COUNCIL BRIEFS: MAY3, 2016

Council Briefs-001

A lack of drama at Council means that things are getting done. However, it’s not great for things to write about. Here, however, are some of things that did happen:

  • Jean D’Amelio Swyer addressed Council on behalf of the Thorold Age-Friendly Committee about support for two surveys they will be putting out, one aimed at the target group of citizens 55 or older and other for businesses, health and service providers and caregivers assisting seniors. The first will be available on the City website and in paper form at a number of locations around town, including City Hall, the Ontario Paper Seniors Centre, the Library, the Port Robinson Post Office, the Thorold Community Activities Group, the Thorold Credit Union, and other locations. The purpose is to find out what services and infrastructure is required for this target demographic. Council voted to cover photocopying and a pamphlet as requested by the committee. All Thorold citizens 55 and over are being urged to fill out the questionnaire which will be up on the site within a couple of days.
  • A presenter for the Niagara Sustainability Initiative was there to propose membership for the City of Thorold. For $3,100/year, the City will have use of software which will help them track environmental responsibility, which the presenter stressed to mean carbon emissions. The Niagara Region would subsidize 25-50% of this membership for the first year. It will be considered as a part of the City’s deliberations on the new Strategic Plan.
  • Councillor Handley brought up the fact that there are so far no takers to take over the Thorold Santa Claus Parade after the entire committee resigned earlier this month. Councillor Whalen reported that they had enough after 11 years of organizing the parade. There is no doubt in my mind, having founded the parade and worked on it for nearly 15 years myself, that it is a great deal of work, but if new organizers aren’t found soon, there will be no more Thorold Santa Claus Parade.
  • Councillor Ugulini moved that Council waive a 1996 by-law against making proclamations and flying flags in order to meet a challenge by St. Catharines to fly the Ice Dog flag until their season ends. They might as well have repealed the by-law, as this is a precedent that will open the floodgates.
  • Councillor Paone moved to have the four resigned positions on the Darlene Ryan Community Centre Board posted for, citing the need for continuity, especially since the hall has been booked and those bookings should be honoured.
  • Councillor Paone also received Council support in asking the federal government for a comprehensive ban on asbestos, as the substance is still imported in certain product such as brake shoes long after the dangers of asbestos had been discovered.
  • Councillor Handley proposed that, should the City make public the position of Fire Prevention Officer, they should take the opportunity to save the City money by lowering the salary for the position. He was informed that it is a union position and that the union rate would have to be paid.
  • It looks like Councillor Handley will be successful in using donated materials and labour to build public washrooms in MacAdam Park in Thorold South, provided he jumps through the required hoops.
  • Allanburg’s park will no longer have a bocce court as Council voted to spend the money to turn it into a requested horseshoe pitch, citing lack of use of the former. A report on the $140,000 price tag for a splash pad in that same park, however, has been deferred to the update for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan due in 2018. Councillor Neale did point out, however, that there’s no reason why they can’t update the plan earlier.
  • If you just love all the all-way stops in Thorold, you’ll be happy to hear that there will be more at each end of the block-long Abbey Court, which spans the block between Keefer Drive and Decew Road.
  • Council previously asked for, and received Tuesday, the cost of doing the work necessary to rent out the top floor of 8 Carleton (the Seniors Centre), which the Mayor says has interested parties. The cost of the doing the work, which includes a floor, walls and washrooms, is estimated at $76,000. Councillor Neale asked for a follow-up report on the operating costs and expected rent, should they spend the money, to determine the viability of spending the money.

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