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Lanark County Council report

by | Mar 29, 2019 | Local News | 0 comments

Here are the highlights from the regular Lanark County Council meeting held Wednesday, March 27.

Homelessness Initiative Allocations Granted: Council approved a recommendation to provide grants for the provision of housing and homelessness services in the amount of $87,950 to three community partners under the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) grant. Housing Services Manager Sandy Grey outlined the recommendation at a community services meeting earlier this month. CHPI is a provincial program and the county received almost $1.3 million for 2018/19, which is used for domiciliary hostels and the Housing Options Program to meet the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The county issued an expression of interest request in December for proposals for additional programs to meet CHPI outcomes. Five were received, and three were funded. Cornerstone Landing Youth Services will receive $12,000 to support its financial assistance program, which would provide a $200-per-month rent subsidy to five youth ages 16 to 24 for 12 months. Lanark County Mental Health will receive $40,000 to cover hoarding expenses for households that are not subsidized housing. This would provide $2,000 per household to 20 households to cover such costs as dumpster rentals, temporary storage facilities, cleaning services, handyman services, pest control and organization supplies. The Table Community Food Centre will receive $35,950 for a series of workshops and training focusing on housing retention, with topics selected through feedback from community members. Funding for transportation to the programs is included in the budget. Some funds will be allocated to provide remuneration to the coordinator and advocates as they pilot a new benefits assessment tool. “All of the recommended programs offer services to all residents of Lanark County and the Town of Smiths Falls,” Ms. Grey noted. For more information, contact Sandy Grey, Housing Services Manager, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 2401.

Emergency Preparedness Week Declared: Lanark County Warden Richard Kidd (Beckwith Reeve) has declared May 5 to 11, 2019 as Emergency Preparedness Week in Lanark County. “Lanark County recognizes the importance of emergency management in Ontario, and the goal of this week is to raise community awareness and the need to prepare for the possibility of an emergency,” Mr. Kidd said. “The safety of our community is the responsibility of each and every one of us. We must prepare now and learn how to secure a strong and healthy tomorrow.” All citizens are encouraged to participate in educational activities on emergency preparedness, he added. Emergency Services Coordinator Garry Welsh reported to the corporate services committee earlier this month that Community Emergency Management Coordinators of the local municipalities and the county have been combining efforts since 2008 to raise awareness with the public relating to emergency preparedness. Provincial regulations require municipalities to establish an emergency management program committee and emergency plan, including public education around procedures of response, training, emergency exercises and appointing individuals to manage emergency situations. The theme for 2019 is “Are You Ready?” and focuses on the benefits of an emergency plan and emergency preparedness kit. For more information, contact Garry Welsh, Emergency Services Coordinator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1701.

Bill 68 By-laws Approved: Council has approved a Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Local Boards, as well as a Pregnancy and Parental Leave policy for members of council in order to comply with provincial Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act. This follows a report by Clerk Leslie Drynan to the corporate services committee earlier this month. She indicated clerks of the local municipalities have been working with Tony Fleming, the county’s integrity commissioner with Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham since February 2018 to develop the policies and procedures, which are enforceable by the integrity commissioner effective this month. The newly elected council established a working group with a representative from each local municipality to review and revise the draft developed by the clerk’s group. Lanark County and most of the local municipalities had codes of conduct in place dating back to 2007, but a refresh was mandatory to ensure adherence with Bill 68. “A code of conduct aims to ensure public trust and confidence in the municipalities’ decision making and operations,” Ms. Drynan said. The Pregnancy and Parental Leave for Members of Council policy allows for 20 weeks of leave and “was drafted to ensure as much flexibility as possible for members of council, recognizing their unique representative role.” It allows for members to participate at council during the leave and to receive remuneration, reimbursements and benefits afforded to all members of council. Councillors do not pay EI premiums and, as such, are ineligible to collect them. Aside from minor amendments between municipalities, the policies have been developed to ensure consistency across the county. For more information, contact Leslie Drynan, Clerk, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1502.

Proceeding with Ambulance Purchase: Council has authorized the purchase of a Ford E350 chassis, including the costs of converting it to an ambulance and adding a power stretcher, from Crestline Coach Ltd. for $170,746. CAO Kurt Greaves explained to the corporate services committee earlier this month that in 2014 the Lanark County Paramedic Service evaluated ambulance designs and chose the Crestline model. With the regular turnover this year, the entire fleet of 12 ambulances will have the same chassis. “By having a standardized fleet across the service there is ease of use for paramedics moving between vehicles, maximizing patient care,” Mr. Greaves said. He noted the 2019 budget included $232,000 to replace two ambulances, but the service has indicated only one is need for this year and the balance will be transferred to reserve to build capacity for a future year when additional ambulances might be needed. Mr. Greaves added the supplier market is limited to two manufacturers, and the service has recommended keeping the fleet consistent. “The current ambulance model has proved to be a reliable vehicle and is working well for the service,” he said. For more information, contact Kurt Greaves, CAO, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1101.

Lanark Transportation Provides Overview: County councillors heard good news about transportation in Lanark County in a report to the corporate services committee earlier this month. Lanark Transportation Association (LTA) Executive Director Marilyn Bird provided an overview of the organization to councillors, including details of an ongoing pilot project called “Ride the LT,” which is available to residents of Lanark Highlands. Every Tuesday, residents can leave from Lanark Town Hall or another specified location and, for $2 return, travel to fixed stops in either Perth or Carleton Place. Ms. Bird explained there are two stops of approximately 45 minutes each or one stop of about 90 minutes as part of the trip. “Ridership remains low,” she said. “We had hoped would be much higher demand, but it takes a while for things to get going and to become well known in the community. We are in early discussions with Mississippi Mills for a similar service.” Information about the program can be found on the LTA website at https://lanarktransportation.com/. LTA provides transportation for individuals needing life-enhancing community supports and services, such as medical appointments, day programs, counselling, social services appointments, food programs, job interviews, court and pre-employment training. In 2017 it provided 21,326 trips to 1,935 registered users, driving more than 616,000 kilometres. It is funded through fare recovery, grants, subsidies and provincial gas tax funding. Gas tax funding is dependent upon population, the number of kilometres travelled and the number of passengers carried. Ms. Bird noted LTA has formed partnerships with several local agencies to provide specific transportation. For more information, contact Leslie Drynan, Clerk, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1502.

Upcoming Meetings: County Council, Wednesday, April 10, 5 p.m.; Community Services, April 10 (following County Council); Corporate Services, April 10 (following Community Services). County Council, Wednesday, April 24, 5 p.m.; Public Works, April 24 (following County Council); Economic Development, April 24 (following Public Works). All meetings are in Council Chambers unless otherwise noted. For more information, contact 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1502. Like “LanarkCounty1” on Facebook and follow “@LanarkCounty1” on Twitter!

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