Minutes of the 49th Annual General Meeting Oxtongue Lake Ratepayers Association August 6, 2012, 10:00 AM Oxtongue Lake Community Centre
- Call to order and Opening Remarks – John Gunderman called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. John mentioned that he was acting as President for Lori Hollingsworth who could not attend the meeting. Gisele Gunderman volunteered to take the minutes for Treasurer Dave Armstrong who could not attend the meeting. John welcomed guests: Reeve Carol Moffatt, Ward Councillor Marlene Kyle, Township Representative and Ratepayer Melissa Alfano who on that day collected donations for our mural project. John also acknowledged and welcomed new permanent residents, Jan and Chris Woods, Lori and Bob Hollingsworth, and Roy and Sandra Madersbacher and their son, David. John took the opportunity to thank Janet and Bill Helsel for their years of service at Helsels’ General Store, which is now known as Lobo’s and is owned and operated by Lori and Bob Hollingsworth. John reminded everyone to renew their OLRA membership and to make a donation to our Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery project. This entitles the donor to vote for their favorite A.J. Casson work. The people’s choice will be revealed later and be painted as a mural for our Community Centre.
- Approval of minutes – Motion to approve: Frank Tizel. Seconded by Liz Lindsay.
- Treasurer’s Report – Liz Margarucci presented the Treasurer’s report. Motion to acceptthe Treasurer’s Report: Chris Woods. Seconded by Joan Hayden.
- Regatta Report – Amanda Ferguson reported that despite poor weather and a late start, the day was very successful bringing in earnings of $2,100.00. Taylor and Taylor Hill volunteered to run the Regatta in 2013.
- WebGuy Report – Jim Grant reminded everyone to ensure their e-mail addresses are up to date as he currently gets a few returns when he uses the mailing list. Jim mentioned that there is an initiative underway to merge the Business Association web site with the OL website. Marlene Kyle is assisting in this project. Due to costs and also considering wide access to information on our web site, a “paper” Newsletter will no longer be issued.
- Oxtongue Lake Steward Report – Ben Teske informed everyone that he regularly monitors the clarity of the water and it has continued to be fine. Ben encouraged everyone to continue to be vigilant when it comes to our Lake’s health. Ben informed the Ratepayers that loon signs at nesting sites will soon be in place. Ben provided great information regarding septic systems and how they work. He recommended that septics be pumped every 3 to 5 years to avoid problems. See our web site for supportive information on septics. Ben brought a few one-page reminders that cottagers and residents can use to post in their cottage/home to inform visitors of septic do’s and don’ts. These will also available on our web site.
- Fire Department Report – Retired District Chief Ted Keown provided well-deserved recognition to our Fire Department and introduced new District Chief, Ken Williams who took over as acting DC in November 2011. Ted officially presented Ken with the DC’s helmet. Ken reviewed the types of calls the FD responded to in the previous year, 7 of which were house fires. Ken reminded everyone that detectors must be checked yearly and replaced every 10 years in accordance with their lifespan. Ken mentioned that there is a fire ban currently in effect as a result of a dry summer. Ken told everyone that when the FD is working they use “green lights”. Move over if it is safe when you spot the green lights to allow them room to work. Ken provided a great tip when it comes to a stroke
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which is to note the time the stroke occurred. This is extremely beneficial for ensuing medical care. Ken thanked everyone for the July 1 BBQ proceeds of $472.00.
- Snowmobile Report – Tim Drouin provided the update for the 2011-2012 snowmobile season, which was challenging due to a late winter start and early spring weather. Trails opened January 12, approximately 2 weeks late. Trails were open for 8 weeks despite lesser amounts of snow than usual. Trails were well used due to lack of snow south of our area including New York State and Ohio. Last grooming day was March 9, 2 weeks early. Club events were great. Tim thanked local businesses and Club volunteers for their support, great accommodations and food. Many positive comments were reflected in social media. 43 volunteers contributed in excess of 1,500 hours to support our great trail riding area. Tim thanked Taylor Hill and Garry Logan for grooming and Club President Scott Hayden for his ongoing leadership, liaison with the Township and his work on our trails. Tim mentioned that Scott was awarded Volunteer of the year for District 7 at last Fall’s OFSC AGM Last September.
- Dam and Water Level Report – Although not a stewarding issue Ben Teske agreed to review data and reports and shared his comments, observations and recommendations. Ben noted that the issues are complex and that there are many views on this topic in our community including those who theorize that the Lake will “dry up” or become a “muddy stream” unless something is done. Ben also commented that there has historically been a pattern of people being reactive. Ben offered an Executive Proposal to measure water levels on an ongoing basis for a significant term in order to collect data. He solicited people’s personal opinions to be submitted on our website. Ben stressed the importance of voicing one’s own opinion versus someone else’s. Whatever decisions are made about the dam must be reflective of our community and not just one or two people’s views. Ben showed a picture of the dam which was useful to the many who had not seen the dam. Ben also mentioned that the measure would be put back on the bridge. A Ratepayer suggested signs be posted at the dam site to notify people that the dam should not be disturbed. The Executive Committee will review this suggestion and decide accordingly.
10. Bridge Update – Scott Hayden provided an update. Essentially, the work is somewhat behind as the crew is waiting for steel pylons. Catch-up is expected to happen in the winter months. The temporary bridge is due to be operable after Labor Day. Bridge will be one-way with traffic directed by sensor lights. Work is to be completed by the Fall of 2014.
11. Gas Station Update – Colin Smith communicated with MPP Laurie Scott who responded to Colin in a letter dated February 23, 2012. MPP Scott says in his letter “This is a growing problem in many small communities as well as other rural communities across Ontario. The negative impact on local motorists, farmers and the tourist industry are obvious.” Furthermore Scott says “There is no easy solution to this problem.” And he closes by saying “However, I will discuss the matter with my caucus and government colleagues to see if other potential solutions could be identified.” Although everyone seems to recognize the importance of this issue and the safety concerns related to not having local gas pumps, there does not seem to be a forthcoming solution. Colin suggested that residents may want to individually write to MPP Laurie Scott about their concerns.
12. Cultural Committee – Member of the Algonquin Highlands Cultural Committee, Chris Woods, invited everyone to participate in an upcoming Cultural meeting at the OLCC August 15. The purpose is to get community involvement and input in identifying cultural and community values. Those who cannot attend may provide their input online on the Algonquin Highlands website. Chris provided brochures with all relevant information.
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- Community Centre Update – Chair of the Community Centre Committee, John Gunderman introduced and thanked Committee members and caretaker, Tom Smith for their ongoing efforts. John provided information about the mural project and the Doors Open Ontario event to take place September 15 & 16 when people who contribute a donation to the mural project will be able to add a paint stroke to the mural under the direction of artists, Gerry Lantaigne and Janine Marson. John reviewed the Community Centre usage which to date in 2012 is at 31 events compared to a total of 30-40 events per year for 2010 and 2011. This is trending very positively and John encouraged everyone to continue to use our centre. John recognized and thanked Betsy Seigfried who donated her professional services in enlarging our old Community Centre pictures and donating 2 more from her own collection and Janine Marson who framed them at a preferred cost. Member of the Community Centre Committee, Fran Gower provided a report on our July 1 celebration. The community was blessed with good weather until 3:01 PM when the event had wrapped up. Barry Devolin and daughter Molly joined the event early in the day and addressed the crowd. Our local FD served hot dogs and pop. The Arts & Crafts Show was of great interest again this year. Stormy the Clown returned for face painting and to entertain the children. Gillian also returned with her African Drums. The Georgian Bay Sax Group entertained everyone with their great music for over an hour. Cake and coffee were served and people were encouraged to donate for the mural and to vote for their favorite work of art. Fran thanked all the volunteers for another successful celebration.
- Township Council Update – Reeve Carol Moffatt addressed the attendees about Budget surplus generated largely from recycling efforts; MPAC 4-year phase-in assessments; aggressive back tax collection initiative; the Cultural plan; zoning bylaws; the County shoreline tree undertaking; the Airport and the MNR relocation.
- Cottage Watch Update – Cottage Watch Coordinator, Gisele Gunderman reported that the winter of 2011-2012 was thankfully uneventful. Two incidents were noted in the Spring: 1 reported incident of attempted break & enter at the Last Call Hunt Camp; 1 reported incident of trespassing and uttering threats. Arrest in this case was made and charges laid. More recently, on July 22, there was a reported incident of alleged theft at the old Timber Trail. A black Ranger vehicle with Alberta plates and stickers on the back window was on the scene. Gisele mentioned that our Cottage Watch program had received favorable press in the last year through a CTV feature and an article in the Minden Times on January 4 and 11 respectively, a time of year when other nearby communities such as Huntsville were experiencing a surge of break and enters. Gisele encouraged everyone to continue to be diligent and observant and to be familiar with their Road Coordinators whose names are listed on our web site. Gisele took the opportunity to thank the Road Coordinators for their continued support.
- Oxtongue Cooks Cookbooks – Gisele Gunderman reported a net profit of $3,070 on the sale of 500 cookbooks. All proceeds went to the OLRA. Another 100 cookbooks are on sale now which will net an additional $350 profit for the OLRA. Books can be obtained at BSI, the Parkway and Algonquin Outfitters, and from Gisele.
- New Business – No new business was identified.
- Election of the Board – Brian Lambert was elected as a new Board member. LizMargarucci and John Lawrence whose terms were up were re-elected to the Board.
Respectfully submitted by Gisele Gunderman
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