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Finance and Responsible Governance Committee – Wednesday, February 7, 2024, 6pm

Updated: Feb 7

potential heritage property tax relief, restricting fireworks in residential areas, a grant program for environmental groups, and the Unity Community Clean-Up

Meeting Location: Council Chambers

All Committee Members Present (Harvey, Nuttall, Thomson, Kungl)

Also Present: Riepma, Nixon, Courser, Nigussie, Harris, Morales, Hamilton

🧑‍🏫📑 Presentations

  • Nil

↪️📥 Referred Items

🏰💸 Heritage Property Tax Relief Program

🚫🎆 Public Consultation - Firework Restrictions in Residential Areas

  • HELD by Kungl

  • Proposal by Kungl:

  • Direct Access Barrie in consultation with Legislative and Court Services to conduct public consultations to obtain feedback on the restriction of fireworks in residential areas and report back to Finance and Responsible Governance

  • AMENDMENT by Kungl: replace the entire item with: that staff in Access Barrie conduct public consultations to obtain feedback on the restrictions of fireworks in residential areas, to which up to $5,000 be allocated from the Council Strategic Priorities Reserve to enable the design of an online and phone poll engagement approach, whereby staff will report back to the Finance and Responsible Governance Committee with the results

    • CARRIED unanimously

💰🌳 Support for Non-Profit Environmental Groups

  • HELD by Nuttall

  • Proposal by Riepma:

  • Direct Operations and Economic & Creative Development, in consultation with Finance, to investigate the feasibility of establishing a funding program (similar to the Recreation and Sport Community Grant Program) to support community environmental groups and not-for-profits and report back to General Committee

  • FAILED [FOR: Kungl; AGAINST: Harvey, Nuttall, Thomson]

📝📑 Advisory Committee Reports

  • Nil

📑🗂 Staff Reports

  • Nil

💡🗣️ Items of Discussion

💰🏟️ Sadlon Arena Expansion

  • HELD by Nuttall

  • Sponsor: Harvey

  • Notice: not provided (item did not appear on the Legistar, either)

  • increase the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) by 2%, effective April 1, and direct the increase percentage to the future expansion of the Sadlon Arena

  • direct the Finance Department to create a Sadlon Arena Expansion Reserve to hold these funds

  • Nuttall pointed out that the 2% increase had to be split 50-50 with Tourism Barrie, so Council could not direct all the funds to the proposed reserve – although intended for Tourism Barrie to contribute as well. Harvey (on the Tourism Barrie Board) agreed they couldn't be legally directed to do so, although that was the intent.

  • Nixon pointed out that the wording of a 2% increase did not align with the intent to raise the MAT from 4% to 6%, and suggested a re-word to make that clear – Nuttall agreed to add that to his amendment, final version below

  • AMENDMENT by Nuttall: to add 3, that an agreement be established between the City of Barrie and Tourism Barrie to determine the contribution from Tourism Barrie to the Expansion Reserve on an annual basis, and that the results of those negotiations be reported back; AND that paragraph 1 be amended to increase the MAT from 4% to 6%.

    • CARRIED unanimously

  • Especially in light of the vote against looking at granting programs for environmental groups to offer equality with sports organizations, this discussion and decision was curious. Essentially, they voted to increase the MAT by 50% (from 4% to 6%), which is a significant increase – and to dedicate that extra 50% not just to sport in general, but towards one particular sport venue. Harvey stated that 25% of hotel stays are for "sport tourism" (although not necessarily Sadlon Arena-related – this includes other sports in town as well as ski trips outside city limits, etc., or as Harvey also stated, spillover for people travelling to sport tournaments in nearby municipalities), so it seems incredibly disproportionate that 2/3 of the MAT would be dedicated to one particular sport venue, when there are so many other tourist venues and pieces of infrastructure that draw tourists in to the city, and could use some funding.

💰🧹 Community Project Fund Submission - Unity Community Clean-Up



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