~ March 2010 Edition
~ Contributing Editor Orion Clark~
and Glen Pettinger
Member at Large
The annual trek to the 1000 Islands Playhouse in Gananoque on May 27th promises to be very interesting this year. The play, "The 39 Steps" has been described as follows: "Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel and add a dash of Monty Python for a hilarious, fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This smash hit fresh from Broadway is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by an incredibly talented cast of 4!), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!" Event coordinator Helen Black has arranged for a pre-play gourmet box lunch on the deck, with a chat with the production crew. Cost will be $22 for the play and $12 for the lunch (cheques payable to Perth Probus Club), although you are free to dine separately if you wish. The May meeting will be the final date for payment as final numbers must be given to the theatre. Ride sharing can be arranged.
Municipal Infrastructure Planning
This month’s speakers were Jorgen Hoeven, Director of Corporate and Environmental Services for Perth and Eric Cosens, Director of Planning for Perth. This team of senior administrative staff informed us of the importance of planning and how the Planning Act and Municipal Act establish a mechanism for creating ‘planning documents’. Service level planning, involving hard and soft services, is the least formal element of municipal service administration. Capital planning needs assets to deliver services. Unfortunately, prior public sector accounting standards were largely cash based and provision for replacement of water , sewer, bridges, etc was not amortized for the life of the asset. Hence, funding for sustainable asset replacement lags by $1.7 M/year and thus items must be prioritized. The adoption of a Strategic Budget Guideline approach allows Council to see the immediate impact of budget decisions for the long term period. By spreading the unfunded liability of the $9M Wilson street project over three years, one can readily see from the guideline approach that tax increases could be kept to 5.8%. Long term financial plans are based on a cycle of capital asset replacement and operating budget inflation.
Six municipal projects were briefly discussed by Jorgen and Eric , as part of their powerpoint presentation;
(ii) Arterial Road- Alternate Route- This project has been on the radar for over 20 years. A Class EA was conducted in 2007-8 and the project is likely to be addressed through the County Roads Network evaluation process. Funding is definitely an issue.
(iii) Local Landfill- The town of Perth took over its operation on December 1st, 2008. There has been significant saving in space (compaction) and operational costs. While there is now 5 years of life remaining, discussions are ongoing with MOE in order to acquire approved capacity. The Green Bin and expanded recycling programs are mitigating the outcome of this landfill.
(iv) Sanitary Treatment Expansion – While 94% of the volume capacity was its status in 2007, measures have been taken to reduce residual inflows as well as replace lines so that today the hydraulic capacity is now 81%. While we know that expanded capacity is needed, what remains an unknown is what size will be needed to handle the development of Perth for the next 20 years. A lagoon expansion would involve $3M ( transfers to reserves for expansion could almost handle this at present) but a mechanized plant would involve an expenditure of $20-30 M.
(v) Development North of Highway #7 (Secondary Plan Area) - A study was done in 2001-3 and the Official Plan Amendment #10 determined the residential and commercial needs. Hence policies for development are in place and now there is need for zoning plans. Proponents need to define their conceptual development plans so subdivisions, etc can be planned. Financial commitments from the developer are also needed before services are extended to the area.
(vi) Development of Boundary Restructing Areas - Perth has redrawn its boundaries to include land north of Home Hardware, the Golf Course and land around the sales barn on Christie Lake Road. Based on a recent population survey, this area will meet the Town’s growth needs for the near future.
For further information of any of the above projects contact Eric at email@example.com as well as 613-267-3311.
Management Team Notes
Self-introduction ~ Don McDiarmid
As a Fraser Valley BC native, Don did not venture outside the province to Ontario until 1953 ( Boy Scouts Jamboree) and again as a student at the National Research Council in 1959. In 1965, he again returned to Ottawa to pursue his research interests involving solar wind and the earth’s environment at the NRC. Don, being an ‘unreconstructed westerner’ returned to B.C. annually for visits. In 1971 he met his life partner, a year of prolific snowfall for the area. In 1983, he was seconded to continue his research in Germany. After joining the Canadian Association of Physicists, he continued to lobby for research dollars for the next 13 years. While employed in Ottawa, he was active in community affairs involving the Ottawa School Board , church congregational affairs and other nonprofit organizations. Since moving to Perth in 2009, he has continued his community involvement with two local associations. Welcome Don!