Council Highlights - Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The Rogers TV broadcast of this meeting will be available online at rogerstv.com.
Call of Council To Order
- Mayor Saunderson provided an update to COVID-19, assuring residents of Collingwood their health and safety are primary focus. Mayor Saunderson reviewed measures put in place by the Town; and confirmed essential services will continue to be provided.
- Clerk Almas provided a review of the proposed provisions for electronic participation through an amendment to the procedural by-law, as a result of the recent legislative changes authorized by the Province during emergency events.
- Council approved By-law 2020-020, being a by-law to amend Procedural By-law 2019-075 to include provisions for electronic participation for Council and Standing Committee during a state of emergency.
- Council provided their ongoing support for the community, and essential workers; and shared incentives taken to acknowledge the workers.
Standing Committee Reports
- Council approved that the FCM 2020 Sustainable Communities Award Application (Smart Stormwater Partnership) be submitted by Greenland Engineering and a letter of endorsement be provided by the Town in support of the application.
- CAO Amin provided an in-depth overview of recommendations of staff to assist residents and the business community by providing the opportunity for relief in payments related to property taxes, and utilities administered by the Town. CAO Amin reviewed the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; response from Governments; Collingwood's actions to date regarding: business continuity, accelerated emergency funding, collaboration and communication with governments, staff protocols, public communications, transit, by-law and parking enforcement, services provided by parks, recreation and culture, support for the vulnerable, library services, and the Town’s procurement protocols. CAO Amin detailed the potential financial relief measures; revised Emergency Management Plan and pros and cons of declaring a state of emergency (with assistance of Chief Parr); delegation of authority to CAO; establishment of an Economic Support and Recovery Task Force; and a $2.5 million Emergency Contingency Fund from proceeds of asset sales to implement recommendations within the report.
- Council approved that the COVID-19 Economic and Other Relief Measures be received.
- Council approved that the penalty and interest charges be waived for property taxes for the months of March, April, and May 2020.
- Council approved that Council provide residents the option to request a deferral for property tax preauthorized payment plan for the months of April, May and June 2020, for those property taxpayers that provide pre-authorized payments directly to the Town; and that property taxpayers that provide tax payments through a third party shall contact their respective institution to determine relief options that they have available.
- Council authorized staff to implement the recommended relief for water and wastewater users.
- It was suggested that the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force be comprised of the following Council representation: Mayor Saunderson, Chair of Development and Operations Standing Committee Councillor Doherty, FCM representative Councillor Jeffrey, and BIA representative Deputy Mayor Hull.
- Council authorized the establishment of the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force.
- Council authorized the establishment of a Collingwood Emergency Contingency Fund of $2,500,000 from the asset sale proceeds. These funds would be accessed only for the support of the community through the pandemic and, once the provincial state of emergency has ended, any remaining funds be returned to the Sale Proceeds Fund, as amended. The amendment requests staff review the 2020 Budget for projects that may not occur in 2020 or where other efficiencies or cost savings may be identified, that could be reallocated to the Emergency Contingency Fund for COVID-19 to offset the funds needed from the sale of asset proceeds.
- Council approved amendments to the Emergency Management Program and Emergency Response Plan By-law.
- Council delegated additional authority to the CAO during the COVID-19 pandemic for matters deemed necessary and minor in nature.
- Council approved to petition the Federal and Provincial Government and applicable advocacy organizations to continue to work with municipal governments, local businesses and the community to implement changes as quickly and prudently as possible with respect to financial relief and programs to benefit Ontarians and in particular small businesses and our tourism industry.
- Deputy Mayor Hull advised the County of Simcoe has declared state of emergency and has implemented a number of best practices and precautionary measures while continuing to provide essential services. Deputy Mayor Hull also provided condolences to the family of John O'Donnell, Deputy Mayor of the Township of Ramara and member of County Council.
- Councillor Comi inquired about funds for the purchase of more personal protective equipment for the Hospital.
- Councillor Jeffery inquired about support opportunities, transit shutdowns, and non-digital communications, and expressed concern about a large urban population migrating into small urban catchment areas and putting pressure on the Town’s resources.
- Council approved the petition of the upper levels of government to restrict mobility from large to small urban centres that place a strain on various resources available in smaller communities.
Agendas and Minutes are available online at: https://collingwood.civicweb.net