COUNCIL BRIEFS: SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

Council Briefs-001

In addition to the larger stories, other items go through Thorold City Council and General Committee. Some may be important to someone affected and others are just a little interesting. The following are some of those items:

  • Sarah King Head was awarded a certificate Tuesday, making official her appointment as Thorold’s Honorary Historian. I’ve worked with Sarah on other
    DSC_0002

    Mayor Luciani, Honorary Historian Sarah King Head

    committees and she’ll be very good in this position. LACAC, who recommended her appointment made a good call on this.

  • Thorold Fire Chief Michael Seth and Station 3 Volunteer District Chief Carl Pearson helped Mayor Luciani hand out awards to Captain of Training Bryan Lambert and Volunteer Firefighter Rose Terreberry with the federal Exemplary Service Medal. This medal is for 20 years’ service and having put themselves at risk in the course of their duties. Congratulations to both. 20 years is a long time in a dangerous job we couldn’t do
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    Thorold Fire Chief Michael Seth, District 3 Chief Carl Pearson, VFF Rose Terreberry, Mayor Luciani

    without.

  • Councillor Jim Handley rose to read his motion requiring the Fire Chief to cut $500,000 from last year’s Fire Service budget of last year’s roughly $3.2 million operating budget for the 2016 budget year. He maintained that this move had nothing to do with his differences with the professional firefighters, despite was what said in the newspaper. When asked by Councillor Whelan where this money would come from, Handley seemed to have no real response, replying that the motion wasn’t meant to present a firm number, only to act as a guideline such as was given to other department heads. When asked how such a cut would affect his department, Chief Seth
    DSC_0007

    Capt. of Training Bryan Lambert, Chief Seth

    demonstrated admirable restraint in replying that it would have a negative impact on service levels, especially with significant new requirements coming down from the Province in the near future. At this point Councillor Wilson moved that the item be referred to budget discussions. The deferral, which is not debatable, passed unanimously including Councillor Handley himself.

As to the direction given other departments, I must point out that they were told to hold the line at 2.5%, making the demand on the Fire Services seem quite draconian in comparison.

And if you’re wondering what made the newspaper think it was a personal thing, here’s the wording of the motion:

WHEREAS the City of Thorold needs to continue to operate in a cost effective manner;

AND WHEREAS operating the City in a cost effective manner should eflect on all departments within the City of Thorold;

AND WHEREAS cost effectiveness and sustainability within the Thorold Fire Services needs to be addressed;

AND WHEREAS such effectiveness and sustainability can be achieved without affecting current service levels,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council of the Corporation of the City of Thorold:

  1. Direct the Fire Chief to reduce the Fire Services Budget by $500,000.
  2. That such reduction shall not negatively impact the Volunteer Firefights [emphasis added] or the number of current Fire Stations.
  • At the request of Councillor Ugulini, there will be extra by-law officer coverage for Friday evening and Saturday as this weekend is Brock University’s Homecoming, to head off any student problems which may arise.
  • Councillor Neale asked when budget deliberations would begin. CFO Mauro replied that she couldn’t answer that at present and CAO Fabiano explained that the budget had been sent back to staff to answer deficiencies.
  • Councillor Paone, reigning Grape Stomp champion will be taking part again and added that a new dimension has been added to the competition: besides the amount of juice produced, judging will take into account the amount of non-perishable food donations have been collected by each municipality. Donations can be made at City Hall.
  • Councillor Longo requested an updated report on all City Reserves and information concerning the possibilities in regards to the Hydro Reserve, just so that Council can look at all the possibilities. Here we go again.
  • Councillor Handley said that he’d received complaints from the Overtime Pub on Front St. that, due to the removal of the Parks barn, the property behind the Overtimes Pub was now open to certain undesirable activities (he didn’t specify). Handley asked that the access be closed off.

After thanking staff for the picnic tables which had been placed in parks, Handley went on to announce that, since the public meeting to propose joining the Allanburg Community Centre and the Thorold South Fire Hall had been unsuccessful, the Board of the former intends to contact those who helped build the community centre. Once they have identified all the deficiencies in the building, they intend to approach those families to see if they would consider funding the centre as a private, not-for-profit centre.

  • Councillor Whelan asked if the HVAC system for the meeting room at Fire Station #3 could be hooked up and to discuss making the meeting room accessible for community use at budget time.
  • Councillor Charron announced the annual City-Wide Yard Sale on Sept. 19, with participants in every part of Thorold. If anyone wishes to register their yard sale for that day, go to the City of Thorold website. You can register and check the map of participating yards by pointing at the date on the calendar and clicking on the appropriate link.

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