freeze-regOwen Sound - The City of Owen Sound Water Department has received many reports of water service lines freezing due to low temperatures, in locations where no water services have frozen before.

To prevent a frozen service line from occurring it is suggested that every night before retiring, homeowners should run one household tap fully open for approximately three to five minutes. If possible, repeat the flushing during the night. Any household with a history of freezing problems should definitely take these precautions.

Homeowners should know that substantially decreased water flow and pressure or dirty water in the home may be evidence that the water line is freezing. If this occurs, run one household tap fully open until the flow rate increases, and contact the Public Works department at 519-376-4274.

budget-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

Blood on the floor.

That is how city manager Ruth Coursey referred to the creation of Owen Sound's 2015 capital budget.

Not that it was particularly visible when the council got its first look at the numbers at their Friday the 13th meeting. The slashing and burning had already been done for them. As Coursey put it "Every single member of staff is passionately committed to this city and removing important projects from this list is agony."

firetruck-featThe most recent round of arbitration between the City of Owen Sound and our full-time firefighters has wrapped, with a 10.7% retroactive pay hike ordered for the three years that ended December 31, 2014.

Once again, this far outstrips cost of living increases or wage hikes in other public service positions.

First-class firefighters will now earn almost $90,000 a year. Here at OSCA, we don't begrudge anyone the right to make a living. The reality of the situation though is that it's untenable and we simply cannot afford to continue spending over $12 million per year on emergency services.
What's the Issue with Switching to Composite?

fire-regThe City of Owen Sound received an arbitrator's decision on February 6, 2015, in regard to the collective agreement between the City and the Owen Sound Professional Fire Fighters Association.

The decision covers the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014.

A number of important issues are still to be resolved, including staff complement, promotions and seniority.

However, the decision did award salary increases which total 10.7% over the three year term of the Collective Agreement. A First Class Fire Fighter will be paid $89,252 as of December 31, 2014.

notes-anne-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

In Camera meetings are not what they sound like. They are held away from the camera and outside the chamber, and only in very specific circumstances well-defined in the Ontario Municipal Act. This week there were potential litigations, proposed acquisitions or dispositions of land including the 8th Street East reservoir and the CP Rail lease, and some personal matters about identifiable individuals. But they were in camera, so nothing to see there. On to the main attraction.

  • The Council Chamber was full, but not a single person had come to comment on the proposal for a medical marihuana (Health Canada spelling) production facility in Owen Sound. As long as it is in the M1 and M2 zones (primarily the industrial park), keeps all its business and signage inside, and is at least the length of a professional hockey rink away from schools and churches, we seem to be good to go.

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