MNBP Special Council Meeting Minutes February 19, 2019


MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Milt McIver, Deputy Mayor Debbie Myles, Councillor Laurie (Smokey) Golden, Councillor James Mielhausen, Councillor Megan Myles
STAFF PRESENT: Mary Lynn Standen, Clerk, Bill Jones, Chief Administrative Officer, Tessa Townson, Administrative Assistant, Cathy Addison, Deputy Clerk, Teresa Shearer, Treasurer, Troy Cameron, Public Works Manager, Wilf Barnes, Fire Chief, Marshall Tigert, Facilities Supervisor, Wendy Elliott, Chief Building Official
Mayor McIver called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and Council members were reminded to disclose any pecuniary interest that may arise during the course of the meeting.
Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #04-01-2019 Seconded by M. Myles
THAT the content of the agenda be approved, as presented.
There are no Minutes for Special Council meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
There is no Public Meeting for Special Council meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
There is no Delegation for Special Council meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
Treasury Department Report No. TR 19-05
RE: 2019 Budget – Draft #1
Mayor McIver began discussion on Draft #1 of the 2019 budget.
Municipal Tax Levy:
Councillor Myles asked Mrs. Shearer, Treasurer, how the 1.77% increase in the tax rate, when factoring in the assessment increase, compares to past years. Mrs. Shearer said that she thinks the increase has never been in excess of 5%.
Councillor Golden commented on the increase in farmland. Mayor McIver questioned the reasoning behind the increase in the class assessment for managed forests. Mrs. Shearer said that may be due to reassessment, and further that managed forests pay 25% for taxes (the same as farmland).
Council then proceeded to discuss budget considerations.
Unconditional Grants:
Councillor Golden noted that the possible estimate of $1,499,000 from the Province to be included in the 2019 budget may be reduced which is something for Council to keep in mind.
Councillor Myles inquired about the $65,000 listed for Council Chamber upgrades. Mr. Jones, CAO, described the possible upgrades to include the installation of a full audio video system and the actual room set-up, permanent versus portable, noting that he can bring an architect in to speak with Council about these improvements. Mayor McIver said that it can be difficult to hear at times particularly if you are in the audience. Councillor Myles indicated that the projection screen location is not ideal as it prevents individuals sitting in certain locations from being able to view it. Deputy Mayor Myles mentioned that closed meetings should be taped and Councillor Myles said that a video recording of meetings may be warranted because two-thirds of the taxpayers are seasonal residents. She commented that she likes the Bruce County website as there are direct links from the agenda to the video.
By-law Enforcement:
Mr. Jones advised that the peak times are late June through to August and the May 24 long weekend.
Councillor Myles questioned if OPP calls for service to Parks Canada properties are paid for by the Municipality. Mr. Jones stated that they are not paid for by the Municipality, but that he will confirm this.
Emergency Planning:
Mayor McIver commented on the need for a new generator at the Lion’s Head and District Community Centre/Arena. Mrs. Addison, Deputy Clerk/Accessibility Coordinator/Community Emergency Management Coordinator, stated that there is the need to put money away in order to replace the aging generator. She also said that there is an inspection of the current generator scheduled during the next few weeks. Mr. Tigert, Facilities Supervisor, advised that if something happened in milder weather the ice surface could be jeopardized. He mentioned that the generator at the Tobermory Community Centre is larger because it is a commercial generator and the facility has electric heat, where the Lion’s Head facility only has a residential generator because at the time of installation, it was not mandatory to install a commercial unit. Mrs. Addison noted that the Lion’s Head and District Community Centre/Arena is designated as an emergency evacuation centre.
Mayor McIver asked Mr. Cameron, Public Works Manager, for more information regarding the partial construction of East Road and Dyers Bay Road. Mr. Cameron informed Council that $60,000 was included in the budget which could be divided between the two roads to prepare the shoulder sections with grinding and re-paving to occur the following year. Mayor McIver asked Mr. Cameron if he knew the approximate total cost for all of the work to be done. Mr. Cameron estimated around $150,000.
Councillor Myles referred to the backlog of roads projects document provided by Mr. Cameron. Mr. Cameron advised that the page is not current, it is from 2012 and was based on the road needs study of the day. He further said that most listed on the backlog is simply maintenance work and not major construction. Mr. Cameron told Councillor Myles that the backlog is just for information and priorities are constantly changing with roads. He expressed that when the grading of gravel roads begins to become too high that is an indication the road may be worth being paved, such as, Johnson’s Harbour Road, Sutter Road, Barrow Bay Road, Cape Chin North Road, Rush Cove, Jackson’s Cove and Scenic Caves Road. Mr. Cameron is to provide Council with a list depicting the number of times each road was graded in 2018.
Councillor Myles inquired on the approximate cost if all streetlights were switched to LED. Mr. Cameron stated that there is controversy from residents who are in favour of the bluer LED light, which can be seen better from a safety perspective, versus the yellow LED light that is more dark sky compliant. Councillor Myles suggested replacing the lights with LEDs as needed. Mr. Cameron indicated that the grants that were once available are becoming rarer, but it would be more economical to replace all lights at once with the use of a grant.
Councillor Myles pointed out the lack of information in the airport voluntary log book. She said that this information is important and should be improved moving forward, if possible. Mr. Tigert informed Council that there is a voluntary log book at each entrance, but visitors may be more likely to write in the log book if there is better signage, a more inviting book or a chart available.
Tobermory Harbour:
Councillor Golden asked Mr. Tigert to explain overtime hours in relation to harbour staff and suggested hiring extra staff rather than paying overtime. Mr. Tigert said that staff work holidays in the summer months and a great deal of time is spent looking after the town, not just harbour and boats. He said he could stagger shifts more to reduce overtime, if requested.
Lion’s Head Harbour:
Councillor Myles mentioned that more hours for staff were included in the budget. Mr. Tigert said that more hours were added in that the staff have been tasked with looking after the town. He further stated that it would be nice to have an employee at the campground until around 10:00 p.m. at night on specific days; however, that may not happen. Mr. Tigert replied to an inquiry from Mayor McIver that Sandy Beach (Black Creek) is visited by staff twice daily, and during the visit, staff (usually a student) can also circle to the Pike Bay Park and the Ferndale Ball Diamond.
Mayor McIver touched on the topic of increase in the amount of fuel pumped. Mr. Tigert said it could be due to municipal trucks being filled at that location, such as Parks and Facilities and By-law.
Lion’s Head Water:
Deputy Mayor Myles asked for the reasoning behind transferring $10,000 to offset the Lion’s Head water system. Mr. Cameron stated that the transfer used to be $20,000 but it has decreased and the transfer is to assist with the payment of the overbuilt water system. Mr. Cameron informed Council that there is still another 12 years to pay off (a 25 year debenture in 2007). Mr. Jones advised that this is a way for customers using the system to offset the cost of residents using the system, to which Councillor Golden said there is no way the water system could be solely user pay.
Councillor Myles stated that the fuel gain may be overestimated.
Garbage Collection and Waste Diversion:
Mr. Cameron advised that this is the final year in the garbage collection contract and a report will be brought to the March 11, 2019 Council Meeting with a staff recommendation. Brief discussion also ensued in regards to bear proof bins and the possible selling of front load bins and the purchase of roll-off bins.
Waste Disposal Sites:
Councillor Mielhausen asked Mr. Cameron the age of the waste disposal gates. Mr. Cameron explained that they were installed in 2009 but there have been problems, such as a lightning strike at the Lindsay Site that destroyed the weigh scale. He mentioned that the St. Edmund’s Landfill Site will become more of a transfer station in 6-7 years.
Councillor Golden questioned the plan for when all cemetery plots have been sold. Mrs. Addison indicated that there are many more plots available. She noted there is an out of area fee for those who do not own property in NBP (double the price).
Tobermory Meeting Place (TMP):
Councillor Myles inquired if the Municipality had any documentation on the usage of the TMP. Mr. Tigert informed Council that there is a sign-in book available, but it can be difficult to know what is going on at the TMP because the TMP Group manages the bookings. Councillor Myles mentioned the importance of usage rates at various facilities in terms of determining which facilities to prioritize for maintenance. She also spoke on the possibility of agreements being put in place that outline specific tenant and Municipal responsibilities.
Parks and Recreation:
Councillor Mielhausen commented on the portable toilet units to be put in place at Sandy Beach.
Mayor McIver said that Messrs. Jones and Tigert have been in contact with the Northern Bruce Peninsula Cowork Group. In response to a comment from Councillor Myles in regards to the group being sustainable, Mr. Jones expressed that the group could not be sustainable based on the size and being volunteer based. Mayor McIver stated that the NBP Cowork Group is providing a great service to the community.
Mayor McIver commented on the pleasant horticulture provided by Parks and Facilities, such as the hanging baskets in the towns. Mrs. Standen, Clerk, clarified that the “Proposed Parks and Recreation Manager” is the same as the “Manager of Community Services”, as described elsewhere.
Councillor Myles asked Mr. Jones if he had heard anything regarding possible paid parking at Sandy Beach. Mr. Jones advised he had not, and further that Sandy Beach is Provincial land. Councillor Myles then suggested a discussion be had with Ontario Parks as the portable washrooms that will be placed at Sandy Beach are not a long-term solution. She emphasized that both the Lion’s Head (Moore Street) and Sandy Beach situations need attention.
Mayor McIver mentioned the Tobermory Daycare. Mr. Jones noted that in order to install a kitchen into the daycare building there are many factors to be considered such as, the monthly charge that the daycare would need to pay to the school board, new walls, washrooms, accessibility and new exits.
Tobermory Community Centre:
Mr. Tigert explained that volunteer groups have begun to use the prime times, fees waived, for events leaving potential paying renters such as wedding parties, etc. without an available venue in Tobermory.
Councillor Myles asked the total number of nights that the campground is open. Mr. Tigert said from May 1 to October 15. She then asked Mr. Tigert if there are any minimum number of nights required for booking. Mr. Tigert stated there is a minimum of three nights (Friday to Monday) for long weekends and reservation bookings for the year begins on January 1.
Council discussed the replacement of a maintenance truck for Parks and Facilities.
Councillor Myles requested the budget be organized differently in the future to be more accessible.
Mr. Tigert addressed courses for the Parks and Facilities staff for the 2019 year, such as, ice technician and building management operations.
Tobermory Library/Lion’s Head Library:
Councillor Myles asked how building rent is established. Mayor McIver noted it based on square footage set by the County. In regards to other rents, Mr. Jones said the rates are negotiated, for example, for the clinics. Mr. Jones indicated that Mr. Tigert is looking into the deficiencies at the libraries.
Ferndale Information Centre:
Councillor Golden requested that temporary signage be added into the budget.
Rotary Hall:
Councillor Mielhausen asked Mr. Tigert for the cost of a digital sign. Mr. Tigert said the sign for the Tobermory Community Centre was $8,500 for a double-sided sign, therefore the proposed one-sided sign will be less costly. The sign will be programmable and can advertise future events and sponsors. It was recommended that Mr. Tigert be responsible to administer the sign messages.
MNR House:
Mr. Jones stated that he will bring a report to Council within one month regarding the MNR House.
Councillor Golden stated that the bucket seat swing for the Lion’s Head and School Bell Parks is a great idea.
Community Development:
Council was unsure about including the request from The Lion’s Tail for advertising. Mrs. Shearer mentioned the $20,000 proposed contribution for the MRI machine to the Bruce Peninsula Health Services Foundation.
Messrs. Jones and Tigert advised that picnic tables are ordered from local schools whenever possible and lumber is purchased locally.
Councillor Golden inquired on the installation of sidewalks along Bay Street in Tobermory. Mr. Jones stated that the Municipality received funding in 2018 and has two years to spend it.
There was a break in the Special Council Meeting at 12:01 p.m.
The Special Council Meeting reconvened at 3:15 p.m.
Investment Income:
Councillor Myles noticed the deposit interest for 2018 and projected for 2019 was much higher than past years. Mrs. Shearer will look into this and report back.
Councillor Myles questioned if the Municipality has done any research on solar energy as some hydro billings are very high for facilities. Councillor Mielhausen noted that hydro costs are going to increase soon. Councillor Myles requested a staff report presenting the opportunities for solar energy on buildings.
Mr. Barnes, Fire Chief, described a new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) system that will allow air bottles to be filled and last longer.
Mr. Jones noted that the NBP has a low amount of calls reported.
Councillor Golden congratulated Mrs. Elliott, Chief Building Official, on the building permit revenue acquired in 2018. Mrs. Elliott noted that there has been an upwards/downwards trend over the past five years.
By-law Enforcement:
Deputy Mayor Myles requested clarification of paid parking revenues because revenues found in an explanatory email of paid parking sent by the CAO to Councillor Golden did not correspond with revenues found in Draft #1 of the budget.
Councillor Myles asked Mrs. Shearer the percentage that the Municipality is charged for credit cards being used for parking payments. Mrs. Shearer advised it is 3%.
Mayor McIver questioned the amount the Municipality provides for mileage to staff. Mr. Jones informed it is $0.53 a kilometre and that the By-law Enforcement Officer had to use her own vehicle until a Municipal vehicle was acquired late last summer.
Occupational Health and Safety:
Mrs. Addison mentioned that the reserve for the new generator at the Lion’s Head & District Arena and Community Centre has just started.
Councillor Myles asked Mr. Cameron what is included under “bridges and culverts”. Mr. Cameron said that regular maintenance is included noting that they perform very few culvert cleanouts. He further said that large costs are placed under capital for bridges.
Mr. Cameron informed Council that the winter road maintenance budget has been quite high and ditches need cleaned out.
Councillor Golden commented on overhead wages and road benefits. Mrs. Shearer indicated that overhead wages would include the Public Works Manager, Operations Manager and Public Works Administrative Assistant salaries.
Councillor Myles asked Mr. Cameron the amount of hard surface versus gravel roads in the Municipality, to which Mr. Cameron replied that it is about half and half with roughly 235 km hard surface. Councillor Golden questioned if it may be a fair assumption that hard surfaced roads are cheaper for the Municipality to maintain in the long term. Mr. Cameron stated that may be fair for some roads based on the frequency of grading.
Mr. Cameron noted that advertising was high is 2018 for new positions and staff changeover. Mr. Jones said that the ads are also placed in the Municipal World Magazine, Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) and further that other job search engines pick up on the listing and place it on their sites as well.
Councillor Myles mentioned some roads that members of the community have petitioned for repair. Mrs. Standen stated that it is difficult to use petitions as correspondence based on Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and further that there is no proof that petitioners are, in fact, those who signed their names, which could lead you to question the authenticity of the document. Councillor Myles requested the “formula” of how roads are determined to be of priority for maintenance and stated that if she knows the formula, then she “is prepared to take the heat” in regards to decisions.
Mr. Cameron informed Council that the Municipality is fortunate enough to have a healthy road reserve.
Mr. Cameron stated that the majority of streetlights are found in the two villages and at highway intersections. In response to an inquiry from Councillor Myles on the effect of LED lights on hydro costs, Mr. Cameron estimated hydro costs would be cut in half with the installation of LED streetlights.
Councillor Golden expressed that the Tobermory Airport is a great asset. Councillor Myles queried if Blue Heron Tours is the only major company leasing the airport. Mr. Jones said they are along with a few more small leases. Mr. Tigert described the factors that contribute to the high hydro bill for the facility.
Mayor McIver asked Mr. Tigert about the proposed 20’ X 20’ storage building at the Airport. Mr. Tigert said the storage building would store equipment such as, the tractor, lawn mowers and garbage bins.
Councillor Myles pointed out the reduction in gas sales at the Airport. Mr. Tigert mentioned that gas sales deceased as Owen Sound Flight Service did not operate at the Airport in 2018. He then clarified to Deputy Mayor Myles that Blue Heron Tours has their own gas tank that their own operations; however, the Municipality invoices Blue Heron Tours 17% of the fuel they use for operations which is included under “gas sales”.
Lion’s Head Water System:
Councillor Golden suggested the possibility of training Municipal staff to do the work that is currently being done by the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) to reduce costs paid to OCWA. Messrs. Jones and Cameron informed Council that this was done in the past and resulted in considerable difficulty with staffing and training. Mr. Jones advised Council that the Municipality has already renewed its contract with OCWA for a five-year term.
Councillor Myles and Mr. Cameron noted that the system is under capacity and could supply Isthmus Bay and Ferndale.
Lion’s Head Marina:
Mr. Tigert commented on dock upgrades and replacements.
Councillor Myles inquired on fees collected at the Tobermory Harbour from kayakers. Mr. Tigert noted that fees are collected in Tobermory, but not in Lion’s Head.
Small Water Systems:
Mr. Jones stated that revenues from the Tobermory Harbour are used to offset costs of the water system. Councillor Myles said that maybe more than $20,000 should be contributed from the Tobermory Harbour. Mr. Cameron informed that the problem is quality not quantity in relation to the water system. Councillor Golden said that there is a water supply issue at the Tobermory Community Centre and it may be worth investigating extending the water system to the Community Centre, Brad Davis Apartments, library and other buildings. Messrs. Jones and Cameron said they already have some information on that request.
Garbage Collection/Diversion:
Councillor Myles noted the $40,000 for recycling bins, to which Mr. Cameron said that recycling depots are placed at all three landfill sites.
Councillor Myles asked how the NBP garbage collection fees compare to other municipalities. Mr. Cameron said that the NBP fees are comparable, bag tag sales have not been implemented, two free garbage bags are allowed for pickup or may be taken to the landfills. Mr. Cameron advised that recycling data will be coming to Council in the form of a staff report.
Waste Disposal Sites:
Mr. Cameron informed Council that a staff report will be coming that addresses landfill operating hours. He said that he has spoken with various contractors on the topic; however, he is unsure if longer hours are warranted based on the estimate that one contractor may arrive. The alternative described by Mr. Cameron has a Municipal employee opening the landfill when requested by contractors if staff is available to do so.
Tobermory Meeting Place:
Mr. Tigert recommended that Council visit some Municipal facilities during the annual Road Tour in order to have a better idea of the building conditions and overall operations.
Parks and Recreation:
Councillor Myles mentioned the hydro pole which is to be connected to the Lion’s Head Pavilion.
Councillor Golden said the Tobermory tennis court improvements should be included in the budget.
Tobermory Community Centre:
Councillor Mielhausen asked Mr. Tigert about the generator at the facility. Mr. Tigert also mentioned interior drywall repairs need to be completed along with the purchase of stoves and tables.
Councillor Myles requested a breakdown of transient versus seasonal sites. Mr. Tigert said there are approximately half transient and half seasonal, inclusive of twelve transient trailer sites and seven transient tent sites.
Mayor McIver questioned the accuracy of the campground wages and benefits. Mr. Tigert said the number is accurate and that does not include time for bookings. He indicated that a lot of the bookings for the camp are handled by marina staff. He stated that visitors also need to register at the Harbour area and that is where they go with any questions or concerns.
Council discussed the months in which the ice surface is in the Lion’s Head Arena. Councillor Golden stated that, with few recreational opportunities for youth in the NBP and even if costs are high, the ice surface should be installed and used for the suggested months. A suggestion was made to collaborate with the Town of South Bruce Peninsula to alternate installation of the ice in the fall.
Ferndale Information Centre:
Council agreed that a sign needs to be installed. Mr. Jones mentioned the option of a second driveway as many visitors often miss the opportunity to turn into the existing entrance.
Rotary Hall:
Mr. Jones noted that Mr. Tigert suggested that $40,000 be put away each year until such time Council wishes to apply for a grant for improvements at the Rotary Hall.
Mr. Tigert advised that a storage building may need to be constructed to replace one removed by the Rotary Club.
Councillor Myles questioned if any plans had been discussed for the lot next door and questioned usage data for the Rotary Hall.
Deputy Mayor Myles noted that, during asset management discussion, Council can determine the costs of buildings.
Community Development:
Mr. Jones is to clarify the $10,000 budget cost associated with an Economic Development Committee as Councillor Myles pointed out that the committee was not re-established for 2018-2022. Funding for Bruce Peninsula Tourism and a short-term accommodation study were mentioned. Council requested that funding for the Lion’s Tail and Barrow Bay dredging be removed. Mayor McIver recommended that $25,000 be put into NBP capital reserves and be taken out for dredging if needed.
Councillor Myles asked Mr. Jones the process for the short term accommodation project. Mr. Jones advised that he spoke with an individual offering similar services to another municipality and further that they would assist with drafting by-laws, notices, etc. Mr. Jones said that this is the only individual that he could find for such a project when he did his research. Councillor Myles asked whether this project would be advertised for tender. Mr. Jones explained that he can put something together and get pricing for Council’s review. Councillor Myles suggested looking at other municipalities’ processes for short term accommodation.
Mayor McIver stated that if the Province cuts funding then the Municipality’s budget may be affected. Mayor McIver requested a summary of budget changes Council has directed from today’s discussion.
Mrs. Shearer listed changes to be implemented into Draft #2 of the 2019 Budget as follows:
The Cabot Head Lighthouse- Mr. Jones is to bring back a report to Council regarding the operational possibilities for the lighthouse
Budget for the cost of an advertisement in the Daytrip Companion
Budget for a temporary sign at the Ferndale Information Centre
Remove budget for advertising with the Lion’s Tail and $50,000 for Barrow Bay dredging
Place $50,000 into NBP capital reserve for potential future dredging
Budget $12,000 for the treatment of phragmites depending on Mr. Cameron’s finding whether the treatment of phragmites can be done by the Municipality’s local contractor and report back to Council
Budget $2,000 for the first phase of repairing the Tobermory tennis court. Mr. Tigert to determine costs associated with all phases of the project.
Remove budget of $10,000 allocated to the Economic Development Committee
Mr. Jones indicated that a summary of changes will be added to Draft #2 of the 2019 Budget.
Mayor McIver directed staff to prepare Draft #2 of the 2019 Budget with changes directed by Council.
Moved by L. Golden Resolution #04-02-2019 Seconded by D. Myles
That upon consideration of any comments or input received from the review, Council directs staff to make the necessary revisions for Draft #2 to be presented on March 13, 2019.
There was no Other Business for Special Council Meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
There is no Correspondence for Special Council meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
Moved by L. Golden Resolution #04-03-2019 Seconded by D. Myles
THAT the following listed by-law be given 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading and enacted:
There is no Closed Session for Special Council meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
There is no Closed Session for Special Council meeting No. 19-04, February 19, 2019.
Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #04-04-2019 Seconded by M. Myles
THAT the meeting adjourns at 5:00 p.m.