Mayor Pinto will be providing regular updates to this webpage. Residents are encouraged to call your Councillor or Mayor Pinto if you feel you need to speak with us.

November 24, 2020 - Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Top-Up Announcement News Release

November 24, 2020 - News Release - Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

November 24, 2020 - Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit - Travel Restrictions to Facilities

Highlights of Council meeting dated November 12th, 2020

Dear Residents, 

Below are the highlights of the Council meeting:

  • Jody Levac, CEO of Stevenson Memorial hospital, made a presentation to council on the progress of the expansion and future funding requirements. I informed Mr. Levac that the township has kept money aside for the hospital expansion and we will work with New Tecumseth to join to raise funds.
  • Fill Application for 1832 Concession 4, Adjala: Council heard the deputation from the resident’s planner and approved the importation of fill to build a house on the property. The resident paid all fill permit and per cubic meter fees. This money collected goes to maintenance of our township roads.
  • Water and wastewater rates: Council will be deciding on Municipal water rates at the council meeting in December.
  • Short-Term Rental Accommodations: Council voted to defer the decision on Short-Term Accommodations until March 2021. Staff will review other township bylaws before we adopt our own. Please note as discussed during the meeting all structures (barns, sheds etc.) that have been converted to short-term accommodations are without proper permits for habitation and are illegal. These illegal uses are causing safety concerns for residents, firefighters, paramedics and OPP when they must attend these properties and residents choose not to follow the rules and zoning of the property. In a 4 to 3 vote Councillor Hall Chancey, Councillor O’Leary, Deputy Mayor Meadows, and myself voted to defer until we can review other township bylaws.
  • Farmers’ Market: The Farmers’ Market Pilot Project this summer was very well attended, and well reviewed by residents. At the Inaugural Market, our MP, Honourable Terry Dowdall presented a certificate of Commendation from the House of Commons for “outstanding initiative in serving the community during a period of unprecedented economic uncertainty”. As Mayor, I personally thank Councillor Bays, Councillor Hall Chancey, Tina Machado, and Cindy Boston-Brown, the committee members who organized and ran the Market. I also thank ex-Councillor Ray Wallace who continues to show his dedication to our township by putting in numerous hours volunteering for Canada Day and the Farmers’ Market. I also thank resident volunteers Steve Tremblay, Janet Budgell and Marion Schrank, as well as all the student volunteers. Helping at the Market enabled students to get community hours required as part of their curriculum. Good Job and keep it up. Our Farmers’ Market is being promoted to enhance Economic Development in the Township.

While discussing the report presented to council, Councillor O’Leary raised concerns with the cost of running the Farmers’ Market and use of tax dollars and staff time to run the Market. Councillor Bays and Councillor Hall Chancey explained to Councillor O’Leary that this Market benefits the residents, our local farmers, small businesspeople, and students, and brings the community together. They further explained that the Market brought in around $2200 in rental income, which could have been a lot more had they not been curtailed to only limited vendors to meet public health guidelines for Covid19. Of the approximately $4200 of Market expenses, almost half was a combination of one time set up costs, which will not be repeated next year, and vendor Insurance, which will be charged to vendors who require it in the future. Therefore, as Deputy Mayor Meadows suggested, the Market could quite possibly be a money-making endeavour for the township in the future. 

Councillor Anderson stated that he agreed with Councillor O'Leary, that the tax payers should not be funding the farmers market, the market should be self sufficient and not run by the municipality, generally have a BIA or other organizations who run the market.

On the Mayor doing further research the Alliston Business Improvement Association (ABIA) is run by volunteers. However as per the Alliston Business Improvement Association website, they organize the farmers market and funds are obtained from a tax levy. So the Alliston farmers market is funded by tax payers. Council has the option todo exactly as Alliston is doing and put as extra tax on all commercial and industrial properties within the township boundaries to enable economic development to fund the Market.

Councillor Pita stated he had no problem with the Farmers’ Market but would like to see costs come down. Councillor Bays replied that can be discussed during the budget as most one time start up costs have already been paid for, and insurance will be offset.

  • Building and Bylaw report: while the number of building permits has risen the fees generated from building permits has only increased by $2000 over the corresponding period last year. There are 16 bylaw complaints open, I have asked the CAO to review fines for residents who refuse to abide by the township bylaws even after they are told and given time to comply. These few residents in the township who choose not to comply are costing the taxpayers to go to court to get compliance. It is only fair that these few residents be charged a fine for noncompliance, so the entire township does not have to bear the cost for a few residents who choose not to comply.
  • Sign Bylaw: The TSC store applied for a sign bylaw size variance to accommodate a larger sign for its name change. The request was approved by council.
  • Weight restrictions on Concession 6 Bridge: Council approved adding weight restrictions to the bridge over the Boyne River at Concession 6 Tosorontio. This bridge is old and cannot take the weight of heavy vehicles. Our township has numerous bridges that are very old and have never been maintained. This has resulted in many bridges and culverts needing replacement. In the past two years council has used grants from various levels of government, and money from township reserves to fix bridges, culverts, ditching and roads that needed urgent repairs due to age and structural damage.
  • Township Newsletter: I had asked council to decide on moving forward with a township newsletter to keep residents informed of what is happening in the township. As many residents lack good internet service, and we currently still have a section of the senior and rural population that choose not to have internet or are unable to afford to have internet therefore the paper copy is their only choice.

The newsletter policy was to be like the past policy, as approved by the past term of council, with the various departments providing updates and the Mayor’s opening statement. Councillor Anderson stated he would like to see all members of council make comments in the newsletter. I offered Councillor Anderson the opportunity to amend the policy to allow this, to be fair with all councillors, but he did not make any amendments to the policy. Deputy Mayor Meadows stated that in the past many council comments were with regards to birthday and anniversary greetings. Councillor Hall Chancey, Councillor Bays and I voted to restart the township newsletter twice a year to keep residents informed. The rest voted against the newsletter.

  • Council approved returning the money collected from OPP services back to the OPP, all three townships Essa, New Tecumseth and Adjala Tosorontio who form the tri-party agreement agreed. This money was in the past directly paid to the OPP but changes in regulations required this new method of payment.

Council approved Joy Webster to continue the OPP Board for the remainder of the term until December 2022.

  • Council Donated $1000 to the Hockley community hall for roof repairs. This is used by residents of Hockley. These costs are also shared by Mono Township.
  • Amendment to Development agreement for 5th Sideroad Tosorontio: This property is subject to a development agreement which states that the 4 lots shall only be developed if they can find water and will have only two entrances. The developer wanted to cancel the development agreement as they were not happy with the terms of the agreement they signed and wanted 4 entrances. Council in a recorded vote agreed not to cancel the agreement, township legal council also advised the agreement with the wells should stay in place. The developer was given the option of 4 entrances if he paid for the installation and maintenance of the addition two entrances as this was not part of the original agreement. The developer refused to bear the cost. In a recorded vote Councillor Hall Chancey, Councillor Bays, Deputy Mayor Meadows, and myself voted against cancelling the original agreement. Councillor Pita, Councillor Anderson and Councillor O’Leary voted in favour of cancelling the agreement with the developer and signing a new agreement only with the condition of the wells.
  • ATV bylaw: the ATV bylaw was updated. There were no changes made to the bylaw, except for the date change.
The Ontario government has announced that the 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed

The Ontario government has announced that the 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed. The province has indicated that property assessments for the 2021 taxation year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values (i.e., the same valuation date in use for the 2020 taxation year).

In 2016, we mailed a Property Assessment Notice to every property owner in the province – assessing more than five million properties in Ontario. Your 2016 Notice reflects the assessed value and classification of your property as of January 1, 2016 and this will be used as the basis for calculating your 2021 property taxes. 

Hydro One New rates starting November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021

Time of use pricing

Off Peak from 7pm to 7am – 10.5 c/Kwh

On Peak from 7am to 11am – 21.7 c/Kwh

Mid Peak from 11am to 5pm – 15.0 c/Kwh

On Peak from 5pm to 7pm – 21.7 c/Kwh

All weekends and designated holidays at off peak rates

New Tiered pricing

Residential use  up to 1000 Kwh per month – 12.6 c/Kwh

                            Over 1000 Kwh per month – 14.0 c/Kwh

Please note if you would like to change to tiered pricing you need to call your hydro company.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Section 22 Order for long-term care homes.

Hydro One News

You’ll soon be able to choose your electricity pricing plan.

Starting November 1, 2020, you’ll be able to switch from time-of-use pricing to tiered pricing. Hydro One Spokesperson Jay Armitage says it gives people flexibility.

“The choice is great because it really allows customers to pick (a plan) based on their lifestyle and their habits,” explained Armitage. “So, if you think about seasonal customers who might have a cottage and they’re only there on weekends, time-of-use will work for them.”

She says for other people, tiered pricing will be better because there is a set electricity price that only increases after you use a certain amount of power.

“If you think about so many of us right now, working from home, and when you think about when schools were out, even more people [were] in the middle of the day, the tiered pricing plan is going to work for them,” said Armitage.

She says after making the switch, you can always switch back if you want to. To opt out of time-of-use pricing, you will have to contact your local power provider and let them know. Armitage says Hydro One has a calculator that will allow you to input your electricity usage and tell you which option would be best.

Hydro One Choice

To read more about the change, click here.

Broadband (fiber optic) progress

The County of Simcoe is working with the province and the federal government through SWIFT networks to expand broadband throughout the County. At the last County Council meeting the Warden updated County Council that the RFP closed on September 25, 2020, the RFP was well received, and many ISP (Internet service providers) took part in the process and proposals were received. The Province will now work with the County of Simcoe to decide where and how the funds will be allocated. This process to go well into early 2021. I understand that this is still 4-5 months away, but I can assure you that County Council and your municipal Council is working hard to expand service as soon as we can.  Below are some of the areas that have been completed through past funding. Loretto has been completed by Vianet, the next phase will be further expansion around Loretto. I will update residents as funding gets approved and the cable gets put in the ground. 

To further expand Wi-Fi Council approved extending the height of the tower at the south public works yard, this project is nearing completion. Once completed it will help cover more area and enable more residents to get Wi-Fi services. I will keep residents informed once the tower is completed. 

Council has also approved letters of support to Bell, Rogers and Vianet to secure funding for broadband. This funding will be used in part to expand services to the north end of the Township. The new tower at the gravel pit in Glencairn should also help to get coverage to some residents in the north end. Bell Canada is also looking into expanding the services from the tower on County Road 13 to service the residents of Lisle. However, this is only possible if Bell is successful in obtaining funding.

Farmers Market

The Township had an extremely successful farmers market given the COVID-19 restrictions. I thank all on the committee and the students who volunteered for making it a grand success. Details of the farmers market will be presented in my next update.

New Website

Welcome to our Township's new website, staff are working to make it as user friendly as possible. Payments of taxes, water and wastewater bills, dog tags can now be paid using your debit or credit cards. However, please remember that there is a charge attached to the payment for processing, this charge is not retained by the township but paid to the processing company.

Township Newsletter

Council will be discussing re-instating the Township Newsletter at the November 2020 Council meeting. This will help update residents on what is taking place in the Township. It will contain updates from various departments and status of various capital projects.

Waste water hookups

Council passed a bylaw to protect all residents in Everett and Colgan who are on private septic systems. Residents on private systems shall not be forced to hook up to the new sewer plants.

Shipping containers

At the October 2020 Council meeting, Council voted not to permit shipping containers on properties as they are against the Township zoning bylaws. I request all residents with shipping containers to please take the necessary steps to comply with the zoning bylaws and remove the shipping containers. To help residents with more storage on their properties, Council has asked the planning department to come back with a report to Council to permit larger accessory structures on properties. The size of the accessory structures will be based on the size of the property. This will provide residents with larger storage areas, look more appealing and keep the Township and the properties in compliance with the zoning bylaws.

COVID-19 effects on the Township

This pandemic has had a devastating effect on all Townships, Municipalities and Countries all around the world. It has especially affected small municipalities like ours that have very limited financial resources. Council is aware that many residents have lost jobs or have reduced hours and it has hurt many families financially. I can assure you that Council will be paying extra detail to this years’ budget.

Bylaw complaints

Bylaw complaints have risen substantially in all municipalities; our Township has also received numerous complaints. Please be rest assured that our bylaw department is addressing every complaint. Some complaints take longer than others to get resolved due to resident’s refusal to comply. I am requesting all residents to work with the Township, comply by obtaining proper building permits and abide by zoning bylaws. Properties are zoned in a particular manner for a reason, and only certain activities are permitted on each zoning. Our Township will only prosper if all residents follow proper zoning and get the required permits that are put in place to protect the residents and neighbouring properties. It is not fair, nor acceptable that some residents follow the proper process and obtain proper permits, while a few handfuls show total disregard for the Township due process. As stated earlier the Township Bylaws are put in place for a reason and the bylaws shall be enforced.

Opening of Municipal Office

I would like to inform all residents that the Municipal office is open to the public for payments. For all other matters including, planning and building permit matters, please call the respective departments and staff will be happy to set up a meeting with you. I understand that there are delays in processing applications and it is frustrating. However, these delays are not caused by our staff. Prior to an application being approved it must be approved by various other government agencies, these agencies are also backlogged with work. I am requesting all residents to please be patient. Screaming and use of profanity toward our Township staff will not get the approvals any faster as it is out of our hands. I request all residents to please be respectful to our staff and we will all work together to move all applications forward. Many municipalities are facing the same problems with a few residents who show disrespect towards staff, municipalities have put policies in place on how to handle such occurrences, some municipalities have outright banned residents from entering municipal buildings. We are a small municipality and one big family where many employees are your neighbours. I understand the frustrations on all, but I am again requesting all residents to please be patient and respectful, our staff are doing their best to help all of you.