Ladies and Gentlemen
The end of October looms and with it Halloween. I understand that some Town staff will be dressing up on the Friday. Might be something scarier than taxes at Town Hall.
Monday October 26th features the monthly Council meeting starting at 7:00 pm. A short agenda including:
- A Public Meeting (you may speak) on changes to fees charged by the Town for services including those at NSSRC and the Harbour
- Proposal for a winter Farmers Market at the Museum
- Response from our lawyer to Council questions on control of second suites
- Update on the Butter Tart committee and its new Manager (hint: Barb Rowlandson)
- Motion to freeze Council remunerationTuesday the 27th starts with County Council at 9:00 am. At 12:00 noon you may wish to join the Peaceworks lunch for Syrian refugees taking place at Explorers restaurant. Tickets are $20, available at the restaurant or contact Lois at (705) 526-5238. Right after lunch, at 1:30 pm, you can take in the Askennionia Seniors Fall Fashion Show at the NSSRC.Also on Tuesday at 2:30 pm, the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at the Town to advance a number of projects bringing more affordable housing to our area. Then at 6:00 pm you are invited to attend the 2nd round budget meeting at Town Hall. Key developments to date are:
- Draft Police budget shows a year over year decrease of 4.1%
- Total Town operating costs show a decrease of 1.6% year over year
- As a result our tax levy decrease is in the order of 1%.Immediately following the budget meeting is another important meeting about the Town’s operating structure and cost of operations. Some three years ago KPMG observed that we are a low growth-high tax municipality – a very unenviable place to be. Last spring Council set the strategic objective to move Midland from the highest taxed jurisdiction in Simcoe County to a more moderate level (the 75th percentile). This objective has far more import than just choosing a suitable number. As our Town becomes more tax competitive we become more attractive to new residents and strengthen our case for creating new businesses over the next decade.The first part of the meeting, starting at approximately 7:00 pm, will be closed as Council looks at the staffing situation. After that the meeting continues in public to discuss possible operational changes. Coming out of the meeting should be a set of directions to staff to consider for rethinking how we deliver Town services. The discussion will be challenging. Council must strike a proper balance between maintaining our quality services and ensuring we have the proper municipal structure to secure our future prosperity.On Wednesday the 28th at 9:00 am is a special food entrepreneur’s event at Georgian College in Midland. The event will celebrate enterprising individuals who are creating new businesses based upon our local food industry.At 6:00 pm is the annual MPUC Board meeting. While not directly related to the Board meeting, many of you are aware that Council is considering a potential sale/merger of our MPUC. The timeliness for this rethink was reinforced this past month with both Orillia and Innisfil announcing that they had entered into new hydro distribution arrangements. Council, with public input, is preparing a Request for Proposal that will seek a partner to help ensure our local distributor’s long term sustainability. The key decision that Council and the Board of the MPUC have made to date is that the status quo is no longer an option..Thursday October 29th starts at County at 9:00 am to discuss the County budget. Then from 3:00 to 6:00 pm you are invited to an Open House at Town Hall on the subject of “second suites”. This is your opportunity to find out how this type of development may assist with Midland’s need for affordable housing and comment on what planning restrictions are required.On Friday the 30th, the community will gather to memorialize fallen OPP officer Tom Coffin with a bridge dedication. The ceremony takes place at 10:30 am at the Penetanguishene Legion, 2 Poyntz St. in Penetanguishene.
At 5:30 pm you may wish to join the Wye Marsh for their annual fundraising dinner at the marsh or at 7:00 pm get aboard the “Ghost Tour” on the SS Keewatin. http://www.sskeewatin.com/calendar/
- Halloween! Watch out for the trick-or-treaters
- 8:00 pm at the NSSRC, Twisted Pines hosts its’ Hallowe’en Monster Dance Party. Cash prizes for best costumes, a Boo-fet featuring delicacies from local restaurants, a Silent Auction, Lucky Draws and a big dance floor. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Contact Paul at 705-527-7778
- Silver Goose Bike Tour through Little Lake Park. The event will take most of the day with the awards ceremony at 3:15 pm*****
On the road construction front, Prospect Boulevard to Beamish Rd. is now open. I also understand that the MTO and the developer of the Highway 12 intersection at Jones Road are now both satisfied. Look for that intersection to open this week.
And finally, this week I received my reminder for the November 28th Santa Claus parade. Time moves on.
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