Township Watch - April 2013


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New District Treasurer

The Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association would like to offer our congratulations to Julie Stevens, former treasurer for the Township of Muskoka Lakes, who on Monday, April 15, 2013 was promoted to Commissioner of Finance for the District of Muskoka.  We also extend congratulations to recording secretary for the Muskoka Lakes Council, Teri Guthrie for her completion of the Parliamentary Meeting Protocol Course.

Heritage

By-laws were passed giving heritage designations to Bala’s Museum Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Portage Landing on the Moon River, the Town Dock on Lake Muskoka and the Shield Parking Lot.  In a recorded vote, three of the councillors voted against heritage designation for the parking lot.   The heritage committee recommended to council that the municipal dock on the Moon River be named “Tooke’s Landing” and that the municipal land be named “Portage Landing”.

Muskoka Woods

The council chamber was filled almost to capacity on Monday, April 15, 2013 for the meeting of the Planning Committee.   Muskoka Woods camp put forth an application to construct a 6 lane water slide.  After hearing concerns from neighbours which ranged from noise issues to being opposed to change that is not in keeping with Muskoka and much discussion with members of the planning committee, a resolution was put forth to allow the camp to proceed with the water slide.  Also before the planning committee that day was an application for the redevelopment of Lakeside Lodge.  The developer and their planner, Margaret Walton had returned once again in an attempt to gain approval from the planning committee to have their application moved forward to council.  Presentations were made by Margaret Walton, two neighbouring property owners and Anne McCauley from the Muskoka Lakes Association.  After much discussion and many questions being posed to Ms Walton and the neighbours, the application was deferred back to staff to obtain more answers.  It was mentioned that this application had been brought before the committee more than once, that requested changes were being made and that to continually go over and over it is an unproductive use of the committee’s time.

District Council

At the District Council meeting on Monday, April 15, 2013 there were two delegations to introduce new organizations to the Councillors.  The first delegate was Sandra Holdsworth who has founded Muskoka Gift of Life.  The purpose of the organization is to raise awareness about the importance of organ donations and how these can change lives.  She made several points:

  • Muskoka has one of the highest percentage rates of registered donors
  • The old Donor Card has been phased out and in order to donate you must be registered at BeADonor.ca
  • Every donor can save eight lives.

The second delegate was Dr. Peter Sale, who introduced the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed.  The Watershed Council has re-formed under the new name but will be carrying on all its usual activities.  The Heritage Foundation is now concentrating on Land Conservancy.

Lake of Bays, Mayor Bob Young stated that being a part of the District is becoming too expensive for his Township.  Lake of Bays’ financial allocation to the District is 11.7%, about the same as Bracebridge, but the money must come from a population of 3,500, compared to Bracebridge’s population of 15,400.  The Township Muskoka Lakes allocation is 49%.

The Mayor of the Township of Georgian Bay, Larry Braid has joined a consortium of mayors whose jurisdiction lies on Georgian Bay, both in Canada and the USA. Georgian Bay is in crisis!  The group have banded together to seek assistance from their federal governments for help to halt the decline of water levels. Over the past decade the water levels have continued to dropped, and presently are 67 cm below previously recorded all time low.  This is adversely affecting the economy and the wildlife.

The District of Muskoka public works department has announced that Muskoka Road 4 into Windermere will be closed at Sherwood Creek Bridge starting July 15th for 7 or 8 weeks.  This will be a full closure with detour routes in place.  Although it was recognized that this is a bad time of year to have a full road closure, unfortunately the bridge is in urgent need of repair.

Odds and Sods

In Muskoka Matters, the Muskoka Lakes Museum was listed a place to obtain native plants. Unfortunately the Museum will not be holding its plant sale this year.

More information has become available regarding Bala Falls.  With the author’s permission, we direct you to Muskoka News Watch - Hydro wars - Muskoka Lakes Township vs. Province in Legal Battle

LIKE YOU, THE MRA IS PATIENTLY AWAITING SPRING!

 

 

 

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