Ward Four Councillors Report to Cottage Associations -July 2023
As you read this message we will be well into the summer season. We trust that your cottage experience
is meeting or exceeding your expectations. The following is an update on some of the activities of the
Township of The Archipelago
Earlier this month many of your residents will have received their final tax bill for 2023. The tax rate in
the south half of our township has increased by 1%, well below the rate of inflation. Our actual
expenses are up by more than that but still below the rate of inflation. There was considerable new
construction in the township in 2022 so the costs were spread over a bigger base to bring the rate down.
In 2022 we approved building permits worth 27 million dollars and for the first 5 months of this year we
have approved permits at the same rate as last year.
For those of you that look closely at the numbers you will note that the charge for the services of the
OPP was shown separately on your 2022 invoice and included the tax rate in 2023. We started to show
the OPP charge separately when those charges were increasing significantly for a number of years but,
now that they have stabilized, there is no need to identify them separately.
On a regular basis the Township hosts a Deerhorn Conference. We are planning another Deerhorn
Conference in October of this year. This is an opportunity for council and senior staff to meet with all the
cottage associations in our township and discuss what we, as a group, see the current and upcoming
issues for our residents. If you have an issue you think should be discussed, please speak to the
executive of your association. (And yes, the conference gets its name from the location of the first
meeting, Deerhorn Lodge in Sans Souci.)
As the result of some unfortunate activity in the past, we are developing new bylaws to deal with site
alteration and tree protection. These are complicated areas to get the right balance so, as soon as we
have a draft, there will be public consultation. More opportunities for you and your association to shape
our Township. Once these by-laws are completed, we will work on a new Comprehensive Zoning By-law.
OTHER THINGS WE ARE WATCHING
Floating cottages. (The Province has taken some action but now we need the Federal
Government to step up to the plate.)
The northward spread of the city and the expectation for city level services.
Provincial actions and other activities and their effect on water quality and the environment.
The provincial implementation of producer responsibility for the collection of recyclables and how this
may affect our blue box program and waste disposal cost.
I am going to close with a repetition of something all of you have heard but some have not fully
understood. Because of the particularly dry conditions in our forest the fire rating in all of Northern
Ontario is at the extreme level. This means no fires, no fireworks and no other activities that might
release sparks. It will take a great many rainstorms before this situation can be reversed. Please help us
protect the land that attracts us to this part of the world.
Stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy your summer
David Ashley, on behalf of the councillors for Ward Four (Alice Barton, Rick Zanussi and myself)