Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday May 20, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen



No spring this year – it seems like we are headed right into summer. Time for BBQ, festivals and enjoying the good life in Midland.



The Week Ahead



Monday 21 – Victoria Day - holiday – what more needs be said. 



On Tuesday the 22nd at 9:00 am it’s County Council. Council will receive the Transportation Tomorrow Survey results, that you may recall participating in last year.  A few survey facts: 95% of all trips made by residents in Simcoe County involved a car/light truck.  In Midland about 60% of our trips are within Midland, with our next most popular destination being Penetanguishene. Staying local – shopping local.



At 2:00 pm a very special signing ceremony will take place at Neezhoday Park on King Street.  The Town of Midland and the Beausoleil First Nation will be entering into a Protocol Agreement – a formalization of how we will cooperate in economic development, land use planning and generally the sharing of a common geography.  The Town of Midland is established on the Traditional and Treaty Territory of the Beausoleil First Nation. 14% of Midland residents identify as having an aboriginal identity.  This formal recognition is long overdue. Please do come and witness this historical event.



At 3:00pm the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at Town Hall to further their work on the affordable housing file.



Wednesday the 23rd starts with the Community Safety Task Force at 10:00 am at Town Hall.  The meeting will decide the form of engagement on the topic of safety for our Midland community. At noon Rotary celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Day with a free hot dog lunch at the Town Dock.  I understand that free coffee is also available at the Town Hall, and something about parking violations being overlooked…



At 1:00 pm the Governance Review Committee meets at Town Hall to consider the committees and procedures your elected officials will follow in the years to come. And at 5:00 pm at the MCC it gets political as our provincial election candidates square off in a debate. All are welcome to attend and learn more about who our next MPP will be.



Thursday sees the SS Keewatin open for its summer season in Port McNicoll.  At 1:00 pm the Cruise Ship Industry Group reconvenes at Town Hall to review the progress on our Town led project to grow cruising in the Great Lakes.



On Friday the 25th the Huronia Museum invites you to look at our history through the eyes of local residents.  The Four Jewels Oral History Project takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and it’s free.  A DVD containing the stories is available for purchase.  At 6:00 pm the OPP host their Veterans’ Dinner at Quality Inn.





Week - End



Saturday May 26



-       11:00 am - The Midland Bay Sailing Club has its start-of-season Sail Past from their location

-       11:30 am – The Hanson Development Group hosts the groundbreaking for the Seasons on Little Lake project on Hwy 12.  You are invited to attend

-       8:00 pm - Stef Paquette entertains à La Clé d’la Baie, 63 rue Main, Penetanguishene.  Chanteur-auteur-interprète franco-ontarien, il reprend la route, sans sa guitare, ni de musiciens pour prouver aux gens qu'il n'est pas drôle pantoute!





Sunday May 27



-       12:30 pm – The Lions Guide Dog Walk steps out at the Town Dock

-       1:00 pm - Hike for Hospice takes place at Wye Marsh.  Registration opens at 11:00 am.  https://www.hospicehuronia.ca/event.php?id=202

-       4:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Mayors Mac and Cheese dinner takes place at Phil’s Pub and Eatery on Hugel. Come enjoy a festive family meal with the mayors and help out the We Are the Villagers children’s charity.



Council Issues Update



MBL



General Committee recommended the Shareholders Agreement for our new Municipal Development Corporation, that will look after our Midland Bay Landing project. Once approved by Council we should be out looking for a new development partner by this fall.



OPR



Following the review of the natural heritage system, the project team is now finalizing Midland’s Draft Official Plan, a framework to guide and support future development in the Town.  Key features in the draft include:

-       Disaggregation of the “employment” designation into employment lands, employment areas, mixed use corridors and commercial corridors.  This will allow us greater flexibility if building a more livable community

-       Implementation of the Downtown Master Plan recommendations to support ongoing development, investment and revitalization in Midland’s downtown



The next step will be a Public Information Session scheduled for June. All recommended revisions will be incorporated into the Draft Official Plan. The OPR process will then pause for the election with the final Draft Official Plan targeted to be presented to Council in spring 2019.



                                                                *****



Three items in closing:



1)     Southern Georgian Bay Farmers Markets will be returning to the 526 Bay Street Parking Lot (behind Subway) in downtown Midland, every Sunday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (May 20th - October 7th, 2018)!



2)     On May 15th the Midland Fire Department will be launching the S.A.F.E program to educate residents on the need for working home smoke alarms.  This home program is completely voluntary - residents are free to participate or not.  The purpose of the program is to help residents with the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms.  The MFD will be knocking on doors throughout the Town to help residents with the location and operation of their alarms. 



3)     Summer movies return to the downtown at dusk at the 509 Bay Street Parking Lot. A hot summer lineup for you:

-       June 2 – Jungle Book

-       June 3- Canadian Bacon

-       July 4 - Jumanji

-       July 18 - Coco

-       August 1 - Avengers

-       August 15 - The Muppets

-       August 18 – Tragically Hip Concert

-       August 29 – Star Wars – The Last Jedi

-       October 13 – Hotel Transylvania



Gord McKay









The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018

                                                                                              






Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday May 13, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen



Seeing a lot more people out on the streets these day.  Must be spring.  And if spring is here our Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival is fast approaching.  They are looking for volunteers to help make the day a success.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in helping out on Saturday, June 9, please register at http://app.tandempark.org/Volunteer/Opportunities   There are plenty of opportunities to fit your schedule and interests.  All volunteers receive a t-shirt and lunch, including butter tarts for dessert – what else?



The Week Ahead



Monday the 14th at 7:00 pm you are invited to the May General Committee meeting at 7:00 pm at the Town. A relatively short agenda including:

-       Discussion on how we will welcome our cruise ship visitors this summer

-       SGB Farmers Market requests to move back to its former location on Bay Street

-       Lots of festival requests including: Canada Day plans, Rotary’s Random Acts of  Kindness Day and summer music returns to Little Lake Park





On Tuesday the County of Simcoe, will hold a Public Information Centre regarding the reform of the property tax rebate program that currently exists for vacant commercial and industrial buildings. The goal is to provide background information to those interested and to seek their feedback on proposed changes. That’s at the Simcoe County Museum, 1151 Highway 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  And from 4:00 to 7:00 pm our Community Living Huronia hosts an Open House at their 339 Olive Street location. You are most welcome to attend and find out how this important organization helps us all.



Wednesday May 16th invites you to attend a review of Midland’s transit service. You chance to provide comment on how well (or not) our transit service fits your needs. The consultation is from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and again from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the NSSRC.  And to encourage your attendance, Midland transit will be free to all during the time of the consultation.



Thursday the 17th local businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs from the skilled trades are hosting the 2018 edition of the Simcoe Muskoka Skilled Trades Expo at the Elmvale Community Arena. The student/school session for grades 7/8 is from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, while parents and the general public are invited from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  Also at 7:00 pm you may wish to drop by the Midland Library as they hold their regular Board Game Night.



Friday May 18th – are you ready for the long week-end? But first a busy Friday. At 9:00 am the County’s Affordable Housing Advisory committee reviews its 2017 highlights including a motel conversion in Barrie; allocating $2M for affordable housing in rural areas; building 1017 new affordable housing units over the last 3 years. Another very positive sign is that the Ontario and Federal governments are working together, committing an initial $4.2B for new housing over ten years.



At 11:30 am you are welcomed to Town Hall for the retirement party for Arlene Shirley.  Those who have met Arlene know of her sunny disposition and bottomless candy dish for all visitors.  She will be missed.  Port-O-Rama gets into high gear in Port McNicoll this week-end. All sorts of family activities. http://www.tay.ca/en/Calendar/Events/Details.aspx?Id=33bcf36d-8578-4d63-af26-2b2bdd4bf878&ref=%2fen%2fCalendar%2fEvents%2fdefault.aspx



And Friday also sees the start of the ever popular Uke Fest at the MCC.  This 3 day festival, the first Uke Fest in Ontario, allows ukulele players of all ages to participate in workshops, jam sessions, concerts and all things ukulele-based. http://midlandculturalcentre.com/page.php?page=Events&pageType=events&eventid=100046432



Week - End



Saturday May 19



-       All day - Port-O-Rama in Port McNicoll

-       All day – Uke Fest at the MCC

-       All day - Huronia Museum is now open 7 days a week

-       All day - Discovery Harbour is open for the season

-       12 noon - Opening of I’m So Cute a kids clothing store at the Georgian Bay Mall on King Street



Sunday May 20



-       All day - Port-O-Rama in Port McNicoll

-       All day – Uke Fest at the MCC



Council Issues Update



Downtown Safety



The first meeting of the Community Safety Task Force took place this past week.  The meeting confirmed the Terms of Reference and started organizing the consultation process that will engage interested parties in the community solution.



An informal survey shows relatively few safety related incidents in our downtown over the last few weeks.





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Two items in closing:



1)     Beginning this October, The County of Simcoe will stop sending its curbside organics (Green Bin) to Hamilton and will instead begin shipping the material to an Elmira facility.  This will allow Simcoe to add pet wastes to its curbside organics program, starting this fall. The County considered adding diapers and other sanitary products to its organics collection but decided to defer this decision due to the technical challenges.



2)     GUYS WHO CARE - North Simcoe raised $17,000 in 45 minutes for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe. Now that’s efficiency for you!  I understand a lady’s group – GBay Gals Give – is being organized to give the guys a run for their money. If you are a gal and want to join the fun, e-mail gbaygalsgive@gmail.com.







Gord McKay









The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018

                                                                                              




Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday May 6, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen



In the spirit of the season our own Midland Garden Club is preparing a “Midland themed” garden that will be located at Martyrs’ Shrine. This garden is intended to demonstrate the connectedness of the Shrine to the local community. You are invited to attend the unveiling of the garden during a ceremony on June 10th. And remember that Sunday May 13th is Mother’s Day. Town restaurants will be busy so plan ahead.



The Week Ahead



Monday the 7th sees the first meeting of the Community Safety Task Force.  The meeting will focus on organizing the work and ensuring that we meet Council’s August deadline. The meeting is at 10:00 am at the Town Hall.



The Province will test the Ontario Alert Ready System at 1:55 PM using TV, radio and now through cell phones. The alert message will “test” the functionality of the system, and inform consumers of emergency alerts. You do not need to take any action with this test alert.



An information session is being held to update you on the new Waypoint Chigamik Healthcare Center – that’s from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm at the Chigamik offices at 845 King St.  And at 5:30 pm Guys Who Care meet at the Midland Golf Club on Hwy. 93. If you are a guy, please join us as we raise funds for local charities.



On Tuesday May 8 County Council takes place at 9:00 am in Midhurst.  At 1:00 pm the Town holds its Governance Review Committee meeting, primarily to update our municipal procedure by-law. At 4:30 pm the Library’s teen event swings into gear with Bubble Art Print Making.

Create fantastic art for any space using these simple art supplies and household items. Ages 13-18 and it is FREE.



That evening Dr. Rose hosts Our Health - Medical Cannabis, Weeding Through the Issues - at MCC. Unfortunately it is sold out.  If you are having trouble getting out to this popular series, you can access them online by Googling Our Health North Simcoe, then, click on the Rogers TV site (bookmark for future reference) and choose which video you would like to view. 



On Wednesday you are invited to our annual Candlelight Ceremony at the Cenotaph.  We gather at 7:00 pm to pay tribute to the many who have given their lives for our freedom.



On Thursday the 10th all artists are invited to a grant information session with the Ontario Arts Council. The OAC provides funding in the areas of dance, literature, multi and inter-arts, music, theatre and the visual arts.  Their priority groups include Francophone, Indigenous and artists living in regions outside of Toronto. This free session runs from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Midland Public Library. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to Karen Mealing.


Friday the 11th sees me at Rama for an all-day conference with the County. But if you want to have some fun, join our Library at their block party.  From 4:00 to 8:00 pm come celebrate the Library’s new brand, the arrival of spring and our awesome community!  We’re closing down Elizabeth Street between King and First and setting up giant jenga, duck races, green screen photos, and much more. It is free for all ages so come on down and join the party.  And if you are looking for something good to eat, plus lending a hand to the Wye Marsh, the third annual Wye Marsh Fundraising Dinner takes place from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Oakwood Community Center in Victoria Harbour.



Week - End



Saturday May 12



-       All day - Model train show at the NSSRC – A delight for children both little and big

-       All day - Martyrs' Shrine and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons are open for the season

-       All day - Treasure Day Weekend – put your reusable treasures out by 8:00 and back in by 5:00 pm

-       11:00 am - New Saturday Storytime with Jess at the Midland Library

-       1:30 pm - Sistema variety show and fundraiser at the Alliance Church 829 Yonge Street Freewill offerings. (This event was rescheduled from earlier due to weather)



Sunday May 13



-       All day - Model train show continues  at the NSSRC

-       All day - Treasure Day Weekend – put your reusable treasures out by 8:00 and back in by 5:00 pm

-       11:00 am - Good Morning Apocalypse brings you something special for Mother’s Day.  Treat mom to the award-winning comedy troupe Good Morning Apocalypse at the MCC for a high tea and a comedy show, as they perform their brand-new Mother’s Day comedy revue: The Mom Show!





Gord McKay









The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018

                                                                                              






Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday April 29, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen



Nothing like the promise of warm sunshine to get everyone in a better mood. Now if we could just do something about those Leafs.



The Week Ahead



Monday, your chance to get moving as the YMCA Huronia Half Marathon takes to the Midland Rotary Trail. The goal of the campaign is to raise money to promote better health and physical activity, helping local youth who require financial assistance to participate in YMCA programs.  For more information contact the YMCA at 705-526-7828.



Tuesday May 1st starts a new month and the nomination period for the 2018 municipal elections.  These dates have changed as a result of recent amendments to the Municipal Elections Act.  The close of the nomination period will be at 2 p.m. on July 27, 2018. Get involved - it’s your future.



The Ontario Early Years Centre is having its annual spring walk to recognize the importance of proper child rearing for the Midland community. Look for them in the downtown about 11:00 am, ending up at their location at 356 King St.



Wednesday May 2nd is McHappy Day. McDonalds restaurants donates a portion of its earnings to local children’s charities, in our case a new play structure at GBGH.  I will be serving coffee at their location on Hwy. 93 about 8:30 am.  Hope to see you there.



At 1:00 pm that afternoon we host a delegation from the Netherlands at Veterans Park on Aberdeen Blvd.  Mr. Gert Jan Oplaat will be unveiling a special commemorative plaque recognizing the strong bond between our two countries and remembering the Canadian troops who liberated Holland during WWII. The plaque will recognize one of our local veterans, Mr. Frank Graham, who will be in attendance. All are welcome.



The Planning and Development Committee meeting takes place at Town Hall at 7:00 pm. An important agenda including:

-       A public meeting (you may speak) respecting the zoning change for two new apartment buildings proposed for 786 William Street

-       The site plan review for Jarlette Health Services and their new development at 658 King  Street

-       Zoning change application for the Bayport subdivision, essentially changing street access to the lots in their new phase



On Thursday I head to Montreal for a meeting with international regulators who are assisting with bringing more cruise ships to the Great Lakes.  If you have ever wanted to travel to the Middle East the Library has a local solution for you. At 7:00 pm travel with Mark & Claudia to the United Arab Emirates to see the country’s story of “from rags to riches in less than a generation”.  Spend a night in a Bedouin camp, and then marvel at the world's tallest building and the Grand Mosque. Sip Arabic coffee and enjoy basbousa. Snacks and refreshments included. Tickets are $10 at the library desk.



Friday May 4th the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN hosts a public input session on healthcare specific to indigenous health issues. The meeting takes place from noon to 3:00 pm at the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre on Yonge Street. At 5:30 pm MP Bruce Stanton hosts his annual Feast for Learning in support of the Gateway Centre. Bruce’s event is being held at the Midland Legion building, 196 Queen Street. And at 8:00 pm Huronia Players starts their run of Calendar Girls on stage at the MCC.







Week - End



Saturday May 5



-       8:00 am to 5:00 pm – WATV joins with Native Woods Nursery on Hwy 12 to raise funds though the sale of a special purple daisy, a favorite of Julianna Matyas.  Come out and celebrate spring with a $2 BBQ and gardening events/specials at Native Woods Nursery



-       8:00 pm – Fred Eaglesmith comes to the MCC. After years touring the United States, Canada, and Europe and having his songs covered by some of the biggest names in music, the enigmatic, countrified, Rock n’ Roll troubadour Fred Eaglesmith and his talented wife Tif Ginn are finally making it to Midland



Sunday May 6



-       9:00 am - Mandarin Walk for Multiple Sclerosis starts and ends at NSSRC





Council Issues Update



Downtown Safety



Council has approved the creation of a Community Safety Task Force that will develop a Community Safety Plan to address long standing safety issues in our downtown and Library.  Members of the core committee are: the Canadian Mental Health Association, County of Simcoe Health and Social Services, Downtown Midland BIA, The Guesthouse, Midland Police Services Board, Midland Public Library, the OPP, and the Salvation Army/Street Outreach. Many additional stakeholders will be brought into the discussion to ensure that complete well-rounded information is available to the Task Force.



The Task Force will complete its work by August 2018. The recently approved budget includes $50,000 for the Task Force’s work, primarily to engage outside expertise. The Task Force will ensure that their Community Safety Plan meets the needs of the community and the requirements of the Safe Ontario Act (Bill 175).



Budget



The 2018 budget is now passed. The final overall tax rate tax rate will be determined in May when County and School Board rates are available.







Gord McKay









The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018

                                                                                              


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday April 22, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen



Sunshine and warm weather - finally.  And to add to the excitement, this past week the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association selected our own Butter Tart Festival as the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Regional Festival. A great win for Midland and all the folks who make this festival an annual reality. Mark June 9th for your next butter tart fix.



The Week Ahead



Monday April 23rd sees the start of the shipping season in Midland harbor.  The SS Frontenac arrived this week-end and we welcome the Captain (who is a cousin of our own Harbour Master Rick Lehney) with our traditional Top Hat ceremony.  That’s at 11:00 am by ADM in the harbor.



At 6:30 pm Council meets in closed session to discuss an appointment to the Audit Committee. Then at 7:00 pm it’s the April Council meeting including:

-       Heritage Merit Awards

-       Approval of the Downtown /Library Safety project

-       Approval of the 2018 budget – it looks like a 2.2% increase in tax and a 3.5% increase for water/wastewater rates

-       Recommendation to protect the Letherby Home (422 King Street) under the Heritage Act

-       Direction on recruitment for the Board of the new MBL Development Committee



Tuesday the 24th sees a very special event.  Approximate 200 volunteers will fan out across the County to conduct a “point in time” count of all our homeless and marginally housed residents. This information will be used by the County and our many social agencies to better target programs to those in need.  At 9:00 am County Council will hear a presentation on the future of Lakehead University in our area.  And to complete the day, you are invited to our Library at 7:00 pm to see the judging of the finalists for the Battle of the Books – where local students defend a favorite book.



On Wednesday the 25th at 5:00 pm Anytime Fitness celebrates the opening of their new location behind the Galaxy Theatre, Mountainview Mall. Come on out and get fit. At 7:30 pm Diabetes Canada invites you to an evening of discussion on the topic of Diabetes and Your Eyes.  Dr. Daniel Scanlon will answer your questions on this important topic at the Penetanguishene Legion.



Also at 7:30 pm it’s a Day in the Life at the MCC. Fred will interview Dan Needles, a very amusing guy with a fascinating life story. He has been a journalist, a speech writer, a newspaper publisher, a public relations officer, an author, a playwright, a social commentator and a popular speaker. He is best known for his Wingfield Farm series which has been performed across Canada, at the Stratford Festival and on CBC. He’s the recipient of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.



A quiet end to the week. On Friday Georgian Village hosts a staff appreciation luncheon at their location at noon.



Week - End



Sunday April 29



-       1:00 to 4:00 pm - Chartwell Retirement hosts an open house at 105 Pillsbury Dr.





Council Issues Update



Budget



This week Council should bring the 2018 budget process to a close. The municipal tax rate increase is likely to be 2.2%. When this is blended with the County and school taxes your all in tax rate increase should be about 1.5%.  



The 2019 budget process starts in a few months. The current Council will start the process off and the new Council will be the one to approve it. Your vote this fall will definitely impact the budget discussion.





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Many of you have inquired about the Operation Grow facility operated by Rosewood Women’s Shelter and when it will be ready to sell its produce to the public. Well the good news is that they are now open for business at 436 Bay Street. The store front opens 4-6 pm daily during the week. Your chance to get quality low cost produce and help Rosewood with their critically important work.



Two years ago the Midland community welcomed its first Syrian refugee family. The Amirs continue to prosper and have become part of our local family. Zafec and Ibrahim, the mother and father, are doing very well with their English lessons. Ibrahim is often seen down at the Town dock with his fishing rod. Khatchik, the son, continues to work at Ciboulette as the pastry chef. And Zarmig, the daughter’s big news is that she just got married to her long-time boyfriend and is going through the process of bringing him to Canada. Life in Midland.





Gord McKay









The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018

                                                                                              






Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday April 15, 2018


Ladies and Gentlemen





                   ***********************  BREAKING   **************************



The Mayors’ Mac & Cheese dinner slated for this evening is cancelled due to inclement weather.



                    *****************************************************************



And you think you are having a tough time with this never ending winter weather.  I was watching two frigid robins this morning trying to decide what to eat since they can’t find any worms. Spring…where are you?



The Week Ahead



Monday the 16th at 4:00 pm the Police Service Board holds its first meeting with our new OPP service. You are invited to attend this meeting at Town Hall.

   

On Wednesday I am in Ottawa for a number of meetings about the development of the cruise ship industry in Midland and throughout the Great Lakes. I will be presenting to a group of MPs and Senators about the prospects for the industry and what federal assistance is required. The next day I present to the Governors and Premiers Conference about the economic impact of the cruise industry on municipalities.  These presentations should help stimulate the growth of the industry and bring more tourism to Midland and Ontario.



At 6:30 pm you are invited to a municipal election information session sponsored by the province. A must attend if you are thinking about running for elected office this fall. The meeting is at the NSSRC. 



On Thursday April 19th at 2:00 pm the Downtown Safety Committee meets to review recent developments and to help move the Council Community Safety Plan along.  At 6:00 pm you are invited to a public information session at Town Hall on the Noreen Street reconstruction.  And lastly at 7:00 pm Adam Shoalts, a professional explorer and adventurer visits Midland Library. Described as “Canada’s Indiana Jones”, Adam will discuss his recent 4,000 km journey alone across Canada's Arctic. He'll also talk about his #1 national bestseller Alone Against the North. Tickets are on sale at the main library desk.



On Friday at 9:00 am it’s the County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.  They will be looking at additional ways to promote secondary units, a housing form that represents about 30% of all affordable units built in the County in 2017.  At 10:00 am the Governance Review Committee turns its attention to the Town’s Procedural By-law.  This may sound dry but this By-law contains the rules on how we make decisions at the Council table and for keeping Council and the public properly engaged. At 1:00 pm it’s the first day of the 2018 Midland Home Show at the NSSRC. A great line-up of exhibitors. This year, thanks to Minds Alive, you have the opportunity to build your own Lego dream house. And at 4 pm you are invited to celebrate with Chantel Coward as she opens her new business location at 341 King Street.



Week - End



Saturday April 21



-       9 am to 4 pm - Midland Home Show continues at the NSSRC

-       7:00 pm – Quest Art Kaleidoscope of Arts. An evening of champagne, a sit-down dinner and live entertainment.  All proceeds support visual arts programs in North Simcoe.  I understand it is sold out.



Sunday April 22



-       10 am to 12:30 pm - 2nd Earth Day Litter A Thon.  Youth are invited to help us clean up designated areas in both Penetanguishene and Midland.  Registration is required.  Prizes for top pledges for male and female youth. Contact Pam Brodie, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe, at 705-526-5051





Council Issues Update



Budget



We appear to be closing in on the municipal portion of the tax rate increase of between 2 and 2.5%. Town staff is doing the final calculations which will be made available at the Council meeting on the 23rd.  I anticipate we will pass the 2018 budget that evening.



Library



A very intense week for the Library as Council dealt with both the security issues at the Library and the need to takes steps on improving safety in the downtown. The discussion recognized that the “downtown safety issue” is not new. We have had challenges on our streets and in the Library for years. Over the last four years Council has reviewed the matter a number of times and essentially turned to our police to keep the peace. Additionally the Town sponsored the Downtown Safety Committee with membership from the BIA, Police, Street Outreach, the Town and the Guesthouse. The Committee monitored the downtown situation and implemented a number of controls – lighting, benches, an e-mail notice system.



Over the last six months it has been apparent that something more substantive must be done. New measures are required to ensure ongoing safety at the Library and in the downtown while helping those challenged by life in receiving needed help.  In response General Committee recommended $50,000 for a new Task Force to develop a Community Safety Plan by August, 2018. Recognizing that proper security must be maintained at the Library, the Committee also advanced up to $90,000 for Library safety measures, including a guard.  When the Task Force report is completed in August, Council and the Midland Library Board will decide on the measures needed to ensure appropriate safety for Midland.





                                                                *****

And three general items in closing:



1)     Treasure Day Weekends are planned the May 12 – 13 and the October 13 – 14 weekends. Free Garage Sale Permit Weekends are scheduled for July 6, 7, and 8 with a new second date set for mid-September. Council has yet to ratify the second date.



2)     Our MPUC is sponsoring a home energy efficiency program known as the Afford-Ability Fund. If you have a home, a tight budget and want to be more energy efficient take a look at www.AffordAbilityFund.org



3)     The Our Health series looks at “Medical Cannabis, Weeding Through the Issues” on its
Tuesday, May 8th, 7:30pm edition at MCC. I understand that tickets are nearly sold out.







Gord McKay









The Year for Forging Our Future - 2018