Brief Summary of the Council Meeting of January 8th
Galway-Cavendish Harvey Township Offices
To: NPLRA Board Members & Members and Non Members
The meeting started off well with the prayer and the national anthem.
For items 1 through 6-3 a) There was nothing relevant to report, as it was housekeeping items.
Meeting Update Dec. 14 th – City of Kawartha Lakes
Item 6-3 – Pat Kemp presented the administration report and the following is a brief synopsis.
- The City of Kawartha Lakes – Hosted its Aggregate Secondary Plan on Dec 14, 2012.
- Pat Kemp was the only representative for GCH and reported on the meeting.
- The details of the Dec 14 Th meeting are on page 39 – 40 of the January 8 The Council Agenda.
- The City of Kawartha Lakes is developing an Aggregate Secondary Plan, which will form part of the cities official plan. It was noted that the City of Kawartha Lakes has 150 licensed pits in their municipality.
- The Mayor could not attend and asked Pat Kemp – Chief Administrative officer/Economic Development Officer/Deputy Clerk to attend.
- Councilor Beverly Matthews commented on this issue, showed concern and stated that she was available and that this meeting was, in her opinion, important enough to warrant one elected official there.
- There was immediate discontent expressed and directed to the mayor from various councilors with her decision to have a CAO/deputy clerk attend such a meeting instead of a councilor.
- The Mayor did not ask any Councilor or even mention it to them. Ron Windover, Bev Mathews, and Don Lacombe said they would have liked to go and would definitely want to attend the next meeting. Bev Mathews re-iterated that the township should have sent a councilor instead of an administrator. From our viewpoint it was more likely an apparent failure of the Mayor not communicating with her councils.
- Pat added that the City of Kawartha Lakes would like Peterborough County and GCH to be involved due to the overlap of haul routes.
- The next follow up meeting will be hosted by the County.
In conclusion, Pat Kemp was not overly excited about the meeting or the subject matter. As a side note: we do not know her well enough to properly assess her demeanor. She referenced a similar effort put forward by the township 8 years ago. The GCH council did not appear too interested in being part of this secondary plan. However, Don Lacombe did mention that some aggregate meetings in the County of Peterborough were planned and something was actually put into the official plan for GCH (this may be a reference to the infamous “map of all aggregate deposits”). And from there on it went downhill. The Mayor’s last words were that the Interim Control by Law will cost too much for the township.
Item 6-3 c) was nothing exciting unless you were the one who had to move a building off Town land.
Interim Control By-Law (ICB) – Update
- Pat Kemp (who appears to handle and control each subject) again handled Item 6-3 d) and it revolved around the NPLRA’s asking that the Township pass an interim control bylaw. Steve’s last minute email with additional information was handed out to all Councilors and Mayor. Pat gave some statistics like there were a total of 35 aggregate sites which consists of 17 licenses* on private land and 18 permits* on crown land. New applications were not mentioned.
- Thus she said the bylaw would not have any impact on Crown land quarries. She then went through her elaborate report and in our opinion slanted her remarks to the negatives but that is our interpretation.
- She answered the question by the Mayor “what will this cost?” or words to that effect. She said $250,000. The mayor remarked to the council, and by this time to the audience present, that the cost of the studies to support the Interim Control Bylaw was too expensive for the township.
Not one councilor, Pat Kemp or the Mayor asked for the breakdown or the justification of the $250,000.00. The only justification was that Pat Kemp had asked a lawyer what it would cost. Thus one has to question the number but regardless the number was high enough it surely influenced the Councillors and Mayor. Janet added that this should be something for the province to handle. And it is their responsibility alluding to the fact in our opinion that it was not her responsibility. Bev Matthews said the Ontario government should pay for the appeals to OMB. Motion to receive the report and in my opinion was a nice way of saying it isn’t going anywhere!
In conclusion, the number of new applications was not mentioned and hence there may be more sites than stated. The guessed at cost to adopt the interim control bylaw became the issue instead of considering the long term planning and management of the aggregate sites by the township. Not even discussion or debate over would it cost more to maintain the haul routes per year than a one time cot of a guessed at $250,000.
The NPLRA’s message to the township is to take the time to implement a management plan for current and future aggregate sites and look at the objections and problems raised by the community and professionals with traffic, water quality, and the environment. The report was received and accepted by all members of council. It appeared that the Interim Control Bylaw had just been shelved! The last hope for a year of studying the issues and building a plan seems doomed.
- The council received and accepted various correspondences written and provided by Dewdney Mountain Farms related to the application and rezoning of the aggregate site. The details of the reports are available in the January 8, 2013 Council Agenda. I.e. Genivar Inc., Haul Road Improvements, David S. and White, Baker and Cole.
- Later on in the meeting when looking at accounts Councilor Beverly Matthews questioned why light bulbs cost over $400 for replacements for a Town building. Ron Windover said he bought a light bulb recently and it cost $6.80 and did not understand why a light bulb would cost so much.
- The notion that a $400 bill for light bulbs came under scrutiny, however the cost of $250,000 to conduct studies related to the Interim Control Bylaw was not even questioned leads one to surmise a complete disregard for the concerns that the NPLRA are bringing forward. We thought that there was an assumed automatic dismissal based on the high cost, when they are worried about light bulbs.
- There was also some discussion about a rather high legal bill for over $33,000. Although they all expressed concern no one really challenged it or asked that justification be brought back to Council. Pat Kemp was asked by the Mayor to get more information and Pat Kemp replied that the Bay Street law firm invoiced the township at the rates quoted and that’s the way it is.
In conclusion, the invoice for the amount $433.00 to a hardware store for light bulbs was scrutinized and discussed in length by councillors. Meanwhile, there seemed in the opinion of the writers of this note almost little discussion of all other significant expenditures. The rational for discussion was lost on the NPLRA members in the audience.
Media – Update
Addendum: Ross Morton later in the day returned a call to the radio station Bob FM in Lindsay and gave them an interview. He gave them the history of NPLRA, the reason for our concern, the fact we wanted a plan, the fact we wanted but were not going to get an ICB to buy some time, etc…
He expressed to the media our frustration with the Council and the Mayor, and gave some examples of the humour seen sitting in on Council meetings. He covered almost the entire foregoing note in some detail.
He did end the interview with an answer to the Jim and Julie show question “what is next if the Township approves the rezoning and gives the quarry the go ahead?” His answer was that the NPLRA and the citizenry of GCH would have no choice but to go to the Ontario Ombudsman and the OMB and fight on the basis that proper due diligence was not done and thus a poor precedence was set.
Finally: The next important point in this exercise by the GCH Council is the vote on the rezoning to be held on January 15th at 1:00 PM in the Town Council offices. Be there please.