council chambers

Council Connect: Highlights from the November 9, 2021 meetings of Council

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

Personnel Committee

Health and Safety Policy Unchanged: The Town’s Health and Safety Policy has been reviewed by the Joint Health and Safety Advisory Committee and its health and safety consultant, Dunk & Associates. No changes were recommended, and Council approved the posting of the policy in all municipal buildings.

Public Council Meeting

Oldcastle Heights Draft Subdivision Plan Supported: After hearing from delegations at a public meeting, Council supported the draft plan of subdivision for a residential development on 20.7 hectares (51.3 acres) of land northeast of the intersection of North Talbot Road and Concession Road 8. Old Castle Heights Inc. has applied to develop a fully-serviced subdivision for 220 dwellings, including 132 detached homes, 12 semi-detached homes and 76 townhouse units. The plan also includes a 10 blocks of buffer areas that will incorporate pathways, stormwater corridors and a stormwater pond. Owner Abdul Habib, partner Zak Habib and planner Tiziano Zaghi appeared at the public meeting to answer questions about the plan. Resident Judy Wellwood-Robson spoke and submitted a letter supporting the development, but also raised concerns about traffic and the density of the proposed housing. A planner for CN Rail, which has a branch line adjacent to the proposed subdivision, submitted a letter requesting conditions such as setbacks, fencing and warnings to home buyers. The County of Essex is the approving authority for the plan of subdivision, which is also subject to conditions set by the Town.

Court of Revision

Cyr Drain Report Appeals Heard: A public meeting was held to hear from landowners along the Cyr Drain and its extension who wish to appeal increases to their assessments for work set out in an engineer’s report. The work includes $43,000 the Town has spent on improvements recently and another $25,000 for future brushing and excavating along the drain, which is located east of Lesperance Road and along County Road 22.

McLean-Hergott Drain Appeals Heard: A public meeting was held to hear from landowners who wish to appeal their assessments for construction on the McLean-Hergott Drain, which is located on the south side of County Road 46 east of Concession 10 (County Road 17). The plan is to construct a fire hydrant access bridge over the drain. This will involve installing a culvert.

Regular Meeting of Council

Police Costs Projected to Decrease in 2022: The proposed budget for the Town’s police services projects costs will decrease slightly compared to this year. The cost of the service provided by the OPP for 2022 is expected to be $3.4 million, a decrease of 3.35 per cent ($119,054) compared to 2021, Insp. Glenn Miller and Tecumseh Police Services Board chair Christopher Hales said in a presentation to Council. Revenues are expected to decrease $98,927 due to the loss of a grant and a $3,000 drop in parking fines. The per capita cost of policing in Tecumseh was $163 in 2020, the second lowest in Windsor and Essex County. The transition to detachment boards is expected to happen in 2022 to comply with the Community Safety and Policing Act, passed in 2019. Regulations for the new act are still being developed.

Proposed Budget Presented: Tecumseh’s municipal tax levy increase, net of growth, will be 3.1 per cent in 2022 if a proposed budget presented to Council is passed without changes. The highlights were presented to Council by Chief Administrative Officer Margaret Misek-Evans, Director Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer Tom Kitsos and Deputy Treasurer Zora Visekruna. The levy increase would result in an additional $79 for a home assessed at $250,000. Three key expenditures affecting the budget are an organizational review, several operational process reviews and the return to normal, full capacity operations – reversing budgeted 2021 COVID-19 impacts. The proposed budget also includes a water and wastewater rate increase of 3.3 per cent. That translates into $33 a year for a household that consumes 20 cubic metres of water a month. The proposed budget will be posted on the Town’s website on November 10. Council will hold its budget deliberations meeting on November 16 starting at 4 p.m. and vote to approve the final budget at its December 14 regular council meeting.

CUPE Calling for Review of Pension Plan: Council has asked administration to prepare a report recommending how it should respond to a call by CUPE Ontario for an independent review of the investment performance of the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS). The union is asking municipal councils to back its request, which is based on CUPE Ontario concern the pension plan’s returns are below those of comparable funds. The union has 125,000 active members enrolled in OMERS, which also covers non-unionized municipal employees.

Tecumseh Centennial Celebration Plans Approved: Fireworks, historical exhibits, musical performances and a parade are some of the events being planned for the July 2-4, 2022 weekend by the Mayor’s 100th Anniversary Task Force. Council approved a proposed schedule of events for Tecumseh’s centennial celebration, which it is estimated will cost $191,500 and bring in revenues of $127,500, including grants and sponsorships.

Council to Consider Rodent Control Subsidy: Council will decide during 2022 budget deliberations whether to spend at least $10,000 on a pilot project to subsidize residents who want to eliminate rodents. It has been presented with three options for getting rid of rodents after regular complaints by residents about rats over the last five years. The first is to maintain an enhanced education campaign for residents which began in 2018. The second is to launch a pilot project under which the Town would pay up to 50 per cent of the cost of getting rid of rodents once a year per property. The third is to focus the pilot project on defined neighbourhoods where rodents have been a problem.

Lakewood Park Food Concession Contract Awarded: Keith Rajsigl has been awarded a five-year contract to open a food and beverage concession at Lakewood Park. Rajsigl, who operates the concession at a Lakeshore’s West Beach in Belle River, was one of four contractors to submit proposals. His proposal includes updating the interior and exterior of the building off Riverside Drive. Under the agreement with the Town he will pay $1,750 plus HST a month in rent from April 1 to October 31 when the concession is open and $300 plus HST a month for the remaining months when it is closed.

Cost of Emergency Replacement of HVAC Approved: The unexpected replacement of an HVAC unit at the Town’s Public Works and Water divisions’ administrative building cost $20,000. The work was done in late October after it was discovered the unit wasn’t providing heat. Council voted to take the money for the emergency HVAC unit replacement from the Buildings Lifecycle Reserve.

Consent Agreement Allows Time for Driveway Culvert Construction: A consent agreement with the Town will allow the owners of 11945 Intersection Road to meet the conditions set out by the Committee of Adjustment for them to sever a residential lot from their farm property. The committee’s approval required Clement and Jeannette Lachance to meet the conditions by November 27, 2021. However, one of the conditions is to provide an access culvert and driveway to the new lot across the Lachance Drain. Ontario Drainage Act provisions make it impossible for the owners to meet the deadline. The consent agreement allows the severance to go ahead and obligates them to build the driveway and culvert before any building permit is issued for the new lot.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is November 23, 2021. 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.