Continued Essex Council Notes for May 1

Filed under: Headline,IN THE NEWS |

by Sylene Argent

Events with significant status

Essex Council approved the 25th Walleye Derby to take place on June 10, the Essex Fun Fest to take place from July 6-9, and the McGregor Mug Run to take place on September 23 for Significant Event Status for the purpose of applying for their Special Event Permits.

 

Community Services program receives grants

Council received the report “Program Updates–Recreation and Culture.”

The report highlights many grants the Department of Community Services has received recently and outlines their successes to date.

HIGH FIVE® Accreditation verifies the quality standards organizations are achieving. Essex is the only municipality in Windsor and Essex County that has achieved HIGH FIVE® Accreditation, the report states.

As far as programs, Essex recently received a $10,725.75 Canadian Tire Jumpstart Community Development Program grant to cover costs of purchasing equipment to accommodate the growing gymnastics program. The program started this past fall with great success, the report notes, adding it had 121 registered youths over the past three sessions in the current three level program.

The Town of Essex successfully applied for a Seniors Community Grant Program through the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration, and International Trade for its ZEALL (Zoomers Essex Active Lunch and Learn) program, receiving $7,964.00.

This series of lunch and learns offered seniors an opportunity to socialize and receive various educational sessions. It also offered a physical activity component.

The report notes this program was made possible through several partnerships, including with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Essex Fire and Rescue, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Essex County Library. The grant has also provided funding for fitness passes for the participants to use throughout the year to try Town of Essex fitness programs.

To support the Healthy Kids Community Challenge events, the Town of Essex was part of an intervention campaign to support the theme “Water Does Wonders” submitted by the Southwest Area Recreation Guild (SWARG) and Windsor-Essex In Motion. With the funding provided, $2500, Essex was able to offer two free skates and three free swims between October, 2016 and March 2017 to over 400 participants. Additionally, $500.00 in credits have been distributed for children’s recreation programs offered through Recreation and Culture.

Lastly, April Pools Day, an event hosted in Town through the Lifesaving Society that promotes water safety,  acted as a fundraiser. The report noted around one hundred individuals participated in the activities. $240.00 was raised for Ontario Drowning Prevention that support a number of Public Education campaigns, including the Swim to Survive program offered at the Essex Recreation Complex.

 

Supply and Application of Maintenance Stone 2017

Essex Council received Infrastructure & Development’s report “Results of Request for Tender-Supply and Application of Maintenance Stone 2017, and further awarded this Request for Tender to Southwestern Sales Corporation Limited in the amount not more than $150,000.00, including applicable taxes.

The report notes as part of the maintenance program, the Town has to seek a qualified contractor for the supply and application of 100 percent crushed dolomite stone. In addition, the material shall meet the requirements of the Ontario Provincial Standard Specification (OPSS) 1010, material specifications for Granular “A”0-3/4” material, and shall have a minimum bulk relative density of 2.7.

 

County farm lot Study

Council received Policy Planner Jeff Watson’s report “County of Essex Agricultural Lot Size Study,” and gave the Clerk direction to convey Council’s response regarding the recommendations of the Agricultural Farm Lot Study highlighted in the Jones Consulting Group and AgPlan Limited report for the County of Essex.

Watson noted over the past around decade there has been an issue regarding farm lot sizes. The County Official Plan notes all policies regarding farm lot sizes and farm lot severances be frozen until the County changes its policy, and it is trying to establish what that policy should be.

The consultants made a recommendation to County Council recently, Watson said, that farm lot sizes be as existing and if a farmer wanted to split lands, there would need to be a minimum of 200 acres that could be split into two 100 acre lots. Further, anything less than that, it could go to the Committee of Adjustment for consideration. The County deferred it, he added, to hear from municipalities.

Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche said Essex Council had a discussion on this topic at a recent Council meeting and the consensus he heard was that Council wanted to see smaller lot sizes, 100 acres at minimum to be split into two 50 acre parcels if a farmer wishes. He thought it would be appropriate if Council still agreed on this means to send that message to the County.

After discussion, Meloche put the motion forward that Essex is recommending to the County to allow for splits on parcels of land that are 100 acres or more into 50 acre lots with special allocations when there is a good case for viability for a farm that is smaller than 50 acres. Motion carried.

 

 Lease renewal for McGregor health office

Council approved the renewal agreement with the Harrow Health Centre to lease and operate the medical offices at the McGregor Community Centre for an additional five years. This will commence on June 1.

The related bylaw also received a first and second reading. The third reading and adoption will take place at a subsequent Council meeting.

The report notes the Harrow Health Centre Board has agreed to pay an annual rental fee of $1,896.93, plus applicable HST with an annual start date of the first of April. The rental fee will cover its portion of facility utilities as well as building maintenance.

The report notes that a lease was drafted and the bylaw approving the lease was passed at the January 13, 2014 Council meeting. The lease was for one dollar per month from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

At the January 19, 2015 Council meeting, a bylaw for the renewal of the lease with the Harrow Health Centre to operate the medical offices located at the McGregor Community Centre for an additional 15 months ending on March 31, 2016 was approved.

The report states that starting in 2016, Amherstburg has committed to help offset operating costs of the McGregor Community Centre that services residents of Essex and Amherstburg with an annual contribution.