COUNCIL NEWS

FROM THE DECEMBER 14, 2020 COUNCIL MEETING

DECLARATION OF APPOINTMENT TO OFFICE & OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

Shelley Bradaric signed her Oath of Allegiance and was officially appointed to the Office of Ward 2 Councillor for the remainder of the 2018-2022 Council Term. Each Member of Council as well as Regional Councillor Albert Witteveen welcomed her as Councillor for Ward 2.

CITY OF NIAGARA FALLS RESOLUTION – STATE OF EMERGENCY ON MENTAL HEALTH, HOMELESSNESS AND ADDICTION

Mr. Soos, a Niagara Region resident and a 5 year social service worker, was in attendance to request that West Lincoln join the other area municipalities in the Region in supporting the City of Niagara Falls Resolution requesting Niagara Regional Council to declare a State of Emergency on Mental Health, Homelessness and Addiction. Mr. Soos is very passionate about mental health, homelessness and addiction and he believes that these issues have touched all of us in some way. Council joined in unanimous support of the City of Niagara Falls resolution.

CORPORATE STRATEGIC PLAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The CAO provided some highlights of her report being a second update for the year with respect to the Corporate Strategic Plan 2020 and the municipality’s accomplishments that have occurred since the first report that was given in June. The Accomplishment Tracking Charts are posted on the Township’s website at https://www.westlincoln.ca/en/township-office/community-strategic-plan.aspx.

NIAGARA REGIONAL TRANSIT (NRT) ONDEMAND UPDATE

The NRT OnDemand launched in West Niagara on August 17, 2020. A report from Niagara Region was provided with respect to the statistics on the NRT OnDemand pilot service reflecting its first two months of operation. In the first two months of service, the program had seen significant growth in ridership and increased connectivity for the residents of West Niagara. A public-facing dashboard is being developed to enable transparency and will soon be available through the Region’s website.

SPEED LIMIT REVIEW POLICY

Mr. Jeff Suggett, Senior Manager, Integrated Mobility Solutions, The Wood Group, reviewed a PowerPoint Presentation, regarding a speed limit reduction review for Port Davidson Road and Young Street as well as a draft policy for the establishment of posted speed limits for Township roads. At a later point in the meeting, staff presented a report and Speed Limit Review Policy which was approved by Council.

RENEWAL OF CONTRACT FOR HEARING OFFICER FOR PARKING TICKET APPEALS – CITY OF THOROLD

A parking service agreement under the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) program was signed in 2014 which provided Hearing Officer Services to the Township of West Lincoln by the City of Thorold for a nominal annual cost and a per use charge. Staff recommended that the Township sign a further 5-year agreement with the City of Thorold.
Council authorized the Mayor and Clerk to enter into an agreement for Hearing Officer Services with the City of Thorold.

CHANGES TO CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES ACT AND CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES' ROLE IN LAND USE PLANNING

Township Council approved a resolution with respect to Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID 19 Act - Schedule 6 - Conservation Authorities Act. This legislation introduced a number of changes and new sections that could remove and/or significantly hinder the conservation authorities' role in regulating development, and engaging in review and appeal of municipal planning applications including but not limited to watersheds, the appointment of municipal representatives on Conservation Authority Boards and the planning approvals process which may potentially result in delays in the development approval process. The resolution requests the Province to work with conservation authorities to address their concerns by repealing and/or amending changes to the Conservation Authorities Act and the Planning Act, delay enactment of clauses affecting municipal concerns, provide a longer transition period up to December 2022 for non-mandatory programs to enable coordination of CA-municipal budget processes, respect the current conservation authority/municipal relationships and embrace the long-standing partnership with the conservation authorities and provide them with the tools and financial resources needed to effectively implement their watershed management role.

NIAGARA PENINSULA CONSERVATION AUTHORITY – UPDATE OF 2020 INITIATIVES

Brenda Johnson, Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) provided an update on the initiatives that have been taken by the NPCA in 2020 and noted that with COVID-19 affecting our lives, it has become very clear the importance of our greenspaces and parks are for all ages. Ms. Johnson further noted that due to the pandemic, many of the NPCA's revenue generated events have been either cancelled or geared down to almost nothing including the Balls Falls Thanksgiving event which was held virtually this year. Ms. Johnson noted that countless hours have been dedicated to reviewing the Auditor General's report, with nearly 70% of the report being completed and the NPCA Board was also addressing Bill 229 and its impact on the NPCA and its municipal partnerships. Ms. Johnson noted that in spite of Bill 229, the NPCA will be moving forward with their Strategic Plan which may require a few of the objectives to change in order to accommodate for Bill 229. Ms. Johnson noted that the NPCA looked forward to continuing good communication and relationships with their municipal partners.