Leeds-Grenville Council update
The following are highlights of the regular United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Council Meeting held on Thursday, December 19th and a Committee of the Whole meeting on December 3rd.
Pre-Approval for 2020 Public Works road projects: Counties Council has given prebudget approval to proceed with the tendering of some high-priority 2020 Public Works Capital Projects.
Council approved $8.6-million for upcoming road and bridge projects, including rehabilitation on five sections of County Roads and the Lyndhurst Bridge.
Road work will include:
• County Road 1 – from Highway 15 to Rideau Ferry Bridge
• County Road 42 – from 10th Line to Soperton
• County Road 44 – Beach Road to Concession
• County Road 22 – from County Road 21 to Pittston
• County Road 3 – from Prince Street to Fairfax Road
Early approval allows the Counties to distribute the project workload for staff throughout the year. Starting projects and procurements as early as possible can potentially mean lower construction prices and earlier delivery times. Projects often have a limited construction period, so it is critical that project designs and procurement be completed early in the year before prime construction weather.
Council also authorized staff to tender a multi-year contract for the replacement of seven heavy-weight winter maintenance trucks over a three year period. Winter maintenance trucks take longer to assemble. Multi-year contracting ensures assembly and delivery of vehicles to the Counties prior to the winter season each year. There is also cost savings with multi-year contracting. One truck is being replaced in 2020, followed by three in 2021, and three in 2022. For more information, contact Counties Director of Public Works, Arup Mukherjee at 613-342-3840, ext. 2412.
Economic Development Strategy approved: Counties Council has approved six key areas of focus for its Economic Development Office for the next five years. Counties Economic Development Manager, Ann Weir presented a comprehensive report to council outlining the Key Strategic Areas of Focus that builds on its already successful economic development program.
The primary dataset and recommended actions from the recently released Leeds Grenville Business Retention and Expansion Report (BR+E), plus the additional findings from various regional, provincial and federal reports and funding opportunities, were considered when developing the Counties key strategic areas of focus.
The following Economic Development Strategic Areas of Focus for 2020-2025 include: • Leadership and Capacity Building • Investment Readiness / Investment Attraction – Business and Industry • Business Retention and Expansion • Talent Attraction and Workforce Development • Diversified Economy • Marketing and Communications
Each area of focus has key elements that will support and enhance the regional economy of Leeds Grenville. See full report for further details. For more information, contact Economic Development Manager, Ann Weir at 613-342-3840, ext. 5365.
Modernization Task Force recommendation approved: Counties Council is agreeing with a Modernization/Shared Services Task Force recommendation to set aside grant money for joint projects within Leeds and Grenville.
Earlier this year, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced provincial funding allocations to Ontario municipalities with a population of 100,000 or less to “transform service delivery and identifying more modern, efficient ways of operating.”
The Modernization Fund is an unconditional grant and was transferred to municipalities in late March. The Counties, City of Brockville, and Towns of Gananoque and Prescott each received Modernization Fund grant money.
Counties Council appointed the Task Force to examine modernization opportunities between the Counties and the separated municipalities (Brockville, Gananoque and Prescott). The Task Force has recommended the four partners each set aside 50% of their grant money for recommended joint projects/initiatives. Any joint project/initiative would need to come back to the respective councils for approval and any funding needs. The Counties has set aside its allocation ($725,000) for future use. To date, the Counties has allocated $10,000 of the fund to the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus for regional initiatives. For more information contact Counties CAO Andy Brown at 613-3423840, ext. 2301.