• -by Anne Finlay-Stewart
  • In camera agenda item #51 was about potential litigation regarding the 8th Street East slope failure. This is why we pay for insurance.
  • Deputations are an important part of assuring that councillors and staff know what is going on in the city and environs, and can make informed decisions. This week there were three, besides the Strategic Plan re-cap.
  • Ray Assistance for Youth, a drop-in in downtown Owen Sound for youth 12 to 18, has been running with the support of regional churches since 1990. Over the years, staff and volunteers have seen harder drug use and increasing vulnerability among their visitors. The centre provides snacks, activities, prayer support and a listening ear. No counselling is offered, but referrals are made to community agencies.
  • The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority is responsible for promoting sustainable management of renewable resources in the watershed. They assist municipalities and property owners with flood control, water quality, land use planning and forestry services as well as directly owning and managing their own properties. Last year they planted over 150,000 new trees and offered guided hikes, days camps and school-based programming to increase public awareness of our natural environment,
  • Jane Phillips of the Business Enterprise Centre brought four of the participant in the Summer Company program to showcase their businesses. The program, funded by the provincial government, offers solid business training and some financing for young entrepreneurs between 15 and 29. The businesses are varied – from handcrafted greeting cards and natural skin care products to turned wooden bowls and
  • hockey skills training (without the ice).

    Public question period can also be an opportunity for turning a spotlight on a particular corner of the city. Marg Gaviller, a former councillor herself, asked what the city will do to protect the designated heritage features of the old courthouse now that it has been sold to Southbridge Healthcare and will no longer be a publicly-accessible building. A distinct lack of specifics ensued.
  • Owen Sound tries to replace its "rolling stock" before the big repair bills -like transmissions and things - start rolling in. On that note, we are buying a new truck with a plow by tender - $263,269.31.
  • 2017 is going to be a HUGE year. Note the following anniversaries:

  • 150th – Confederation
    125th – Stanley Cup
    100th – Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele
    100th- NHL
    75th – Dieppe Raid
    50th – Canadian flag

    The Canadian government has already announced a theme - "Strong.Proud.Free." and some funding

    In addition, it's a big year for anniversaries in Owen Sound -
    160th – Owen Sound
    100th – Billy Bishop and Tommy Holmes each receiving a Victoria Cross
    100th – death of Tom Thomson
    70th – Beth Ezekiel Synagogue – Canada's last small town synagogue
    50th – Tom Thomson Art Gallery

    Council struck an ad hoc committee of Councillors Peter Lemon, Marion Koepke and Brian O'Leary to start setting terms of reference for local celebrations.

    Later in the meeting, Councillor Lemon proposed his own handpicked ad hoc committee, separate from this work, to propose a suitable memorial monument to those who worked and died on the Upper Lakes. The three other members of council served before 2014 did not support the creation of a separate committee for this project and spoke firmly on the subject, but Councillor Grieg volunteered to be added to this committee and the new councillors supported Lemon's motion. This will the fifth ad hoc committee council has created since it made appointments to its standing committees in February.

    • The site plan for the new (old) dining car purchased by the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre has been approved, as has a new five-year lease agreement between the city and the Centre.
    • A small sidewalk patio has been approved for the Bean Cellar on 9th Street East, adding to our downtown streetscape.
    • An agreement to put solar panels on the roof of the Bayshore Community Centre will not been renewed, as the weight of the new centre-ice clock and scoreboard, combined with potential snow load, has left the roof with "no remaining bearing capacity".  Ad revenue beat free energy.
    • July 9 there will be a "Creative Mixer" at Suite Spots on 2nd Avenue East from 5 until 7. This one is focussed specifically on a younger crowd, cheekily calling itself Top 40 under 40.<br>
    • Park use approvals at council meetings always give a great view into upcoming events in town, and a snapshot of our life. July 25 there will be a licensed Summertime Blues concert at Kelso Beach, which will also be the site of Summerfolk and Ribfest, and in its northern end, the Salmon Spectacular. The Emancipation Festival Picnic will be in Harrison Park again August 1, and the Fall Classic Slo-Pitch Tournament will fill Duncan McLellan Park in late September.


    Deadline is July 6 for commenting on the city's strategic plan.  Council and staff will be pointing to this for five years as the reasoning behind decisions so speak up now if you have something to say.


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