Council Recap: Nov 13/20, 2019

So, the agenda for the November 13 meeting ended up getting split up into two meetings because of the province-wide emergency management exercises that began in the middle of the morning on the 13th. A huge shout out goes to all the emergency services personnel, staff, and our Mayor and Deputy Mayor for handling the situation so deftly!

Here’s a look at what happened with that agenda.

Delegations, Presentations & Petitions

  • Enbridge up first with their presentation, presenting a donation of $225,000 to Project Zero and supporting the delivery of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors Middlesex Centre residents.
  • Fire Marshall Office’s representative added some colour to Project Zero and its aims. I think it’s safe to assume “zero” = zero deaths. 126 free detectors provided to MXC, valued at roughly $7,500.
  • Spriet Associates presented their report on the drain on the agenda. A few questions about inspection holes vs. catchbasins, the desire to have a key map/aerial view on reports like this, and who pays for a new well in the event one is needed (it becomes part of the drain costs). Motion carried.

Consent Agenda passed minus item 7.1.

Staff Reports

  • Arnie Marsman now presented the regulation of cats report as part of Staff Reports.
  • Council directs staff to bring back a report at next Council meeting to fill the current gap in regulating feral and stray cats, and a comprehensive animal control by-law in 2020.
  • We started discussing water rates, but the emergency management exercise started. Around noon the Mayor cancelled the rest of the meeting and scheduled a new one for Nov 20 at 9:30am to complete the agenda.

Beginning of Nov 20…

  • First we found out that our Facility Services Supervisor has decided not to resign, and ii now staying on. Yay!
  • On to (new) item 8.1, the proposed 2020 water, wastewater and stormwater rates.
  • Cllr Heffernan raises issue of affordability. The median household income used by BMA in report is, of course, not reflective of every household’s income in the municipality.
  • I asked a few clarifying questions regarding capital projects forecasted for 2021 and 2022 and the need for them, for example adding Melrose to the Lake Huron water system instead of wells. Substantial amount of money that will need to be spent when Glendon Drive is expanded too.
  • Staff clarified that testing at Melrose water supply will determine whether we need to expand system to Melrose, or can continue using well water there.
  • Cllr Shipley said he’d like to see us evaluate a tiered stormwater lifecycle charge similar to Waterloo and Kitchener. I agree, and Director of PWE says that’s something we could look at.
  • Increase to water rates, and stormwater lifecycle fund passed.
  • Increase to wheelie bin program also passed. This will put more of the program costs on the wheelie bins themselves (79%) and cut roughly in half the amount of funding coming from property taxes. This puts more of the onus on households that have larger garbage bins.
  • Lead Hand position approved. Replaces two contract positions. No new positions anticipated for 2020 as Lead Hand can act as operator when needed.
  • Director of Corporate Services started the capital budget 2020 presentation, looking over where all the money is proposed to be spent next year (including some projects carried over from 2019).
  • The rest of council went smoothly. I had to bug out for about 30 minutes to take care of something urgent, but came back to the end of the capital budget presentation. Info received. Bylaws all passed.

If you have any questions, please let me know!