At Carleton Place council’s Policy Review Committee meeting of Mar. 27, staff reviewed the impacts of Ontario Bill 139 (Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act). The main topic of discussion was the replacement of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The province will also create a support centre (Local Planning Appeal Support Centre); designed to simplify the processes involved and to provide more assistance to residents when navigating the myriad of planning rules and regulations. The mandate of LPATs is to reduce the number of appeals and to resolve differences with mediation whenever possible.
Resident Kory Earle gave a presentation on the upcoming 11th Annual Bunny Run, scheduled for Saturday March 31 in the downtown core. He thanked council, participating businesses, and the many volunteers for their support. To date this activity has seen over 1,500 young participants enjoy the festivities and games.
Antonakos confirmed that MPP Bob Chiarelli (Ontario Minister of Infrastructure) had agreed to a meeting with town officials to discuss funding for the central bridge and it’s expected to take place within the next few weeks. Former town CAO and current municipal project manager Paul Knowles reported that load restrictions will be in place soon but will not be as restrictive as previously planned. Further details will be discussed at council’s committee meeting of April 3rd.
The potential cost of the bridge project led to much discussion on the entire 2018 capital projects budget with caution being urged by various councilors towards staff when moving forward. Two projects that were spotlighted were the change room overhaul at the Neelin St. arena and the new recreation park, Carleton Junction (located on the old rail line near the Woolgrowers building. Staff did receive approval for tender documents preparation for the arena and for the engagement of a landscape planner for the Junction. A motion was passed to approve hiring the firm of RV Anderson to complete an environmental assessment for the replacement of the central bridge at a cost of $205,755.
Civil wedding ceremonies using town staff as officiants will shortly be available outside town hall and normal weekday business hours. Over the last 3 years, an average of 20 couples per year has had their wedding ceremonies at the town hall. The new fees for these rites will be $300 for those held in the town hall during regular hours and $400 for those held in other venues.
Town council and committee agendas will soon take on a new look as the policy review committee approved staff recommendations. These documents will now be covered by an index style agenda to make it easier for council, staff, and the public to review what topics are up for discussion and action. Changes in written reporting and recording of the same are designed to further simplify the process.