council chambers

Council Connect: Highlights from the January 25, 2022 meetings of Council

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

Regular Meeting of Council

Centennial Logo Revealed: Tecumseh’s 100th anniversary logo will be based on a design by 13-year-old Isabella Larking that was unveiled at the beginning of Tuesday’s Council meeting. Isabella was one of 288 elementary and secondary school students who entered a contest to create a logo for the Town’s centennial. The Mayor’s 100th Anniversary Task Force selected the top five submissions from a short list of 17. The logo’s theme is what makes Tecumseh a wonderful community – in the past, present and future. Isabella’s design features a multi-coloured river and a feather circling the number 100 and maple leaves. A park scene is shown in one of the zeroes. Tecumseh turned 100 in 2021 and a celebration is planned for July 2022. Isabella’s design will be the inspiration for the final digitized logo used to promote the celebration.

Participation in Organics Program Under Review: Town administration will review the Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority’s Regional Food and Organic Waste Management strategy to proceed with a short-term contract(s) with an external service provider for source separated organics, and report back to Council before March 31, 2022, with a recommendation. The EWSWA says the best option to meet provincial targets for diverting food and organic waste from landfills in an environmentally sustainable way is to take a regional approach and proceed at this time with a five-year contract(s) for source separated organics. It is asking all municipalities in the County of Essex to indicate by March 31, 2022, whether they will participate.

Feds Asked to Help Laid Off Workers: Council is supporting Essex County’s letter to federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland asking that the government provide support to laid off workers in the auto and casino sectors that is equivalent to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program in place early in the pandemic. The letter, sent January 6, 2022, is signed by Essex County Warden Gary McNamara, who is mayor of Tecumseh.

Province Urged to Give Small Businesses a Lifeline: Council also supported a letter from the County of Essex to Premier Doug Ford asking the province to provide more funding to small businesses struggling to stay afloat due to pandemic costs and restrictions.

ERCA Transition Plan Received: The Essex Region Conservation Authority has provided the Town with its transition plan, which it had to submit to the province by the end of 2021. Recent amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act designate some services and programs as mandatory and others as non-mandatory. Conservation authorities now must reach agreements with their member municipalities to provide non-mandatory programs and services. Otherwise, they are not allowed to levy for them.

Pathway to Potential Agreement Renewed: Council endorsed the renewal of its agreement with the City of Windsor to provide the Pathway to Potential Program. The Town’s Community and Recreational Services Department administers the funding from the city to assist low-income families with access to recreation programs. The Town received $22,200 in Pathway to Potential Funding in 2021, of which $10,243 was used to subsidize fees for recreational programs offered by the Town, as well as sports and cultural organizations. The total spent was roughly half of what was anticipated due to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting activities.

Multi-unit Housing Proposed on Lesperance: Council will hold a meeting on February 22, 2022, at 6 p.m. 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, located roughly halfway between Tecumseh Road and County Road 22, would include on-site parking and landscaping.

Rural Severance Requires Rezoning: An application to rezone agricultural land at 6067 Walker Road will be the subject of a public meeting of Council on February 22, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. 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.

Tax Arrears Below Historical Norm: Tecumseh’s tax receivables (outstanding property tax payments) in 2021 were 4.4 per cent of the total levy, a slight increase over 2020 but still below the historical norm. The Town’s property tax arrears have historically been in the six-to-seven-per-cent range.

Meeting Hours Reported: Council held 21 regular meetings, 19 in-camera meetings, 16 public meetings and eight special meetings in 2021. The number of in-camera meetings was higher than the average for this term of Council and the previous one. The most common reasons for meetings to be called in-camera during 2021 were to consider the acquisition and disposition of land, and labour relations. The number of meetings and meeting hours fluctuate year to year.

Public Works Projects Pre-approved: Council gave advance approval to 39 Public Works and Engineering Services capital projects for 2022 that are expected to cost a total of $27.4 million. Most are ongoing and approximately 10 are new projects. The new projects generally relate to water, road, sanitary and bridge repairs or improvements that are required to maintain existing infrastructure, support proposed developments and/or satisfy funding agreements. Among the projects are: the finalization of the Shoreline Management Plan, Stormwater Rates Study, Oldcastle Stormwater Master Plan and Sanitary Sewer Model Update; construction of the Riverside Drive multi-use pathway between Manning Road and the Tecumseh-Windsor border; construction of the Tecumseh Road Storm and Road Improvements Project; construction of the Lesperance Road/VIA Crossing Improvements Project; and watermain and sanitary sewer improvements related to the County of Essex County Road 42 improvements project.

Signs to Deter Speeding Damaged: Six temporary in-road traffic calming signs the Town put up in the spring of 2021 to encourage speeding drivers to slow down were damaged beyond repair or went missing. The signs, which are installed in the centre of the road and flex on impact, are among the tools the Town is using to respond to speeding complaints. The in-road signs were put up on North Talbot Road near Weston Park and Riverside Drive at Lakeview Montessori School. At both locations, radar surveys found the average speed was 10 km/h over the speed limit. The signs reduced the average speeds, which were still above the speed limits. Public Works and Engineering Services is continuing to conduct radar speed surveys in response to speeding complaints, use the flexible in-road signs to slow traffic and provide data to the OPP.

Cost Recovery Report for Sewer Extension Presented: Council received a report on the proposed by-law setting out cost recovery charges for the Sylvestre Drive sanitary sewer extension. Administration will communicate the estimated charges to the property owners within the sanitary sewer extension study area and hold a public information centre to gather feedback before reporting back to Council. The sewer extension services approximately 15 business properties near Sylvestre Drive and County Road 19.

Next Regular Meeting: Council is holding a special meeting on January 26, 2022. The next regular meeting of Council is February 8, 2022. Both meetings are 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.