This past Tuesday, Council was asked to consider discontinuance of the Leaf Vacuum program in favour of consolidating leaf pickup through the Yard Waste Collection. This consideration was accepted by Council, of which I supported the decision.
There are undoubtedly mixed feelings on this development. This was a beloved service, well appreciated and relatively unique for our area. With all items being considered, I am confident that our weekly Yard Waste Collection service will address your needs for leaf disposal in the fall.
The end of the Leaf Vacuum program affects 990 households, including many in Ward 1 along Riverside Drive as well as the neighbourhood that I grew up in and where my parents still reside, including streets such as Coronado Dr., Barry Ave., Lacasse Boulevard, Burdick Crescent, Dillon Drive, Percy Place, Keith Avenue/Court and Lacasse Boulevard.
Presently, 87% of residents within the Town are not offered this service. For those who receive the service, once every November, a Yard Waste truck collects bags and, depending on the schedule, a few days later the vacuum would collect your leaves one time only.
The service was initiated at a time when seasonal yard waste collection was not being delivered. Presently both of these leaf collection services, the Yard Waste collection everyone receives as well as the leaf vacuum, are operating in parallel. The areas receiving the service are noted for their very tall and flush cottonwood trees in the area. Given proportionally higher volumes of leaves falling in these areas versus the newer subdivisions, whose trees were in their infancy, the former Village of St. Clair Beach pioneered this service, and was expanded to select areas of Ward 1 about 2003.
The matter was brought forward to Council as the two units used are no longer affordable to service and must be replaced at a cost of $70,000 each. A new box would need to be purchased for $30,000. The net new equipment cost required is $170,000.
My reasons for supporting the decision are as follows.
- Government Duplication. We send two different trucks and crews to perform essentially the same service once a year. The difference between the new level of service versus the old is that the onus falls to the homeowner to bag the leaves versus raking them to the curb.
- Government Inefficiency. Wind, weather, and missed communications meant that this program was unreliable for many of the users serviced by it. There were continual pressures on Town staff to redo its run and have to resort to overtime labour, driving up costs in an unpredictable manner.
- Opportunity for Savings. Continuing this once a year service will cost $170,000 in upfront capital costs and about $13,000 in operating costs annually. That's $300,000 over 10 years. Those funds could go a long way towards other amenities such as accelerating Lakewood Park improvements or our trail system. That availability of funds also allows Council to mitigate cost increases elsewhere and allows us to minimize tax increases.
- Two-Tier Service Elimination. Harmonizing the leaf collection into the Yard Waste collection across the entire municipality provides certainty and consistency across the municipality - leaves will be picked up on Mondays and they won't blow away while waiting for the vacuum to come by nor will you miss the collection date. All residents get the same service for the same tax rate.
I thank you once again for entrusting me to be your voice on Council. While personally difficult, decisions like these open the door to great opportunity. In choosing options that have minimal change to your service with added cost savings, we are better positioned to hold the line on your property taxes and to bring forward the improvements you are hoping to see happen sooner. We are likely to see more difficult decisions like these in the future, as Council continues to collaborate with Town Administration to find efficiency and savings to make your tax dollar go further. I look forward to further discussion at the Council table on similar opportunities to achieve greater value for money.
If you have any further questions or comments, please give me a call at 226-773-1910 or email@example.com
Coming up this week at Council:
6pm - Discussion on Rezoning request for 12346 Arbour Street. The family that currently owns the property would like to convert it to a duplex in which they would continue to reside in one half. Full information can be found here:
7pm - Our regular business begins. The full packet can be found here:
- Susie Korchnak will be recognized as Tecumseh's 2015 Senior of the Year
- Ron Hebert and Scott White will make a presentation to Council regarding the Disc Golf Tournament planned for September 19, 2015 at Lakewood Park South.
- Mr. Joseph Picard, Directeur Général Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence will speak to Programming at Tecumseh Arena
- Joe Barile, General Manager of Essex Power will speak to the dividend paid to the Town of Tecumseh for 2014 as well as the Shared Value in June 2015
- Canada Post responded in writing to Council's request to formalize municipal encroachments in the same manner of other encroachments as well as a 120 day moratorium on Community Mailbox installation. These requests were refused.
- The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing advises Council that the Minister will be reviewing the Municipal Act, the City of Toronto Act, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, and the Municipal Elections Act in 2015 and invites feedback.
- Council is advised that the City of Windsor has rezoned the properties immediately west of Banwell Road south of the E.C. Row Expressway. The lands closest to Banwell Road will be Commercial while closer to the existing industrial properties will be Manufacturing.
- The Association of Municipalities of Ontario is requesting Nominations for Secretary Treasurer Position
- The Township of Greater Madawaska is asking for Council's support in petitioning the Province of Ontario to stop electricity rate increases, although it does not specify a preference as to how they wish to have this achieved (i.e. lowering the cost of generation, subsidy through increased or reallocated taxes, etc.)
- The County of Essex has opposed the Privatization of Hydro One and asks for an opportunity for Essex Power and ELK to purchase Hydro One assets in our local distribution area.
- Katrina Miller, on behalf of Keep Hydro Public, requests a resolution opposing the privatization of Hydro One. Administration is recommending that Town Council oppose the sell-off/privatization of Hydro One and that Tecumseh wishes to have the Hydro One service area in the Town of Tecumseh sold to Essex Power.
- The Association of Municipalities of Ontario [AMO] invites municipal officials to a seminar titled Navigating a High Road, High Return Approach to Social Media Seminar, as well as Cover Your Assets, Primer on Asset Management AMO Cover Your Assets Conference Primer on Asset Management as part of the upcoming AMO Conference on August 17.
- Municipal Employer Pension Center Ontario (MEPCO) is requesting that payees to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Savings Plans be exempted from the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) as the government of Ontario's originally stated intent was to supply pensions to those who did not have comparable plans. Administration is recommending that it report back.
- Town of Tecumseh Business Improvement Area (TOTBIA) - June 10, 2015. The BIA has approved a Health and Wellness Expo for September 2015. It also inquires as to the cost of the Boundary Adjustment Report prior to agreeing to fund a portion of the cost.
- Ontario Power Authority, Feed In Tariff Program Version 4 Blanket Support Resolution. Administration is recommending that Council approve support for each and every application within Town of Tecumseh boundaries to benefit from the Feed-in-Tariff program.
- The Treasurer provides a report on the Development Charge Reserve Fund. There is currently about $28,000 in the account. This means that the Town must finance on its own the costs required to support development in the short term, although these amounts are repaid as developments are built.
- The Treasurer reports that the Brendan/Binder Roads Sanitary Sewer Extension construction costs are not yet collected and therefore a 5 year financing cost of $68,000 or 1.57% is required in order to finance debentures.
- Council is being asked to approve Phase 2 of the Villa Pia Investments Ltd., Proposed Craft Beer Brewery at 12014 Tecumseh Road which includes:
- proposed and future additions to existing buildings that will total an additional 219.6 square metres (2,363 square feet);
- a revised driveway access that will align with the Tecumseh Road/Shawnee Road intersection and function as part of a fully-signalized intersection.
- an expansion of the originally proposed 39-space parking area to a larger parking area that will accommodate 69 vehicles, the design of which will facilitate a future Phase 3 development
- a ten foot (10’) road widening across the frontage of the property (along Tecumseh Road) to be conveyed by the Owner to the Town.
- Site Plan Approval is sought for a new Industrial building to be located at 2060 Fasan Drive
- The New Town of Tecumseh Official Plan, Commercial Development Discussion Paper is released for review by Council and by the public.
- Administration recommends cancellation of the Leaf Pick-Up Program to those properties that receive it. If it is maintained an investment of $170,000 is required to replace equipment. There is only enough time in the season to make one pass of each of the properties. It currently services approximately 900 properties in Wards 1 and 2 of nearly 7500 households in the Town. If removed leaf pickup will continue to be provided through the existing yard waste collection.
- In response to my initial request about long-term parking on the municipal right-of-way, Administration recommends that we continue to allows indefinite parking of vehicles on the road except for after winter snowfall events.
- Administration is recommending conversion of the Yield Signs on Warwick and Clovelly and Warwick and Burlington to Stop Signs.
- A tender for $1,942,930 is proposed to be awarded to D'Amore Construction for various improvements to Baseline Road, including the Sullivan Creek Bridge, Road Reconstruction from the 10th Concession and 11th Concession, and relocation of the 10th Concession Drain from the Sullivan Creek Bridge to the 11th Concession. Improvements to the County Road 43 bridge proposed by the County of Essex were also part of the Tender and will be repaid by the County of Essex.
- A request for repairs to the Wellwood Drain has been received and it was determined to warrant improvement. The Drainage Act will be undertaken to determine works and assessment. Administration is recommending that Lou Zarlenga of R.C. Spencer Associates Inc. be appointed as Drainage Engineer.
- The Windsor Sports and Culture Club Park is requesting permission to operate loud speakers or sound amplifying equipment on Saturday, August 15, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for live band performances / entertainment at McAuliffe Park.
- 2015-42 - Being a bylaw to provide for the repair and improvements to the South Talbot and Holden Outlet Drain
- 2015-43 - Being a by-law to authorize the execution of an Agreement between The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh and Fr. Nicholas Point Council No. 4375 Knights of Columbus Bylaw
- 2015-44 - Being a by-law to authorize the execution of an Agreement between The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh and the Optimist Club of St. Clair Beach
- 2015-45 - Being a by-law to provide for the repair and improvement of the Moynahan Drain Bylaw
- 2015-46 - A By-law to amend Schedule “L” (Intersection Stop Signs) and Schedule “M” (Intersection Yield Signs) of By-law No. 2001- 36, as amended, to regulate traffic and parking on highways and private roadways under the jurisdiction of the Municipality
- 2015-47 - Being a by-law to authorize the execution of a Site Plan Control Agreement between The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh and Villa Pia Investments Ltd.