March 1, 2014 Special Council Minutes

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A Special Meeting of Council was held Saturday, March 1, 2014 in the Council Chambers, Town Hall, Collingwood commencing at 9:00am, for budget discussions.
 
MAYOR COOPER CALLED COUNCIL TO ORDER
 
Members of Council Present:
Mayor Cooper
Deputy Mayor Lloyd
Councillor Edwards
Councillor Lloyd
Councillor Chadwick
Councillor Hull
Councillor West
Councillor Cunningham 
Councillor Gardhouse
 
Staff Present:
John Brown, CAO (regrets)
Sara Almas, Clerk
Marjory Leonard, Treasurer
Nancy Farrer, Director of Planning Services (regrets)
Marta Proctor, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture
Brian MacDonald, Director of Public Works and Engineering Services
Marcus Firman, Chief Operating Officer (Water/Wastewater)
Larry Irwin, Director of IT Services (regrets)
Jennett Mays, Communications Officer
 
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
No. 075  Moved by Deputy Mayor Lloyd
    Seconded by Councillor Edwards
 
THAT the content of the Special Council Agenda for March 1, 2014, be adopted as presented.
 
CARRIED
 
DECLARATION OF PECUNIARY INTEREST AND/OR RECEIPT OF GIFT (over $200)
  • Mayor Cooper declared a pecuniary interest with respect to Parks general wages as her spouse is employed by the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department. 
BUDGET DISCUSSIONS (Committee of the Whole)
 
i. Mayor Cooper turned the Chair over to Deputy Mayor Lloyd, as Chair of Budget Committee.
Deputy Mayor Lloyd welcomed those in attendance and provided a brief introduction of the meeting agenda. 
 
ii. Short Presentation by Treasurer, Marjory Leonard
Marjory Leonard, Treasurer provided a brief presentation and overview of the draft 2014 budget.   Ms. Leonard reviewed the budget summary, sources of funding, portion of tax levy by service, tax implications, and result of budget deliberations to date. 
 
iii. Request Input from the Public (Max.10mins./person)
 
Mr. Carlo Palermo addressed Council to increase the awareness of Council decisions and the respective impact of taxes on homeowners.  Mr. Palermo thanked Council for their diligence over the past term and noted it has been a good balance of debate and decisions.  He requested that Council not lose sight of the importance of decreasing the debt load. 
 
Mr. George Hopps, addressed Council to request clarification of the recent infrastructure improvements in the Madeline Drive area including installation of new hydro services.   Mr. Hopps also questioned the increase in policing services for OPP and asked if returning to a municipal police force was a viable option. He also expressed concern with wages and questioned how the new Fire Hall costs were paid. 
 
Mr. Benjamin Henry requested Council allocate appropriate resources to ensure much needed upgrades and improvements to the skateboard facility.   Mr. Henry reviewed the status of the current park and reviewed options and amenities that would substantially increase the park’s use and profile across the province as a destination facility for local and tourist based use.  He also indicated that a portion of the upgrades could definitely be funded through sponsorships and fundraising efforts.  Mr. Henry also noted the importance of improved facilities for the “jump” park as well for BMX cycle users.  A suggested sized would be 1000 square meters with a scope between $200K to $500K. 
 
Mr. Matt Konings also requested Council’s favourable consideration for upgrades to the skateboard and BMX facility.   Mr. Konings expressed the importance of providing safe, fun and healthy facilities for youth in the community that also increases their creativity.  He also suggested including a graffiti wall component.  Both Mr. Henry and Mr. Koning confirmed that they would be willing to assist in this project, as needed.     
 
Mrs. Bonny Griffiths questioned why the average residential assessment is determined at $241K. The Treasurer explained how the Municipal Property Assessment Corporate determines those figures.    Mrs. Griffiths requested clarification from Council on the status of the Highway 26 West improvements, including the redesign and anticipated date of completion.  Mrs. Griffiths further expressed concern with the ongoing drainage issues on her property and further questioned improvements to the trail along the rear of her property as it is continually impacted by the drainage issues and is often impassable. 
 
Mr. Jim Gosnell congratulated Council on their budget discussions and deliberation to date.  Mr. Gosnell requested that Council continue to look at the big picture, and to ensure that appropriate strategic direction and vision is in place for the next 5, 10, 15 years.  He reflected on the significant asset the waterfront is to our community and encouraged Council to ensure that the appropriate time and study is undertaken prior to any redevelopment.  Mr. Gosnell also suggested that the Downtown vision also be a key focus including the relation to big merchants located outside of the downtown, and the long term use of the Eddie Bush Arena.  He noted his support for the development of the economic development strategy and the future vision for recreation programming. Mr. Gosnell reiterated the importance of a strategic approach that includes public engagement and communications.   
 
Mr. Joe McDonald, president of Collingwood minor baseball, requested that Collingwood allocate the needed funds to upgrade/construct appropriate baseball facilities at Heritage Park. Mr. McDonald expressed concern with the current state of repair of the present diamond and significant increase in membership in their program.   Mr. McDonald also requested Council’s support for their funding application opportunity in 2015, and support for temporary facilities that can be utilized for practices and skills development.  
 
Mr. Paul Dulmage, Public Library Board Chair, provided a brief presentation to Council with an overview of the programming and work that the Library has accomplished over the last year and requested Council’s continued support.   Mr. Dulmage thanked the staff and Board for their dedication and commitment that has realized an increase in use at the new facility.  
 
Mr. Marvin Clark expressed concern with the ongoing increase that the OPP policing contract has on the municipal budget and requested clarification on the shared services between Collingwood and The Blue Mountains.   The Treasurer confirmed that both municipalities had separate contracts and any shared services are reimbursed accordingly.   
 
iv. Further budget review, questions, direction, etc…
 
Council requested the Director of Public Works and Engineering also consider potential bus stop/shelter locations near the nursing home and new pool facility.  
 
Council recessed at 10:51 a.m.
Council reconvened at 11:09 a.m.
 
Mayor Cooper resumed the chair.
 
ADJOURNMENT
 
Moved by Councillor West
 
THAT the meeting of Council be hereby adjourned at 11:11 a.m. 
 
CARRIED
 
_____________________________
MAYOR
 
_____________________________
CLERK
 
No. of Pages: 
2pages
AttachmentSize
Mar 1_14 SP Council Minutes.pdf448.18 KB