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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  News Regular Meeting Of Council On Monday, May 14th, 2018

News

by Doug Harvey
Regular Meeting Of Council On Monday, May 14th, 2018

The Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin

Regular Meeting Of Council On Monday, May 14th, 2018

Roll Call - - Stephen Carr was absent.

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and the General Nature Thereof - None disclosed.

Adoption of Minutes

Delegations

1. New Newspaper

Melissa Schneider, was in attendance to discuss a new newspaper she wishes to start for the Sparta, Union and Port Stanley area.

"Over the last 12 years of my career as a Journalist, the media landscape has changed significantly- and not for the better.

Little by little large Canadian Media companies have continued to absorb and shut down smaller local newspapers, leaving black holes all over the Canadian landscape.

In Central Elgin, The Weekly News was closed effective immediately last November in a paper swap between media giants Torstar and Postmedia. We didn't even get the chance to publish our last edition ... And most of you already know the Lake Erie Beacon in Port Stanley has ceased publication as well due to Andrew's ongoing health issues.

These closures have left a large gap for news within the boundaries of Central Elgin. It's also left a lot of good newspaper people in the cold.

People like to tell me that print media is a dying art form, but I feel there will always be room to write content that is hyper local. You only need to look as far as Aylmer to see how people appreciate the Aylmer Express and all the interesting local coverage it provides.

I myself read up to 20 news websites each morning and find that right away I am aware of everything going on nationally, internationally and globally. What I don't find is coverage of my home village of Sparta, or anything in Union and Port Stanley, because unless something tragic occurs our areas do not seem to receive news coverage.

Finding myself out of work these last several months, and once again being in the dark on local events after The Weekly News closure, I thought what better way for me to find a positive angle in my situation then to start my own small paper that is filled with Hyper local content. I have experience with most aspects of the newspaper business, having been a writer, editor, photographer and doing newspaper design and layout.

I'm sure you will be relieved to hear that I'm here today in front of you not to ask for money, but for the municipality's support in launching a paper for Sparta, Union and Port Stanley. Called the Truthteller (a nod to Sparta's history), I am hoping to be able to publish the free paper monthly to start.

I am grateful to have the support and guidance of two local, long-time newspaper guys -- Ian McCallum and Jim McHarg, for this business opportunity.

It is my aim to have the first edition printed and distributed before the Provincial election on June 7th.

I have brought with me a version of the front page that I am working on so you can get a feel for the product and I am happy to answer any questions you might have."

After her initial statement she described failed negotiations with the owners of The Lake Erie Beacon, and that her new paper would model The Lake Erie Beacon in a very similar way, but still make it her own.

Mayor Marr commented that it is always good to see someone like yourself start up something new. Journalism obviously, it's a good time to start up with the elections going on, there will be lot's of people wanting to read, I think your timing is good. I fully support you moving forward.

Deputy Mayor Martyn commented that she has been in talking about this with Melissa for some time now, encouraging her. So many people have commented that they never know what's going on in Port Stanley any more because the Beacons gone.

Harold Winkworth commented that he reads all the news from local sources, and would certainly like to encourage you moving forward, best wishes, and I hope everything works out for you.

2. Jet Ski Rental - Proposal

Juan Castro, was in attendance to discuss a jet ski rental proposal.

He commented that I'm just here to ask for the same exact thing as last season here. With Council being the same, the answers should be the same except for two things that have changed since I was last here. Last year before you at this time there was no proof that we were a safe company. After operating last summer, we have proved ourselves with zero accidents, rescued 3 boats and 4 different jet skis. We had started a life jacket lending program with boaters needing extra life jackets for a couple of hours.

We were also rated in area activities, the number 2 tourist attraction in Port Stanley, with the beach being number 1, and received 51 reviews on our Facebook page, all 5 star ratings with no complaints. After last season I met with Shelly and asked her if there was anything we could do better, she said that there was no complaints and nothing needed to be changed. In September we received an email from the Municipality asking us if we would return next season so a spot could be held. I replied immediately saying yes, we would love to come back.

He also commented that the boat launch got very busy on weekends and would make better use of the spot that I used last year. Because of our track record last year, if there was a spot available, could we still come back?

Mayor Marr commented that a report came forward last month from staff indicating that the area would be repurposed with a better opportunity for us. Council did vote on that and in order to re-examine the application a 2/3 majority of Council would be needed to begin discussions. I also believe that in report there was an indication that there was no other spot available.

A 2/3 majority of Council agreed to take another look at the application but offered no false hope that another spot could be made available. Juan Castro continued with his version of events surrounding what transpired during this years negotiations for the same spot as last year, and because of not fully knowing the bidding procedure he did not place a bid in time for that same spot as last year. He also indicated that another spot to operate from, along the Pier, was discussed last year and that he thought that this could also be available this year, but that during recent conversations with staff he was told that because of liability concerns along the Pier through the safety gate that this would not be an option available to him.

Mayor Marr also commented that the Pier behind the locked gate was not a suitable spot to operate from because it's design was meant for emergency purposes only, and because it was close to open water offering no protection from the elements. Discussions continued for some time with a primary focus of finding a suitable safe area for this business to operate from. Staff and Council concluded that the only safe spots available for this type of business have already been repurposed and that if anything changes, Juan Castro will be notified.

Correspondence (Action)

1. Deer Population

Correspondence was received from T. E. Campbell, 584 George Street, expressing a concern with deer over population on the west side of Port Stanley. His letter is as follows:

"There is a serious deer overpopulation problem at the west side of Port Stanley. When neighbours count 25 deer in their back yards it's out of control.
Recently, Point Pelee announced the culling of two-thirds of the deer population in that area.
There are a least two cases of Lyme Disease on our street.
The damage and destruction by the deer population becomes more extreme every year, as do the number of car and deer accidents in the area.
This will become even more exacerbated with the Wastell development on George St. forcing deer into other areas.
Less open fields, few natural predators and an ever growing deer population. Something will need to be done.
Hopefully, this is on your " to do" list when evaluating the future growth of the Port Stanley area.

Mayor Marr indicated that this correspondence was also forwarded to County Council and that Mr. Campbell was redirected to the Ministry of Natural Resources as it's their responsibility for dear populations. Councillor McNeil also commented that from a Community Policing point of view that this high on the radar, the OPP know all about it. I think that this risk is well identified and between the County and the OPP putting pressure on the MNR to get on the case. Deputy Mayor Martyn suggested that staff inform Mr. Campbell of the actions of Council.

A Motion by Councillor Roberts and Seconded by Councillor Crevits that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin receive and file correspondence from T. E. Campbell dated April 12th, 2018. The Motion was Carried.

2. 2018 Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application

A 2018 Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application was received from Cocoknots Macreme.

A Motion by Councillor Roberts and Seconded by Councillor Crevits that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin approve the Port Stanley Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Application received from Corrine Tombs, Cocoknots Macreme subject to the following conditions:

  • That the Applicant comply with the Outdoor Seasonal Vendor Policy as adopted by Council;
  • That the Applicant provide Liability Insurance in the amount $2,000,000.00 naming the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin as co-insured and held harmless;
  • That the Applicant provide payment fees;
  • And further that Council authorize staff to approve an Outdoor Seasonal location for 2018.
The Motion was Carried.

Correspondence (for Council's Information)

Councillor Roberts commented regarding item #7 Celebrate Central Elgin saying that the Tree Planting Workshop on April 28 at Lawton Park in Union was well attended. Approximately 65 people attended with 55 trees distributed of which 15 were purchased. The committee hasn't met yet, but I think that it is certainly something we will look at for next year. She also said that the committee was doing some spontaneous service recognitions for those committees in the area going above and beyond, doing clean-ups, planting anything to make our place a better place to live. We made our first presentation a couple of weeks ago to the St. Thomas Horticultural Society for their work on Fairview. If there is any other organizations out there that people know of that deserve recognition for their efforts to the community, then please let staff know.

Regarding item #2 ERTH - AGM, a Motion was put forward and passed selecting Mayor Marr and Deputy Mayor Martyn as Council representatives at the AGM.

Councillor McNeil commented on item #10 Cannabis Legalization the document produced by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and of the AMO. He offered his appreciation to both organizations on their efforts to inform Municipal Government on the roles and actions that must be made regarding the upcoming legalization of Cannabis. Councillor Winkworth and Deputy Mayor Martyn both commented about the medicinal use of Cannabis, first in the workplace and how that restricts ones ability function safely. Mayor Marr also commented that until new laws are made when something happens somewhere and gets challenged in court, no one will really know what those rules are.

Councillor Roberts had questions regarding item #11 Permit to Take Water Notification. Lloyd Perrin commented that everyone taking over 10,000 liters a day is required to have a permit. Even the pump in Hofhuis park that takes water from Lake Erie over the waterfall back into the lake needs a permit. Whether it's agricultural, a golf course, or a Municipality you are required to get a permit.

A Motion by Councillor Winkworth and Seconded by Deputy Mayor Martyn that Correspondence for Council's Information items #1 to #13 inclusive be received as information and filed. The Motion was Carried.

1. Landfill Projects
Correspondence received from The Township of Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards calling upon the Government of Ontario, and all political parties, to formally grant municipalities the authority to approve landfill projects in or adjacent to their communities, prior to June 2018.

2. ERTH - AGM
Email received from ERTH advising of upcoming Annual General Meeting on May 31, 2018.

3. Ministry of Education
Correspondence received from the Ministry of Education respecting Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG).

4. BIA Board of Management
Copy of minutes of the BIA Board of Management meeting dated Wednesday, March 22, 2018.

5. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Correspondence received from Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, advising that applications for 2018 Premier's Award for the Agri-Food Innovation Excellence are now being received.

6. Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Correspondence received Laura Albanese, Minister, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, seeking submissions for Lincoln M. Alexander Award.

7. Celebrate Central Elgin
Copy of minutes from the Celebrate Central Elgin meeting dated April 19, 2018.

8. Landfill Developments
Correspondence received from Ernie Hardeman, MPP, Oxford, seeking support for Bill 16, Respecting Municipal Authority Over Landfilling Sites Act.

9. Proposed Draft Plan of Subdivision & Zoning By-law Amendment - Township of Southwold
Copy of Notice of Public Meeting Concerning a Proposed Draft Plan of Subdivision and Zoning By-law Amendment for the Township of Southwold, Part of Lot 1, Concession D - Southside Construction Management Ltd.

10. Cannabis Legalization
Correspondence received from FCM respecting Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization.

11. Permit to Take Water Notification
Notification of Application for Permit to Take Water received from the Ministry of Environment Region: Southwestern

12. Ministry of Infrastructure - Municipal Infrastructure
Correspondence received from the Ministry of Infrastructure respecting Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure

13. Sign By-law Committee
Copy of minutes of the Sign By-law Committee meeting dated March 5, 2018.

Committee(s)

Noise By-law

A background report from Councillor Dan McNeil, Chair, Noise By-law Steering Committee: The Noise By-law Committee was formed in early 2017 to review the noise by-law in Port Stanley. The committee worked closely with by-law staff and the municipal solicitor.

An open house was held on February 13, 2018. Five business owners attended, and two comments were received.

Proposed Changes: The Committee proposes an adjustment in prohibitions by time and place, within a specified area in Port Stanley, on lands where restaurant facilities create sound from amplifying equipment.

The committee does not suggest changes to the basic by-law, but do recommend an optional permit system by which the operators of the restaurants may apply for an extended sound permit.

The permit would be issued for up to 6 months, and would not allow noise after 11:59 PM. The permit is renewable, and could be extended for up to 12 months of the year.

Feedback from the public meeting suggested that the cost of a Sound Management Plan from an acoustic engineer would be burdensome, so the Committee changed the proposed by-law so that an acoustic engineering is discretional.

The proposed application fee for a permit is $150 annually, refundable if the applicable is not approved.

By-law staff will review the application, and Council will make final approval of the permit.

Permits are not mandatory, but would allow businesses to make noise on certain days and times, subject to conditions. Complaints about businesses who choose not to acquire a permit would not be afforded the protection provided by a permit, and they could be charged.

A permit system for amplified sound is a compromise between businesses and residents. It puts the onus on businesses to take steps to minimize the impact of noise.

A Motion by Councillor Roberts and Seconded by Councillor Crevits that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin receive Committee Report Noise By-law as information. The Motion was Carried.

Sign By-law

Background: After receiving complaints about signs in the Municipality, a Sign By-law Committee was formed in late 2015 to develop a by-law to regulate the size, number, location, and zones of signs in Central Elgin.

Staff undertook an audit of the portable signs on major highway traffic corridors, including Wellington, Highbury, and Sunset Roads. There were 85 signs present.

Staff adapted the Township of Woolwich's sign by-law. Woolwich, like Central Elgin, is a municipality with a strong tourism economic sector. By-laws from other municipalities were also reviewed, including the Town of Tillsonburg and the City of St. Thomas. The draft by-law was reviewed by the Municipal Solicitor, and made available on the municipal website.

In January 2018, the Municipality hosted an open house to receive feedback on the draft. Notice of the open house was sent to a number of sign companies, the Port Stanley BIA, and the St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce. It was also advertised in local papers, on the Central Elgin website, and on social media.

Eighteen people submitted comments, both at and following the open house. The Committee was able to incorporate many suggestions into the final version. The changes based on public recommendations include:

  • Allowing portable signs to be placed year-round.
  • Changing the boundary of the Port Stanley Community Area to exclude the beach area.
  • Permitting farm accessory signs in agricultural zones.
  • Increasing the size of farm accessory signs (from 1.0 square metre to 4.0 square meters).

The by-law also includes:

  • Clear indication of which types of signs are permitted in agricultural, commercial, industrial, industrial/open space, and residential zones.
  • Size limitations for each category.
  • Allowances for pre-existing signs.
  • A maximum of one sidewalk sign permitted for any one business, with the maximum number of signs for any property being two.
  • A maximum of one portable sign per commercial and industrial property.
  • The requirement that business advertised on a sign is conducted in the Municipality of Central Elgin.
  • The requirement that most signs be approved through an application to the Municipality.
  • The allowance of temporary signs, by application, for periods of 30 days, renewable to a maximum 12 months per calendar year.
  • Special event and real estate signs would not require an application, but would be subject to time limits, which varies depending on the type of event.
  • Special event signs must be removed within 24 hours of the event, and real estate signs must be removed within 14 days of sale.
  • Special provisions to allow real estate signs, farm accessory signs, and signs for community events (excluding portable signs). Although no fee is proposed, farm accessory and community signs would still require an application and staff approval.
  • A mechanism to approve variations to the provisions of the by-law.
  • The committee proposes a $150 application fee for all signs, plus $15/month for temporary signs, for a maximum period of 12 months.
  • Staff would note that permanent signs may be eligible for funding through the Elgin Incentives Community Improvement Plan.
  • At the Committee's request, staff are also researching welcome signs in Belmont, Port Stanley, and Sparta that would have changeable text so that community groups could advertise upcoming events.

A Motion by Councillor Winkworth and Seconded by Deputy Mayor Martyn that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin receive Sign By-law Report dated May 14th, 2018 as information; And further that Council direct staff to amend the User fee By-law to reflect changes to brought forward at the May 28th meeting of Council. The Motion was Carried.

Chief Administrative Officer

COA 17-18 Port Stanley BIA Board of Management - Fill Vacancy

A Motion by Councillor Crevits and Seconded by Councillor Roberts that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin approve the appointment of Kim Saunders to fill the current vacancy on the Port Stanley BIA Board of Management as recommended in Report COA 17-18. The Motion was Carried.

CAO 18-18 April 2018 Monthly Building Report

Permit value for April 2018 $4,094,287.00 Permit value for April 2017 $2,407,605.00 Increase $1,686,682.00

Permit value for year to date (2018) $11,618,787.00 Permit value for previous year (2017) $8,545,704.00 Increase $3,073,083.00

Total permits for present year (2018) to date 95 Total permits for previous year (2017) to date 85

Total New Homes for present year (2018) to date 33 Total New Homes for previous year (2017) to date 30

Mayor Marr commented that the Parking By-law Enforcement Officers are now out there checking the municipal paid parking lots. People will have to pay for parking now, and that the best value for people frequently using the paid parking lots is the seasonal pass that is available for a $100 plus tax for any particular licenced vehicle.

A Motion by Councillor Crevits and Seconded by Councillor Roberts that the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Central Elgin receive report CAO 18-18 - April 2018 Monthly Building Reports as information. The Motion was Carried.

Reports

Director of Physical Services

Director of Financial Services/Treasurer

Director of Fire Rescue Services/Fire Chief

By-laws

A Motion Moved by Councillor Roberts and Seconded by Deputy Mayor Martyn that By-law 2244, 2254, 2255, 2256, 2257, 2258, and 2259 be taken collectively. The Motions were read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time and finally passed collectively.

By-law 2244 Sign By-law

By-law 2254 Confirmatory By-law (April 23 mtg.)

By-law 2255 Being a By-law to Execute an Agreement of Purchase & Sale with Keith Murray Trussler and Nancy Lynn Trussler regarding Front Street

By-law 2256 ZBA - Fehr, 9707 Penhale Road

By-law 2257 Being a By-law to Appoint By-law Enforcement Officers

By-law 2258 Being a By-law to Establish Pay Schedule for Employees covered by the Job Evaluation Scale

By-law 2259 Being a By-law to Amend By-law 212, as amended - Noise By-law

Public Notice

Resolutions

New Business

Closed Session - Council went into Closed Session at 8:34 P.M.

CS1 Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations (s.239(2)(d)) - Summer/Seasonal Staffing

CS2 Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations (s.239(2)(d)) - Mechanic Roads Operator

CS3 Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations (s.239(2)(d)) - Roads Operator

CS4 Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations (s.239(2)(d)) - Project Engineer

Adjournment


Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2018 15:21:38 PM EST

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