council chambers

Council Connect: Highlights from the February 22, 2022 meetings of Council

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

Special Meeting

Digital and Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Strategies Endorsed: Council has adopted the recently completed Tecumseh Digital Strategy and Tecumseh Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Strategy Summary Report. The documents were developed with the assistance of Perry Consulting Group Ltd., which presented the final reports to Council on Tuesday. Both documents will be posted on the Town’s website and Administration will develop frameworks for implementing the recommendations and present them to Council at a future meeting. The strategies are a result of the Town’s 2021 Information Technology Service Review. The cost of developing the strategies was covered by funding from the province’s Municipal Modernization Program. The Digital Strategy provides a roadmap for the Town to improve service delivery, reduce costs and realize efficiencies through digitization and offering more services online. The Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Strategy determined which Town services are critical and should be given priority when restoring services after a disaster or in an emergency. It also sets out steps that should be taken to ensure the Town is prepared for these types of events.

Public Meetings

No Opposition to Rural Rezoning: Council held a meeting to receive public comment on an application to rezone agricultural land at 6067 Walker Road. The Committee of Adjustment has approved the severance of a 0.51-hectare dwelling lot on the condition that the two resulting properties are rezoned. The application is to change the zoning of the severed parcel to a site-specific Agricultural Zone (A-34) and the remaining 40.4 hectares to a site-specific Agricultural Zone (A-35), which will prohibit a residence from being constructed on it. No objections were raised at the public meeting.

Multi-unit Housing Proposed on Lesperance: Council held meeting to hear from the public about a request to change the zoning of land on the southwest corner of Lesperance Road and Arbour Street. The rezoning from Residential Zone 2 and Zone 2-25 to site-specific Residential Zone 3 is required for the proposed construction of three 2.5-storey buildings, which will each contain six dwelling units. The parcel is owned by Deerbrook Andrew J. Smith Real Estate Inc. and 2312205 Ontario Limited, and currently consists of three separate properties. The redevelopment of the parcel would include on-site parking and landscaping. Resident Rita Ossington told Council she and neighbour Kevin Chapieski oppose the size and intensity of the proposed project. Residents Jim and Joyce McCauley submitted a letter also opposing it. Resident Shawn Eggett and Lesperance Plaza Inc., which owns a nearby commercial plaza, submitted letters supporting the project.

Regular Meeting of Council

Town Seeking Funding for Centennial Celebration: The Town has already secured $59,500 in corporate sponsorships to help cover the cost of its 100th Anniversary celebration planned for July 2-4, 2022. As well, the Town has received confirmation of $49,500 from two grant programs and is awaiting responses to applications made to three other grant programs, says a report to Council. Council has approved a budget of $286,000 for the event, of which $127,500 is expected to be covered by grants and sponsorships. The balance of $158,500 is coming from the Town’s reserve funds.

Salaries Increased for Council and Non-union Staff: The Mayor and non-unionized Town staff are receiving a two-per-cent salary increase as of Jan. 1, 2022. Councillors are getting a one-per-cent increase and the Deputy Mayor a 0.5-per-cent increase. Council approved the pay hikes in accordance with the Town’s Compensation and Salary Administration Policy and the 2019 Council Salary Review.

Meeting Set for Additional Residential Unit Application: Council will hold a public meeting on March 22, 2022 at 5 p.m. regarding an application to rezone a 9.6-hectare property at 7035 Concession 10 to permit an additional permanent stand-alone residential unit. A residence, a garden suite and four accessory structures are on the agricultural property, which is on the west side of the road approximately 600 metres north of County Road 8. The Town in 2012 granted approval for the temporary erection of a garden suite, which was built for a family member requiring special support. The owner now wishes to have the property rezoned to allow the garden suite residence to be permanent.

Additional Residential Unit Proposed for Riverside Drive Home: An application to rezone a property on Riverside Drive to allow an additional residential unit will be the subject of a public meeting of Council on March 22, 2022 at 5:45 p.m. The owner of 13554 Riverside Drive, located on the north side of the road just east of Christy Lane, wants to demolish the existing residence and other structures, and then build a two-storey single-unit residence with an attached two-storey garage. The additional residential unit would be on the second storey of the garage.

Basement Unit Proposed on Lesperance: Council will hold a public meeting on March 22, 2022 at 6:15 p.m. regarding an application to rezone 292 Lesperance Road to allow for the creation of an additional residential unit in the basement of the existing house. The property is on the east side of the road at the intersection with Little River Boulevard.

Outdoor Patio Provisions Extended: Council is extending to the end of 2022 the guidelines it set allowing for the extension of liquor licences for outdoor patios. Due to the pandemic, the provincial government has suspended the requirement for licensed establishments to apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to extend licences for outdoor patios, if they meet certain conditions. One of those conditions is the approval of the municipality where they are located. Tecumseh has approved licences on the condition that the establishments comply with its Temporary Outdoor Patio Guidelines. For patios extending onto municipal property, the establishment must also enter an encroachment agreement with the Town.

Records and Information Management Review Approved: The Town has been granted $50,880 by the province’s Municipal Modernization Program to fund a third-party review of its corporate records and information management service. A report with recommendations for cost savings must be completed by January 31, 2023. Council authorized the Mayor and Clerk to reach a transfer payment agreement for the funding.

Former Desro Drive Cul-de-sac Land to be Sold: Council voted to close the highway portion of a former cul-de-sac on Desro Drive and allow it to be sold. The right-of-way near 13375 Desro Drive is no longer required by the Town. The estimated cost of closing and selling the land is $5,000 to $7,000. Proceeds of any sale will be put in the Town’s reserve fund for infrastructure.

Land to be Conveyed to Brouillette Manor for Parking: Council approved the closure of the highway portion of a former cul-de-sac and conveyance of the land to Brouillette Manor. A site plan control agreement allowing for the phased development of a new 96-bed long-term care home and the demolition of the existing 60-bed building was approved by Council in May 2021. That agreement permits the transfer of property as required. The former cul-de-sac land will be used to accommodate parking lot improvements set out in the site plan control agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Brouillette Manor is responsible for the costs incurred by the Town to close and convey the public right-of-way.

Town Not Selling Former Railway Land: Council turned down a request by the owners of 4795 County Road 46 to purchase 0.74 hectares of former railway land that abuts their property. The Town owns the land, which is next to property that is still owned by the Canadian Southern Railway. A report by Town Administration recommends against selling the land in case it can be combined with the current railway land in the future to improve transportation links.

Water Distribution System Found to be Safe: Drinking water inspectors from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks found the Town was 100 per cent compliant with the ministry’s regulations in 2021. They gave the Town’s water distribution system a zero per cent risk rating. As well, an annual report on the Town’s water distribution system found it complies with Ontario’s Safe Drinking Water Act and there were no compliance issues in 2021. Council adopted the report, which will be posted on the Town’s website.

Tecumseh Endorses Regional Organic Waste Program: Council endorsed an Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority (EWSWA) board resolution that takes the first step toward establishing a regional program for dealing with organic waste. The Town will notify the County of Essex that it intends to participate. The EWSWA board resolution calls for the Regional Food and Organic Waste Management Strategy to proceed with a short-term contract with an external service provider for dealing with source separated organics.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is March 8, 2022. 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.