Here from the Muskoka Lakes Association is the February NewsBites.
Courtesy of the Muskoka Lakes Association
Welcome to February 2015 NewsBites
The MLA is pleased to announce that our President, Michael Hart, has met with Township of Muskoka Lakes Mayor Don Furniss, Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith, Seguin Township Mayor Bruce Gibbon and District Chair John Klinck. These meetings provided an opportunity for our President to discuss current issues of concern and interest to the MLA and to provide an update on MLA activities. Michael is looking forward to meeting Gravenhurst Mayor Paisley Donaldson in the coming weeks. The MLA looks forward to continued congenial open relations with all District of Muskoka elected officials.
The MLA reminds all our seasonal residents to reserve Monday February 9th, 7 to 9 p.m. to attend the Township of Muskoka Lakes’ (TML) Community Input Strategic Plan meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3201 Highway #7, Vaughan. Your input is critical to the formation of TML’s 4-year Strategic Plan. TML Mayor and TML District Councillors want to hear what you value most about Muskoka. As well, don’t forget to fill out TML’s on-line survey to provide you input to the Strategic Plan. The press release can be found here.
DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA
Sale of a Portion of Airport Lands – At the January 19th District Council meeting, Council held a very passionate debate on whether to sell, or lease, a parcel of land at the Muskoka Airport. In the end, Council voted 13 to 9 to sell the airport lands. Selling the land and receiving confirmed Provincial and Federal government redevelopment funding and resulting creation of local jobs won out over annual revenue from leasing the land. By selling this land, the development potential for an east/west runway is lost along with any future economic development potential on those lands. District CAO Michael Dubin stated that the District typically sells land versus leasing it and that it will still retain first right of refusal to repurchase the land. Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Young called the vote to sell the airport lands “a tragedy”. For that story click here. Although the MLA supports increased job opportunities in Muskoka, an agreed upon, long-term strategic plan would have been helpful prior to this decision.
Bala Falls Entrance Permits Update – Swift River was before District Public Works committee asking for some minor wording changes to the conditions of their entrance permits. It was noted that Swift River has had difficulty obtaining a Performance Bond. Several delegates spoke about risk management and the importance of setting substantial financial securities in place in the unfortunate event something happened to the District’s assets in Bala; namely on District Hwy #169 and the bridge. A representative from the Wahta Mohawks reminded the committee that the government’s Duty to Consult had not yet been fulfilled. As such they requested the entrance permits be stayed until this has occurred. As their letter stated, “It would be most unfortunate for all should Wahta Mohawks find themselves in a position in the future where there are negative impacts caused by this potential development and we are forced to seek legal redress due to lack of adequate consultation.” Committee resolved to change the Performance Bond to a Letter of Credit for no less than $2 million dollars. This issue will be coming back to District Council for approval later this month. The MLA continues to support the District in taking extra care to ensure District assets are protected. The MLA
MLA NewsBites Page 1