The last land lease agreement with Mount Dufour Ski Area expired in 1994 but Elliot Lake City Council could not wait until the next regular council meeting to approve this five-year agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), too.
Elliot Lake City Council unanimously approved an MOU and lease agreement with the Mt. Dufour Ski Area at a Special Council Meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. All current members of council were present except for Councillor Morrissette who had sent his regrets.
Elliot Lake's Procedural Bylaw says council should give two business days' notice to the public before a meeting unless there are special circumstances or an emergency.
During Thursday afternoon's meeting, council did not explicitly explain why the meeting was called on such a short timeline however, ensuring that preparations for the ski season were not interrupted, was mentioned by staff and council.
“My recommendation is that we move to enter into this land lease agreement with the Mt. Dufour Ski Area and Memorandum of Understanding, ensuring that the ski season is not interrupted and that the preparations for said ski season are not interrupted,” Director of Finance and Treasurer, Amy Sonnenburg, told the council.
During the debate, Acting Mayor Wannan and councillors Mann and Flintoff referred directly to the matter of the ski season or preparations for it. Subsequently, Councillor Bull commented, “I too, agree with councillors Mann and Flintoff."
According to Sonnenburg’s written report, the last land lease agreement expired in 1994. This is the first renewal since that time.
“Lease agreements have historically been in place. The first was Bylaw 79-34 for the period of 1979-1984; with a further five-year extension, the second being Bylaw 89-13 for the period of 1989-1994. Since that time, a renewal has not been made, therefore the operations have continued in absence of a land lease agreement.”
ElliotLakeToday has reached out to the council for clarification about why the public was deprived of the normal, two-business days notice.