Niagara-on-the-Lake News, Volume 2, February 10, 2015

 Volume 2, February 10, 2015   Facebook icon Facebook   Twitter icon Twitter   YouTube logo YouTube 
 
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TOWN PURCHASES FORMER NDSS SITE
The Town has purchased the former Niagara District Secondary School (NDSS) site from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) for $1.67 million.  The property, located at 1875 Niagara Stone Road, is currently zoned institutional, a portion of which is within the Ontario Greenbelt.   In 2010, DSBN closed NDSS. By purchasing this site, the Town now has an opportunity to ensure any future use will be of benefit to the community.  Council will review a number of options, ranging from health care, educational, social and recreational purposes.

2015 BUDGET APPROVED
At its meeting on February 9, Council approved the Town’s operating and capital budgets for the coming year.  The operating levy has been set at $8,842,000 and the 2015 capital budget is $8,917,250, with a 10-year capital forecast of $59,744.921.  Using a typical property assessment of $401,738, this represents an approximate $22 or 2.4% increase to the municipal portion of the property tax bill.  Increased tax revenue in 2014 has allowed the Town to strengthen its Capital Reserve Fund and address other challenges such as reduced partnership funding from the province.

DISCRETIONARY GRANTS AWARDED
This year’s discretionary grant recipients have been approved by Council, including a 1.5% increase for the Niagara Historical Museum and $34,000 for the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce for tourism-related activities.  A full list of grant applications and decisions is available in the staff report located on the Town’s website.


TOWN TO LAUNCH LIVE BROADCAST OF COUNCIL MEETINGS
Beginning with the February 23 Committee of the Whole meeting, residents will now be able to watch live Council meetings from the comfort of their own homes.   Through a contract with Livestream, interested viewers can access a link on the Town’s website to follow meeting coverage in real time.  More information, including the link, will be announced in the near future.

COMMUNITIES IN BLOOM

Council has approved the formation of a Communities in Bloom Organizing Committee.  The committee will register the Town for competition beginning this year.  If successful in fulfilling the requirements, the Town will then compete against other communities in the Provincial Category in 2016 and hopefully, the National Category in 2017. 

It’s been a number of years since the Town has been involved in Communities in Bloom, a program which seeks to increase civic pride, promote environmental stewardship, and encourage community participation. Trained volunteer judges evaluate communities based on a number of areas, including tidiness, urban forestry, environmental action, landscape, heritage conservation, and floral displays. Further information will follow on activities being planned for later this year.

  
council business
At its February 9, 2015, meeting, Town Council approved:

Waste water servicing for one additional single detached dwelling at 15 Cottage Street.

Municipal Class EA Study for proposed extension of Concession 4 Road between Line 2 and Line 3 Roads, including a by-pass strategy for local traffic around the Niagara Stone Road and Four Mile Creek Road intersection.

Tenders of $350,973 from O’Hara Trucking and Excavating and $54,091 from Kerry T. Howe Engineering for the Victoria Street watermain replacement from Mary Street to John Street; the Mary Street sanitary sewer replacement from Victoria Street to Regent Street; and the Centre Street watermain replacement and road resurfacing from Dorchester Street to Butler Street.

Tenders of $502,078.84 from Demar Construction Inc. and $65,000 from AECOM Canada Ltd. for the Queenston Street Trunk Storm Sewer Phase 1B and road resurfacing from Dumfries Street to north of Dee Road.

Parking and traffic by-laws amendments to address roadway parking and vehicle speed issues in areas such as Niagara-on-the-Green South, the Commons in Old Town, Tanbark Road in St. Davids, and a sections of East-West Line in Virgil.

MOTIONS APPROVED 

Councillor Disero (Two Motions) – Request for a staff report by September 2015 on an assistance program for the 86 St. Davids property owners with grinder pumps; and a request that the Urban Design Committee and staff lead a design review of the Town’s main streets, including Niagara Stone Road, York Road, Mary Street and Mississauga Street.

Councillor King (Three Motions) – That the Town, in consultation with NOTL Hydro, Chamber of Commerce and the Parking Committee, develop a public electric car charging strategy and action plan;  that Town staff post a speed limit of 50 km/hr for Line 9 Road from Concession 1 Road to Four Mile Creek Road and that a no-passing, solid yellow line be painted along that stretch; and that Town Administration meet with the Niagara Historical Society and Museum staff to evaluate the Museum’s funding needs for the next 3 years and present a report to Council as to whether this funding should be moved from the discretionary grant program to the Town’s operating budget.

Councillor Wiens – That staff review the feasibility of adding the communities of Queenston and St. Davids to NOTL Transit’s route and to report to Council by May 4, 2015.

Corporate Resolutions Approved

That Councillor Martin Mazza be appointed as the Council representative to the Niagara Regional Greater Niagara Circle Route.

That the Clerk be authorized to vote all Town shares of NOTL Energy Inc. in support of the appointment of Nicholas L. Miller to the Board of Directors.

Notice of the Clerk

That all future closed meetings of Council will be recorded and kept in accordance with the Town’s Retention By-law, pursuant to recommendations made by the Ontario Ombudsman in its report “Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team.”

 

For more information on these or other issues, please visit www.notl.org.
 
     
 
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
 
 
  SPIRIT OF NIAGARA AWARDS - NOTL Chamber of Commerce held its annual Spirit of Niagara Awards on Tuesday, January 27 at Queen’s Landing Hotel.  Community members who were honoured for their contribution to our community included:
- Steffanie Bjorgan, Red Roof Retreat – Lord Mayor’s Award of Excellence and Citizen of the Year
Penny Coles, Niagara Advance – President’s Award
David Jones – Christopher Newton Award for Extraordinary Vision in Business
Cian MacNeill, Oast House Brewers – Peter Ling Award of Entrepreneurial Spirit
​Del Rollo, Jackson-Triggs & Inniskillin Estate Wineries – Celia Liu Award for Excellence in Hospitality
Citizens for Accountable & Responsible Education (CARE) – Community Leadership Award
Community Patient Transfer Group – Company of the Year
 
 
MUSEUM OFFERS FREE ADMISSION FOR FEBRUARY - The Niagara Historical Museum is offering Town residents free admission all this month.  Take advantage of this opportunity to reacquaint yourself with local history.  “Enjoy Your Stay,” an exhibition showcasing the history of some of NOTL’s early hotels and inns is on display until March 31, 2015.  Please visit www.niagarahistorical.museum or call 905-468-3912 for more information.
 
 
BE A WITNESS TO HISTORY - Join in the 200th commemoration of the Signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.  An ecumenical service will begin at 2:00 p.m. at St. Marks’s Church, followed by a procession to the Court House, where a reception will be held.  Please visit www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca or call 905-468-6621 for more information.
 
 
ALZHEIMER COFFEE BREAK - Please join Town Council and staff for a coffee and cake reception in support of the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region on Thursday, February 19, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at the Town Municipal Offices.
 
 
NIAGARA PUMPHOUSE ARTS CENTRE - Students’ show continues until February 13 and the Instructors’ Exhibition continues until March 27 featuring the works of Betty Calvert, Beata O'Connell, Anne Reimer, Diane Vogel, Lenore Walker and Susan Wintrop.  For more details, please visit www.niagarapumphouse.ca.
 
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