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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Council Notes - Tuesday, May 19, 2020 -

by Sylene Argent

April Building Report

Council received the Building Report, which noted the total construction value for April 2020 was $5,231,650. This includes all new and expanding commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential developments that required a building permit.

  This figure is down 7.8 percent from April 2019.

  The Report to Council also noted the average real estate sale price in April of 2020 was $380,383 in Wards 1 and 2, which was up from the average of $272,588 in 2019. In Wards 3 and 4, the average real estate prince in April was $321,743, which was lower than the $381,148 average in April 2019.

  The total homes sold for the month of April was 18, of which 12 were from Wards 1 and 2 and six were from Wards 3 and 4. This is down from April 2019, which was 32.

  Council received the information.

Council approved installation of four condensing boilers 

Essex Council received Parks and Facilities’ report “Results of Request for Tender – Remove, Supply, and Install Four Condensing Boilers,” and further awarded the tender to Lekter Industrial Services Inc., in the amount of $68,992.27.

  In addition, Council also approve the addition of a third domestic hot water boiler at the Essex Centre Sports Complex for $15, 820.00. This will be funded by reallocating $10,000.00 from a new mural project, and $5,820.00 will be funded through a forecasted under-expenditure in the Essex Centre Sports Complex’s 2020 operating budget.

  The Report to Council notes the replacement of four condensing boilers at Essex Centre Sports Complex was approved in the 2020 Capital Budget. Originally, work was to replace two of the domestic hot water boilers and two of the ice resurfacing boilers. During the last ice-sport season, there was an increase in complaints about the water temperature in the showers and washrooms.

  An engineering consultant recommended adding an additional boiler.

  Based on the pricing provided in the submissions, it was recommended the lowest tender of the three submitted, from Lekter Industrial Services Inc., be accepted.  

Councillor Joe Garon said he felt for the user groups who have not been able to take a hot shower for a few years. He wondered if the addition of one boiler would be enough.

The boilers to be replaced were the original ones installed when the Essex Centre Sports Complex was built around 11-years ago, it was noted during the meeting.

Director of Community Services/Deputy CAO, Doug Sweet, said complaints about the lack of hot water have been coming in for eight to ten years. The Town has been constantly troubleshooting. This is a new path, and it is hoped it will resolve the issue.

Town to purchase $305,037.74 in winter control equipment

Essex Council received Operations’ report, “Results of Request for Tender – Supply of Winter Control Equipment for a Tandem Plow Truck and Supply of a Tandem Plow Truck Cab and Chassis 2020.”

  Council awarded the Request for Tender for the Supply of Winter Control Equipment for a Tandem Plow Truck with Stainless Steel Dump Body to Viking-Cives Ltd., in the amount of $144,888.94. Viking-Cives Ltd., submitted the sole bid.

  Council also awarded the supply of a Tandem Plow Truck Cab and Chassis 2020 to Team Truck Centres Ltd., in the amount of $160,148.80. Team Truck Centres Ltd. had the lowest bid of the three submitted.

  In addition, Council also approved the additional funding of $25,037.74, above the approved 2020 Capital Budget of $280,000, for this equipment from the Town’s Asset Management Lifecycle Reserve as the tender came in higher than put aside in the 2020 Budget.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy asked which company prepares the logo decals for the Town of Essex trucks.

  CAO Chris Nepszy said it varies year-to-year. Sometimes the company is local, sometime it is from out of Town. He said he will find out who the Town is looking at the create these decals.

  Councillor Morley Bowman wondered if there would be a delay in getting the equipment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kevin Girard, Director of Infrastructure, said there should not be an issue in receiving the truck. There will be a delay in having the truck manufactured, in addition to some of the extra equipment. He said the Town would likely not see the truck until early next year.


Health Unit suggests Essex have a strong cannabis retail policy statement

-AGCO notifies an application was made for a cannabis retail shop in Harrow-

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit sent correspondence to the Town of Essex to note it should have a strong cannabis retail policy statement. The letter came in relation to the AGCO notifying Council that it had received an application for a cannabis retail shop for 6 King Street East, Harrow.

  In the letter from the Heath Unit to Essex CAO Chris Nepszy, it noted at this time, a cannabis retail store cannot be located within 150 metres from a school, however, there are no other restrictions imposed from other sensitive uses, like daycares, playgrounds, mental health, and addictions facilities.

  It suggested having a strong Policy Statement and providing feedback to the AGCO as a way Essex could reduce any risk to public health and safety.

  In order to minimize the potential for vulnerable populations to access cannabis and reduce public exposure to environmental cannabis smoke, the WECHU recommends cannabis-related businesses be no less than 500 metres from any school, library, park, recreational centre, and any other youth-serving facility, and from addiction and mental health facilities, hospitals, and places of worship, and any alcohol, tobacco, or other cannabis-related business, it notes in the letter.

  The letter also includes a long list of “sensitive land use or areas of concern” regarding the proposed location in Harrow being within 500 meters of places like playgrounds, a library, retail outlets selling e-cigarettes and tobacco, and other outlets selling alcohol.  

Council received the letter from the WECHU.

  Councillor Steve Bjorkman said the only problem he sees with the application is that there is a youth centre three-doors away from the proposed shop. He believes that is a concern. He said he struggled with it, though, as it is a stand-alone location, which he said is ideal. He wondered if a new home could be found for the youth centre, perhaps the Lions Hall in Harrow. The Town supports ACCESS, which operates the youth centre, and wondered if there was a way everyone would work together to find a solution.

  Councillor Morley Bowman said he doesn’t think it is up to Council to support or not support the application, but to send the notice about the surrounding amenities and let the AGCO decide as they should be made aware. He made that a motion. 

  Councillor Sherry Bondy said the cannabis store would have its own parking lot. She said this will provide a legal source of marijuana in Harrow and create traffic flow to the centre, which she said is needed.

  Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche said with cannabis being legal in Canada, it is about educating youth and not hiding cannabis.

  Bowman then changed his motion to have Council received the correspondence from the AGCO and support the application, noting there was a youth centre nearby, and that Essex will look into having the youth centre relocated.

  Bondy said she would not support this motion. She said is up to the youth centre to provide its own feedback to the Province. The Town can work to accommodate the Youth Centre with a different facility, but she does not want that dependent on Council supporting the potential location for the cannabis retail store.

  Councillor Joe Garon agreed with Bondy. He said he is all for approving the location.

  Bowman withdrew his second motion.

  Councillor Chris Vander Doelen then moved that Council receive and support the location. The motion carried, with only Bowman opposed.


NoM: “shoreline protection of public property”

At the May 4 regular Meeting, Councillor Sherry Bondy put a Notice of Motion forward that Council bring forward the item listed as “shoreline protection of public property” from the Mayor’s list of roundtable meeting items. This would be to discuss and give direction to Administration as it relates to potential liability, budget considerations, shoreline protection of public property policy, timelines, and fallen trees policy during a time of historic high-water levels.

  This item was brought to the table for discussion at last Tuesday’s meeting.

  She said this item has caught her eye and wanted to see if Council had an appetite to look at the file.

  Chris Nepszy, CAO, said he has discussed the issue with various Councillors. If Council wants to have a plan on Shoreline protection, it would have come in the 2021 budget. If it something Council wanted to pursue, it could be brought forward as a budgetary item and an engineer can be brought in to look at all Town property. Council could then determine potential budget forecasting from there with potential costs associated.

  There were 18 properties as of four-years ago. That number could reach up to the mid-20s now, Nepszy said.

  Councillor Sherry Bondy does not want to wait a year or more to get started.

  Councillor Steve Bjorkman said when there is an easterly wind, the people having problems on their shorelines are really having problems. He said Council should come up with a policy at how it can best assist property owners that abut Town property. He said there are a few properties right now the Town should be looking at to see if Town property is infringing on their property.

  Councillor Chris Vander Doelen said he supports discussion and investigation into this. He agreed with Bjorkman that the Town should be good property owners. He would like a tour, or at least a photographic tour, to assess the situation.

  Nepszy said the Town has provided responses with anyone with adjacent properties that has reached out to the Town. He added administration can come back with a report on the inventory with photographs, as a step one. Then Council can continue discussions.



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