City of Cornwall Council Meeting Notes – September 28, 2020

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Full Agenda and supporting documents:

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City Council received presentations from the Housing Revitalization Study and The St. Lawrence River Institute Environmental Sciences, then discussed the possibility of reducing Council seats in the next election and discussed the implementation of bag tags.

Housing Revitalization Study Presentation

  • An overview of the current housing situation in Cornwall Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry was given based on surveyed results from The City and County Administrators, Service Providers, and the Public. There was a response from the Public where 80% had concerns with the quality and access to housing.
  • A Needs Assessment revealed that there is a need for 741 housing units in the next 10 years with the highest demand expected for Seniors, Non-senior singles, and single parents with one child. North Dundas, South Glengarry, and South Stormont require more units than will be available in the future.
  • A Development Analysis revealed that many municipalities have the capacity to expand building units to suit needs in the future (except for North Dundas) and only South Dundas has shovel-ready vacant sites to fill this need.
  • A Revitalization Plan Strategy recommended that the City should prioritize potential development sites to create a combination of residential and commercial sites.
  • Councilor Hebert addressed the issue that the lack of affordable housing poses a problem for the employment sectors.
  • Councilor MacDonald confirmed that there may be a need for a project manager to coordinate the development of these projects in the future due to the number of recommended units needed.
  • The final report will come to Council at the next meeting with a recommendation to form a task force to tackle this project.

St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences Annual Update

  • The St. Lawrence River Institute was able to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic by converting classes to online and delivering PPE to Jr. Scientist Camps.
  • It was noted that an important part of the success of the Remedial Action Plan will be to include Akwesasne as a major stakeholder.

Consent Items

  • The week of October 05-11 was proclaimed as “Community Health and Wellbeing Week” in the City of Cornwall.
  • The week of October 04-10 was proclaimed as “Fire Prevention Week” in the City of Cornwall.
  • August CPPEG Tenth St. E (CN Rail Lands) was approved by Council to receive funds in the amount of $9,600 to the JAE Land Development at Tenth St. E for Site Assessment.

Electoral System Review – Survey Results

  • Councilor Towndale motioned to reduce the size of Council to 8 Council Seats. The reason for this is to align with the returned survey results requesting for fewer Council Seats.
  • Councilor Grant believes that there is no real justification for 8 Councilors vs. 10.
  • Councilor Grant, Councilor Hollingsworth, and Councilor MacDonald do not support going to 8 Councilors due to lack of data to support the efficiency of going to 8. Furthermore, it was expressed that reducing Council Seats could result in a lack of voices.
  • Councilor MacIntosh believes that the public would not notice if there was a difference in the number of Council Seats.
  • Councilor Gardiner believes that 10 Council Seats is sufficient to reach a variety of viewpoints. Other cities of similar population size as Cornwall operate with 10 Council Seats.
  • Councilor Hebert is not opposed to 8 Councilors, however, would then like to see this reduction reflected in the portfolio of Councilor’s scope of work.
  • Councilor Bergeron and Councilor Bennett are in favour of 8 Councilors and believe that a Council with fewer seats would be more efficient at moving projects forward. Councilor Bennett added that he would like to see this motion deferred until more information could be gathered on Councilors duties and responsibilities to then determine how demanding the position is. It could then be determined if fewer Council seats would be beneficial or not.
  • This motion was ultimately deferred to a future meeting so that more information could be gathered from other municipalities of similar size to Cornwall to determine the Councilors responsibilities and scope of work.
  • Additionally, Council voted to discuss a ward system in a Townhall Meeting in the future.  

RFP Terms of Reference for Play Structures and Engineered Wood Fibre for Various Parks

  • Council approved to increase the budget to $150,000 to secure an impressive play structure.

Solid Waste Bag Tag and Bulky Item Collection Tags

  • Council approved to implement a bag tag and bulky items tag collection program with a tag fee of $1.50 per additional bag.

The next regular meeting will be held on October 13, 2020.

Shannon Tierney
Author: Shannon Tierney

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