McKenzie. “We can live without it. I mean, they’re going to do it anyway.”

Councillor McKenzie made a motion that they not invest in H&M COFI, which was seconded by Councillor Russell.

Council approved the 2020 Groundwater Monitoring Report at the South Baymouth Waste Disposal Site, which met the environmental monitoring requirements as outlined in a 2012 report.

Judith Jones of the Manitoulin Phragmites Project wrote a letter requesting permission to use cautious and controlled use of herbicides at a few locations within the municipality.  Council approved.

OCWA request

Ontario Clean Water Agency’s (OCWA) Keith Stringer, senior operations manager, sent a letter to clerk/administrator Silvio Berti, recommending that an engineer be hired and brought in to assess the South Baymouth water treatment plant’s ‘baffle factor.’

“We’ve hired OCWA to take care of the system,” Councillor Gordon pointed out. “They should know what the proper ‘contact time’ is. It’s their responsibility, not ours.”

“This is what they do for a living!” Councillor McKenzie added.

The request was deferred until further information is gathered.

The Recreation Committee contributed the entire Valentine’s fundraising funds of $365 to future recreational activities. No expenses were deducted.

The United Manitoulin Islands Transit Co-operative requested permission to erect a bus stop in South Baymouth at the marina. Council approved.

Council again approved of the Manitoulin Community Church of sponsoring ball on Wednesday nights, along with a lottery licence for Tehkummah Seniors’ Bingo and 50/50.

There was brief discussion about hiring a part-time administration assistant, to which the consensus was to hire a full-time treasurer, recently vacated.