Cramahe will soon have a catering contract with Black Dress Catering and King’s Plate Catering for events at the Keeler Centre.
After months of delay, a proposed contract was brought to Cramahe Council on May 19. But the details of the proposed contract were not made available to councillors until the start of the meeting and the question was deferred to June 2 where it was deferred once again.
After praising Parks and Recreation Manager Keeley Biron for the proposed contract, Deputy mayor Sandra Arthur pointed to flaws in it. Ms. Arthur proposed that Mr. Biron meet with the owners of the two catering companies and an independent person to tidy it up.
Some of Ms. Arthur’s suggestions were made to protect the township, should there be any dispute with the caterers. Other suggestions were made to clarify communications between the township and the caterers. Arthur was particularly concerned that the township should oversee health rule enforcement.
She felt that the four-year contract should clearly define everyone’s responsibilities.
Mr. Biron’s response suggested that he had made a conscious effort to keep the contract concise. He noted that he could have made the contract much more detailed.
Another concern has to be resolved by council before the contract is approved. Two groups are grandfathered in the proposal. Community Care runs a once-a-month Diners Club, and the annual Auction Barn Jamboree has been catered by Hayden Taylor.
Councillor Don Clark would like to see the contracted caterers decide who else can use the kitchen facilities. Responding to a question from council,
Black Dress Catering owner Donna Rusaw said she had no problem with the Community Care group, but would be interested in bidding on the Jamboree.
Mr. Biron, and Ms. Arthur will meet with the two contracted caterers to review the contract and bring it to council on June 16.
In a housekeeping move on June 2, Cramahe Council approved a 1% increase in salary for its non-union employees. Cramahe’s volunteer firefighters, library workers, management and council fall into this group. The agreement is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and matches a three-year contract signed with the township’s unionized staff in 2013. Their raises begin on July 1.
LUSI will continue to manage water
Cramahe Township and Lakefront Utilities Services Inc. (LUSI) have had some issues in the past few months.
The company has been operating the Colborne water supply system under agreement. It was one of three companies bidding on a contract to do the same job. The choice of contractor was problematic for Council. LUSI’s $258,190 bid was $97,000 cheaper than the next bidder, but there have been serious billing problems dating back to 2003.
Deputy mayor Sandra Arthur chaired two discussions regarding LUSI . Mayor Marc Coombs left the council chambers, citing a perceived conflict of interest. He has a paid position on the LUSI Board of Directors.
The second discussion related to inaccurate billing over 12 years of industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) users by LUSI. Billing entries for some of the 100 ICI businesses were made incorrectly, resulting in over and under billing. In the current study, 28 users were affected, 20 of them were under-billed. The biggest single error left one company under-billed by close to $96,000. Others were $6,000 or less.
The eight customers who were over-billed will receive refunds amounting to a couple of hundred dollars, at most.
Councillors voted unanimously to waive the charges for the under-billed companies, as the problem was not caused by them. Council was assured that all billing multipliers and units of measurement are now correct.
The contract with LUSI was approved. Cramahe paid about $191,000 last year for the same work. This year’s contract includes a buffer to cover unexpected costs. If Cramahe does not need the extra work, its bill will be reduced.
LUSI must also provide the township with an annual financial report.
Cramahe Camp Tiki Summer Camp
Details of summer camp registration in Cramahe Township have been finalized. Registration will be held on Monday, June 8 from 3-8 p.m., and on Thursday, June 11 from 3-7 p.m.
At its May 19 meeting, Cramahe Council reviewed issues regarding costs and camper eligibility. On June 2, Manager of Parks and Recreation, Keeley Biron, explained the registration process.
Parents will be allowed to register their kids for any two weeks at the $25 per week rate until the 32 places are filled for those weeks. They can pay the full $100 per week per child for any further weeks they wish to book. If any weeks are not fully booked with 32 campers at the end of registration, parents will have the opportunity to pay $25 for the remaining spaces.
Mr. Biron told council the registration plan had been established in consultation with Y officials. They felt this approach would allow them to offer up to 96 Cramahe kids a week at day camp for $25. Out-of-township kids will pay the full $100 rate. Cramahe is paying the Y up to $16,000 to subsidize the camp.
There will be no means test for those who pay $25 – everyone will be required to pay the minimum. Families who pay $100 can ask to be subjected to a means test to get a reduced rate.
Director of Operations Dan O’Brien noted that the $100 rate was $35 less than the rate paid for Cobourg day camp.
Danielle Cousineau, a parent who happened to be in the audience, offered another view. Ms. Cousineau claimed that the camp in Cobourg offered much more. Kids could rock climb, swim and zipline. She suggested that the Cramahe camp should offer swimming in the pool on King Street East that the Y has rented for summer lessons.
Ms. Cousineau predicted registration will be down this year from last year when 100 kids came some days. People can’t afford the new $100 rates.
The Y will accept debit and credit cards, and cash at registration, but no cheques.