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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Council meeting notes - June 6, 2022

by Sylene Argent

Anne Marontate presented with 2022 Senior of the Year award

On Monday evening, Essex Council presented long-time Essex Communities in Bloom member, Anne Marontate, with the 2022 Senior of the Year award.

  Council chose Marontate for the award prior to the Committee of the Whole meeting held in April.

  The Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism asked the Town of Essex to nominate an outstanding local senior for the recognition, who, after the age of 65, has enriched the social, cultural, or civic life of the community.

  Mayor Richard Meloche nominated Marontate last month, as she is involved with the Town of Essex Communities in Bloom Committee.

  “Communities in Bloom would not have been the same without Anne on this committee,” Meloche said. “She is so knowledgeable about what goes on.”

  One would think Communities in Bloom is all about flowers, Meloche added, but it is also about community volunteerism, having a stake in the community, and knowing what the community is all about, including history.

  “Anne helped us out with all those attributes with Communities in Bloom,” Meloche added.

  Marontate has been involved in other initiatives in the municipality. “She’s very much a volunteer in our community, one of those local heroes.”

Meloche presented her with a certificate, recognizing her as the 2022 Senior of the Year.

At that April meeting, Councillor Kim Verbeek nominated her mother, JoAnne Hayes, for the work she continues to do for Canadian Blood Services in recruiting volunteers, but was pleased to also support Marontate as a candidate.

  A draw took place. As a result, Marontate was selected as the 2022 nomination for the Senior of the Year Award for Essex, and Hayes will be put forward for the award next year.

 TWEPI presents plans for 2022 and the

2022/2023 Official Visitor Guide

Representatives of the Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) presented its plans for the year and its 2022/2023 Official Visitors Guide.

  The group presented this information to County Council recently.

  Chief Executive Officer, Gordon Orr, said the tourism industry took a hard hit during the pandemic.

E.L.K. presents 2021 Financial Statements

and Annual Resolutions

Essex Council received the 2021 Consolidated Financial Statements of E.L.K. Energy Inc., and also supported the signing of the annual resolutions of E.L.K. Energy Inc., appointing the Directors and KPMG as auditor.

  Mayor Richard Meloche was authorized to sign the documents on behalf of The Corporation of the Town of Essex.

  Cheryl Tratechaud, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Stakeholder Relations for E.L.K. Energy Inc., and Cynthia Swift, Lead Audit Engagement Partner for KPMG LLP, made the presentation.

  Swift said the financial statements were in accordance with IFRS.

  KPMG did provide an unmodified audit opinion, and presented the financial statements to the E.L.K. Board of Directors last month.

  A few of the financial highlights, Swift said, include that total assets and regulatory balances totalled $32M, $10.3M for liabilities, $12.9M for equities, and $8.8M for regulatory liabilities. In addition, income for the year totalled $853,000, a decrease from the $1.1M earned in 2020. This was a result of a decrease in revenues, due to decrease in demand for electricity in 2021.

  Cash, she said, is fairly consistent with the prior year, at $5.9M. E.L.K., she added, spent $1.5M on infrastructure, repaid debt in the amount of $400,000, and declared a dividend to the Town of Essex of $201,000.  

  Councillor Sherry Bondy was glad to see more investment in infrastructure over the years. She still believes cost-saving shared services should be looked at.

  Essex owns the entirety of the local utility.

King Street parking changes

Council authorized and directed the department of Infrastructure Services to amend the parking by-law for King Street West, between Erie Street North and Roseborough Road, which will move the permitted parking from the north-side of King Street to the south-side.

  The change was suggested by Administration for safety reasons. The Report to Council on the matter notes as part of the Harrow Streetscape project, changes were made to the parking and pavement markings to improve the safety and traffic flow at the intersection of King Street and Erie Street. It adds the westbound lane immediately east of Erie was shifted to the north to accommodate additional turning radius for large commercial vehicles heading eastbound to turn right onto Erie Street.

  Deputy Mayor Steve Bjorkman asked what the plan is to make the change. He suggested a sign to note a change has happened.

  Norm Nussio, Manager of Operations and Drainage, hopes the change can be done within the next few weeks.

 Tender of Supply of

Backhoe Loader 2022 awarded

Council awarded the Request for Tender for the supply of a Backhoe Loader to Brandt Tractor Ltd., in the amount of $192,326.40, including non-refundable harmonized sales tax.

  The Report to Council notes the 2022 Capital budget included $220,000 for the replacement of a Cat Backhoe, so the purchase of the Backhoe Loader in the amount of $192,326.40 is within the budgeted funds for this project.

 Essex to continue offering free menstrual

products at Essex and Harrow Arenas

Council directed Administration to continue to provide free menstrual products at the Essex Centre Sports Complex and Harrow & Colchester South Community Centre, funded through the yearly operating budget for each facility.

  The Report adds through implementation, Administration saw the social benefit to the community as there were several positive comments from members of the public.

  During the past year, through the 2021-2022 pilot project, Administration installed dispensers and products in the Essex Centre Sports Complex and the Harrow and Colchester South Community Centre, with the total cost of $1,297.00 for the Essex Arena and $648.50 for the Harrow Arena.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy would like the program extended to the McGregor Community Centre.

  Director of Community Services, Jake Morassut, said the program could be expanded. Council would have to increase budgets for the smaller facilities they would want the program extended to, if there was a desire to expand the program.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek said this is a program she takes pride in.

Update provided on STRs at Colchester Harbour

Council received the report “May 2022 Update on Short Term Rentals at Colchester Harbour.”

  The Report notes Council has directed Administration to prepare a monthly report updating Council on any issues involving Short-Term Rentals at the Colchester Harbour. It adds during the month of May 2022, one complaint was made regarding the STRs; however, after investigation, it was found that the incident did not involve any of the STR operations.

Alley between McAffee and Victoria could be named after Brian Meyer

Council authorized the naming of the alley between McAffee and Victoria in Harrow as Meyer Alley, subject to Administration ensuring no other streets have a similar name.

Public notice will be given on the Town’s website, in accordance with the Town of Essex Public Notice Policy.

  The Report from Administration originally suggested Morency Alley, in accordance with the Town’s street-naming by-law.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy, however, suggested naming it Meyer Alley, instead, after Brian Meyer, who she said was a pillar of the Harrow community. He passed away in 2017. He always put service above self and was involved with many organizations within the community. His chartered accountant business backed onto the alley for 35-years.

  She asked for a friendly amendment to change the name to Meyer Alley.

  Council unanimously supported the motion.

St. Paul’s request flag raising for Windsor-Essex Pride Festival

Council supported St. Paul’s Anglican Church’s request for their flag to be flown at Town Hall on August 4, 2022 in support of the Windsor-Essex Pride Festival. 

NoM: Town to look into ways to protect parks, facilities from vandalism

At the May 16 Council Meeting, Councillor Joe Garon put forward a Notice of Motion, for discussion at the June 6 meeting, to ask Council to direct Administration to look into a means of better protecting public parks and Town-owned properties from graffiti and other vandalism through design strategies that minimize opportunity.

  Garon said vandalism is not new in Essex, but is a problem. He wanted to have a discussion on how to prevent it.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek, who is also the Chairperson of the Essex Police Services Board, said the committee asked the OPP to work with the Town on crime prevention through environmental design to make parks safer and be more proactive.

  Verbeek and CAO Doug Sweet also spoke of the recently adopted Windsor-Essex Regional Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. One of the action items is to create a pilot for regional crime prevention. Sweet suggested having a meeting with the document developers to determine next steps.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy asked if auxiliary officers could be utilized in parks, or possibly hire high school students to monitor.

  Director of Community Services, Jake Morassut, said vandalism does not always happen at night. There is a 10pm park curfew. He hopes to have a marketing campaign for the Town’s Report a Problem tool residents can use to relay these types of issues.

  When designing parks, open areas are considered, he added, to increase visibility.

  When working on the Parks, Recreation, and Master Plan document, lighting can be considered as a means to deter vandalism.

  Council passed Garon’s motion. 

NoM: Amending parking by-law for enforceability discussed

At the May 16 Council Meeting, Councillor Sherry Bondy put forward a Notice of Motion, for discussion at the June 6 meeting, to ask Council to direct Administration to amend the parking by-law to ensure the OPP can enforce the parking regulations.

  Bondy said this has come up in a few areas where cars are blocking driveways or fire hydrants. She believes parking issues need to be addressed for safety.

  CAO Doug Sweet can meet with OPP Administration to discuss any issues.

  It was noted police can ticket for each issue mentioned.

Sweet said he will bring up the parking issue at the next Essex Police Services Board meeting.

  Bondy spoke of specific issues brought to her attention, and wondered if there was a way to find a solution for those residents. She said calling the police is how to handle the situation, but can be frustrating for a resident who can’t get out of a driveway, but needs to leave for work, for example.

  Bondy withdrew her motion as the matter was discussed.

 Notices of Motion to be discussed at the June 20 at the Council Meeting:

• Councillor Chris Vander Doelen will ask Council to discuss the difficulty some farmers in Ward 3 have been encountering, while trying to get raw water lines and other infrastructure approved for their food-growing operations.

• Mayor Richard Meloche will ask Council to direct Administration to review the feasibility of developing a regulation/by-law limiting storage of any type/classification of fireworks in any one location that totals in excess of 100lbs for not longer than three-months from the date of delivery into the Town of Essex. All Provincial and Federal regulations would still apply to the manner in which these fireworks need to be stored.

• Councillor Sherry Councillor Bondy will ask Council to consider a “caution children playing” sign be added on Morris, as there is a park on Morris and residents are requesting a sign there.

• Mayor Richard Meloche will ask Council to consider directing Administration to include $60,000 in the 2023 budget to have a consultant prepare a document on feasibility, operating processes, and funding to secure public transit for a route from St. Clair College, up County Road 11, with stops at Paquette Corners, McGregor, and Harrow, then travels down County Road 13 to Colchester. This is because the cost of gasoline is becoming unaffordable to the average family or person, and because the Town of Essex is committed to being environmentally responsible.

• Councillor Sherry Bondy will ask Council to consider putting the sidewalk slated for Morris Drive on hold, and that a review be done to see if an active transportation trail can be placed on the same side as the drainage retention pond.

• Councillor Sherry Bondy will ask Council to consider sending a letter to the provincial and federal governments to share resident concerns regarding the increase in the price of gasoline.  

“Lame Duck” Council Period by-law passed

By-Law 2157, to Temporarily delegate certain authorities during a “Lame Duck” Council Period, was given its final reading and was passed.

By-law to provide Rules of Procedure for the Conduct of Meetings passed

By-Law 2159, to provide Rules of Procedure for the Conduct of Meetings of the Municipal Council and its Committees and Boards, was read a third time and finally passed.

  This will ensure Council members who participate in regular and special meetings electronically will count towards quorum. Up to three members of Council can participate in a meeting electronically.

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