Essex Council Notes for Monday, March 5

Filed under: Headline,IN THE NEWS |

by Sylene Argent and Adam Gault

ERCA presentation

Council received the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s 2017 annual report, which ERCA’s General Manager Richard Wyma presented verbally. He highlighted projects undertaken by the organization in 2017, as well as provided an update of activities to come throughout 2018.

2017 was the final year of ERCA’s 5-year sustainability plan, which was designed to address ongoing issues and challenges that were of pressing concern for the organization. In addition, this document allowed ERCA to be more effectively positioned to respond to the next generation of conservation concerns.

Throughout 2017 as part of that plan, ERCA supported infrastructure improvements at Holiday Beach, Greenway resurfacing and repairs, and the completion of the Rotary 1918 Centennial Hub, which acts as a nexus for several of the connection Greenway trails across Essex County.

For 2018, ERCA looks to support additional climate change initiatives, including wetland projects, additional shoreline management for the Detroit River, and additional improvements to Holiday Beach and the John R Homestead.

“It’s a great investment for all of our residents,” Councillor Steve Bjorkman said. “You look at the dollars invested, versus dollars that return, it’s a great service for us. The work that you do on behalf of our entire region is terrific.”
ELK update: Harrow momentary power outages

Town CAO, Donna Hunter, provided a verbal report regarding updates to the issue of momentary power outages in the Harrow area, after speaking to ELK CEO Mike Audet.

In a report provided by Audet, it was noted that there had been 60 days since the last momentary power outage occurred.

ELK has received confirmation from Hydro One that a new recloser, a type of circuit breaker which can automatically restore power to a line after a momentary fault, has been ordered for installation.

It is expected to be installed this coming autumn.


Harrow OPP back-up generator server room connection

Essex Council received Community Services’ report, “Harrow Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Back-Up Generator Server Room Connection.” Council also approved forwarding $9,040, to have this emergency repair completed.

The funding will be allocated from 2017 Harrow OPP facility capital works projects savings that totalled $10,300.
In the report to Council, it notes the back-up generator at the Harrow OPP Detachment was moved to an outside location in 2017 as per a Technical Safety Standards Authority (TSSA) order. During an inspection, a number of violations were noticed.

A Request for Proposal for the removal of the system and providing upgrades came in at $75,896.85. Council approved this in the 2017 capital budget.

It was later discovered the computer server room at the Harrow OPP Detachment was not connected to the back-up generator nor was it ever connected to the generator when it was inside the facility. As this is crucial to the OPP operations should there be a long power-outage. The price was then obtained to have this work completed as soon as possible.


User Fee Bylaw sets fire extinguisher rate

Council approved an amendment to Bylaw 1331, which will set the addition of a Fire Extinguisher Training Fee in the flat amount of $150 for up to 20 participants, and a fee of $5 per person over those 20 participants.

This will be applied to users of the new fire extinguisher training system, which was funded in part through the fundraising efforts of the Harrow Rotary Club for Essex Fire & Rescue.

The training fee charged for the use of the system would be put into reserves towards future system replacement costs.
High Five Accreditation

Essex Council received Community Services’ report “HIGH FIVE® Accreditation Verification.”

The report advised Council of the Community Services Recreation and Culture Division’s fulfillment of the requirements necessary over a three-year period to maintain accredited status.

The HIGH FIVE® accreditation process, the report notes, involves five levels of achievement that an organization must work through to reach accreditation.

The accreditation process can take three to five years and involves training and development of staff, completion of program assessments, review of all policies and procedures, and internal and external awareness and promotion.
Organizations must sustain and maintain all Accreditation Standards for three years to maintain accredited status. The

Town of Essex had its second successful Accreditation Verification review on September 26, 2017.

Councillor Steve Bjorkman said he was involved with accreditation process this year. Staff members helped him to understand the program.

Bjorkman said Essex is the only community in the area that has this accreditation. The program, he said, teaches youth to not only play well, but to show good sportsmanship and learn the rules.

He commented Essex is fortunate to have staff dedicated to this program.

Later in the meeting, Council received correspondence from Bill Allen, President of Parks and Recreation Ontario, congratulating the Town of Essex upon the successful renewal of its Accredited Organization status with HIGH FIVE•.

“We commend your organization for the substantial effort made by staff to maintain the highest standard of quality in your programs for children aged 6 to 12. The Accreditation Verification Committee was impressed by the innovative programming and continuous improvement since the last verification,” Allen wrote in the letter to the Town.


Response to Essex’s letter to AMO on schools

Council received 11 letters of support to date from different municipalities regarding the resolution Essex sent to AMO. This resolution requested school properties be offered to municipalities for $1 when a school board decided to close schools. This resolution was sent to AMO, ROMA, and all other Ontario municipalities.


User pay childcare services at AMO conferences

Councillor Sherry Bondy put forth a Notice of Motion that requested Council contact the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), with a request that the organization offer user pay childcare services at AMO conferences during conference hours.

“If we want diversity on Council, and if we want women from the ages of 19-45 to be on our Council, and even young men, young fathers that have children that want to go out of town to conferences, we need to ensure that everyone has the same access to opportunities and experiences,” Bondy said. “If we want change, we have to challenge the barriers.”

Bondy added that if implemented, AMO having registered daycare would give Councillors with young children more options in attending conferences.

Councillor Steve Bjorkman also noted the importance of child care at conferences. He suggested that the letter be sent to additional municipalities as well to bring support to this endeavour.

The motion carried with the addition of writing to other municipalities for support, as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).


Notices of Motion to be considered at the March 19 meeting

Councillor Sherry Bondy put forward a Notice of Motion that administration look at setting up a business closure  prevention strategy. And if closure is unavoidable, conduct exit interviews of the business.

Councillor Randy Voakes put a Notice of Motion forward that would discuss the letter Essex sent to then Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins and his lack of response. He would also like to discuss emergency care.