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Council Meeting Highlights - June 22nd, 2021

Announcements – Mayor Black took some time during this evening’s Council meeting to provide an update on some significant projects currently being undertaken by the Town prior to Council beginning their summer recess after tonight’s meeting. Items of note included:

  • Community Improvement Plan - The Request for Proposal for the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) has been issued and closes on July 22nd, 2021.  The CIP establishes policies that will enable the Town to encourage improvements to private lands through financial incentive programs.  These improvements might take the shape of improvements to lands and buildings including heritage buildings, affordable housing, infrastructure works, property acquisition, land assembly, public space, parks and recreation works, signage, streetscape and landscaping improvements. These improvements may be encouraged with the help of incentive-based programs which may include grants, loans, or property tax assistance.
  • Public Works - The installation of a new signalized pedestrian crossover at the Moore Street OVRT crossing has been completed, and our construction projects are progressing very well on Bell Street, McArthur Island, Miguel Street and Moffatt Street, with work on the Gillies Bridge, Santiago Street and McKenzie Street to begin shortly. We are also planning ahead for the next 20 years with both the Transportation Master Plan and the Water and Wastewater Master Plan underway. The tender for 2021 road works came in at $951,456 which was $890,120 below the 2021 budget.  These savings will be brought forward to complete future roads projects.
  • Development Services - Comprehensive Review – Three (3) growth options have been circulated for public feedback and a summary of comments received in consultation will be provided to Council in August.  The second phase of the project will involve an update of the land use policies in the Official Plan.  In order to inform this process, the Town has established an ad hoc committee to assist staff in identifying local priorities and areas of focus for improvement.  The OP amendment is scheduled to wrap up in spring/summer 2022. Subdivisions - Development continues to occur in the last phases of Miller's Crossing and Meadow Ridge.  Construction in Coleman Central will begin to transition to Phase 2 with infrastructure works scheduled to proceed this fall.  Construction in Mississippi Shores and Carmichael Farm are anticipated to commence this winter and into the spring.
  • Treasury - Virtual City Hall is a platform that will allow residents and business owners to access their tax and water account information online in addition to making payments for taxes, water, pet tags, and parking tickets.  Staff have just started implementation and the platform should be available for use before the end of 2021.
  • Arena - The Carleton Place Recreation & Culture Department is full steam ahead on the Arena Expansion Project. The Main Entrance is currently closed while renovations to the main lobby are underway. Staff look forward to the project being completed this summer, which will be just in time for the start of the hockey season.  An Official Ribbon Cutting will be planned in September to celebrate the new expanded Lobby, four new dressing rooms, new multipurpose room, and updated canteen.
  • Protective Services - Ocean Wave Fire Company welcomed Sparky the Fire Dog (mascot) to the family about a month ago. Sparky and some of his firefighting friends visited the daycare and some local parks around town to say hello. Over the course of three (3) weeks, staff at the fire hall did virtual fire hall tours for 21 elementary school classes. Feedback from teachers and students was very positive. Five (5) new recruits were hired this spring: Dave MacFadyen, Jess Johnson, Cody Rowan, Chris Nicholls, and Blake Harris. They’ve been a great addition the fire department.
  • Library - This year our library has been busy planning its interior renovation and looks forward to a grand reopening this summer. Our community can look forward to modernized, accessible library spaces and seeing our friendly library staff face to face once again.

Accessibility Policies - Council approved the updated Accessible Customer Service Policy and the Accessible Customer Service Procedures to ensure they are in accordance with current provincial legislative requirements (O. Reg. 191/11).

Class 3 Development Permit – 50 Roe Street – The Committee of the Whole approved an application submitted on behalf of the property owner DJW Enterprises Inc. for a Class 3 Development Permit for the property known municipally as 50 Roe Street to permit the construction of a Building Contractor’s Shop with an office and warehouse space attached.

Recreation Booking Software - Earlier this year, Staff were informed that the Recreation Booking Software that was upgraded in 2018 would no longer be supported by Microsoft and needed to be replaced. Recreation staff, along with staff from the Municipality of Mississippi Mills and the Township of Beckwith, participated in a demonstration from Active Network. The ACTIVENet recreation software is similar to the booking software currently used and it has the capability to provide online booking services. The cost to replace the current system with the ACTIVENet recreation software is $11,867.00 plus HST which was not included in the 2021 Recreation budget. For this particular purchase, the Town receives a full credit of the HST amount paid. The Treasurer has applied for funding through the Municipal Modernization Fund – Implementation Stream, which if successful, will provide 80% funding towards this cost. Council approved the purchase with the budget deviation of up to $11,867.00 being funded from Recreation Reserves in 2021 and included in the 2022 budget to replenish the reserves utilized in 2021.

Tractor Purchase - The 2021 Capital Budget includes $35,000 to purchase an additional tractor for the Recreation and Culture Department’s use. Given that pricing for the new tractor came in over the amount budgeted, Council approval was received for the purchase of a 40 horsepower tractor from Elliot Farm Equipment in the amount of $45,768.00 plus HST. The budget deviation of $11,573.52 will be funded from the sale of the John Deere Tractor ($6,112.00) and Recreation Equipment Reserves ($5,461.52).

Trailer Purchase – Council authorized the purchase of a trailer from Trailer Country in the amount of $5,609.00 plus HST with the budget deviation to be funded from the Recreation Equipment reserve.  This trailer is a replacement of the Town’s current trailer which was in need of major repairs given the age of the equipment (20 years old) and in order for it to be functional.

Carmichael Farms Phase 1 Subdivision Conditions - The Town received a request by Pegasus to finalize the draft municipal conditions pertaining to Phase 1 of the Carmichael Farms Subdivision. Phase 1 of the subdivision will result in the creation of 24 townhomes fronting onto Rathwell Street immediately east of the Miller’s Crossing Subdivision located south of Highway 7. Council directed staff to provide the draft conditions for Phase 1 of the Carmichael Farms Subdivision to the County of Lanark which is the approval authority for subdivisions.

Mississippi River Watershed Plan - The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) has released a draft of its proposed new Watershed Plan for the Mississippi River for public review and comment. This document will replace a Watershed Plan which was adopted in 1983. The plan has been produced to assist the MVCA in fulfilling its provincial mandate to study and investigate the watershed and to determine programs and services whereby the natural resources of the watershed may be conserved, restored, developed and managed. A copy of the plan was circulated to the Town’s Environmental Action Committee, Urban Forest and River Corridor Committee, and the Public Works, Parks and Recreation and Planning Departments for review and comment. A compilation of comments can be found in the report on the Town’s website. Council directed staff to provide a letter to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority outlining the Town’s comments on the proposed Mississippi River Watershed Plan.

Amendment to Social Media Policy - On March 23rd, 2021, Council approved a Social Media Policy to be used by Staff to govern the behavior of both staff and the public posting on the Town’s platforms. Staff has noticed an increase in engagement with residents on social media, particularly on Facebook, primarily in relation to posts which inform residents of policy or by-law decisions/changes/reminders. The expectation for a quick response to questions/concerns/negative comments has also grown which correspondingly increases the amount of time staff required to spend monitoring, gathering information and replying. Staff presented Council with three (3) options to consider. Council approved Option 1 which will see the following amendments made to the Social Media Policy:

1. An additional bullet be added to Section 3.2 Responding under the section denoted as “The Account Manager is not expected to reply to social media communications if:”

“Information is being shared via Facebook that relates to a change or reminder in relation to municipal policies or By-laws, and exceeds the Account Manager’s technical knowledge of the respective subject area. The Account Manager will post a comment in the comments section of the post which states:

Please note, staff will not be replying to comments or answering questions within the comments section of this post. As the information in this post relates specifically to the -insert Department name here- Department, please contact – enter staff name and title here- with questions or requests for further information. We appreciate your patience. Staff will reply at their earliest opportunity.”

2. The bolded words be added under Section 2.4 – Removal of Content:

· Personal, antagonistic, or openly hostile attacks in which the individual is identified by name, against a staff member or member(s) of Council;

The following By-laws of note were read and passed:

  1. By-law No. 89-2021 - Amend Traffic and Parking By-Law 46-2003 - McGregor Street, Beckwith Street and Market Square Parking Lot as follows:
  • That parking within the Market Square Parking Lot be restricted to a maximum of four (4) hours;
  • That the seven (7) parking spaces on the east side of Beckwith Street adjacent to the Market Square building between Lake Ave. East and the entrance to Market Square be designated as 2-hour maximum parking spaces;
  • That “no parking” restrictions be added on the east side of McGregor Street from Coleman Street to Miguel Street to help with the congestion on the street resulting from the busy commercial property entrance and the multi-unit property development.
  1. By-law No. 90-2021 - Authorize an Amended Cost Sharing Agreement for Water and Sewer -  To enter into Amended and Restated Cost Sharing Agreements related to Core Services (Water and Sewer) and Road Infrastructure and any other agreements, amendments or documents required to enact the conditions of the Amended and Restated Cost Sharing Agreements South of Highway 7 with Pegasus Construction Inc., Uniform Urban Developments Ltd, 1470424 Ontario Inc, 2289337 Ontario Inc, and The Estate Of Kayoko Mutuura And Akira Mutuura (as applicable).  These agreements outline certain obligations relating to the construction, funding and of payments in relation to certain infrastructure works south of Highway 7.

Summer Break Notice - Please be advised that in accordance with the Town’s Procedural By-law, Council will be taking a summer recess from regular Council and Committee of the Whole meetings during the month of July. This does not include Special or Emergency Meetings, which can be called by the Mayor or by a petition of Council. The next regular meetings after summer recess will take place on August 10th, 2021.