Elgin County Raises Alzheimer Society Flag
On January 12, 2021 the Alzheimer Society Flag was raised at the Elgin County Heritage Centre in honour of Alzheimer awareness month. Raising the Alzheimer flag during awareness month helps to show support to those affected by dementia and to let them know that they are not alone.
During the month of January, the Alzheimer Society of Canada encourages organizations and members of the public to learn more about dementia and its impact on members of the community. Each year in Canada, 25,000 people are diagnosed with a form of dementia and numbers are expected to rise. By 2031, there will be almost a million Canadians living with a form of dementia. While Alzheimer disease is a degenerative brain disorder that most often occurs in people over the age of 65, it can affect people as early as in their 30s and 40s.
“The County of Elgin is proud to play a role in bringing awareness to this disease that affects so many people within our community,” said Warden Tom Marks. “Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with dementia and we are familiar with the challenges faced by both those diagnosed with the disease and their loved ones. Awareness is the first step in understanding what people living with dementia experience in their day-to-day-lives so that we can fight the stigmas associated with this disease and ensure that those we love are receiving care and services tailored to their unique needs. We all have a role to play in making our communities safe and inclusive for people living with dementia.”
Annual Committee Appointments Approved
Elgin County Council approved the annual appointment of Council Members to Committees of Council and outside boards as recommended by Warden Marks.
A list of 2021 Committee appointments is available on the Elgin County website.
Development Charges Workshop
Hemson Consulting provided Council with an educational workshop on development charges including information on the Development Charges Act and Planning Acts, development study requirements, a proposed work plan for Elgin, key steps in passing a development charges by-law and development charges rate comparisons. Councillors were able to ask questions of Hemson Consulting and voted to receive and file the presentation.
The complete workshop presentation is included as part of the January 12, 2021 County Council Agenda Package.
Official Plan Review Process
The Manager of Planning presented a report to Council outlining the process, public consultation strategy and timelines associated with the Official Plan Review. Council directed staff to proceed with the Five-Year Review process and directed that a Special Public Meeting be scheduled for the end of February to begin the process in accordance with Section 26 (3) of the Planning Act.
The County of Elgin adopted the current Official Plan (OP) in 2013. In accordance with the Planning Act (Section 26) every municipality must update its Official Plan every five (5) years. The purpose of an Official Plan 5-Year Review is to ensure that the community vision/values, directions, policies and actions in the Plan reflect changes and meet the needs of the community for the future, and to review for consistency with the Provincial Policy Statement.
The full report is included as part of the January 12, 2021 County Council Agenda package.
County Prepares for Video Court Proceedings
In-person Provincial Offences Court proceedings have been suspended since March 16, 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Via audio conferencing, Judicial Pretrials began June 22, 2020, Part I Early Resolution guilty plea hearings followed on July 8, 2020, and Part III resolutions commenced on October 8, 2020 – at present, however, the commencement of trials are still pending. The Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) has now provided direction on their approved technical solution for virtual trials and the requirements for remote proceedings until it is safe to resume in-person proceedings. Elgin County Court staff have begun preparations for the first video session in the coming weeks.
For information regarding the process and equipment that will be utilized for conducting these virtual proceedings consult the report contained in the January 12, 2021 County Council Agenda Package.
2021 Preliminary Budget Plan Presentation
The Director of Finance presented a preliminary 2021 budget plan to Council. The presentation included sources of funding received in 2020, internal cost reductions, proposed cost increases/service enhancements, debt financing, surplus, use of reserves, tax ratios and a preliminary average tax rate increase of 3.3%.
Council voted to include an approximately $9 million increase in total debt for the facility asset management plan into the preliminary budget plan and voted to keep tax ratios for farm and small commercial at the rates previously set.
The Budget Committee met in the afternoon on January 12, 2021 to consider Council’s feedback and will meet again on January 26, 2021 to review Capital and Operating ten-year plans, including Closed and Carry-Forward projects, and establish a final tax rate recommendation for County Council. Council will consider the approval of the operating and capital budgets and set a tax rate on February 9, 2021.
The full presentation can be found in the January 12, 2021 County Council Agenda package. For more information about the Elgin County Budget Committee or to learn about the municipal budgeting process visit www.elgincounty.ca/budgetcommittee.
Engineering Services – Tenders
Corporate Facilities Cleaning Services
A Contract Cleaning Services Tender for the Administration Building, Heritage Centre and POA Courthouse was awarded to Serv-U-Clean Inc. for a two-year term at a total price of $265,148. Additionally, enhanced cleaning services, consisting of a day porter focusing on COVID related cleaning across the three facilities, was accepted for an initial one (1) year term for a total price of $31,200.
John Wise Line Reconstruction Project
ASG Excavating Inc. was awarded the John Wise Line Reconstruction Project, Tender No. 2020-T40 at a total price of $1,211,058.65 exclusive of HST. This construction project along a short section of John Wise Line (CR45) within the Township of Southwold, includes the replacement of storm sewer infrastructure, guiderail, and road reconstruction. A construction detour will be in place throughout the duration of construction for motorists and cyclists to follow.
Village of Rodney Reconstruction
Van Bree Drainage and Bulldozing Limited was awarded the Village of Rodney Reconstruction Project, Tender No. 2020-T42 at a total price of $4,741,050.11 exclusive of HST, subject to the Municipality of West Elgin’s commitment to fund its proportionate share.
This reconstruction project along both Furnival Road (CR103) and Queen Line (CR104) within the Village of Rodney settlement limits, includes the replacement of storm sewer infrastructure and the installation of storm sewer private drain connections to each property, road reconstruction, streetscape improvements, and installation of street lighting, the costs of which will be proportionately funded by the Municipality of West Elgin in the expected amount of $1,030,420.70 (excluding HST).
A construction detour will be in place throughout the duration of construction for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to follow. Local, business and tourist traffic only access will be provided within close proximity to the construction zone so as to mitigate business loss impacts.
Drop Bike Contract Renewed
In 2019, the County of Elgin entered into an agreement with the Municipality of Central Elgin and DropBike Inc. to participate in a pilot project for short-term, recreational bicycle rentals within the Community of Port Stanley. The pilot project was set to be completed on December 31, 2020. The first year of rentals occurred; however, as a result of COVID-19 rentals were suspended during the summer of 2020. Council voted to reinstate the program and complete the two (2) year pilot through a replacement services agreement. Rentals will go forward in Port Stanley this summer and the program will be subject to public health restrictions and provincial regulations.
The complete January 12, 2021 County Council Agenda package can be found here.