Since St. Marys downtown has been designated ‘Heritage”, under provincial guidelines property owners in the downtown come under a tax relief program which is to assist with property maintenance and preservation. Trisha McKibbin, Director of Cultural Services for the Town of St. Marys, presented Council with different options for the program. For each item, Council had a separate vote on whether to accept or reject. They did decide having a 20% rebate available once a year, there would be no caps on the fund, there would be a threshold on the amount, an application would be made every year and money would not be paid if there was an unpaid tax bill. However, Coun. Osborne disagreed with the program handing out money without it being accounted for. He maintained that if the maximum allowed was a $2,000 rebate and only $1,000 was spent, then the property owner should not receive the larger amount. Coun. Pope said that most property owners spend that amount of money on an ongoing basis to maintain their buildings. On a recorded vote Mayor Strathdee, Coun. Pope and Coun Winter voted in favour, with Couns. Osborne, Van Galen and Craigmile voting against. Because Coun. Hainer was not present it was a 3 – 3 vote which meant the motion was defeated.
Pert County Ingredients, formally operating under Vanderpol Eggs, were granted permission to expand on their property to accommodate an extension for two new dryers. The company produces dried egg products and have had odor complaints in the past from local residents. Austin Currah, General Manager of the company told Council on Tuesday night that they have solved the odor problems. He said that in the past trucks would arrive at the plant with products in the 23 degree range but the new policy stipulates that no shipment will be received unless it is 7 degrees or less. With the expansion, Currah said that they will need 6 – 10 new employees in the first year and 5 more in the second year. Although building will start soon, the company has to have an amendment to their environmental agreement with the Ministry of the Environment, which may take up to a year to complete.