MEDIA RELEASE: Council Meeting - March 17 2020

print-logo March 19, 2020

Municipality of Port Hope Council Meeting - March 17, 2020

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - Port Hope, ON

Below is a summary of key items discussed at the Municipality of Port Hope regular Council Meeting held on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The full agenda and staff reports are available on the Council Portal.

Due to the COVID-19 virus and the social distancing practices now in place, the Chair, Mayor Sanderson, advised that the next Committee of the Whole and Council Meetings will be scheduled when it is deemed necessary and/or safe to meet in larger group settings.

Additionally, at the call of the Chair, the meeting order for the evening was altered. The Council meeting took place following the Committee of the Whole meeting to allow Council to attend to all business from Committee on the same evening.

Water Financial Plan
Council approved the Water System Financial Plan prepared by Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. dated March 17, 2020.

Additionally, Council authorized staff to post the Water System Financial Plan on the website with information regarding how to obtain copies of the plan and how to make submissions to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and any other steps required pertaining to the Water System Financial Plan.

New Steel Roof at Town Hall
Council authorized the re-allocation of funds from the Capital Surplus Reserve fund in the amount of $13,660.48 (including net HST) for the installation of a new steel roof at Town Hall.

Parking Lot at 74 Queen Street
Staff were directed to bring forward an amendment to the Traffic and Parking By-law 39/2008 to permit 12 hour free parking at 74 Queen Street and directed to complete parking lot line painting and installation of associated signage with costs to be allocated from the Parking Reserve.

Wladyka Park Splash Pad
Council awarded the Splash Pad contract to YWI Landscapes Inc., in the amount of $254,089.85 (including net HST), for the installation of a new Splash Pad at Wladyka Park.

Lakeshore Road Reconstruction Project
Council awarded the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction project to Behan Construction Limited in the amount of $2,076,876.59 (including net HST) with the project funds to be drawn from the approved 2020 Capital budget.

Site Alteration and Fill By-law
A staff report was originally brought forward to the January 7, 2020 Committee of the Whole meeting to amend the Site Alteration and Fill By-law to restrict the amount of topsoil that can be brought onto an agricultural property without a permit to 100 Cubic metres. The amendment was subsequently referred back to staff to allow for further consultation with the agricultural community. Members of Council, staff, and two rural residents representing the agricultural community participated in a consultation to discuss the proposed amendment and devise a solution.

At the Council meeting on March 17, Council approved the following amendment to the Site Alteration and Fill By-law 47/2012, to update the provisions regarding the importing of fill and provisions regarding agricultural operations:

The following was deleted from By-law 47/2012, as amended: “Normal Agricultural Practice” includes sod-farming, greenhouse operations and nurseries for horticultural products but does not include the sale, exchange or other disposition of soil.

3.3 The provisions of this By-law do not apply to the extent that Topsoil is removed or placed as an incidental part of bona fide Normal Agricultural Practice.

The following was added to By-law 47/2012 as amended: “Agricultural Operation” means an agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural or silvicultural operation that is carried on in the expectation of gain or reward.

“Agricultural Land” means all lands that are used by a farming business registered under the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993, S.O. 1993, c.21, as amended, for growing of crops, including nursery and horticultural crops; raising livestock; raising of other animals for food, fur, fibre, including poultry and fish; aquaculture; apiaries; agro-forestry; maple syrup production.

3.3 The provisions of this By-law do not apply to the extent that topsoil is removed or placed on Agricultural Lands incidental to a normal Agricultural Operation including such removal or placement as an incidental part of sod farming, greenhouse operations and nurseries for horticultural products. This exception applies only following consultation with the Municipality and upon submission of a Soils report confirming the material meets the requirements in Table 1 for Agricultural Land. This exception does not include the removal of Topsoil for sale, exchange or other disposition.

These changes to the By-law will address the concerns and ongoing issues previously raised without negatively impacting agricultural operations on agricultural lands.

Minutes from the meeting will be available, pending approval at the next Council meeting. Due to the COVID-19 virus and the social distancing practices now in place, the next Council meeting will be called by the Mayor when it is deemed necessary and/or safe to gather in larger group settings. Once approved by Council, the minutes will become the official record of the meeting.

Recordings of the March 17, 2020 Regular Council meeting and Committee of the Whole meeting are available at porthope.ca/council-communications.

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For more information, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-885-4544 x2248
kingram@porthope.ca