council chambers with new mural

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Council Connect: Highlights from the August 9, 2022, meetings of Council

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

Public Council Meetings

Manning Road Public Meeting: Council met to hear public comment on a Zoning By-law amendment for a piece of land at the corner of Manning Road and Baseline Road. The amendment follows the severance of a surplus dwelling lot from an agricultural property. The zoning recognizes the rural residential use of the severed lot. The retained agricultural parcel will continue to be used for farming. Council approved the amendment.

Official Plan Amendment Meeting: Council met to hear public comment on amendments to the Town Official Plan’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) policies. These plans are intended to revitalize residential, commercial and industrial sections of the Town and as a means to foster economic development. The proposed amendments allow for the CIP area to include the entire municipality, rather than the settlement areas only, which is what is currently allowed under the policies. The amendments provide the Town with greater flexibility in administering the Community Improvement Plan policies. Council approved the amendments to the CIP policies of the Town’s Official Plan.

Malden Road Public Meeting: Council met to hear public comment on a Zoning By-law amendment to a property at 6715 Malden Road. The amendment would permit a standalone additional residential unit on the property. Council approved the amendment.

Zoning By-law Housekeeping Amendments: Council met to hear public comment on a housekeeping amendment to the Town’s Zoning By-law. The proposed amendment would introduce zoning regulations for additional residential units on properties zoned for residential use. Council approved the amendment.

Regular Meeting of Council

MPP Andrew Dowie: MPP Andrew Dowie addressed Council to congratulate the Town of Tecumseh on the recent grant from Reconnect Ontario, which funded $42,117 for the Town of Tecumseh Canada Day and 100th Anniversary Weekend Celebration. He also extended his heartful thanks to the community, the Mayor and Council for their support during his time on Council. Council commended him on his successful election campaign and expressed their pleasure at having a representative for Windsor-Tecumseh in government.

Strategic Priorities Report: Council received a report from staff with the 2021 Strategic Priorities Report. The annual report highlights progress made towards the Town’s strategic priorities, which include: Smart Growth, Sustainable Infrastructure, Community Health and Wellness, Continuous Improvement, and Good Governance. The report can be found on the Town’s website shortly.

Flexible Work Arrangements Policy: Council received a report on a flexible work arrangements policy for staff. The policy outlines a framework for the organization which balances the community’s and the Town’s needs with employees’ well-being and the need to keep up with employment trends for recruitment and retention purposes. The new policy, which applies to all non-Union employees, allows for flexible work arrangement options where employees can either work from home with a minimum of two anchor days per week in the office, or five anchor days on a biweekly basis. Flex time options are also considered under the policy. Employees may request consideration under the policy, and a decision will be made based on criteria that include: business needs, service level impacts, individual needs, and impact on colleagues. Council approved the policy. 

Municipal Holiday Schedule 2023: Council received a report regarding the closure of Town Hall offices from Sunday December 24, 2023 to Monday, January 1, 2024, inclusive. This follows the practice established in previous years to close municipal offices during this vacation period. Council approved the closure.

Development Charges Update Study: Council received a report outlining final recommendations for the Town’s updated Development Charges Study, based on a public meeting held earlier in the summer. A detailed summary of proposed changes to the Study was provided in June 2022 and a public meeting held to receive any comments. None were received at the meeting. The changes result in slight increases to the Development Charges rates applicable to residential and non-residential development.

Six-month Permit Report: Council received a report summarizing the permits issued for the first six months of 2022 (January to June) and comparing the values of the same period of 2021. In the first six months of 2022, 157 permits were issued, compared to 148 in the same time period last year. The construction value was lower in 2022 because in the first half of 2021, permits were issued for two residential apartment buildings and a nursing home redevelopment.

Draft Community Improvement Plan - Industrial: Council received a report outlining the results of the public meeting held on the Town’s draft Industrial Community Improvement Plan (CIP), and providing final recommendations. The draft Industrial CIP is intended to strategically incentivize development, specifically significant industrial development, in alignment with federal and provincial incentive programs, in order to generate broad economic development benefits across the Town and region. The draft Industrial CIP, which was presented to Council earlier in the summer, was prepared by a consultant, and was based on best-practice review as well as public and stakeholder consultation. A public meeting was held in June at Council’s direction. The draft Industrial CIP was approved by Council this evening.  

Fence By-law Deviation: Council received a report recommending that approval be granted for a deviation from the Town’s Fence By-law for a property on 2880 Walker Road. The amendment pertained to an industrial property and would allow the property owner to increase the height of the fence in the front yard to a maximum of 2.13 m (7 feet) to better secure the premises for outdoor storage purposes. Council approved the amendment.  

Development Charges Interest Rate Policy: Council received a report outlining the Town’s new policy on Development Charges interest rate. Recent amendments to the Development Charges Act create conditions whereby the payments of applicable development charges to the municipality by developers are frozen or deferred for a period of time. The amended legislation also allows the municipality to apply an interest rate on the outstanding balance between the time that the charges are applicable and the time they are collected. The Town’s new policy  applies to frozen and deferred Development Charges. An interest rate of the prime lending rate + 2% per annum is recommended and set out in the new policy implementing Sections 26.1 and 26.2 of the Development Charges Act. Council approved the new policy.

Taxes Receivable: Council received a report describing the status of property taxes outstanding as of June 30, 2022 for the Town. Overall, property tax collection continues to remain strong despite the uncertainty posed by COVID-19. As of June 30, the taxes still owing to the Town amounted to $13.5 million, which represents 8.9% of the total receivable taxes. This is an improvement of 1.1% over 2021. In addition to this improvement, there are now 33% of all properties in the Town of Tecumseh registered for pre-authorized tax payment plans. 

Council Conferences for 2023: Council received a routine report outlining the recommended conferences for Council to attend in 2023. These conferences include advocacy and policy discussion conferences such as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conference, the Ontario Good Roads Association annual conference, and the Festivals and Events Ontario conference. Council approved the conference attendances for the following year.

Council Meetings in 2023: Council received a routine report outlining Council meeting dates in 2023 to be cancelled due to potential conflicts with other municipal business, events, and activities. Three meetings were recommended to be cancelled: first regular Council meeting in June and the second regular Council meetings in August and December, in keeping with prior years.  Council approved the recommendations. 

Union Water Supply Redundancy Study: Council received a report regarding the Union Water Supply System (UWSS) and Windsor Utilities Commission (WUC) water supply redundancy study. The boards of the two water agencies engaged a consultant to review alternatives for building redundancy in the two water systems so that if a disaster should occur, water can be supplied from one system to another. Currently, in the event of a major water supply emergency, neither system could provide water to the other’s end users. The intent is to integrate the water systems for emergency purposes only, not for regular water distribution or use. Four options were presented in the study, with the recommended alternative being a new central reservoir and pump station. Based on the findings, the two boards approved the completion of a conceptual design for the new shared reservoir and pump station, with a potential commissioning date of end-2026, should all required permissions and approvals be obtained throughout the process. Council received the report. 

Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund: In 2019, Council approved staff to proceed with a number of capital projects, including the decommissioning of the St. Mark’s storm pump station, the redirection of the flows into an upgraded Scully storm pump station, and trunk storm sewer improvements on Riverside Drive. This project is designed to add resiliency to the storm water system and mitigate surface flooding events in the area. In 2020, the Town submitted a Climate Change and Flooding Resiliency Project – which included the Scully and St. Mark’s pump station project – for funding under the Government of Canada’s Disaster and Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) and received funding in the amount of $10.7 million towards the projects. Dillon Consulting was engaged to complete engineering designs for St. Mark’s/Scully project. A number of elements which were not originally anticipated have now been identified as necessary for the project’s successful completion, and earlier this year, the Town issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a consultant to provide additional geotechnical and archeology services. At tonight’s Council meeting, Council received a report recommending that $226,005 from the DMAF grant be awarded to Wood Canada Limited as the successful bidders on the RFP. Council approved the award of contract.

Riverside Drive Multi-Use Trail: Council received a report on the tender results for the Riverside Drive Multi-use trail project. Following on the last report, Administration negotiated the bid by  Piera Con Enterprises Inc. for construction of the Riverside Drive Multi-Use Trail, reducing the amount from approximately $2.7M to $2,391,961 excluding HST. Council approved the award of contract to Piera Con Enterprises Inc. and allocated additional funds to meet the financial commitment of the project. A September start time is expected, pending completion of utility locates. 

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is September 13, 2022. 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.