8/28/14

Highlights of September 2 Council Meeting

Updated February 4, 2015
For the third meeting in a row, residents again packed the Council chambers on September 2. They came for a long list of interesting topics (yes, interesting), several related to the controversial Enerdu project.

For the Council portion, the consent agenda included a motion I presented on August 12. It called on Council to formally withdraw any implied support for the Enerdu generating station expansion. That motion passed on a recorded vote 6 to 4. The dissenters were Mayor Levi and Councillors Edwards, Minnelli and Ferguson. (Paul Watters was absent.)

The Committee of the Whole (CoW) portion of the meeting included the following:

Microbrewery

A public meeting under the Planning Act gave residents a glimpse of the proposed Cartwright Springs microbrewery in rural Pakenham. A quality craft brewery, as proposed by Andre Jean Rieux, is exactly the type of imaginative and sustainable industry that improves Mississippi Mills. It will help attract even more artisan food businesses, such as last year’s widely acclaimed Hummingbird Chocolate and the artisan-supporting Dandelion Foods grocery store.

Note: From a good source, I heard another microbrewery is proposed for Ramsay.

Heritage District

The CoW debated a new moratorium by-law to restrict major construction and demolition in Almonte’s heritage district for up to one year. Mayor Levi strongly opposed it and Councillor Edwards asked for a delay. His motion failed and the majority on Council—Councillors Gillis, Wilkinson, Cameron, Abbott, Dalgity and I—passed it.

Update: On September 16, the moratorium by-law came before Council. Again, Mayor Levi strongly opposed it, Councillor Edwards again tried and failed to delay implementation. It passed by a slim majority with support from me and Councillors Abbott, Cameron, Dalgity, Gillis and Wilkinson.

Update: On December 9, the Committee of the Whole passed several motions related to the heritage conservation district: to reduce the HCD study area in size; to continue to phase 2, where the consultant prepares the study and guidelines; to not consider other areas of Almonte for similar conservation areas; to continue the HCD moratorium but apply it to the new reduced boundaries; and to extend the appeal process to any structure in the study area.

Phase 2 will include public meetings as part of the contract. The Town will hold an additional meeting (or more) to better present facts related to an HCD.

Update: Council finally launched the HCD study into Phase 2 at its meeting January 27.

Update: Councillor John Edwards brought a motion forward at the February 3, 2015, meeting of Council to rescind the by-law. Councillors Gillis and Abbott changed their voting position and helped rescind the moratorium 7-4. In favor of rescinding the by-law were Councillors Abbott, Edwards, Ferguson, Gillis, Lowry, Torrance and Watters. I supported the moratorium along with Councillors Cameron, McCubbin and Wilkinson.

Wetlands

The CoW agenda included a new motion I presented to support the recent report on saving the Appleton Wetlands researched and written by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) and the Mississippi Riverwatchers. It calls on staff to arrange a meeting of Town Councillors with the new Ontario Resources Minister, Bill Mauro, to ask him to open the water management plan for the Mississippi River upstream from Almonte. That could lead to a lowering of the maximum allowable water level.

In December 2013, several of us on Council met with David Orazietti, then the province’s Resources Minister, and his staff in Queen’s Park. We presented preliminary scientific research from the MVFN. We requested that his ministry open the water management plan. The minister turned down the request but said he’d reconsider when the MVFN completed its final report. So, this new motion aims to take advantage of the small opening Mr. Orazietti gave us last year. a large majority on Council agreed to this measure.

Update: On September 16, the motion came before Council for a final vote. Again, Mayor Levi strongly opposed it but the majority voted in favor.

Update. On December 1, we visited the new Resources minister.

1 comments:

Jill said...

Just a small comment/clarification: the recent report on saving the Appleton Wetlands by Al Seaman etc. was prepared by a group of MVFN and Mississippi Riverwatchers, together.