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Council back in session Monday

Mehreen Shahid

By Mehreen Shahid, Orillia Packet & Times

It has been a summer of mixed weather but much celebration as the city and Canada celebrated combined birthdays earlier this month.

Now, after a short break, council will move full force into a week of meetings starting Monday and get back to work beginning with the 2018 budget preparation process. During this meeting council will give staff direction to prepare a draft budget based on the budget committee's targets. The budget committee will then review the draft and approve next year's budget in November, after required amendments have been made.

Later on Monday, council committee will hold two closed-session meetings, one will be around a discussion with the recreation advisory committee (RAC) about the naming considerations for the recreation centre.

Recreation centre naming

Although the contents of that meeting will remain undisclosed, the same day in its open session council committee, among other items, members will discuss the advisory committee's board report.

Names that identify with current Orillia landmarks and figures, such as Mariposa, Leacock, Lightfoot and Sunshine City are not favoured by the recreation advisory committee, as indicated in the report included in council committee agenda.

There is general consensus among RAC members that naming the recreation centre after local celebrity/sports figures may not serve well in the long term, reads the report. It may result in the future discovery of unknown "skeletons in the closet."

Some of the options presented in the report, after a public-consultation session was held, include naming the parkland either Foundry Park or Victory Park, the fitness centre as Legends Fitness Centre and the gym as The Courts or The Hardwoods Gymnasium.

Orillia 2018 and 2020 Ontario Winter Games (OWG) Fundraising Campaign

The parks, recreation and culture department will be looking for donations to help with the cost of the planning and preparation for the Orillia 2018 and 2020 OWG. Staff is looking for authorization to accept funds on behalf of the city. This will be done after the final venue and accommodation plan is set and the exact number of participants being hosted in all neighbouring communities has been finalized. A total target of $200,000 has been set for 2018, with an additional $200,000 for 2020, reads the report, part of Monday's consent agenda, prepared by Michael Ladouceur, games general manager. Orillia will be leveraging both games as part of their fundraising campaign, with the ultimate goal of securing sponsors and donors for both Orillia 2018 and 2020 OWG.

Youth council

Council committee will also have a discussion around the creation of an Orillia Youth Council (OYC) and direct the Orillia Youth Opportunities Committee (OYOC) to develop a governance framework and policies. The youth council will consist of a maximum of 12 youth, from different age groups, as is proposed in a report prepared by Kevin Gangloff, executive director of the Orillia Youth Centre. The youth will be mandated with the task to be the voice of their peers, with the intent to bring forth issues before city council, as well as other matters that come to the youth council.

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