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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex County Council notes for Wednesday, March 18

by Sylene Argent Civic Centre lease agreement with the Essex County Library

County Council adopted a bylaw to authorize the execution of a lease agreement with the Essex County Library Board.   The Report to County Council notes that in 2017, County Council was  notified of negotiations to purchase the facility with then Civic Centre property owners, the Greater Essex County District School Board, the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, and the Essex Region Conservation Authority.   With the County of Essex being owner of the Civic Centre, it was able to collect rent from tenants. The rate agreed upon was $15.60 per square foot, through to December 31, 2019, while maintaining an annual increase of 2.5 percent thereafter for five years, then a two-percent annual increases for the next three years. In 2027, a review of the facility expenses and charges will be conducted to review the rental rates.   In 2019/2020, Infrastructure Services initiated the process of developing a lease agreement for the Essex County Library for 5,000 square feet.   The Report to County Council notes the Library Board actually leases 12, 683 square feet, but was only being charged for 5,000 square feet due to a discrepancy. The decision was made to continue to charge the County of Essex Library for only 5,000 square feet of space.   The monthly rental rates, not including HST, for the next five years are: $6,662.50 for 2020; $6,829.06; $6,999.79 for 2022; $7,174.78 for 2023; $7,354.15 for 2024. The total net revenue for the related rental spaces for the five-year period is $420,243.36, plus HST.   County CAO, Robert Maisonville, said this matter was a bit of housekeeping. By implementing this bylaw, he said, the matter is now finalized. The rates, he said, are consistent with others who lease space in the building.   Delegation of Authority in Emergencies – Procurement Policy County Council approved the delegation of authority for procurements exceeding $300,000 to the CAO and Clerk during periods when County Council suspends its regular meetings for emergency reasons.   Administration was also directed to bring forward a formal report of procurements approved under these delegation of authority provisions, along with any mitigation decisions made during the period.   The Report to County Council notes that procurements in excess of $300,000 require approval from County Council, with contracts executed by the Warden and Clerk.   The report continues that due to unforeseen impacts of COVID-19, there may be a need to temporarily suspend regular County Council meetings. The approval of the delegation authority is meant to ensure business continuity.   The Report to County Council also notes the CAO and Department Heads will communicate with the Treasurer to identify budget mitigation measures and limit negative financial impacts due to emergency spending.   CAO Robert Maisonville said during a time of uncertainty, this measure may or may not be necessary. In the case it is needed, it will allow the County of Essex to continue to operate. He added, in the case the County needs to utilize this method, staff will keep members of its Council informed.   The Report adds that the County’s accounting system will track costs associated with its COVID-19 response. Should provincial or federal programs be announced that allow for cost recovery or funding of these associated costs, the Financial Services Department will be in a position to report and claim.   Replacement of Stryker Power Pro Stretchers County Council approved allowing Essex-Windsor EMS to purchase forty Stryker Power Pro XT Stretchers for $909,920, plus HST, from Physio Control, a division of Stryker. It also voted in favour of purchasing the Stryker Preventative Maintenance program for forty stretchers, at a cost of $58,548 annually, plus HST, from Physio Control, and to dispose 33 used Stryker Power Pro XT stretchers to EMS Surplus Canada at a revenue of $132,000.   The Report to County Council notes in 2014, the County of Essex replaced all manually operated stretchers with the Stryker Power Pro XT stretcher. At that time, the EMS service also started using Stryker Power Load lifting devices.   The original stretchers have come to the end of their life cycle, Essex-Windsor EMS Chief, Bruce Krauter, said. He added the purpose of switching to these stretchers was to reduce the rate of neck, back, and shoulder injuries in paramedics, as a result of stretcher use. Since using these stretchers, he said there has been a reduction in those types of injuries by around 90 percent.   Krauter said Essex-Windsor EMS appreciates the investment the County puts in, and the support of County Council, which ensure needed equipment can be obtained.

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