council chambers

Summary of Council Meetings Held September 14, 2021

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

Public Council Meetings

5074 North Talbot Road: Council held a meeting to hear public comments on a rezoning application by the owner of the 1.09-hectare (2.7-acre) property abutting Weston Park in Oldcastle. The application is to rezone it from agricultural (A-33) to hamlet residential (RH) to allow for the creation of a residential lot and construction of a single-unit dwelling. There is currently one dwelling on the property. The Committee of Adjustment in June approved separating the lot on which the second dwelling would be built from the rest of the property. A condition of the severance is that both pieces of land be rezoned as hamlet residential.

12305 County Road 34: Council held a meeting to hear public comment on an application to rezone the 0.57-hectare (1.4-acre) property in Maidstone from hamlet residential (RH) zone to a site-specific hamlet residential (RH-6) zone to allow for the construction of an additional residence.

1441 Shawnee Road: Council held a meeting to hear public comments on an application to rezone the property, which is currently zoned residential 2 (R2). The Committee of Adjustment in May approved the owner’s application to sever 613 square metres (6,600 square feet) to create a new residential lot on the condition that both the new lot and the remaining lot be rezoned. There is a single-unit dwelling on the remaining 610-square-metre (6564 square feet) lot. The owner is applying to rezone the lot with the existing dwelling to a site-specific residential 2 (R2-26) zone and the new lot to a site-specific residential 3 (R3-20) zone.

Regular Meeting of Council

Council Given Preview of Proposed 2022 Budget: Council was given a preview of the 2022 budget and an opportunity to provide additional guidance before a more detailed draft budget is prepared. The preview presented by Tom Kitsos, Tecumseh’s Director of Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer, projects a 3.55-per-cent levy increase. The draft 2022 budget will be presented to council on Nov. 9 and posted on the town’s website the next day. Before that, the public will have a chance to provide input from Sept. 16 to Oct. 6 by filling in a budget survey on the town’s website or completing a printed form available at town hall.

Rail Safety Week Supported: At the request of CN Rail, council voted to support Rail Safety Week, which is being held Sept. 20-26 to raise awareness of the dangers of ignoring safety warnings at level crossings and trespassing on rail property.

Virtual Symposium Approved: Council authorized council members and the mayor to attend a virtual Local Authority Services symposium on risk management and climate change at a cost of $275 each, subject to the 2021 budget and compliance with the town’s travel and professional development policies.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Recognized: Council passed a resolution committing to recognize Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) by sharing the stories of residential school survivors, their families, and communities.

Town Contributing Prizes to WEVaxToWin Campaign: Council approved contributing prizes to a contest spearheaded by the City of Windsor and County of Essex that is open to residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Tecumseh is offering up a one-year bus pass, two marriage licences with civil services, dog tags, a home fire safety package, a fire station tour and fire truck ride for a family of up to five people, a backwater valve that will be installed for free, and a $200 parks and recreation programs gift card. The Tecumseh prizes will be targeted to fully vaccinated Tecumseh residents.

Call for 2021 Award Nominations: The town is calling for nominations for the Dr. Henri Breault Community Excellence Award, Donny Massender Memorial Volunteer Award, the Senior of the Year Award and the Youth of the Year Award. The awards are given out annually. Council will hold a special meeting Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. to consider the nominations.

Call for Advisory and Statutory Committee 2022 Applications: Council authorized advertising for applicants to fill vacancies on the Heritage Committee and the Tecumseh Business Improvement Area board. Applications will be considered at a special meeting of council on Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.

Noise By-law Amended: Council voted to amend the town’s noise by-law to comply with provincial legislation aimed at helping main street businesses recover. The changes exempt retail businesses, restaurants (including cafes and bars), hotels and motels, and goods distribution facilities from the by-law section that prohibits noise from loading, unloading, packing, unpacking and other handling of materials between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

2020 Budget Surpluses Redeployed: Council voted to transfer the bulk of its 2020 budget rate-supported surplus of $1,738,061 to covering current COVID-19 costs and bolstering its infrastructure reserve fund. A rate-supported surplus of $411,940 for water and wastewater operations will be put into reserve funds to stabilize rates charged for those services. Tecumseh operated under a local state of emergency due to COVID-19 and flooding for most of 2020. Both continue to have an impact on the town’s finances.

Tecumseh’s 2020 Investment Returns Modest: The town earned 1.95 per cent on short-term, 4.54 per cent on medium-term and 4.21 per cent on long-term investments in 2020, according to a report to council. The long-term investments are for the Essex Power Corporation. Some of those investments are being shifted to equity markets with the aim of improving returns because they will not be needed for years. All the investments were made in accordance with the town’s investment goals and policies.

Municipal Modernization Funding Agreements Approved: Council authorized the mayor and clerk to sign agreements for Municipal Modernization Program grants the town successfully applied to receive from the province. The funding includes $80,000 for a digital strategy, and business continuity and disaster recovery plan review, as well as $40,000 for a payroll system review and $47,000 to study shared economic development opportunities and services with Lakeshore.

Screening Process at Tecumseh Recreation Complex Approved: Council has approved a process that will require everyone entering the Tecumseh Recreation Complex and Arena to show proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and answer health screening questions. As of Sept. 22, the province is making it mandatory for Ontarians to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain non-essential services that are in public settings. Those under the age of 18 are exempt from providing proof of vaccination to enter sports and recreation facilities to take part in organized sports.

Tecumseh Transit Service Ridership Remains Low: The number of riders using the Tecumseh Transit Service increased slightly in April, May and June compared to 2020, but remains well below pre-pandemic levels, according to a report to council. In the first six months of 2021, the average daily ridership ranged from 25 in January to 28 in March. No fares have been charged since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 emergency. The loss of revenue is expected to be offset by provincial grant funding. The town is also working on launching an on-demand transit pilot program in December.

Town to Participate in Program to Create Affordable Housing: Council confirmed Tecumseh will participate in the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiatives and that affordable rental housing created with funding from the program will be taxed at the same rate as single residential properties. Confirming the lower tax rate is one of the requirements of the program Tecumseh must meet to be considered as a location. The rental housing component of the program can fund up to 75 per cent of the pro-rated share of capital costs of affordable units through a 20-year forgivable loan. The City of Windsor Housing and Children’s Services department delivers affordable housing programs for the region and can be contacted by interested development firms and agencies for more information.

Bike Promotion Funding for 2022 Approved: Council agreed to set aside $2,550 in its 2022 budget to pay for half the cost of a one-week bike camp, as well as a bike rodeo, fun glow ride and valet service for the town’s 100th anniversary celebration, and a bike valet service for Labour Day weekend fireworks. It is applying to the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS) Implementation Committee to cover half the cost. A plan to apply for CWATS funding in 2022 to build a multi-use trail along Manning Road from County Road 22 to Jamsyl Drive has been scrapped because the revamped plan for the interim road improvements make it unlikely the East Townline Drain will be covered. The drain would need to be covered to provide enough room for the trail.

Extension of Approval for Business Subdivision Approved: A numbered company proposing to create five business park lots on the northeast corner of County Road 46 and Concession 8 has received a three-year extension of its draft plan of subdivision. Council is recommending the County of Essex also extend its approval for 1061160 Ontario Inc.’s plan, which was to expire Dec. 3. The owner has informed the town that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unforeseen delays to the project on the 29-hectare (71.6-acre) property, which also contains a woodlot. The proposed subdivision includes a buffer around the woodlot and a storm water management facility.

Funding Agreement for Trail Along Riverside Drive Approved: Council has authorized administration to proceed with an agreement to accept up to $750,000 in federal funding to build a 2.4 to 2.7-metre wide asphalt, multi-use trail along the south side of Riverside Drive between the Tecumseh-Windsor border and Manning Road. The Community Revitalization Fund grant was announced on Aug. 13. Council previously approved going ahead with the detailed design and construction of the multi-use trail, which it is estimated will cost $1.2 million.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of council is Sept. 28. The meeting is scheduled to be held electronically. The agenda and livestream will be available on the town’s website.

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