Sunday, August 27th, 2017
Environmental impact study update
Right there, within our business plan is written the vision statement for the business. Yes I know most companies have them but I would suggest not all companies live by them….we do!
In there it is written “…….and at the same time to positively co-exist with the local communities and the environment”.
These are not just words to appease the township (I would never expect that the township would ever see the business plan anyway); and they weren’t written to secure the funding or score a brownie point with some other key role person of interest in the business. The words were written because we believe them and want to live by them.
Of course, this takes on its own life when it comes to the township and conservation authorities and how we connect with those folks as we get closer to the zoning application period.
As you can expect environmental concerns are absolutely paramount in a project like this and there are a whole host as scary aspects that any township would leap on, not least the conservation depts. and associations. Such things as lead, noise factors, interruptions with animal life, soil and water flow and quality are all on the table for discussions; then there are seasonal affects and migratory effect as well as even ‘historical’ – as far as first nation and early settler evidence. The environmental considerations are wide sweeping and all come into an expansive action of data and research called the ‘Environmental Impact Study” (EIS)
For sure this has been a learning experience for us. There are the obvious aspects that you would expect to work with such as not encroaching on wetland or marsh areas but did you know there is something called the Lake Simcoe Watershed and the Mitchell Lake Watershed boundaries. This is an area that the townships have agreed to minimize construction and commercial affects as a way to minimize the contamination potential to Lake Simcoe and Mitchell Lake. Considering that this boundary cuts across the lower end of the land area, we have to understand that and make sure to locate any construction outside of that region.
As it happens our build proposal doesn’t involve construction within that area but again we still have to provide data and mapping to show that detail.
Plant & animal
As part of the EIS data research we needed to gather up, prior to being able to submit to the township for our zoning allowance (changing the area from Rural general to zoning appropriate for our needs), we were required to performed what’s called a 3-season review. It is what it sounds like – we had to take various on-site reviews for various aspects throughout 3 seasons…..from March through September.
There is no short cut you have do the appraisals on site at very specific windows of opportunity
Being a data driven individual myself its hard to understand why we would base many key decisions on the single data point discovered on a specific day and not judge data over a series of years.
I understand and agree that we need to be as complimentary to the area as we can but I still struggle where we may have to move the club house location 100 meters south to accommodate bird nesting when the nest in question is basically seen on one day – who knows where the birds will nest the following year; if at all. Meanwhile, we may have accommodated for the bird or animal for the year that they were actually located in an odd location to their norm for some reason.
In my world I cannot take just one data point and project a statistical norm and base multimillion dollar budgets on such things.
Nevertheless, this is why we engage with subject matter experts whom we leverage their skills and knowledge.
For the EIS, there are a whole raft of skills to cover the zoning required data; and thank goodness we have those key role people. As for the plant and animal studies, we have one such expert who is guiding us through the minefield and with Skelton Brumwell are developing a map and plan of action which we will be presenting to the MNR in the next step forward very soon.
As any insurance actuary will tell you, the function and activity of a shooting range is not the giant killer; in fact its one of the safest activities – it’s the noise!
The acoustic trials are key to demonstrate to the local area residents that we can and will achieve the stringent sound limitations that a range is held to.
Now, for the uninitiated the sound levels for a new range is 45d. To me that doesn’t really mean anything until you make some various everyday comparisons. I recently measured thunder (all be it right over head) on the shooting range site while I was there at 72db; a conversation in a car could easily go beyond 45db if you still have your snow tires on; or if you are in my house when the internet goes out…100db for the kids crying they cant play Minecraft!
Seriously thought, this is the key reason we have 1350 acres ear marked for the range – simply to offer as much sound barrier to the neighbors as we could. Even though the current nearest neighbor is 4km away we can’t relay on that for the future. Again, we all must know a range that has had to spend an awful lot of money on re-soundproofing their ranges for new housing areas that encroach onto their area and complain about the noise.
We want to make this site future proofed and we have a very stringent build for the shooting ports and berms so that we will not be seeing any red letters from the township or CFO of course.
Our acoustic trials are planned on happening probably late September before it gets too cool and the weather starts to change. There are strict local area environmental circumstances that have to exist to allow for accurate readings of the sound so the longer we leave that it gets out of range of the metrics
We have secured the acoustic consultants and are looking forward to their results.
Archaeological and Roads
Our work with MHBC, that represent our interface with the key role people in the township, helps us keep on top of the next steps.
In a recent discussion, while we have succeeded in being able to deliver a lot of the required information, we still need to gather more. Most of this is either desk top data gathering such as the archaeological review of the area where they will review records to understand if there are areas of significant importance for history; or site plan drawings now that we have the layout to accommodate the various aspects of the EIS and beyond.
Everyday, it is on our minds of when we can get the zoning application into the township. Its getting closer with every data point but we cant shortcut the process. A missed study here or there could mean we would have to wait a complete year to be able to gain insight of a particular plant, animal or bird of interest.
Methodical is the name of the game right now – sadly patience is not my middle name and that leads me to frustration.
It seems I am learning more than just wildlife studies on the path forward; although I am not sure I will ever learn to be as patient as I need to be.
The big news will come soon enough and you will hear us singing loud and proud that we have submitted zoning to the township….so keep your ears open!
Sunday, August 27th, 2017
Webinar Fail !…..
How can you turn a Fail into a SUCCESS…….learn from it!
A short time ago we posted that we would like to host a Live Webinar; a live feed session where we would put ourselves on the podium so to speak and be there to answer your questions directly.
We wanted to allow ourselves to be ‘roasted’ live by searing questions that have been on your minds for a while; not in some masochistic manner but more to show that we are real, committed and not least, open and honest. We were prepared to bust open the play book and share anything you needed to know and were looking forward to hearing your feedback and sensing your engagement and enthusiasm in how this development is coming along.
Its not quite clear yet where we went wrong but the end result was that there was no real engagement in that idea. With such a large newsletter signup group, the fail, we think, it less to do with your collective interest in how we are doing and more to do with the medium that we were thinking of offering….a sign up and almost make an appointment to be there at a specific time just doesn’t work with many – certainly in our family its hard. Plus probably the amount of media promotion we put out there to let yourself and the folks know what we were thinking of presenting was no doubtably weak.
It did feel like someone burst our bubble or perhaps a better comparative; the house party where nobody turned up! The end result was that with such a low turnout it would have been better to just host a google hangout to be honest – which would have been interesting anyway; certainly more intimate but less effective overall in answering the general questions.
The Win – Video bullet points
So what did we do…firstly recognize that we failed to offer something that worked for the average Joe and probably failed in the way that we advertised that it was coming soon too. The next thing was to realize that we should try an alternative because the information that we wanted to share is still relevant and important.
It was literally while out on the golf course that we chatted and thought we would put out a series of videos to share small bite sized information bullet points.
To be honest the initial idea was to put someone professional in front of a camera; someone who can deliver a script and project themselves; someone who can come across as believable and sincere; and finally to come complete with an appropriate green screen background and wardrobe no doubt. I’m sure that would have been excellent as to me the main point of the effort was to get information over to people in a clear and concise manner and surely a paid professional was the way to go.
However, the rest of the team suggested that if it was that clean cut and polished it may not always come across as “local guy making this happen” or “have believable passion and knowledge” or just “straight forward, no BS info”
We talked about it as we progressed around the course and we decided there and then that as soon as we found a quiet background and we were out of the way of the other golfers we’d try something.
We split up the series of bullet points into casual 3 or 4 minutes slice topics; connected the camera to the golf cart with the wife’s hair tie and had fun with it….well as much as you can while being serious about finance
They came out as you would expect – non-professional; no script; impromptu; one take and no post editing other than including a header title…….so no Oscar nominations coming our way but in the end we felt it achieved our goals – to deliver information as clearly as we can in an everyday manner and as openly and sincerely as we can
The first set of bullet points was focused on the Founders Club Share based membership as there had already been a few questions bounced our way about key topics such as:
- How safe is my money
- How do I get my money back
- Who gets the money
- How is the money used
- What’s in it for me
Our next bullet points will hopefully be centered around follow up questions that have been prompted by this initial bullet point presentation.
For the moment though we welcome you to check out the current selection to answer any thoughts you may have had about the Founders Club share and look out for any upcoming topics
Feel free to email us your questions that could be featured in the next bullet point presentation; so far we have:
- Key milestones of the next steps
- Time line to completion
- When will the regular memberships be available