Currently Browsing: The Issues

Climate Action Plan for King Community

On the council January 24 council agenda there is a very important staff report: King Climate Action Plan. At time of writing this blog I have not yet had opportunity to review it. I strongly encourage reviewing the document as the subject matter is critical and its purpose is to present ideas as to what community members can do to respond to the climate emergency.      There will be a presentation of the Plan;  to listen and view join the live stream. As always if you want to make a deputation and or submit comments please contact [email protected] by noon on January 24.

Asset Management Plan

The first agenda item on the Council agenda for January 10 is a report reviewing the Asset Management Plan (AMP). Developing and executing this plan is critical as it is the means by which residents can believe that their various municipal services are going to be delivered sustainably. The Township currently owns and manages over $594 million worth of capital assets based on current replacement values.  As these assets age investments are required to maintain them in a state of good repair and ultimately replace them at the end of their service life. The report is very thorough. There will be a presentation of AMP and the report; if this interests you I strongly recommend that you listen and view join the live stream. As always if you want to make a deputation and or submit comments please contact [email protected] by noon on January 10.

Water & Wastewater Rates for 2022

On January 10 Council agenda there is a staff report recommending water and wastewater rates for 2022. The proposed rates will increase the average annual water bill by 3.5% for water and 3% for wastewater services. It’s estimated that this will represent an annual increase of $58.57 over 2021. The report provides details on how the rate is derived; the key principles are as follows. I)  There must be full cost recovery which includes the concept of building a reserve to cover maintenance and ultimately replacement as the infrastructure ages. 2) Encouraging conservation and effective use of water services.   Water is a precious resource; we are very fortunate to have access to it and to have it delivered to us in a safe manner.  If you wish to make a deputation please contact [email protected] by noon on January 10 to register.  And/or  on same timing you can send your questions and comments to [email protected] who will forward onto Council.  There will be a presentation on this report prior to deputations being heard or Council discussing the report; suggest you listen & watch if this report is of interest.

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When Can We Have In-person Council Meetings?

On December 13 council agenda there is a report from the Clerks reviewing possible options as to how council and the various committee meetings can be conducted given that we are starting to re open as public health and workplace safety measures are being reduced. I agree health and safety of the public, the staff and elected officials as the work of municipal government is carried out must not be jeopardized.  And I also believe that there is value in operating “in person” as opposed to virtually. I also believe that we should have a mindset that this specific virus will be part of our world for a long time and there will be a new one at some point; hence we need to be agile.  The report provides good information.  Below I have identified my choices.  I would like to hear from my readers.

For phase 1 when there are public health restrictions (i.e. now) my preference is for in-person Council;  hybrid (in-person and virtual Council) is my second choice; in both cases public participation continues as virtual only.

For phase two when public health measures and workplace safety restrictions are lifted my preference is for option C which is in person council and in person public with live streaming maintained. My second choice is option B, the hybrid model, whereby Council would be in-person and virtual and public would be in person and virtual with live streaming maintained.

For the various committees i.e.  Committee of Adjustment, Accessibility, Heritage and Sustainability Advisory Committees I concur that virtual meetings should continue. I take this position not because I think these committees don’t have the challenges and disadvantages which have been identified for the Council meetings; but I do believe that priority needs to be put on transitioning the Council meetings to some degree of in-person and to do so with the Committees would be a distraction from the priority.

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Draft Zoning Bylaw

On December 6 Council agenda is the draft zoning by law for the rural areas of King Township. The geographic area included in this bylaw is the whole Township except for the three villages. Here is the staff report which includes the draft bylaw and the schedules.  There is much that I am pleased about but there is one thing about which I am opposed. I am very pleased that the unique characteristics of the numerous hamlets is being respected and that our zoning bylaw will provide clarity on what on farm diversified use means. During the last four weeks I have submitted numerous comments and questions to the policy planner and have been impressed with the detailed responses. But I am very opposed to the effort to say that a long term care home, “as defined in the Long Term Care Homes Act, as amended” is in place today at the property referred to as the Marylake Monastery; see further below for explanation

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