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Sixteen things your City Council did this week

Madison Zuppa got a big promotion. J.J. Hilsinger got deflated
file photo

Water Tower Inn owner J.J. Hilsinger came up flat this week in his attempt to block a tire business from moving next to his popular "resort for the price of a room" on Great Northern Road.

City Council refused to provide a definition for "heavy equipment," which the city's zoning bylaw prohibits in the commercially zoned area around the inn.

Instead, councillors accepted a report from the city's legal department that rejected Hilsinger's argument that the heavy equipment prohibition includes transport trucks.

"Our research suggests that 'heavy equipment' is best defined as machinery used in the process of building roads,tunnels and construction and not regularly permitted to operate on the highway," city lawyer Jeffrey King said.

KAL Tire is moving next to the Water Tower Inn from its current location in the industrial park on Drive In Road, with a site plan agreement approved by the city.

Speaking for the Water Tower Inn, lawyer Hugh MacDonald told City Council on Monday night that tire businesses create noise like a war zone and no community in Ontario allows repair of commercial vehicles in comparable zoning.

City planner Peter Tonazzo said there's little difference between changing a tire on a car and a transport, and said no outdoor storage of tires will be allowed on the site.

Hotels are sensitive in nature but don't meet the provincial definition for sensitive use, Tonazzo said.

Other news from this week's meeting:
  • Madison Zuppa, until now area coordinator for environmental services, has been appointed deputy city clerk. Zuppa replaces Rachel Tyczinski, who recently replaced Malcolm White, who recently replaced Al Horsman, who four-and-a-half years ago replaced Joe Fratesi, who will never really be replaced
  • a property at 47 Wellington St. W. that was listed for tax sale in 2018 but received no bids will be sold for $1 to District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board to expand access to affordable housing
  • Sault Ste. Marie will join the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Partners for Climate Protection program. That will lead to an inventory of local greenhouse gas emissions, which could lead to reduction targets
  • councillors did diddley about a report revealing that Speedy McScofflaws have actually been going faster on parts of Great Northern Road since the speed limit was reduced last year
  • the city adopted an updated investment policy as treasurer Shelley Schell prepares to invest more surplus tax dollars at minimal risk to capital
  • Entomica has been given a one-time grant of $85,362 from the city's economic development fund, along with a warning that the city can't be relied on as a source of annual operating funds. The popular insectarium must hatch a business plan by March 9, 2020
  • the city will provide $166,000 from the same fund for development of the Algoma Trail Network 100 kilometres of purpose-built, multi-use mountain bike trails extending from within the Sault Ste. Marie city limits into the surrounding region of Algoma District
  • Sault-based IDEA Inc. won a $60,000 contract to provide architectural and engineering services for the Phase 15 expansion of the mausoleums at Holy Selpulchre Cemetery. Tulloch Engineering will be a sub-consultant
  • councillors signalled their intent to convert a boardroom and office at GFL Memorial Gardens into a private lounge, for the second time in 11 years rejecting an opportunity to add more luxury suites to the 13 originally constructed in the building
  • the city will move forward with a request for proposals for architectural and engineering design and contract administration services for a new twin pad arena to be located at 616 Goulais Ave
  • starting in November, collection of trash and recycling will now take place on separate days
  • recommendations from the city's most boring committee were accepted, including a request to find additional funds for possible future expansion of electronic participation in meetings
  • an open house will be held late next month for residents of Biggings Avenue who are concerned about vehicular traffic and safety on their street
  • the intersection of Northern Avenue East and Sackville Road will be studied to determine if a school crossing guard is needed there 
  • council officially supported Giving Tuesday, encouraging all Saultites to participate in the Dec. 3 online event. Coun. Vezeau-Allen stated repeatedly that the national campaign has a special toolkit available for mayors. Mayor Provenzano confirmed that he is now very, very aware that the national campaign has a special toolkit available for mayors



David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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