Essex Council Notes for Tuesday, April 3

Filed under: IN THE NEWS |

by Sylene Argent and Adam Gault

RFT for trucks, winter equipment awarded

Essex Council received the report “Results of Request for Tender – Supply of Three Trucks 2018,” and further awarded Ken Knapp Ford with the order in the amount of $122,084.52.

Essex Council also received the report, “Results of Request for Tender – Supply of Winter Control Equipment for a Tandem Plow Truck 2018 and Supply of Tandem Plow Truck Cab and Chassis 2018.”
Council awarded the Request for Tender for the supply of winter control equipment for a tandem plow truck 2018 to Viking-Cives Ltd., in the amount of $107,214.33. The supply of a tandem plow truck cab and chassis 2018 was awarded to Team Truck Centres, in the amount of $143,989.38.


Harrow Lion’s Club and Hall closing

Council received a report regarding the status of the Harrow Lion’s Club and Hall on McAffee Street. As of July 31, the club will dissolve and its lease on the structure will be terminated. The building will then be turned over to the Town, to end the lease agreement that was made prior to the amalgamation of Essex.

Councillor Sherry Bondy thanked the Lions Club for its years of good work and hoped the building will be put to good use in the future. Councillor Larry Snively noted the Lion’s Club had held the annual fish derby, and wondered if there had been any interest at this time in another organization taking over the event so it can continue to draw visitors to Colchester Harbour.


Rezoning for 80 Maidstone Ave. W and 106 Talbot Rd. N

Essex Council received the report “Rezoning application 80 Maidstone Avenue West (Ward 1),” which recommended the preparation of a bylaw to provide for the rezoning to a special residential zoning category to permit semi-detached and townhome dwellings, in addition to the presently permitted single detached dwellings.

Council supported the by-law preparation, which could convert the zoning from R1.1 to R2.3 to permit single detached, semi-detached and townhome dwellings.

Essex Council received the report “106 Talbot Road North Rezoning,” which recommended the rezoning application of lands at 106 Talbot Road North.

Council also approve the rezoning of the land at 106 Talbot Road North and provisionally adopted

Bylaw 1691, to amend the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, Bylaw 1037.

Both properties were discussed at a public meeting on Monday, March 26.

Regarding the 80 Maidstone Avenue W property, the report to Council notes two letters and a petition were received from area residents prior to the meeting that highlighted concerns. 16 persons were in attendance at the meeting.

Concern highlighted at the meeting included that the proposed increase in density could negatively affect municipal services and increase traffic movements on Maidstone and Bell. Building height, rear yard building setback from the Bell properties, and the need for buffering were also concerns.

A letter from the Windsor Essex District School Board requested a traffic impact study made in light of the proximity of future access roads into the development and their alignment with the driveways to the Essex District High School and the additional traffic generated by the increased density.

Two residents spoke at the regular meeting, highlighting concerns with the issue, surrounding the buffer fence and backyard depth.

Regarding the 106 Talbot Street North property, the report to Council noted a rezoning application was made for the rezoning of that land. It is requested that a site-specific rezoning be granted for the 93 square metre (1000 square foot) workshop located to the rear of the property to permit automobile detailing services and specific light industrial uses, in addition to the presently permitted general commercial uses under the C2.2 zoning.


2018 Municipal Election Accessibility Plan

Council received the report “2018 Municipal Election Accessibility Plan.”

The document informed members of Council of the plans to ensure that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in the 2018 municipal election process. This would include ensuring all voting locations are accessible, persons with disabilities are able to independently cast their vote, and can fully participate as an elector, candidate, or election official.


Appointment to Fill Committee Vacancies

Council received a report providing a list of proposed candidates to fill the vacancy on the Committee of Adjustment and the Property Standards Committee. It also proposed methods by which Council may select a new committee member.

This report included a list of seven names of candidates who ran in 2014 and have expressed interest in running again this year.

The term is limited, ending in November 2018.

Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche suggested an individual from Ward 2 be considered, in the interest of fair representation, with Councillor Snively agreeing with that sentiment.

A replacement will be chosen at a later date.


Ontario’s main street revitalization program

Council received the report “Ontario’s Main Street Revitalization Initiative,” which provided information on that program through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario administers the program.

The Main Street Revitalization Initiative is a $26 million fund to help municipal governments undertake main street revitalization activities that support and benefit small businesses.

Through the program, the Town of Essex received $55,716.34, to be used for main street initiatives by March of 2020. Of that sum, Harrow and Essex Centres will receive $18,572.11, and McGregor and Colchester Centres will receive $9,286.06.


Updates on planning, building, and economic development offices/facilities

Council received a verbal report from CAO Hunter that provided updates on renovations to the Planning Building and the Economic Development offices/facilities.

This would include renovations to the Essex Town Hall, with Hunter explaining that the Town is in the process of having drawings made for the potential changes.

Councillor Larry Snively said it would be more efficient to have all municipal services in one building.
Councillor Sherry Bondy added that twice, Council has been given direction to go ahead with plans in Gesto, only to change back to renovating the Essex Municipal Building.

“I don’t really see how we can fit any more people in town hall,” Bondy said of the renovation plans.

“We need a new town hall, and the new term of council should take on that task pretty soon. I invite anybody to go through our town hall, because it’s the saddest state of affairs in the county. Of course, nobody wants to touch that in election year, but that’s really the elephant in the room. We need a new town hall.”


Extension of Integrity Commissioner Agreement

The approval of Council was sought and approved to support the authorization of an additional extension to the Integrity Commissioner Agreement between the Town of Essex and Robert Swayze.

“Because we’re getting so close to the end of this term of council, we’re asking for an extension of [the] current agreement until end of the year,” Essex CAO, Donna Hunter, said.


Town to purchase new Chain of Office

With the current Chain of Office of the Town of Essex showing visible signs of wear and tear, the Town will purchase a new one.

The proposed chain of office, which is worn by the Mayor during regular Council meetings, includes a suspended medallion of the Town of Essex logo, the provincial and federal coats of arms, as well as name bars for the mayors who have served since amalgamation.

The design and production of the new Chain of Office has been quoted at $2,399, plus HST and shipping. The expense will be taken from Council’s operating budget.


Dog pound services

Essex received correspondence from the Town of Lakeshore, which sent out a resolution to reach out to Essex, Tecumseh, and LaSalle, regarding the long-term vision for the Lakeshore Dog Pound, and a potential name change for the facility.

Councillor Sherry Bondy suggested Council hold discussions around other potential animal control service providers for the Town of Essex.

“The dog pound is okay, but there may be other options, and see if there’s a more progressive option that meets our needs, rather than a dog pound,” Bondy said. “I think this is a good exercise, but I think that there might be an exercise before that, maybe tendering to see if there’s anybody else out there.”


Notices of motion
The following Notices of Motion were presented at the March 19 meeting for discussion at the April 3 meeting.


Engineering for reconstruction of Snake Lane in Ward 3

Councillor Ron Rogers had put forward a Notice of Motion to have the Town engage an engineering firm to develop a plan to reconstruct Snake Lane in Ward 3.

“Snake Lane has come up every year since 1990,” Rogers said of the issue. “Let’s be the Council that gets the engineering done to get the project rolling.”

Rogers added that traffic counts on Snake Lane are much high than the average gravel road.
Councillor Steve Bjorkman expressed concerns that with the budget already being set for the year, any potential actions would be too expensive.

“Look at the scope of work. Get this together for 2019,” Bjorkman said.

Deputy Mayor Meloche said the issue should have been discussed at budget time.

Councillor Randy Voakes agreed with Rogers, saying it’s good governance to keep the ball moving forward, and that the town should have something to estimate the cost of the project.

The motion was defeated.


Extend CIP Area to include entire municipality

Councillor Randy Voakes put forward a Notice of Motion that all of Essex be included in the Community Improvement Program (CIP) Area, and if need be that the monies be taken from the reserves to fund it.

CAO Donna Hunter explained it would be preferable to have administration come back to Council with more information on the matter before a decision is made.

“There hasn’t been any justification from Council at this time, why we would extend (the CIP),” she said.
Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche would like to hear a report from administration as the issue wasn’t discussed during budget deliberations.

“I do believe this is something we should be looking at for 2019. It will give admin the required amount of time,” Meloche said. “I do want to see this moving forward.”

Mayor Ron McDermott said he couldn’t support the motion as currently presented as the landfill money in question is “sacred to the Town,” and should be reserved for unforeseeable circumstances.

Voakes said there must be millions of dollars in the landfill fund at this point, and that the compounding interest on the money could support the changes to the CIP.

“We need to see the numbers before we can decide,” Voakes said.

The motion carried with the change that the feasibility of adding the entire town to the CIP be investigated before a decision is made.


Council review of the Workplace Assessment of Essex Fire

Councillor Ron Rogers had put fourth a Notice of Motion that would allow Council members to have the opportunity to review the Workplace Assessment of Essex Fire & Rescue prior to any proposed changes or actions. This would be proceeded with Council members signing a confidentiality agreement.

Rogers said this is an important motion as it was an initiative of Council to move forward with the report. He said to keep it away from Council members is wrong.

“If [some] Council members do not want to see it, they shouldn’t censor others,” he said.

Councillor Sherry Bondy asked that this issue be tabled until Council could have its in camera meeting on the issue. A majority Council voted supported her request.