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Essex Council Notes for August 7

by Sylene Argent

Essex Town Centre rezoning Application

CAO Donna Hunter said at this point in the term of Council, with the election just around the corner, that it is not a good time to deal with the Essex Town Centre rezoning application development project. The project is having Council to consider the possibility of allowing snout houses, removing garage restrictions, and 40’ lot frontage (which is smaller than usual). She said the project will have an impact on the community for years. She thought it should be tabled for the new term of Council.

  In a recorded vote to postpone the file until the new term of Council, Councillors Ron Rogers, Larry Snively, Sherry Bondy, and Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche and Mayor Ron McDermott were in support. Councillor Randy Voakes and Steve Bjorkman were opposed, both noting they would like to keep the project rolling and continue those discussions.


Momentary power outages

CAO Donna Hunter began discussions on the momentary outages still experienced in the Harrow area. She recited information received from ELK CEO Mike Audet that indicated the most recent update from Hydro One is that it is looking to test the new settings from September 24-26. The new recloser will be put into service on September 26.   

  Councillor Sherry Bondy fears businesses and residents may be hesitant to move into the area as she has heard the power outages have damaged equipment. She said Council needs to work with Hydro One on the file as well. She suggested Council send a letter to a Hydro One contact to ask a representative to approach Council to ensure something is being done. Councillor Rogers suggested the letter be also sent to the Province’s Ministry of Energy.

  Council approved sending the letter and received Hunter’s verbal report.


Spay/Neuter results

Council received the report that highlighted the spay/neuter results for the years 2014-2017.

  The report notes from 2014-2017, between 171 and 182 vouchers have been issued per year, with a 65 percent to 71 percent used rate.

  In the Owned Dogs and Cats of Low Income Families program for the same years, between five and seven vouchers have been issued per year, with a use rate between 29 to 80 percent.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy said it is good to see the uptake. She suggested that those who take a voucher should use it or hand it back in if they no longer need it so it could be used by someone else.

  “I would like to see all vouchers used,” she said, adding the expiry dates can be extended if asked for.


Smoking/parking issues at Colchester Harbour

When receiving correspondences, Councillor Sherry Bondy talked about issues about Colchester Harbour as Council received the information from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit regarding the Smoke-free Ontario Act, 2017.

  She said there has been smoking of tabacco, and maybe other substances, down at the Colchester Harbour. She said Town administration is aware of the issue and has asked the OPP to ramp up the investigation and will hopefully fine people.

  Bondy later brought up the Notice of Motion she made at the previous Council meeting to have Council discuss recent parking complaints and concerns at the Colchester Harbour and Park.

  She said Council is aware there is a parking issue. “Colchester Harbour is a happening place, we know that and we designed it to be that way. And, we are very proud of all the investments we put in there,” she commented.

   She said better parking signage needs to be put up down there. She said it is great the area is busy, but it is frustrating for the residents who have to explain to visitors where they could park. She said Richardson Lane also needs a “Dead End” sign.

  Bondy said Council needs to inform the residents their concerns have been heard. She noted Doug Sweet, Director of Community Services, has a few solutions ready.

  Sweet said the solutions to the problem will come in at the next budget for the next term of council to decide.

  Councillor Ron Rogers suggested putting permanent parking at the schoolhouse.

  Council passed Bondy’s motion to increase signage in the Colchester Harbour and Park area, particularly a “Dead End” sign down Richardson Lane, and to ask for more police enforcement.

  Sweet said the Heath United noted it would enforce the area more as far as smoking is concerned.      


Notices of Motion to be discussed Aug. 20

Councillor Randy Voakes put a Notice of Motion forward that will have Council discuss the possibility of placing a bench for Iler Lodge residents as there is no place for them to sit on the way to the park.



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