This month, General Committee is hearing from Town staff on issues including By-Law Enforcement Yearly Statistics 2023, Muskoka Workforce Project Update, Website Software Upgrade and Migration, Ice Floor Covering, Capital Project Update, 2023 Council Remuneration and Expenses. Here are some of this month’s topics:

 

  • Committee will receive a By-Law Enforcement Yearly Statistics 2023 report from staff. Highlights of the report include:
    • Overall, in 2023 there were approximately 1,111 calls for service versus 1,266 in 2022. These calls range from reports on dogs that are lost or have been found, burning during prohibited times, clean yards, noise complaints, and a host of miscellaneous questions.
    • Education and Public Awareness Campaigns: Winter parking reminders were done in late 2023 and early 2024 to remind people to not park and leave their vehicles on streets overnight as the vehicle could be towed for interfering with snow plowing or snow removal from roads.
    • Parking: This past summer the Part Time By-law Officer issued a total of 387 Parking Infractions. As of the end of 2023, the total collected for Parking Infractions was $12,435.00 as opposed to $10,425.00 in 2022.
    • Burning: A total fire Ban was issued by the Muskoka Fire Chiefs on May 30th, 2023, as a result 6 Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) were issued to property owners. Outside of the Fire Ban, another 5 AMPS were issued for offences, such as burning during prohibited time, burning of materials not permitted, and having an unattended fire.
  • Committee will hear a Staff Report on the Muskoka Workforce Project Update. This report provides an update on the regional workforce project, including the Muskoka Job Board and the Muskoka Workforce Strategy. For many years, workforce attraction and retention has been identified by the business community as a significant challenge across sectors throughout Muskoka. As this is a regional issue, municipal Economic Development staff are endeavouring to align workforce projects across Muskoka. It is recommended that the Town proceed as a partner in the Muskoka Workforce Strategy Implementation Plan, with financial implications be included in the draft 2025 operating budget for consideration.
  • Committee will consider a proposed Website Software Upgrade and Migration. The Town of Huntsville requires an upgrade to our corporate website software for: huntsville.ca, algonquintheatre.ca, muskokaheritageplace.ca and huntsvillelibrary.ca as the current software will be at its end-of-life in the next two to three years. Staff are recommending upgrading the websites with implementation in late 2024 into 2025. It is recommended that the project amount of $57,190 be funded from the Website Reserve. Annual fees for this new software will increase, and the cost would include the funding for a contract position, funded from the website reserve, to manage the project implementation.
  • Committee will receive a Staff Report on an Ice Floor Covering, outlining feedback from the consultation with the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) regarding the funding request for the ice floor covering in the Don Lough arena and the cost for the ice floor covering (which would allow use of a floor surface while maintaining the ice underneath). HMATA has responded that it would be too difficult to determine the return on investment for the floor covering due to insufficient examples to draw on from other municipalities, and has declined the request. Due to estimated costs of $227,400 for event floor covering and carts (estimated $300,000-400,000 for sports event flooring), and the anticipated number of times the flooring would be required based on previous usage, staff are recommending that the purchase is not warranted at this time.
  • Committee will receive a Capital Project Update. It is expected that the capital projects will be approximately $1.13 million lower than budgeted as several projects are expected to come in under budget.
  • Town Staff will provide a report on 2023 Council Remuneration and Expenses. Amounts paid to Councillors or Board members were included in the Town Final 2023 Consolidated Budget, with a total of $299,000 paid to Council and Committee members, slightly under budget for 2023. The 2023 amounts paid to Councillors Included technology allowances for Ward Councillors, for the entire term of Council, totaling $7,500 which are be expensed over the term of Council. Total budget for Councillor discretionary spending in 2023 was $21,000 and total spending amounted to $19,634.

 

Want to learn more? Join us in person or livestream the meeting at Huntsville.ca on May 29, 2024. For the full list of topics and more information, visit the meeting agenda on Huntsville.ca.