Craft Beer and Food Truck event coming to Induction Weekend
At their meeting on Tuesday Feb. 12, Council was told that St. Marys is not on the short list of municipalities that will receive an outlet that sells legal marijuana.
Municipalities were previously given the opportunity to opt out of being a potential location for the new stores. St. Marys Council decided to remain on the list of eligible locales.
However, there was never much hope of St. Marys receiving a pot place of its own. CAO Brent Kittmer explained to Council that the provincial government limited their selections- 25 in total- to municipalities with populations over 50,000.
“Even Stratford is not on the list,” he said.
The Rotary Club of St. Marys will bring a new event to St. Marys during the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Induction weekend. According to a report submitted to Council, the Craft Beer and Food Truck event will feature 10-15 craft breweries selling their wares on the Hall of Fame grounds, along with six food trucks and a concert starring local musical talent. It will be held on Sunday, June 16 from 12 to 6 p.m.
At the Rotary Club’s request, Council designated the new event as having municipal significance, a necessary step in obtaining permission from the provincial government to serve alcohol to patrons.
The report called it “A new and interesting way to celebrate Father’s Day.”
In other Council news, St. Marys Fire Chief Richard Anderson has been nominated as Alternate Fire Coordinator for Perth County. His role will be to assist the Perth County Fire Coordinator- Chief Bill Hunter of Perth East and West Perth Fire Departments- in managing emergency resources during a crisis.
Stratford Fire Chief John Paradis has also been named an Alternate Fire Coordinator.
Anderson explained to Council that the new role comes with a two year term and no additional remuneration, although some new training is required.
“Chief Ed Smith up in North Perth has been doing it for years, and we all have to take a turn,” he said, adding the position wouldn’t take away from his duties in St. Marys. Rather, the new responsibilities would only be required during a large-scale emergency event.
And finally, the way St. Marys pays for its water and wastewater systems was under discussion at Council on Tuesday. A report from consultancy firm B.M. Ross reported that the wastewater system has been historically underfunded. Town staff recommended a 2 per cent annual rate increase for the water system and a 2.4 per cent annual rate increase for the wastewater system.
“This option would see the system not only keep pace with the projected rate of inflation, but also maintain the Rate of Replacement and ensure that the replacement and reserves keep pace with asset deterioration,” read staff’s report.
However, Mayor Al Strathdee wondered whether it might be worthwhile to go a step further in order to ensure more money goes into reserves.
“There are a lot of variables,” he said, noting the loss of another factory or wildly swinging interest rates could derail a good financial plan.
Strathdee put blame on the provincial government, which he says is incentivizing factories to relocate to large city centres.
“Our wastewater system is skewed toward industry,” he added. “If we lost another big water user, this plan would be out the window… Even an extra $100,000 a year (to reserves) would make a big difference.”
The recommendations brought to Council were meant to guide both water systems’ financial plans. Actual water and wastewater rates are subject to change come budget time.