COUNCIL BRIEFS: APRIL 19, 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:

 

  • Port Robinson Proud, in partnership with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation  Authority and the Niagara Restoration Council, are intending to develop butterfly and pollinator gardens in Port Robinson. This will be done by planting various native wild plants, shrubs and trees about the River Lock and in Port Robinson Park and won’t cost the City anything but some of the mulch from the Public Works yard and possibly some site preparation. Council supported the move.
  • Members of Unifor Local 199 were there to express concern over the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership and its impacts on the auto and auto parts industries, pointing out the jib losses in the auto sector since the death of the Auto Pact.
  • Former mayor Mal Woodhouse was present to propose the reconstruction the DeCew House, feeling he can get federal grants to pay or the work and that the feds would take over the operation of the site. Council voted to write a letter of support with the intent that the feds bear all costs.
  • Members of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Legion Conservation Club and a room full of hunters presented their case to General Committee, protesting the proposed changes to permitted hunting in Thorold. The new regulations are, in part, due to a request for a wide buffer zone around Canal lands by the Seaway, allowing only bow hunting on Sundays and a requirement for written permission from landowners for hunting on their property. In the end, the item was deferred pending more information and consultation.
  • There was a Public Meeting in the midst of all this, to present the latest plan for the student housing development proposed for the site of the former hardware store on Front Street. Most of the objections to the project concerned public parking, since the developer maintains that only one parking lot for every four units is required. Not only is this claim being disputed, it was pointed out that the new parking configuration (all on the property) will cause a loss of parking as space will be required for access. There was another objection as well, by the owner of a house north of the property, who maintains that the new building, which will be four storeys high, will overshadow his house. The matter now goes back to staff for a recommendation some time in the future.
  • The Community Grants, committee budgets and economic development allocations were finally brought to Committee. Usually there is some amount of tweaking and a great deal of discussion but, possibly because of the late hour or maybe because they just thought it seemed fair, Council accepted the recommendation as it stood, with few questions and no changes.
  • In the process of reporting the grants, the Recreation Coordinator informed Council that the Thorold Santa Claus Parade Committee had disbanded. Unless someone is found to take it over, there will be no more Santa Claus Parades in Thorold.

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