Essex Town Council Meeting notes – May 1

Filed under: As it happens,In Our Community |

by Sylene Argent
Local tow truck companies want help from Essex
Derek Didone of County Towing Inc. and Roger Beaulieu of Beau’s Auto Everything Approached Council aith two requests during a special meeting on Monday evening.
Didone said towing companies are counted on to clear roadways of casualties in a fast and efficient manner, but are not guaranteed compensation for the work done. He said this is the biggest challenge in that industry.
This problem, he said, sometimes happens if there is an accident and that individual does not have collision insurance. He added there was a recent circumstance where the vehicle did not have collision coverage, and he claimed the insurance company refuses to pay for the job his company did.
Councillor Larry Snively confirmed this would be for when the Town has property damage to recover.
He said what local tow companies would like to see is that in these circumstances, those invoices be submitted to the municipality and in tern, the municipality could bill the insurance company. He would not expect payment unless the Town did. He would like to see this on a trial basis to see if it would work.
Councillor Bill Caixeiro pointed out that this is happening across the province, but likes the idea of having administration look at a pilot project here and report back with success rates. He added that the town has to have its roads cleared after a collision to make roads usable. He said he is willing to look at the issue.
Didone said 16 percent of the police-related calls his company did last year went unpaid for, accounting for around $25,000.
Donna Hunter, Essex’s Director of Corporate Services, said she would need more information about this. She added there have been several instances where the Town’s property has been damaged and those claims have been submitted, but the Town did not receive the money back.
Council asked administration to come back with a report to see if it would be possible to use a test model to try to recover funds from insurance companies from the Town’s perspective.
Didone also hopes that when a vehicle is abandoned on Town property to have the invoice submitted to the Town and that be added to that individual’s property taxes.
Hunter noted the Town has no authority to charge that request as it can only do that for services the Town provides through he Municipal Act.

2017 Municipal property tax rates
Essex Council amended the bylaw for the 2017 operating and capital budget estimates.
Council also received the report submitted and approved the 2017 General Municipal Tax Rate to be increased by 3.11 percent (formerly an increase of 2.36 percent) to compensate for the reduction in the tax rate for school boards, with additional monies raised in the amount of $96,327 to be set aside for asset management.
The report states the actual school board rates had the effect of decreasing the overall tax increase on the average residential property to a1.69 percent for Wards 1 and 4 (previously 2.05 percent) and 1.38 percent for Wards 2 and 3 (previously 1.75 percent).
The report to Council notes the overall increase would remain unchanged at 2.05 percent for Wards 1 and 4 and 1.75 percent for Wards 2 and 3 and would have the effect of reducing the amount that needs to be raised through the introduction of a capital levy in 2018 by 35 percent.

June in Recreation Month
Essex Council approved June as Recreation and Parks Month. Council made this proclamation as the Town is fortunate to have a variety of recreation and park systems and recognizes that the benefits of recreation programs, services, and parks reduces healthcare and social service costs, the resolution highlights.

Lifesaving Society awards
Essex Council learned of the recent success the Community Services department achieved as an affiliate of the Lifesaving Society.
Annually, the Lifesaving Society-Ontario Branch awards recognizes affiliates based on the total number of certifications and awards that are delivered. Points are calculated throughout the year. Winners are appointed in categories based on population, total number of facilities, and further broken down by specific certification with awards distributed to the winners of each category, the report notes.
Essex earned first place in the Scarborough Cup, awarded to the municipal affiliate with the largest lifesaving/leadership program in a community with a population between 10,000 and 50,000. This is the eighth time the Town of Essex has won this award.
Essex also received second place for the R. Bredin Staples Cup, awarded to the municipal affiliate with the largest leadership training program per capita; seventh place in the Arnold H. Morphy Cup, awarded to the affiliate with a single facility with the largest lifesaving/leadership program; and sixth in the John E. McCutcheon Bowl, awarded to the single-facility affiliate with the largest first aid program.
The Town of Essex is a top 20 affiliate in Ontario based on the overall point system.
Essex Council notes for May 1 will be continued in the May 11 edition of EFP.