council chambers

Council Connect: Highlights from the Sept. 28, 2021 meetings of Council

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

Court of Revision

Cyr Drain Assessment Variation: The Court of Revision postponed a meeting to hear from landowners along the Cyr Drain who wish to appeal their assessments. Landowners will be contacted with the future date and details of the reassessment of the drain. Council recently approved a reassessment of the drain, which is just east of Lesperance Road and runs parallel to it from Gouin Street to County Road 22. From there the drain runs east along County Road 22.

Regular Meeting of Council

Audited Financial Statements Presented: Chartered professional account Kevin Macchio, a manager with KPMG LLP, presented Council with an overview of the Town’s audited financial statements. Tecumseh faces similar challenges to other government bodies relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the audit found no new risks to the Town’s financial position.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan Review Presented: The maintenance of the Town’s parks gets a thumbs up from 89 per cent of residents, according to surveys done by Bezaire Partners, the urban planning and landscape architecture company retained to produce a five-year review of Tecumseh’s Strategic Master Plan for Parks and Recreation Services. Partner Paul Bezaire presented Council with an an overview. It included the results of a community consultation during which 86 per cent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with Tecumseh’s parks facilities. The completed review consists of four reports: a parks and trail inventory; the community consultation results; a review of the recommendations of the master plan, which was completed in 2010; and a plan for implementing outstanding recommendations and new ones in the five-year review. Council received the four consultant reports and has directed Town administration to prepare a summary report on the review findings and recommendations, which it will consider at a future meeting.

Conflict Navigation Training Approved: The Association of Municipalities of Ontario is providing online training for elected officials on how to navigate difficult relationships. Council approved spending $200 per member to allow councillors and the mayor to take the training Nov. 9-10 if they wish.

 Orange Shirt Day a Paid Holiday for Town Staff: The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 (also known as Orange Shirt Day) will be an annual paid holiday for Town staff, says a report to Council by Michelle Bonnici, Director of People and Culture. At its Sept. 14 meeting, Council passed a resolution that says Tecumseh commits to recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation “by sharing the stories of residential school survivors, their families, and communities.”

Local Government Week Activities Resuming: Essay and trivia contests, a scavenger hunt, and virtual tours of Town buildings are some of the activities Tecumseh is planning for Local Government Week. Council approved the plan and declared Oct. 18-22 Local Government Week in Tecumseh. The Town has participated in the annual initiative since 2008, but last year all events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Zoning Amendment Sought for 165 Chene Street: Council will hold a public meeting Oct. 26, 2021, at 6:15 p.m. to consider a zoning amendment application by the owner of 165 Chene St. 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 autobody repair shop. The proposed zoning amendment would remove an autobody repair shop from the commercial uses allowed.

Funding Sought for Five Flood Mitigation Projects: Tecumseh is applying for 2021 funding from the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund for five projects that would reduce the risk and impact of flooding due to storms and rising water levels. The projects would cost an estimated total of $28.7 million, of which 40 per cent would be covered by the federal funding if the Town’s application is successful. Three of the projects involve installing new sanitary relief sewers: one on Riverside Drive; another along Green Valley Drive, St. Thomas Street and Dillon Drive; and a third along Lanoue Street and Lemire Street. The Town is also seeking funding for a stormwater collection basin at Buster Reaume Park and a storm sewer diversion to the park along Lanoue and Lemire.

Changes to Curtis Drain Improvements Approved: Council has approved amendments to the plan to make improvements to the Curtis Drain along Concession 5. The original plan called for the relocation of four Enbridge gas lines. Due to the cost, the design for the work, which includes culvert replacements and other improvements to the drain, was altered so that only one gas line will be moved. The estimated cost to the Town is $17,500.

Watermain Corrosion Protection Tender Awarded: C.P. Systems has been awarded the contract to inspect and replace the anodes installed to reduce corrosion of the Town’s ductile and cast iron watermains. The company, which applied to do the work for $230,200 plus HST, was the only bidder. C.P. Systems’ previous work for the Town was good and there are a limited number of contractors that perform the service, says a report to Council. Approximately 20 per cent of Tecumseh’s watermains are ductile and cast iron. The anodes, made of magnesium or zinc, are connected to the watermains at regular intervals with insulated copper wires and monitored at above-ground test stations.

Call to Make Broadband an Essential Service Supported: Council supported a motion by Essex Town Council calling on the province to declare broadband internet an essential service and support municipalities in ensuring residents have access to it.

Next Regular Meeting: The next regular meeting of Council is Oct. 12, 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.