By John Swartz
This afternoon’s 4 p.m. regular council meeting is the second council meeting of the day. Residents will find out who has been named Orillia Citizen of the Year for 2020. Unlike past practice, no advance noticed has been issued regarding a list of nominees, though Youth Centre director Kevin Gangloff did announce Youth Centre staff had been nominated.
In by-laws, of special note is one to repeal the appointments of Bob Ripley and Jim Lang as treasurer and to appoint Lockie Davis as the new Treasurer of the City of Orillia. Under provincial law a municipality’s treasurer and city manager are the only two staff positions required. Davis’s first order of business is to have council pass by-laws accepting $543,980 from the province’s dedicated gas tax fund, which applies to Orillia Transit operating expenses; and to accept funding from the province’s municipal enhanced transit cleaning fund in the amount of $66,691.
One other item on the agenda which depends on the outcome of a 2:30 p.m. special council meeting is regarding the Township of Ramara’s minister’s zoning order request which was on the January 18 committee agenda, but postponed. There will be a separate story on this issue. This meeting will not be on Rogers TV, but video will be available later.
Several people were appointed to various committees at last week’s closed session meeting.
Carol Perrault was reappointed to accessibility advisory; and Sharon MacKinnon and Krunoslav Marunic (active transportation) Laurie Neill (Farmers’ Market advisory) John Bell and Paul Raymond (municipal heritage) were appointed. All these are for 3 year terms expiring November 14, 2023.
Meghan Edwards was appointed to the Orillia Public Library Board to fill out a term ending November 14, 2022 Of note here, the board is beginning a search to replace the retiring CEO, Suzanne Campbell.
Richard Ruegg and James Caldwell (environmental advisory) and Zak GAriba (waste management advisory) were appointed to fill the remainder of terms ending November 14, 2022.
There are still vacancies on some committees. active transportation, commemorative awards, Farmers’ Market advisory, municipal heritage, waste management advisory and the town & gown committees all have one opening. The Orillia Sunshine Youth Senate is searching for 2 youths between the ages of 13 and 19 who are eligible to attend school in the Orillia area to fill vacancies. There is an online application form to apply.
Two items from last week’s committee meeting are coming back for final approval. Beginning February 7, 2022 Orillia residents will have to use clear garbage bags for tagged garbage collection. It’s not as simple as it seems to switch, people and groups in other communities have raised issues about privacy. While collections staff can see what’s in a bag, so can others. There’s a letter from a resident in this week’s agenda objecting to the switch – without specifically mentioning privacy.
The intent of the switch is to allow collection staff to gauge how much in bag is really recyclable material; too much and it will be left behind and residents will have to take it to the landfill themselves where staff will try to educate how to avoid further leave behinds.
A recommendation to officially support a federal government anticipated ban on single use plastics does have council support, however some councillors believe the proposed ban does not go far enough. The recommendation was postponed to March 22nd’s committee meeting in order to get input from the environmental advisory committee, Sustainable Orillia, Couchiching Conservancy and plastic industry representatives. Municipalities can take additional actions, like add more items to the proposed federal list, if they choose to.
Two reports to council involve Couchiching Beach Park. The planned replacement of boards on the swim dock and ladder replacement last summer was delayed because of pandemic work restrictions. In the mean time the price of construction materials has gone up. Staff are asking to increase the original $20,000 budget to $25,770. The work will be completed before swimming season.
The other item is to approve Rotary Aqua Theatre improvements and award the contract to Yorkton Contracting Ltd in the amount of $570,179. Yorkton was awarded the contract for $537,509 last year, but again construction did not happen because of the pandemic. Yorkton has advised the City material costs have gone up and they cannot honour material pricing. They have submitted a new budget and advise prices can only be guaranteed until February 12, which is the reason this item is coming directly to council rather than to committee first. Staff are asking for a budget increase of $72,000, which will include contingencies.
There are three items on the consent agenda. These things normally are routine and do not involve discussion and pass on one motion. One item is a request for the Downtown Orillia Management Board to take down a fence and use available parking at the former OPP detachment on Peter Street for permit parking. The recommendation is to get reports from development services and refer the item to council committee at a later date.
Next, Morgan Planning & Development wrote council asking for a late payment agreement for development charges and other fees for renovations made to property at 34 Market Street. Market West Inc. bought the property in 2011 and fees and charges for work on 5 of the residential units done prior to sale are outstanding. Aside from asking for delayed payment, they are also asking fees and charges in place in 2011 ($29,973) be used instead of current rates ($67,837). The recommendation is to get a report from development services and refer to council committee. The third item is a grant request from ODAC, which will be referred to the grants committee.
The regular council meeting is a video conference and the chamber is closed to the public. The public can watch it live on Rogers TV.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)