Carleton Place council returns to in-person meetings
After a 3 year pandemic-induced absence, Carleton Place council returned to in-person meetings on Tuesday, March 21st. Those that have gotten used to the online versions can still view the proceedings from the comfort of their easy-chairs as the streaming of council and committee of the whole sessions will still continue. An indigenous delegation opened the council meeting with a traditional tobacco ceremony followed by ancestral songs. The use of laptop computers’ cameras at each councilor’s desk provided a high-quality video feed but according to some social media comments, the audio could be improved.
Town-hall hours of operation change
Council voted to approve a staff recommendation to change the hours of town-hall departments. From Monday to Thursday hours will be extended, opening at 8 am (instead of the current 8:30 am), and closing at 4:30 pm with the exception of Tuesday when the offices will be open to 6 pm. On Fridays, the offices will close at noon. Staff reported they had reviewed the number of calls and visits by days of the week and determined the changes would better serve residents as well as provide an incentive when recruiting new hires.
Tourism destination development plan
Council approved providing $20K to the Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce for the purpose of undertaking two projects under the Tourism Destination Development Action Plan in 2023. The first involves $10K to hire a permanent, part-time staff resource to lead tourism and the second supports spending $10K on specific and relevant marketing initiatives. The budget deviation is to be taken from the town’s overall surplus at year end, if any and if not, from administrative reserves.
Committee approves design bid
At the committee of the whole meeting following the council session, councilors voted to award a $3.29M contract to Stantec for the water & wastewater treatment plant expansions detailed design. The funds will come from development fees. The total cost of both projects is expected to exceed $50M making it the largest infrastructure undertaking in the town’s history. No firm start date has been announced but sometime in 2024 is likely.
Kiwanis looking to start Carleton Place club
A delegation of the well-known international group of service clubs, the Kiwanis, appeared to inform council of their intent to try to start both an adult and school clubs. Kiwanian Phil Rossy indicated they needed 15 members to start and that their mission is focused on supporting youth in a wide variety of charitable endeavors. They were looking for council’s support and guidance and judging from questions and comments from councilors, they seemed to have achieved their goal. Interested residents can learn more at Kiwanis.org.