COUNCIL NEWS

FROM THE JANUARY 25, 2021 COUNCIL MEETING

WEST LINCOLN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL - NIAGARA REGIONAL BUDGET ADOPTION TO HELP FUND LOCAL SHARE

At the Thursday, January 14, 2021 Regional Budget Committee meeting, Regional Councillors from West Niagara lobbied to obtain $12.6M from Niagara Region to help fund the local share of the proposed new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Mayor Bylsma advised that this motion was supported at Regional Council.

FARM 911: THE EMILY PROJECT

Mr. Rob Cosby, Director of the Niagara Federation of Agriculture provided a presentation regarding the Farm 911 project. Mr. Cosby stated that the project has become a province wide initiative over the past couple of years. Mr. Cosby stated that the Farm 911 signs are black and yellow, as opposed to the residential green and white numbered signs, which indicates that there was no residence or building on the property. Mr. Cosby noted that the Farm 911 signs would be a field marker, however, would still fall in line and in sequence with the other numbered signs on the road and would therefore be recorded in the 911 system to give a definite address of the property. Janice Janiec, Member Service Rep, stated that the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has resources to assist staff with the implementation of the Farm 911, should assistance be required. This matter was referred to staff for report and recommendation at a future meeting.

DISCONTINUATION OF WATER SHUT OFF PRACTICES

Council adopted a by-law to amend By-law 2004-42 to discontinue the practice of disconnecting water services for non-payment of overdue water accounts.  Instead any unpaid water account balances will be transferred to the property’s tax account and a ‘transfer to taxes’ $20 taxable administration fee will be charged to offset staff time and resource costs associated with this task.

REQUEST FOR ONE-TIME CONTRIBUTION FOR HOSPICE EXPANSION

Ms. Carol Nagy, Hospice Niagara reviewed a PowerPoint Presentation, requesting a one-time contribution to expand hospices in the Niagara Region, which will include: (1) 20 new hospice residence beds being built in Niagara, (2) preserve the hospice beds in West Lincoln, which currently has 6 beds, (3) bring 50 to 60 new health care jobs to Niagara, many being professionals, (4) will bring $14M of capital investment in Niagara’s health care system which will translate into $3.1M spending in Niagara and (5) will help more than 10,000 people across the Region each year.  Ms. Nagy reiterated that there was a real “end of life crisis” in Niagara and if nothing is done to expand hospice capacity then end of life care will need to be done in hospitals, which will result in our health care costs increasing and would not provide the type of care that families want for their loved ones at end of life.  Ms. Nagy asked West Lincoln Council to match what other municipalities in the Niagara Region have done by contributing funding to Niagara Hospice. Council received the correspondence for information.

NEW FIRE STATION #2 – ARCHITECTURAL & DESIGN SERVICES

Council adopted a by-law to enter into an agreement with Raimondo & Associates Architects Inc. for Architectural Services for Design and Contract Administration Services for the new Fire Station #2 in the amount of $182,721.00 taxes included.

NIAGARA TRANSIT GOVERNANCE STUDY PRESENTATION & REQUEST TO ENDORSE RESOLUTION IN PRINCIPLE

Matt Robinson, Niagara Region, Director GO Implementation introduced himself as well as the other Niagara Region staff members (Scott Fraser, Heather Talbot) and consultants (Mariam Ali, Eric Gillespie) Mr. Robinson provided an informative presentation reviewing the next steps in the transition towards a consolidated transit system in Niagara.  Mr. Robertson noted that he and his team will be attending all thirteen municipalities across Niagara to obtain feedback and incorporate what they hear into their final report, which will be brought back to Council for a final vote.  Mr. Robertson stated that based on the revisions, the triple majority process will commence formally in the Summer of 2021 and if the process and timelines progress as planned you should see in September 2022, a new single transit commission in place. A motion was presented for Council’s consideration, which Mr. Robertson advised was non-binding at this time and was intended to get agreement for support of a consolidated transit system in Niagara. Council had many questions and concerns with respect to the proposal and in the end could not support the resolution. Council has until February 28, 2021 to submit any further questions, suggestions or concerns on the proposal.

NAMING OF REGIONAL ROAD 9 AS YORK ROAD – 911 PERS NAMING PROCESS

Council passed a By-law to name Regional Road 9 as York Road, which needed to be addressed for the purposes of 911 PERS compliance. This will help eliminate confusion for emergency response personnel and ensure a faster response time.

WEST LINCOLN SANTA CLAUS PARADE COMMITTEE

Ms. Nicole Scime, Chair of the West Lincoln Santa Claus Parade Committee presented a PowerPoint Presentation noting that in light of COVID-19 and the need to cancel this year's Parade, the Committee ran a very successful community Christmas Lighting and Décor contest ("West Lincoln Sparkles").  Ms. Scime advised that a number of businesses sponsored the event as well there were many entries submitted between the two divisions (lighting & décor) among four categories, being Town - Urban Smithville, Rural - West Lincoln, Commercial and Not-for-Profit.  The Parade Committee hoped to be able to organize both the parade and the lighting contest again next year. The Committee was investigating the possibility of having an evening parade which would be focused on lights as well as having the traditional bands and possibly other type of performers.  Many of the Members of Council thanked Ms. Scime for her informative presentation and for her and the other parade committee members volunteering their time as well as their hard work and dedication by offering a community event throughout the Township, in spite of a pandemic happening.

SUMMER AND DECEMBER MEETING SCHEDULE

Council approved the meeting schedule for July and December, 2021, as follows:

Monday, July 26, 2021
Public Meetings under the Planning Act – 6:30 p.m., Council – Immediately following the Public Meetings under the Planning Act., the Council meeting to commence at 7 pm (with Planning, Administration and Public Works items included on Council Agenda)

Monday, December 6, 2021
Public Meetings under the Planning Act – 6:30 p.m., All Committees (including separate agendas for Administration, Public Works and Planning Committee Meetings) - immediately following the Public Meetings

Monday, December 13, 2021
Council Meeting – 7:00 p.m.

ROAD POLICIES FOR UNOPENED OR UNMAINTAINED ROADS

Council adopted Official Plan Amendment No. 58, Road Policies for unopened or unmaintained roads due to an increased amount of requests from the public to extend or open road allowances within the Township to gain frontage to existing lots for the purpose of constructing new buildings.  This document will be a guiding tool that can be followed when these type of inquiries are made to maintain consistency.

WEST LINCOLN TOWNSHIP HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY BY-LAW

Council reconfirmed the Municipal Health and Safety Policy Statement for the Corporation of the Township of West Lincoln which exercise is undertaken annually to be in compliance with the Occupational Health & Safety Act.