Below is a summary of key items discussed at the Municipality of Port Hope Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings held on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The agendas and staff reports are available on the Council Portal. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was held electronically via video conference.

Committee By-law

Council adopted a new Committee By-law, which defines the mandate and meeting procedures for the local boards and committees that have been established by the Municipality.

The By-law addresses functionalities and improves governance of advisory committees. In addition, changes to terms of reference were implemented to ensure the purpose and mandate of each advisory body is in alignment with the Strategic Plan.

Staff will prepare a resolution for future council consideration, confirming the appointments of current members and will advertise for vacancies as required. This process will allow current members to decide if they would like to remain on their current committees, with new and refined terms of reference and/or if they would like to utilize their experience, skills, and knowledge on another committee to which they would like to apply.

Capitol Theatre line of credit increase

Council authorized an increase to the line of credit for the Capitol Theatre Heritage Foundation (Capitol Theatre) up to $600,000.00, as requested by the Theatre to provide additional funds to address financial challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2000, Council of the day approved a loan registered to the Capitol Theatre in the amount of one million dollars to provide security relative to the funds provided to it in the same amount. The loan agreement was for twenty years with the option for the Capitol to extend an additional twenty years. In December 2020, the Capitol Theatre requested the loan extension be renewed as is their right under the agreement and the renewal is being authorized by the Municipality.

Historically, the Municipality has agreed for the Capitol Theatre to establish a line of credit that would have a security against the property which would be paid in advance of the Municipality’s loan in the event of financial insolvency. The original agreement was for the Capitol Theatre to have a line of credit in the amount of $200,000 (By-law 37/2012).

Council supported a request from the Capitol Theatre to expand the current loan postponement as required by the bank to assist the Capitol Theatre attain an increased line of credit up to $600,000 to provide for additional financing to address financial challenges arising from the pandemic. The Capitol Theatre currently plans to access $400,000 but is establishing a $600,000 line of credit to be used if required.

Garbage and recycling review

Council is requesting that Northumberland County staff undertake a review of the feasibility of operating the transfer station versus curbside collection in the rural area.

The recent implementation of a dual stream collection process for recycling in the County requires physical changes to be made to the Transfer Station. In advance of investing resources into making the changes, it is fiscally responsible to engage with the rural area residents to review the viability of operating the transfer station compared to curbside collection.

Northumberland County will undertake this exercise and absorb the costs incurred.

Waterfront and Riverwalk Master Plan – Budget allocation

Council supported the allocation of $100,000 from the Waterfront Reserve fund as a budget to allow the Waterfront and Riverwalk Working Group to begin developing a Master Plan.
This initial allocation will be used to:

  • Hire a facilitator to assist the group in visioning exercises and development of Terms of Reference for the Plan.
  • Complete an RFP process and retain the services of a qualified consultant to undertake the completion of a new Master Plan. This process will involve visioning exercises, design concepts, developing implementation strategies, public/private partnership opportunities and strategies to engage the public and receive feedback. There is also the potential to develop business cases for certain elements of a proposed Master Plan.

The Waterfront Reserve fund was established a number of years ago with the intent to begin the process of the waterfront development.

Committee of the Whole

The following are highlights from the Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Drinking Water System Annual and Summary Report

Council discussed the 2020 Drinking Water System Annual and Summary Report.

Each year the Municipality’s drinking water system is inspected by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks to ensure compliance. Once again, the Municipality received a rating of 100 percent. This means that the Municipality maintained full compliance and best practices throughout the year.

This extraordinary achievement illustrates the dedication of staff and the vital services they provide to the community.

Sidewalk patio extension and Ganny weekend celebration

Council considered a report from staff regarding the extension of the sidewalk patio licencing timeframe, to allow for downtown businesses to install patios beginning on April 1, 2021.

This timeline will coincide with a modified ‘Ganny Weekend’ celebration, which is scheduled to take place April 8 to 11, 2021.

The traditional Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny race will not take place this year, due to the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there will be an effort to create a Ganny celebration, in concert with downtown merchants, to pay tribute to the popular event.

Engagement activities during the weekend will include a crazy craft construction challenge, scavenger hunt, photo submissions, a tribute to the river, a flood sale themed buy local campaign, and a local media strategy.

Council supported the recommendation to add this item to the Council agenda for the meeting on March 2, 2021.

Minutes and video recordings

Meeting minutes will be available pending approval at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at which point they will become the official record of the meeting.

Recordings of the February 16, 2021 Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are available on the Council page