County Council Highlight - October 10, 2023
Transforming Tomorrow Campaign: More Care. Closer to Home
St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) Foundation representatives presented their Transforming Tomorrow Campaign to County Council and to ask for a $2.5M donation towards the Campaign.
Through this Campaign, our local hospital plans to expand the Diagnostic Imaging Suite with the need for $8M in community donations. The main objective of this campaign is to bring MRI Technology to the hospital. The Ministry of Health has committed to funding the MRI equipment’s operation, but the Foundation needs to raise funds to purchase and install the MRI machine.
Additionally, the campaign includes a significant renovation to redesign the space, ensuring safety for staff and patients while keeping patients closer to home.
Council forwarded the $2.5M ask to the Budget Committee for consideration in the 2024 Budget deliberations.
Official Plan Amendment No. 4 Transforms West Elgin’s Residential Landscape
The Official Plan Amendment No. 4 to the Official Plan of the Municipality of West Elgin has been approved by the County Council with the minor modifications indicated in the Council report.
This amendment aims to change the land use designation on the subject lands from ‘Rural Residential’ to site-specific ‘Rural Residential.’
This change will allow the lands to be used for residential purposes, including semi-detached and townhouse dwellings with full Municipal services. The modified application has received support from the Municipal staff, MHBC Planning Consultants, and V&V Enterprises.
Charting the Course: Shaping the Future of Elgin County Library Programs
County Council adopted the ‘Elgin County Library Programming and Partnership Policy’ to govern the selection, development, and delivery of programs offered by Elgin County Library.
In 2022, the library programs were attended by a total of just over 27,000 people. The evidence so far in 2023 suggests that the popularity of these programs is still growing in the post-pandemic era.
Therefore, it is appropriate to implement a policy that governs the types of programs that library staff can host or facilitate. At the same time, this policy should articulate the library’s commitments to matters such as intellectual freedom and responsible use of resources to deliver these programs.
Empowering Health: Elgin County Homes’ Strategic Move for Clear Medical Directives and Enhanced Resident Care
The County of Elgin Homes, which includes Bobier Villa, Elgin Manor, and Terrace Lodge, requires medical directives to provide clear direction and authority for registered nurses and registered practical nurses. These directives cover a range of specific duties, including administering vaccinations (such as Pneumovax, COVID-19, and influenza), medications for palliative care, and treatments for medical conditions that fall outside of a resident’s prescribed medication and treatment routine.
To ensure timely implementation and high-quality resident care, County Council approved that the Director of Homes and Seniors Services and/or Administrator have the authority to approve medical directives after they have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate people, including the Homes Medical Director.
Powering Progress: A Vision for Sustainable Growth and Community Engagement
The Amazon Fulfillment Centre and Power SE Gigafactory have generated interest from private sector investors in both industrial and residential land development across Elgin County.
Elgin’s Economic Development team is working on a joint grant application to FedDev Ontario to attract investments to the region. The proposed project aims to position the area as a hub for electric vehicle manufacturing, leveraging strategic advantages such as location at the heart of the Great Lakes Automotive Corridor, proximity to the new VW electric vehicle battery factory, and access to critical minerals.
This growth also requires community engagement initiatives, which will involve local municipalities and residents to make informed decisions and balance the benefits and challenges of growth. Council directed County staff to meet with Local Municipal Partner Councils and Chief Administrative Officers to gain a better perspective into the public engagement component of this initiative.
Securing the Future: Elgin County’s Proactive Approach to Upgrading to Office 365
The County’s Service Delivery Review was followed by a Cyber incident revealing vulnerable areas in our IT infrastructure. Efforts have since focused on data protection and software digitization.
To achieve this, County Council approved upgrading the County’s outdated Microsoft Office Suite to Office 365 (O365), allowing Elgin to move data to the cloud. The next step is implementing O365, which will be contained within the 2023 County IT budget.
Modernizing Financial Operations
Our Finance Department’s current accounting software, Sage300, is an older version that was last updated in 2017. As of October 1, 2023, it will be unsupported but will remain operational for an unknown period of time.
To avoid business interruption and improve efficiency, County Council approved the update to a newer version of Sage300. This update will help to simplify the accounting system and provide timely reports for Finance Staff and support their work with the budget and year-end processes.
Transparency in Action: 2022 Annual Report & Financial Statements
The County of Elgin has the obligation to produce Audited Financial Statements every year and make them readily accessible to the public. The Director of Finance/Treasurer of the County, together with the County’s retained Auditor, Rob Foster of Graham Scott Enns, presented the 2022 Financial Statements and Annual Report to County Council.
Shortly after the meeting, these documents were uploaded to the County’s website for public use. The Financial Statements will also be sent to our funding partners and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.