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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  News Fire Chief Crocker to Retire End of May 2016


by Francie Dennison
Fire Chief Crocker to Retire End of May 2016

The Central Elgin Council meeting of December 14, 2015 opened with a delegation from the St. Thomas Elgin Family YMCA in which Katie Payler, General Manager, Heidi Peever Bain, VP Development, Family YMCA of St. Thomas-Elgin and Angela Ralf were be in attendance to deliver a presentation on the work the YMCA is doing to help build stronger communities in the St. Thomas and Elgin County region.

The services we provide to community members align with Central Elgin's priorities of healthy lifestyles and sports and recreation. Through our YMCA Strong Kids financial assistance program, we ensure that every child, individual and family who wished to participate in Y programs and services has the opportunity to do so, regardless of their financial inability to pay.

This June, the Family YMCA of St. Thomas-Elgin received a generous grant of $20,000 from the City of St. Thomas to support our YMCA Strong Kids program locally. In November, we received confirmation of a matching gift from the Township of Southwold for $20,000. The purpose of our presentation is to share the impact of the St. Thomas-Elgin YMCA in our community, and make a formal request for continued support for the Council's consideration for 2016.

With a current membership of 5,000 Katie Payler noted the Y employs 42 part-time staff under 25 years of age. They also get a lot of day pass users and from the local high schools. 36% of their members are on some kind of financial assistance. They are looking for $2,500 from Central Elgin to help subsidize three families.

Mayor Marr noted the grant assistance is from Green Lane Trust, not Southwold Township, and said he would have staff give the Y formal Central Elgin grant application to be considered at budget time.

Correspondence (for Council's Information)
Received collectively as information with the exception of item #8.

1. County Council - Highlights: Copy of Highlights from County Council meeting dated November 24, 2015: Several delegations came to Council to present their concerns regarding the Elgin County Shoreline Management Plan. Council voted to defer consideration of the plan.

Council re-appointed JGM Consulting as Integrity Commissioner (IC) for 2016. The primary role of the IC is to review and investigate, as an impartial adjudicator, any complaints with respect to County Council's Code of Conduct.

Council also re-appointed Mr. John Maddox (JGM Consulting) as Closed Meeting Investigator for the County of Elgin for 2016 with a renewal option for a further one-year term. The role of the Closed Meeting Investigator is to ensure a municipality or local board has complied with the 'Closed Meeting' requirements of the Municipal Act in the event of a complaint.

2. 2016 Great Lakes International Air Show: Correspondence received from Great Lakes International Air Show advising of 2016 event being scheduled from June 17-19, 2016: As a registered nonprofit organization, our goal is to raise funds in support of local charities. Over $150,000 has been donated to local organizations over the past decade. Our event also serves as an important economic development and tourism tool, showcasing the area as well as the diverse amenities and services available at our local airport ... We respectfully ask Council for their continued logistical and in -kind support of this most worthwhile regional charity event.

Deputy Mayor Martyn said she was not sure which local charities they support, but Council has said repeatedly they are not in the business of directing taxpayer dollars to charities. In the past Central Elgin has provided firefighters at no charge, and last time they paid the firefighters, but if they do this again then they are giving money to charities. CAO Don Leitch was directed to send the Great Lakes International Air Show a Central Elgin Special Events form, which the group has not yet filled out, and the municipality will deal with this issue then, through that format.

3. Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF): Correspondence received from the Ministry of Finance announcing release of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) program allocations for 2016: In 2016, the Province will provide a total of $505 million in unconditional funding through the OMPF to 388 municipalities across the province. This funding, combined with the municipal benefit resulting from the provincial uploads, will total more than $2.3 billion in 2016. This is nearly four times the level of funding provided in 2004.

As you know, 2016 is the final year of the phase-down of the OMPF program that was announced in 2012, and was part of our 2008 upload agreement with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and other municipalities. The redesigned program, introduced in 2014, supports municipalities with limited property assessment; recognizes the unique challenges of northern and rural municipalities; and better targets funding to northern and rural municipalities with more challenging fiscal circumstances.

Also beginning in 2016, the Rural Communities Grant, which continues to support rural farming communities, will be enhanced to $143 million. This funding increase will be targeted to municipalities with the highest levels of farm land, in recognition of their unique challenges.

Central Elgin Director of Finance said the 2016 OMPF funding for Central Elgin will drop $68,000 from the 2015 level. Mayor Marr said it will continue to drop at least 15% year by year until it is gone altogether.

4. Talbotville WWTP Class EA - Township of Southwold: Township of Southwold - Notice of Commencement & Public Information Centre #1 respecting Talbotville WWTP Class EA.

5. Bill 135 - Energy Statute Law Amendment Act: Correspondence received from Bob Chiarelli, minister, Ministry of Energy, respecting Bill 135, the Energy Statute Law Amendment Act.

6. Healthy Communities Partnership: Copy of minutes from Healthy Communities Partnership meeting dated November 18, 2015.

7. Central Elgin Growing Together: Copy of minutes from Central Elgin Growing Together Committee meeting dated November 26, 2015: Mayor Marr said he was happy to see they were continuing to bring the Growing Together awards together with the Volunteer Service awards into one awards presentation.

8. Ontario Trails Act: Copy of resolution received from Township of Montague indicating their support for Bill 100 - Ontario Trails Act: Deputy Mayor Martyn wanted council to endorse this resolution and Mayor Marr thought it should be sent to the conservation authorities. As no one was clear on exactly what Bill 100 says it was decided to defer this until staff could bring back a report on what is contained in Bill 100.

9. Central Elgin Fire Rescue: Correspondence received from Fire Chief Don Crocker advising of his retirement date in May 2016: In correspondence dated November 23, 2015, Central Elgin Fire Chief Don Crocker informed Mayor David Marr of his intention to retire on May 31,2016 after serving 17 years with the Municipality of Central Elgin. Mayor Marr said they accepted this letter with regret and now council will have to decide on a procedure to find Chief Crocker's replacement. He noted the Master Fire Plan should be completed before Crocker retires.

10. Port Stanley BIA Board of Management: Copy of minutes from the Port Stanley BIA Board of Management meetings dated November 4th and November 18, 2015.

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof: Councillor Crevits declared a conflict with reports PW95-15 & PW 96-15.

CAO 76-15: Property Standards Committee Appointment: In August 2014, Council passed By-law 1768, A By -law for Prescribing Standards for the Maintenance and Occupancy of Property within the Municipality of Central Elgin. This by-law was the first property standards by -law for the amalgamated municipality replacing by-laws from the former Village of Port Stanley and the former Township of Yarmouth. The By-law is enforced by the Chief Building Official and the Building Inspector in a capacity as Property Standards Officers. Property owners or tenants may appeal an order issued by a Property Standards Officer to the Property Standards Committee which conducts a hearing into the appeal. By-law 1768 provides that the Committee "shall have all the powers and functions of the officer and may confirm the order to demolish or repair or may modify or quash it or may extend the time for complying with the order provided that, in the opinion of the Committee, the general intent and purpose of the by -law and of the official plan are maintained."

Council decided to start off this committee with members of council only and perhaps add members of the public at a later time. Dennis Crevits was appointed for a one-year term, Stephen Carr appointed to a two-year term, and Harold Winkworth appointed to a three-year term. Fiona Roberts volunteered to be a back up or alternate member for the committee.

CAO 78-15: September, October & November 2015 Monthly Building Reports: Permit values are down but the number of permits and the number of new home starts are up.

CAO 79-15: Closed Meeting Investigator & Integrity Commissioner: Council agreed to appoint John Maddox (JGM Consulting) as Central Elgin's Closed Meetings Investigator and Integrity Commission for another 1 year term commencing January 1, 2016 with and additional 1 year term subject to the mutual agreement of both parties.

PW 89-15: DWQMS Water Infrastructure Review: Received and approved by council.

PW 95-15: Erie Heights Subdivision Phase 2: Received as information.

PW 96-15: Sunset Bluffs Subdivision, Servicing Easement: Received as information.

DFS 12-15: 2016 Insurance RFP Recommendation: Council accepted the proposal submitted by BFL Canada Risk and Insurance Services Inc. for the Municipality's 2016 Insurance Program at a price of $185,015.00, plus applicable taxes. This is $24,943.00 less than last year's cost for the same insurance.


  • Taken and passed collectively
  • By-law 1953: Confirmatory By-law
  • By-law 1954: Being a By-law to Establish Certain Lands as Part of a Public Highway known as Edith Cavell Boulevard
  • By-law 1955: Being a By-law to Assume Ownership of Phase 2 Works in the Erie Heights Way Subdivision
  • By-law 1956: Being a By-law to Authorize the Mayor and Clerk to Execute an Undertaking for the Acceptance and Transfer of Part Lot 1, Concession 2, Geographic Township of Yarmouth, Municipality of Central Elgin, County of Elgin
  • By-law 1957: Being a By-law to Authorize the Execution of a Collective Agreement with CUPE Local 35.3

Resolutions: There are now two new motions regarding 10194 Turner Road, which is property adjacent to CN rail lands, over questions about meeting the Ministry of the Environment sound and vibration level requirements for new home construction. The application is to be heard on Friday, December 18, 2016.

New Business

Port Stanley waste water treatment: Lloyd Perrin said the Environmental Assessment (EA) for this includes pumping station 51 (on Carlow Road across from the public school) regarding condition and capacity. Pumping station 52 by the train station has issues with the concrete retaining walls along the west side of Kettle Creek, repairs for which are estimated in excess of $1 million. Constructing a new pumping station south of that location which would have an increased capacity built into it (for west harbour development, etc) and would include public washrooms would cost about $2 million. Both options will be included in the next public EA meeting.

Dominion of Canada (DOC) Building: Mayor Marr said he'd received and inquiry from John Morrow of Heritage Port as to what is council's intention with regards to the DOC building? They want to designate it as a heritage building. Councillor McNeil, who is also on Heritage Port, said that designating the building as heritage does not prevent it from being demolished. He also said that as part of the infrastructure in the harbour divestiture deal, the building cannot be demolished until 2030 (20 years from the 2010 date when Central Elgin received the harbour).

Buildings are designated either for architectural, cultural or heritage reasons and it has nothing to do with the age of the building. There are quite a few of these poured concrete buildings around, according to McNeil, that have been re-purposed.

Councillor Winkworth was confused and unclear as to what constituted architectural, cultural or heritage reasons for designation and what it was about the DOC that might qualify it for designation. Staff is to bring back a report to council on what constitutes architectural, cultural or heritage reasons for designation for council's discussion and decision on the future of the DOC.

Unfinished Business
1. Public Garbage Can Policy

Closed Session

  • CS1 Security of Property (s.239(2)(a)) - Port Stanley Harbour
  • CS2 Security of Property (s.239(2)(a)) - 115 William Street
  • CS3 Closed Session Minutes
  • CS4 A Proposed of Pending Acquisition or Disposition of Land (s.239)(2)(c))
  • CS5 Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations (s.239(2)(d)) - Financial Services

Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 December 2015 15:05:13 PM EST

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