County Council Highlights - June 23, 2020

Final Approval of Little Creek Plan of Subdivision

The Manager of Planning presented a report informing Council that Final Approval had been granted to the Little Creek Plan of Subdivision in Port Stanley on June 12, 2020.

This residential plan of subdivision is comprised of 44 single detached lots, 39 semidetached lots, 2 medium density blocks, 1 high density block, 1 high density/apartment building/long term care facility/retirement home block, 1 walkway/watermain/storm sewer block and 1 valleylands block. The subject lands are located in the Village of Port Stanley, and they will be developed on full municipal services.

Multi-Sector Service Accountability Agreement

Council authorized staff to sign the Multi-Sector Service Accountability Agreement Declaration of Compliance – Schedule G” for April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020.

The Local Health System Integration Act, 2006 requires that the SWLHIN and Health Service Providers (HSP) enter into a service accountability agreement referred to as the M-SAA. The M-SAA includes a schedule of reporting requirements for specific reports related to performance, occupancy, compliance, etc.

The M-SAA process requires submission of an annual Declaration of Compliance – Schedule G declaring that the Health Service Provider has fulfilled its obligations under the M-SAA during the applicable reporting period.

Temporary Suspension of Green eRecycling Program at Library Branches

In 2017, County Council approved a partnership between Elgin County Library, the STEAM Centre in St. Thomas and Green eRecycling to install e-waste bins at library branches. Green eRecycling provides the bins free of charge and empties them as needed. The STEAM Centre has an opportunity to re-purpose any equipment received and also receives a portion of any revenue derived through the recycling market which then goes towards supporting programs at the Centre. These bins were installed at the following library branches after receiving approval from the County’s local municipal partners who own the library’s facilities: Springfield, Belmont, Shedden, Dutton and West Lorne.

Green eRecycling has recently notified the County that they need to suspend the program to at least the end of August due to staffing shortages. The service will pick up the existing bins and clean up any debris adjacent. It is hoped that the service will resume as soon as September.

In the interim, those wanting to donate electronic waste to the program can drop off items at the STEAM Education Centre located at 745 Talbot Street in St. Thomas.

Council Approves Telework Policy

Council approved a Telework Policy for the County of Elgin as presented by the Director of Human Resources.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many staff were reassigned to work remotely on short notice in respect of social distancing measures. The County quickly implemented ‘Emergency/Temporary Telework Guidelines’ and an Agreement for all staff who were redeployed to work remotely. The Guidelines covered the basics required for a productive and safe telework setting, including eligibility, approval and termination process, productivity and office equipment expectations, health and safety, and information security.

The Telework Policy formalized these guidelines and ensures a safe and productive telework arrangement, as the global pandemic continues.

May 2020 Budget Performance

The Director of Financial Services presented the Budget Performance for May 2020.  The budget comparison for the County shows unfavourable performance of $21,000 for the month of May, primarily the result of an unbudgeted legal settlement, bringing year-to-date favourable performance to $273,000.

Council Recommends 4-Way Stop at Talbot Line and Currie Road Intersection

As requested at the June 9, 2020 meeting, the Director of Engineering Service presented a re-evaluation of the operation of the intersection of Talbot Line and Currie Road including collision data, traffic counts and speed assessments. Additionally, the Director detailed the costs associated with installing traffic signals and the cost of installing a four-way stop condition along with a reduced speed limit. Council made the decision that a pilot project be undertaken with the installation of a four-way stop, appropriate speed limit reductions and signage at the intersection of Currie Road and Talbot Line; and, that the pilot be reviewed after one (1) year; and, that the pilot project be presented to Dutton Dunwich Council for the approval of financing.

Council Advocates for Broadband Funding

County Council will join the Member Counties and local municipalities of the WOWC in advocating for the region’s fair share of the CRTC’s $750M Broadband Fund.  WOWC and its Member Counties and local municipalities should be advocating for 10% (or $75M) of the funding as the region represents 10% of the population of Canada. WOWC must also advocate for the region’s fair share of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) $1.7B Universal Broadband Fund. Applications are opening this year and WOWC should once again be advocating for 10% (or $170M) for Southwestern Ontario based on population.

Advocacy will take the form of a letter writing campaign to the CEO of the CRTC and the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Council Approves Appointment to Green Lane Landfill Public Liaison Committee

County Council approved the recommendation to appoint Brian Lima, Director of Engineering Services to serve as the County’s representative on the Green Lane Landfill Public Liaison Committee.  The Green Lane Landfill Public Liaison Committee serves as a focal point for dissemination, review and exchange of information and monitoring results relevant to the operation of the landfill site in Southwold Township.

Mr. Lima replaces Ms. Elsie Marie Hutchings a longstanding citizen appointee of the Green Lane Landfill Public Liaison Committee who recently passed away. Council recognized Ms. Hutchings’ considerable community support, extending beyond her participation as part of the Green Lane Landfill Public Liaison Committee to the Kensington Club, Southwold Communities in Bloom, Southwold Zero Waste Committee, and Southwold Township History Committee. Ms. Hutching’s lovely disposition and her incredible, unwavering commitment to bettering the community and advocating for change will leave a void that will be challenging to fill.

Canada’s Rural and Remote Broadband Conference Series

To develop greater insight into how to address Elgin County’s connectivity issues, on June 8 and June 9, the County’s Director of Financial Services, and the General Manager of Economic Development, attended Canada’s Rural & Remote Broadband Conference Series (CRRBC). This virtual two-day event featured community, government, and industry stakeholders addressing the challenges of rural broadband. The report contained in the June 23rd, 2020 County Council Agenda Package outlines several options that small municipalities including Elgin County can take to proactively address broadband issues.

The complete June 23, 2020 County Council Agenda package can be found here.