September 10, 2019 County Council Highlights

Fred Bodsworth Public Library Grand Reopening

The Municipality of Bayham’s significant contribution to a number of exciting facility improvements at the Fred Bodsworth Public Library in Port Burwell was celebrated on September 5, 2019.Grand Reopening

Elgin County Library Staff and members of the community join Councillors French, Mennill, Ketchabaw, and Giguère on September 5, 2019 to celebrate recent renovations to the Fred Bodsworth Public Library of Port Burwell.

Port Bruce Bridge Funding

On September 3, 2019 the Federal Government announced that the County of Elgin will receive $2,500,000 in funding for the replacement of the Port Bruce Bridge. The Province of Ontario has already committed to contributing $1,666,500 towards the project. The replacement project will restore permanent access across Catfish Creek, facilitate more active transportation, and provide safer travel for residents and visitors.

Elgin County Warden Duncan McPhail said, “This announcement is exciting news for Elgin County. For our community, the collapse of the Port Bruce Bridge presented a number of challenges including safety, logistics and the movement of traffic over Catfish Creek. For our Council, this costly infrastructure failure has made it challenging to plan for competing priorities. The Investing in Canada infrastructure plan funding will provide substantial and much needed financial assistance as we work to rebuild the Port Bruce Bridge. Elgin County is not only celebrating the financial support that we will receive through this program, but we are celebrating what happens when different orders of government partner to respond to the needs of our citizens.”

Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (CDM) 2019-2023

Elgin County continues to look for ways to improve the energy efficiency of our facilities and processes in order to reduce our operating costs, our energy consumption, and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. On September 10, 2019, Elgin County Council approved the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (CDM) 2019-2023.

The plan will strive to achieve the following goals:

1) Maximize fiscal resources and avoid cost increases through direct and indirect energy savings.

2) Reduce the environmental impact of the County’s operations.

3) Increase conservation knowledge and mindfulness among staff through education utilizing best practices.

4) Increase the comfort and safety of the staff and patrons of the County owned facilities.

5) Improve the reliability of County equipment and reduce maintenance costs.

6) Promote a culture of energy conservation within the County.

The County’s overall target will be to reduce our consumption of fuels and electricity in all County operations by an average of 2% per year between now and 2023. The Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (CDM) 2019-2023 can be found here.

Invasive Phragmites Management Strategy

Phragmites is a highly invasive plant that is common along our roadsides in Elgin County. Phragmites is highly combustible, blocks site lines at road intersections and entrances, provides poor habitat and food for wildlife, clogs drainage ditches,
negatively impacts agriculture, and lowers property value. Elgin County staff have worked closely with the County’s Tree
Commissioner/Weed Inspector to develop a county-wide management plan to deal with Phragmites, which involves the application of an approved herbicide followed by cutting at least three weeks following the herbicide application. The quicker an infestation is dealt with, the easier and less costly it will be to manage. The full staff report detailing the Phragmites Action Plan can be found in the September 10, 2019 Council Agenda package.

The complete September 10, 2019 County Council Agenda package can be found here.