Niagara-on-the-Lake News, Volume 11, December 16, 2014

 Volume 11, December 16, 2014   Facebook icon Facebook   Twitter icon Twitter   YouTube logo YouTube 
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Listen for the Cenotaph Clock Tower Chime at Midnight on New Year's Eve!


At a special inaugural meeting on December 1, the new Town Council was installed for the 2014-2018 term of office.  Lord Mayor Pat Darte joined Council members Maria Bau-Coote, Jim Collard, Betty Disero, Terry Flynn, Jamie King, Martin Mazza, Paolo Miele and John Wiens in the ceremonial proceedings at the Court House.  Mr. Wiens was named Deputy Lord Mayor, and the following Standing Committee Chairs/Vice Chairs were appointed:

Jamie King/Maria Bau-Coote – Community & Development Advisory Committee

Terry Flynn/Paolo Miele – Corporate Services Advisory Committee

John Wiens/Betty Disero – Operations Advisory Committee


At its meeting on December 15, Council approved advisory committees and boards for the coming term, as well as a new process to review membership applications, including interviews for prospective members.  An Open House will be held on Monday, January 5, at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers for those interested in serving on any Town committee or board.  The deadline for applications to all Council advisory committees and boards is Thursday, January 8, 2015.  A notice will be placed in local newspapers and on the Town’s website.


In partnership with Niagara Advance, Town Council held its annual Volunteer Recognition Awards on December 15.  The following residents were honoured for their outstanding commitment to our community:

• Mary Janzen, Margie Enns, Herman Neufeld – Work with Seniors
• Sharon Van Noort – Work with Youth
• Fred Johnson – Contribution to Heritage
• David Willett and Carol Gray – Contribution to Culture
• CARE Niagara Inc. – Contribution to Education
• Elaine Aldridge-Low – Contribution to Sports & Recreation
• Terry Nord – Contribution to Safety
• St. Davids & District Lioness Club – Work with Service Clubs
• Perry Gill & Jack Lane – Community Assistance
• Joan King – Contribution to Community Events
• Madison Berg – Volunteer under 21
• Ron Cherney (Post-humously) – Peggy Anderson Award for Outstanding Volunteerism

council business
At its December 15, 2014, meeting, Town Council approved:

Submission of an Offer to Purchase the former Niagara District Secondary School site from the District School Board of Niagara.

Agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs to receive $195,245 over 3 years under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund which helps rural communities repair roads, bridges and critical infrastructure.

Rezoning by-law amendment to permit an estate winery at 348 Concession 6 Road, Colaneri Winery.  The zoning provides for a hospitality room, outdoor special event area, retail sale office and agricultural market.

Rezoning by-law amendment to permit an estate winery at 1074 Niagara Stone Road, owned by Diamond Estate Winery. A retail and hospitality area will be located inside a re-purposed barn, and wine production, grape drying and an agricultural market will also be located on the property.

Rezoning by-law amendment to permit increased lot coverage for residential lots at 720 Warner Road, Fiorucci Estates.

Conditional support for a proposed telecommunications tower at 360 York Road.

Annual indexing of cash-in-lieu parking for a 1.5% increase, or $21,770 per stall, for parking areas in Old Town.

Annual indexing of Development Charges for an increase of 1.5%.


Councillor Collard - Creation of an Active Transportation Committee to improve “people-powered” transportation options, such as walking, bicycling, and rollerblading.

Councillor Disero – Director of Community & Development to report on resources necessary to expedite the Official Plan Review process.

Councillor Mazza – Former Lawn Bowling Club property be removed from surplus properties list with opportunity for Council to discuss its future at a later date.

Councillor Mazza – Director of Operations to provide background information to Council on history and status of grinder pump situation in St. Davids.

  ken gansel    

Council has approved a budget reporting process for the coming year as part of its annual budget direction to staff.  In 2011, the Town moved to a 10-year forecast model for capital projects and all reserve funds will be reviewed to ensure sufficient funding is in place to finance capital requirements.  For the operating budget, staff has been directed to keep any increase over the 2014 general levy to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and to account for assessment when determining the 2015 tax levy.  All capital and operating projections will be reviewed to ensure minimal impact to the taxpayer.  Some of the challenges facing the Town  next year include a reduction in the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) grant and an increase in insurance costs. The full budget is expected to be finalized on February 9, 2015.


Using input from an extensive consultation process with stakeholder groups and the public,  Council met at a workshop on December 6, 2014, to finalize strategic priorities for the coming term. The Strategic Plan Report was officially approved by Council at its meeting on December 15 and specifies a number of key corporate-wide goals (improved communications, customer service and external partnerships), as well as community-wide priorities, such as health care, education, transit and economic development.  The Town CAO will present Council with an implementation plan early next year, which will include the creation of three Council workshops, one of which will deal with a year-end progress analysis to be held in January of each year. A copy of the Strategic Plan is available on the Town's website
For more information on these or other issues, please visit
  LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR VISITS NIAGARA - Ontario’s newest Lieutenant Governor, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, chose Niagara-on-the-Lake as the first municipality to visit as part of her Niagara tour on December 10.  Her Honour met with the Lord Mayor and Council members, as well as MPP Wayne Gates and Niagara Regional Chair Gary Burroughs, at a civic reception in Council Chambers before embarking on a brief tour of the Heritage Business District.  Stops there included the Niagara Historical Museum and Shaw Festival Theatre.  Ms. Dowdeswell, who is our 29th Lieutenant Governor, is touring the province to hear directly from Ontarians about those issues of importance to them.  
LORD MAYOR OPENS NEW WINERY - Lord Mayor Pat Darte joined Angela Marotta and Melissa Marotta Paolicelli in the official opening of Two Sisters Vineyards on December 5, 2014.  This beautiful winery, reflecting a distinctive European flair, offers great wine and food in a simple but elegant setting. The site was designed by architect Sam Nestico from Concord, Ontario.  Two Sisters is located at 240 John Street East. Photo courtesy Melinda Cheevers, Niagara This Week.
COUNCILLOR RECEIVES 25-YEAR SERVICE AWARD - At the December 15 Council meeting, Councillor Jim Collard was awarded a 25-year service certificate and pin from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  Mr. Collard is the longest-sitting member of Town Council, and before his retirement, served as a teacher with the District School Board of Niagara.  Congratulations Councillor Collard!
UTILITY OF THE YEAR AWARD - NOTL Hydro has been awarded Energy Star’s National Utility of the Year Award - Regional in recognition of its excellence in offering consumers energy-efficient products and technology.  The award was based on the creation of an interactive cookbook CUT, A Cookless Book, which promotes energy efficiency in the kitchen.  The book included recipe submissions from local area chefs from White Oaks, Niagara College, Oban Inn, The Old Winery, Queenston Heights and Peller Estates, as well as others from NOTL Hydro employee and book author, Brodie Mosher. Congratulations!
NOTL NOMINEES FOR ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS - Congratulations to several local business owners on their nominations for the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards:  Ernest Grimo, Grimo Nut Nursery; Drew Hutchison, Eric Offert, Brian Roy and Tom Taylor, Tree Amigos Landscaping Inc.; Catherine O’Donnell, Willow Cakes and Pastries; Brenda and Kirk Petrunick, Simply White; and Klaus W. Reif, Reif Estate Winery.  Special mention to Juliet Dunn and Peter Shea of the Niagara Jazz Festival who were nominated for the Twilight Jazz Series in St. Catharines. Well done everyone!  
STAFF CHANGES AT WILLOWBANK - Dr. Christina Cameron, Chair of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, recently announced changes to the school’s organization structure.  Former Executive Director, Julian Smith, will serve as Dean of Faculty, while Sarah Nadalin and Sarah Lynch join the staff as Director of Development and Administrative Coordinator respectively. The Transition Committee will continue to complete the staffing of the Executive Director position.
ICEWINE FESTIVAL AROUND THE CORNER Don’t forget about the Niagara Icewine Festival in the New Year.  Events include Sparkle and Ice (January 16); Icewine Village (January 17-18 & January 24-25); Evening Cocktail Competition (January 17); and Shop, Sip, Sample and Savour plus Icebreakers’ Comedy Festival (January 24-25). 
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