Council Preview: Oct 9, 2019

Council Preview: Oct 9, 2019

Here is your preview of the next Middlesex Centre Council meeting agenda. If you would like to view the full agenda, you may do so here.

Council will be starting at 17:00 and going directly into a closed session to discuss “proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of lands by the municipality or local board.” We should come back for open session by 18:00.

Delegations & Presentations

  • First, Mayor DeViet will make a presentation to the Middlesex Centre Pollinator Team.
  • Next, Heather Kepran, our Communications Specialist, will go over the new website! It is slated to launch October 29, 2019. I, for one, am very excited about this and the additional capabilities a fresh technology stack will open up.
  • And Arnie Marsman, Director of Building Services, will present Evolta which is our new digital building permit solution. I just used it myself, and in my opinion it’s a big improvement over the existing methods.

Consent Agenda

Items of note for Ward 4 include:

  • A proposal to hold Council’s regular meetings (that do not involve development applications and their related public meetings) to 9:30am.
    • I am of two minds on this. The move to 6pm did not result in any sort of regular increase in the number of people that come out to regular meetings. So, it would seem to make sense to try 9:30am instead, as many other municipalities also hold some of their meetings during the workday, in order to reduce staff overtime, long meetings that draw out into the evening, etc. However, what’s the likelihood many residents will come to meetings in the morning? I really don’t know.
    • My hope is that live streaming, and making meetings available for viewing on-demand as well, will increase participation, accountability and transparency significantly. I know staff are working on executing this ever since our new CAO came onboard.
  • If you are a curling fan, you will note that item 7.3 states that staff are seeing the go ahead to apply for funding from the federal and provincial government’s ICIP grant program for a new recreational facility in Ilderton that includes an NHL-sized ice pad, curling rink, and more!
  • The St. Clair Conservation Authority is seeking some funding, $5,739.97 to be exact, for floodplain mapping.
  • Service Line Warranties of Canada is looking for permission to market warranties here in Middlesex Centre. These warranties, which are kind of like an insurance product, could cover repairs to your property’s portion of a busted sewer line, water line, and even in-home plumbing issues. If approved, you would expect to see flyers from the company promoting its warranties, and the municipality would receive 5% of the revenue generated.
    • I don’t have any concerns at this point, but I’m going to take a few days to think about it. I’d also like to know why “municipal endorsement of the program model is required,” whereas I’d like to think any qualified plumbing company could offer similar programs. I’ll send this question to staff later today.
    • It’s an interesting idea, either way. If you have any interest in buying these types of warranties, especially for an older home, I would appreciate hearing from you!
  • A short report on interested earned on cash holdings. In 2018 the municipality earned $205,511.65 in interest on its accounts at Bank of Montreal!
  • If you don’t have a good understanding of how the municipal budget is formed, then our Treasurer’s Budget 101 presentation will be a good read! It’s make up of PowerPoint slides, so it won’t take you long to get through.

Staff Reports

Staff are recommending that the municipal wage grid receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2% per year for the next three years. Supporting documentation is in the report including the rationale for doing this once instead of every year, which includes saving costs on hiring consultants to provide this information each year.

Correspondence

A few noteworthy items, including:

  • The Ontario Fire Marshall has selected Middlesex Centre to be included in its Project Zero program, providing us with 126 free Kidde combination carbon monoxide-smoke detectors! These will be provided free of charge to individuals deemed high risk, a category which “may include the elderly and those with disabilities or financial challenges.”
  • The UTRCA’s most recent board meeting minutes.

And that’s it for this Wednesday! If you have any questions, comments or concerns about any of the above, please get in touch.