council meeting

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Council Connect: Highlights from December 13, 2022, meetings of Council

Tecumseh Town Council met this evening and here are the highlights:

Public Meeting of Council

Curtis Drain – Tender Results Meeting to Consider Contract Price (s.59 Drainage Act): Council received the report that outlined the various tenders for the project and awarded the tender to the lowest bidder, Matassa Inc. The tenders were substantially higher than the Engineer’s estimate for the work, with the low bidder approximately 33 percent over the Engineer’s construction estimate.

Zoning By-Law Amendment: 12106 Tecumseh Road, Scheduling of a Public Meeting: The purpose of this meeting was to hear public comment, in accordance with the Planning Act, for a zoning by-law amendment application. The application pertains to a 0.35 hectare (0.87 acre) parcel of land located on the north side of Tecumseh Road, at its intersection with Poisson Street (12106 Tecumseh Road). The amendment was filed to amend Zoning By-law 1746 by rezoning the subject land from “General Commercial Zone (C3)” to a site-specific “General Commercial Zone (C3-17)” to permit the construction of a 5-storey, 40-unit, mixed-use commercial/residential development. Council received public and agency comments at this meeting.

Special Meeting of Council

Statutory Committee and Board Appointments – 2022 to 2026: The Committee/Local Board Application & Appointment Policy No.4 (Policy) establishes timelines and processes for calling and receiving applications for and appointing persons to the Committees/Local Boards of the Town. Council reviewed the applications received and made appointments to the Committee of Adjustment, Property Standards Committee, Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Police Services Board. Additionally, Council member appointments were made to the Court of Revision, the Essex Power Corporation, Essex Region Conservation Authority, the Police Services Board and the Essex County Library Board. All applicants will be notified of the appointments by the Town Clerk and subsequently, the appointments will be posted to the Town website.

Regular Meeting of Council

2021 Audited Financial Statements: The Town’s auditors, KPMG, presented the Town’s 2021 Audited Financial Statements to Council along with KPMG’s Audit Findings Report. The Audit Findings Report provides Council some context with respect to how the audit is performed and provides the auditor’s assessment of various financial reporting risks. The Town’s financial statements are audited annually.

2023 Police Service Budget Presentation: A presentation of the proposed 2023 Police Services Budget was provided to Council. Budget deliberations will follow in January. The proposed budget indicates an overall decrease in the budget for policing services provided by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) of 3.5 percent, with planned expenditures of $3.35M for 2023. The Police Services Board budget proposes a lift to restore the professional development expenses to pre-COVID levels. Overall, the proposed budget for the Board is $42,366 for 2023. Currently, the Police Services Board is an oversight body for the Town’s policing contract. It is expected that the new Community Safety & Policing Act 2019 will come into effect over the next year and will result in one or two detachment boards serving all five municipalities and Pelee Island in the Essex OPP Detachment.

2023 Draft Business Plan & Operating Budget: The CAO, Director Financial Services and Deputy Treasurer Revenue presented Administration’s Proposed 2023 Operating Budget this evening. The 2023 Proposed Budget provides for the delivery of municipal programs and services, maintaining the high standard of services our residents are accustomed to. Highlights include continued support for the Town’s robust capital plans for the upcoming five years through increased contributions to capital reserves and staffing enhancements intended to support development. The proposed budget calls for a municipal tax rate increase of 4.4%. The complete 2023 Proposed Budget document will be posted to the Town’s website by end of day Wednesday December 14, 2022. Council will deliberate the proposed budget at a Special Council Meeting on January 17, 2023.

Exercise of Delegated Authority during the Lame Duck Period: Under report LCS-2022-09, Council delegated the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) with delegated authority during the lame duck period. Council endorsed the authorization of additional capital funding in the amount of $2.4M for watermain and sanitary sewer infrastructure within the Town of Tecumseh associated with the County of Essex Road improvement project for County Road 42 and County Road 43. Additionally, reserve allocations for the Town’s total project commitment of $6,476,000 were endorsed. The Town’s share of the project has increased from $4.07M to $6.48M. Additional funds are allocated from the Watermain Reserve Fund and the Wastewater Sewer Reserve Fund.

Review of Non-Statutory Advisory Committees: Council received the report outlining recommendations going forward for non-statutory advisory committees. Council endorsed the continuation of the Lakeshore-Tecumseh Intermunicipal Committee and the Rural Broadband Advisory Committee into 2023. With respect to the Cultural & Arts Advisory Committee, the Senior Advisory Committee and the Youth Advisory Committee, Council accepted the recommendation to discontinue these committees and re-purpose resources associated with their support and activities.

Town of Tecumseh Energy Management Update: Council received and approved the report outlining results and progress in implementing the Town’s energy initiatives through the Energy Conservation and Demand Management (ECDM) Plan. The Plan outlines recent acquisitions and developments in energy management efforts that have contributed to reduced energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and identifies next steps, both short and longer term, to continue the Town’s energy conservation and GHG emission reductions.

Parks 2023-2027 Five (5) Year Capital Works Plan: The Five-Year Capital Works Plan was presented to Council, outlining park infrastructure upgrades, renovations and improvements planned for 2023 to 2027. The plan intends to upgrade existing parks and to develop playgrounds that are most in need of improvements. Special projects of note include: the Lacasse Baseball grandstand replacement, new splashpads at Lakewood Park and Southfield Park as well as outdoor washrooms. The objective is to deliver high quality parks amenities at a consistent level throughout the Town. Council adopted the plan.

Arena and Pool 2023-2027 Five (5) Year Capital Works Plan: Council received a formal adoption plan for the 2023-2027 Arena and Pool Five (5) Year Capital Works Plan. The developed plan for capital projects provides a detailed synopsis articulating prioritized renovations, asset replacement and repair, and new infrastructure developments. Funding is allocated through the Arena and Pool Lifecycle Reserves. Council adopted the plan.

Municipal Buildings 2023-2027 Five (5) Year Capital Works Plan: The purpose of the report is to outline the proposed capital project items as referenced in the 2023 - 2027 Municipal Buildings Five (5) Year Capital Works Plan. The developed plan for capital projects provides a detailed synopsis articulating prioritized renovations, asset replacement and repair, and new infrastructure developments. Special projects include: renovation of the Cada Library, addition of new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, renovations to the Maidstone Recreation Centre (outdoor washrooms, pickleball courts, parking lot) and Weston Park washroom renovations. Council adopted the plan.

Tender Award - Bert Lacasse Ball Diamond Upgrades: Council received and approved the report for the low tender from Gulf Developments Inc. in the amount of $2,996,218. inclusive of non-refundable HST, for the Tender Award – Bert Lacasse Ball Diamond Upgrades. It was recommended that $140,000 be allocated as a contingency for this project. The upgrades include replacing the existing grandstand, replacing the ball diamond backstop, renovating the entrance plaza and site works. The project tender was within the Council-approved budget.

On-Demand Transit Pilot Project Results and 2023 Transit Recommendations: The report provided Council with an analysis of the Tecumseh Transit Service (TTS) On-Demand Transit Pilot Project which was initiated on March 28 of 2022. It identifies some of the positive aspects of the on-demand approach as well as the challenges faced during the pilot project. Council approved the recommendation to revert the Tecumseh Transit Service to the pre-pilot program fixed route service on weekdays, Monday to Friday, and continue to operate the On-Demand service for Saturdays only, beginning January 2, 2023. First Student Canada will continue to operate the Town’s Transit System. Administration will assess potential changes to the fixed route in the first quarter of 2023, including public engagement, and report to Council with any recommended changes.

Town-wide Site Plan Control Designating By-Law: Council received and approved the report to pass a new by-law in accordance with the Planning Act that will have the effect of designating the entire Town as a site plan control area. Site plan control is a tool that is used by the Town under Section 41 of the Planning Act, to ensure that commercial, industrial, institutional, and multi-unit residential development is designed, built and maintained appropriately.

Capstone Infrastructure Corporation Municipal Support Resolution: IESO Procurement Expedited RFP Submission: Council agreed to provide a letter supporting the development, construction and operation of a Long-Term Reliability Project by Capstone Infrastructure Corporation in the Town of Tecumseh. The project is specifically named the South Shore Battery Electric Storage System Project and Capstone representatives appeared as a delegation to present the project to Council. The support for this project will enable Capstone to receive points in the application process with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Such support does not supersede any municipal permits or approvals under applicable laws and regulations that may be required for the project to move forward.

Administrative Fees and Charges 2023:  Council approved the 2023 Administrative Fees and Charges to be charged by departments for various municipal goods, programs and services. As per Council’s direction, fees and charges are raised annually in consideration of annual inflationary increases over the course of the year.

Civil Marriage Services: Council received the report outlining the Civil Marriage Services offered by the Town and the request to terminate the service, effective December 31, 2022.  A service review completed earlier this year identified marriage ceremonies as a discretionary service with limited financial return to the Town. Civil Marriage ceremonies are not regarded as a core service of the department. The Town will continue to issue marriage licenses. Council approved the report.

Animal Control Services: Council approved the tender from Essex County K9 Services in the amount of $22,000 plus HST annually, for Animal Control Services. The Town’s current service contract expires on December 31st and, to ensure service continuity, pre-budget approval was given to enter into a three-year contract. Essex County K9 Services has been operating for over a decade in Essex County, with a complement of highly trained staff who adhere to strict operating, animal handling/impounding and public interaction policies and procedures.

Taxi Licensing Services: Council received a report to repeal By-Law 2003-85, which pertains to taxi licenses. The By-law prohibits taxicabs licensed outside the municipality to pick up fares within the Town, with an exception to accommodate accessibility needs. It was recommended to de-regulate taxicabs, taxicab drivers and taxicab companies within the Town and permit any taxicab driver who holds a valid municipal taxi driver’s license within the City of Windsor or the County of Essex to service the residents of the Town of Tecumseh. Council approved this report.

Animal Services – Cat Intake, Cat Spay/Neuter & Dog Licensing: Council approved recommendations for the Town of Tecumseh to enter into an Agreement with the Windsor Essex County Humane Society for the provision of cat intake and spay/neuter services, and additionally, to enter an agreement with DocuPet Inc. for the provision of dog tag licensing. The agreement with the Windsor Essex Humane Society will allow residents to drop off stray cats to the WECHS and issue vouchers for cat spay/neuter services. The agreement with DocuPet Inc. offers a simple and secure online pet licensing service on a 365-day basis, with an easy step-by-step process for residents to purchase or renew their dog tag(s) at any time of the year.

Amendment to Drainage Assessment Schedules for Works Completed under Section 78 of the Drainage Act in 2021: Council received a report outlining the completed drainage assessment locations, including: Dawson Drain – Revenberg Culvert, South Talbot Holden Outlet Drain – County Road 11 & South Talbot Road Intersection, South Talbot Holden Outlet Drain – Gosselin O’Neil Culvert and East Townline Drain (St. Clair Outlet). Once a drainage report has been adopted as a provisional by-law, construction, repair or improvement works for the Drain are tendered according to the Town’s Procurement By-Law and Purchasing Policy. Once the works are completed, the municipality must adopt a by-law to assess out the actual costs of the drainage works proportionately to the affected landowners.  The by-law for the drains referenced in this report assess the actual costs of the drainage works proportionately to affected landowners. Council adopted the by-law.

Water and Wastewater Rates for 2023: The purpose of the Town of Tecumseh Water and Wastewater Rate Study is to update water and wastewater rates and charges to ensure a full cost recovery of these services. Council adopted By-law No. 2022-102, for the water and wastewater rates for 2023, based on the recommendation of the 2015 Town of Tecumseh Water and Wastewater Rate Study, the Mediation Agreement and discussions with the Windsor Utilities Commission and with consideration to the draft 2023 rate study update, which is expected to come to Council early in 2023.

Lesperance Road VIA Rail Crossing Improvements Tender Award and VIA Rail Agreements: Council approved the tender for the Lesperance Road VIA Rail Crossing Improvements in the amount of $2,961,219.48 excluding HST awarding the work to Rudak Excavating Inc. This is the second time this project has been tendered and while the Town received a better price on the second tender, the project will cost approximately twice the original estimate. Based on the distribution of costs within the tender, reserve funding was adjusted. The increased project cost can be attributed to the following: scope changes, construction inflation, VIA rail delays, scope of work and additional engineering. The federal funding secured under the Rail Safety Improvement Program will continue to apply to the project and offset total project costs by approximately $1M. Council also approved the agreements with VIA Rail required to undertake the work within their rail corridor.

2022 Supply of Various Vehicles Tender Award: Council approved the purchase of three (3) Extended Cab Pickup Trucks, in the amount of $128,468 plus HST plus outfitting costs to be awarded to Provincial Chrysler and the purchase of one (1) Crew Cab Pickup Truck, in the amount of $57,883 plus HST plus outfitting costs to be awarded to Amherstburg Chevrolet. Purchase of the vehicles will be funded from the Town’s Fleet Lifecycle Reserve.

2022 Water Services Vehicle – Tender Award: Council approved the purchase of the 2022 Water Services Vehicle and service body, in the amount of $109,399 be awarded to Oxford Dodge. Purchase of the vehicles will be funded from the Town’s Fleet Lifecycle Reserve.  

Council supported the Mayor’s application to fill the vacant municipal elected official position in the County Caucus of the Association of Municipalities for Ontario Board of Directors. Mayor McNamara’s application will be submitted in February, 2023 and the outcome will be decided thereafter.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is January 24, 2023. The meeting is scheduled to be held electronically. The agenda and livestream will be available on the Town’s website. Follow the Town of Tecumseh on Facebook and Twitter for news and the latest information.