May was a busy time with meetings every week. Council reviewed the grants and donation requests from various service clubs and organizations. I was concerned with applications which were missing their financial information. I requested this information for the next meeting and recommended that in subsequent years, any application missing key information be returned to the applicant incomplete. The trail was also on the agenda and I was opposed to changing the fencing from the standard farm fencing to chain link for an individual landowner around his property due to extra cost and the necessity of this type was not demonstrated to me. The chain link request was granted by council.
A Look Ahead
Earlier this year I requested that all votes be recorded on council to ensure that their is transparency in our governing process. We expect to hear about the new paperless agendas soon and this will include an option for automated voting. I have contacted Bell to find out about improved internet coverage in Ward 7 and I am still working on this though patchwork of service from the various providers. I contacted Scugog about their recent contaminated fill incident. I am reviewing, with staff, our fill by-law and the Tottenham Aerodrome issues. I am pleased to report that the Heritage Advisory Committee is running and that I was elected the Chair. We hope to put into place some good supports for heritage properties in New Tecumseth including a new plaque policy.
Should the timing of the collection of Development Charges change?
One of the biggest issues on council this past month was the timing of development charges. Currently they are collected at Building Permit stage however a motion was put forward to change the timing to Subdivision agreement. Here is the link to the staff report on this issue with their recommended four options. The issue was a tie vote at the Committee of the Whole and I supported to defer the vote until our June 22 Council meeting when allthe members of Council would be present. This is a complicated issue and I have done research and consulted with Professional Planners and private citizens to ensure that I am informed of the concerns and impacts our decision will have. Some of the important points to note are:
We charge the current rate of DC’s when it’s at building permit stage; local developers and the developers who are already underway do not support a change; developers could put in smaller subdivision applications to deal with the change. This would cause duplication of work for staff; The bigger developments have credits for building the roads and putting in the hard services which we don’t have to pay however this could change if we decided to change our timing; the major concern on the other side is that we are holding the debt and waiting for them to begin building before the town gets any money and it’s taking too long and coming in too slowly. If we need a big loan for large unforeseen costs, the town might be unable to borrow all the money needed as we might have reached our debt ceiling. I suggested a compromise when this was first discussed and this is one of the options that staff recommended. The compromise would be a percentage to be collected at the Subdivision agreement stage and the rest at the one-year anniversary.
North Rock (RJO) Pit open for the season
Anyone who lives on the 10th Sideroad knows that the Northrock Pit with its’ entrance off the 10th is open for business. The site is allowed to extract aggregate as well as to import fill as they go to rehabilitate the site. This site is overseen by the MNR however if there are incidents of dangerous driving including speeding, please call the OPP. For issues of dust on the roads you should contact the By-law enforcement at the town and if you have any other questions, you can contact me.
Wilson Pit set to receive more fill
The Wilson Put on the 3rd Line has submitted a request to the MNR to import 4,920 m3 of topsoil to complete their pit rehabilitation. This is very disappointing because we all thought the pit was finished and closed. The MNR has assured the town that the work is legitimately to finish the rehabilitation and the Wilson Pit is entitled to bring in the topsoil under the terms of the pit license and they will monitor the importation to make sure it does not exceeded the 4,920 m3 of topsoil. The trucks will be getting their soil from the new housing developments on the 4th Line and the trucks will east on the 4th, south on the 10th and then west on the 3rd.
Emerald Ash Borer
Tens of millions of ash trees in Ontario have perished since the detection of the Emerald Ash Borer in 2002. Thousands more are at threat. Landowners looking to save a tree can treat their ash with an insecticide injection into the trunk. An injection is needed every two years, and costs upwards of $200. For more information, visit the NVCA’s website at novice.on.ca or call 705-424-1479