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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Council Notes for Monday, May 6

by Sylene Argent

Request for Rocks ‘n Rolls

An organizer of the Essex Rocks ‘n Rolls Cruise In/Business Expo, Randy Voakes, provided information about the upcoming event to Essex Council. The event is scheduled to take place in the Heritage Gardens Park on June 1.

  Voakes said when he was a Councillor, he believed businesses were struggling. So, when the replica memorial Spitfire Plan was going up, the committee members thought a car show would be a great opportunity to bring people into Essex Centre.

  The event has been held twice, taking a hiatus last year due to it being an election year.

  This year, the Rocks ‘n Rolls Cruise In will merge to take place with the Essex Business Expo, which Stephanie Winger organized last year. Fairy tail characters, cotton candy, and live music entertainment are planned. One of the main events will be the appearance of Train Wreck, which is part of the Monster Jam series that performs at the Silverdome. There will also be a tug of war between the Essex Fire Department and the Essex OPP. Proceeds will go Essex Community Services for a new vehicle.

  That vehicle driven only has one purpose, to get seniors and those with special needs to where they need to go, he noted.

  Doug Sweet, the Town’s Director of Community Services, has been so helpful in helping getting this show off the ground, Voakes said.   

  It takes money to organize a show like this. Voakes said he and others are paying for it personally. But, help is needed. He asked each Councillor, through their Contingency Fund, to give $400. He noted any amount, however, would be welcomed. What is not spent, will be returned, he said.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy said the event sounds like a great time. She said she is excited to go and liked that Essex Community Services will benefit from it.

  She said her contingency Fund is a bit backed up, but she did provide a cheque from her personal funds.  

  Councillor Chris Vander Dolen said the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village hosts several car show a year and do not ask for funding. Voakes noted the difference is that the Rocks ‘n Rolls does not charge admission.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek said she will help in any way she could and will contribute whatever she has available in her contingency fund.

  Voakes became frustrated when he was trying to ask what the total amount allocated would be, so the organizers would know what they had to work with, and Mayor Larry Snively would not let him do so.

Youth Council reps Ehva Hoffmann (far left) and Cameron Soucie (far right) celebrate Essex having earned the Bronze Youth Friendly Community award with Cynthia Cakebread, Manager of Recreation and Culture, and Mayor Larry Snively.

Essex receives Youth Friendly Community Recognition

Essex Council received Community Services Report “Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program,” which noted the Town of Essex fulfilled the requirements to be designated as a Youth Friend Community.

  The Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program celebrates Communities that recognize adolescent youth have different needs for play.

  To be recognized as Youth Friendly Community, it must meet at least seven of the ten criteria. The Town of Essex successfully met seven of ten criteria and has been designated a Bronze Youth Friendly Community.

  Director of Community Services, Doug Sweet, said it took staff around 14 months to earn the designation.

Unspent operating expenses to be put in reserves

Council received Finance and Business Services’ report “Year End Transfers to Reserves – Operating,” and moved to transfer unused budget amounts for the several incomplete items into reserves.

  The total transfer amount, $362,715.94, will be used to offset the cost of completing items or to offset expenses in future years, the report notes. The items included that add up to that total are: unspent dredging and unspent long-term debt payments at the harbour; unspent Urban Centre Revitalization budgets for each ward; unspent budget for upgrades/renewals in the Information Technology department; unspent Budget for the Town’s website, and unspent wages in the Planning and Zoning department.

Release of subdivision agreement

Essex Council received Planning Report 2019-20 “Release of Subdivision Agreement for Part 3 on 12R27717” and approved Bylaw 1813, to release the Subdivision Agreement registered on May 5, 2004 for the lands described as Part 3 on 12R27717.

  Council also directed the Town’s Solicitor/Clerk to execute all documents necessary to give effect to the actions taken by this Council as described in Bylaw 1813.

  Council’s approval of Bylaw 1813 is required in order to remove the registered subdivision agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Essex and Essex 143 Joint Venture LTD over the lands described as Part 3 on 12R27717. This is to facilitate the sale of Part 3 of the lot to the Ministry of Transportation.

  The property owner’s solicitor further noted, via correspondence, that the MTO wished to purchase that part of the subject property for use with Highway 3 as a culvert extension. The MTO requested that the subdivision agreement be removed against Part 3 on 12R27717 only in order to facilitate the sale.

 Rezoning application for fireworks property

Essex Council received the Planning Department’s report “Victor and Deborah Anber Rezoning Application” and approved Bylaw 1815 to permit the storage of fireworks at their property for three years.

  On April 15, 2019, Council considered permitting the use of the subject property for the storage of fireworks, a use which is not currently permitted under the A1.1, general agricultural zoning.

  Area residents voiced many concerns with the storage of fireworks, so Council approved a rezoning bylaw to permit the storage of fireworks as a temporary use for three years. The intent of the temporary zoning is to permit time to find and establish the storage facility at another location.

McGregor Home Hardware Rezoning Application

Council received the Planning Department’s report “McGregor Home Hardware Rezoning Application.” It also gave the first two readings and provisionally adopted Bylaw 1816, to amend the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw. It also approved adding supplementary zoning provisions in a holding zone to recognize and permit multiple dwelling units in the former McGregor Home Hardware Store and to permit a semi-detached dwelling along the Arquette Street portion of the site.

  The rezoning application was received to permit the conversion of the commercial portion of the McGregor Home Hardware to create five multiple dwelling units, the report to Council notes.

  The site plan agreement would address storm water management and other matters related to the layout of the parking area and the number of parking spaces. At a public meeting held on March 25, local residents expressed concern about the proposed number of parking spaces and drainage of the parking area to prevent run-off onto abutting properties.

  Essex Council notes for Monday, May 6 will be continued in the Thursday, May 16 edition of the Essex Free Press.

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