Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Here’s what happened at the Tuesday, May 21 meeting of Mississippi Mills council

Mississippi Mills Council presented Grade 6 students at R. Tait McKenzie Public School with a certificate of appreciation for their Remembrance Day Real-World Learning Project. Pictured, back row, from left: Almonte Ward Councillor Jane Torrance, Deputy Mayor Rickey Minnille, Almonte Ward Councillor Mary Lou Souter, Mayor Christa Lowry, Ramsay Ward Councillor Bev Holmes, Ramsay Ward Councillor Vicki Lowe and Pakenham Ward Councillor Denzil Ferguson. Front row, from left: Almonte Legion Parade Marshal and Master Warrant Officer Michael Wiggins; teacher Leanne Robinson; Quinn Farrell; Carter Clouthier; Preston Macrillo; Andrew Orrell; Deegan Dolan; Nathan Abramenko; Owen Anderson; Emma Wiggins; Kyla Morrison; teacher Jean Grant-Kearney; Ivy Hunt; and Maya Brown. – Submitted photo

At the Tuesday, May 21 meeting of Mississippi Mills council, council received a presentation from R. Tait McKenzie Public School’s Grade 6 students regarding their Remembrance Day Real-World Learning Project.

While visiting a local cemetery, students in Jean Grant-Kearney’s class discovered the name of a local soldier, First World War Veteran Private George B. Monterville, was missing from the Almonte Cenotaph. With help from Almonte Legion Parade Marshal and Master Warrant Officer Michael Wiggins, the students began a campaign to have Monterville’s name added to the Cenotaph.

Almonte Legion Branch 240 passed a motion and Monterville’s name was engraved on the Cenotaph as part of a recent rehabilitation project.

For their efforts, the class was presented with a certificate of appreciation from Council, who also took the opportunity to pose some questions about the project to students in attendance at the meeting.

Council recognized retiring Mississippi River Power Corporation (MRPC) Board Members, Adrian Foster and Lyman Gardiner. Most recently serving as President, Adrian’s knowledge and professional experience has brought steady guidance to the Board over the last 10 years. As Treasurer, Lyman played an essential role in the financial health of the corporation. Thank you for your dedicated service to the MRPC Board of Directors.

Council gave their approval for Phase 1 of the Municipal Space Needs Assessment Project, which involves a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) to complete data collection and building condition assessments, as well as establish a facility condition index. This project was identified through Council’s strategic plan and will provide a systematic approach to evaluating and analyzing the space requirements of the Municipality and local government. Results of the RFP will be presented to Council ahead of 2025 Budget deliberations.

An updated Council Vacancy Policy was endorsed by council. The Municipal Act provides timelines and regulations for Council vacancies, but Municipalities determine policies and procedures on how those vacancies are filled. Previously presented as an information report to Committee of the Whole in March, the most significant change will be if a vacancy occurs within first two years of a Council term, it will be filled through a by-election, otherwise the vacancy will be determined by an appointment process.  

Council awarded the contract for the Mercer and Marshall Street Renewal to Core Civil Construction in the amount of $2,562,180 plus HST. The project involves the replacement of underground infrastructure, along with surface upgrades for Mercer and Marshall Street. The use of an additional $252,000 for further tender costs, as well as contingency and engineering costs was also authorized by Council.

Two by-laws were passed by Council – the Waste Management Levy to charge an annual rate for waste and recycling collection in the Municipality; and the Removal of the Holding Symbol for Concession 1, Part Lot 24 in Pakenham Ward.

Council officially proclaimed June as Pride Month in the Municipality of Mississippi Mills and encourages our residents to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality that members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community face and to celebrate their contributions that enhance our Municipality. Read the full proclamation here.

A proclamation declaring June as National Indigenous History Month and June 21, 2024 as National Indigenous Peoples Day, was also made by Council. National Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to learn and acknowledge the rich history, contributions, resiliency and diversity of Indigenous peoples across Canada. National Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the diverse cultures, languages, spiritual beliefs and experiences of Indigenous peoples and the Municipality recognizes and celebrates the heritage and ongoing accomplishments of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Turtle Island. Click here to read the full proclamation.  

Committee of the Whole also heard the following items, which will be brought forward for approval at a future Council meeting:

  • The Quarterly Report received from Protective Services.
  • Zoning By-law Amendment recommendations for 34 Victoria Street and 112 Cedar Hill Side Road.
  • Award of contract for the surface treatment of Concession 9, North Pakenham, to Arnott Brothers Construction Ltd. in the amount of $632,578.75 plus HST.
  • The additional budget request of $15,500 for the Mississippi Mills portion of the Blakeney Bridge renewal.
  • The 2025 Budget Schedule and process, which is set to begin in June 2024.
  • The Annual Integrity Commissioner Report. There were no formal complaints or investigations in 2023.
  • Mayor Lowry’s quarterly update on the Advocacy and Partnership Plan, which includes delegation requests for the upcoming Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference in August 2024.
  • A recommendation to the Province that the composition of the Lanark County OPP Detachment Board be reduced from a 20-member Board to 12 members.
  • Deputy Mayor Rickey Minnille will serve as the next Committee of the Whole Chair from June 1 to November 30, 2024.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Hybrid Council Meeting – Tuesday, June 4, 2024, 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting to follow council.
  • Hybrid Council Meeting – Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting to follow council.
  • Special Hybrid Council Meeting on the 2025 Budget – date and time to be determined.

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