WCA is the latest member association to be showcased in GBA’s Stewards of the Bay video series. As a part of the broader Guardians of the Bay initiative, this video series highlights the passion and action of our community members in their commitment to preserving the unique habitat of Georgian Bay.
On Wednesday, August 16, a group led by WCA Board Member Richard Wilson set out from Snug Harbour with guides from Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) to do seasonal cutting of the phragmites stands on Franklin Island. GBF has developed a strong and effective program engaged in Georgian Bay shoreline phragmites eradication. Many of the stands they monitored and managed have been successfully eliminated. Coastal stands of phragmites can be combatted by cutting their stems just below the water surface, which effectively drowns the plant. Several years of repeated cutting have been shown as an effective method to eliminate a stand.
The goal of this video project is both to highlight the environmental efforts of cottagers and to develop more of a sense of community among our neighbouring member associations.
Click here to find videos from other GBA member associations – with topics ranging from building loon nest platforms to habitat restoration to shoreline cleanup efforts to many, many more.
Carling Council is in the process of finalizing the budget for 2024. There is a public meeting scheduled for February 27 at 9 a.m. The West Carling Association (WCA) strongly urges you to: Read the attached report (below). Attend the budget information session that is scheduled for February 27 - either virtually or in person. To gain access to the virtual meeting, please contact email@example.com Should you have any concerns regarding the budget, please feel free to express them during the meeting or in writing prior to the meeting. You may direct your written concerns to Mayor Murphy and our Councillors at: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org The WCA has received an analysis of Carling's financial and operational data, which has been compared to the municipalities of Whitestone and McKellar. These two municipalities have similar populations and proportions of seasonal residents. The analysis was conducted by a member of the Pengally Bay Ratepayers Association, who has extensive financial management experience. The study has identified several areas of concern. Based on a data review conducted in 2017, it has been concluded that the residents of Carling are being overtaxed. The study reveals that we are paying 40 to 50 per cent (or more than $2.5 million) extra compared to the residents of Whitestone and McKellar for maintaining similar infrastructure and, in some cases, receiving fewer services. The following specific concerns were identified in the analysis: High staffing costs that continue to grow. Excessive reserves that continue to build up, resulting in interest payments on debt. The lack of involvement of Carling residents in decisions regarding the purpose and disposition of the reserves. Increasing taxes to build the reserves. Compared to Whitestone and McKellar, Carling is building higher reserves to fund the replacement of Township equipment and infrastructure ($3.8 million when only $168,000 is required by the Municipal Act). Building reserves for undefined purposes. Unexplained costs in the General Government Fund. The report concludes with several recommendations, including requesting that the Carling Council target tax reductions rather than continuing to increase our taxes. The WCA and the Pengally Bay Ratepayers Association have jointly drafted a letter expressing their concerns to the Carling Council. They have requested the council to take the following actions: Conduct a review of salaries and benefits in comparison to other jurisdictions. Conduct a full review of reserve funds in comparison to other jurisdictions. Form a financial subcommittee comprising one or more Carling residents with expertise in financial management (non-paid) to work with the council and staff. Additionally, they should assist in the budget analysis, monitor quarterly results and make recommendations to the council for remedial action if required. Adjust the 2024 budget to a zero per cent increase. If you have any questions, please address them to email@example.com Carling 2024 Budget Analysis Final
At the Carling Council budget meeting on February 9, Mayor Murphy noted that she had been reading notes that residents sent to her and the Councillors regarding the pool project and that she is concerned. She added that the Pool Board needs to keep Carling residents updated and that she would like to see a change. She requested that Councillors Kelly and Doubrough draw up a list of questions that Carling residents have asked to seek answers from the Pool Board, document them, and send them to all residents. She also suggested there needs to be an ongoing mechanism so residents can forward their questions to the Pool Board to get accurate, up-to-date information as the project progresses. It is very positive to hear our Mayor acknowledge concern about the lack of information being shared by the Pool Board. If you have specific questions for the Pool Board, please send them to Councillors Kelly and Doubrough and copy them to our mayor and Councillors Cook and Wing, as well as firstname.lastname@example.org. Their email addresses are below: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The agenda for the February 13th Council Meeting is now available. If you cannot attend in person and would like a meeting link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org View the Council Meeting Agenda Here
The West Carling Association (WCA) Board is deeply concerned about the pool project's financial sustainability, its potential impact on property taxes, the availability of funds for other crucial projects, and the overall cost/benefit ratio for Carling residents. The project's anticipated revenues from membership have been overestimated, its operating costs are underestimated, and fundraising challenges further suggest that more funding may be needed. Over the past few years, the WCA has sent several letters and emails to the Township of Carling expressing our concerns and requesting public consultation, but the Township has not acknowledged receipt or responded in a formal manner. The following letter was sent to Mayor Murphy and Carling Council, expressing our concerns about the pool project, asking questions, and requesting a public information session. Pool Report February 6 2024
The 2024 Carling Winter Carnival will take place at the Mike Konoval Community Hub (4 West Carling Bay Road) on Saturday, February 17, 2024. See the attached poster for details. View the 2024 Carling Winter Carnival Poster Here
Despite its cultural significance, little is known about the lake sturgeon of eastern Georgian Bay, but work between Shawanaga First Nation and Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere (GBB) hopes to shed more light on the species at risk. With funding from the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, Shawanaga took the lead on the four-year project that aims to fill some of the knowledge gaps left by the province’s Lake Sturgeon Recovery Strategy. Through fieldwork, interviews with community members and information gathering the project resulted in a lake sturgeon conservation plan for eastern Georgian Bay that can serve as a jumping-off point for future research. Read more here.
The waste site hours during the holidays are different than the regular hours. Please check the "Holiday Waste Site" schedule before heading out. Holiday Waste Site Schedule
TC Energy (TCE) proposes constructing a large pumped storage facility just north of Meaford on land owned by the Department of National Defence. The facility will occupy approximately 500 acres of land, including a man-made reservoir partially excavated into the escarpment, and extend 650 metres out into Georgian Bay. Over 6 billion gallons of water will be pumped approximately 150m up the escarpment through intake turbines to the reservoir/dam to be temporarily stored. It will then be released back into Georgian Bay to generate electricity, which will be transferred to the power grid near Barrie. This project will have Georgian Bay-wide impacts on water quality and biodiversity, and the pumped storage technology is outdated and only 72 per cent efficient. There is an opportunity this November to persuade the Ontario Ministry of Energy to drop its support for this project. Please consider sending an email through the GBA online portal to explain why this proposed project is a bad deal for Ontario and its taxpayers here.