Council Chambers

For immediate release
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Council Connect: Highlights from the June 28, 2022, Meetings of Council

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

Public Council Meetings:

5 p.m. Public Meeting: Council held a public meeting to hear public comment on the draft amending by-law for Development Charges . The update is required to bring the current Development Charges (DC) By-law into conformity with changes to the Development Charges Act. The Town retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to conduct the required update study, which was presented to Council tonight. DCs are collected to support capital costs associated with residential and non-residential growth within a municipality. Council will consider the changes to the Town’s DC By-law at their meeting of July 26, 2022.

6 p.m. Public Meeting: Council held a public meeting to hear public comment on a Zoning By-law amendment application for property on the southwest corner of Lesperance Road and Dillon Drive. The application would rezone the property to allow for the construction of a residential development consisting of four 2.5-storey, six-unit dwellings, for a total of 24 units.

Regular Meeting of Council:

Update from Essex Region Conservation Authority: The Essex Region Conservation Authority provided an update to Council on the region’s source water protection program. The presentation offers an overview of progress made at various levels to improve source water protection. Essex Region is progressing well towards implementing measures to protect the source of municipal drinking water.

Rail Safety Week: Council agreed to support the proclamation of Rail Safety Week, from September 19 to 25, 2022. The purpose of the Week is to increase communities’ awareness of rail-related safety, and to help residents understand the steps they can take to reduce avoidable deaths, injuries and damage related to rail incidents.

Right to Disconnect Policy: Council reviewed a report on the proposed new Right to Disconnect Policy for Town of Tecumseh employees. The new policy was established in response to Provincial Bill 27, which requires employers to have such a policy by June 2022. The policy highlights specific roles for the Town, management, and employees to enable disconnection from work outside of normal working hours. It also outlines situations that can arise where it is not possible to deal with matters during regular working hours, and where unavoidable situations may arise when it is necessary to contact employees outside of those hours. The policy is required by law to be posted for employee reference within 30 days of adoption. Council received the report and adopted the new policy.

2023-2026 Parks Capital Works Plan: Council received the 2023-26 Parks Capital Works Plan from staff. The capital works plan is established to maintain a consistently high level of service and to improve the Town’s park-related infrastructure components in a timely manner. The proposed projects included in the Plan reflect needs identified in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan completed in 2008 (and updated in 2021), as well as through consultations with various individual park users and formal user groups. Projects include playground equipment replacements, ball diamond upgrades at Lacasse, new artificial turf soccer fields, new splashpads and washroom facilities. Council adopted the Plan.

2023-2026 Municipal Buildings Capital Projects Plan: Council received the 2023-26 Municipal Buildings Capital Projects Plan from staff. The Plan outlines upgrades to existing municipal buildings and infrastructure within, such as mechanical systems, roofing, flooring, and interior/exterior work. The Plan provides a detailed synopsis of necessary renovations, asset replacement and repair, and new infrastructure developments for Council’s consideration. Projects include replacement of HVAC units at various facilities, Library renovations, the construction of new outdoor washrooms at the Maidstone Recreation Centre, and general building repairs. Council adopted the Plan. 

More Homes for Everyone Act: Council received a report regarding the More Homes for Everyone Act and associated changes to the Planning Act. The More Homes for Everyone Act was adopted in 2022 and aims to introduce initiatives to increase housing supply, address speculation, and protect homebuyers, owners, and renters. With this legislation in place, a number of changes have been made to the Planning Act, including a number of measures aimed at facilitating the smooth processing of applications, as well as the Development Charges Act, requiring the municipality to post annual financial statements related to development charges and reserve funds to the Town’s website.

Development and Planning Reports: Council scheduled a public meeting on August 9 at 6 p.m. to consider draft housekeeping amendments to the Town’s Zoning By-laws to make provision for additional residential units to be constructed as of right in certain residential zones. They also conditionally authorized a site plan control agreement allowing for the introduction of additional parking areas and improvements to existing parking areas on the south side of St. Gregory’s Road for L’Essor High School. Finally, Council approved the site plan for the construction of a 1,366.6 square metre industrial building to establish a tool making company on a vacant property on the west side of Roscon Industrial Drive.

Filling of Vacant Ward 1 Council Seat: Council reviewed options for filling the vacancy of Ward 1 Council position. Following the resignation of the former Councillor for Ward 1 after the recent provincial election, the seat was declared vacant under the Municipal Act. As the municipal election is more than 90 days away, Council is required under the Act to fill the seat, either by appointing a previous election candidate who has consented to accept the office if appointed, or by issuing a call for nominees and appointing a qualified candidate from the submissions. Council directed staff to conduct the appointment process by issuing a call for nominees, and scheduled a Special Meeting of Council on July 26, 2022, to select a qualified candidate. Notice will be issued next week to call for nominees. An information meeting for interested candidates will be scheduled for July 19, 2022.

Essex Power Corporation, Appointment of Proxyholders: The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh, together with the Municipality of Leamington, and Towns of LaSalle and Amherstburg are the shareholders of Essex Power Corporation. Essex Power is required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders and occasionally requires a special shareholders’ meeting. The Town is entitled to appoint two directors to the Essex Power Board. Council appointed Mayor Gary McNamara as proxyholder for the Town, and Mr. Tom Burton as an alternate proxholder for the purposes of the 2022 Shareholders’ Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29 at 6 p.m.

Centennial and Woodridge Watermain Replacement Project: Council added a watermain replacement project at Centennial and Woodridge Drives to the 2022 Public Works & Engineering Capital Works Plan. The Town has received a grant through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) which will fund 77.33% of the $3.5 million capital project through funds from the Federal and Provincial governments. The watermain replacement project for Centennial and Woodbridge includes Centennial Drive from Riverside to St. Thomas; Woodridge Drive from Dillon to St. Thomas; and interconnections with Little River and St. Thomas. 

Tender Awards: Tenders were considered or awarded for a number of capital projects. The Tecumseh Road storm sewer and road improvements tender was awarded to Coco Paving Inc. in the amount of $4.85 million; the sole bid on the Lesperance Road VIA rail crossing improvements tender was rejected due to being significantly over budget; and a community safety vehicle purchase was authorized from East Court Ford Lincoln in the amount of $56,999.

Amendment to the 2022 Public Works & Engineering Services Capital Works Projects: Council approved an amendment to the 2022 Public Works & Engineering Services Capital Works Projects Plan. The amendment provides for the addition of the Tecumseh Hamlet Secondary Plan Area – Northwest Infrastructure Projects to the 2022 capital works plan. Further expenditures were authorized to complete the detailed engineering design for these infrastructure projects and funding was allocated for project management resources associated with delivering capital works projects in 2022 and 2023.

Oldcastle Stormwater Master Plan: Council adopted the Oldcastle Stormwater Master Plan as presented by staff. As part of the Plan, a detailed hydrologic and hydraulic model of the area was created. The purpose of the Plan is to inventory and assess capacities of the existing stormwater drainage system; identify and define local drainage issues and areas of concern; assess needs for future development; assess potential drainage improvements; and prioritize implementation of proposed drainage improvements. The Master Plan was posted for the mandatory 30-day public review period, which expired in March, 2022. All ensuing comments received have been satisfactorily addressed and there are no further requirements under the municipal Class Environmental Assessment process. Therefore, the document is considered to be approved under Provincial legislation and, accordingly, was adopted by Council.

Farm 911 Emily Project: Council approved the implementation of a new application process for the “Emily Project Access Point” (EPAP). The Emily Project (Project) was launched after a farm accident in which a young girl named Emily Trudeau did not survive. The emergency services vehicles responding to the call had difficulty locating the farm field where the accident took place as there was no civic address assigned to the field entrance. The Project encourages owners of agricultural or vacant rural land to have civic addresses assigned to their access points to assist with emergency services locating the property. Following previous direction from Council, staff undertook a review of the process for implementing a new civic addressing process for vacant rural properties, which is already in place in over 75 municipalities and counties in Ontario. Under the newly approved program, residents in Tecumseh’s rural community will be able to apply for an EPAP sign for civic address signage to their vacant farm properties.

Essex Power Youth in Community Fund: Council received confirmation that the Essex Power Corporation has once again approved funding to continue to support organizations that offer activities and projects geared towards youth in 2022. The “Youth in Community” Fund programming has continued annually since 2014, and throughout the years has sponsored a variety of recreation programs, events and local sport organizations. EPC has approved $40,000 Youth in Community Funding to be distributed among its four communities. Furthermore, EPC approved the carry over of the 2021 unused funds to be used in 2022, resulting in a total of $11,563 for the Tecumseh Community and Recreation Services Department.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is July 12, 2022. The meeting will 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.