Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday February 26, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen


A big week ahead. Midland Council will be making a major decision about the future of our downtown. A business person has come forward proposing to invest $3 million in a new microbrewery to be located in our parking lot at 526 Bay Street. The proposal brings new industry for our downtown, new jobs and a major boost to area tourism. It also aligns fully with our approved Downtown Master Plan. If this development goes forward, it will be the largest private investment in our downtown in the last decade.

You are invited to make your views about the project known to Council at a public meeting to be held this Monday. Later in the meeting Council will make its decision. If Council agrees to go forward with the microbrewery, you can expect some preparatory work on the parking lot as early as this coming week.  Parts of the lot will be blocked off for soil tests. The parking lot will still be accessible during this work.

The Week Ahead

Monday February 27th starts off at 7:00 am with a NSCFDC sponsored Breakfast and Learn Simulcast, taking place at Georgian College, Midland.  The event features Greg Taylor and the story of Steamwhistle Brewery. Register at

Later that morning I will make a presentation on behalf of the County to Lakehead University, as they celebrate their Research and Innovation Week.

At 5:00 pm Boston Pizza will be the scene of a second fund raiser for the Frank Graham 2017 Cycle Tour. If you dine between 5:00 and 8:00 pm a portion of your bill will be given to the cycle tour. Also starting at 5:00 pm, the Community Healthcare Steering Committee meets at GBGH to discuss recent developments impacting your healthcare.

Then at 6:30 pm Council goes into a closed meeting to discuss two matters: 1) Appointments for the Huronia Airport Commission 2) Staffing in our Finance Department.  At 7:00 pm it’s the February Council meeting. The meeting features:

-       Heritage award presentations to Mr. Ron Hunt and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Graham

-       Deputation on the GBGH Foundation

-       Four Public Meetings (you may speak) respecting:

o    Proposed sale of the property at 344 Gloucester St.

o    Fees for Town facilities and programs

o    Proposed sale of 787 Vinden St.

o    Proposed sale of the parking lot at 526 Bay Street

-       Appointment of two part-time parking by-law officials

On Tuesday the 28th at 1:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at Town Hall to further develop its “Housing First” affordable housing pilot. Housing First is a proven method to help house the homeless based upon two key principles:

-       Provide the person stable housing as the first step

-       Provide the supports needed for them to remain housed

At 2:00 pm you are invited to the Villa Health Care Centre “Aloha Party”. Get ready for a Hawaiian treat with a photo booth, Tiki Bar and information about leading a long and healthy life. That’s at the Villa location, 689 Yonge Street. Later that day I head down to Queens Park to participate in the Lieutenant Governor’s 150 Stories Collection – authored works honouring Ontario in Canada’s anniversary year. Please see 

Wednesday is the first of March. I will join our economic development group, EDCNS, in meeting with the prospective owner of the Pillsbury property. We will discuss how to ensure that the facility remains a part of our manufacturing base for years to come. At 7:00 pm the Planning and Development Committee meets at Town Hall to consider:

-       Two Public Meetings (you may speak):

o    Application by the Plaza Retail REIT to use the rear interior of Mountainview Mall for storage

o    Conversion of the property at 438 Hugel from a duplex to a triplex

-       Proposed resolution of the Second Units discussion, recommending limitations be placed on unit size

-       Extension of our Building Services cooperative arrangement with Penetanguishene

Thursday the 2nd at 7:30 pm at the MCC - Midland Reads is back! The event is based on the CBC national debate, Canada Reads. This year panelists have chosen a book from the CBC's long list. They will be defending their book based on this year's theme "What is the one book Canadians need now?"

Week - End

Saturday March 4

-       10:30 am the Spelling Bee returns to challenge area children at the MCC

-       6:00 pm Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Dinner at Maitre'D Restaurant in Penetanguishene,  A special event as the script is by our own Brendan Main and directed by Christine Killing. Reserve tickets at  All proceeds to We Are the Villagers

-       7:00 pm the Wye Marsh presents A Night with Frank Sinatra, performed by the Sophisticated Swing of Burlington.  That is at the MCC

-       Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe present Bowl For Kid's Sake from 7:00 to 11:00 pm at both Bayshore Bowling Lanes (Midland) and Knight Haven bowling (Penetanguishene).

Council Issues Update


The costing process has started. Our consultants have developed their work plan which will be presented to the OPP Costing Committee shortly.  Should see an initial indication from the Committee by the end of April.


The Town should get some indication next week as to the level of interest generated by our sale RFP.  Interested parties have until mid-March to file their paperwork.  After that the intensive interviews will start.


Staff has completed most of the preparatory work for the 2017 budget. This year’s budget will have a different format. It will present financials on more of a “functional basis” as opposed to the historical “departmental basis”.  This change is expected to improve transparency and assist Council in making its decisions.  The first budget meeting date is March 10th starting at 1:30 pm.  This meeting will receive the budgets from our Boards and agencies and well as the departmental operating budgets.

The second budget meeting is set for March the 22nd starting at 3:30 pm. The meeting will receive the capital budgets from all areas. The third budget meeting is the public input meeting. This is your chance to respond on what you are hearing about the proposed 2017 budget and make comments directly to Council. That meeting is March 30th, starting at 7:00 pm.

Depending upon how the meetings have gone to this point, there may be additional budget meetings scheduled or the budget may go to General Committee for passage at the April Council meeting.


The popular Mayor’s Mac N Cheese dinner is back for 2017. This charitable event in support of We Are the Villagers sees the four mayors and the children of the Village entertaining and serving you with some of the best Mac N Cheese in Ontario. Please reserve your supper hour on April 3rd for one of the three sittings -  4:30, 5:45 and 7:00 pm - at Lot 102. If you need a ticket, let me know.

Gord McKay

The Year for Getting It Done - 2017


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