March 25, 2021 · 0 Comments
By Peter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Mono Council began its session Tuesday, following the usual opening formalities, with the announcement that Public Works Manager Matt Donor had recently completed certifications as a Certified Roads Supervisor, with the Association of Ontario Roads Supervisors (AORS). The organization has been around since 1961 and the certification is a valuable asset for the Town.
Following this, two questions were received from the public, for answers. The first, from resident Karen Miller concerned the application of sand and salt in the town roads and why it was not removed following winter. Mono Mayor Laura Ryan commented, that she did not believe that the sand was removed from the roads, as was suggested, but rather was usually washed into the ditches by the rain, as that was usually what they appeared to become filled with.
However, she turned the question to Mike Dunsmore, Mono’s public works director for a more complete answer. He explained that the salt can have a very detrimental affect on the Town’s drinking water and so Mono has always used a mixture of salt and sand on its gravel roads to reduce icing and on the paved roads sometimes even straight sale for the same purpose. He went on to state that removal of the sand is not currently a level of service offered by the Town and that as a homeowner, it falls upon them to remove it. The Mayor then asked if he would work with the Clerk, Fred Simpson to address this letter.
Sewage bill costs addressed
The second post, from a Mr. Russel D”Souza, concerned the cost of sewage bills. Mr. D’Souza wondered when the bills would be reduced to reflect the true cost of sewage treatment. He wondered if it would not be cheaper for him to install his own septic tank, for $5,000 which would pay for itself within 4 years at a cost of $100 per month.
Mayor Ryan expressed surprised at Mr. D’Souza’s cost for a septic tank, noting that in her experience the cost would be far greater and also that the lot sizes in the subdivision might not support a septic system. She went on to say that a letter explaining water and sewage costs had gone out and wondered if perhaps another could be sent to the residents of the subdivision who seem to not understand the process.
Mono’s CAO, Mark Early intervened at this point to explain that the subdivision in question had been designed and approved from the beginning around this communal septic system and that the residents were aware of this all along. He does not know where the disinformation concerting the charges originated, however he stated that the Town could work from an existing report to try and rectify the situation.
Town investments overview
Business now turned to hearing the 2020-2021 Year to Date Investment Performance Review, presented by Will MacKay, of CIBC Wood Gundy. Mr. MacKay, took Council through a brief tour of the situation to date, regarding Canada Government Bond Historical 10 Year Rate, explaining that it has been in a 30-year decline, which has seemingly ended with COVID 19. However, the slight uptick in interest rates seen, is not expected to continue and will taper off in 2021, to between 1.7 and 3 per cent. However, that will depend on the economy’s recovery, as expected over the next year to year and a half.
Looking at all the accounts held by the town, Mr. MacKay noted that last year he had advised Council not to expect the same performance increase of 4.2 per cent, seen in 2019-2020. He was therefore very pleased to announce that the increase was indeed, 4.7 per cent for this year! This was important, because it has allowed the Town to withdraw, in cash, money to offset COVID! To achieve this, Mr.Mackay’s team has kept the investments, in the fields of principle protected notes, meaning that the principle invested is protected, by the lender against losses greater than the principle. Thus the borrower can reap the investment returns without venturing into risks for the principle invested.
For example, a note they now have, is seeing a return of 21 per cent, while pooled money investments are down by as much as five plus per cent based on rising interest rates.
The investment is based upon the Canadian Banks and the way it works, is that the note holder takes out a bond for the full amount and then with a portion of that purchases the stocks.
The investor, gives up the dividends, if any, but retains the raise in value or the underlying stocks. The result, for Mono, is a return on investment above market expectations and a healthy economic outlook for the future.
Peter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen