Cornwall Ontario City Council Goes to the Dogs – What to do with the Si Miller Arena? The 45 Day Question. February 28, 2011

Cornwall ON – It’s city council time.  Mayor Kilger is still recuperating so Councilor Denis Carr is manning the main chair.

First up is Dogs in Lamoureux Park.    Elaine MacDonald asked about fines levied in the past in Lamoureux Park to Dog Owners.   The discussion so far is on how the bylaw officer enforces the rules.    Stephen Alexander pointed out how people don’t read the “No Dogs” sign which raises the question as to how much extra the city will pay for bylaw enforcement in Lamoureux Park.

Something I haven’t heard is the impact on the grass as Dog Urine is very difficult to treat and nice green lawns end up with brown patches.

So far the bill is $5,000 for training, education, and signage.   Also there will be an additional amount for clean up and waste.   Councilor Rivette, who works for Le Jounal was questioning about spending on advertising the changes.

Councilor Clement is suggesting that this be done on a trial basis, and pointed out that there are a lot of dog owners in Cornwall.    Syd Gardiner is asking if Cornwall will save money on Geese control by having dogs in the park?  And it was carried.

On the Si Miller arena: it looks like the city wants to offer the property “as is” and be proactive about zoning changing it to residential.   Wouldn’t it be funny if someone bought it and refurbished it as a private arena?

Councilor Clement wants to separate the motion into three separate motions which is going to require a motion.   Councilor O’Shaughnessy is pointing out the obvious; that the adjacent properties; the old Corus studios, curling rink etc, make one big awfully nice package.

Councilor Grant mentioned that there is already one party that’s bought the old curling club and another parcel thus being a top target to purchase the Si – now the question will it be for a fair price or a nod nod wink wink price…  Councilor Macdonald points out the “As Is, Where Is” leaves the city with the potential for less profit; good for her!

Councilor Clement asked if the City would make more if the City demolished the buildings on the site and prepped the site for future building.

We need to know what that number is.

She’s nailing the point home quite well.   The city needs to know how to max out the value and return to the city and serve taxpayers best.

The main question also on the table is the cost of decommissioning the building or simply mothballing it and having a developer eat those costs, but at the end of the day it’s the bottom line that counts.

Motion to sell “as is” was carried.   Motion to have Pac rezone when appropriate passed as well so the site is a step closer to becoming one big development.

Councilor Rivette pointed out that a tender for lap top computers didn’t have a local tender offer.  I’d like to know why they need to be Panasonic?  Maybe that’s why there were no local tenders?   Motion was carried and the dollars floated out of Cornwall….again.

Sandy Cameron spoke for the Community Action Group of Cornwall.  The group claims that Cornwall has the highest rate of residential taxation based on the communities they compared to.   They are now pointing to the fact that many new and high end homes are being built near Cornwall, but outside its boundaries because of lower taxation.

Councilor Grant is attacking salaries of Municipal employees and asking the group to help them lobby to fight arbitration results.   That sounds very anti-labour from the former Union rep.

Councilor Macdonald spelled it out loudly pointing out that with the lowest income in the region there’s a larger need for services.   Can’t argue with that one.

“We can’t cut services.”

She’s talking about investing in our community which I can’t argue with either.   Too many in the past have sold out short and have cost the city more later.

It’s funny; watching this, as a small business owner myself; some of the name behind the Community Action Group I find are the main culprits in holding development of Cornwall back.


Watching Councilor Murphy in action I have to wonder if he’d have been elected without the support of his employer who happens to be a main cog of the Community Action Group?

Councilor Clement points out that the group doesn’t address Commercial taxes?   Hmm….that’s interesting….kudos to the lawyer in the house!  If residential taxes are held down, and there are no major cuts that would mean commercial taxes would have to go up.

If Mayor Kilger’s health woes don’t allow him to continue as mayor; which I’m sure isn’t the case; I’d be very comfortable with Councilor Carr handling the reigns of power until the next elections.

Councilor O’Shaughnessy commented on not debating numbers in the press with the Community Action Group.

Thom Racine was next up to make a presentation.    John Robert Davey Memorial Way.   Thom is an amazing historian and has been working on a long time project about an Officer who was gunned down in Cornwall in 1892 and was the only officer to ever lose his life on active duty.     It’s amazing to see actual Cornwall history brought back to life the way Mr. Racine has done.   Kudos to him!

Constable Davey had never had a tombstone.   Sgt Racine is lobbying to have a roadway named after him which is an amazing thing.

Boy there’s a lot of talk about advertising tonight at City Council in Cornwall.

Apparently there was as mouse running around the floor of Council Chambers tonight….and that was your City Council for Cornwall on Monday February 28, 2011!


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