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Council Watch – January

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Full council and committee agendas and minutes with links to documents here:

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Jan. 27: Among interesting things at today’s committee of the whole meeting: Today’s committee of the whole meeting agenda:

Among discussions:
That a staff panel be responsible for uncontested concent and variance applications and that a citizen panel be responsible for contested consent and variance applications.
Report of the Adjustment Composition Options here:

Chief building official report on the installation of solar panels with regard to setbacks, permit fees and a change to zoning bylaw. At this time there are no tools available for the County to regulate the installation of solar panels. Building permits are required for solar panels attached to a building and the fees are equal to 1 per cent of the construction value. Ground mounted solar panels do not require building permits, therefore fees are not collected by the municipality.

Heritage Advisory Committee motions:
That council protect Mount Tabor as a valued heritage building and take all necessary efforts to enable to continued community use of the building.

That council support the nomination of Scotch Bonnet Island, Point Traverse, (PE Point Lightstation), Main Duck Island, False Duck Island and Point Petre Lighthouses for designation under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

That the third installment of properties of cultural heritage value, which are not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, be included as part of the Heritage Inventory Listing in the PE County Heritage Properties Register.

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Jan. 19 Planning meeting agenda here:

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Jan. 18: Council meets this morning to discuss the budget process overview: Full details here:

Council will also review the schedule of fees and charges. Full details here:

Council will also receive the Macaulay Church Project Interior Work Tender Award. The County’s Recreation and Culture office recommends the tender be awarded to the lowest bidder, Phoenix Restoration, in the amount of $621,000 plus HTS and that up to an additional $100,000 in funding be allocated to the project. The $1.8 million restoration project is to be completed by Jan. 31, 2011.
The County was successful with the application to the Department of Canadian Heritage receiving a grant of $825,000 toward the project – leaving a shortfall of $75,000 as the full $900,000 requested was not received.
Full report here:

LHIN presents Clinical Service Roadmap

Cheese back on council table

Jan. 13 – Committee of the Whole Meeting 1 p.m. Council Chambers: Among discussions at its committee of the whole meeting today, council will re-examine the Invest in Cheese initiative and consider additional information regarding the $93,396 Ontario Market Investment Fund Economic Development Grant.

Council will also receive a deputation by the South East LHIN for the Clinical Services Roadmap – Realigning Clinical Services within the South East.

The South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Clinical Service Roadmap
Georgina Thompson, LHIN board chair says in her report this is being introduced to upgrade and improve the level and quality of health care system we already have – not tear it down. There are seven hospitals now, and there will be seven hospitals once this process has been implemented.
Change is necessary, she says due to a “wake up” call from the current economy.
“We cannot continue on the same path within healthcare delivery,” she says in her report. “The Roadmap is about designing and implementing plans for an integrated system that is sustainable and provides high quality, accessible patient care by reducing duplication of effort and removing administrative barriers to getting care.
“We’re not rebuilding the local health system; the Roadmap is a blueprint to renovate parts of the current healthcare system.”
Clincial areas of opportunity identified as starting points include:
Emergency Department Wait Times:
Build on the early and ongoing work and successes at KGH and soon to be QHC ER Pay-for-Performance and ED PIP projects. The plan will identify solutions for a “seniors focused” ED environment.
To develop a plan for regional, integrated cardiac services informed by findings from a regional cardiac services planning day held in February 2010.
Develop a regional plan for surgical services suggesting most appropriate locations and mix for primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary surgical interventions… High level project plan, including proposed design for physician engagement will be presented for feedback within two months of launch with a more detailed plan to follow.
Healthcare Acquired Infections:
To reduce the incidence and severity of infections through design of a regional, integrated strategy.
High-risk neonatology and caesarian sections:
To ensure leading practice is adopted regionally.
Mental Health and Addictions Services:
To develop a regional, integrated plan for mental health services.
Restorative Care:
Tackled through a series of projects. Overall goal is to reduce impact of non-acute care and “avoidable” acute care through a regional, integrated plan targeted at ensuring effective chronic disease management, patient self-management, reduction of re-admission rates, improved co-ordination of care between sectors and providers and focus on provision of restorative care.
The full 20-page report here:

Council Jan. 11: Council will discuss three-year winter maintenance contracts from the lowest bidders at Tuesday’s meeting.
The Recreation, Parks and Culture Department manages snow removal, sanding and salting of roadways at County facilities.

Full details by clicking here:

The results of the request for quotes were:

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Note that Macdonald wants to go back to old way of doing things.
    How about we go way back to the individual township councils. They were more efficient and cost less–about half the number of employees
    and while we are at it lets try to get the hospital to break away from QHC.
    PEC is an island and should more or less govern its self How about the republic of Prince Edward?

  2. Doris Lane says:

    Kudos to Chris Keen
    The council needs to do a complete review of all aspects of the operation
    It is out of control and we need an independent audit to assess where they are going
    If this is not done I hate to envisage where the County will be in the years to come.
    It may be already too late. Take the Hallowell Picton plan there is a lot of stuff in there that it is not possible to do.

  3. Chris Keen says:

    Here we go again! (From Quinte News)

    Looks like Prince Edward County Council will have to make some cuts if if wants to hold its 2011 budget near last year’s level. Last year’s budget in the County sat at 23-million dollars but to provide that same level of service would mean an eight-point-two percent increase, according to staff figures presented to council yesterday. Mayor Peter Mertens says council will try to avoid that jump. He says all services will be “on the table” and until they are reviewed it’s “impossible to say if there will be an increase or not.” County Council has four more budget sessions to go…the capital budget comes under scrutiny on Thursday.

  4. Theresa Durning says:

    Maybe someone at Shire Hall should invest some of the cheese savings in a decent dictionary for the typist of the RFQ sheet

  5. Doris Lane says:

    Marc I thought the cheese thing was dead as it should be. John Thompson is correct.
    He knows more about the dairy industry than most people do. Sure we get a grant and then we have to put our own money in and then pay staff to look after it.
    As John says the only increase in employment would be at the Edward Building where we have too many people working as it is.

  6. John Thompson says:

    I don’t see the County as being well situated for more artisanal cheese production at this time as there is no increased supply of goat’s milk in sight here. Congrats to Council as the money was for more hype. It was an extend and pretend request and staff should learn to accept the decsions of Council. The only increased employment would be in the Edward Building.

  7. Marc Keelan-Bishop says:

    Crazy, short-sited views on the Invest in Cheese project. It has the potential to create lucrative new business for the region. Typical small-minded navel-gazing. The money did not go to a business, but rather a group who is trying to develop a new type of business for which the county is uniquely suited. I guess we don’t need to attract new business to the county.

  8. Doris Lane says:

    There is no Lighthouse at Point Petre so maybe the Heritage Committee will consider naming the lighthouse at Prince Edward Point to their list.
    The Prince Edward Point was the site of the first bird banding that took place in the County under the direction of the Field Naturalists of Kingston and has a great deal of significant value

  9. Killashandra Ree says:

    There is a typo in the chart shown as Drew Harrison Haulage also bid on the snow removal at Macaulay House (it shows Anderson Farms as winner & as the other bidder)

    By looking at the fact that only two sites had competitive bids, it might be construed that there is some collusion by the bidders in setting territories. In the details (follow the link above) the prices vary greatly; up to 150% over the winner’s. Unfortunate we cannot see how much and for which sites the two rejected bidders had quoted on.

  10. Doris Lane says:

    Wow that is a lot of money to remove a little snow. Can’t the county remove some of its own snow with some of the trucks that they own. They don’t need them in winter to patch roads etc. Only hope it does not snow much this winter.
    I don’t know what the main street would do without Owen Jones. In the winter he makes paths for people to get from the street to the sidewalk. Kudos to Owne.

  11. Richard Parks says:

    Dayton: I refered you to Councillor Campbell as she was the
    Council Representative to Pefac during the last term of Council. Here’s the numbers, as I recall them. $60,000.00 per year operating grant the last 4 years. And $28,000.00 Capital grant for the last 2 yrs.This is public information ,no secrecy involved.
    You can’t change the past sir.I suggest you spend your time lobbying the CURRENT COUNCIL for change, instead of complaining about Monica Alyea and I.
    By the way, I posted here as a private citizen expressing my
    agreement with the current Council’s decision to end spending
    on”Invest in Cheese”. I answered your initial PEFAC query as courtesy, and told you of a source( Ms.Campbel) that I knew could ,and would, give you answers. Not sure of your game,
    but I’m not “playing”.

  12. Dayton Johnson says:

    To Lori and Ms. Ree, please note i am in full support of the Rec centre and all sport facilities of the County. I was simply requesting information as to how the County has supported these facilities in the past and what happens to our investment(est.$250,000??)if and when things change.I want to know if there is an agreement,you mentioned a lease…is this over and above the grants handed out and what is the outcome if for instance the facility was destroyed or had major damage that insurance would not cover full replacement.Would the owners rebuild?..doubtful at todays construction costs.In the perfect world i would have like to have seen the County purchase the building out right and support it like the arenas,ballfields etc.

  13. Dayton Johnson says:

    Thanks for that Richard,i have emailed Bev Campbell and will await her explanation.I think you could have explained the details on this open forum for all to see but like Monica you choose to duck and dodge involvement and pass it off to someone else.It’s a old political ploy that sometimes comes back to bite them.I find it irresponsible of a voted in representative to not answer for himself.They are in the front line and hopefully awake to what’s going on. I don’t know maybe defeated politicians are sworn to secrecy for a period of time.I’m beginning to think there’s more to this story

  14. Lori Smith says:

    Dayton, you seem to suggest you like the County supporting and funding the new areana, a sport facility, but you object to the County support the fitness and aquatic centre with funding. The County has funded tennis courts, baseball & soccer fields, a curling rink and skating arenas so why not a pool? The kids from the school learn to swim and take water safety clsses there.
    The arena may have only cost the County about $2.5M to build, but how much are we going have to pay to maintain it year after year? I doubt that it will pay for itself. And we have to pay interest on the debt we incurred to build it as it was such a good deal, too good to pass on with the fed and provicial gov’t kicking in the rest, so we went our and borrowed the $. We also spent a good chunk (I have heard about $1M) to build a skatepark for a much smaller segement of our population and I am sure the Parks and Recreation department spends more on many other projects/facilities in the County. So what is it about PEFAC that is so much more objectionable to you than these others?

  15. Killashandra Ree says:

    Dayton, The county does not own PEFAC. PEFAC is a Not-For-Profit Corporation that was created when the past owners of the “Rec-Plex” decided they wanted out. They had built the facility in memory of a lost child and run it as an NPO for about 20 years. They continue to own the building and lease it to PEFAC (Prince Edward Fitness and Aquatic Centre) .

    (tried to post this before, but it didn’t make it thru for some reason)

  16. Gary Mooney says:

    Doris makes a good point about freezing the tax levy because of other increases in basic charges. Most households on town water will be paying $120 more per year, and Picton and Wellington households on both water and sewer will be paying about $230 more.

    The County needs to be particularly mindful of the ability of residents on fixed incomes to pay any increases in the cost of local government.

  17. Richard Parks says:

    Dayton: No, the County doesn’t own Pefac. At least they didn’t when I was a Councillor. Ask Bev Campbell for the details

  18. Doris Lane says:

    I think it is a wonderful idea to freeze the overall budget. I agree with Richard that groups should not be getting taxpayer funding in 2011 and beyond. Since every taxpayer is goint to pay more for hydro, water , sewer and heat, there is not going to be money to throw around. We have to save enough to eat.

  19. Dayton Johnson says:

    Richard,could you answer my question…does PEC actually now own(bought+paid for) the Rec-Plex? Yes or No. “Not for profit” is terrific but who has payed the bills all these years?…i believe it was property taxes! so not a big stretch in comparison.I will agree that at the time it may have been a good idea to offer financial support but when do you draw the line? and then what happens to the facility? I think the County was too Quick and too Generous in the last 4-6 years giving out “handups”with no strings attached but please correct me here if i’m wrong.Ahh, but if only the old council had listened to your wise words in your last paragraph!

  20. Richard Parks says:

    I voted to support PEFAC, seeing it as “not for profit” community based recreational facility. I am against property taxes funding private business (that are seeking profit and/or capital gain) owners on an ongoing basis, with little or no control
    I think Council should be telling all seekers of taxpayer’s funding that in 2011 and beyond, we are freezing the overall budget, which could well mean that you are getting less than last year

  21. Dayton Johnson says:

    Re: Kudos to Kouncil,,,couldn’t agree more but i’m curious Richard how you voted while as a member of the previous council in regards to the repeated cash handouts to prop up the Rec-Plex centre. A wonderful idea for a facility reccomended by the health teams but one that apparently could not get sufficient funding through memberships etc. to support itself.Therefore council was approached several times for a cheque…always a big one!
    I had repeatedly questioned this practice to our ward councillor who stated this was policy with arenas so why not with a fitness facility.Perhaps an arguement but apples and oranges to me. So today does PEC own the Rec-Plex centre?? or will it continue to visit the Bank of Shire Hall. Thanks for your reply.

  22. Richard Parks says:

    Kudos to Council for refusing to “Invest in Cheese” to the tune of $46,000.00 of our hard earned money. Too many
    of these joint funded schemes start out as one time deals and then become “entitlements” to small business.
    At the end of the day, a “start up business” may deserve “start up help” to create jobs and tax revenue, but at some point other new ventures may be deserving of help too.

  23. Doris says:

    According to the Wellington Times dated December 15, 2001, Robert Quaiff questioned the purchase of a “New Wheel Loader” at this time since we have done without one for a year.
    At this time when the County is so heavily indebt, it would be wise to hold off this purchase until such a time when the county is more solvent.
    The motion to appoint a By-law enforcement officier and a Chief Building Official should not be made at this time. We have enough byplaw officiers now. more than any other municipality.
    Many of the people running for council had proposed no new hiring
    Re the Affordable housing issue it appears that SHS consultants have been hired to help deal with this issue. Was it not suggested that the hiring of consultants be kept to a minimum
    The county must STOP THE SPENDING

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