council chambers

Council Connect: Highlights from the March 8, 2022 meetings of Council

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

Public Council Meetings

New Driveway Proposed for Home Hardware: Council held a meeting to hear public comments about an application to rezone the Home Hardware Stores Ltd. property at 1613 Lesperance Road. The company wants the Town’s Official Plan and zoning by-law amended so it can build a second driveway that connects to Westlake Drive. Its current driveway connects to Lesperance. The rezoning will also allow Home Hardware to create a defined area outside for storing and displaying products. Resident Peter Schneider wrote council to say he disagrees with the proposed change because it is currently difficult to turn onto Lesperance from Westlake when traffic is heavy. Resident Nuala Coll submitted an email saying she is opposed to the rezoning because of the potential impact on the neighbourhood.

Regular Meeting of Council

Conservation Authority Presents Draft Budget: Essex Regional Conservation Authority representatives presented a draft 2022 budget approved by its board in February that includes a 2.5-per-cent increase in municipal levies. This will bring the total funding from municipal levies to $3.5 million. The authority’s total budget for 2022 is $9.1-million. The board will hold a weighted and recorded vote respecting non-matching levies on April 14.

Farmland Forum Attendance Approved: The Mayor and Council have approval to attend the virtual 2022 Farmland Forum on March 24, 2022, at a cost of $50 per person in accordance with the Town’s Professional Development Policy. The topic of the forum is the future of farmland diversification.

Agreement Allows Landowner to Meet Deadline: Council has approved a consent agreement between the Town and the owner of a property on the west side of Concession 11 south of County Road 42. In March 2021, Property owner Dana Azar received provisional consent from the Committee of Adjustment to sever three vacant residential lots and retain a fourth residential lot where there is currently a home. A condition of the consent was that each severed lot must have a separate connection to a water supply, and storm and sanitary sewer systems. Connecting to the County of Essex enclosed storm drain requires Azar to apply have it converted to a municipal drain. The approval process will not be complete prior to the deadline set by the Committee of Adjustment. The consent agreement with the Town ensures the work will be completed so the severance can proceed.

Fares Waived for First Month of On-demand Transit: The current waiving of fares for using the Tecumseh Transit Service, implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue until March 28, 2022. The same day, Tecumseh Transit will launch an on-demand service along the existing route. The on-demand service will be free for the first month to encourage riders to use it. Computer algorithms will be used to respond to requests, which can be made using an app or by phoning a call-in centre. Requests can be made from 45 minutes to one week in advance. The pilot project will continue until the end of this year, when it will be evaluated and a report prepared for Council.

CAO Authorized to Act in the Event of a Lame Duck Council: Council has given Tecumseh’s Chief Administrative Officer the authority to step in if necessary, should it become a lame duck council during the municipal election period. Council becomes a “lame duck” after nomination day (August 19, 2022) if it is certain less than six of the current members will not be returning. This also applies after voting day (October 24, 2022) if less than six of the current members are elected. A lame duck council cannot appoint or remove any officer of the municipality, hire employees, sell municipal property worth more than $50,000, or authorize any expenditure or liability which is more than $50,000 and not already approved in the municipal budget.

Technology Expenditures Approved: Council approved spending $209,000 in 2022 on technology and client services capital projects that include replacing computers, upgrading the Town’s private network, maintaining video surveillance equipment and virtual server upgrades.

Riverside Drive Multi-Use Trail Project on Track: Work is on track to complete a multi-use trail on the south side of Riverside Drive from the Tecumseh-Windsor border to Manning Road by the end of 2022. The detailed design and tender documents will be finalized this month, according to an update presented to Council that will be posted on the Town’s website. The project is to be tendered and required property acquisitions completed by the end of the April. The next step will be the relocation of utilities that conflict with the layout of the trail. Construction is expected to take place from July to September. The Town is receiving Canada Community Revitalization Fund support that will cover up to 75 per cent of the cost, on the condition the project is completed by the end of 2022. Meetings that started in November 2021 have been held with abutting property owners, who also received letters. There are approximately 34 properties with landscaping that extends into the trail area.

Vehicle Purchases Approved: Council approved spending $1.9 million for a new Tecumseh Fire and Rescue Services aerial platform truck and $457,000 for new vehicles required to provide other Town services. The money will come from the fleet and fire apparatus reserve funds.

Funding Sought for New Trail: Tecumseh will apply to the federal Active Transportation Fund for funding to build a multi-use recreational trail in the future. The trail will be on the west side of Lesperance Road from Riverside Drive to First Street and the north side of Little River Boulevard from Lesperance to Gauthier Street. The estimated cost to build the trail is $4.4 million. Council authorized Town administration to apply to the Active Transportation Fund, which could cover up to 60 per cent of the capital project’s cost. Projects that receive funding must be completed by March 31, 2026.

Public Transportation Funding Agreement Approved: Tecumseh will receive a minimum of $128,420 from the province’s Dedicated Gas Tax Funds for Public Transportation Program this year. Council authorized the Mayor and Chief Financial Officer to sign a letter of agreement with the province for the funds.

Amendment to the Town’s Procedural By-law Passed: As recommended by a subcommittee of Council last year, changes were made to the Procedural By-law to permit electronic participation at meetings when there is not a declared emergency and proxy voting for members. As well, changes were made to delegation rules and how Council communications are processed.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is March 22, 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.