SDG Counties Council Meeting Notes – January 18, 2021

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Full Agenda and supporting documents: https://sdgcounties.ca/sites/default/files/council_docs/2021-01-18_Meeting%20Package.pdf

Re-watch the meeting: https://www.facebook.com/1286020964812389/videos/242829224002122/

SDG Counties Council received a presentation from the City of Cornwall for Shared Services, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) provided a COVID-19 Update, and Council discussed reviewing the Economic Development Officer position before going to hire.

City of Cornwall Shared Services Budget Presentation

  • Mellissa Morgan gave a presentation on the Ontario Works Division budget (-9.56% increase), the Child Care Services budget (39.72% increase), and the Social Housing Services budget (1.99% increase) for 2021.
  • Steven Golden gave a presentation on the Glen Stor Dun Lodge budget (6.50% increase) for 2021.
  • Bill Lister gave a presentation on the Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services budget (7.51% increase) for 2021.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Eastern Ontario Health Unit – COVID-19 Update

  • Dr. Paul noted that the cases across SDG have been high, with outbreaks in some areas.
  • He noted that schools will not likely open again next week. That decision will be made this week.
  • COVID-19 cases are mainly coming from close contacts being infected by visiting someone’s home.
  • Law enforcement has the power to issue tickets to individuals for not following the regulations and to disperse gatherings. However, they do not have the authority to pull over cars and ask what their destination is.
  • As of Saturday, seven long-term care homes have been vaccinated. By the end of this week, most long-term care homes will be vaccinated.
  • Dr. Paul noted that we have a long time to go before we can have most of the population vaccinated and no longer need masks and physical distancing. Restrictions will continue likely until June 2021. However, restrictions will be removed as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Councilors have noted that they will be contacting MPP Jim McDonell to voice their concerns regarding the effect the lockdown has had on the business owners. Dr. Paul confirmed that many of the cases are not coming from small businesses, so they should continue operations under all the proper COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Council motioned to send a formal request to the Premier of Ontario to request that small businesses open immediately.

MP Eric Duncan, Newspaper Digitization Project

  • They have successfully digitized 180,000 pages with 25,000 pages left to do.
  • Once the digitization is complete, the next step will be to find a way to host all of the information online so that it is free and easy to access.

Support for Xplornet Universal Broadband Funds application

  • Xplorenet has made an application through Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) program to improve its internet services.
  • Once completed, Xplorenet will provide services to 1,700 households in Berwick, Crysler, Maxville, and Martintown with fibre to 5G wireless broadband services.
  • Council approved to submit a written letter of support for Xplornet’s application.

Alternate Emergency Information Officer Appointment

  • Should the current Emergency Information Officer be unable to work, a backup must be appointed.
  • Council approved to appoint Karina Belanger as the alternate Emergency Information Officer effective immediately.

Committee Appointments

  • Council appointments to committees will remain the same for the next two years, as per the procedural by-laws.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Funding Application

  • Council approved the application for funding delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for the Municipal Asset Management Program for $50,000 to improve the storm drain systems throughout SDG.

Morrisburg Roundabout and Streetscaping

  • Council approved to reject the bids received for the Morrisburg Roundabout and Streetscaping Project as they were roughly $2million over budget.
  • Council also approved for Administration to work with Robinson Consulting Inc. to revise the project design to meet provincial and federal funding agreements and lower the costs.
  • The roundabout will continue to be included in the redesign, but changes will be made for the storm drainage and some streetscaping elements.

2021 Health and Safety By-law

  • Council approved to adopt the Joint Health and Safety Guidelines and Health and Safety Policy and Procedures Manual for 2021 as drafted.

Council Remuneration and Conferences

  • Council approved to establish a remuneration for the member of Council appoint committee members. A draft by-law was presented in December 2020, with minor changes suggested, which were presented today to Council.  

Official Plan Amendment No. 5

  • Council approved to adopt the Official Plan Amendment No. 5 to the Official Plan.
  • The Official Plan Amendment No. 5 includes the repurposing of a church in the Township of Matilda to a multi-use commercial facility. This facility will consist of a boutique hotel, event hall, café/bistro, catering business and wellness clinic.

Encroachment Agreement – 11478 County road 3, Inkerman

  • Council approved to establish an encroachment agreement for 11478 County Road 3, Township of North Dundas. The house at this location has a porch that was not previously legitimized, so entering into an encroachment agreement will allow it to remain on the property.

Increased Fibre Internet Bandwith

  • Council approved to authorize an agreement with Rogers Communication Canada to increase the bandwidth of current fibre internet services in SDG.
  • The cost will be $660.00 per month.

The following items were approved under the Consent Items:

  • Monthly Activity Summaries
  • Monthly Financial Summary
  • SDG Library Branch Reports
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Letter – Safe Restart Agreement
  • River Institute – 2019 Annual Report
  • Northumberland county resolution – Small Business Property Tax Subclass
  • Town of Kingsville Resolution – Support for Small Businesses
  • Town of Carleton Place Resolution – childcare Funding
  • City of Port Colborne Resolution – Bill 108, Ontario Heritage Act
  • Northumberland County Resolution – AODA Complaint Websites

Warden’s Designate

  • Council approved the appointment of “Acting Warden” for each month of 2021 as per the procedural by-law. The list is as follows:
    • January – Carma Williams
    • February – Tony Fraser
    • March – Steven Byvelds
    • April – Kirsten Gardner
    • May – Bryan McGillis
    • June – Lyle Warden
    • July – Carma Williams
    • August – Tony Fraser
    • September – Steven Byvelds
    • October – Kirsten Gardner
    • November – Bryan McGillis
    • December – Lyle Warden

COVID-19 Financial Impact 2020

  • Funding from the Safe Restart Agreement Funding and the Social Service Relief Funding has been sufficient to offset the revenue losses and COVID-19 expenses.
  • It is still too early to process the exact effects to the 2020 budget at this time, but the Council will be updated as information becomes available.

Economic Development Role

  • Council decided to hold a separate Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the Economic Development Officer’s role in terms of what type of qualities are desired in the successful candidate and how they will interact with the lower tiers of Economic Development Officers in the counties.

Eastern Ontario Regional Network Board Election Process for EOWC Members

  • The Eastern Ontario Regional Network is seeking nominations to sit on the 2021 Board of Directors.

Council moved into a closed session.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, February  16, 2021.

Shannon Tierney
Author: Shannon Tierney

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