Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council has three meetings scheduled for Monday. The first is the annual shareholder meeting for Orillia Power Generation Corporation at 11:30 a.m. Next is a public meeting on planning matters at 1 p.m. and then the regular council meeting at 4 p.m.

The OPGC meeting in not being streamed of televised, but a video of the meeting will be available next week. Financial details are for the year ending December 31, 2021. The profit on operating revenues was $4.9 million, however when other income and liabilities (depreciation, financing costs, payments in lieu of taxes the net earnings) for the year are accounted there was $2.59 million net earnings. Net earnings in 2020 were $2.53 million.

The first half of last year had lower water levels contributing to revenue being $1.59 million below budget. The last half of the year recovered and electricity produced and sold into the grid was only 4% ($376,000) below budget.

Energy produced for OPGC’s solar generating projects was 2.6% over budget. OPGC paid the city $1.2 million in interest and dividends in 2021. The board is recommending a dividend of $1 million (10% more than 2020) be paid to the city on June 30.

The 1 p.m. planning meeting will be streamed on Youtube.

There are two items on the agenda; one to sever the Peter Street YMCA property into two parcels and rezone one parcel, the other is a draft plan of approval for condos at 388 West Street North, which staff are recommending deferral of approval pending the outcome of review of geotechnical studies.

YMCA property to severed and rezoned

With the former, the house immediately south of the YMCA is technically part of the same lot as the YMCA and the whole thing was bought by 2772090 Ontario Corp. which wants to separate the property and rezone it residential.

No change in use is outlined, however, for those wondering what will become of the YMCA building, the documents say, “The overall vision of the property is to convert the existing YMCA building into medical offices and ancillary uses.”

Next, Landen Homes is proposing to build 36, 3 storey townhomes in a back to back construction at 388 West Street North. The developer is proposing 4 buildings of 9 units each.  The land has been vacant since 1989 and as such has functioned as a water sink. Current regulations require hydrological testing to make sure the balance on ground water will not be upset by development. Aside from the loss of unbuilt taken by the buildings, development components such as using the least amount of impervious surfaces (i.e. pavement) and minimal lot coverage are to be determined with the study. The developer also has to provide plans for managing stormwater according to City policy.

West Street Condo Proposal
Regular Meeting

When council begins at 4 p.m. viewers will have to switch to a different Youtube stream.

Top of the agenda is a different start to the meeting. In addition to the usual O Canada, the Mnjikaning Kendaaswin Elementary School Choir will sing  the Ojibwe Prayer Song, composed by Lorraine McRae. Rama chief Ted Williams and Beausoleil First Nation chief Jane Copegog will also be on hand.

Councillor Jay Fallis pulled a letter from the council information package for discussion. It’s from the Town of Gravenhurst denouncing the invasion of Ukraine and endorsing federal government sanctions on trade with Russia. Furthermore the town will:

1) Not purchase any products (ie plywood, fertilizer, steel, furniture or machinery) which can be easily traced to have originated from Russia; and

2) Insist that any future contracts for services for the Town of Gravenhurst abide by these same limitations within our municipality;

and that upon confirmation that the Belarusian military is engaged within Ukraine that the Town of Gravenhurst apply these limitations upon goods from that country as well.

It can be assumed Fallis hopes Orillia council will take the same action. Following the report from last week’s committee meeting, there is a motion to go into closed session in order to discuss phase one of the Centennial Drive reconstruction project. Council had a closed session report on this matter last week as well.

We Consent

The consent agenda has some interesting items on it, for a change. The Snowbirds will be at the Borden Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show June 18 and 19, and as such are requesting permission to rattle dishes and your soul in Orillia with a flyover at undefined times between June 16 and 20.

The DOMB has request for closing Mississaga Street for their events this summer. They are from 7 a.m. Friday July 8 to 6 p.m. Saturday July 9 for the Mariposa Folk Festival (includes free parking); from midnight to 8 p.m. July 23 for the Summer Block Party (free parking too, includes Peter Street); and from midnight to 6:30 p.m. August 13 for the Classic Car Show (free parking, includes Peter, Matchedash and Albert Streets).

In by-laws, the City is repealing the ban of the use of barbecue, camp stove, and smokers in City parks and from last week’s closed session we now know the city sold lots 1 and 2 in the Horne Business Park to Jamie Dane Atkinson.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; Images Supplied)


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