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Robert Purssglove

Robert Purssglove pitched his business proposal for a personal watercraft and water trampoline rental business on Little Beach in 2014 to Central Elgin Council at their April 28, 2014 meeting, but did not quite get the agreement in principle that he was after.


1. Bachner Proposed Severance:
Katharina and Michael Bachner and sons Mike and Stephen will be in attendance to discuss a proposed severance involving 43585 Fruit Ridge Line and 6596 Fairview Road.

This proposed severance comes out of estate planning with a desire to retain the land parcels within the family and in agricultural production, but change them from a large agricultural piece and a smaller retirement piece into to two farms of agriculturally viable size. It includes moving the property line such that some provincially significant wetland and designated heritage woodland will be contained entirely within the one new parcel, as well as a reclaimed gravel pit to be used for cattle and hay. Deputy Mayor Marr said the Bachners would need to also run this by the County planner. Council had no objections to the proposal and encouraged the Bachners to submit it to Land Division.

2. Little Beach - Rental Business Proposal:
Robert Purssglove will be in attendance to discuss a proposal for personal watercraft and water trampoline rental business on Little Beach

"My proposal includes establishing a jet personal watercraft and water trampoline rental business in the vicinity of the little beach in the Village of Port Stanley during the summer of 2014," Purssglove said. Stating he was aware of Council's resistance to the idea based on their prior experience, he told Council he has 3 years experience in running this kind of business in other locations and shares Council's concerns about unnecessary noise and safety considerations. "I know how to operate a safe and beneficial location. I understand that my proposal is on the unorthodox side and that my business is not a traditional business model but I also think I have something that will bring visitors to the village."

Purssglove had submitted a 5-page in-depth proposal along with his application to appear at Council. His proposal included two different scenarios.

Scenario A: This scenario includes two primary activities: The first is hourly Personal Watercraft rentals that clients would use off shore in Lake Erie. The second is one, and possibly two, water trampolines that I would like to operate "near shore" but well beyond the swimming area.

Scenario B: This scenario includes operating two water trampolines only and no Personal Watercraft rentals. The water trampolines themselves are made of a tough rubber like material that are very brightly coloured and will be visible from quite a distance. The trampoline would be anchored off shore in 10 feet of water and far from swimmers. As a bonus, the appearance of the water trampolines and the attention that they draw should create excitement and curiosity towards future redevelopment of the area as well; kind of advertising for the things to come.

On this night Purssglove was looking for an agreement in principle from Council, but he did not quite get it. While Council was willing to look at the water trampoline concept, they were far less enamoured of the jet ski rental concept, stating concern for the safety of swimmers as a primary objection. "We are not amenable to motorized craft in the beach areas as it is not a good mix with swimmers," Councillor McNeil told him.

Deputy Mayor Marr also thought Council "probably will have an issue with seadoos operating off Little Beach." Councillor Martyn said that "trampolines might fit but motorized craft will not."

"Your submission is timely as we are still working on a policy that has yet to come before Council for approval and implementation," stated McNeil. "This year is a pilot project policy and full Council will have to approve each activity in the pilot project."

Purssglove wants to be included in the boat launch plan (public boat ramp) and McNeil said staff will send him a finalized version of the policies and procedures for businesses in the beach areas of Port Stanley once they have been passed by Council.

Correspondence (Action)

1. Land Division Committee:
Correspondence received from the County of Elgin respecting Land Division Committee - Future Decisions.

Now that the Official Plan has been approved and a few months of operation has occurred, under the new system of approvals, Elgin County Council was interested to know if the lower tier municipalities wanted to continue with the status quo and leave Land Division at the county level, or each have their own Land Division Committee. All of the other municipalities had already responded in favour of leaving the status quo. Marr and Martyn agreed with the county staff recommendations to keep the land division at the county level and Council voted to do just that, making it unanimous from all 5 member municipalities.

2. 2014 Belmont Canada Day:
Special Event Permit Application for 2014 Belmont Canada Day. Council approved the permit and passed a resolution to reimburse the group for the cost of the insurance premium.

Correspondence (for Council's Information)

  • Received collectively as information.
  • 1. Pestill Construction Inc. - Approval Official Plan Amendment: Correspondence received from Steve Evans, Manager of Planning, County of Elgin, advising of approval of Official Plan Amendment No. 1 - Pestill Construction Inc., 139 William Street
  • 2. Robin Ridge Estates Ltd. - Plan of Condominium Approval: Correspondence received from Steve Evans, Manager of Planning, County of Elgin, advising of draft plan of condominium approval respecting 34-CD-13001, Robin Ridge Estates Ltd.
  • 3. Prespa Construction Ltd. - Plan of Condominium Approval: Correspondence received from Steve Evans, Manager of Planning, County of Elgin, advising of draft plan of condominium approval respecting 34-CD-13002, Prespa Construction Ltd.
  • 4. Land Division Committee - Decisions: Copy of Decisions from Land Division Committee respecting applications E5/14 Gotzmeister Farms Limited (Granted), E10/14 Walter Hayhoe (Granted), and E11/14 A.F. Kosynski Farms Ltd. (Granted)
  • 5. Long Term Energy Plan: Copy of correspondence received from Township of Wainfleet and Town of Petrolia respecting Long Term Energy Plan. (Opposition to any energy rate increases)
  • 6. Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care - St. Thomas - Smoking Outside: Copy of correspondence sent to Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President & CEO, St. Joseph's Health Care London from Jeff Yurek, MPP, respecting smoking outside of the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care - St. Thomas. The hospital is legally allowed to provide a designated smoking area on hospital property (rather than the edge of the road which puts smokers and motorists at risk), but Mayor Walters said in his meeting with them the hospital was not at all inclined to co-operate.
  • 7. Heritage Conservation District: Copy of minutes from Heritage Conservation District Steering Committee meetings dated October 23 and December 11, 2013 and January 29 and February 12, 2014.
  • 8. City of London - Official Plan Amendment: Notice of Adoption of an Official Plan Amendment by the City of London.
  • 9. Local Energy Planning: Correspondence received from Ministry of Energy respecting Local Energy Planning. Councillor Matthews wanted to know if there were any applications on the table or coming to locate windmills in Central Elgin. He was told there was not. This letter says new projects of this type will have to demonstrate community engagement and support for the project in order to get approval. Mayor Walters wants Central Elgin Council to decide now if the municipality is willing to host windmills, rather than just wait until someone applies to do it. There was nothing in Mayor Walters suggestion to imply the affected public would be given any say at all in Council's decision on the matter. Signs in opposition to windmills can be seen all over West Elgin and other area communities.
  • 10. User Fee Committee - Minutes: Copy of minutes from User Fee Committee meetings dated October 9, October 22 and November 14, 2013 and January 30 and April 16, 2014. "Committee agreed that it is not Council's position to determine what organizations and charities rate payers contribute to, and that the Committee must look at base cost, or actual cost, of renting halls to non-profits to cover utilities."


CAO 15-14: Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Steering Committee: Future Plans
At the March 19th, 2014 meeting of the Heritage Conservation District Steering Committee, it was decided that the Committee does not recommend that the Draft Heritage Conservation District Proposal be brought forward to Council at this time.

The Committee wishes to make it known that they will not move forward without greater consensus from those within the proposed District. The Committee recognizes that there are still many changes to be made, and as such the Committee will remain active and continue to meet to make these changes.

All of the public feedback received in relation to the proposed Heritage Conservation District was attached to this report, except for Jim McCoomb's analysis of the petition received regarding where the people lived who had signed the petition. Council received this report as information.

CAO 16-14: Elgin Election Joint Compliance Audit Committee & Terms of Reference: 2014 Municipal Election
Council received this report as information and agreed that any expenses incurred for the purposes of a compliance audit be expended from the Election Reserve.

CAO 17-14: Compliance Audit Committee Appointments: 2014 Municipal Election
The following is a list of those four (4) individuals who have agreed to serve on the Elgin Election Joint Compliance Audit Committee for the 2014 Municipal Election:

• Dr. Tim Cobban - is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Political Science at The University of Western Ontario. He has a PhD in Political Science and teaches in the Master of Public Administration program. He is very familiar with the Municipal Elections process.

• Patricia Miller - is a Barrister & Solicitor. Her legal training and experience includes many aspects of municipal law. She has knowledge and experience with provincial and municipal elections.

• Christene Scrimgeour - is a Chartered Accountant and is familiar with the Municipal Act and the Municipal Elections Act. She is an auditor for a number of municipalities.

• Andrew Wrights - is a lawyer at Siskinds LLP, in London. He specializes in Municipal Law and is familiar with the legislative requirements as they pertain to Municipal Elections.

Staff would respectfully request Council to approve the appointment of the above noted individuals by by-law as we believe they hold the experience and knowledge required to serve on the Joint Committee, with expertise in finance, legal and municipal legislative requirements.

Council received the report as information and later passed By-laws 1719 & 1720 to implement it.

CAO 18-14: Proposed Surplus Lands: Unopened Part of Lois Avenue Road Allowance
Council passed a resolution declaring the unopened part of Lois Avenue north of Lawton Street to be surplus and authorized the CAO is to give public notice of the sale of the said properties as required by the Municipality's Sale and Other Disposition of Land Policy; and to arrange for an appraisal of the said road allowance. The land is large enough to be a building lot and Council decided to wait for the appraisal to decide how it will be sold (tender or real estate agent). There are already at least four interested buyers. Deputy Mayor Marr said it was important that anybody and everybody interested in buying the property be offered the chance to buy it.

PW 24-14: Tender Award, Contract CE-015-14, Centerline Painting:
Council awarded contract CE-015-14, Centre Line Painting to K.D.N. Pavement Marking Ltd., Rockwood, Ontario for the tendered unit price of $4.70 per litre for 2014, and to exercise a three year contract price of $4.70 per litre for the next three consecutive years.

DFS 08-14: Capping and Claw-back:
Council supported the proposal to adjust the Current Value Assessment (CVA) threshold for clawed-back (decreasing) properties to $250 from the previous threshold of zero.

When CVA assessment was introduced in 199B, the goal was to have fair taxation in which properties of equal value would pay equal taxes, This new system created an outcry amongst property owners that had previously enjoyed relatively lower taxes in comparison to their neighbours, Despite the fact that this new system was ultimately fairer than the prior system, the significant increase in taxes for some properties caused by the transition was a concern, As a result, the province introduced a capping/claw-back program to soften the blow, Under the capping program, properties that previously were paying taxes lower than their CVA taxes had their tax increases capped to a manageable increase, Since the capping/claw-back program Is revenue neutral, those properties that had been paying taxes below their CVA tax level bear the cost of the capping program through claw-backs. These properties are enjoying reductions in their taxes, but not to the full extent due to this claw-back feature of the program. Fifteen years later, the program is still causing significant workload issues for the local treasurers every year.

The province introduced some optional mechanisms into the program to help reduce the workload. The county has implemented the optional tools that exclude properties from the program if they crossed over from capped to clawed back, or vice versa. In addition, once a property is at CVA tax, they will stay at CVA tax. The county also selected the option that would exclude properties from the capping program if the amount of the cap were below $250. One further option remains, which the county has yet to implement, exclude properties from the program if their claw-back is below $250.

Selecting the $250 threshold for increasing (capped) properties had two advantages: it reduced the number of properties in the program; and, it reduced the amount of money that had to be clawed back from decreasing properties. By not selecting a $250 threshold for decreasing (claw-back) properties, the cost of the capped program was spread out over more clawed-back properties, thereby allowing the properties in a claw-back position to retain a greater portion of the difference between their prior taxes and the CVA-based calculated taxes. Consequently, there were a larger number of properties experiencing claw-backs in 2013, than would have been if the $250 decreasing threshold were in place.

The estimated impact to Central Elgin ratepayers, based on 2013 capping data, would be to reduce the number of properties within the commercial capping program from 97 to 17 resulting in an additional $2,595.25 being borne by those 17 ratepayers, and the number of properties within the industrial capping program will not be affected and will remain at 3. The net overall change to Central Elgin is an additional $2,595.25 being levied against Central Elgin ratepayers; however, it will reduce the number of properties participating in the capping program by 80.

FS 02-14: Monthly Alarm Activities Report: Received as information without comment by any member of Council.

FS 03-14: DSPA (Dry Sprinkler Powder Aerosol) Extinguisher:
In 2011, the writer was contacted by AFG Flame Guard Ltd. to attend a demonstration In Hamilton, ON at the fire training grounds for the Hamilton Fire Department.

During the demonstration, when the DSPA was deployed Into a fully Involved room fire with temperatures exceeding 1000·F, the temperature dropped to 4S0"F within 1 minute, leaving only overhaul or deep seated charring to extinguish.

Using DSPA Technology, the DSPA-S is an effective Dry Sprinkler Aerosol Tool, utilizing an environmentally safe aerosol that when deployed, has the appearance of white smoke. The DSPA-S is a flame knockdown tool meant to supplement, not replace, conventional firefighting tools and tactics. Under no circumstances should DSPA-S's be relied upon as a sole means of suppression. All fires must be properly fought and overhauled with conventional methods, following the use of a DSPA-S.

In late Fall 2013, a DSPA was deployed at a house fire In Port Stanley, knocking down the fire with only minimal overhaul and only 30 gallons of water used at the scene.

More recently, Thames Centre Fire Department deployed a DSPA into a fully involved kitchen fire and again only minimal water used.

The benefits to the use of this piece of equipment is that it reduces the heat for the firefighters, results in less fire loss, as well as less water usage.

The approximate cost of this unit is $1,200.00 and it is our intention to invoice the insurance carrier for the replacement cost of this equipment if used, with no cost to the municipality.

Central Elgin Fire Rescue currently has 12 DSPA's which were initially donated as part of a marketing incentive; however, this incentive is no longer available.

Crocker said both the people who had the fire and the insurance companies were delighted with how this tool reduced water damage normally associated with extinguishing a fire. Council received this report as information.

FS 04-14: Municipal Property Address Signs:
Some properties within our built-up areas cannot be identified from the road or street. The area that is particularly challenging is in the Community of Port Stanley. This area has many properties where the homes have been tiered, one behind the other, making it impossible to see the house numbers from the street.

It is not our intention to change any of the property numbers, but merely to install the property numbers at the street. By doing so, it will greatly enhance the response time by the emergency services to these properties and further make it more convenient for the ratepayers to receive deliveries to the correct property.

The writer is estimating that less than 100 properties will be affected by this amendment. There will be no direct cost to the ratepayers for installing these signs at the street, as this project will be funded from the "911" sign account. Council received this report as information

Site Plan Control Committee: 207-209 Main Street: Email correspondence received from Mike Goodwin, 207-209 Main Street, respecting Site Plan Application
Council approved the Site Plan, noting Goodwin had met with the Heritage Committee who had wanted him to set back the development an extra 5 feet from the road, but that he could not do that and maintain the parking at the rear of the building.


  • By-law 1687: Roberts Line Drain (THIRD READING) - taken and passed separately
  • Taken and passed collectively:
  • By-law 1716: Being a By-law to Repeal By-law 1694 - Agreement with Belmont Lions & Lioness Clubs for Use of Hall at Belmont Arena (rental fee plus applicable taxes)
  • By-law 1717: Being a By-law to Repeal By-law 1695 - Agreement with Over 55 Club for Use of Hall at Port Stanley Arena (rental fee plus applicable taxes)
  • By-law 1718: Confirmatory By-law
  • By-law 1719: Being a By-law to Establish Election Joint Compliance Audit Committee for 2014 Municipal Election
  • By-law 1720: Being a By-law to Appoint Members to the Elgin Election Joint Compliance Audit Committee for 2014 Municipal Election
  • By-law 1721: Being a By-law to Execute an Agreement with Hawkes Cliff Farms - 2014 Fine Grass Cutting
  • By-law 1722: Port Stanley Business Improvement Area - 2014 Budget

New Business:

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
3. Sewage Servicing: 123 Centennial Avenue

Closed Session

  • CS1: Closed Session Minutes
  • CS2: A Proposed or Pending Acquisition or Disposition of Land (s.239(2)(c)) - Land Purchase Rates
  • CS3: Security of Property (s.239(2)(a)) - Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care - St. Thomas and Regional Mental Health Care - St. Thomas and Elgin County OPP Detachment - (verbal report)
  • CS4: Security of Property (s.239(2)(a)) - Port Stanley Harbour

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