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PSVA Assuming Some of Council Responsibilities
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Andrew Hibbert's Signage Conception

In correspondence requiring action on the Central Elgin Council agenda for the May 26, 2014 meeting, it seems that the unelected community group known as the Port Stanley Village Association (PSVA) is eager to take over some of Council's legal responsibilities, from signage on the DOC building to deciding if, when and where dogs are to be allowed on Port Stanley's beaches. The Port Stanley Village Association is not, in and of itself, an elected representative body of the residents and taxpayers of Port Stanley. They boast a membership that comprises roughly 10 percent of the village's population and it often seems as if the 'new kid in town' wants to run the playground.

Correspondence (Action)

1. Dominion of Canada Building - Signage
Correspondence received from Port Stanley Village Association advising they wish to contribute $400.00 towards signage for the Dominion of Canada Building.

The PSVA was suggesting in this letter donating the $400 they had previously raised to paint the DOC building (but which was no longer needed for that purpose) towards the cost of signage on the DOC building. One of our directors, Andrew Hibbert, has completed some possible designs for the signage, which I include with this letter ... The signage is much needed to help visitors recognize the Dominion of Canada building as a heritage public building.

Mayor Walters was absent from this meeting due to planting operations on his farm. Deputy Mayor Marr chaired the meeting and deferred comment on this piece of correspondence to Port Stanley Ward 1 Councillor Dan McNeil who was a member of the PSVA until he was elected to Council. It gave McNeil, who is running for re-election, a beautifully staged opportunity to commend the PSVA for wanting to donate the money for this purpose, but at the same time to advocate for the best interests of the community as a whole by turning down the donation, saying "it would be wrong to make a decision tonight" because such a decision would be committing the municipality to that specific course of action. Marr followed suit on McNeil's reasoning, saying a possible future tenant may want to have a say in any signage for the building.

Council directed staff to advise the PSVA to hold their funds as the donation was premature because the future use of the building has not yet been determined.

3. Dogs on Public Beaches
Correspondence received from Port Stanley Village Association respecting a by-law concerning dogs on public beaches.

In response to an earlier request by the Port Stanley Village Association re by-laws for a dog beach, Central Elgin Council researched the by-laws being used in various local municipalities and listed them in a letter to the PSVA ... In our discussion, the directors of the PSVA have agreed that the by-law most agreeable to us is the one that allows no dogs on public beaches from May 15 to September 15 between 9 AM and 6 PM.

Once again, initial comments on this item were deferred to Councillor McNeil. Thanking the PSVA for their comments, McNeil said dogs on the beach was a very controversial and complex issue. "We need to look ahead a number of steps because the status quo is wrong." McNeil said the "no dogs on the beach" is a bad law and Step 1 is getting a definitive answer from the Blue Flag Committee about how dogs on the beach would affect Port Stanley's Blue Flag status. He said Step 2 was setting up an enforcement regime because "right now we have none"; noting that enforcement needed to be year round and not just seasonal. Step 3 he identified as the municipality developing lands from Erie Rest Beach west, creating a large paid parking lot for use at the dog beach there and thus generate a revenue stream for enforcement. "We would have to have at least one public meeting," McNeil concluded. Marr followed suit on McNeil's reasoning, saying "we need to do more homework."

Council received the PSVA letter as information and directed staff to thank them for their comments.

2. Ontario Good Roads Association
Correspondence received from Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) seeking direction respecting Central Elgin's contribution to Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) Litigation Fund.

Central Elgin previously contributed $1,300.00 towards the OGRA intervening in a lawsuit which sought to have the Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) declared null and void. In the original appeal we stated that "any funds not used will be refunded back to contributing municipalities on a pro-rated basis". That said, the OGRA then suggested keeping the excess contributions as a legal slush fund (reserve) for any future legal actions. Central Elgin is due a refund of $651.30. Council voted to accept their refund and not leave it in the OGRA legal reserve fund.

4. The Windjammer Inn - License Extensions
Correspondence received from the Windjammer Inn seeking municipal approval for Alcohol & Gaming Commission - License Extensions for outdoor area at 324 Smith Street, Port Stanley for the dates of July 1, July 19, August 3 and August 31. Council had no objections.

5. Sparta Community Society: Addendum:
This item was added to the agenda at the start of the Council meeting. The society is seeking to hire the municipality to install an access ramp at their community hall. In 2012 the municipality agreed to donate the labour if the society could raise the funds for the project, but Central Elgin would not donate funds as the municipality does not contribute to capital improvements for properties it does not own. Well, the society raise funds and got a grant and is now asking the municipality to make good on its prior promise.

Staff was directed to update the cost of the project and determine when the Physical Services Department could actually do the work, keeping in mind the municipality intends to use that building as an advance polling station in the upcoming municipal election, and as such, it will have to be accessible. Staff is to contact the Society with the updated costs and timeline, and if everything is agreeable, then proceed with the work. Deputy Mayor Marr thought it was important to first inform the Sparta Community Society of today's costs "before we start the work."

Correspondence (for Council's Information)

  • Received collectively as information
  • 1. Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship: Correspondence received from Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration respecting "Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship".
  • 2. 2014 Senior Achievement Award Program: Correspondence received from Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration respecting "2014 Senior Achievement Award Program".
  • 3. Ontario Energy Board: Ontario Energy Board Notice respecting rates for the sale and distribution of natural gas. NRG asked the Board to be able to recover from customers the costs of natural gas purchases made by NRG in February 2014 in order to fulfill its contract with Union Gas Limited. NRG stated that it was unable to buy enough natural gas to fulfill its contractual obligations and was subject to a penalty ... The Board notes that its Decision and Interim Order resulted in a rate increase for an average residential customer of approximately $280 a year. This amount does not include the penalty charge. Depending on the outcome of this hearing, the rate impact could change.
  • 4. Natural Resource Gas Limited: Copy of correspondence sent to the Ontario Energy Board from the Municipality of Bayham seeking support that Natural Resource Gas Limited (NRG) not be granted permission to recover from its ratepayers costs associated with servicing consumers with natural gas. the penalty costs associated with the purchase of gas are a result of poor contract management and are not 'reasonable' to be passed on to customers ... NRG acted imprudently during the past winter because it did not take any pre-emptive action to mitigate the shortfall in its banked gas account Looking at these two items together, Councillor McFarlan did not think there was "anything we can do on this."
  • 5. Springwater Developments Inc. - Public Meeting: Notice of a Public Meeting for Springwater Developments Inc., Subdivision 34T-14501 - Orchard Park South Phase 2

Reports

PW 26-14: Supply and Apply Surface Treatment Tender Award: Council agree to participate in the County of Elgin's Micro Surfacing and Surface Treatment Tender and agreed to enter into a contract with Duncor Enterprises Inc. of Barrie, to supply and apply surface treatment as per the terms and conditions of the County of Elgin's Contract at the price of $2.341/m2 for single and $4.85/m2 for double surface treatment; as passed later in By-law 1740.

PW 27-14: 2014 Port Stanley Watermain & Storm Sewer Replacements Phase 2: Council added the following unbudgeted engineering work to the 2014 Port Stanley Watermaln & Storm Sewer Replacements Phase 2 project through the 2015 budget:
Smith Street - road reconstruction & storm sewers Sydenham east to Carlow Road
Carlow Road - trunk storm sewer outlet to the lake
Edith Cavell Boulevard - road reconstruction & storm sewers 374 Edith Cavell to William Street
Sydenham Street - road reconstruction and storm sewers - George Street to Erie Street

and appointed AECOM to complete the engineering for the 2014 Port Stanley Watermaln & Storm Sewer Replacements Phase 2 for a total of $100,186 (which would include the engineering for the reconstruction of Erie, Smith and Sydenham streets, Edith Cavell Boulevard from William Street to 360m west and a new trunk storm sewer on Carlow Road from Smith Street to the area of the new proposed boat launch on the harbour).

PW 28-14: East Pier Revitalization - Consultant Appointment: Council agreed to engage Stantec Consulting Ltd. to provide Landscape Architectural Services for the revitalization of the East Pier and Kiwanis Park for a total cost of $39,724 excluding HST and to appoint a steering committee to oversee the project comprised of 3 members of Council (Marr, McNeil and Carr - who has now decided to run for re-election after all), one member from the BIA and one member of the Fisherman's Association. The funding obtained through the RED Program is 5O% of the total cost.

The East Pier area is currently used to access the commercial fishing fleet It is Council's desire to promote this area as not only an area to access the fishing fleet but also to encourage pedestrian traffic In this area as well. It was noted fishermen have expressed concern that such a walkway might interfere with their commercial operations, but McNeil said he was determined this walkway could enhance the fishermen's operations while putting them on public display at the same time, as an integral feature of Port Stanley's tourist attractions.

Kiwanis Park, which is located on the North Side of Bridge Street adjacent to Kettle Creek ... is overgrown with hedges and plantings and is in need of a facelift. Deputy Mayor Marr said he thought the Port Stanley Volunteer Gardeners should also be involved as they have maintained the gardens in that park for many years.

PW 29-14: Belmont Arena Chiller Replacement: Council awarded the contract for the replacement of the Flood Chiller and Brine Pump to Black and McDonald for a total quoted price of $54,275.00 exclusive of HST, and no, it will not make the ice any faster.

DFS 09-14: Bel Parc Inc. - Non-Profit Seniors' Apartment - 203 Union Street, Belmont - Request for Reduction in Tax Ratio: Council agreed "to offer an annual reduction of local municipal property taxes to Bel Pare Inc. for their capital facilities located at 203 Union Street in Belmont, 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." This is a facility similar to Kettle Creek Villa in Port Stanley which has the same property tax arrangement. The total tax reduction for 2014 will amount to $17,910.66.

DFS 10-14: Update on the 2013 Audit: Staff will be submitting the 2013 Financial Information Return to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as per the requirements on or before May 31, 2014. This will be followed by the presentation of the 2013 Audited Financial Statements to Council at its meeting of June 23, 2014 by Graham Scott Enns.

FS 05-14: Monthly Alarm Activities Report: Received as information without comment.

By-laws

  • Taken and passed collectively
  • By-law 1737: Being a By-law to Execute Municipal Funding Agreement with AMO respecting Transfer of Federal Gas Tax Funds
  • By-law 1738: Confirmatory By-law
  • By-law 1739: Bel Parc Non-Profit Tax Relief
  • By-law 1740: Being a By-law to Execute an Agreement with Duncor Enterprises Inc. respecting 2014 Apply and Supply Surface Treatment
  • By-law 1741: Being a By-law to Appoint By-law Enforcement Officers for The Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin
  • By-law 1742: Being a By-law to Reduce the Speed Limit on Municipal Highways
  • By-law 1743: Being a By-law to Establish a Municipal Addressing System

New Business: Deputy Mayor David Marr asked Councillor Sally Martyn about new lands being purchased by the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority. Martyn confirmed that the opportunity had arisen for the CCCA to buy farmlands adjacent to the Yarmouth Natural Heritage area, which would add about 40 hectares to the YNHA. The 15 acres of it that is currently workable land will be reforested. It all forms part of the Carolinian Life Zone that reaches all the way to Lake Erie.

Unfinished Business 1. Front Street Bridge: staff directed to prepare a report on the structure

Closed Session
  • CS1: Litigation or Potential Litigation (s.239(2)(e)) - Property Standards
  • CS2: Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations - (s.239(2)(d)) - Engineering Technologist Position

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