As published in the Springwater News.
Fire Station 2 Improvement
In May, Council referred to staff a request for additional information on the current needs, costs and capital improvements for Station 2 (Snow Valley Rd.), as provided in the Draft Master Fire Plan. Staff on July 20th delivered a report to Council with additional background information from the consultant and insight into some considerations regarding possible renovating provided by the Chief Building Official. Staff wanted authorization to proceed to engage an architect and/or engineer to determine the feasibility of a construction project for the renovations. I felt that before doing this, it would be best to re-involve the Fire Building Committee in the process. Council approved that the Fire Building Committee review the operational needs of a renovated Station 2, for Council approval, and such operational needs would form the foundation of a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to engage an engineer and/or architect.
Elmvale District High School (EDHS) Partnership Proposal
In the last issue, I updated that we are awaiting decision by the Ministry of Education on the go ahead and timing of the capital addition for EDHS. Council had previously agreed to backstop a community fund raising goal of $200,000 and add another $100,000 once the larger capital addition is approved. Councillor Perry Ritchie brought to Council a motion on reconsideration to further demonstrate Council’s support for this by replacing the $100,000 with $50,000 annually over 10 years, should a capital addition in excess of $10 million be approved. I agree and voted for this. Some might question such an amount being spent in one area of the Township. Keeping this high school healthy and growing in Springwater is a key indicator of strength and commitment for the Township as a whole.
The agricultural motion I put forward in June has resulted in a great deal of feedback. Some developers conveyed their disagreement about the legality of the motion. I, along with other Council members, appreciate having received over 330 messages of support from people, emphasizing that the 2014 election results showed that residents want a Council whose mandate is focused on smart growth and environmental and agricultural stewardship. The Township lawyer assisted us in fine tuning wording which would be legal and I motioned, seconded by Councillor Perry Ritchie and passed by a Council vote of 5 to 2, the following:
Whereas Agriculture is the largest single land use sector in Springwater, and
Whereas Agriculture is the number one value added sector in the Province of Ontario, and
Whereas in the Province of Ontario, the Provincial Policy Statement (2014), the Places to Grow Policies, the County of Simcoe Official Plan and the Township of Springwater Official Plan, independently and collectively, acknowledge the need to protect Prime Agricultural Land (defined as CLI Classes 1 to 3) for future generations,
Therefore be it resolved that as part of the Township’s Official Plan review process, Staff be directed to give particular consideration to the need for new or additional policies, with the following clear and specific objectives:
(i) protecting and promoting Prime Agricultural Land for long-term use for agriculture;
(ii) ensuring that new land uses are compatible with, and do not hinder, agricultural operations on Prime Agricultural Land; and
(iii) ensuring that any identification of settlement areas or expansion of a settlement area boundary fully complies with applicable Provincial policies aimed at protecting Prime Agricultural Land for the long term.
Have a safe happy long weekend.