Council Update – Sept 12, 2017

At this week’s meeting of Council, there were three agenda items which I would like to highlight: 1. Council approved that staff publish public notification that Council is considering the use of the Hydro Fund; 2. The RFP for the detailed design for Library Square has been approved. So moving forward, the Town’s vision will be developed in a detailed design for library square and and that detailed design will be in front of Council by November. And 3 – the report about right of entry powers for bylaw, which originated from a motion I put forward over 5 months ago, has been referred back to staff.

With regards to the matter of the use of the hydro funds, as per the Town’s Bylaw, Council is required to provide public notification of the intent to consider the use of the hydro funds. This is the first step in Council being able to discuss the use of the funds. Taking this step does not mean that the funds will be used. But rather it notifies the public that would like to be informed and engaged in the process of consideration. It also allows Council to consider another source of funding for some of the exciting initiatives that will be coming forward – (Library Sq redevelopment to name one of the few) This passed unanimously.

With regards to the the RFP, Council awarded the RFP for the detailed design of Library Sq to The Planning Partnership ( http://planpart.ca/ ). This is the last step before Council moves forward with the vision for the redevelopment of the area. Council and the community have worked hard over 17 yrs to get to this point. We have all worked together to build on the great ideas that have been brought forward for nearly 2 decades and create a wonderful vision for Library Square. We’ve had plenty of discussion about what to do with library square – almost 20 years worth ! – It’s great that our community and this Council has come together to finally move forward with a vision that has broad support. We are well on our way!! The motion to award the contract passed on consent..

Lastly, the issue with regards to rights of entry, was a long conversation as some believe that ByLaw should have the right to enter onto a residents property without a warrant while some believe that this tramples on our rights under the Charter (Myself being one). While the province allows and gives the power of entry to municipalities, that doesn’t make it right, in my opinion or in the opinion of many residents! Staff did bring a report that began to put SOP’s in place to govern how and when bylaw officers can enter private property. However some of us felt that they were too vague and needed more clarity as to what, why, and how ByLaw will and can enter onto a property. Thus it was referred back to staff to bring back a report that better details the process so that residents, and the Town know what to expect when talking about right of entry powers…I will be waiting to see a report that will better define this process. The motion to refer this back to staff passed unanimously..

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