With the Grey Cup now in the past, for many of us our thoughts turn towards Christmas. This is a very busy time of year for many of us and with less than a month before Christmas, your Council and Administration Team would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and for GOOD HEALTH and HAPPINESS in the NEW YEAR.
Council and Administration Updates
There are a number of updates for you since the October Website Update was posted.
Our Pathway Project has been completed. I am pleased to report that this work was completed on budget and prior to the onset of winter as we had specified. We have received a number of very positive comments about the work done from several of our residents. Thank you for that.
We have also received a few suggestions where some additional work might be done. Council has asked Administration to obtain a cost estimate for this additional work. Given that we are currently in budget deliberations, and the positive feedback received from ratepayers, this additional work will be given serious consideration. Some maps indicating where pathway upgrades have been made and where additional work is being considered have been posted on our website.
Wastewater Committee for Sunbreaker Cove Update
You are referred to our website for some additional information regarding our Wastewater Project. As a reminder, this is an active file and revisions may be made quite frequently. However, because of the interest in this work by all of our ratepayers and the subsequent priority Council has given this, we felt there was a need to keep our residents a bit better informed.
Piers and Hoists Committee
One of the most pleasant surprises since I began serving on Council was the tremendous interest our ratepayers showed with respect to serving on this Committee. We had 27 people submit an application to serve. Thank you all.
At our November Council Meeting, we developed a set of criteria to be used in making our selections. Key factors we felt we needed to consider included:
- Representation (ideally equal) from residents on both sides of Marine Drive.
- A mix of longer term residents as well as some newer property owners.
- Inclusion from both "lake front" and "back lot" residents.
- Current boat owners/operators as well as non boat owner/operators.
- Representation from property owners currently having their own pier/hoist set-up.
- Representation from ratepayers participating in a communal pier/hoist configuration.
- Familiarity with current legislation regarding for example "bed and shore", and "mooring".
- Knowledge of or some history with Licences of Occupation, (LOCs).
The above represent criteria that we felt would give us a broad mix of ratepayer representation. Obviously, no one person can meet all criteria specified. Making our final four selections was a very difficult decision for Council. We know that some very capable people, who would have been excellent contributors to the committee, were not chosen and may be somewhat disappointed. This is very unfortunate and for that we apologize. However, we believe we have identified a good cross section of our community who will serve Sunbreaker Cove well. As a whole, all criteria we specified have been met by one or more of those selected. Once again, thank you for your interest in getting involved with the future of our community.
The names of the 4 applicants chosen to sit on this committee include Linda McLevin, Bryan Bennett, Gary Will and Lorne Zaparniuk. Again, I suggest you check our website periodically for additional information and to track our progress.
On November 15th, Council met with Administration to review budget requirements for the upcoming year. As mentioned in previous correspondence, under new Municipal Government Act (MGA) policy, municipalities are required to prepare budgets our for the subsequent three year period. This is our second budget taking that into consideration. Also, there are some additional changes to the new and revised MGA that have yet to be approved. Some of these, we believe, will place an additional financial burden on all municipalities, including the Summer Villages. Another unknown! So we are moving quite cautiously and will continue to be conservative with any new initiatives.
Our goal for 2017 is to finalize a budget with little or no increase in taxes. We have already identified a few areas where cuts to expenditures can be made but nothing yet has been finalized. Predicting or anticipating future needs is always a challenge. We do have some higher priority initiatives that we consider MUSTS! I'm not going to dwell on those here and believe that further speculation will serve no useful purpose. We do hope to have a budget finalized by February next year at the latest.
Once again, Merry Christmas to Everyone and Sincere Best Wishes for 2017.
Bill Carr, Mayor