COUNCIL BRIEFS: FEBRUARY 16, 2016

Council Briefs-001

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

 

  • Dominic Ventresca and Doug Rapelje made a presentation concerning Age-Friendly Communities, based on the Niagara Aging Strategy. They pointed out that Niagara has a high rate of seniors (over age 65), although Thorold, at 15.3%, is the second lowest in the region, above only West Lincoln. Niagara is expected to attract more than their share of seniors in the future and the Strategy wants municipalities to make themselves Age Friendly, with more affordable seniors’ housing and care facilities and accommodations for age-related challenges. They said that boomer households spend 66% more on goods and services than millennials.
  • The Niagara Sports Commission was there to get Council’s Support for asking the Region to cough up the money to put in a bid for the 2021 Canada Summer Games. This sporting event, which is every 2 years alternating between Summer and Winter Games, attracts app. 4,600 athletes, coaches and managers for 16 days of sports plus peripheral events. The advantage to Niagara would be upgraded equipment and facilities, boosted tourism and an improved volunteer base. The past 3 games have each shown surpluses of about $3 million. The winning bid will be announced April 17 of 2017. Council backed the request unanimously.
  • A request from the Township of Wainfleet to get the Province of Ontario to cancel the RFP process for wind plants was received and filed.
  • In the process of approving a tender award for the new parking lot which will be constructed off Towpath next to Fire Station #1, Councillor Ugulini asked why the City would pay a contractor $25,720 to oversee the project, believing that staff should do it. The City Engineering Manager responded that they couldn’t give the job the proper amount of attention, but suggested they could go back and try to get the price down. Said Councillor Ugulini, “We’re not going to pay $25,000. I’ll go down and supervise it myself for nothing.” No one took him up on it. Councillor Whalen also suggested that the project managing contract should have been tendered, to which staff agreed. The question also arose of where money would come from to replace the parkette across Albert St. beside the Old Fire Hall. Council was told that the cost of materials was included in the price, although the work would be done in-house.
  • After reviewing the budget motion concerning live streaming of Council Meetings, Council decided to stick with their decision to award the company Wee Stream with a 7-week trial period at $400.00 per meeting, after which they would decide whether to continue. Wee Stream had maintained that the City had said they would pay $8,800, but that had indeed been budgeted for the rest of the year should Council decide to continue.
  • The CIP Programme (see TRYING TO UNDERSTAND CIP’s – Feb. 10 for the explanation).

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