Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you had some time off to rest and connect with family and friends. November and December were busy months for me with many day and evening meetings as we worked with staff to finalize the budget for 2016. We did manage to finish deliberations and pass the budget before the holidays. The tax increase for this year is 2.42% This is with estimated County and Education rates. Those amounts are not finalized. We tried very hard to keep the increase minimal while focusing on improving our infrastructure. I continue my work as Chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee, board member on the Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority, member of the South Simcoe Streams Network and Council representative on the South Simcoe Arts Council. Please feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns.
I am very pleased to share the good news that the 15th Sideroad between the 3rd and the 5th will be repaved this year. There was a lot of support on council to redo this road as everyone recognizes that this road is used by many in our community to for commuting and other traveling to other points north and south. I hope that next year we will complete the northern parts from the 5th line to the 9th line.
The province continues with an assessment phase-in program relating to property values that are used for taxation purposes. All properties across Ontario have been reassessed by MPAC based on values as of January 1, 2012. The new assessments were then compared to the previous assessed values as of January 1, 2008. Any increase in assessment is then being phased-in at 25% per year starting in 2013. The 2016 period is the final year of the phase in process. The new assessment roll for 2016, which was received in December 2015, reflects the assessment changes accordingly. We hope to have a presentation this year from MPAC on Assessment 101 or on 2016 Reassessment Update. I will let you know so that you can attend.
Tottenham Airfield Corporation (TAC)
At the July 13 2015 meeting of Council the following motion was adopted:
And the the following resolution, as introduced by Councillor Harrison McIntyre, be recommended to Council for adoption:
WHEREAS the protection of water resources for residents is of vital importance;
WHEREAS the Tottenham Aerodrome commenced construction in 2012;
WHEREAS the opinion of the solicitor of the Town is that the Site Alteration By-Law 2010-021 can be applied to the Tottenham Aerodrome site;
WHEREAS other jurisdictions have experienced contamination in fill operations;
BE IT RESOLVED that Town staff be directed to request access to all fill protocol and sampling test records (the Records) kept by the owner of the Tottenham Aerodrome for inspection by the Town and its representatives;
AND FURTHER THAT upon receipt and review of the report by Council that Council may direct staff on any additional steps considered necessary and appropriate to confirm the quality of fill including borehole sampling and testing;
AND FURTHER THAT the owner of the Tottenham Aerodrome pays all costs associated with the foregoing;
AND FURTHER THAT the owner of the Tottenham Aerodrome enters into an agreement with the Town to ensure that all future fill placed on the site is clean and meets all appropriate Ministry of Environment and Climate Change standards.
We then hired the Engineering Consultant firm WSP Canada who gave a summary report presentation to the public and Council on December 7th, 2015. There were many concerned citizens in attendance to hear what was found during the review process and to speak to their concerns on the quality of the fill being placed at the site. WSP reviewed the documents from TAC and attended the site to witness and review the process being followed with respect to the importation of fill. They were also asked to provide an opinion as to whether the soil sampling, testing and reporting procedures are reasonable. When asked, they did not recommend borehole sampling at this point as the site is not working with a Hydrogeological study and it would be prudent to have this first so that you know where you want to take samples. WSP noted that an inspection of the fill importation area revealed no obvious evidence of organic contaminants such as water sheening and or unusual odour, WSP’s opinion is that the site appeared to be well organized and well managed and that the fill management process that was observed appeared to be reasonable. They had many great suggestions and I then made a motion for the recommendations from WSP be included in the Site Plan Agreement for Phase Two including a hydrogeological assessment of the site be prepared, a groundwater monitoring program be developed for the site and the addition of several other key recommendations to ensure that the fill is not contaminated.
The report to Council and my motion can be found on the Committee of the Whole Meeting of December 7, 2015. At this time it is not yet online. Following the link below to the spot where it will be (in the near future).
Remember to please contact me should you have any questions or concerns.