By Marianne Cole
· Rocky Flipz Gymnastics and Preschool Gennifer Mehlhaff and Nicholas Frank came to present information on a vision they have for a joint not-for-profit organization effort to build a community multipurpose facility. This building could “include a splash park and low-grade entry pool, field houses, gymnastics studio, indoor walking track and fitness center, meeting space, central hub, and events center. Potentially it could be built south of Rocky along the “Cut Across” Road.
· Caroline Community Historical Society Laura Kirbyson, President, and Jim Pearson, Vice President, came to present info on their efforts/plans to move the Cheddarville All Hallows Church from its current location along Hwy. 22/Dovercourt area to the Caroline Museum. Plans are to do the move this summer. They explained the costs along with their fund raising activities.
· Compassionate Care Hospice Society Jillian Lawton outlined the Society’s efforts, progress, funding, and current plans for the Hospice suite that will be set up in the Clearwater Center. Discussion took place on their fund raising efforts including potential money from Clearwater Regional FCSS (Family and Community Support Services).
2. Leslieville Elks’ Hall Tax Exemption
Council gave 3 readings to a Bylaw which would give the Leslieville Elks a tax exemption and reimbursement for property taxes paid in 2017. Consideration may be given for the 2018 taxes after those notices are sent out.
3. Public Hearing re Bylaw1040/18 on Cannabis Production Facilities
About 30 people attended the public hearing for this bylaw that would restrict medical marijuana/cannabis production facilities in Clearwater County to an Industrial Park. There were 5 people who spoke in favor of the bylaw, suggesting that this is not an agricultural venture but rather a business requiring greater security. It was also noted that other municipalities also restrict these operations to business parks. 7 people spoke in opposition to the bylaw citing their desire to grow for personal medical reasons and their own freedom of rights. One letter in favor of the bylaw and three in opposition were also read. Several of these people compared cannabis to hemp, a confused inaccurate comparison. Also this bylaw does not mention personal, medical use. Instead this bylaw states, “CANNABIS PRODUCTION FACILITY means the use of land, or buildings for the cultivation, processing, testing, destruction, packaging and shipping of cannabis as permitted and licensed by the Federal Government of Canada.” It goes on to state, “Cannabis does not include industrial hemp as defined under the Industrial Hemp Regulations (Canada) as amended from time to time.”
Following the hearing Council passed second and third reading of the bylaw.
4. Public Engagement Strategy
Council reviewed the information presented by Administration on the various ways council could proceed with gathering/incorporating public opinion on improving broadband services in Clearwater County. In their discussion the suggestion was made that they meet with three different groups: general public, ISP’s (Internet Service Providers), and business people. Information on each group’s wishes, needs, and concerns would be gathered and from that a definite plan of action, along with appropriate timeline, would be drafted. Administration was tasked with drafting more specific guidelines and report back to council.