Thursday, November 24, 2011

Alright, Let's get on with this...

Like many of you, I've been a little down in the dumps these past few months; hence the lack of posts and attendance at Town Meetings. It's been a few weeks now of really trying to re-focus and rekindle my hope (that I kinda lost over the summer) for Hornepayne. Thank God for the great weather we had and for the time we spent on Facebook. We have to rise above everything that's been thrown at us lately,... Cause People, we have a Town to Build!!!

So then, let's get on with it!  ;~)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Town Hall Meeting at the Legion- Thrusday September 8th, 2011

After 9 months, Mayor Morley and Council hosted a Town Hall Meeting at the Legion on Thursday. Morley and Paul personally greeted everyone and opened the door as people arrived. The Meeting was held to improve communication, and to bring the community up to date with all the things that have gone on since the election.
To our leaders I say, Good Job!! And we look forward to the next one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Regular Meeting - August 8th 2011

Bravo Hornepayne!! You have stepped up this summer. It was recognized at the Council meeting that many have randomly helped out around our community this summer. From cutting grass to picking up garbage to fixing the Three Bears, and some have even donated money towards our Bears! The Heart of Hornepayne is Golden.

Dr. Reid Cameron is being recognized with an award of Honor for being an Outstanding Ontario Physician. We love you Reid!!

When it comes to CLUAH, our Municipal Council has decided to support "Option A". Mayor Morley stated that he feels all the options are flawed, but "Option A" is the closest to being fair. A letter is being sent to the Ministry to make their support known. Marg Zajac who was present at the meeting, said the letter will carry some weight with the ministry.

If you are an apartment owner, you may not like the resolution that was passed last night. There will no longer be any water/sewer write-offs for vacant apartments. If the water is turned on to the building (at the street) you will now be required to pay a bill for each apartment weather the apartment is occupied or not.

The CAC (Community Adjustment Committee) is a committee that works within the H.E.D.C. You'll remember back in the winter time they held a bunch of Community Forums at the Legion hall to ask the community what they wanted to see within the community. With that information, a Strategic Plan has been written. A draft was sent for Council's endorsement. The Strategic Plan contains some steps that can help move us forward. Now that Council has endorsed it, the Plan will be presented to the community.

There will be a Town Hall meeting held at the Legion on September 8th at 7:00pm. The reason for this meeting is to bring the public up-to-date on Council's actions since taking office on December 6th 2010.

The Next Regular Meeting of Council will be held on Monday September 26th.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The CLUAH Project +The Nuclear Project

I had a thought this morning- I'll bet the outfitters around here don't want the nuclear waste storage facility to come to Hornepayne. I can't see it being good for their business. Would you pay $1000.00 to fish in an area that is also storing nuclear waste? I wouldn't. I'd choose somewhere else- even if it is totally safe to the environment.

And my second thought- I'll bet when the people of Hornepayne make their decision about the nuclear waste, they're not going to consider how that decision will affect the outfitters. Supporting tourism doesn't seem to benefit us much anymore.

Weather the nuclear project is in our future or not, I have to wonder about the future of tourism. The relationship between town folk and outfitter has suffered much damage through the CLUAH Project. Can the outfitter really survive without the support of Hornepayne people? Do the Hornepayne people really want to go in a different direction in our future?

I feel the nuclear waste storage facility should be an option for us consider, but I really hope it's not our ONLY option!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Budget Meeting May 30- 2011

Because the Township received revenues from the North-Star Center for 30 years, they of course had that revenue worked into their budget. Now that the revenues are no longer being collected, expenses needed to be cut. Anyone who has experienced a cut in pay knows this reality.

Approximately $265,000 of revenues needed to be recouped. The options were to cut expenses or increase revenues by increasing taxes.

A large chunk was recovered from the Township's Wages expense. All employees willingly took a pay cut, and one staff member will be laid off. The town office will be closed on Fridays to save costs. The library board also cut their costs back significantly. Smaller cuts were made in every department. In the end, they were able to shrink the large deficit. The tax payer will be responsible for what remains; $41,000.00, which equals a 5% tax increase.

A report with all the numbers will be available for anyone who is interested.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Regular Meeting- May 16 2011

It was solidified again at tonight's meeting: we're not in the best financial situation. Do you know they say money is the #1 thing that couples argue about? So if you're feeling upset, stressed, or even angry about our current financial condition, I would say that must be normal. With that said, try to remember that our Mayor and Council are not to blame for our financial state. They've been dealt a crappy hand, and so far they've done a pretty good job at keeping us informed. If you have any questions I encourage you to ask them! The public is just as responsible to communicate with our leaders as they are to communicate with us.

Paul presented the idea to have a coffee and cake night. I may have misunderstood, but it seemed to me that he wanted to host event just so Council and the Public could get together and talk. The joke was made that the public would throw the cake at Council instead of eat with them, LOL. But seriously, Bravo Paul!! I think your idea shows heart for your community.

Morley also gave some special care to an individual resident sometime in the past few weeks. OCWA dug to fix a water break at Gary Goulet's house. The rule is, if the break is on the road side of the shut off valve then it's OCWA's responsibility, and if it's on the other side it's the owner's responsibility. They discovered the break was just past the valve but on the owner's side. Morley, who was present at the site, had OCWA fix the break anyway.

Bette Mulvihill has always taken care of the community garden. She put in request for a flower budget. As Mayor and Council were discussing the funds, Denis Mackie announced that the Fireman's Association would donate the money towards the project. The community garden will cost between $400.00 and $500.00! A big thank you to them!!!

Marg Zajac approached Council to update them on CLUHA. A meeting is going to be held this Thursday in Wawa to review the 4 current proposals. After the Minister reviews the proposals, there will be an open house probably sometime in July. Marg also added that the MNR is "impressed with the people of Hornepayne", because we've sent so much correspondence. Good Job Hornepayne!!!!

Please be aware that there are beaver traps around the Jackfish River and Cedar Point. These traps are necessary, but may be harmful to dogs who may be running loose. Keep your dogs tied up.

The outdoor soccer program starts this week.

There will be a budget meeting on Monday May 30th at 6:00pm. This meeting is open to the public.

The next Regular Council Meeting will be June 20th at 6:00pm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Regular Meeting- April 4th 2011

This meeting, which lasted 3 hours, was well attended by spectators. It was encouraging to see.

It began with the department head reports, and then another in-camera session at 7:00pm. In an attempt to serve the spectators, Mayor Morley tried to deffer the session to the end of the meeting. Unfortunately the Town Employee's schedule did not permit him to stay, and the in-camera session was held at 7:00pm. Even though it didn't work out, it was the though that counts. Good Job Mayor! Most people returned when the meeting re-opened.

Mayor and Council then met with the Curling Club executive regarding next year's curling season. The Curling Club executive were encouraged to "get the numbers" so Mayor and Council can justify the expense of the season to the tax payer. So if you are interested in keeping curling in our town, now is the time to join!

Rhonda Dumoulin will be coordinating the soccer program this year. As in the past, volunteers are needed for this program's success.

The Hospital auxiliary will be running their second hand store out of the arena for the months of May to August.

A few months back, Lionel Hume put in a request to the Township to purchase a fuel tank and some other items out of the Northstar Center. He was told that the tank could not be disconnected from the building and the liability to re-enter the building was to great. Lionel recently noticed the tank was gone and when he reported it to the town office the office staff knew nothing about it. Further investigation revealed that the tank was disassembled by the Township at Morley's request and is now stored at the PWD. The integrity of this transaction was questioned, but Mayor Morley stated that he believes the tank is where it should be. Willy asked Morley if the tank was "part of the assets that they claimed" and Mayor Morley said that it was.

During the week of April 18th, there should be information available to the public at the Town Office regarding the Nuclear project.

My letter (below) was addressed, but unfortunately no answers are known at this time. Mayor and Council have assured that the questions will be answered at a later date. I will post their official reply when I receive it.

For a more details about this meeting you can obtain a copy of the minutes at the Town Office.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letter to the Township regarding potential water + tax increase

I submitted the following letter to the Township on March 29th 2011 at around 1:00pm.

Beverly Allen

60 Fourth Ave

Hornepayne, Ontario


Township of Hornepayne

Front Street

Hornepayne, Ontario


March 29, 2011

Dear Mayor and Council,

I have some questions to help clarity the need for the potential increase in our water bills and property taxes.

Regarding the water project:

1. What was the original quote for the entire water project compared to the current actual costs?

2. What exactly has contributed to these extra costs? Why were these extra costs not known and accounted for in the original quote?

3. Did the municipality have monies set aside for this project before hand? And how much Provincial and Federal assistance did we receive? What is the exact amount that needs to be recovered through the tax payer?

4. How much debt has this project incurred, and how long are you planning on taking to pay that debt off?

5. Before any construction took place, what did the tax payer pay annually for water? What will be the final annual price (assuming this will be our last increase)?

6. Will this be our last increase? Are there any reasons to believe that this project will incur more debt?

7. Why do some of the figures surrounding the project seem so mysterious? Why are they unknown? Why do we have to wait for OCWA’s auditor’s report before we can know if there will be an increase? What additional information does that report contain that the Town Treasures does not currently have? Are the costs of the project in the Township books or in OCWA’s? I can understand operating costs are governed under OCWA, but is there not a budget that they are required to adhere to? And if they have a need to go outside of the budget shouldn’t Council be made aware of that first? Maybe a clarification of the partnership between the Township and OCWA will help me to understand.

8. Was the contractor hired by OCWA or by the Township? Who paid their bills, OCWA or the Township? What was the partnership/relationship between the three? Again, just trying to understand why the Township does not know all the figures involved in the project.

Regarding the potential tax increase:

At the meeting that was held in the gym last spring (2010) regarding the Northstar Center, the Mayor at the time stated that the costs to run the municipal services in the building were equal to the taxes they received from the building. I was under the impression that when the building closed it would all equal out.

1. What was the annual revenue that was collected by the Township from the Northstar?

2. What were the total operating costs for all the services that were in that building?

3. What are the current operating costs of the services that remain?

4. It was stated at Monday’s meeting that $300,000.00 needs to be annually recovered through the tax payer because of the Mall closure. What exactly contributes to this amount?

5. What does the HEDC (apartment building) and CN (new bunkhouse) pay for taxes? Are these figures included in the 300,000.00 or not? If not, will the figure be adjusted before an increase is decided upon?

6. When will we know your decision regarding the tax increase? What information needs to be obtained before the decision can be made and what’s the time line of obtaining it?


As you know, it’s my heart’s desire that Hornepayne rise up and re-build the “New Hornepayne”. The vision that I have is not just physical re-building. I would like to see new relationships and partnerships; new systems and new ways of thinking; new recreation ideas and new reasons to come together and celebrate. I believe the first step is to understand the systems that are currently in place, and that’s the reason for this letter. I’m trying to understand the relationships involved, what’s happened up until this point, and where we’re going from here.

This letter will be posted on my blog (, and I would appreciate your answer to this letter emailed to me at because I would like to copy and paste your answers into the blog. Please also send a hard copy for accountability sake; electronic documents can be altered and I wouldn’t want anyone to question the authenticity of what’s posted on the blog. If it only comes on paper I will type it out. Please feel welcome to visit the blog and participate in the conversations. Again, the goal in asking these questions is to gain a greater understanding and to bring clarity.

Your communication to me and through me is much appreciated.

Bev Allen

Regular Meeting- March 21 2011

The meeting opened at 6:00pm.
Congratulations to Denis Mackie our new Road Superintendent!! It was Denis' first day on the job and therefor his first Council Meeting.
The department heads gave their reports, and then they went in-camera so I had to leave at 7:00pm. I did not return to the meeting when they came out of the in-camera session.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CAC Business Brainstorming Meeting

I was at the business brainstorming meeting last night. It seems that because the mall is still standing, people are hesitant to build new. "What if the 'Old' Resurrects?" is of great concern. What's keeping many from re-building our town is the belief that if the mall re-opens it could possibly kill any new business outside of the building.

Is the Mall in our future or not? That question belongs to our Leaders and we need them to answer it before we can move on. What I believe is presently being communicated is "we don't believe anyone is going to purchase the mall, but if that hero appears, then it's still possible." It's a slim chance, but it seems to be enough to deter new business builders. Is the Mall in our Future or not? "Maybe" is no longer an acceptable answer, we need a "Yes" or "No". If we say "Yes" then lets have a plan to support that, and if it's "No" then lets move in that direction. Hornepayne could possibly remain stagnant until we go in one direction or the other.

What's needed is clear vision of what our New Hornepayne will look like. The business meetings themselves are being held to try and establish that. So be encouraged because we are on the right track.

What was pointed out at last night's meeting, and I found very encouraging, was how much Bonnie Claveau and Randy Brown have invested into Hornepayne. They are the forerunners of the NEW HORNEPAYNE. They believed! Let's follow their lead!! ☺

Monday, February 7, 2011

Regular Meeting- Feb 7th 2011

There was a lot of housekeeping items at tonight's meeting.
  • The weight training facility is being used by many unpaid members.
  • A resident complained about our taxi service. Council decided to inform the Taxi Business owner of the complaint.
  • The long distance phone plan is outdated and they are in the process of reducing their monthly fees. Currently the Township pays for 13 phone lines.
  • The Arena will close for the season on Monday April 4th.
  • Our current building inspector submitted her letter of resignation. Council accepted her letter. Being a recent renovator, this news makes me sad.
  • Tracey Gagliardi submitted a letter to inform Council that the figure skating carnival has been cancelled for this year.
This is exciting: They inquired about obtaining the current Public School building and Annex. Their reply stated that the school would need 2.5 million dollars of repairs. As for the Annex, the school board has not yet decided if they will need the space or not. The possibility of obtaining the Annex will be looked at in the future. Gail Jeremy stated that she belives there is mold in the basement, and Heather (who is now head of Health and Safety) stated that she "would not touch that with a ten foot pole".
Mayor Morley's comment on the whole project was, "it's not dead, but it will not be easy."

The next meeting should be on Monday Feb 21st (Family Day), a municipal paid holiday. I'm not sure what will happen in this situation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jan 24th

That was a fast 2 weeks. I didn't even realize it was council meeting night! Missed the meeting :(

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Regular Meeting- January 10, 2011

I had a good night sleep before writing this, *sigh*.

When our ex-treasurer Janet Battersby resigned, it was announced at last nights meeting that over $10,000.00 was spent in advertising the job in other communities. And we all know that in the end, we filled that position from our own back yard. Someone from Hornepayne was able to fill the position. What a waist of money!

To be fair, I feel I need to mention that I do have my own personal offense with the Township's hiring practices. You know how sometimes things can get under your skin more because you've been "there", suffered "that"? So if I seem more pissed than what you think the situation deserves, that would be why.

Anyway, it was decided at last nights meeting that this is the route that will be taken for the Road Superintendent's job. Before we look in our own back yard, they are going to spend the extravagant monies on advertising elsewhere. Shouldn't we have learned the $10,000.00 lesson? Maybe, just maybe, Hornepayne-ers are capable of filling the "important jobs". ( The Road Super. was classed as "an important job" at last nights meeting).

We're told that we don't have extra money! It seemed to be a big decision to repair our Curling club. But now we're going to throw over ten thousand dollars into advertising a job that could possibly be awarded to someone who lives here? Why not seek out Hornepayne first? If that processes fails to produce someone who is qualified for the job, THEN spend the cash to advertise elsewhere.

This was a perfect opportunity to show that our New Leaders believe in and value the abilities that exists within the town. But, IMO, they've made a $10,000.00 bet against it.

At a time when we have so little, couldn't we use that money for something else?


Cool down Edit ☺:
To be fair to our New Mayor, Willy, and Paul, the actual cost of advertising was dropped on them during the meeting. I'm assuming Heater would have known the past costs, but perhaps not. I think Morley's facial expression spoke concern. Sue actually does a pretty good job overall, but she shouldn't be their only consultant on matters. There's wisdom in seeking advice from more than one person. Just because "this is how it was done in the past", does not mean it should be done that way in the future. If we want different results we have to do things differently. And, It's time for change. Right?