ServiceKing

On Feb.10 Council there is a report reviewing a new service/program launched since the relocation of all Staff to the new Municipal Centre, called ServiceKing.  Residents and businesses are now able to interface with front line Staff at one place:  the counters (equipped with chairs and monitors) right at the entrance to the Municipal Centre. This is in contrast to the previous situation whereby, depending on the task (paying a parking fee or registering for  a recreation program), you went through different doors and/or different buildings located in different villages. From the feedback I have heard this is a welcomed service.  I am interested to know what metrics, other than volume, will be tracked.

Mayor’s Cultural Gala: what for?

On the Feb. 10 Council agenda there is a report reviewing intent of the fund raiser, Mayor’s Heritage and Cultural Gala and how the profits will be shared amongst King Heritage and Cultural Centre (HCC), King Township Historical Society (KTHS) and Arts Society King (ASK)  To my mind the initiative is very worthwhile as it: in itself it promotes our cultural herigate;and, it will provide funds to support two very active volunteer organizations (KTHS and ASK) who are solely focused on promoting our cultural heritage.  And it will provide funds to the HCC,,an important venue in King as it hosts our Museum, our Archives, the gallery, and 3 historical buildings .  The Gala is Thursday, Feb. 27.  Ticket sales ($150/person) are going well so act soon if you want to attend; you can buy at eventbrite or with cash or cheque you can buy at ServiceKing (in Municipal Centre) or at HCC.

 

Broadband Connectivity

On Feb. 10 Council there is report providing an update about progress on improving broadband connectivity and access throughout King.  As reviewed there has been significant improvement for many people; the report reviews the government jurisdictions and the public businesses who have delivered reliabale low cost broadband in last several years.    But there are still those who do not have service levels meeting CRTC goals.  Federal Government has a Broadband Fund with goal of responding to the latter; unfortunately indications are that these funds will be prioritized to remote and northerly communities.  New funds may be available through the Provincial Government’s “Up to speed: Ontario’s Broadband and cellular action plan;” to date details have not been released.  Township Staff are very attentive to identify opportunities for closing the broadband gap in King.

Transportation Master Plan (TMP)

Monday, Feb. 10 is TMP day in King.  2-4 PM there is a information meeting for public at Municipal Centre; this is excellent opportunity to talk directly with Staff and consultants, look at maps.  5-6PM is a working Council meeting; public can attend to hear presentations to Council.  6PM is council and 1st agenda item is the draft 2020 TMP; public can make deputations to Council.  Target is to approve the TMP at Feb. 24 Council meeting. As this plan’s scope is all our roads and active transportation ( sidewalks, trails) it is not surprising that its a big report.   Here is brief report reviewing background and objectives.  Here is the draft TMP. Its evident that residents’ feedback given during 2019 consultattions has been heard; the draft may not satisfy or please but it has been heard and considered and sometimes I think the draft will satisfy.  I am also pleased with the far reaching outlook; even though its objective is to identify transportation needs to 2031 there is perspective offered about needs beyond given current population forecasts from York Region. I have questions and concerns and will be asking questions on Monday.

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Repealing Heritage Designation Bylaws and Making New Ones

At February 10 Council there is a Staff report recommending i)  the repealing of designation bylaws for the Immanuel Baptist Church and King Station which are located at the Heritage & Cultural Centre and ii) the preparation of a single designation bylaw covering both of the these building and Laskay Hall.  (The latter’s designation bylaw was repealed to enable moving it from Laskay in 2017.)  As a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee I am very supportive of this report as I see the new designation bylaw as the opportunity to continue protecting these important buildings but also to enable making careful, judicious modifications such that they are more than artefacts from our history. (e.g. King Station would be a great place for some summer programming for our youth.) As I have said I am very supportive of the recomendations in the report but I would like to explore whether we could include the King Horn School House; much of it has been changed and/or modified but there are still some walls with windows from the original school house.  Staff have been very respectful of  this property throughout the extensive renovations done at the Museum; my interest is to do what is possible to ensure that that respect will continue for the next 50 years.

19th SDRD Application for exception for acreage minimum on ORM

At February 10th Council there is a staff report about an application for a boundary adjustment between 2 properties on the 19th SDRD.  Like most applications in King it is complex; as reviewed, the policies of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP) is the decision maker as  the properties in the application are not within a settlement area.  When I first learned about the application my intuitive response was that it was very reasonable and that there would be no harm to the Moraine.  But once I read our Planner’s report I began to understand how the application, as is, could have unintended consequences, in the long term, to the detriment of the Moraine.   An objective of the ORMCP is to maintain, improve or restore the Moraine; as this application results in creating a lot smaller than minimums prescribed there is concern whether the application is appropriate.  The Staff report is very well written.  Staff have recommended refusing the application.