Saturday, July 11, 2020

Transit update, hanging baskets, staffing discussed at Council

Municipality of Chatham-Kent Council met for an electronic meeting on Monday evening, June 1.

The majority of the items dealt with on Monday were carried over from their previous meeting held on May 25, 2020.

Here is a video of the meeting from YourTV:

Transit update provided

Council heard a presentation from Steve Taylor, president of BT Engineering Inc. about the Chatham-Kent Transportation Master Plan Update.

“The Transportation Master Plan Update reconfirms or updates sections from the 2008 Transportation Master Plan such as road networks, transit, active transportation (trails, cycling, etc.), municipal airport, land use and development, and tourism,” said Mark Ceppi, engineering technologist, in a report.

“New sections added include autonomous vehicles, health and safety, affordability (of projects, policies and programs), and complete streets.”

Ceppi added: “There are various projects outlined in the 2008 Transportation Master Plan that have not been completed. These were reviewed through the recent consultation process and re-evaluated based on current needs and improvements. The limited growth and changes in development strategy since the 2008 Transportation Master Plan are reflected in the Transportation Master Plan Update.”

Read the full staff report and information from BT Engineering Inc., here.

Public Works to install hanging baskets

West Kent Councillor Melissa Harrigan entered a successful motion regarding the hanging and removing of flower baskets across Chatham-Kent.

Harrigan’s motion stated: “Chatham-Kent maintain its service levels to communities with regards to hanging and removing their flower baskets for the 2020 season.”

Chatham-Kent staff will be working with community groups across the Municipality to complete the work.

Affordable housing report approved

Council approved a series of recommendations focused on policies to encourage the development of affordable housing in Chatham-Kent.

“Adopting policies that encourage proponents to seek out opportunities to add affordable housing in the Municipality is an important step and salient message to potential developers,” said Shelley Wilkins, director of housing services, in a report.

Read our background story, here.

Staffing report received

Council discussed and received a report from administration on staffing impacts related to COVID-19.

Cathy Hoffman, general manager of corporate services and the chief human resources officer for Chatham-Kent, said 20 per cent of the “core workforce” for the Municipality has been reduced during the pandemic.

“Along with the adjustments to service levels and service delivery methods has come a corresponding impact on staffing levels,” Hoffman said in her report.

“Some of our services have experienced a surge in service demand requiring an uptick in staffing and overtime hours while others were closed or canceled entirely resulting in layoffs or redeployments.”

Hoffman said on Monday night as some of the redeployed staff in Chatham-Kent begin going back to their normal jobs, the Municipality may need to add additional staff in various departments, including at Riverview Gardens.

Read our background story, here.

Other items dealt with on Monday night:

– Council met in closed session to discuss CRTC fund application support and surplus St. Clair Catholic School Board properties, specifically St. Joseph Catholic School in Chatham.

– A report and recommendation on the transition of the blue box to full producer responsibility was approved.

– A motion by East Kent Councillor Steve Pinsonneault about Infrastructure Committee membership was referred back to the committee.

– A revised tender award contract for cold in-place recycling with expanded asphalt material was approved.

– An update on the 311 implementation plan was approved.

– An update and report on the Digital Main Street grant program was approved.

– Wallaceburg Councillor Aaron Hall made a successful motion, which changed the date for an upcoming strategic planning session with Council and the Economic Recovery Task Force, from June to September.

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