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Essex Council Notes - Tuesday, February 18, 2020

by Sylene Argent

Essex Rotary mural to find new home on Schinkels’ building

Essex Council received Community Services Report “Essex Rotary Mural Building Agreement” and further passed Bylaw 1881, which secured an agreement with Greg Schinkel that will allow the Town of Essex to install a mural on the south wall of Schinkels’ Meat Market.

  In the report to Council, it notes the Essex Rotary Club approached the Town of Essex’s Mural Committee in 2005 to have a mural created to recognize their history and a number of Rotarians. It was created and installed on the Essex Flower Basket building.

  Later, the owner participated in the Community Improvement Plan for façade improvements, and the mural had to be removed. It has been in storage since.

  After being approached by Rotary, Schinkel agreed to have the mural installed on his business facility.

 

Essex’s Climate Adaption Committee members appointed

Essex Council received Legal and Legislative Service’s report “Report on behalf of the Town of Essex Striking Committee – Essex Climate Adaptation Team.” Council also approved the creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee of Council to be known as the Essex Climate Adaptation Team (“ECAT”) and approved its Terms of Reference.

  The new, volunteer Ad-hoc Committee of Council will assist Administration in creating a proposed Climate Change Adaption Plan.

  On January 6, a call for applications was released. On February 10, Administration presented to the Town of Essex Striking Committee. The Striking Committee then created a recommended list of potential members for Council’s consideration. There were 50 applicants.

  Through a nomination process on Monday evening, Council also appointed Kim Verbeek as the Council member to sit on the Essex Climate Adaptation Team, with Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche as the alternative.

  Councillors Sherry Bondy and Joe Garon nominated Verbeek for the Committee; with Bondy noting her Council cohort has a deep interest and passion for this subject matter. Council supported this recommendation.

  Verbeek said she has a long history of interest with the climate. The Striking Committee, she said, did a good job going through the applications. She is excited to see this team build the adaptation report, and to be the liaison for it.

  Garon also nominated Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche to the Committee. He accepted the position as a stand in. He said he knows Verbeek was enthusiastic about being on the Committee and would like to see her take on the role.

The Report to Council noted that at the November 18, 2019 Council meeting, Administration was directed to implement the process leading to the creation of a proposed Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The process includes four phases; Phase one: Assessing Climate Impacts, Phase two: Adaptation Planning, Phase three: Approval and Funding, and Phase four: Implementation.

  The Committee has no authority for decision making or independent actions, the Report to Council notes.

  Mayor Larry Snively believes most of Council agrees there is climate change issue, at which point Councillor Chris Vander Doelen shook his head to indicate he does not agree. Vander Doelen has been vocal in the past that he does not believe in climate change.

  Bondy wanted a rationale as to who was picked to be on the Committee, so she could have an explanation if someone wondered why they did not make the Committee.  

  Lori Chadwick, Director of Development Services, explained that experience and education were considered when forming the Committee, in addition to what the applicants could bring to the table in contributing to the climate adaptation plan. They also looked at picking individuals from different sectors.

  Snively said a lot of people applied, and thinks this is the biggest response of people wanting to get on a Committee for the Town. It was hard to pick, he said. He thanked everyone who put their name forward. He said there was a lot of debate as to who made the Committee.

  “It is great to see people interested in climate,” Snively said.

  Vander Doelen pointed out that only around half of the appointed Committee members live in Essex, but all will be making calls for the municipality. Snively said Council makes final decisions, and that the Committee will only make recommendations.

 

Notices of Motions:

• At the March 2 meeting, Councillor Kim Verbeek wants to have a discussion on having security cameras possibly installed at Co-An Park before there are anymore instances of theft or vandalism.

• At the March 16 meeting, Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche wants Council to discuss signage. In a letter he sent to the Town, he said he had recently been notified that the Town no longer installs signs along its roadways to warn drivers of autistic children in particular neighbourhoods.

  He would like to have a discussion on this to determine why and how this change came about. And, if this change included other roadway signs, such as for the deaf and blind, or deer or turtle crossings.

 

Bondy brings up ERCA’s $100,000 request for Heritage Centre

Last Friday, Councillors Sherry Bondy and Kim Verbeek represented the Town of Essex at the announcement made at the John R. Park Homestead, where the Canadian Government made a commitment to donate $600,000 for the Museum’s new Heritage Centre.

  She spoke of other agencies who announced financial contributions at the event.

  Bondy would like Council to find some funding to provide for the Heritage Centre, as Essex is the host municipality for the John R. Park Homestead.

  ERCA representatives attended a regular meeting in December and requested the Town forward $100,000 to the Heritage Centre. At that time, Bondy made a motion, which Council supported, to have administration look to see what grants/fundraising could be available through the Town of Essex. It was also said that Council would also look at the project during budget deliberations, which took place in January.  

  On Monday, Bondy noted Essex did have its budget basically done when the request came through. But, there could be other funding avenues.

  “I am going to be honest with Council, it actually was embarrassing showing up empty-handed when we are the host municipality,” she said of attending the grant announcement.

  Bondy said the ball is in the Town’s court.  

  Mayor Larry Snively said the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) did not apply for the annual Town grants. He added that he supports ERCA 100 percent, but when grants are available, ERCA should apply for them and he encouraged the conservation authority to do so.

  Snively said Council did not deny the $100,000. The budget had been made up. He said he is sure Council will find some funding, but it likely would not be the requested amount.

  Deputy Mayor Meloche said it was too bad ERCA didn’t come back to see if Council could contribute anything before the announcement event took place.

 

Budget

Council officially adopted the 2020 Operating and Capital Budget Estimates.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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