MINUTES of PORT STANLEY VILLAGE ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING Thursday, August 20, 2015
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING
Directors Present: Dave McCarthy, Andrew Hibbert, Linda Easton
Directors Regrets: Joe Fournier, Darcy Vedova, Harry Bishop, Janet Kennedy, Margo Karda
Members: Gail Lamb, Fred Heinz, Harold Parker, Ron Beech, Wendy MacMillan, Deputy Mayor Sally Martyn
1. CALL TO ORDER
a. Linda Easton, president, called the meeting to order at 7pm and welcomed all attendees
2. Treasurer`s report:
a. Harry Bishop, treasurer, sent regrets. Linda reported that there is $2829.76 in the bank, mostly made up of membership dues.
a. Signage on 401
i. Bruce Fox had reported at an earlier meeting on Highway 401 intersections in the St Thomas/London area that did not have any reference to Port Stanley as a destination. Linda and Councillor Dan McNeil have not yet acted on this so Linda will contact St. Thomas authorities about next steps to remedy this situation.
b. Fishermen’s Memorial Committee
i. Linda read a letter received from Edwin Prothero and her response. A concern had previously been expressed by the PSVA that the Fisherman’s Memorial needed some maintenance and this had become a somewhat contentious issue for the Prothero family with resulting correspondence in the Beacon. Linda stated that PSVA had discussed the need for maintenance of the memorial but had taken no action. She suggested that a committee of the PVSA be formed to approach council and asked for volunteers. Sally Martyn reported that council had previously cleaned the memorial, added vents to deal with moisture and mould and removed sand from the floor that had contributed to the issues with moisture. She suggested that the committee write a Request for Action letter to The Mayor and Council to request further maintenance to the memorial or appear as a delegation to request this. She also mentioned that asking Council to provide a small sign to describe the purpose and background of the memorial might be appropriate. Andrew noted that Dan McNeil informed him that there was $2000 in the maintenance fund for the memorial. Andrew Hibbert volunteered to chair the committee, joined by Gail Lamb, Dave McCarthy and Terri Goodwin. Andrew will call a meeting to discuss next steps.
c. DOC Building – potential historical designation
i. At a previous PSVA meeting the placing of an historical plaque on the DOC building was discussed. Dr. Rob Burns has begun to move forward with an application to designate the DOC building as an historical building and also to add a sign explaining the history of the building. Sally commented that although the building appeared to meet requirements for historical designation, Council are very unlikely to proceed with the designation until the use of the building is more clear within the future plan for the harbour; however, putting up a sign in the interim might be a possibility. Sally and Rob are both on the Heritage Central Elgin Committee and Rob is collecting the history of the building for this committee. Sally said that she and Rob will pursue the provision of a sign in the short term, through the committee. There was discussion about the minimal use of the building at the moment and a desire to use it for community activities such as a market. However, there is no running water or washrooms and funding for this is unlikely to be assigned until future harbour plans are more clear.
d. Fishing on the Pier
i. Andrew had written an article in the Beacon about allowing recreational fishing on the new pier – an activity that he felt was very popular with both residents and visitors to Port Stanley. Sally felt that fishing on the lakeside of the pier, which is sloped, would not be permitted by Council, for safety reasons. It is possible that it would be allowed on the harbour side. Attendees felt that many fishing enthusiasts would prefer to fish on the harbour side. Terri suggested that fish cleaning equipment should be made available as it is in many locations in the US, to encourage and welcome enthusiasts and bring them into the village, as happens in Port Bruce and Port Burwell. Sally suggested that the PSVA let council know of these suggestions for fishing from the pier. This could be done through a delegation. The PSVA could also make a presentation to the Harbour Visioning Committee if it is re-established – this could also include fishing from the Berm area when it is turned into parkland. The completion of the work and the opening ceremony for the pier is delayed from August 29th due to recent wind and rain. A new date will probably be discussed at the next Council meeting.
e. Erie Rest Beach Safety
i. Linda reported that she had seen a pleasure boat and 5 skidoos parked in the swimming area at the public beach at Erie Rest and felt that this was a safety issue for swimmers, especially for children. She had written a personal email to Don Leitch about the potential safety issue but has not received a reply yet. Linda wondered if buoys could be added to mark the public swimming area and discourage people from taking boats and skidoos into the zone. Those present agreed that Linda should write to Don again, this time on behalf of the PSVA, to pursue this ASAP. Sally also made a note.
f. Silo Update
i. Linda reported that John Kudelka of Junction Climbing has been to see the silos and feels that using one as a rock climbing facility would be feasible. His company has experience in this field and is aware of safety and insurance issues and capable of handling them. Sally advised that John should make a delegation to Council promptly (next meeting is the 2nd Monday in September) to express interest in an arrangement to rent one of the silos for this purpose and make a proposal – retaining a silo is not on the agenda for Council unless someone puts forward a viable proposal for consideration. An RFP has gone out for removing the silos, asking for separate quotes for 4 and 5 silos. This work has not been scheduled yet. Linda will advise John. Ted Halwa and a small committee of other interested parties may be presenting an updated proposal for retaining a silo to Council. This is not a PSVA initiative.
g. Urban Forest Canoe Project
i. Linda had read about a project to recycle old canoes as containers for environmentally friendly “wild gardens” in various urban locations near present or former waterways and wondered if this might be of interest in Port – various groups could perhaps work on each canoe as a project. There did not seem to be a great deal of interest in this project from those present so Linda will consider pursuing it personally with the local school as a project for students for now.
h. The extension of the Port Stanley Railway to London was discussed as a positive thing for Port Stanley, both for tourism and economic reasons but also for potential use by commuters who live in the village and work in London, providing an environmentally friendly travel option. Wendy commented that she would love to see this help attract more younger people to the village to live, raise families and provide more students for the local school.
i. Wendy also commented that the fireworks display at Main Beach as part of Harbourfest was really excellent and wondered if the PSVA should send a congratulations letter to Michelle Fournier and her team at the BIA. Others commented that Harbourfest brought a lot of people into the village and was very well organized. Linda will send a letter to Michelle.
The meeting adjourned at 8:16 pm