North Huron Council supports Blyth 140 event - June 22, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Blyth 140th committee has received the support it sought from North Huron Township, however, questions arose as to the exact plans of the committee during a recent North Huron Council meeting.
In a report presented by Director of Recreation and Facilities Pat Newson to council on June 19 it was explained that, as a result of bylaws held by the Blyth Lions Club, the group may need to move some events back to the Blyth Community Centre, where they had previously been planned.
Newson explained that, since she made the report, information about the Lions bylaws came forward, and that had a bearing on her recommendation.
“The Lions already have their own bylaws that there is no loud noise in the park after 11 p.m.,” she said. “We can’t waive our noise bylaw until they waive theirs and they haven’t had a meeting yet.”
Newson explained that the park, which is surrounded by residential property, might not be an ideal location for the event due to the Lions not meeting in time to waive the bylaw for the event.
Newson’s recommendation, however, was that North Huron Council agree to waive fees for renting municipal space for the celebration. She amended that, adding that North Huron could waive the rental of the upstairs hall at the community centre if the group needed it for the dance. She then said she knows it goes against council’s previous direction.
“I realize that waiving the fee is not what the fee waiving and donation bylaw [implemented by this session of council] recommends, however, had this group had more time to focus on planning and delivery, we likely would have insisted they come to us with a terms of reference,” Newson said, pointing out the group is a sub-committee of the Blyth Business Improvement Area, a committee of council. “We could create a terms of reference, as we did with the [Musical Muskrat Festival in Wingham] to waive some of their expenses.
“This is council’s choice, but the group is hoping to have the event at no charge or by donation,” she said.
Newson said if council does waive the fees, the town will track time and expenses and those costs will be posted to the general ledger in the economic development budget because the Blyth 140th celebration is a community event.
Newson then warned council that, even with this recommendation, she may be back to discuss the issue again.
Councillor Bill Knott said the noise may not be an issue as a problem had arisen with the musical act booked for the celebration and it wouldn’t be able to perform. Newson also reported that the Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company had said they would handle a beverage tent for the celebration, however, the company has since said they can’t handle the commitment and will be donating a tent but not handling beverages, further changing Newson’s recommendation which called for council to recognize the company’s efforts to allow for a special occasion liquor licence.
“We could be back with more discussion if the… noise bylaw issue finds its way,” she said. “We’re unable to get confirmation of everything at the event.”
In the end, council approved a motion that will waive a tent permit, use of the arena pad and use of the upstairs hall if necessary. Newson said if the organization utilizes all waived fees, the total amount saved would be $1,178.72.