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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  News Regular Meeting Of Council On Monday, June 10th, 2019

News

by Doug Harvey
Regular Meeting Of Council On Monday, June 10th, 2019
Image shows injury from Letter from Sandi Hammond

The Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin

Regular Meeting Of Council On Monday, June 10th, 2019

Roll Call - Fiona Roberts was absent.

Addendum

Moved by Councillor Fehr and seconded by Councillor Row that Council approve the following Addendum to the Agenda for the Regular Meeting of Monday, June 10th, 2019 being Closed Session Item 2 - Litigation or Potential Litigation of private property - 2767 Old Dexter Line. Carried.

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof - Nothing disclosed.

Adoption of Minutes - No minutes to adopt.

Delegations

1. Lions Landing Marina & Central Elgin Property Leasing in Port Stanley
Shawn Buchanan was in attendance to discuss the Lions Landing Marina Park and Central Elgin property leasing in Port Stanley.

Shawn Buchanan Comments

There are currently unfair, uneven, and uncompetitive Municipal leasing practices in Port Stanley. There are conflicts of interest with the Lions Landing property. The property has been undervalued by Central Elgin for the Port Stanley Lions Club. The property has been mistreated and has been underperforming.

Lions Landing is on the west bank of Kettle Creek and has 31 docks for 62 boats. The Municipality also owns the Colborne St. road allowance on the east bank that has 19 docks for 38 boats. Both seasonal docks are operated by commercial marina operators and have water and hydro at the docks. But only Lions Landing has extra dockside space and extra parking. The two properties are treated entirely different by Central Elgin and are located directed across from each other.

Central Elgin dock rates can influence 41% of the public marina market place. It's a very limited and there is only 245 public docks. But only one of these dockage areas gets preferential treatment in pricing.

Lions Club gets 61% lower per dock lease rates without having to complete for them. Lions could be earning higher income due to extra dockside space and extra parking but choose to keep dock rates low. They get $430 as a lease rate while the competition charges $1,100 as of 2011.

Central Elgin is now applying their RFP policy on current leases. 138 William St. applied for a three year lease but was reduced to a one year lease because of a complaint and is only paying $5,703 annually including HST whereas 415 William St., the Sandwitch is bring in $13,662 plus taxes because it went through the RFP process. That's actually more than the Lions paid this year on their lease.

Central Elgin violated it's own RFP process for Lions Landing to do the lease. They had the option of a new lease in 2016 that was not offered by a competitive RFP proposal. The Lions Landing has not been offered up for requests for proposals since 1996, that's 23 years, 2 leases, 2 leases renewals, and a new lease without any competition. A new lease was drafted between the Port Stanley Lions Club, Council, and Central Elgin's CAO without any notice to the public or any other marina operators. A new 20 year lease was presented and passed on October 9th, 2019, thirteen days before the 2018 Municipal Election, but 3 years before the lease was to expire.

Central Elgin has a conflict of interest with Lions Landing taxes. Lions are paying residential tax rates of 1.155% instead of commercial rates of 3.75%. As both the property owner and tax collector Central Elgin has full rights to appeal this, but have conflicting interests of paying higher taxes. Lions Landing unfair lower tax rate means more dollars. Central Elgin has shown favouritism with Lions Landing lease terms.

2. Lions Landing Marina
Fiona Nisbet, Kettle Creek Marina, was in attendance to discuss Lions Landing Marina.

Letter from Fiona Nisbet, Kettle Creek Marina

Thank you Mayor and Councillors for the opportunity of speaking to you this evening. I am Fiona Nisbet, co-owner of Kettle Creek Marina, Col. Bostwick St. Port Stanley.

I was contacted by CE staff earlier this spring regarding our rates and facilities versus the Lions Landing lease, services and rates of which it now appears that Council is reviewing.

So I am here tonight to give you some of my thoughts as a local marina owner/operator who has been in business for over 30 years in Port Stanley.

Everyone here cares about the community of Port Stanley, part of growing Central Elgin.

Tourism, harbour beautification and the new housing developments are keystones of our now bustling village.

Those 3 aspects overlap and create some concerns about the Lions Landing Marina operations.

Key Points:

  • Central Elgin is experiencing significant growth in both full time residents and day tourists.
  • Our community is highly valued for it's attractiveness based in part on continual improvements in the harbour, residential and business areas.
  • Dockage is in very short supply on Lake Erie.
  • Private marinas are facing significant annual increases in basic services such as water and electricity as well as commercial property taxes.
  • Lions Landing rates are significantly below the local market rate which makes it more challenging for private marinas to increase rates to cover increased expenses.
  • The encroachment of public parkland by Lions Landing boaters.

The Lions Club does great things in the community.

I remember when they started the "Lions Landing Marina" Good Idea! We need more boat slips in Port and the Lions members can do many of the marina jobs at no cost so that more revenue can directed to their charitable activities.

But the public perception now:

  • Is that this is a marina on public parkland run to provide low cost dockage benefitting Lions Club members and friends.
  • As a non-profit organization they are severely limiting the potential for raising significant funds for their charitable projects by maintaining low rates despite a shortage of dockage in the area.
  • Lions Landing rates are below the local average by as much as One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) per slip. The main difference between our two properties is that we have a washroom and shower building, and Lions Landing has Johnny on the spots.
  • As I understand it, the Lions Landing total lease cost is less than my property taxes for more than double the number of boat slips.

Allocation of docks: Perhaps a Lottery system awarding dockage on a 2 year contract open to new residents throughout Central Elgin would resolve the perception of dockage for buddies only.

Would Lions Landing be able to operate as a private marina at the existing low rates without some Central Elgin soft support or subsidies. For example who pays (MNR water lot fees, year round sewage and water costs, year round electricity costs, the BIA Levy, and commercial property taxes, liability insurance, grass cutting, and road maintenance?)

We welcome vigorous competition but do not believe that our significant commercial property taxes should be subsidizing our competitors who in turn undercut us.

Increased Rates:

I believe the base market rate of a boat slip in Port Stanley should be at least $1,500 plus HST to avoid undercutting of local private marina businesses.

Increased rates would allow for more improvements and beautification of the highly visible river frontage site for visitors and residents that travel along Colborne St. Just as Central Elgin is striving to improve the resident and tourist experience so too must tourist businesses, such as marinas in order for our community to thrive. Marinas add to the quality of local life for both active users, boaters, and passive onlookers (scenic).

Increased rates would allow for public washrooms, handicap accessible to be provided, a 21st century environmental must.

As all marinas are located on floodplain options for better public washrooms could include a good quality landscaped on-site washroom trailer for the summer months or building to code (above the hundred year flood plain, summer use only) a raised or elevated building could be constructed.

As a result most importantly for the Lions Club increased rates would allow more money to be raised for their charitable activities. This seems now to have become a forgotten goal.

Claiming of Public Parkland by boaters:

  • At our private marina boaters rent the boat slip.
  • Picnic tables and grills are communal.
  • Private belongings must be stored inside the boat at the end of each visit.
  • Lions Landing boaters seem to be encroaching on public parkland, claiming it as their own private space for 5 months a year.
  • Are permanent tents allowed on Main Beach or Hofhuis Park?
  • Can the public truly feel comfortable walking through a supposed public park alongside dozens of private tents and gazebos stacked with assorted personal belongings? Not to mention the liability of unsecured property during high winds.
  • Boats docked along the river are very attractive: an assorted tent village, not so much.

My intention speaking this evening is to encourage the Municipality and the Lions Landing Marina to be aware of missed opportunities for improvement and to insure that all marinas in Central Elgin are operating on a level playing field.

Thank you.

Correspondence (Action)

1. 2019 Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application & Business Licence Application - Mr. Cool Ice Cream

A Motion moved by Councillor Fehr and seconded by Deputy Mayor Marks that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin approve the Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application and Business Licence Application received from Josh Self, Mr. Cool Ice Cream subject to the following recommended conditions:

  • That the applicant comply with the Outdoor Seasonal Permit Vendor Policy as adopted by Council;
  • The applicant provide Liability Insurance acceptable to the Municipality in the amount of $5,000,000 naming the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin as co-insured and held harmless;
  • And that the applicant provide payment of applicable fees;
  • And further That Council Authorize staff to approve the location for said permit for 2019.

The Motion was Carried.

2. 2019 Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application & Business Licence Application for All Fired Up.
A Motion moved by Deputy Mayor Marks and seconded by Councillor Crevits that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin approve the Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application and Business Licence Application received from Elizabeth Dimos, All Fired Up subject to the following recommended conditions:

  • That the applicant comply with the Outdoor Seasonal Permit Vendor Policy as adopted by Council;
  • The applicant provide Liability Insurance acceptable to the Municipality in the amount of $5,000,000 naming the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin as co-insured and held harmless;
  • And that the applicant provide payment of applicable fees;
  • And further that Council Authorize staff to approve the location for said permit for 2019.

The Motion was Carried.

3. 2019 Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application & Business Licence Application for Booch Organic Kombucha
A Motion moved by Councillor Fehr and seconded by Councillor Crevits that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin approve the Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application and Business Licence Application received from Shannon Kamins, Booch Organic Kombucha subject to the following recommended conditions:

  • That the applicant comply with the Outdoor Seasonal Permit Vendor Policy as adopted by Council;
  • The applicant provide Liability Insurance acceptable to the Municipality in the amount of $5,000,000 naming the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin as co-insured and held harmless;
  • And that the applicant provide payment of applicable fees;
  • And further that Council Authorize staff to approve the location for said permit for 2019.

The Motion was Carried.

4. Unsafe Conditions on Erie Street
Correspondence received from Sandi Hammond and Jenna & Brent Kelders, respecting unsafe conditions on Erie Street. Erie Street Concerns of Road Conditions

Letter from Sandi Hammond

I live at 338 Erie street where it meets Sydenham in Port Stanley. Erie street continues up the hill to a dead end. At the end of Erie are 3 homes that use Erie street to walk or drive down. Also the walkway from the top of the hill has many residents of Front street using the roadway to come down to the beach area.

The street has been in very poor condition for many years with gravel and stones rolling down the hill, especially after a rain. Temporary patches have been used to try and fill the holes. These last few weeks Hydro One trucks have been installing new poles and large trucks and equipment have destroyed any repairs that have been previously made.

Today as I walked over to my neighbours home I slipped on some stones landing on my knee which was torn apart from the stones on the road.

Enough is enough! Central Elgin has been promising for the last 5 years that when the new sewer lines are installed that both Erie and Sydenham will have new paving done. First we were told it would be done in 2017 then with budget changes it would be pushed to 2019. Well it is 2019 no sewer or new paving have been done.

There have been many others that have slipped with the unsafe conditions on this road, especially with the gravel washed down the hill. We now have two small children on the hill and must walk down every day.

We need to have something done as soon as possible and not just another patch job. The street needs to be paved all the way up to the end of the street to stop the erosion of stones before someone gets hurt really bad. This is a liability issue for the municipality that should be rectified quickly.

I have attached a picture of the stones that have come down after the rain along with a picture of my knee.

Sandi Hammond

Letter from Jenna Kelders

This letter is to reinforce the previous letter sent by Sandi Hammond and the nearby residents of the corner of Erie St. and Sydenham St.

I live at 348 Erie St. for the past four years. It is located on the corner of Erie St. and Sydenham St., up the dead end hill and up the city stairs. On many occasions, we have slipped down this hill. It is very dangerous and a number of residents and visitors use the stairs and this hill to access the rest of Port Stanley.

More recently, when I was pregnant with my son in 2016, I fell walking down the hill. This past February, my mother fell on the hill and broke her wrist. She was unable to work for several weeks. I now have two small children and we often slip going to and from our house.

This issue needs to be addressed so that no one else is injured and my family and I are safe when accessing our house.

Thank you for taking the time to read our letters of concern,

Jenna and Brent Kelders

A Motion moved by Councillor Row and seconded by Councillor Fehr that correspondence received from Sandi Hammond, Jenna and Brent Kelders dated June 3rd, 2019 respecting unsafe conditions on Erie Street be received as information; And that staff be requested to prepare a report on the condition of Erie Street. The motion was carried.

Correspondence (for Council's Information)

A Motion moved by Deputy Mayor Marks and seconded by Councillor Crevits that Correspondence for Council's Information Items #1 - #9 be received as information and filed. The motion was carried.

1. Correspondence received from Stasia Barnas, Forest City Kennel Club, thanking staff for assistance to help with their successful event at the Belmont Arena.

2. Bill 108
Copy of submission made by Watson & Associates Economists to the Province respecting Bill 108.

3. Heritage Central Elgin
Copy of minutes from Heritage Central Elgin meeting dated May 22, 2019.

4. Provincial Debt
Correspondence received from The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario respecting Ontario's financial debt.

5. Bill 108
Correspondence received from the City of Markham, the City of Guelph, the City of Toronto, the Town of Arnprior, Halton Region and the Town of Orangeville respecting Bill 108.

6. Increased Speed Limits on 400 Series Highways
Correspondence received from the Elgin Group Police Services Board respecting "Increased Speed Limits on 400 Series Highways"

7. Port Stanley Community Policing Committee
Copy of minutes from the Port Stanley Community Policing Committee meeting dated April 9, 2019.

8. Jacklin Farm Subdivision - Phase 3
Notice of Final Approval from the County of Elgin respecting Jacklin Farm Subdivision 34CD-CE1401 - Phase 3.

9. Blue Flag Committee
Copy of minutes from the Blue Flag Committee meeting dated May 7, 2019.

Reports

Chief Administrative Officer

Director of Physical Services

Director of Financial Services/Treasurer

1. DFS 11-19 Request for Tenders CE-004-19 Old Lynhurst Road Improvements - Phase 2

A Motion moved by Deputy Mayor Marks and seconded by Councillor Fehr that the Council of the Corporation of The Municipality of Central Elgin recommends the award of Tender CE-004-19 PV-EX Construction Ltd. at a total tendered price of $1,585,444 exclusive of taxes, as follows;
Total Tender Price Exclusive of HST $1,585,444, Total Tender Price Inclusive of HST $1,791,551, Total Tender Price Net of Rebateable HST (Our Cost) $1,613,347.
And further that the Council of the Corporation of The Municipality of Central Elgin authorizes the Mayor and CAO/Clerk to sign the contractual agreement with PV-EX Construction Ltd. as provided in tender package CE-004-19 as per Report DFS 11-19. The motion was carried.

2. DFS 12-19 Amending Schedule B of By-law 2359

Background - At the April 23rd, 2019 meeting, Council was delivered By-Law 2359 for adoption of the 2019 tax rates and ratios. The By-Law was passed at that meeting with two schedules attached. Schedule A indicated a summary of expenditures and sources of financing. Schedule B indicated our tax rates using specific tax ratios.

Information has been supplied to the Municipality that modifications have been made to the tax ratios for both Managed Forests and Multi-Residential tax classes.

A Motion moved by Councillor Fehr and seconded by Councillor Cook that Report DFS 12-19 Amending Schedule B of By-law 2359 be received as information. The motion was carried.

Director of Fire Rescue Services/Fire Chief

By-laws

Motions were carried passing By-laws 2375, 2376, 2377, and 2378 collectively.

Motions were carried passing By-law 2371 separately.

1. By-law 2371 - Being a By-law to Amend By-law 2263 (Fire Route deferred from May 27/19) The motion was carried.

2. By-law 2375 - Assume Certain Lands as Part of the Public Highway - portion of George Street

3. By-law 2376 - Confirmatory By-law

4. By-law 2377 - Being a By-law to Establish a Pay Schedule for Employees covered by the Job Evaluation Scale

5. By-law 2378 - Being a By-law to Amend By-law 2359

Public Notice

Resolutions

New Business

Mayor Martyn commented that we are again a Blue Flag Beach and that the flag will be raised at 11:00 A.M. on Friday June 14, 2019.

Lloyd Perrin commented that the first week of Municipal Garbage Collection went extremely well with very few complaints. He also made it clear that all garbage and recyclables must be taken out to the curb by 7:00 A.M., there will be no second return route passes. Recyclable commodity prices have been going down recently and we will experience reduced income for our recyclables.

Lloyd Perrin commented that concerns with Lake Erie Water levels have been discussed with KCCA and that flooding could become a hazard to all Port Stanley shoreline property. With Lake Erie Water levels at .76 metres above average we could be impacted substantially from wind velocity and wind direction. The Municipality will have an open house in late June to advise the public. He also commented that sand dunes could be a possible solution to flooding that could occur if strong winds come from the southwest.

Lloyd Perrin commented that there is an Emergency Plan that the Director of Fire Rescue Services/Fire Chief could implement if required. Sand bags would not be effective and are not recommended for shoreline flooding. Building berms with heavy equipment would be the best course of action to stop shoreline flooding.

Mayor Martyn commented about a complaint received by a person who slipped at our boat launch because it was underwater. Is it still open? Lloyd Perrin replied that it is still open and that it will have a 10 inch wood platform added to the top of the boat launch walkway to raise it up out of the water as a temporary measure. All infrastructure that was built there including the boat launch and the revetment of Hofhuis Park was constructed at the 50 year high water level. Right now we are at record levels and have surpassed the 50 year high water level.

Closed Session Council went into Closed Session at 8.53 P.M.

1. CS1 Litigation or Potential Litigation (s.239(2)(d)) - Norton LPAT

Addendum - 2. CS2 - Litigation or Potential Litigation of private property - 2767 Old Dexter Line.

Adjournment


Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:05:05 PM EST

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