October 27, 2020 County Council Highlights
Council Honours Retiring Physician
At its meeting held on October 27th, 2020 Elgin County Council recognized Dr. Lisa Dayus for her 36-year commitment to family medicine in St. Thomas and Elgin County and congratulated her on a well-deserved retirement.
Councillor Jones congratulated Dr. Dayus on behalf of the Joint Health Recruitment Partnership Committee and the Warden presented a Certificate of Recognition from the County of Elgin. The Warden stressed the importance of rural physicians to the viability of rural communities.
During her 36 years in practice, Dr. Dayus has helped to improve the health and well-being of countless residents of Elgin and St. Thomas in family practice, in the emergency department at STEGH, through health unit programming and as the Vice President and then President of the St. Thomas Elgin Medical Association.
Dr. Dayus thanked the Joint Health Recruitment Partnership Committee for assistance in finding a replacement for her practice and ensuring that her patients have access to quality care after her retirement.
Defibrillator Replacement for EMS
Council awarded a contract for the purchase of sixteen (16) Lifepak 15 v4 Cardiac Monitor Defibrillators for Elgin St. Thomas EMS to Stryker Canada ULC. The current defibrillators purchased in 2014 are reaching the end of their useful lifespan and were scheduled for replacement in 2020.
An RFP was issued by the County of Elgin in June and a full description of the process can be found in the October 27th, 2020 County Council Agenda Package.
COVID-19 Safe Restart Funding Update
The Director of Financial Services presented an update to Council about the COVID-19 Safe Restart Funding (SRF) received from the Province.
The pandemic has resulted in many unplanned expenditures; however, the province has provided excellent support to the municipalities to help them weather the impact.
The Province mandated that non-management staff working in LTC receive an incremental $4 per hour plus a lump sum, the Province has fully funded the resulting $900,000 of incremental cost. In addition, the Province has provided on average $90,000 a month in incremental Homes funding to cover the costs of added staffing and supplies. Despite this additional Homes COVID-19 funding, the incremental cost is estimated to exceed the Homes specific funding for the full-year by approximately $600,000. By redeploying staff from non-Homes functions, and achieving savings from shortage of work and in operating costs, the County has been able to maintain favourable performance to budget of $280,000 through August.
In October, the Province provided $1,276,000 in SRF Phase I funding. This funding can be used to cover any COVID-19 related costs that Elgin may incur for both this year and 2021 as well.
The full report about SRF can be found in the October 27th, 2020 Elgin County Council Agenda Package.
Wonderland Road Debenture
As part of the 2020 ten-year plan, Council approved $35 million of debt to be acquired by 2023. Council approved that the first $12 million would be drawn through two debenture installments in 2020.
Council enacted By-law 20-53, authorizing the County to finalize this first $6 million ten-year 1.43% debenture for Wonderland Road Reconstruction.
More details about the Wonderland Road Debenture can be found in the October 27, 2020 County Council Agenda Package.
Council Considers Lawn Sign Campaign
At its meeting held on October 27, 2020, Elgin County Council considered implementing a lawn sign road safety campaign in response to continuing concerns about speeding on County roads.
The lawn signs would be used on local roads within built-up settlement areas in order to raise awareness to the issue of speeding and to remind drivers of the importance of driving safely and obeying the speed limit. The lawn signs would be constructed with coroplast and could be reused for successive road safety campaigns.
Council expressed concerns about creating disposable items that will eventually end up in a landfill. Of particular concern for Council, was that the negative environmental impact of creating disposable items would outweigh the positive effects of the road safety campaign.
After considerable discussion, Council passed a resolution referring the matter to the Environmental Advisory Committee for review.
Miller Road Pedestrian Crossing Review
At the request of County Council, staff completed a technical pedestrian crossing warrant evaluation on Miller Road (CR15) within the Village of Dutton in front of the Thames Valley District School Board’s Dunwich-Dutton Public School.
As a result of the study’s findings, a pedestrian crossing treatment is not justified as per the guidance of the Ontario Traffic Manual – Book 15, Pedestrian Crossing Treatments. These study results do not preclude the installation of such a crossing by the local municipality (Municipality of Dutton Dunwich). As per County Council’s 2002 crossover policy and consistent with recent installations, an option exists for the Municipality of Dutton Dunwich to install a Level 2 Type B crossing treatment at their cost and approved by the County.
A fulsome breakdown of study findings is included in the October 27th, 2020 County Council Agenda Package.
The complete October 27, 2020 County Council Agenda package can be found here.