Elgin County to Apply to Canada 150 Fund
The Government of Canada’s Department of Heritage is currently seeking applications under the Canada 150 Fund. This fund provides grants to organizations including municipalities who will undertake projects that will engage Canadians in celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.
After several meetings with community stakeholders organized by former MP Joe Preston, the County has decided to apply for funding for the following projects:
1) Sesquicentennial Farm and Building Recognition Project
2) Heritage Plaque Directional Signage Project
3) Museums of Elgin County Joint Exhibit Project
4) Elgin County Archives Confederation-Era Documents Digitization Project
5) Canada 150 Marketing Support Project
A more detailed description of each project can be found in the October 27, 2015 County Council Agenda Package.
Elgin Updates Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
Integrated Accessibility Regulation (191/11) requires municipalities to develop, implement, and maintain a multi-year accessibility plan.
Highlights of the plan include:
• Compliance reporting for 2015
• Update Staff Performance Appraisal Policy (HR Policy 4.80)
• Ongoing training for new staff
• Purchased hand-held magnifiers and large print keyboards for people with low
vision to use in the Library Branches
• Continuing to ensure web documents are accessible
• Addition of “built environment” projects completed to date
The full plan can be viewed as part of the October 27, 2015 County Council Agenda Package.
Health Recruitment Partnership Update
Councillor McWilliam presented a report on the recent activities of the St. Thomas - Elgin Joint Health Recruitment Partnership. The update outlined the recruitment of one new physician and the establishment of funding for a Nurse Practitioner to assist in the delivery of primary care for residents in St. Thomas – Elgin.
Reduced Speed Zones
Elgin County Council approved the extension of two existing speed zones and the addition of one new speed zone at its October 27, 2015 meeting.
Plank Road and Jackson Line
The Highway Traffic Act defines “built up areas” based upon the density of buildings that front onto a road in an area. Staff received a request to review a built up area on Plank Road at Jackson Line in the Municipality of Bayham for its qualification to be a reduced speed zone. Staff reviewed the area and found that an area 350 metres north of Jackson Line to 230 metres south of Jackson Line does satisfy the conditions as a built up area and therefore a 60km/h zone will be established.
Ron McNeil Line and Springwater Road
An existing 60km/h zone exists from just east of Springwater Road to Dorchester Road due to housing density. Additional homes have been constructed on Ron McNeil Line near Springwater Road and therefore this reduced speed zone was extended west for an additional 225 metres to the west side of Springwater Road.
Imperial Road at the north limits of Port Bruce
Imperial Road has been recently resurfaced with paved shoulders designated as bicycle lanes. Cyclists are encouraged to transition from the paved shoulder into the traffic lane at the top of the hill at the north limits of Port Bruce where curb and gutter begins and the paved shoulder terminates. To reduce the differential of speed between cyclists and vehicles in this shared use lane, the existing 50km/h reduced speed zone at the bottom of the hill was extended north on Imperial Road for an addition 525 metres to the top of the hill.
County Receives International Economic Development Council Award
Elgin County was presented with an International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Savour Elgin/Elgin Arts Trail Discovery Guide. The award was presented at the IEDC annual conference on October 6, 2015.
Elgin County received recognition for the 2014 Savour Elgin/Elgin Arts Trail Discovery Guide. The guide encourages travel throughout the region, by packaging the area’s best food, drink and artistic establishments into three unique weekend tours. The guide includes a map, descriptions of each establishment and visually appealing photography.
The award focused on the June 2014 campaign that saw the guide distributed to over 175,000 people via insert in the Summer Edition of the LCBO Food & Drink magazine. This distribution allowed Elgin to promote its businesses and attractions to a large but targeted audience. These promotional efforts were supported by the Local Food Fund administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. This project also received an Economic Developer’s Council of Ontario (EDCO) Award in February of 2015.
County Renews Franchise Agreement with Natural Resource Gas Limited
Elgin County renewed a franchise agreement with Natural Resource Gas Limited (NRG) to transmit, store and distribute natural gas in Elgin County.
Provincial legislation requires that there be a franchise agreement between a municipality or county corporation and the gas company serving that municipality or county. NRG and Elgin County last entered into a franchise agreement on November 28, 1995. This agreement will expire on November 28, 2015. At the October 27, 2015 meeting, County Council agreed to renew the franchise agreement for an additional 20 years.
The complete agenda for the October 27, 2015 Elgin County Council Meeting can be accessed online at: http://www.elgincounty.ca/county-council/minutes-and-agendas