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Gravenhurst Council Highlights - Jan. 16, 2024

Gravenhurst council approves settlement allowing Starboard proposal to move forward 

Gravenhurst council members approved a settlement agreement that will allow the Starboard development proposal to proceed, subject to final approval of the agreement by the Ontario Land Tribunal.  

Council attendance report 

Council members received a report on their attendance at council and committee of council meetings in 2023.  

The report is available for review on the town website.  

Single source procurement OK’d for firefighter protective clothing 

Council authorized the single source purchase of protective firefighter clothing.  

The Gravenhurst Fire Department is permitted to purchase Globe Firefighter Protective Clothing from Safe Design Apparel Incorporated at a cost of $34,000, excluding HST, per year, over a two-year period.  

In a related staff report, Fire Chief Jared Cayley spoke about the rationale for the single source purchase, saying “it’s the consistency that Globe has given to the protective clothing program, and in turn the firefighters’ health and safety, that is the primary factor to make these purchases on a single source basis.” 

Single source procurement of radio equipment for fire department 

Gravenhurst council members authorized a single source purchase of radio communications equipment for the fire department.  

Council authorized the department to purchase the equipment from Point-to-Point Communications at a cost of $109,296, excluding HST.  

Fire Chief Jared Cayley discussed the need for the single source purchase in the related staff report.  

“The…radio communication system requires upgrade of all its components. To accomplish this task, a capital program has been developed that will run in parallel to the recommended replacement schedule of each component. This is to ensure that no particular year will see an overwhelming increase to the…capital expenditures, while maintaining a robust, modern communications system,” he said, later noting that: “purchasing the radio communications from Point-to-Point Communications will see a continuation of a successful history of a dependable communications sales and service to Gravenhurst FES. The purchase will also represent the first step to a full capital replacement of all FES communications equipment, demonstrating a commitment to community and firefighter safety.” 

Fire service applies for provincial Community Preparedness Grant 

The Gravenhurst Fire Department is applying for a provincial Community Preparedness Grant.  

Should the application be successful, council authorized the department to utilize the funds – up to the grant maximum of $50,000 – to purchase equipment to create a wildfire structure protection trailer.  

“The trailer would contain necessary equipment to set up exterior sprinkler protection for several buildings in areas where they may be threatened by wildfire,” Fire Chief Jared Cayley said in a related staff report. “This equipment is set-up quickly and can be undertaken by a few firefighters. It then can be left on its own, with its own pump and water supply where possible, to free up personnel to continue the firefight elsewhere.” 

Notice policy update 

Council received for information an update to the town’s Notice Policy and approved related changes. 

The Notice Policy required amendments due to the Gravenhurst Banner ceasing physical paper publication last year. The town advertised municipal information in the newspaper, which was required in the original policy.  

The focus of the revised policy and its schedule is to standardize the use of the town’s available digital platforms and resources to provide notice to the public for all the variable types of notices identified in provincial legislation, such as the Municipal Act and Planning Act. 

The town is currently running a campaign outlining the different ways the public can stay informed about municipal matters.  

Council approves Fouling of Municipal Highways and Municipal Property bylaw 

Council members received for information the Fouling of Municipal Highways and Municipal Property report and approved a related bylaw.  

Over the last two years, the town has received several complaints about people pushing snow, ice, and dirt across municipal roads and in some instances placing these materials on the road and municipal properties 

Staff believe the bylaw is the best mechanism to prevent damage and unsafe conditions to the town’s roads, highways and municipal properties, including parks, docks and parking lots. 

“The [bylaw] will assist staff with enforcement related to complaints received through both By-law Services and Infrastructure Services and will also provide opportunities to educate constituents on the bylaw and the unsafe conditions that can arise when snow, ice, mud or debris are transferred across roadways or deposited on municipal properties,” manager of bylaw services Kristen Ford said in the related report. 

Council calls on province to review municipal freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation 

Council members passed a resolution calling on the province to review the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).  

The resolution also asks that the province consider related MFIPPA recommendations from The Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario. 

The provincial act has not been reviewed in more than 30 years.  

The resolution states that municipalities should have updated legislation that ensures municipal resources are best allocated; increases trust in public institutions through strengthening accountability, transparency and responsiveness; and addresses the needs of the digital era. 

Muskoka Watershed Council Update 

Councillor Peter Johnston provided an update on the Muskoka Watershed Council.  

Mayor Heidi Lorenz Update 

Mayor Heidi Lorenz shared her monthly update.  

Mayor Lorenz said snow removal operations are in full swing throughout the municipality.  

She reminded people that overnight parking on municipal roads is prohibited during the winter as this interferes with snow clean-up.  

She encouraged people to review the winter operations information found on the town website.  

Mayor Lorenz also highlighted the town’s Name the Plow contest

As well, she reminded people about the upcoming Gravenhurst Winter Carnival, Feb. 15-18, 2024.  

Finally, she congratulated Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare on its final site selection for the new hospital in Bracebridge, which will provide health care services to area residents.  

Council Highlights 

Council Highlights is prepared as an overview of the council meeting. For the official record, please refer to the agenda and minutes on the town website at  

Watch the meeting: 

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