April 14, 2020 - County Council Highlights
The Warden acknowledged the community’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and thanked residents for their strict adherence to physical distancing. With the recent spike in positive cases in Ontario, the Warden highlighted the importance of practicing physical distancing and emphasized that staying home is the safest thing people can do for themselves and their families. The Warden also encouraged residents to follow the directives and guidelines set out by the Province and Southwestern Public Health.
Grant and Festival Events Partnership Allocations
Chair of the Rural Initiatives and Planning Advisory Committee, Councillor Ketchabaw, recommended that the following organizations receive funding immediately through the Grant and Festival Events Partnership Program:
Tillsonburg and District Multi-Service Centre $4780
Quad County Support Services $2000
Second Stage Housing $13400
Funding was granted to these organizations based on the frontline service they are providing to the community. The Committee received $82,890 funding requests and will meet again in the coming weeks to review outstanding applications.
County to Pilot Electronic Bidding for 1 Year
Council consented to a pilot project which will allow individuals wishing to bid on our County projects including construction projects to submit their bids electronically. Electronic bid submission will save time and money for the County’s purchasing department and will reduce bid turnaround time for vendors.
2020 Tourism Membership and Program Fees Waived
Elgin County’s tourism industry has been hit particularly hard because of COVID-19 and as a result, and in support of local businesses, Council made the decision to waive Tourism and Membership Fees for businesses in 2020.
Cycling Master Plan Update
A comprehensive review of the 2014 Cycling Master Plan is underway. A revised Cycling Master Plan is anticipated following revisions to the Ontario Traffic Manual.
Contract award of tenders for nine (9) capital projects including Asphalt Crack Sealing, Cold-in-place Recycling with Expanded Asphalt Material and Granular ‘A” Shouldering, were awarded. The report can be accessed here.
Warren Street Intersection Improvements Tender Award
Russell Construction was selected for the Warren Street Intersection Improvements Project at a total price of $505,745.19 (exclusive of HST). To accommodate increased traffic demands throughout the duration of the pending King George VI Lift Bridge Rehabilitation Project in Port Stanley, intersection improvements will be made on Warren Street (CR 21) at both Colborne Street (CR 4) and Carlow Road (CR 20) and will involve the installation of turning lanes, temporary signals, and permanent upgrades to three existing pedestrian crossovers.
Changes to Fees and Charges in Response to COVID-19
COVID-19 will impose a number of hardships on businesses, families and individuals as normal economic activity has been restricted in an attempt to slow the progression of the virus. Council made the decision to provide levy penalty relief to local municipal partners who may elect to provide tax relief to their residents as they deal with the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis.
Council Committees – Electronic Participation
Council approved amendments to Procedural By-Laws for their Committees which will allow Council’s Committees, including Land Division Committee, to meet electronically during the declared state of emergency.
Support for Bill 156 – Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020
Council expressed their support for Bill 156, a Bill intended to protect farm animals, the food supply, farmers and others from risks that are created when trespassers enter places where farm animals are kept or when persons engage in unauthorized interactions with farm animals. The Warden has sent a letter of support to Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The complete April 14, 2020 County Council Agenda package can be found here.