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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Council Notes for Tuesday, July 3

by Sylene Argent and Adam Gault


Essex not interested in fluoridating water

Essex Council is sending a letter to the three treatment plants from which it gets its water to make it known that it does not want fluoride added to its drinking water.

   Councillor Sherry Bondy put a Notice of Motion forward at the June 18 meeting to have Council discuss the matter last Tuesday evening, as this subject has recently been addressed at Windsor City Council and at County Council.

  At the recent County Council meeting, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit presented its report, “Oral Health Report 2018 Update.” Delegations, with opinions on either side of the matter, had an opportunity to speak. It was noted then it would be up to the individual municipalities to make the decision on whether or not there was desire to have fluoride added to drinking water.

The Health Unit made four recommendations through the report: Windsor-Essex municipalities should consider the continuation or introduction of community water fluoridation as a key prevention strategy for dental caries; continue and increase support for oral health education and awareness in the community; improve access to oral health services within Windsor-Essex; and advocate for improved funding for oral health services and expansion of public dental programs.

At the meeting, it was noted there would be a cost of around $2 million to retrofit the current water system to accommodate adding fluoride to the drinking water.  

“I brought it up to put it to bed… in this Term of Council anyway, I don’t see it as a priority where our residents should be worried about it,” Bondy said.

  She wanted the Town of Essex to note it was not willing to host fluoride in the drinking water this term of Council.

  “I believe it is our municipal responsibility to provide safe, clean drinking water but not our municipal responsibility to add medication to our drinking water,” she said.

  Councillor Randy Voakes agreed. “If I need to get fluoride, I will figure out a way to get fluoride…I don’t need someone pumping it into my water and everyone else’s water.”

  Chris Nepszy, Director of Infrastructure and Development, noted the Town of Essex gets its water from three different treatment plants, only one of which it has control over, the Harrow-Colchester South Water Treatment Plant. Essex residents also get water from the Amherstburg Water Treatment Plant and Union Water supplies Essex, Lakeshore, Leamington, and Kingsville.

  He suggested the Town send a letter to each water supplier to inform them of Essex’s position.

  Voakes put the motion forward that there be no opportunity for fluoride to be added to municipal drinking water and that a letter of that position be sent to Essex’s water providers.

  In a recorded vote, Councillors Bondy, Voakes, Ron Rogers, and Larry Snively and Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche were in favor. No one was opposed. Councillor Steve Bjorkman and Mayor Ron McDermott were absent from the meeting.       


Prime Consultant RFP for Fire Station #2

Council received a Community Services Report, which Fire Chief Rick Arnel prepared, to outline the next steps in building a replacement Fire Station # 2 in Gesto, and further approved renewing the Request for Proposal to hire a Prime Consultant to prepare architectural and engineering designs for a new Fire Station # 2.

  This report came in the wake of a November 2016 Facility Audit Report from Stephenson Engineering Ltd., which determined the current Fire Station # 2 does not meet the needs of the Essex Fire & Rescue Services.

Issues outlined in that 2016 report included that the lack of space in the current station, the lack of a proper exhaust system in the station’s apparatus bay, the lack of an area to store and decontaminate personal protective equipment, the lack of a function kitchen, and that there are no change rooms, as issues leading to the need of constructing a new facility.

In April of this year, the Town approved the purchase of property at the corner of County Road 15 and North Malden Road to be the site of the future station.

When constructed, the station will allow for improved response times to Essex Centre and McGregor, as well as addressing the deficiencies in the current Gesto station.

With the approval of the Request for Proposal, the Town of Essex will seek to hire a Prime Consultant to prepare an architectural and engineering design for the new Fire Station # 2. 

Chittle Sports Academy lease renewed

Essex Council received Community Services’ report “Chittle Sports Academy Lease Renewal at Essex Centre Sports Complex” and further approved renewing the Chittle Sports Academy to operate there for an additional three years, commencing September 1, 2018, based on the amended leased space.

  The Report to Council noted Chittle Sports Academy first submitted a proposal in February of 2012 to the Town of Essex to lease space at the Essex Centre Sports Complex to operate a sports training facility on the first floor, with option for renewal.


Parkland declared surplus

Essex Council received Community Services’ report, “Declare Surplus Parkland Adjacent to Bridlewood Park in Essex Centre,” and provided the authorization to obtain pricing for the sale of the surplus lands.

  Revenue from the sale of the lands will be placed in the Ward 1 Parkland Reserve Fund for future park enhancements.

  In the report to Council, it notes the Town of Essex policy for all new residential developments requires a five percent parkland dedication or cash in lieu.

  In the 2015 Parks, Recreation, and Culture Master Plan, it was identified that Bridlewood Park is adequate in amenities and any new features would be added to current Bridlewood Park footprint and not the additional lands obtained. The new lands are not being used and add to the annual maintenance for the Parks Department.

Natural heritage conservation easement

Council received a Planning Development Report, which Assistant Planner, Rita Jabbour, prepared with information regarding the requested natural heritage conservation easement for the Corestine lands at 3876 3rd Concession Road.

The report followed Council’s March 2018 approval of a consent application for the lands in question, which allowed for the creation of a residential lot on the site, which is currently occupied by an existing natural heritage feature, known more commonly as a woodlot.

A condition of the March approval was that the property owners enter into a conservation easement in order to prohibit any use which will damage or destroy the “protected area” or prevent their reforestation or enhancement.

While the owners of the property have already entered into agreement with the easement and are currently working with the Essex Region Conservation Authority to enhance the land, the bylaw on the table was required to be passed to make the agreement official.

The motion carried.

Cannabis grace period request

Council received correspondence from the Town of Amherstburg, which noted the neighbouring municipality supported the City of Quinte West’s resolution that requested a six-month grace period be enacted once legal recreational cannabis legislation passes later this October. This would be to ensure municipal law enforcement officers and the Ontario Provincial Police are adequately trained to enforce the new legislation.

If a similar measure was to be enacted in Essex, recreational cannabis consumption would remain a town bylaw violation for an additional six months following legalization.

The correspondence was recorded as received.


Council supports ‘No Hot Pets” campaign

The Ontario SPCA sent correspondence to the Town of Essex, which noted it launched the “2018 No Hot Pets” campaign on June 21 to educate the public on the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles during the summer.

  Council received and supported the correspondence, and directed administration, at Councillor Ron Roger’s request, to have the information posted on the Town’s social media accounts.

  The letter from the Ontario SPCA states the issue of owners leaving their pets in their vehicles during the hot summer months, putting animals’ safety at risk and even causing death, is a serious and ongoing problem across Ontario.

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