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:
- Councillor Whelan raised the issue of the multiple-bedroom houses that are going up in old neighbourhoods and if there’s anything the City can do to stop them. The Director of Planning and Building Services replied that, in the summer just past, Council was given the option of placing an interim control by-law which would have banned any housing starts with five or more bedrooms during while a consultant’s land use study, which should be completed early in the new year, was being done. Council declined to take this route, preferring to wait until the study was complete. Council then discussed the possibility of control by licencing, but they were told that licencing could only refer to such issues as safety and parking.
- Councillor Ugulini asked for a staff report concerning a letter sent to Council by former mayor Don McMillan, asking that the upstairs of the old Lorriman School (Seniors’ Centre building) be made into a community centre rather than leaving it empty as it is.
- Councillor Handley asked that staff bring back a report of remuneration paid to other Councillors of like-sized communities in Niagara, expressing concern about falling behind. Informed of the report put out by a citizen’s committee two years ago, they decided to bring that back rather than do an entirely new study as there wouldn’t be much difference in the figures. The study had pointed out that Thorold Councillors’ pay lagged other small municipalities by 26.94% and the Mayor’s by 33.67%. Council had been given a choice between: 1) that the pays stay the same; 2) that the pays be raised over the next term’s four years; 3) that the pays be brought up immediately at the start of the new term; and 4) that the cost of the increases be paid for in part by reducing Council to six members in the new term. The Council at the time voted to give a raise to the Mayor but not the Councillors. Pay increases are usually done at the end of a term so that they won’t go into effect until the following term.
- Susan Morin and Venture Niagara were given a new two-year contract to provide Tourism services for Thorold. There were no objections but Councillor Charron asked that there be a greater heritage component in the future.
- The Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping requested a plaque and engraving on the cenotaph recognizing those service men and women who served in United Nations peacekeeping forces. On comments from the Corps and the Legion, the City has denied the request as the cenotaph is a monument to the soldiers in World War I only. They suggested they would be happy to put up a separate recognition as was done with World War II and Korean War veterans in Memorial Park.
- Although no one mentioned it, the date of this meeting was the first anniversary of this Council.