Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council has its regular meeting at 4 p.m. today. The first order of business is to present Michael Jones and Erin Price as the 2021 inductees to the Order of Orillia.

Jones has involved himself in the community for more than 20 years through volunteering with organizations like the Hillcrest Lodge Seniors’ Apartments, Champlain Seniors Service Club, Alzheimer’s Society, Prostate Cancer, Orillia Youth Centre, Orillia Fall Fair, the Kiwanis Auction, Sustainable Orillia – Housing Sector and Energy Sector, Couchiching Conservancy, and the Scottish Festival.

Erin Price has been a volunteer in the community for 35 years, with a focus on the SPCA Orillia Animal Centre for 20 of those. Her association with the SPCA’s fundraising needs resulted in installation of new signs, forging new community partnerships which generated residual funding from local businesses, and organizing several other yearly fundraising events.

She also has volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society, Hospice Orillia, Green Haven Shelter for Women’s Green Again secondhand store, Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Elizabeth Fry Society, Brechin Legion, Uplifting Blessing, the Joyland Beach community center restoration project, St. James’ Church’s Pennywise Store, Orillia’s Leacock Museum, and the OPP Children’s Safety Village.

SUNonline/Orillia extends congratulations to Jones and Price for setting an example of all of us can aspire to be.

Other Business

Ninette Gyorody and Ted Duncan of the Orillia Museum of Art and History have a presentation to council about the museum’s 2021 operating plan. This presentation was bumped from the March 29 council meeting.

The OMAH staff and board planned an exciting year, such as it is, but with changes to plans happening twice already it would be a tough taskmaster who would hold them to their published and already out of date roadmap. Fortunately, examination of their financial statement shows the museum is reasonably good health (in the black) considering the state of affairs with similar organizations in other communities.

Next is the report from last week’s committee meeting. Notable from the actions taken, we have a new street. Nell Carter Court is the name of a road in the Horne Business Park. Council also decided to refer a staff request to hire a consultant at $75,000 to prepare a business matrix council can used to evaluate new business developments to the 2022 budget committee.

Council has a motion to approve zoning amendments for a development at 570 Laclie street. This was the subject of a planning meeting March 29 at which a number of area residents voiced several objections. There is a new staff memo to council addressing the concerns, pointing out why each should not affect the zoning application. Effectively council will pass the amendment today unchanged.

Councillor Tim Lauer has 2 notices of motion on the agenda. One is to request staff review with council phase 2 of the Centennial Drive improvement project. Phase one will start this year. Lauer’s argument is it’s been a while since the project was approve it would be beneficial for council to be refreshed about what the project entails.

Lauer’s other motion is asking for permission for he and councillors Dave Campbell and Jay Fallis to work with Sustainable Orillia to create an information campaign to present to council about reducing plastic waste.

Consent Agenda

Among the items listed on this one-motion-passes-all part of the meeting is a letter from residents at 412 Old Muskoka Road outlining several issues with the Service Ontario driver’s license testing center on Laclie Street. They say a new development in recent years to test truck drivers is creating many safety hazards for area residents and school children. They would like the City to approach Service Ontario with a view to relocating the testing office to an area more suitable for large transport trucks.

Among by-laws to be enacted is one banning the use of cooking devices of all kinds in city parks for the balance of 2021. If passed, the ban will become effective today. Another by-law is to accept payment from the province to the Orillia Fire Department of $12,200 for additional costs regarding training and inspections related to the pandemic. Also listed is a by-law to accept the terms of the contract agreement with the City’s roads and outside staff (which was recently on strike). No terms have been released other than it is a 4-year agreement to September 30, 2024.

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 Submitted) Main: 2021 inductees to the Order of Orillia. Michael Jones and Erin Price.


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