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Earthmama Farms Daycare to Clean Main Beach
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Heather Derks, Earthmama Farms Daycare

Heather Derks of Earthmama Farms Daycare proposed a beach cleanup event to Central Elgin Council at their April 14, 2014 meeting. "Because of our commitment to preserving the natural environment (with a particular emphasis on protecting Lake Erie) we are hosting a Port Stanley Beach Clean Up event for Earth Day, April 22nd," she told them.

Delegation

1. Beach Cleanup Event - Main Beach:
Heather Derks of Earthmama Farms Daycare proposed a beach cleanup event to Central Elgin Council at their April 14, 2014 meeting. "Because of our commitment to preserving the natural environment (with a particular emphasis on protecting Lake Erie) we are hosting a Port Stanley Beach Clean Up event for Earth Day, April 22nd," she told them.

Earthmama Farms Daycare is a new non-profit group incorporated in Central Elgin in December of 2013. Over the next few years the organization is planning to raise the funds and volunteers necessary to build an off-the-grid, passive solar building in Central Elgin. They want to use the space to provide free daycare for low income moms so that they can attend academic courses and transition into employment, and the group wants to run their facility as an eco-tourism destination teaching other people about alternative technologies.

"Our group's mandates include promoting local food security and women's economic security, but it is our third mandate of environmental conservatism," Derks said. "The purpose of our event is to encourage community pride and awareness that Central Elgin has the only Blue Flag Beach on Lake Erie, and to celebrate that fact for Earth Day."

People who wish to participate should meet at Elgin Mall parking lot (in front of former Zellers) at 5:30-6:15 p.m. for carpooling and opening remarks. The group will travel to Port Stanley's Main Beach from 6:15 - 6:45 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. there will be a photo opportunity at Mackies "to prove that our community cares about our lake, we want to arrange a photo with as many people as possible stretching out along the water. We're hoping to show that we understand our role as stewards of the portion of Lake Erie that runs through our community." Those who don't participate in the carpooling but who wish to participate in the beach cleanup can simply meet the group at Mackies. 7:00-7:30 p.m.: clean up our beach! Pile driftwood, pick up garbage, identify concerns. 7:45 p.m.: c1osing remarks and head back to Elgin Mall to complete carpooling circuit.

Earthmama Farms Daycare is the newest group to decide to clean up the beach in Port Stanley and their efforts add to similar work done by other groups in the community (Girl Guides, Scouts, Volunteer Gardeners, PSVA), the residents of Port Stanley who regularly pick up garbage strewn by others on our beaches and streets, and the municipal staff's regular beach clean up and grooming. Council directed staff to provide garbage bags for the event and to arrange for the garbage pickup.

Correspondence (Action)

1. Rib and Chicken Night:
Correspondence received from Keith Kennedy, Belmont Lions Club, seeking a change to the date of the Rib and Chicken Night at the Belmont Arena. Council approved changing the night of this event from April 12 to April 25, 2014.

2. User Fees:
Correspondence received from Belmont Lioness and Lions Club respecting fees for use of hall for meetings. These two clubs were objecting to paying the 5% Capital Charge plus the HST on top of the $50 rental fee. David Marr and Rob McFarlan declared a conflict on this one. Dan McNeil, Sally Martyn and Russell Matthews were the User Fees Committee and each spoke to the issue. McNeil said they got the same reaction from the 55+ Club in Port Stanley, but the Capital Surcharge and HST tax are over and above the rental fee and were never intended to be included. Martyn agreed and said these two clubs were already given a much lower rental rate than the standard one. Matthews agreed and said these fees were never intended to be included anymore than freight, delivery and taxes are included when you buy a car, they are always extra. Council's passed resolution declared that the Capital Surcharge and HST are not included in the rental fees.

3. Eastside Development Area:
Email correspondence received from Harold Winkworth requesting delay to consideration of the by-law to establish the rate of $8,937.42 and requesting a "structured meeting" for homeowners. Bill Walters and Russell Matthews declared a conflict on this one. Council's argument was that they had had structured meetings previously on this issue and had received no complaints from attendees on the format of the meeting at the recent open house meeting. Council denied Harold Winkworth's request.

Correspondence (for Council's Information)

1. Canada Post:
Correspondence received from Canada Post respecting proposed reduction of hours at the Port Stanley Post Office. Canada Post sent what amounts to a form letter saying they were going to reduce the operating hours from Monday to Friday, but did not say what the proposed new hours would be and said nothing at all about the Saturday hours.

A careful review has determined that we have a very small number of local customers between the hours of (xxx) and (xxx) Monday to Friday. Canada Post is therefore considering reducing the hours of operation on weekdays. And yes, the XXX is exactly the way they sent out the letter.

David Marr expressed dissatisfaction with the letter and noted the Port Stanley post office serves more than just Port Stanley, also encompassing the rural routes. He wanted Council to send a request to Canada Post asking them to come to Council and explain themselves and allow Council the opportunity to express their concerns. Mayor Walters suggested it might be something they want to do at the County level. A letter will go out, but it was unclear whether the intent would be to deal with the issue at the municipal or the county level.

2. Heritage Central Elgin:
Copy of minutes from Heritage Central Elgin meeting dated March 26, 2014.

Mike Goodwin reviewed for the committee his plans for a new building to be built adjacent to his current building at 207 Main Street in Port Stanley. The current building is a Clerk's List building and sits between two designated buildings. Plans were shown for the new building and its location on the property as well as a photo of the current building and a map of the street scape. The committee asked questions for clarification and the only concern expressed was the distance from the sidewalk as it will block the view of the building to the south. Many felt Mike had been trying to work with the neighbours and to build a suitable new structure that would fit with the area. Dr. Burns thanked Mike for coming. It was also mentioned to Mike that he may wish to have the original building designated. Mike agreed to look at setting the building back a bit further from the road if possible and would get back to us.

Heritage Conservation District: It has been agreed by the committee to let it rest for 4 months and not move further at this time. A report will be going to council in April. This should be time enough for Mike Goodwin to get his new building built.

3. Port Stanley BIA - Annual General Meeting:
Notice of Port Stanley BIA - Annual General Meeting being held on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 @ 5:30 p.m. at the Port Stanley Arena & Community Centre

4. Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System 2013 Compliance Report:
Copy of the Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System 2013 Compliance Report

Annual Inspection: The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) conducts an inspection of the Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System annually. A MOE inspection took place in August 2013. The final inspection report was issued on September 30, 2013. A total of three (3) noncompliances were identified in the inspection report. The final inspection rating received for the 2013-2014 reporting year was 93.4%. A complete summary of the noncompliances and corrective action required by the MOE can be found in Appendix C [of the 32-page report]. The identified problems were poor recording of grab samples, Chain of Custody issues, and lack of follow up samples to determine bacterial levels after disinfection of water system components.

All of this correspondence was received as information by Council.

Reports

CAO 13-14: March 2014 Monthly Building Report. Received by Council as information, without comment.

CAO 14-14: Sewage Servicing - 123 Centennial Avenue. This property owner was required to replace the septic system just prior to the installation of sanitary sewers in the Eastwood area, instead of just a holding tank to be pumped out while waiting for the completion of the sewer construction.

On September 24, 2009, the Collins obtained a permit to install a septic system on their property. Prior to and after this date, the Municipality's Chief Building Official, based on Council's commitment to service the Eastwood Subdivision with sanitary services, was permitting property owners with malfunctioning septic systems to carry out temporary repairs. Where repairs were not possible, property owners were permitted to install a holding tank pending the installation of municipal sanitary sewers. The Collins have written asking for an explanation why they were required to install a new septic system while other property owners were permitted other alternatives. Staff is unable to provide an explanation. To staffs knowledge, no other property owners were required to install a new septic system in this time period. A check of Port Stanley News.com records for 2009 Council meetings also show no explanation for this.

Councillor Martyn thought the municipality should do something for this person as they were the only property required to install an entire new septic system. She wanted to know how much more this cost the person than it would have cost just to install a holding system and pump it out until the sanitary sewers were installed. Leitch said that relief or compensation could be done as a credit when the invoices went out for hooking up to the new sewers, and that they could defer this to another meeting without having to defer the passing of the by-law. Council deferred any decision on this issue.

PW 16-14: Tender Award, CE-014-14, Diesel Tandem Axle Snow Plow Unit: Council approved the purchase of a tandem axle snow plow unit from Carrier Truck Centers, Woodstock, Ontario, for the supply and delivery of one new diesel, single axle truck complete with new spreader dump box, and snow plow apparatus for the total tendered price of $273,258.30 inclusive of taxes; to be funded from the Physical Services Equipment Replacement Reserve.

PW 17-14: Colonel Bostwick Dockage - Lease Extension: Council approved extending the lease of the Colonel Bostwick Street Dockage for the 2014 season to Tom Needham in the amount of $1,100.00 per year.

PW 18-14: 2014 Water/Wastewater Replacements Phase 1 - Tender Award: Council awarded Tender CE-017-14 for the replacement of watermains as part of the 2014 Water/Wastewater Replacements Phase 1 to Omega Contractors Inc in the amount of $963,428.24.

The scope of work includes the replacement of watermain and services on the west end of Edith Cavell Blvd, Stanley Park Drive, Frances Street, Lower Spring Street and Tower Heights Drive all within the Village of Port Stanley. The east end of Edith Cavell, Smith Street & Erie Street will be Included In Phase 2 to be tendered In the fall to coordinate with Storm Sewer Installations in the area. Construction work near the beach areas has been specified to be substantially complete by the May holiday weekend to avoid conflicts with the summer tourism.

Councillor Matthews asked if he was correct in understanding this meant the municipality was debt financing two multi-million dollar projects at the same time and Perrin confirmed this was correct.

PW 21-14: Yarmouth Centre Road - Area Speed Reduction: A Section of Yarmouth Centre Road between Fruitridge Line and Sparta Line is home to a large hill that has poor sight lines for motorists. Staff has modelled the vertical alignment of the hill and has determined that to modern standards this hill should be travelled at no more than 20km/hr by motorists because of such short sight distances when travelling from both sides.

Council agreed to pass a by-law to reduce speed to 20km/hr through a section of Yarmouth Centre Road starting 390 metres south of Fruitridge Line to 690 metres south of Fruitridge Line due to visibility restrictions. "It's about time!" exclaimed Sally Martyn.

PW 22-14: Tender Award, CE-016-14: Physical Services staff called tenders for the supply of Part A, three new 1/2 tonne trucks and Part B, one new 3/4 tonne cab and chassis for the Physical Services department. When Councillor Matthews noted he'd seen municipal trucks parked at the Port Stanley Arena and covered in snow, Perrin explained they had already found it was cheaper to buy the trucks than to do short-term 9-month leases for them. All the trucks are extended cabs.

Council awarded tender CE-016-14, Part A, the supply and delivery of three new 1/2 tonne pick up trucks to Disbrowe Canada, St Thomas, ON, for the total tendered price of $93, 903.00 inclusive of taxes; and awarded tender CE-016-14, Part B, the supply and delivery of one new 3/4 tonne cab and chassis to Mt. Brydges Ford Sales Ltd., Mt. Brydges ON, for the total tendered price of $32,303.31 inclusive of taxes. Total cost of both tenders: $126,206.31, under the approved budget expense for these trucks of $143,000.

DFS 06-14: Central Elgin Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation Request for Reduction in Tax Ratio: Council agreed to offer an annual reduction of local municipal property taxes to the Central Elgin Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation for their capital facilities located at 289 Frances Street in Port Stanley, of the amount equivalent to the difference between the local taxes calculated using the current year's tax rate for properties in the Multi-Residential property class and the local taxes calculated using the current year's tax rate for properties in the Residential property class; and directed staff to submit a similar request to the County of Elgin requesting the County to offer a similar annual reduction for their local property tax amount.

DFS 07-14: Water/Sewer Billing - Extreme Consumption: Leitch noted there may be one more such request coming to Council regarding a bill in the $8,000.00 mark caused by leaky valves. Karen DePrest informed Council that all of the instances have occurred on private property.

Financial Services staff made contact with fourteen municipalities both in Elgin County as well as with various cottage communities including Wasaga Beach, Lambton Shores, Goderich, Southwold and SI. Thomas. Of those surveyed that provide both a water and sewer service, only one municipality provides relief as a one-time option and two other municipalities may, as a decision of Council, provide relief for the sewer portion only. The remaining eleven do not provide any relief for leaks or breakages on private property for either water or sewer amounts. Thames Centre also does not provide relief.

Deputy Mayor Marr said the last such requests occurred two to three years ago. He was against providing relief then and he is against it now; stating relief should not be at the whim of Council. "The property owners are responsible for securing their own property. If we give them a break, we are going to become the insurance company," Marr stated, noting even the insurance companies are not paying for this.

Councillor Martyn said she feels compassion for these people due to the extreme winter we had, and wanted to see a 25% reduction offered, even though that was less than the sewer portion of the bill.

Mayor Walters said he "sympathizes but the people do have responsibility." It was noted that the fault in all of these cases lies with the homeowners.

Moved by David Marr and seconded by Russell Matthews, the motion to deny the request for relief was carried by majority vote, with Sally Martyn and Dan McNeil voting against it.

By-laws

  • Taken and passed collectively:
  • By-law 1708: Being a By-law to Execute a Lease Agreement with Portside Marina respecting Colborne Street Dockage
  • By-law 1709: Confirmatory By-law
  • By-law 1710: Being a By-law to Authorize a Partial Tax Relief to the Central Elgin Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation in Respect of a Municipal Capital Facility Pursuant to Section 110 of the Municipal Act, 2001
  • By-law 1711: Being a By-law to Execute a Lease Agreement with Tom Needham respecting Colonel Bostwick Street Dockage
  • By-law 1712: Being a By-law to Execute an Agreement with Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario as represented by the Minister of Rural Affairs respecting Rural Economic Development Program (RED)
  • By-law 1713: Being a By-law to Cancel, Reduce and Refund Taxes for the Year 2013
  • By-law 1715: Being a By-law to Execute an Agreement with Omega Contractors Inc., respecting 2014 Water/Wastewater Replacements - Phase 1
  • Taken and passed separately:
  • By-law 1714: Being a By-law to Designate an Area to which Sanitary Sewage Works shall be Extended and to Establish Rates to Recover Part of the Cost of said Works

New Business: none

Unfinished Business
1. Front Street Bridge: staff directed to prepare a report on the structure
2. Code of Conduct: Staff directed to prepare a report

Closed Session
CS1: Closed Session Minutes
CS2: Solicitor-Client Privilege - (s.239(2)(f)) - 2014 Fine Grass Cutting - Contract Award


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