Report of MV Council in Committee meeting Jan.8

Madawaska Valley considered the following items during its first day-long meeting as a Committee of the Whole held on January 8, 2019.

Declarations

The meeting began with the familiar call for Declarations of Pecuniary Interest and on this occasion there were responses. Councillors Willmer and Peplinski each declared an interest (Willmer on a discussion of funding for private roads and Peplinski on a discussion of an Ohio Road complaint) so each of them was absent during the relevant discussion.

Special Council Meeting to discuss cannabis retailing in MV

Council accepted CAO Klatt’s recommendation to schedule a Special Council meeting as soon as possible to discuss and decide whether MV should opt in or opt out of private cannabis retailing. This Special Council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 21. When The Current asked CAO Klatt if there would be an opportunity for public submissions, she said that Council has the option to ask for public input. The deadline for MV to notify the Province of its decision is midnight on Jan.22, the day after the meeting.

Operations (Roads)

The Operations Committee (Roads) recommendations included:

  • Council in Committee (CiC) directed Township staff to prepare a Request For Proposal (RFP) to obtain an independent consultant’s review of the 5-Year Capital Roads and Asset Management Plan (the existing plan ended in 2018) and to investigate available funding to offset some of these costs.
  • After discussing the existing 80 kph speed limit on Old Barry’s Bay Road in light of four options proposed by an engineering company to bring the road into compliance, staff was directed to bring back more information on the implications, costs sand requirements to consider a reduction in speed limit to 60 kph or leave it at 80 kph.
  • CiC wants Grants for Private Roads to be considered at budget in the recommended amount of $18,000; the same formula to be applied should a lower amount be budgeted. Having declared an interest because he lives on one of the private roads, Councillor Willmer was not present for this discussion.

Operations (Water/Wastewater)

  • CiC discussed a warning from the Ministry of Environment Canada dated November 20, 2018. The warning cited a failed acute fish lethality test conducted last February on an effluent sample collected on January 31, 2018 at the Barry’s Bay Wastewater Treatment system. Ashley Pilgrim and Scott Stewart, two representatives from the plant which is operated by Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA), explained how the issue arose and corrective measures. Briefly, a sludge blanket in the ISAM tank contributed to higher out-going levels of ammonia than were present in the intake of raw sewage. In response to a question from Councillor Willmer about water quality in Kamaniskeg Lake, OCWA personnel assured CiC that this was a one-time situation, tests are conducted regularly and the water remains compliant with the strict regulations they have on effluent quality.
  • CiC reviewed an inspection report and supporting documentation from the Ministry of the Environment regarding an unannounced focused inspection performed at the Barry’s Bay Drinking Water System on November 28, 2018. The report states: “There were no ‘Summary of Recommendations and Best Practice Issues’ identified in the inspection.”

Fire, Protection & Emergency

  • Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Corwin Quade reported that MV Fire Department personnel have no working radios at this time. Some staff have radios that do not work and in any event those leases expire this month. Various options for replacement radios were discussed and staff was directed to acquire some units for test purposes before acquiring sufficient handsets for all personnel.
  • CFO Quade told CiC that Fire Department communications are further complicated because County has not yet finalized its 911 dispatch protocol. He said some Fire Chiefs in the region are resolving the issue by obtaining dispatch services from providers as far away as North Bay. Mayor Love said she would seek more information on the issue from County.
  • CiC discussed replacement of the Rescue Truck in the South Hall as it is beyond its useful life and funds had been set aside for this purpose. They approved CFO Quade, with the Township licensed mechanic and Deputy Chief, to conduct a mechanical review of a proposed vehicle for purchase located in Ottawa.

CFO-Corwin-Quade

Chief Fire Officer Corwin Quade appears before Council in Committee

By-Law Enforcement Officer reports on Ohio Road dispute

  • By-Law Enforcement Officer Corwin Quade’s report on an Ohio Road complaint was discussed. Mayor Love assumed the chair for this discussion as Councillor Peplinski withdrew, having declared a conflict of interest. The complaint followed events reported previously in The Current concerning a disagreement over a Shoreline Road Allowance (SRA). Click HERE for that article.  In response to a subsequent complaint, MV staff visited the site and warned one of the property owners to cease working on the unowned shoreline. A follow-up visit revealed that the request had been ignored. Staff confirmed that the property owner had previously applied to purchase the SRA and that the Chief Building Officer said no building permit was required for the work done. CAO Klatt said staff would appreciate having a clear policy where residents ignore cease and desist orders from the By-Law Enforcement Officer. Instead CiC directed staff to investigate and report on the status of the SRA purchase applications. CAO Klatt stated that she would report on costs, including site visits, of issuing cease and desist orders.

Planning Matters – By-Laws

  • As recommended by MV Planning Officer Silas Lorbetski, CiC passed several By-Laws including By-Law 2019-03 Subdivision Agreement for Little Bark Bay Properties.

Finance & Administration

  • The Acting Treasurer Amanda Hudder presented a Statement of Revenues & Expenditures. CiC deferred discussion of the detail and directed that a Budget Working Group be established to meet in early February.
  • The Acting Treasurer reported on the 2017 Financial Indicator Review (FIR) Report from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The FIR Report highlighted the level of tax arrears as being a concern saying it is the one indicator for MV that exceeds “low” risk. She reported that the Acting Deputy Treasurer is actively working on the tax arrears files to bring tax rolls up to date.

 

Featured photo: Committee in Council hears from OCWA representative. From left: Carl Bromwich, Mark Willmer, Kim Love, Sue Klatt, Ashley Pilgrim (OCWA), Ernie Peplinski

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