Hi there. It’s been a while. Things have been so hectic over the past few months, and only moreso since the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus) and COVID-19 (the disease caused by said virus) began. More recently a number of deaths of people of colour directly or indirectly caused by police both in the USA and Canada, the inevitable demonstrations (I stand with you!), and more. Amongst all this we’ve had people who couldn’t move in to their new homes for a while, construction traffic that ignores the routes they’re supposed to use (working on it! I promise), and a long inability to see friends and family.
While some of the extenuating circumstances around the pandemic are settling down, injustice and racism persist. I have engaged with anti-racism campaigns in various capacities since high school in the late 90s, and I will continue to stand up for the rights of blacks, indigenous and other people of colour (abbreviated to BIPOC recently from what I’ve seen) to live long, healthy lives free of discrimination based on the colour of their skin, their religion, what they wear, etc. The same goes for LGBTQ2+ individuals and their rights to feel right in their skin, in their identity, and whom they love.
I will have much more to say about this topic later this week. I like to think it’s better late than never to speak up about any issue, and that lateness comes because, just like many of you, I have been doing my best to manage running a business, parent three children, act as their auxiliary educator, and keep up correspondence regarding municipal issues during this time.
Any way, on to this week’s Council meeting!
You can find the full agenda here. It starts at 9:30am.
Delegations, Presentations & Petitions
We have two drainage reports appearing before the Court of Revision affecting the area of Charlton Drive & New Ontario Road, and another at Nine Mile Road & Clarke Rd.
The third item is our auditor’s annual report. Here’s the good news:
- The auditors feel the data provided was accurate.
- Strong cash position.
- Liabilities only up slightly.
- Government grants and investment income up significantly.
- Our long-term debt is down by around $1.4 million year over year.
The bad news:
- Some expenses were way up like transportation services and environmental services.
Overall, the financial position of the municipality is very healthy, debt is down, and this allows us to handle emergencies (e.g. a broken watermain) in a fairly efficient way rather than scrambling for funding.
- Middlesex Centre is involved with a cross-border initiative to analyze and conserve energy at the Wellness Centre and the Coldstream Fire Station. It looks really cool!
- Nothing weird or that can’t be explained in the full capital budget for 2019. Feel free to review the spreadsheet (attachment 2) and let me know if you have any questions.
- Same with the operating revenues and expenses for 2019. Slightly more revenue than expected overall, which is explained throughout.
- The development charge reserve funds also look healthy.
- A municipal drain improvement is being requested for the Ilderton Rd and Adelaide St N area.
- Staff are looking for endorsement to begin putting together a hybrid insurance approach where we would handle insurance claims under $50,000 and that meet other criteria in-house, rather than passing all claims to our insurance provider as premiums continue to increase. We would see up to 10% savings if we increased our deductible to $100,000.
- Now that our Fire Prevention Officer is providing services to Thames Centre and North Middlesex, the Fire Chief is requesting to purchase a vehicle for this individual that suits the role and to stop sharing vehicles across departments as this is causing scheduling issues.
- Staff are seeking support to apply for a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Municipal Asset Management Program to enhance our roads asset management program (automated road condition data collection, data processing, and pavement management software).
Committee of Adjustment
One application for 266 Union Ave, Komoka where the applicant is looking for smaller sideyard setbacks in order to build a home. Happy to take your feedback on this application, and please send them to Dan FitzGerald as well.
Three items up, all in Ward 4!
- Application ZBA-08-2020 for 22499 Jefferies Rd (southwest corner of Jefferies Rd and Glendon Dr) to add pharmacy as a permitted use to the existing commercial zoning.
- Consent Application B-08/2020 for 116 Delaware Street Central to sever a residential lot from an existing property. The new lot would be 15m wide, with the retained lot at a healthy 21.73m wide frontage.
- Consent Application B-09/2020 for 22747 Komoka Road to sever the existing industrial usage fronting Oxbow Dr from the existing residential usage fronting Komoka Rd.
- It’s so weird that this is one lot right now, right? This is likely the result of poor oversight in the past. It’s good to get this cleaned up!
One by-law to highlight, that being the development and severance agreement for 15 Elmhurst Dr. Item 13.2 on the agenda.
That’s that! If you happen to read this before or during the meeting and want to send me some feedback, please do!