Township Watch - June 2015

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Township Meetings

At the beginning of the council meeting on Friday, June 12, 2015 two resolutions regarding personnel were read and carried by council.  The first resolution gave the Mayor and Catherine Vickery from the District’s Human Resource department, permission to negotiate an employment contract for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).  The second resolution allowed the Interim CAO, Clayton Harris, and Ms Vickery to negotiate with the preferred candidate for the position of Director of Public Works.

Solar Farms

Nine separate solar farm sites, totaling five projects, were before council on Friday, June 12, 2015.  Each project was looking for council's support under the FIT program.  Two sites, both brought forth by Petawawa Renewable Power Corporation, received support.  The first site is on Doherty Road on property owned by the Township of Muskoka Lakes in a “brown field industrial site”.  If this project site is accepted by the Provincial Government, the Township will lease Petawawa Renewable Power Corporation the lands for twenty years with a renewal option for another twenty years.  The second site is a five acre parcel of land located within the 162 acre Eveleigh Road landfill site.  As these lands are owned by the District of Muskoka, the proponent was asking for Township support at the District.

Public Meeting - Comprehensive Zoning By-Law

There will be a Public Meeting on July 17, 2015, concerning a proposed amendment to Comprehensive Zoning By-law related to "Sewage Disposal Systems (septic systems, etc.) for waterfront properties. 2014-14, Zoning By-law 2015-77 (Sewage Systems).  See1506 - TW - CZBL.pdf Public Meeting.

Attainable Housing

As was reported in the May 2015 Township Watch, the Foot's Bay United Church is being converted into a single family attainable housing unit - see. May Township Watch.   Knight Developments applied to the Township for attainable housing monies that were allocated in the 2015 budget.  Following a brief discussion the project was granted $5,700.00.

Tariff of Fees By-Law

A new tariff of fees by-law  (1506 - TW - Planning.pdf Fee Document) was presented at the planning committee of the whole on Monday, June 15, 2015 with a recommendation that it be brought to a future council meeting for approval.  This was presented in the form of a staff report and included new provisions for collecting fees for cell tower and solar farm applications.  Of most importance in this report is a “50% surcharge where approval is sought for a development which already exists or is under construction and is in contravention of municipal requirements”.

Fire Department ~ Water Tanker Shuttle Accreditation

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Fire Chief Hayes reported to the Committee of the Whole that on May 9th,  the fire department underwent three tests to obtain their re-certification for Water Tanker Shuttle Accreditation.  There was a different location for each test which ensured all Township fire stations were involved. This provides the greatest coverage for the Accreditation. These tests demonstrated to the Fire Protection Survey Service, the accrediting agency, that an adequate water supply can be maintained at a fire incident.  

There are two grades a fire department can receive in the accreditation process.  The first is the Dwelling Protection Grade which relates to the protection of personal dwellings.  In order to attain the Accreditation for this grade, the fire department must maintain a flow of 950 liters (200 imperial gallons) per minute for duration of two hours. 

The second grade is a Public Fire Protection Grade which focuses on the need for protection of commercial and industrial property.  To attain Accreditation for this grade, the fire department must maintain a flow of 1900 liters (400 imperial gallons) per minute for duration of two hours. The Township Fire Department received Accreditation for both categories. Congratulations!

These accreditations must be renewed every five years and are important to allow residents within eight kilometers and businesses within five kilometers of a municipal fire station, and within five km of a water source to apply for an insurance premium reduction. The community is reminded to check with their own insurance companies to see if they are eligible for a reduced premium. It is the insurance company that decides if there is a premium reduction and not the Township.

Councilors McTaggart and Barrick-Spearn attended one of the test sites and said that the different stations worked well together and that it was “impressive to watch”.

Code of Conduct

As first reported by the MRA in October of 2013, the council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes has been trying to implement an updated Code of Conduct (The “Code”).  On May 19th, 2015 a draft Code was finally presented to the committee of the whole and Interim CAO, Clayton Harris, was asked to amend it with comments that were received at that meeting.  The Code was brought back to the committee of the whole on Tuesday, June 16th with revisions made -1506 - TW - COW.pdf Code of Conduct. One of the main sections that required revision was the process to file an informal complaint. It was suggested that this section was still unclear as it did not lay out the step by step process on how to file an informal complaint, or who the complaint should be filed with.  Mr. Harris explained that the reason this section was less structured, was to allow individuals an opportunity to resolve a problem before it reached the formal complaint stage and perhaps involve the Integrity Commissioner.  There was an in depth discussion where some councillors felt that council was rushing the implementation of the code, while others felt that the process had been delayed long enough.  Mr. Harris was asked to again make some minor amendments to the code.  The informal complaint process was amended to include contact information as well as the nature of the complaint and that it should be filed with the clerk.  The Code was carried at the committee and will now need to be approved by council.


It is unfortunate that a member of the public who was listed on the council agenda to present at 3:00 PM was kept waiting until 5:30 PM.


Hope to see everyone at the Annual General Meeting

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Port Carling Community Centre

PLEASE bring a donation to the food bank


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