The highlights of regular United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Council Meeting held on Thursday, January 25th and the Committee of the Whole meeting held earlier in the month, are listed below.
Hospital Capital Funding Policy now in place: Counties Council has approved a Hospital Capital Funding Policy allowing for a special tax rate levy beginning this year.
The policy is designed to provide Council with dedicated revenue to fund area hospital capital funding requests. The annual revenues may be collected through a special tax levy equating to .5%. Using the 2017 tax rate as an example, approximately $185,000 would be collected. When the assessment base changes and the tax rate is adjusted, the amount will also change.
Funding requests from local and regional hospitals have come before Council. The need for a policy has been discussed dating back to 2016. The policy is intended to establish a special reserve for hospital capital project requests to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability.
Hospitals play a vital role in providing health care for Leeds and Grenville residents. For more information, contact Counties CAO Andy Brown at 613-342-3840, ext. 2301.
Traffic signals for Giant Tiger Boulevard: Counties Council passed a by-law approving installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Giant Tiger Boulevard and County Road 2 in Edwardsburgh Cardinal Township.
The by-law outlines an agreement between the Counties and Giant Tiger for the company to fund the capital and maintenance costs of the traffic control signals. The new Giant Tiger Distribution Centre is a 550,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility employing more than 200 people. Car and truck access to the building is via Giant Tiger Boulevard.
Right and left turn lanes have already been constructed for traffic flow and these were also funded by Giant Tiger. Underground duct work was done at the same time. Both Giant Tiger and the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal asked the Counties to consider the installation of traffic lights to promote safe operations.
For more information, contact Counties Director of Public Works Arup Mukherjee at 613-342-3840, ext. 2412.
Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program: Leeds and Grenville will enter into a Transfer Payment Agreement for funding from the Ministry of Transportation through the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) Program.
As an applicant to the program, the Counties can apply for funding of projects supporting the provincial goal of implementing new or expanded commuter cycling infrastructure for both commuters and for increased cycling. The first step for the Counties is to develop and adopt a cycling plan. For more information, contact Counties CAO Andy Brown at 613-342-3840, ext. 2301.
Non-union wage increases approved: Counties non-union staff will receive wage and salary increases this year following approval from Counties Council.
Wages for hourly employees will increase by 1.75% retroactive to January 1, 2018. All non-union, full-time employees will receive an increase in vision care coverage from $370 per dependent to $390 every 24 months.
The Counties currently employs 141 non-union employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal in the divisions of Administration, Corporate Services, Public Works, Community and Social Services non-union, Paramedic Service non-union and Maple View Lodge non-union.
For more information, contact Manager of Human Resources Colleen Hickey at 613-342-3840, ext. 2332.
Upcoming meetings: Committee of the Whole Tuesday, February 6, Joint Services Committee Wednesday, February 7, Special Committee of the Whole meeting February 8th and 13th to discuss the 2018 budget, and regular Counties Council on Thursday, February 22nd.
All regular meetings begin at 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers at 25 Central Avenue, Brockville. For more information, contact County Clerk Lesley Todd at 613-342-3840, ext. 2454.