WEST CARLING ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
JULY 28, 2013 AT 10:00 PM, CARLING RECREATION HALL
President Jeremy Gawen welcomed the approximately 45 members and guests present, including the directors of the WCA present. Marc Cooper, Vice President; Bruce Davidson, Past President; Murray Hogeboom, Treasurer; Sheila Tierney, Secretary; Alex Davidson; Bill Bialkowski, Newsletter; Dick Biggins, Ian Hunt, John Rohr and David Shelley. (Regrets: Dave Turner, Phyllis Ortved, Christina Caap)
Guests: Mayor Gord Harrison, Carling Township Councillors Michael Gordon, Susan Murphy and Sid Larson and Mary Muter, Director, Sierra Club Ontario and Restore Our Water International
Approval of Minutes of the 2012 AGM, July 29,2012
Moved by Ian Hunt, seconded by Bruce Davidson that the minutes of the July 29, 2012 AGM, as circulated and published in the fall 2012 newsletter be approved. Carried
Approval of actions of the Board of Directors
Moved by Judy Bialkowski, seconded by Alex Davidson that all acts, contracts, bylaws and proceedings, appointments, elections and payments enacted by the directors and officers of the WCA since the date of the last general meeting, as the same are set out in the minutes of the Board of Directors, or in the annual reports and financial statements submitted to this meeting, be and the same are hereby approved and confirmed. Carried
Mayor Gord Harrison reported that the new Carling Public Works Building was completed on budget and almost on time. A decision to either convert the former Public Works Building or build a new building to accommodate the Fire Department .
Mayor Harrison addressed a number of concerns :
Low Water: Docks: A new bylaw was passed to give temporary relief for dock installations. Dredging and new docks were completed at Snug Harbour and Dillon. Work at Sawdust Bay, Blind Bay and Pengally Bay will be completed in the fall. The Township is working with the Great lakes Cities Association, the IJC, both federal and provincial levels of government and First nations to secure funding for the work done at access points. Verbal agreement has been received but no money has been forthcoming yet. The mayor met with Premier Wynne and a verbal promise was made to match the federal contribution.
Kayak Congestion at Docks: The Township will meet with interested parties to discuss issues.
Franklin Island: A meeting is scheduled in Ottawa with the Ministry of Natural Resources to discuss issues surrounding crown land under native land claims. Franklin Island is crown land and the Township has no liability for it. Monitoring is working well this year. The President commended the Township for monitoring Franklin Island.
Township Finances: Michael Gordon stated that the Township was catching up on capital expenses with spending on hard surfacing of Township roads and completion of the administration buildings. The Recreation committee is raising money through bottle collections at the dump sites and other activities to build a roof over the arena. There is $300,000 in the Parks Reserve Fund. The Township is looking for government funding for these projects. Hwy 559, a Provincial responsibility, is in need of work and bicycle lanes.
Lighthouses. Snug harbour Lighthouse is a designated historical site. The Township has applied to accept the lighthouse and is preparing a business plan, in concert with interested parties, to present to the government.
Weeds: Heavy weed growth in the shallow water was reported. The Biosphere Reserve and MNR will be contacted.
The President thanked the councillors for attending.
President Jeremy Gawen introduced guest speaker Mary Muter:
“Mary is a director of Sierra Club Ontario and Restore Our Water International. She has worked with Bill Bialkowski and myself for 12 years on low water issues. She is knowledgeable, has contacts with government officials and is in a word “indomitable”. The theme of Mary’s presentation was that the problems could be solved.
-The IJC traditionally met in private and had concluded a study of low water levels with the decision that nothing could be done. When they went to the public with this decision, 600 people in Midland and 300 in Parry Sound showed up mostly from “Restore Our Water” and the $17million study was rejected by the IJC.
–ROW met with US citizens and became ROW International with Roger Gauthier as Chairman. Roger understands the problems in the St. Claire River. The US came on side for remediation and MP Tony Clement did also.
There is a combination of factors causing low water over the last 14 years: climate change, erosion in the St. Claire River caused by dredging, ice jams and sand traps on the US side of Lake Huron for the sale of sand. Only Lake Huron has no control gates.
ROW has been working with DR. Pat Chow- Fraser from McMaster University Biology Department. The partnership consists of ongoing research. Some findings: 25% of wetland habitat on eastern Georgian Bay has been lost. Large fish cannot access areas choked with weeds. A giant invasive weed common to Eurasia grows up to 12’ in Honey Harbour.
-US Army corps of Engineers confirmed authorization to proceed with St. Claire River compensation.
-ROWI met with agency staff in Washington and Canada. Canada needs to engage with US agency. Michigan residents are concerned about high water levels.
Bill Bialkowski showed charts indicating the steady decrease in water levels and decrease of wetlands and impact on shipping. To fix the problem: recognize that there is a problem, let authorities know clearly that we want water levels to be restored now, sign a petition and donate to bi-national research and education www.restoreourwater.com
The president thanked Mary and Bill for their presentations.
Laura Invasive Species. Laura is stationed at Killbear Park and hired by Hunters and Anglers Association . 10,000 Beech trees have been cut down in the camping area at Killbear in order to stop spread of an invasive disease which is killing the trees. The trees will be left in the bush to provide beech nuts for the bears.
President’s Report: Jeremy Gawen reported that water levels was the major issue. An updated noise by-law had been introduced at Council but withheld for further refinement. The President announced that Phyllis Ortved and Dave Turner are not standing for re-election to the Board. He thanked them for their service to the WCA. The Pancake Breakfast July 1st was a success and will be held again next year at Gilly’s on July Ist. Money raised will help to defray WCA’s share of the cost of monitoring Franklin Island.
Treasurer’s Report: Murray Hogeboom noted that the Income Statement and Balance Sheet were available for members. Income was up a little as were expenses. The cash position remained the same. Moved by Patricia Gawen, seconded by Bill Bialkowski that the Treasurer’s report be approved. Carried The Treasurer proposed that since GBA has raised their fee by $5 to $45, WCA should consider the same increase. Moved by Bill Bialkowski seconded by Ian Hunt that the WCA membership fee be raised to $65. Carried.
Membership Report: Marc Cooper reported that membership was 174 2012. The goal is 200 members which is 33% of landowners. Marc chairs GBA Membership Committee and most associations reported that membership was down or flat. WCA had 243 members in 2010, 168 in 2011.The President encouraged members to urge their members to join WCA.
Nominating Committee Report: Bruce Davidson. Past president, reported that Phyllis Ortved and Dave Turner would not stand for re-election. The slate of nominees was presented :
Bill Bialkowski, Dick Biggins, Christina Caap, Marc Cooper, Bruce Davidson, Alex Davidson, David Hume, Ian Hunt, Jeremy Gawen, Ken James, Murray Hogeboom, John Rohr, David Shelley, Sheila Tierney
Nominations from the floor were called for 3 times. None were forthcoming. Moved by Doug Brock and seconded by Wendy Crean that nominations be closed and the slate be approved as presented. Carried.
Adjournment: Moved by Bruce Davidson