Elgin County Council Highlights – November 27, 2018

Transportation Funding from Southwestern Public Health

Over the past term, County Council has focused on applying for funds to support planning and investment in transportation services in Elgin County. It is widely recognized that the lack of transit options in Elgin is having a significant impact on our ability to grow and attract new workers. Council acknowledges that a one-size fits all solution will not work in Elgin and the planning for a transit solution is best left to transportation experts. The County’s interest in a transit initiative is also of significant interest to many community partners, agencies and Boards including Southwestern Public Health. County Council accepted $25,000 from Southwestern Public Health to be used for a transit feasibility study to be led by the County in 2019. The County has applied for $50,000 from OMAFRA Rural Economic Development (RED) fund to supplement the costs of a transit feasibility study. The County will be able to leverage the generous contribution from Southwestern Public Health to secure additional funding for this initiative in 2019.

Ride Elgin Bike Share Program: Dropbike

Dropbike, Canada’s largest smart bike-share-system has been selected by County Council as the preferred vendor for this new and exciting two-year pilot program. This exciting initiative generated the interest and support in the way of funding from Southwestern Public Health and Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation who have donated $10,000 and $15,000 respectively for the first year of the pilot. It is anticipated that a review of this program will be ongoing to determine suitability of this program in other areas of the County.

General Insurance and Risk Management Services Program

Elgin County has utilized Frank Cowan Company as their insurance and risk management services provider for many years. The County issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) and four (4) firms submitted proposals. Following a comprehensive review of the coverage and pricing, the evaluation process identified Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada (JLT) as the highest scoring firm. The total premium proposed for 2019 is $305,611 which represents a 26% savings from the 2018 premium cost of $385,229. JLT Canada has also offered a three year rate guarantee for the General Liability policy which represents about 50% of the premium cost.

External Audit Services

Elgin County issued a Request for Proposal for External Audit Services, and Graham Scott Ens was determined to receive the highest score. The pricing for the five year term is $143,500. Graham Scott Ens has provided external audit support to the County for many years.

Winter Maintenance Services

Elgin County issued a tender for Winter Maintenance Services for the County’s three Long Term Care Homes, two EMS stations, County Administration Building, and the Heritage Centre. Three companies submitted their proposals and Elgin Clean Cut Lawn Care was selected for this service having provided the lowest compliant bid with an estimated price of $142,310 for a two year term.2018

Library Branch Facility Improvements

Each of the ten (10) libraries in Elgin County play an important role in the community, from offering exciting programs to diverse collections. Many new and exciting developments have taken place in at the County’s libraries in 2018, including improvements to the Fred Bodsworth Public Library of Port Burwell, Aylmer Library, Southwold Township Library, Shedden and John Kenneth Galbraith Reference Library, Dutton during the past year.

10 Year Capital Plan – Museum and Archives

In order to keep our public facilities functional and vibrant, Council received a report from Community and Cultural Services to support an annual capital investment in Museum and Archives facilities in the amount of $40,000. This would be included in the County’s overall capital plan and is intended to fund storage space, upgrades, and repairs to HVAC system. This request will be considered by the next term of Council.

Emergency Management Program

The County has an active Emergency Plan, which is tested on a regular basis. In an effort to ensure the four key components of emergency management are achieved by Elgin County (including prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery), County Council reviewed and received the Emergency Management Plan, established an Emergency Management Program Committee and amended the Emergency Management By-Law, all necessary functions to ensure annual compliance in accordance with The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Additional Long Term Care Beds

The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is ultimately responsible for Long Term Care Home bed assignments. Should Elgin County increase the number of beds available under the regional model of bed assignments, Elgin County’s investment, which is disproportionately larger than our neighbouring municipalities, will support residents outside of our County. County Council will advocate for a change in how beds are assigned and will lobby for an adjustment in Ministry funding to better support the increased costs associated with the changing level of care of the residents in Elgin’s 247-beds.

The complete Elgin County Council Agenda Package for the November 27, 2018 meeting can be found on the Elgin County website