This edition of Township Watch is again being sent to current members and some past members. If you are the latter, we would love to have you once again as current members. You can join through our web site (www.muskokaratepayers.ca), or by contacting us at 705-765-0022. Memberships renewals will be valid through December 2013.
This week’s Council and Committee Meetings mark the half-way point of the current Council. Mayor Murphy thanked the staff for their hard work and for “putting the Township on a good path”.
At the Municipal Council Meeting, Councillor Kruckel was appointed to the District Wide Food and Agriculture Charter Steering Committee by a unanimous vote. Also our MRA Board Member, Andree Baillargeon was appointed to the Township’s Finance Review Committee.
An excellent presentation was made in regards to the Recreational Hiking Trails in Muskoka. Muskoka has 42 kilometers of hiking trails that are on municipally owned land, crown land and Ontario Parks properties. These trails - Fish Hatchery Trail, Raymond Trail, Hazelwood Trail, Torrance Barrens Trails, Huckleberry Rock Trail, Hardy Lake Park Trail, Wier Lake Trail, Port Carling Mural Walk and the Bala Historic Walk are located throughout the municipality.
For the first time, Muskoka Lakes has an application for attainable housing that has been approved by a District Committee. It became clear that some members around the Municipal Council table had many concerns as the property in question had originally been given approval for an alternate use. After much discussion and staff input, it became clear that approvals previously granted go with the property, and still stand.
The most contentious issue this session at not only the Municipal Council table, but at the District and The Committee of the Whole was Council’s Meeting schedule. The issue is whether to alter the schedule from the current three week meeting cycle to once a month. It appears that Mayor Murphy is in favour of altering the schedule, but at this point does not seem to have the support of Council. Two of the three District Councillors would like the Townships meeting schedule to co-relate to the Districts meetings, and several Municipal Councillors deferred to what was best for the District Councillors. After much discussion, no decision was reached and the topic will be re-evaluated after the issue is fully debated at the District of Muskoka Meeting on December 17, 2012. Although, the impression is being put forth that the once a month schedule would be easier on staff, it was made clear that this request is not staff driven. The MRA wonders how staff will feel about these changes. In the past, no Council meetings were held in August. Furthermore, you may be interested to know that with the current schedule the Municipal Council will have 49 meetings in 2013 and if they move to a once a month schedule they would have 48 meetings.
During the Committee of the Whole, it became apparent that there has been a change in the statute of limitation in the Township’s building code. In the past, if you built a structure without a building permit and it went unnoticed for more than a year, the building department could not force you to remove the structure. Now the building department has one year from when the offense is first noted to take action.
Next Council and Committee meetings will be held the week of January 14th, 2013.
The MRA wishes everyone a happy and healthy Holiday Season.
To Renew your Membership or to Join the Muskoka Ratepayers' Association
MRA - Board Meeting
Nov 25, 2017 9:00am to 1:00pm
TML - Committee of Adjustment
Dec 13, 2017 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Committee of the Whole
Dec 14, 2017 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Dec 15, 2017 9:00am to 12:00pm