Madawaska Valley Council met a number of times this month, including the Council In Committee meeting on May 4 and the Regular Council meeting on May 18. The 2021 municipal budget presentation originally promised for April was made at the May 18 Regular Council meeting (see separate report). Other matters discussed by Council included:
Paugh Lake Road: We previously reported residents’ complaints about the quality of construction and Operations Manager Hilary Kutchkoskie had commissioned an engineer to inspect the road surface and take samples in the spring. In reply to a question from Mayor Kim Love, Operations Supervisor Mike Phillips told Council on May 4 that the main road surface itself “has weathered quite well over the winter.” He acknowledged there were some issues with late season paving on the boulevards in town and some of the entrances, but said the company would “get that all fixed up.” Councillor Carl Bromwich said he received many phone calls about the surface. Phillips said he has done a lot of work with the engineer and the project manager on the job, and that they are still going through the samples taken by municipal staff, but so far things “are coming back good.”
Ohio Road: Although not on the May 4 Agenda, Councillor Ernie Peplinski again asked for a verbal update from Kutchkoskie on the status of the sections of road shoulder and Shoreline Road Allowance to be transferred to municipal ownership. He told the Councillor that he was awaiting word from a new surveyor about the remaining section of road and that the bylaw for another section had been prepared. Silas Lorbetski, Manager of Planning Development & Licensing, explained that the volume of planning matters this year meant it had been difficult to get the required notice published. The Planning Dept. report showed that in the first four months of 2020 MV had issued 19 building permits, but in the same period in 2021 there were already 41 building permits issued. The estimated value for these projects had increased from $949,978 in 2020 to $4,329,650 this year.
Planning & Building Department
Two matters that have attracted much discussion were approved on May 18.
In a recorded vote, Council approved the Zoning Bylaw Amendment from Craig and Jude Kelley for two residences at their Mill Street property in Combermere (the former St. Paul’s Anglican Church), with Councillor Peplinski voting against the amendment.
Council unanimously approved the Subdivision Agreement by Combermere Lodge Limited (first and second reading only). The matter will return to Council in future for third reading.
Fire and Emergency Department, Bylaw Enforcement
Fire Department: On May 4 Chief Fire Officer Corwin Quade recommended that Council hire three new firefighters: Dustin Cybulskie (North Hall), and Cynthia Wolfgram and Blake Yensen (South Hall). Wolfgram brings much experience to the Department having done wildfire work in Alberta and Ontario. Quade assured Council he was confident all three would work well in the MV Fire Department. The vacancies they will fill arose when three firefighters left MV during the past year to take up employment elsewhere, one as a paramedic and the other two as firefighters.
Fireworks bylaw: Quade told Council that the new Fireworks Bylaw had been prepared allowing fireworks only up to 11 p.m. and that it was presently with the Ontario Court of Justice regarding the penalty. After that is completed, he said he will bring the Bylaw back to Council.
Illegal dumping: Quade continues to work with volunteers and community organizations to try to halt the illegal dumping along trails. He said this year there is also an issue of dog waste in the village of Barry’s Bay and some fines have already been issued.
Recreation and Community Development
Working group: On May 18 Council formed a working group for the Green and Inclusive Buildings Program through Infrastructure Canada. Working group members are Karen Filipkowski, MV Public Library CEO, Councillor Willmer, Councillor Bromwich as well as the Treasurer, Operations Manager, Recreation Facility. The group is to bring forward recommendations for Council consideration at the June Council in Committee meeting.
Recreation: Stephanie Plebon, Recreation and Community Development Coordinator, presented the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Renfrew County ATV Club for Council approval, saying the requested amendments had been made. The MOU will return to Council incorporated into a bylaw. She also reported that Murray Bros. had generously donated wood to revamp the bleachers at the Murray Bros. Memorial Ball Field behind the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre. Council voted to support an application by the Barry’s Bay Minor Ball League to the MacDougall Insurance Family Fund. If successful, the group wants to do further rehabilitation of the ball field. Correspondence from Joanne Plebon regarding the financial difficulties encountered by the Wilno Rink prompted Councillor Bromwich to ask Council to expedite the annual $5,000 budgeted support so that the committee could pay some bills. Council also agreed to provide a letter of support to the StationKeepersMV for a funding application.
Department reports: The agenda for Council in Committee meetings now contains a finance report (budget to actual figures) for each department. Another feature Klatt pointed out to Council is that staff reports now cite a “Policy Implication” (if any) to show satisfaction of an Action Item in the MV Strategic Priorities.
Next meeting of Madawaska Valley Council in Committee is scheduled for June 1