View all Articles & Archives

Brought to you by Add to Technorati Favorites

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Keeping a clean lake - Orillia

Orillia is wise to think twice before hitching its wagon to a conservation authority, says an area mayor disturbed by rising membership fees.
“I don’t think any of us anticipated it would be that much of a demand on our budget,” says Oro-Medonte head Harry Hughes.
With the spring thaw now revealing the widely-used waters of Lake Simcoe, fingers are again wagging in Orillia’s direction.
From the region’s MPP to one of its own members, council is being urged to rethink its longstanding position, and join the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.
Coun. Don Evans finds it “ridiculous” that Orillia remains the sole holdout of all the communities bordering the lake.
While “not pretending” to be an expert on the issue, Evans is pressing the current council to consider becoming a member. “I do understand it is not cheap, but preserving the lake is extremely important,” he said.
“Preserving Lake Simcoe means preserving Lake Couchiching as well. In this day and age, we have to be more sensitive to the environment, which almost always means there will be a financial consequence to our taking responsibility.”
Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop agrees.
“It is the right thing to do. You shouldn’t let your neighbour pay the shot.”
Unlike the other communities bordering the lake, Orillia has repeatedly rejected the call to join.
Councillors fear the excessive fees, loss of autonomy, and the added bureaucracy they say membership brings.
Once a municipality enters the fold, it is locked in for the life of the authority, warns City Manager Ian Brown.
“With a membership, you can say I am going to stop being a member and get out,” he said. “You can’t under the legislation.”
The idea of “membership” is itself a misnomer, Brown adds.
“You don’t just join it: council passes a resolution inviting the authority to extend its jurisdiction into the municipality.
“The only way you can get them out is by effectively dissolving the conservation authority ... it is a very, very inflexible mechanism.”
Mayor Ron Stevens estimated Orillia’s annual share could reach $200,000 – a figure the authority disputes – or enough to fund two additional police officers.
“It is all well and good to say we should be members, but with that comes a very strong price tag,” he added.
Past councils have argued the money is better spent on local infrastructure projects that impact positively on the lake, namely upgrades to the city’s waste-treatment plant.
For rural municipalities with a small or non-existent engineering staff, joining made sense, as the annual levy was relatively reasonable when compared with the cost of hiring consultants for water-related work, Brown said.
Orillia, however, “has a relatively large engineering in-house capability,” he added.
Hughes believes the city is wise in taking a “wait-and-see” approach.
“Quite frankly, Orillia is being accused of abdicating their responsibility to their neighbours,” he said.
“I don’t see it that way. They are not sitting back and doing nothing. They are spending money that is impacting on the lake in a positive way.”
The city utilizes the conservation authority on a fee-for-service basis, paying for its expertise when needed.
Inviting the agency to expand its reach into Orillia would add another level of bureaucracy for developers building near the waterfront, Brown said.
“Whether it is a big subdivision, or you are adding a garage to your property and you are ‘x’ metres from (the lake), you need an approval,” he said.
“While we are strict enforcers of building code rules and permits, we are efficient and we do turn around applications in a timely fashion. We don’t want to jeopardize that with another level of bureaucracy.”
Said Hughes: “We have seen delays of three months.”
Barrie, a member since 2003, contributes more than $430,000 through the annual levy – money well spent, according to that city’s director of engineering.
“Do you look at environmental costs, or just funding costs?” said Richard Forward. “It is a long-term view.”
In the same breath, Forward is hoping that federal dollars recently earmarked for Lake Simcoe will lessen the financial burden on member municipalities.
“In order to plan for the long-term health and protection of the lake, it requires environmental leadership,” said Forward.
“That is provided by the collective input of the conservation authority.”


Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.17
nike air max, gucci handbags, red bottom shoes, michael kors handbags, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, cheap oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet online, burberry outlet online, ray ban outlet, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, prada handbags, ugg australia, michael kors outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin outlet, ugg outlet, christian louboutin, polo ralph lauren, louis vuitton outlet, cheap ugg boots outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley vault, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, prada outlet, cheap ugg boots, michael kors outlet online sale, replica watches, nike free, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet online, longchamp handbags, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, nike outlet, jordan shoes

7:49 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors uk, michael kors outlet online, ray ban uk, scarpe hogan, ray ban pas cher, lacoste pas cher, coach purses, ralph lauren pas cher, burberry pas cher, lululemon outlet online, hollister, hermes pas cher, nike roshe run, coach outlet, nike blazer pas cher, tn pas cher, longchamp, hollister uk, new balance pas cher, louboutin, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, michael kors, vans pas cher, north face, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, air jordan, nike air max, north face pas cher, longchamp pas cher, true religion jeans, nike free pas cher, true religion, air max pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, timberland pas cher, kate spade outlet online, guess pas cher, coach outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, michael kors canada, nike air force

7:52 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike free, nike air max, reebok shoes, ghd, wedding dresses, celine handbags, beats headphones, nfl jerseys, air max, jimmy choo shoes, mac cosmetics, hollister, mcm handbags, north face jackets, abercrombie and fitch, vans outlet, baseball bats, mont blanc pens, asics shoes, nike air max, ralph lauren uk, longchamp, giuseppe zanotti, p90x workout, nike trainers, insanity workout, instyler ionic styler, soccer jerseys, lululemon outlet, abercrombie and fitch, north face jackets, herve leger, ferragamo shoes, valentino shoes, birkin bag, nike roshe, mulberry uk, nike air huarache, chi flat iron, hollister clothing store, nike roshe, bottega veneta, soccer shoes, babyliss, new balance outlet

7:56 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

air max, pandora uk, coach outlet, ugg soldes, replica watches, toms outlet, vans, ray ban, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, converse, supra shoes, karen millen, hollister canada, marc jacobs handbags, louis vuitton pas cher, doke gabbana outlet, ugg boots, links of london uk, swarovski jewelry, ugg, iphone case, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, thomas sabo uk, louis vuitton uk, timberland boots, pandora jewelry, juicy couture, uggs canada, converse shoes, louboutin, swarovski uk, oakley, sac lancel, montre femme, louis vuitton canada, abercrombie, ralph lauren, sac louis vuitton, gucci, michael kors handbags, juicy couture outlet, ugg, pandora charms, wedding dress
ninest123 09.17

7:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home