Essex Council Notes for Monday, September 17

by Sylene Argent and Adam Gault

Public presentation from Stantec Consulting

Council received a public presentation from third party organization, Stantec Consulting, regarding the Ward 1/Essex Centre Storm Water Modelling and Analysis and sewer/draining improvements the Town has made since undertaking the initiative nearly four years ago, in the beginning of 2015.

  Dr. Jian Li, a Senior Environmental Engineer with Stantec, as well as other organization representatives, provided a breakdown of the chronology of the changes and improvements made to Essex Centre’s sewer and draining system, and explained how the Town of Essex has been at the forefront of drainage planning, compared to many other municipalities throughout the province.  

  A number of record-breaking rainfalls in recent years have had a significant impact on an aging municipal sewer and storm systems, leading to increased regional basement and street flooding, as well as environmental impact.

  In early 2015, this led to the development of a series of projects and plans to address the flooding issues over the course of the next several years.

  Through the course of the plan, a number of field investigations took place, including inspecting manhole covers, video and smoke testing of 6000 metres of sewer systems to detect defects between storm and sanitary systems, and the upgrading of pipes, manhole covers, and the pumping station.

  Also completed was a complete interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) of Essex Centre’s manholes and sewer pipes, a sort of interactive map, which the Town will be able to use to keep track of sewer pipes and covers for years to come.

  “This is something where the Town really needs to give themselves some accolades here,” Director of Infrastructure and Development, Chris Nepszy, said of the improvements made over the last few years. “What we’ve done with our storm water management, and our sanitary, and setting ourselves up with respect to the working models, and doing all these investigations, and our GIS system, only puts us in a position to succeed in the future.”

  Sanitary sewer and pumping station upgrades cost around $5 million over the course of the project, and sewer and manhole repairs can cost around $75,000.

  Harrow Centre will undergo a similar project scheduled to begin later this year.


Site Plan Control Agreement passed for farm equipment dealer

Essex Council received the Planning Department’s report “Site plan control approval, 1954990 Ontario Incorporated” and passed bylaw 1744, regarding the site plan control application for the construction of a farm equipment dealership on the east side of South Talbot Road, south of Maidstone Avenue West, in Essex Centre. The related site plan agreement will be executed and registered.

  Chatham’s CL Benninger Equipment Limited requested site plan control approval to allow the construction of a farm equipment dealership, the report to Council notes. This farm equipment dealer has been in discussions with representatives of the Planning Department to find an appropriate site for a new dealership centrally located in Essex County.

  Recently, Council rezoned the property along the east side of South Talbot Road, south of Maidstone Avenue West, to permit an expanded range of light industrial, service commercial, and business office uses.

  The site plan accommodates the retail and service areas for the dealership, provides for a paved driveway and customer parking area, a storage and service area compound, and for expansive display areas in the front and on the south side of the property, the report notes.

  Stantec has peer-reviewed the servicing plan, produced by Peralta Engineering. The plan, which includes provisions for storm water management and will conform with ERCA and MTO’s requirements, the report notes.


Agreement Extended for Animal Control Services

Essex CAO Donna Hunter sought Council’s support to extend the Animal Control Service Agreement between The Corporation of the Town of Essex and Essex County K9 Service.

  This would be on a month-to-month basis, with all other terms and conditions remaining the same. She said this would allow sufficient time to conduct a Request for Proposal for the Animal Control Services.

  Hunter said the RFP is posted now, and will close on October 10.

  Council approved the recommendation.



The Township of Amaranth sent correspondence to the Council of Essex, seeking support in urging the Federal Government to not allow a foreign party to interfere with the Dairy Management System and that it be removed from all North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiation.

  Council tabled the motion until local representative and the Essex MP could be contacted to share their stances on the issue.

  Councillor Randy Voakes warned Council has to be careful as to what it endorses, which lead to the motion getting tabled.


Appointment of Election Compliance Audit Committee

Council received a report that Deputy Clerk, Shelley Brown, prepared that recommended Council appoint Jerry Marion, Laurie Brett, and Cheryl Bondy as members of the Election Compliance Audit Committee.

  The purpose of the committee, chosen every election year, is to determine if audits are required for candidates, or registered third parties’ campaign finances.

A call for applications was put out in local media, and the town’s website, with the three candidates chosen to have the most professional designations or related experience.

  It is proposed that each member of the committee be paid $150 per meeting.

The motion carried.


Harrow Junior School

At the September 4 Essex Council meeting, Councillor Sherry Bondy put a Notice of Motion forward, to be discussed at Monday’s meeting, to have Council discuss the Harrow Junior School. She hoped for a verbal report from administration would come to Council on ideas and possibilities on developing the property.

  She said there were rumours going around in Harrow that around the Junior School property, there are a lot of issues with storm and sanitary sewers. She wanted to ask administration about it, factually because she doesn’t like to go by rumours.

  It is good information for the Town to have, she said, as that area must get developed at some point.

  It would be nice to know if a large amount of money would be required to develop that property, she said, though she acknowledged that number may not yet be known.

  Councillor Larry Snively said he believes developers have backed out of obtaining the property because of the sewer system.

  Chris Nepszy, Director of Infrastructure & Development, said he talked to developer who did not proceed with obtaining the property. The sewer system was not the explicit reason for not moving forward, he noted. He said there was not enough money for the amount of work.

  The Town is looking at possibly improving the outlet where the storm water goes for the 2019 budget, Nepszy said.

  Stantec will also be collecting data for that type of infrastructure in the Harrow area.

  Bondy then rescinded her motion as she was provided an update. Council received the verbal update on the matter.


Retail Revitalization Grant

Councillor Sherry Bondy put forward a Notice of Motion for Council discussion at the October 1 regular meeting, to possibly have administration investigate an option of adding a retail revitalization grant to the town’s Community Improvement Plan.

  What that may entail is unknown at this time, but it may be similar to financial development incentives recently proposed regarding the development and improvement of Windsor’s Ford City area.

  Details regarding a potential retail revitalization grant would be unveiled at a future Essex Council meeting.

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