Association, township at crossroads
By NATHAN TAYLOR, QMI AGENCY September 8 2010
Oro-Medonte Township will consider changes to its working relationship with a conservation authority at a meeting Wednesday night, but one councillor says the public hasn’t been given sufficient time to review what’s being recommended.
Township staff are recommending the development of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the township, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) and Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA). The MOU would detail the services provided by the two environmental organizations within the township and the associated costs.
Going ahead with an MOU is one of three options. The other two are the status quo and scaling back the NVCA’s jurisdiction in the township. The latter would see the removal of NVCA programs and services from the SSEA’s jurisdiction.
The staff report was posted to the township website Tuesday.
“Two days is not a reasonable opportunity (for public review and comment),” Coun. Sandy Agnew said.
Agnew wants the matter deferred until the next council is installed, giving the new council and the public more time to digest the information.
Mayor Harry Hughes said there has been ample time for feedback from the public.
The NVCA’s jurisdiction was extended to the SSEA’s area in 2003. There have since been concerns from the township about duplication of service.
Public meetings have been held over the years, Hughes noted, including when the township appealed its portion of the 2009 NVCA levy.
“I really don’t understand why people are saying they haven’t had time for input,” he said.
After Wednesday’s vote, he added, the matter will go to both the NVCA and SSEA for their approval.
“There’s time between now and when the NVCA meets to give input,” he said.
Agnew also hopes two people who applied to make deputations to council and were denied will still be heard. They were turned down because no additional deputations on the matter were being allowed after a previous public meeting.
The township has until Sept. 28 to determine whether it will proceed with its appeal of the 2009 levy from the NVCA or drop it.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the township building on Line 7 South.