Township Watch - December 2016

Committee of the Whole - Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Duke House Rental

The Muskoka Lakes Museum once again requests permission to rent the second storey of the Duke House in Port Carling.  This rental agreement is for summer housing for Georgian College undergraduate students who are taking part in a Museum and Gallery Studies Internship Program.  The Township would collect $2,400.00 in rent from the students over the four month program.  A similar arrangement was reached for the 2016 season.  Although the request was approved it will be ratified during budget discussions.

Retiree Benefits

CAO, Steve McDonald, presented committee with a proposal for long service limited benefits being extended to employees who have been with the Township for 25 years or more.  These benefits will be available to retirees between the ages of 55 to 65 and will be financed through the reserves.  The proposal was approved by the committee.

Peninsula Community Centre

A resident of Minett presented her proposal for the use of the Peninsula Community Centre.  The request was for the use of the kitchen and its facilities once a week to prepare healthy meals and meal preparation classes to those in the area.  Following a brief discussion the $20.00 daily fee was waived and committee voted to approve the application.

Ron Brent Legal Fees

As was reported in the November Township Watch (Township Watch - November 2016) former councillor Ron Brent was before the committee to request that legal fees in the Brent vs Nishikawa legal case that were not awarded by the courts be covered under the indemnification by-law.  CAO McDonald explained to committee that the Township solicitors had advised against reimbursing Mr. Brent as:

  • The request was not submitted at the beginning of the legal action,
  • The Township was not involved with the selection of his legal counsel, and
  • The Township was not asked to approve Mr. Brent's legal counsel.

Committee discussed the situation and in a recorded vote, defeated the request.

2017 Budget

  • The 2017 budget will be introduced and discussed at a Special Committee of the Whole meeting on January 17th, 2017. 
  • The public will then have an opportunity to opine on the budget at a public meeting on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 at 7 PM in the Council Chambers.
  • A second Special Committee of the Whole meeting to re-discuss the budget will be held on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 at 9 AM.
  • It is anticipated that the 2017 budget will be voted on at the February Council Meeting on Friday, February 17th, 2017.

Report Card - Strategic Plan 2015 – 2018

As you might recall when this council was initially elected it undertook a new Strategic Plan.  CAO McDonald presented to the committee a number of goals that have been commenced and completed.  The Township has:

  • Assessed existing infrastructure and equipment and undertaken to address current and future needs and opportunities,
  • Increased protection of unique and significant natural features, heritage properties and buildings,
  • Built onto current efforts to protect and promote health of the environment and waterways,
  • Decreased noise and light pollution to preserve Muskoka's natural and unspoiled beauty.
  • Enhanced the quality of life in the Township through support for community and health services,
  • Stimulated use of community centres and arenas to enhance sustainability,
  • Collaborated with key stakeholders to create a Township Economic Strategy and Plan,
  • Improved quality, accessibility and affordability of high speed internet service,
  • Enhanced the Municipal workplace environment to attract and retain quality staff,
  • Established guidelines to support strong and effective Council leadership,
  • Established service delivery standards that meet changing demands, and
  • Improved public access to information and enhanced quality of communication.

This report  (1612 - Council Report Card.pdf Council Report Card) was on the agenda for informational purposes only.  No vote was taken.

Council - Friday, December 16th, 2017

Winterfest 2017

With the 50th Annual Port Carling Winterfest quickly approaching on February 3rd, 4th and 5th the Port Carling Lion's Club was in front of Council to request:

  • That Hanna Park be used for fireworks on these days,
  • The use of the parking lot adjacent to the Municipal Offices for events,
  • The use of both levels of the Port Carling Community Centre, and
  • The closure of Bailey Street from 10 AM to 4 PM on February 4th.

As this is not only a community event but a tourist attraction as well a request was put forward to waive rental fees.  The application was approved.

Port Carling Boatworks

This item was previously discussed at the November Committee of the Whole meeting and was deferred so the heritage committee could review the application.  The heritage committee, chaired by Susan Daglish, met for the first time on November 28th.  Following a lengthy discussion  the heritage committee passed a resolution to allow for the destruction of the Port Carling Boatworks on the condition that site plan control was implemented to ensure the new structure is built according to designs shown to the Committee of the Whole in November.

Council had three choices on how to proceed:

  1. Do nothing and allow the 60-day waiting period lapse (which would remove any control over the design of the structure)
  2. Implement site plan control, or
  3. Commence the designation process.

Although it was agreed that the Port Carling Boatworks was a heritage structure, Council followed the Heritage Committee’s recommendation and voted to allow the demolition as long as site plan control would be implemented.

Heritage Easement

As was discussed at the November Committee of the Whole meeting a heritage easement between the Township and Swift River Energy Limited had to be entered into for the conservation and rehabilitation of Portage Landing.

Mitchell Shnier from “SaveTheBalaFalls” presented to council concerns that they still have regarding the safety of the location of the portage route.  They feel that with the water flow coming from the hydro plant, that the portage location is unsafe.

Following a discussion, Council voted on the heritage easement by-law (1612 - Heritage Easement Bylaw.pdf Heritage Easement By-law), which was approved. .

Port Carling Health Hub

CAO McDonald informed Council that the District of Muskoka has approached the Township with a request to lease a portion of the lower level of the Port Carling Health Hub.  Although still in the discussion phase, the District has offered $12,000.00 for use of 50% of the lower level for a one year term.  The District will be responsible for any improvements they wish to make and if they are satisfied with the arrangement may expand their usage.  CAO McDonald reminded Council that the Township has been looking for a tenant for the space.  A resolution to lease a portion of the lower level of the Port Carling Health Hub to the District was carried unanimously.

The MRA wishes everyone a safe and prosperous 2017


Upcoming Events - Monthly Calendar

TML - Committee of the Whole
Apr 11, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Apr 12, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
MRA - Board Meeting
Apr 27, 2019 9:00am to 1:00pm
MRA - AGM 2019
Jul 20, 2019 10:00am to 12:00pm
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