council chambers

Council Connect: Highlights from the October 26, 2021 meetings of Council

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

Personnel Committee

Full Vaccination Required at Town Facilities: Customers and clients attending Town Hall are required to be fully vaccinated only if they are meeting in person with Town staff. This will include those attending Council meetings once they are being held in person again. Customers and clients attending Town Hall receiving a service ‑ such as paying a bill or processing a permit ‑ that can be provided with the use of an impermeable barrier do not require full vaccination. Council has endorsed the practice outlined in a report to the Personnel Committee by Michelle Bonnici, Director People and Culture. The Town will make every effort to accommodate those who are not vaccinated by providing virtual options. On September 8, 2021, Council passed a mandatory vaccination policy that applies to all Town employees, contractors, students, volunteers, elected and appointed members of Town Council, and Council appointed boards and committees.

Public Council Meeting

Rezoning Proposed for 165 Chene Street: Council held a meeting to hear public comment on a zoning amendment application by the owner of 165 Chene Street, who attended as a delegate. The Committee of Adjustment has approved a severance that will create two residential lots. A condition of the severance is that the zoning of both lots be amended. The property, situated north of Dillon Drive, currently has a single-unit residence and a building that until 2020 legally operated as an auto body repair shop. The proposed zoning amendment would remove an auto body repair shop from the commercial uses allowed. The Essex Region Conservation Authority notes in a letter that the land is within the regulated area of Lake St. Clair, requiring the owner to obtain a permit or clearance from the authority prior to any construction. One neighbour submitted an email stating that any construction should not result in flooding on his property. Two other neighbours submitted letters saying any commercial use of the property that once contained auto body shop is no longer appropriate.

Regular Meeting of Council

Community Safety and Well-Being Plan Nearing Completion: Project manager Leonardo Gil presented Council with the highlights of the Windsor-Essex Regional Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, which has been developed over the past two years, with interruption due to the pandemic. Over 1,900 residents and representatives of stakeholder organizations provided input at meetings and by completing surveys. The top issues cited by Tecumseh residents were housing and neighbourhoods, education, and financial security and employment. The plan is to go to Windsor city council and Essex County council in November for approval. Tecumseh Council voted to delegate its approval of the plan to county council, as recommended in a report by Chief Administrative Officer Margaret Misek-Evans.

County Road 42 Construction Gets Noise By-Law Exemption: County Road 42 construction work planned for next year by the County of Essex won’t have to comply with the hours in Tecumseh’s Emission of Sounds By-Law. Council voted to approve the exemption from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. for the construction between County Road 19 (Manning Road) and the City of Windsor boundary. The work is expected to take place sometime between March 1 and November 30 in 2022. The exemption, intended to minimize disruption to daytime traffic, doesn’t include pile driving, coffer dam construction and crushing operations.

Internet and Telephone Voting Approved: Tecumseh residents will be able to vote online and by telephone during the 2022 municipal and school board elections, as they did in the 2014 and 2018 elections, as well as the 2016 by-election in Ward 2. Telephone and internet voting are convenient and accessible, as well as incentives to increase voter turnout, says a report by Laura Moy, Director Corporate Services and Clerk. More details about how voting will be conducted will be provided to Council during the 2022 budget process.

Review in Clerk’s Department Underway: A business process optimization assessment of the Clerk’s Department is being done by WSCS Consulting Inc., which was recently awarded the contract. Council approved reallocating $25,000 in the department’s 2021 budget to pay for the business process optimization review. That’s on top of $20,000 that had been allocated previously. The review of the Clerk’s Department fulfills one of 35 recommendations in an organizational review of the Town’s operations presented to Council in June.

Radios Recommended for All Firefighters: A proposal to equip all Tecumseh firefighters with radios for communicating will be considered during the 2022 budget deliberations. Tecumseh Fire and Rescue Services currently has enough radios after buying 20 refurbished models earlier this year and activating them on a trial basis, says a report by Chief Wade Bondy, Director Community Safety. The radios provide better communications during high risk incidents, improving firefighter safety and operational efficiencies. The estimated cost of keeping the radios activated in 2022 is $9,360 plus HST.

Parks and Rec Plan Five-Year Review Recommendations Accepted: Council has adopted the recommendations and implementation strategies set out in a five-year review of Tecumseh’s Strategic Master Plan for Parks and Recreation. The review was presented to council on September 28, 2021, and administration will present proposals to carry out the recommendations to Council in the future.

Town Centennial to Replace Corn Fest in 2022: Resumption of the Tecumseh Corn Festival has been postponed until 2023 so the Town can focus on a three-day centennial celebration next year. A Mayor’s Task Force is making plans for the Town’s 100th anniversary celebration, which will be held July 2-4, 2022. The Corn Festival was last held in 2019, after which a review of the programming was done. It hasn’t been held since due to the pandemic. As well as the July 2022 celebration, the 100th anniversary theme will be incorporated into all smaller Town events next year, says a report by Paul Anthony, Director Parks and Recreation Services.

Grants Approved for Tecumseh Road Property Improvements: Council has approved $43,000 in grants under the Tecumseh Road Main Street Community Improvement Plan for upgrades to a commercial property at 12300 Tecumseh Road. Of that, $3,000 is for preparing drawings and $40,000 is for completing interior renovations to two second-floor residential units in the building on the northeast corner of Tecumseh and Lesperance roads. The grants only cover part of the cost to the owner and are for the maximum amounts available.

Grants Approved for Lesperance Road Property Improvements: Council has also approved $25,000 in grants under the Tecumseh Road Main Street Community Improvement Plan for upgrades to 1222 Lesperance Road. The $15,000 grant to enhance the building façade and $10,000 grant to improve the parking area are the maximum amounts (50 per cent of the eligible costs) available under the plan. A total of $321,430 in funding has now been approved by Council under the plan in 2021, according to a report by Bill Hillman, Director Planning and Building Services. That figure includes the grants approved by Council on Tuesday (October 26).

Regional Affordable Housing Strategy Supported: Council endorsed a resolution from the Town of LaSalle supporting the development of a regional affordable housing strategy and a review of the social housing cost sharing agreement with the City of Windsor. The County of Essex sent a letter to the city in September requesting its support to do both.

Better Support for Long-term Care Urged: Council has supported a resolution from the Town of LaSalle that calls on the Province of Ontario to act on recommendations to improve long-term care. The resolution also urges the federal government to increase funding to the provinces and territories to help cover the costs.

Next Regular Meeting:
The next regular meeting of Council is November 9, 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.