General News

Council Report for May 27, 2019

June 6, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By Peter Richardson

Prior to the Council business of the evening, a public meeting of the Committee of Adjustment was called to hear two proposals from the Town Planner, concerning a new enterprise to be a part of the Ice River Springs facility in the Industrial Park. Ice River is planning to build a bottling plant adjacent to their existing facility, which will eventually provide some 60 new jobs to Shelburne. In order to achieve this, they applied for a Minor Variance to existing zoning by-laws, to allow them to provide fewer parking spaces than would be required for a 9,500 sq. metre facility, 60 rather than 134 and to allocate the front of the building lot to be the Prentice Drive side or west side of the lot. A request for a Site Alteration Permit was also made so as to begin land preparation and layout prior to site plan approval for actual construction. The Committee was satisfied with the request and granted both requests.

 Yet then heard a request for a Consent Application regarding 221 Owen Sound Street, a property owned by a numbered company, owned by Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown. The proposed purpose of this application, is to allow the lot to be severed and for a new property to be built on the severed portion. As well, the existing property will be subdivided into three rental apartments. The committee passed the request with a majority voting in favour and one-member voting against the request.

Moving on, Council was called to order for the business at hand, starting with the reading of a declaration from the Parachute National Charity, naming June 3rd to 9th as Parachute Safe Kids Week. The purpose of which, being to raise awareness of and seek solutions for preventable child fatalities and serious injuries across Canada.

Following this, Jennifer Passy made a delegation to Council concerning the Upper Grand District School Boards Long Term Accommodation Plan Review, referred to as LTAP by the Board and here, hereafter. Basically, the plan is a strategic review of facilities, population projections and enrolment forecasts and is intended to align school facilities with the needs of the Board and the communities it serves.

In 2018/19, Elementary School enrolment rose by 2%, as did that of Secondary Schools. this increase is expected to continue in the 2019/2020 enrolment year. Overall, school space was well utilized with ES sitting at 91% and SS at 97% utilization for 2018/19. Unfortunately, for Shelburne schools, there are no new builds anticipated in the near future. This is because the money for this comes from the Province and the UGDSB has not been offered any such funding since 2017. This is partly due to them being only one of some seventy one Boards in Ontario. Although the Board had requested funding for four new rooms in both Hyland Heights Elementary and Glenbrook Elementary, neither request was approved in 2017-18 and no opportunity to reapply has arisen. By 2027, most of the schools in Shelburne and areas, will be considered to be overcrowded. This could prove to be highly disruptive if the present government does not rethink it’s priorities for education.

Following the delegations, Treasurer Carey Holmes presented a description of the newly passed Strategic Asset Management Policy, from the Province and turned the discussion over, to Chad Smith, the newly hired Geographic Information System Co-Ordinator to explain how the system works to Council. The Town has over $ 62 Million dollars in assets, which the new policy dictates must be managed in detail. These include everything for buildings to vehicles and water and sewer pipes, to name a few and all have a certain lifetime and maintenance regimen.

Although the entire process is extremely complicated and complex, the basic outcome is almost simplistic. With the current software and his acumen, Chad will be able to provide Council and Staff, with the ability to accurately predict problem areas in the sub-surface infrastructure as well as projections for future needs and changes to almost anything the Town owns. Just as a for instance, this information could be used to prevent catastrophic water main breaks such as those that occurred in 2017-18. Thus, saving thousands of dollars and immense inconvenience. It would also give Council more information for planning and budgeting as Shelburne grows. It will also assist in acquiring grants and will prove invaluable in Town planning matters.

In other business, Shelburne is going to be getting a Town Garden in Fiddle park! Carol Maitland, the EDC Marketing Co-Ordinator, presented Council with a recommendation to approve a Community Garden in the North east corner of Fiddle Park, adjacent to the washroom/kitchen facility. Carol provided some interesting statistics, including that 19% of residents in Shelburne live in poverty. That is 5% higher than the Ontario average! One in 12 residents are food insecure and one inn four seniors and one in five children are at high risk of poverty. Fully one tenth the people in Dufferin County live on dangerously low incomes.

 The benefits of a community garden are numerous. It promotes food security and local food production. It provides space for in need individuals to grow food. it can be a gathering spaced and a learning environment. It is a habitat for pollinators and a great space to experience nature and hold related events. Local eateries can avail themselves of fresh produce and be a source of income for the garden and it provides a hub for a local Artesian Market.

At present, the start up cost, of $24,100 have been all but covered, with only $600 remaining to be raised. Local businesses and the town hav already stepped forward and others have expressed interest.

Council approved the recommendation and it is expected that ground will be broken in the fall, once all the final plans and community input have been achieved. Two final notes, the next Public Meeting regarding the OPP costing and the consultants report, will be held tab the CDRC in the upper hall on June 3rd at 6:30. 

The final tax increase figures are now in also. After the Dufferin County and UGDSB tax rates had been added in, Shelburne’s tax rate has risen by 2.44 % for fiscal 2019.



         

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