January 24, 2019
Mayor Don’s Update – by Don Allen
Springwater new Council’s first two meetings occurred in January and here are some of the items reviewed.
We received an interesting deputation by Elmvale District High School students regarding their upcoming student exchange with James Smith First Nation, Melfort, Saskatchewan and Council agreed to contribute $1,000 of the previous golf tournament proceeds toward their expenses.
Council considered a request from the Barrie North Winter Tennis Club for a new clubhouse and the possibility of adding space to it to accommodate a change room, washrooms and storage for the new Midhurst Pavilion. This was referred to Staff for a further report on the details regarding this.
Elmvale & District Food Bank – Council reviewed the existing challenges experienced by the Food Bank in its present location and referred this to staff for a further report regarding options of modifications to the existing facility or consideration of a new location and the potential of partnering in this with a local charitable organization.
After considerable discussion and feedback from residents, Council voted to “opt-in” to allow the private retail sale of cannabis in Springwater. The Township will receive financial compensation from the Province to assist with the implementation costs of legalization. Council will be looking to develop Township by-laws that will determine the usage of cannabis in public areas going forward and other related matters.
Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC)
Director of Planning Brent Spagnol provided a verbal summary of the background and an update regarding the proposed ERRC at 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West in Springwater. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently approved the County Official Plan amendment, subject to an appeal period. Director Spagnol reviewed the next steps of the Township processing of applications for an Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning at the Township Level. The Township of Springwater will host an open house on this matter. The public will be provided all the comments received to date and the County of Simcoe’s consultants will be available to update attendees. This meeting is expected in the spring of 2019. After completion of the open house, the Planning Department will prepare a detailed report for Council’s consideration. This is expected in the early fall of 2019.
City of Barrie Non-Resident Fee Agreement
Council approved the renewal agreement between Springwater and the City of Barrie that allows Springwater residents to access Barrie recreation services with the same guidelines and the same rates provided to Barrie residents and with no wait times to be able to register. In 2018, there were 2,389 Springwater participants in various Barrie programs.
Ontario Bill 66 Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act
Part of this recently proposed Act allows for municipalities to pass an “open for business planning by-law” (OFB by-law) which in effect removes barriers to a lot of planning and resource protection regulations to expedite major business investments in the municipality. A municipality may pass an OFB by-law only with ministerial approval and only when prescribed criteria have been satisfied. Government regulation details have not yet been released regarding this. Council reviewed what has been released to date and expressed that it would not contemplate using this legislation in a way that would be detrimental to the environment. Council passed a motion that a letter be sent to the Province stating that further information needs to be provided before Council can provide further comments with respect to this.
Springwater 2019 Draft Budget
The draft budget was tabled earlier this month. Meetings to review it in detail, open to the public, are scheduled for January 16, and 30 and February 4 in Special Council Meetings, starting at 3pm each day. It is anticipated that Council will be ready to approve the 2019 budget on February 20, 2019. More on this will follow in later articles.
2018 Municipal Election Analysis
The 2018 Springwater municipal election had 5,962 votes cast out of 15,796 eligible voters. (37.7%). This is down from 6,475 votes (42.5%) in the 2014 election. Of the 2018 votes cast, 74.8% were cast by phone or internet (6.6% phone, 68.3% internet) and 25.2% by traditional paper ballot. Ward voter turnout in numbers and percentage of eligible voters in the wards was as follows: Ward 1 – 1,135 voters (42.1%); Ward 2 – 958 voters (31.9%), Ward 3 – 1,349 voters (39.1%); Ward 4 – 1,166 (33.9%); Ward 5 – 1,354 (42.2%). Of total votes cast, advanced voting from October 12 to 21 resulted in 48.8% of these votes. On election day, 44.9% of the total votes were cast and on the extra day of extended voting resulted in 6.3% of the total votes or 375 votes. Voters aged 45-59 represented 32.9% of total votes and ages 60-74 represented 32.6%. Females were 36.4% of the votes and males 39.1%.
On voting day, 51 Ontario municipalities using the phone and internet services of Dominion Voting experienced slow voting response and problems casting votes and a 90-minute system failure due to unpredicted limitations on incoming voting traffic. After consultation with all the municipal clerks in the affected municipalities, it was decided by 39 of them to extend the voting period for 24 hours to October 23rd. Dominion has extended a 20% discount on a portion of the voting costs as a result of this.
Simcoe County News
The Provincial government announced last week it is undertaking a review of regional governments in Ontario and including Simcoe County and its member municipalities. We understand this will focus on service delivery, decision-making and governance. A report is expected this fall and there will be extensive consultation in the interim.
The various committees for Simcoe County Council were finalized this week. Deputy Mayor Coughlin will sit on the Simcoe County Housing Corporation Board and the Grant Program Task Force Committee. I am chairing the Performance Management section of County Council and therefore sitting on the Governance and Striking committees. I am also sitting on the Planning Committee, Agricultural Liaison Committee, and will serve as the County representative on the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture. We look forward to being involved and having input in the above-noted regional government review.
Stay Warm and Healthy
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