| Oct 30, 2008

Oct 30/08 - SF Committee of the Whole

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Feature Article - October 30, 2008 South Frontenac Township Committee of the WholeBy Wilma Kenny

Inventory Control: CAO Gord Burns reported to Council that provincial regulations coming into effect January 1, 2009 require an inventory list of all township assets valued over $5,000, so that the municipality can project depreciation and plan for replacement. He noted that this raises the issue of how such an inventory list will be maintained. Councilor David Hahn asked whether each department would be responsible for maintaining their portion of the inventory. Mayor Gary Davison said that the fire department already did so. Councilor Larry York asked about also recording items valued at less than $5,000, and perhaps developing a system of marking all such as township property.

Council briefly reviewed the Employee Code of Conduct Policy. Councilor Ron Vandewal pointed out section 6:2 - "Township property shall only be used for activities associated with the discharge of official duties." Burns said all new employees are given a copy of the conduct code, and this year a reminder memo about the appropriate use of township property had been sent to all staff.

Provincial Grants: In regard to provincial grants to the municipality being affected by the economic downturn, Burns reported that documents from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario seem to indicate that the province is committed to maintaining any transfers that it has approved for the current fiscal year. However, 2009 programs would have to be planned with probable cut-backs in mind.

Policy Reviews

Councilor Fillion has asked for an opportunity for Council to review township policies. Gord Burns asked for clarification: was the intent to perform an ‘operational review’? Fillion said he wanted "a broad discussion as a group: we don’t know which way we’re going." Councilor Allan McPhail said section 270 of the Municipal Act listed six major policy areas, which include: delegation of power (e.g. role of local boards), procurement of goods and services, hiring procedures, sale and disposition of land. Burns listed the official plan, the procedural by-law, waste management and zoning by-laws as examples of other policies. Council received copies of the township recruitment policies, and will be issued copies of other major township policies. Mayor Davison emphasized that if there were to be any policy discussions, it was essential that all council do their homework by reading the relevant material before the meeting.

Waste Disposal

Works Manager Mark Segsworth reported that three major waste disposal issues remained unresolved, and brought a recommendation from the Sustainability Committee that the Committee of the Whole examine them in detail, and provide guidance. Council agreed that Segsworth should bring details, including costs and benefits of the various options, to the Committee of the Whole on December 9. The issues are: 1) Collection in Bedford, 2) Waste generated within the township to be managed within the township, and 3) User-pay system as part of a funding mechanism for solid waste services. Council has set aside the December 9 COW for this discussion.

In response to a question from Portland councilor Jim Hicks about the township’s plans to develop a hazardous waste site, Segsworth said the site plan was still being developed, and the site should be open next year. Meanwhile, electronic waste is being accepted at Portland, Salem and Loughborough landfills: Storrington electronics can go to Loughborough. Hay-wrap remains a problem, with one recycler having dropped out, but another possibility is being investigated. A new MOE regulation will soon make it possible for paint cans to be returned to the store that sold them.

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