DAN CEARNS, The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog has responded to concerns, from the Port Perry Business Improvement Association (BIA), about filming in the downtown area.
In the recorded minutes of the BIA’s March meeting, it stated there was a “long and involved discussion regarding filming in the downtown.” The minutes add, some of the business’ concerns, from the filming of the movie Thanksgiving, were, closing Queen Street all the way to Simcoe Street “was not needed,” and not all businesses were compensated. Some members also reportedly wanted “more input in the decision and planning” phases.
There was a motion made at that meeting, to have a moratorium set on filming in the BIA district, “until staff review and update the Film policy and include the BIA in consultation and drafting of the Film policy.”
At a council meeting, on Monday, April 24th, Scugog Township responded with a motion from Ward 5 Councillor Terry Coyne.
“While council values the collaboration with the BIA, to bring visitors and business to Port Perry, the decision to close roads is a municipal responsibility, and the BIA is provided advanced notice of any closures to roads in [the] downtown, to help minimize the impacts on its members,” the motion stated. “The Township and the BIA have worked together on filming within the downtown and have an agreed-on process for filming [which] outlines the parameters and responsibilities of the Township and the BIA and its members.”
The motion concluded, “while the Township is always open to discussing how filming occurs, the Township believes filming is beneficial to promoting Port Perry,” and “any discussions related to filming should not pause possible opportunities for additional filming.”
“I personally felt the minutes were quite strong.” said Mayor Wilma Wotten, adding, “I believe our clerk is meeting with the BIA in the next week or so for training and so on and so forth,” she said.
However, Mayor Wotten later stressed, “This is in no way meant to [say], we would not welcome the feedback in working with the BIA.”
“I think it’s important we have them consult with many organizations and groups.”