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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Continued Essex Council notes from Monday, October 4, 2021

by Sylene Argent

Continued Essex Council notes from last week’s edition.

Approval given for lease agreement with Grondin Farms

Council approved the continuation of the lease agreement with Grondin Farms Ltd. This is so the operation can farm a 23-acre parcel of land on the west side of Roseborough Road, which the Town of Essex owns.

  The agreement is for six-years, commencing January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2027.

  Council also passed By-Law 2061 to authorize the execution of the lease agreement.

  In the Report to Council, it notes the farming operation has used this acreage, or various adjoining parcels, for years. The premises are currently not being used by the Town for the operation of the sanitary sewer system and it was recommended farming continue until it is required by the Town for its own use.

  The lease agreement will require Grondin Farms Ltd. to pay an annual rate of $5 plus HST to the Town of Essex, the same rate paid under the current lease.


Indemnification By-Law provisionally adopted

Council provisionally adopted By-Law No. 2066 to provide indemnification for current and former members of Council, local boards, committees, and employees with respect to certain activities or proceedings arising from their duties, and further authorized any payments made, under By-Law No. 2066, in excess of the approved operating budget, be funded through the unspent legal reserve.

  In the Report to Council, it notes the purpose of an Indemnification By-Law is to protect members of Council, local boards, committees, employees, and volunteers of the municipal corporation against financial loss or damage if they are sued in connection with their duties conducted on behalf of the Town. The intent is not to pay legal expenses of individuals who are acting outside of their authority.

  The Town would pay indemnified claims for covered actions or proceedings, subject to the provisions of the Indemnification By-Law. The actual financial impact is therefore difficult to forecast, due to the varying number and complexity of legal matters that may arise each year, it notes in the Report to Council.

  Town Clerk, Robert Auger, explained the Town of Essex currently does not have an indemnification By-Law. Many municipalities, however, do.

  He added the Municipal Act already permits Council to indemnify members of Council and employees. Historically, when a Town of Essex member or employee was a subject to a legal proceeding, arising out of performing their Town-related duties, Council permission would be sought for each indemnification. This approach always leaves the possibility for inconsistent decisions, as far as agreeing to an indemnification for one Council member or employee versus others, he said.

  Auger said there is a wide-range of occurrences that fall under the personal injury of the insurance coverage, however, there is no absolute guarantee insurance will cover all situations.

  Exemptions have been added to the By-Law, Auger noted, including proceedings under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, where the individual was found to have contravene or violate the Act; proceedings under the Criminal Code, Highway Traffic Act, or Municipal Elections Act; and any proceeding where the Municipality is trying to enforce a By-Law against the individual; matters in respect to employee grievances; and expenses incurred by individuals who are obtaining independent legal advice to determine if they have a pecuniary interest in a matter.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy said she is happy to see this policy. She said the policy helps take the personalities out of matters.


RFP for supply and install multifunctional devices granted

Council awarded the Request for Proposal for the supply and install multifunction devices for the Town of Essex to Xerox Canada Ltd. for facilities, including the Municipal Building, the Essex Recreation Centre, the Gesto Building, the Harrow OPP, Essex Fire Station # 1, the Essex Centre Sports Complex, the Harrow and Colchester South Recreation Complex.

  Through this, the Town entered into a five-year lease agreement, in the total amount of $78,361.16.

  Council also awarded the Request for Proposal for the supply and install multifunction devices for the Essex OPP Stations to the Kelcom Document Division and entered into a five-year lease agreement, in the total amount of $6,308.31.

  The Report to Council notes the Town of Essex sought proposals to supply and install new Multifunction Copier Devices to replace all the existing photocopiers at the Town Hall, Essex Recreation Centre, Gesto Building, Essex Fire Station 1, Essex Centre Sports Complex, Harrow and Colchester South Recreation Complex, Harrow OPP Station and Essex OPP Satellite Office.

  Five proposals were received and evaluated. After reviewing each proposal as submitted and totalling the scores using a balanced scorecard approach, Xerox Canada Ltd. scored the highest for the copier deployment for equipment, the Report to Council notes.


NoM to be discussed at the October 18 meeting

Councillor Kim Verbeek will ask Council to have a discussion on Gesto Side Road and that Administration be directed to complete a traffic study for the area.

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