AGM Minutes 2020
Minutes of the 57th Annual General Meeting
Oxtongue Lake Association
Friday, August 7, 2020, 9:30 am
- Call to Order and Opening Remarks. Andrea Armstrong called the meeting to order. We shared a minute of silence in memory of Susan and Scott Beamer, both of whom we lost this year.
- Approval of the Agenda. Motion to approve the Agenda for the present meeting: proposed by Bill Thomas; seconded by Frank Tizel. Carried.
- Approval of Minutes. Motion to approve the Minutes from the 2019 meeting: proposed by Bill Thomas; seconded by Chris Woods. Carried.
- Treasurer’s Report. Bill Thomas presented the Treasurer’s Report. The Association remains in a strong position and has cash of $21,472 and a GIC of $6,760 and a small merchandise receivable which is in the process of being collected. The OLA had revenue of $4,518 in 2019 and the only current liability is $180 in duplicate memberships, which we are in the process of refunding. OLA has $28,382 in retained earnings and we place 15% of retained earnings each year into a contingency reserve for use in emergency situations. We received membership fees of $2,160, the Regatta made $2,247 ($442 from the event and $1,805 from merchandise) and we made interest of $111 on the GIC. There were expenses of $2,421 in total, primarily $1,830 for insurance, $307 for the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association with net earnings of $2,097. Due to hardships brought on by the COVID pandemic, the Board is considering waiving the local business owners’ contribution of 50% to the website expense of about $330. As of December 31, 2019, the OLA has $28,105 in retained earnings. New software has been tested to send invoices to members with a reminder option in order to pay efficiently and reduce the costs and time associated with membership dues ($30), which has been an unduly complicated process. Please email Bill (email address is on the website) to authorize him to send these new invoices as it is a more efficient payment method. In response to a question, Bill indicated that he continues to pursue a group rate for propane. Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report: proposed by Jim Elliot; seconded by Frank Tizel. Carried.
- President’s Report. Members are encouraged to sign up for alerts on the Algonquin Highland website to keep informed of changes due to the pandemic. Andrea also noted that there has been a high demand for internet on the lake due to the pandemic and mentioned that Highland Internet is a small, local business that offers a line of sight service and a reasonable seasonal rate. Rogers has pulled out of the area and the Association could participate in a petition to ask them to come back if there is enough interest.
- Township Council Report. Ward 3 Councillor Jennifer Dailloux discussed the following:
- COVID and the Municipality. Due to the pandemic, powers to govern were moved to an emergency group consisting of the mayor and several department heads and public health officials, so councillors are not necessarily up to date on all details under discussion. All municipal facilities (such as the Dorset Recreation Centre, community centres, the Dorset Scenic Tower, and museums) are closed and will likely remain so for the remainder of the year. Landfills in Dorset are back to full capacity, and can be used by Oxtongue Lake residents, but the Oxtongue Lake Landfill is not yet completely back to business (due to technical challenges in getting power for touchless payments). Hazardous Waste Day is tomorrow at the Oxtongue Lake Landfill.
- Outdoor washrooms at Oxtongue Lake. Jen thanked several individuals who generously donated their time and input into this matter, through a committee of council, as to where outdoor washrooms will be installed. There has been a delay due to COVID and we hope that they will be installed at the Community Centre this fall.
- MTO Highway Work. Road work will be undertaken between Dwight and the West Gate of Algonquin Park over the next 50 days. Roads will be closed except to local traffic again during leaf-viewing season and it is anticipated that this year may be busy, given the pandemic. In response to a question, Jen noted that bike lanes are a provincial, not a municipal matter.
- Short Term Rentals. Due to a conflict of interest, Jen has recused herself from this discussion at Council, but has and will submit all comments received on this topic to the Municipality directly. Andrea recently circulated feedback information and all interested are encouraged to use it, in the next 20 days or so, to submit their feedback directly to the Municipality.
- Public Launches, Docks and Landings. Any changes to the use of the “public” beach at the end of Harris Road and to the boat launch on Harris Road is in the jurisdiction of the Municipality which will likely invite public input and is expected to be contentious. There was some debate as to whether there should be a “40,000 foot” view of this issue (ie. the same rules across the whole Municipality) or whether each lake or area should have input as to local use taking specific local issues into account. There has been an increase of use over the past few years and the “community code” as to how these types of areas are used has been changing. A dock at the boat launch is not currently planned (although there is always a chance) and there is nothing in the budget for one this year or next and it is noted that any municipal structure, such as a dock, would increase taxes due to upkeep and insurance.
- Septic System Reinspection Program. You should have now received a letter from the WSP to the effect that this Program is ongoing and your participation is voluntary. Check Jen’s Facebook page for updates to roads and community issues, or read the newsletter or call her with any further concerns. In response to a question, Jen noted that the demolition of the Howling Wolf across from Algonquin Bound is a civil matter and is not yet a public health risk, so the Municipality cannot currently issue a demolition order.
- MP Report. Jamie Schmale (Conservative), MP Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock noted that progress is being made in the effort to fix the gaps in internet and cellular service in rural areas. An RFP for internet service for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, which includes Haliburton County, closes on Aug 14 and it is anticipated that construction on cellular and fixed broadband will start in 2021 with a completion date in 2025. Only 46% of homes and businesses in Eastern Ontario have access to the CRTC standard of 50 megabytes/second upload and 10 megabytes/second download and it is the focus of all levels of government to fix this issue. Politicians are considering taking back the rights of large telecoms if they don’t service rural areas. In response to questions, Jamie noted that Provincial Parliament will likely start to sit again in the third week of September and it is not known when flights from the European Union will start again but talks are taking place.
- Lake Steward Report – Dan Kraus gave the report noting that the water has been tested for years now for clarity, calcium and phosphorus and its quality remains consistently good overall. Septic inspections are critical in the fight against phosphorus. Please don’t use fertilizers which contain phosphorus.
- Cottage Watch Report – Paul Bailey reported that truck traffic is a concern on Harris Road and around the lake, so if you are building or hiring contractors, please remind them to slow down. Please also slow down when driving on Harris Road yourself. Five or six “Watch for Children” signs should be going up on Harris Road. If you see any dubious behavior, please take a picture or video and call the police, but do not confront any “bad actors” yourself. Paul also noted that he is stepping down this year and was widely thanked and congratulated for his contribution to the OLA over the years and for bridging the gap between the police and our community.
- Events Report – Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, there are no events this year. The summer dance has been postponed and we are looking for a Commodore for the next regatta.
- Oxtongue Lake for Arts and Culture. Chris Woods reported that the plein air session planned in conjunction with Hike Haliburton will unfortunately be cancelled due to the pandemic. OLAC continues to work with Algonquin Outfitters and thanks everyone for their support. OLAC will continue to meet in the new year, depending on the pandemic.
- Other Business & Questions for All Organizations. Andrea thanked Lea Barker and Myrna Mason for their excellent work on the newsletter. In response to a question about the increasing number of geese on the lake, Dan mentioned that the best way of discouraging geese from coming on your property is to keep your shoreline natural and to not use fertilizer on your lawn, since geese prefer the nutrients found in the fertilizer. Geese come back to breed where they are born, so they will continue to be an issue. In response to another question, Jennifer Dailloux mentioned that a new sign for Daisy Trail is in the works and will follow up with the County. In response to another question, Jen also noted that Ontario Parks is the government entity to contact about a warning against swimming at the top of Ragged Falls.
- Re-election and Election of Board Members. Andrea Armstrong indicated that this will certainly be her last year as President, but she will remain on the Executive, and will continue as President until a replacement has been found. Andrea introduced members of the Executive: herself as President, Bill Thomas as Treasurer, Laura Embree as Secretary, Dan Kraus as Lake Steward, Brandi Bailey, Rick Linklater, Barry Matthews, Tony Pereira and Jim Sale. Motion to re-elect the slate: proposed by Frank Tizel; seconded by Janine Tizel. Carried.
- Adjournment. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 am. Motion to adjourn: proposed by Rick Linklater and seconded by Frank Tizel. Carried.
Oxtongue Lake’s Canada Day Celebration
a truly special day to honour Canada’s Birthday.
While actual festivities vary slightly year to year, there is always something of interest for both young and old. Activities can include a celebration of the arts, musical interludes, children’s activities, clowns, balloon blowing, hot-dogs, cake and, of course, singing of O’Canada. So dress up in your red & white and come on out to have some family fun.