County Council Highlights - April 9, 2024

Mapping Progress: The Evolution of Elgin County’s GIS Platform

Elgin County has witnessed the evolution of its Geographic Information System (GIS), the “Elgin GeoHub,” since its establishment in 2021. Over the past three years, all of Elgin’s municipalities have transitioned, or plan to transition, their GIS services to the County’s server, marking a significant milestone in regional collaboration. With 65 municipal employees and approximately 15,000 public users accessing the system, the GeoHub has become a vital resource for municipal operations and public engagement. To formalize the provision of GIS services, a shared service agreement has been prepared, outlining base services provided by the County and mechanisms for requesting additional project work. With an approximate annual cost of $90,000 for software licenses and suites, excluding consulting and maintenance costs, Elgin County remains committed to supporting its municipal partners’ evolving needs through GIS technology. Council authorized the Warden and Chief Administrative Officer to execute the Geographic Information System shared service agreement with Elgin’s local municipal partners, furthering the County’s dedication to fostering regional collaboration and innovation. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the County’s GIS platform online by visiting https://geohub.elgin.ca/.

Preserving the Past, Engaging the Present: Service Updates from Elgin County’s Library, Museum, and Archives

Elgin County Council received a report from the Director of Community and Cultural Services offering a comprehensive service update for Elgin County’s Library, Museum, and Archives. This update detailed recent programs, projects, and initiatives undertaken by each institution. The following highlights include the noteworthy achievements and activities across these cherished cultural institutions.

Elgin County Library:

  • Implemented a novel postcard registration system to ensure individuals facing housing insecurity could access library services, reflecting the library’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Hosted a variety of engaging March Break activities across all branches, including reptile shows, ventriloquism acts, and craft workshops, attracting high attendance and fostering community engagement.
  • Offered educational programming centered around the total solar eclipse, providing residents with opportunities to learn about and observe the celestial event at multiple library branches.
Ray's Reptiles Program at the Shedden Library
Ray’s Reptiles program at the Shedden Library branch welcomed over 250 enthusiastic children and parents during March Break

Elgin County Museum:

  • Presented a captivating talk by former Warden Paul Baldwin on the musical legacy of harmonica virtuoso Tommy Riley and his father James, drawing an audience of history enthusiasts and garnering significant media attention.
  • Showcased the exhibit ‘Port Stanley – Canada’s Coney Island,’ which explored the village’s rich entertainment history, including amusement rides and beach attractions, as part of Bicentennial celebrations.
  • Completed an interpretive mural depicting the settlement journey of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, created by volunteers from the Oneida Language & Cultural Centre, furthering cultural understanding and promoting inclusivity.
  • Welcomed Madeleine Howard as the new Curator, succeeding the retiring Mike Baker, and celebrated Mike’s distinguished career with a special event at the Heritage Centre, honoring his contributions to preserving Elgin County’s heritage.
Paul Baldwin delivers a presentation on the musical legacy of harmonica virtuoso Tommy Riley at the Elgin County Heritage Centre

Elgin County Archives:

  • Made significant progress in digitizing historical newspapers, scanning over 87,000 pages, which included coverage of the First World War and Interwar period, providing valuable insights into the County’s past.
  • Expanded social media presence, reaching millions of people and generating interest in Elgin County’s history through captivating photographs, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and engaging content. The most popular Elgin County photograph on Facebook for the past year was the exterior of Mackie’s/Port Stanley boardwalk, circa 1947. That post reached over 110,000 people and was interacted with just over 7,000 times.
  • Conducted outreach initiatives, such as green screen programs at local markets and educational presentations at schools, to connect with the community and promote historical awareness and appreciation.
Mackie's in Port Stanley, circa 1947
Photograph showing the exterior of Mackie’s in Port Stanley, circa 1947

Bridge Rehabilitation: Awarding Engineering Services Contract to Spriet Associates London Limited

Council received a report from the Director of Engineering Services respecting the required engineering services for multiple bridge rehabilitations, including the Eden Bridge, Gillets Bridge, Mapleton Bridge, Players Bridge, and Port Burwell Bridge. The two-year project comprises Phase 1, encompassing engineering designs, tender, permits, and approvals in 2024, and Phase 2, involving construction inspection and contract administration in 2025. Following a rigorous evaluation process, Spriet Associates London Limited emerged as the highest scoring qualified proposal, representing the best complete submission. The total cost for engineering services, construction inspection, and contract administration is $279,900, with sufficient funding allocated in the 2024 and proposed 2025 capital budgets. Council directed and authorized the Warden and Chief Administrative Officer to sign the contract with Spriet Associates London Limited for the amount of $279,900.

Revitalizing County Roads: Contracts Awarded for Asphalt Recycling and Paving Projects

In alignment with the 2024 Capital Budget, tenders were issued for Cold In-Place Asphalt Recycling and Hot Mix Asphalt Paving on various County roads. Council authorized the Warden and Chief Administrative Officer to sign the contracts, marking a significant step towards road improvement. For Cold In-Place Asphalt Recycling, Roto-Mill Inc. was selected for the rehabilitation of seven County roads. Utilizing a Cold In-Place Asphalt Recycling with Expanded Asphalt Material (CIREAM) technique, these projects aim to enhance road conditions effectively. Similarly, Brantco Construction secured the Hot Mix Asphalt Paving contract for eleven road projects, ensuring quality resurfacing and granular shoulder installations. The total cost for Cold In-Place Asphalt Recycling amounts to $2,628,071.93, while Hot Mix Asphalt Paving totals $4,567,904.30. Anticipated budget surpluses reflect efficient financial planning, ensuring project completion within allocated funds despite potential fluctuations in material costs. With contracts awarded, work on these vital road projects is slated to commence in May, with completion targeted by September 2024. Adherence to the County’s Purchasing Policy ensures transparent financial management, with provisions for change orders outlined to address unforeseen circumstances.

For the complete April 9, 2024 Agenda Package, please visit the following link: County Council Agenda Package

Victoria Day Closure 2024
Easter Holiday Closure Notice
Family Day Closure Notice
Graphic to indicate holiday closures at Elgin County Facilities. The Elgin County Administration Building, Provincial Offences Administration Building, and Elgin County Heritage Centre will be closed on Friday, December 23rd at noon. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024.