Council Directs Preparation of Development Charges Background Study
Hemson Consulting Ltd. presented an informational report to County Council about development charges. This report included a development forecast, historical service levels, growth related capital programs, draft development charge rates and municipal rate comparisons.
Council directed Hemson Consulting Ltd. to prepare a Development Charge Background Study pursuant to section 10 of the Development Charges Act, 1997, based on the growth-related capital program including a phased approach to implementation and associated costs. Additionally, staff were directed to discuss development charges and mechanisms to compensate municipalities for their administration and report back to Council at a future meeting.
The full report from Hemson Consulting is included as part of the April 6, 2021 County Council Agenda Package.
Review of Environmental Impact Studies (EIS)
The Province through its Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and Natural Heritage Reference Manual places the onus for environmental protection related to development proposals on upper and lower tier municipalities. All official plans across Ontario include policies that protect the environment. Where development proposals may impose adverse effects on natural heritage features such as woodlands, wetlands and wildlife habitat, an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is required. There is generally no staff person that is experienced in environmental matters, such as a biologist, that could review an EIS on behalf the County or a local municipality. Council directed staff to provide a follow-up report that details options available for the review of these Environmental Impact Studies including the possibility of taking the responsibility on in-house, hiring an environmental consulting firm or developing a memorandum of understanding with local conservation authorities to provide this service. More information will be presented at a future meeting.
Engineering Services Update
As part of the approved 2021 Capital Budget, eight (8) roads will receive hot mix asphalt resurfacing and new granular shoulders as part of rehabilitation projects or as stand-alone resurfacing projects. Additionally, Avon Drive between the east limits of the hamlet of Avon to Pigram Road will receive surface treatment in 2021.
Coco Paving Inc. was awarded the tender for Hot Mix Asphalt Paving on various roads, at a total price of $4,623,000.00 inclusive of a $50,000 contingency allowance and exclusive of HST. Duncor Enterprises Inc. was awarded the tender for Surface Treatment on Avon Drive, at a total price of $49,896.00 exclusive of HST.
Local Municipalities Report Road Maintenance Expenditures
The County of Elgin has outsourced road maintenance activities to its member municipalities since 1997. Municipalities are required to report their maintenance expenditures from the prior year before February 15th as detailed in the Road Maintenance Agreement.
The Road Maintenance Agreement compensation model allows each municipality the flexibility to determine how to complete a defined scope of maintenance activities and provides a lump sum annual allocation (paid monthly) calculated from the number of kilometres and type (Highway Classification) of County roads maintained.
Full details of these expenditures are contained within the April 6, 2021 County Council Agenda Package.
County Directs Staff to Investigate Local Municipal Requests
The Municipality of Central Elgin requested that the County of Elgin make permanent the temporary signal improvements installed at the Carlow Road and Sunset Road intersections of Warren St. in Port Stanley. These improvements were installed as a temporary measure during the King George VI Lift Bridge capital project.
The Township of Malahide recommended that the County investigate speed warrants and other traffic calming measures and intersection control devices at the intersection of Avon Road and Putnam Road.
Council directed Engineering Services to investigate these requests and bring forward a report at a future meeting.
Council Approves RFP for Corporate Intranet
The County of Elgin selected Sandbox Software Solutions for the provision of services associated with the development of a Corporate Intranet, in the amount of $57,156.19 (one-time cost) and $17,495.00 (annual cost). This selection was done through a formal Request for Proposal process in accordance with the County of Elgin’s Procurement Policy.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of frequent, timely communication with employees across the Corporation. The purpose of an intranet is to provide a central and secure location to store relevant and frequently accessed corporate documents, policies and procedures ensuring staff and Councillors are able to quickly and efficiently access this information from anywhere. The intranet will act as a primary internal communications tool ensuring that staff feel supported and have timely and accurate access to emergency updates, corporate updates, wellness resources etc. Additionally, an intranet should provide enhanced opportunities for meaningful two-way communication with employees.
The intranet will also provide a password protected portal for Council related documents.
Elgin County Reminders
Official Plan Review Process
The County of Elgin is currently undertaking a review of its Official Plan as part of a five-year review process. The County is accepting comments from stakeholders and members of the public regarding their priorities for the review process. A survey regarding Official Plan priorities is currently open until April 15, 2021. Please fill out the survey to have your say regarding the future of land use planning in Elgin County.
International Plowing Match Scholarship
The County of Elgin is now accepting applications for the 2021 International Plowing Match Legacy Scholarship.
The scholarship was approved in 2011 by a Committee formed by County Council, staff and members of the 2010 Elgin International Plowing Match to award a County female and male student a $2,500 grant each to assist them in their agriculturally-related studies in college or university. The scholarship is provided as a result of the generous support of legacy funds from the 2010 International Plowing Match hosted in Elgin County. In order to be eligible, applicants must be a resident of the County of Elgin or the City of St. Thomas, and must be enrolled and have completed at least one year in a post-secondary institution in Canada studying in a discipline related to agriculture. Examples of such programs include agricultural sciences, agri-business, agri-tourism, nutrition, earth sciences and food sciences. Applications will close on June 1st, 2021 at 4:30p.m.
For more information about eligibility criteria and a copy of the application visit www.elgincounty.ca/ipmscholarship.
The complete April 6, 2021 County Council Agenda package can be found here.