The Bala Falls Hydro Plant was once again before Council. The issue on this day was that Swift River Energy Limited (SREL) had publicly given this date as a final date for signing a lease with the Township as they need to move forward with the project. Presentations were then heard from:
The presentations were followed by questions and a discussion at the council table regarding:
Following a lengthy closed session, no resolution was read regarding leasing of the municipal lands to SREL for their staging area.
SREL submitted a written request to the Township to make alterations to the municipally owned Portage Landing. This land, immediately adjacent to the proposed generator plant, is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. According to the staff report “under the Ontario Heritage Act, the municipality can either consent to the request, consent to the request with conditions, or refuse the request”. Three options were before the committee:
Prior to hearing presentations Director of Planning, David Pink explained that a heritage consultant, Mr. Dan Currie from MacNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson Planning Limited (MHBC) had been hired to assist the Planning Committee in their decision. Presentations were heard from:
In response to questions from the Planning Committee Mr. Currie explained that:
Following a closed session discussion, a resolution to support Option 3 was read and passed at a vote of 7 to 3.
As was reported in the April 2015 Township Watch (Township Watch - April) the Comprehensive Zoning By-law (2014-14) was appealed by 18 parties to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). At the Planning meeting Director of Planning, David Pink, informed the committee that the Ontario Municipal Board has rendered 2014-14 to be in effect. The appeals that remain unsettled are scheduled to be heard in an eight day hearing in the spring of 2016 and a four day hearing in the summer of 2016. Mr. Pink explained that these appeals/hearings will cost the Township, including legal fees, upwards of $10,000.00 per day.
Committee of the Whole - Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
A private citizen, Mr. Jim Frangakis presented to Committee of the Whole requesting that funds be allocated in the 2016 budget for a pair of tennis courts at the “Bala Sports Park”. He explained that he had been at Committee last fall with the same request, had been turned down and he hopes his request will be approved this year. There was no resolution to be read.
There was a brief report on the procedural by-law review. A working committee has been formed and has met to review key issues and areas of complaint. To date, items that have been discussed are:
This item was only on the agenda for discussion purposes and no resolution was read.
The Code of Conduct that was passed by Council in July 2015 included a provision for an Integrity Commissioner who, if the need arises, would deal with complaints. CAO, Steve McDonald, informed the Committee of the Whole that three applications had been received for the position and that the evaluation process determined an appropriate individual by a large margin. Mr. McDonald recommended that Robert Swayze be appointed as Integrity Commissioner for a three year term. The resolution was carried and will be ratified at the December 2015 Council meeting.
The District Council meeting was run quickly, and there is no significant information to report from it.
Individuals, who “delegate” Council and Committees, attend these meetings expecting a level of courtesy and decorum from councillors. It is not good governance when some of our elected officials speak disrespectfully to presenters. Most often, these presenters are taxpayers in the Township and this is their only forum to express their view publicly to their elected representatives.
Please note there is now a reduced speed limit on Muskoka Road #169 at the Glen Orchard Public School during school hours. This area is well marked with a flashing amber light at the north and south ends.
To Renew your Membership or to Join the Muskoka Ratepayers' Association
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