By John Swartz
Orillia council has two special meetings scheduled ahead of their regular council meeting Monday night at 7 p.m. They will have a special meeting regarding council procedures at 6 p.m. The last review happened in 2017 and council is required to pass a by-law each term. Most of the changes are a result of the province’s new Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, adding steps to the declaration process. There are also some minor adjustments to how amendments to motions will be dealt with. Staff is also floating the idea of starting regular council meetings at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. in 2020.
Following is a tax appeals meeting. This is also routine, adjusting taxes collected in view of changes in values to properties. In most cases refunds are in order based on successful appeals, some of which date to 2016.
The regular meeting has two deputations scheduled. Glenn Wagner will be presenting details of the Building Hope public fundraising campaign, which have previously been reported. Then Gord Ball, Tyler Hunt and David Stinson will be presenting details of a fundraising campaign on behalf of Orillia Community Energy. They hope to be able to launch a solar energy project with panels to be installed on the roof of the new Orillia Recreation Centre.
Councillor Tim Lauer pulled two items from council information packages dealing with the recreation center construction progress and the waste water treatment annual operation report. From the rec center report, work is progressing well and $2.4 million of the $3.5 million contingency fund has been spent for 172 changes to the original contract.
After being returned back to closed session, a request by Lakehead University to have council support in principal a third party undertaking for a marketing feasibility study for recreational uses at the main campus is back to open session. This step is necessary because the conditions of the City’s donation of part of the Horne Farm to the university are for the land to be used for university purposes, meaning by the university. Lakehead is trying to address student recreational needs, possibly with a third party in partnership, which is not covered in the original land donation agreement.