Minutes of meeting – May 17th, 2012

10 a.m. – 12 noon @ Village of South River Council Chambers


Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Rosalind Hall, Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls; Cole Dault, Perry Township; Merv Mulligan, McMurrich/Monteith; Jeff Johnston, KPABA; Hazel Hornibrook, Almaguin Highlands Arts Council; Jim Coleman, South River, CAEDA; Don Carter, Whitestone; Tara Hamilton, MNDMF; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley-Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.


Regrets: Kate Monk, Explorer’s Edge; Tiffany Ramsay, Powassan.


  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Jeff Johnston, Chair 10:00 a.m.
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Declaration of Pecuniary Interest ~ N/A
  4. Adoption of Minutes of April 2012 ~ 1st: Merv Mulligan  2nd: Don Carter
  5. Business Arising (AHED Business)


Jeff discussed the Community Collaborative Luncheon briefly emphasizing that collaborative working equals faster success.  For more information on the Community Collaborative Initiative please contact Tami Boudreau – tamiboudreau@hotmail.com


Tara spoke about the transportation issue in the Almaguin Highlands saying that some other Municipalities are using their gas tax rebates to find a solution.  Tara brought in a report from Donna Maitland stating “Four new transit buses should be running the roads of Temiskaming Shores and Cobalt by the end of the year.  Last week, Temiskaming Shores joined Cobalt in giving the go-ahead to the purchase of four medium duty accessible buses.  The two municipalities’ provincial gas tax revenue, which is administered by the city on behalf of Temiskaming Shores and Cobalt, will cover the buses’ cost.  While the buses will be owned by the municipality, service provider Stock Transportation remains a very active player.”  Tara suggested that there are several funding mechanisms available for assistance regarding transportation issues.  Jeff suggested pulling all municipalities together by drafting a letter on behalf of AHED out to the other municipalities regarding new transportation ideas. 


Motion was made by Merv Mulligan to form sub-committee regarding transportation.  1st – Merv Mulligan        2nd – Jeff Johnston


  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners


Tara Hamilton/Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

Tara discussed the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund’s Infrastructure and Community Development Program which has been accessed in the past mostly by municipalities.  Along with improving infrastructure, creating jobs, boosting economic development and opportunities, the fund also can be used for strategic planning.  For more information or to discuss an idea you think may be eligible, please feel free to contact Tara.


      Rosalind Hall/Ryerson, Armour, Burk’s Falls

Rosalind reported that the Heritage Car Show will take place at the Midlothian Museum on August 11, 2012.  Everybody is welcome, for more information please contact the Ryerson Municipal Office at 705-382-3232.  The museum is now open, operating only on weekends until July 3, at which point it will be open full-time.  The Health Care Center formulated a business plan on urgent healthcare in the Almaguin Highlands – if anyone want to support this initiative with a letter to the ministry, it would be greatly appreciated.  Just a note, Rosalind also wanted to point out that in the Northern Ontario Growth Plan, there is no representation from the Parry Sound District, Rosalind wants to lobby the minister for representation as it is very important.


      Merv Mulligan/McMurrich Monteith

Merv discussed the Sprucedale Summer Spectacular which will take place on August 11, 2012.  The festivities include kids games, a BBQ, dance, the Northern Lights Steel Orchestra will be performing as well.  This is a fundraising event for the Community Access Program.  The Sprucedale Recreation Committee will be looking after the trails again this year, the inaugural walk though has been temporarily postponed due to the bugs.  As a point of interest, Merv also discussed a mini series that was done by TV Ontario around our region regarding area history – Can be found by googling “Depot Harbour”.  The Sprucedale Horticultural Society is hosting a plant sale at Hope’s Foodland in Novar on June 2nd, the garden tour will take place as well this year, you can find more information on the Municipality website.


       Jeff Johnston/ KPABA

Jeff reported that the website for the Economic Development Committee has been started, not moving along as quickly as he had previously hoped but a directory is being organized.  To augment the directory/website they have been issuing a montly newsletter which people seem to be receptive to.  Jeff encouraged the AHED members that if anyone has something valuable to add, please send to Jeff and he will add it to the newsletter which currently has a 75 member distribution list.  The Farmer’s Market in Kearney starts in June at Fillmore’s Beaver Creek Farm on Highway 518.  The annual Kearney Lobsterfest will take place on June 30th.  The Graphite Mine is prepping to open with the second job fair taking place at the Kearney Community Center on May 30th from 9:00 until 2:00


       Jim Coleman/Westwind

Jim reported that a session is planned for July to update the strategic plan.


       Jim Coleman/CAEDA

The Friends of Mikisew are looking for people interested in membership.  A meeting was held regarding ATV legislation for 2 ups and side by side riding.  The MTO attended and stated new legislation would take some time as their are no current standards and there are concerns such as safety, liability and speed.  A pilot program is taking place in Quebec and will conclude in May 2013 with a report being prepared at that time.  With the new pavement between South River and Sundridge, wider paved shoulders would be an asset with signage to address safety issues.  The committee is interested in hiring interns however they are waiting on an official announcement regarding funding.


       Jim Coleman/South River

New flyers, postcards and banners have been purchased for the Village.  They were purchased through iBrand Almaguin, for more information, contact Jessica Busch or visit iBrand’s website at www.iBrand.ca  A public information session is being planned for residents and ratepayers to discuss water meters.  An official letter is being drafted as well.  The Eastholme Community Service Volunteer Dinner is taking place on May 17th.  The program has been running for 12 years with a distance of over 1,000,000 kilometres travelled.  The town is exploring Solar Energy Projects with a presentation to be announced regarding the benefits of community groups initializing such projects.


       David Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.

Dave encouraged people to get events on the map ensuring that they are indeed mapping it correctly.


       Jim Coleman/Village of South River

Jim reported that costs for police service in South River has gone up by $20,000 in the last year, thus bringing the total to over $250,000/year.  The Village is exploring the cost of a Police Contract which will lock in the rate for a term of 5 years.  The rise in cost is reportedly due to a rise in domestic disturbances, thus prompting the village to look into co-ordinating vacant office space for anger management classes.  Jeff suggested contacting the crisis center in Sundridge and perhaps they could provide a counsellor.  The Energy Committee is investigating ways of dealing with problems such as accumulation of garbage and possibility of using an incinerator which would also generate steam.  Looking into solar development, needs more exploration, feasibility study, could potentially solve problems and maybe create jobs.  The new water meters are not installed yet.


       Cole Dault/Perry Township

The Farmer’s Market in Perry is officially opening on June 1st with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m.  Cole reported having a chance to check out the new Farmer’s Market in Sundridge which seems to be a great success.  Don requested information regarding the steps in building/organizing a farmer’s market and any problems which arose, Cole will work on getting this together.  The Information Centre’s enhancement is ongoing.  An ad agency has been contracted to take still photo shoots around the area for incorporating into an image databank of sorts which will be able to be accessed through the interactive stations (which are being utilized).  The Centre is working closely with Explorer’s Edge, showcasing in the Centre.  Emergency Preparedness took place last weekend with a positive response for a first year event.  Memberships are being offered for the Almaguin Highlands Information Centre to both private and non-private businesses.  A basic membership costs $15/yr and includes a listing on the website.  An enhanced membership costs $145/yr and includes and enhanced listing on the website with up to 4 photos, direct link on their site to your site, google map, print materials in centre, possible sale of member merchandise on consignment basis and additional ad options.  They have been using Jim Leung as their webmaster and cloud ad agents based out of Toronto.  Cole also discussed the possibility of a small scale hydo power generation dam which would have a 1 megawatt production capacity.  The system would be an inflatable setup (not a permanent structure) so as not to disturb water flow.  The energy will be sold back to hydro.  An environmental assessment was done years ago, this project has been in the works for 4 – 5 years.


       Hazel Hornibrook/Almaguin Highlands Arts Council

The 2012 Arts Directory are ready, 10000 copies were produced, distribution will begin tomorrow.  Funding for this project comes from membership.  The AGM will take place at The Caswells Resort Hotel on Monday May 28th at 7:00 p.m.  The Sundridge Sunflower Festival will take place on August 10-11 in Sundridge.  The Sundridge Horticultural Society Garden Tour will take place on July 28-29.  The Sundridge Farmers Market has officially begun as well, it takes place Wednesday afternoons in the Kidds Home Hardware Parking Lot.


       Don Carter/Whitestone

Don reported with summer approaching, much is going on in the community which is communicated through a newsletter (quarterly) and on our website as well as through “Welcome to Whitestone” Directory, published by the Whitestone Conservation Association and paid for by ads placed in it by area businesses – this will be the 15th year for this publication.  Whitestone also has sent out a report card for ratepayer input – what does the public think regarding how the municipality is doing.  This is the second attempt at sending this out.  Bingo will be taking place in July and August sponsored by our Nursing Station and WCA Volunteers.  A number of Church and Legion events including the recreation committee is holding a Women’s Wellness Series at the Community Hall, the library has a book sale, Strawberry Social upcoming, Canada Day Fireworks and Craft Show, a Jubilee event on Labour Day which will feature the Northern Lights Steel Orchestra.  The Recreation Committee is also running a Summer Soccer program for kids and a Paddle for a Cure event with all proceeds going to Alzeimers Society of Muskoka.  The Legion continues with weekly social events as well.  Whitestone is midway through construction of their new Municipal Office and Fire Hall Complex.  The official opening of Whitestone’s two walking trails will happen at the end of June.  The Lions will be offering swimming lessons through the summer.


       David Stewart/Explorer’s Edge

Dave will act as a representative for AHED at this committee.  Explorer’s Edge is initializing a Park 2 Park Trail promotion that will take place over the next three years.  The AGM is set to take place at Deerhurst on Tuesday May 22nd from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  All are welcome, more information can be found on their website.


  1. Correspondence
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday June 21st @ The McMurrich/Monteith Village Office located @ 31 William Street, Sprucedale









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