Good morning everyone. I hope the cold weather hasn’t affected anyone negatively. We have a few more months of this cold weather and then spring will come to our fair city. We have been lucky in that we have some snow but the quantities have been limited and easy to deal with so far. Let’s hope this continues.
On January 20th of next week, council is meeting to view the draft budget for our city. It will begin at 5:30 pm in council chambers. This draft budget is the beginning process to establish a budget for the year 2015. It will give us an idea of the suggested taxes that will be paid by all of us in the city. The initial documents for this budget are on line at the city website. It is important to remember that it is the initial look at the budget and what will be introduced on Tuesday will be the beginning of a process to strike a tax rate for our citizens.
It is an open meeting and everyone from the public is welcomed to attend. I invite anyone that wants to understand the process and the realities of our finances to come and hear what we are discussing. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. There is a process involved that will place your comments and ideas on record for all to see. There were many important ideas shared during the past election, in October, that will help us in our discussions.
The next important meeting will be Saturday, January 24th. This day will start at 9:00 am and will deal with this city developing a Strategic Plan for the next 4 years. This means we will be discussing the direction our city should take over the next few years. Many discussions will be had and we also need the citizens to take part. What you have to say is important to us. The process is open to the public. All citizens can view the discussions of this important document. It is essentially what the city will be concentrating on over the next 4 years. We will be discussing the important projects that council will develop and accomplish on behalf of our citizens. Please come and participate in this important meeting.
Hoping to see everyone at these 2 very important meetings. It is our city and the direction it takes is important to all citizens.
Good morning everyone. Noah is an enthusiastic young man that gave both myself and councillor Desmarais a petition and plans signed by his friends, hockey team and classmates to use Locke St. park for an outdoor rink. This young man made his presentation to council and was given permission to build the rink. At the meeting Councillor Danch offered the poly tarp for the bottom of the rink. That donation was just the beginning of everyone coming together to make this happen. The adults and children got together to discuss the possibilities of this build at the Bocce club room in the VHWC. The plans came together and the build was scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13 at 1pm. After some discussion with parents and young adults, it was rescheduled for Sunday, Dec. 14 at 10 am.
With Noah’s father, I visited the site to assess the needs and how to get the 4X4s to the area of the build. We decided that the best plan was to go with other adults and children on Dec. 13 at 10am to deliver the wood and prep the site, if necessary, to help on Sunday. That happened with the help of 5 children and 4 adults. Algoma also donated a tractor and driver to help clean and level the site. All went well and we were ready for Sunday’s build.
On Sunday morning we met the parents, about 10 of them, to start the layout and build of this outdoor rink. Everyone showed up with tools necessary for the task we were about to embark on. I must also indicate that we had the tech teacher and 4 students from Port High show up at the site and ready to work. They were very helpful and indispensable in the skills and work they accomplished for us. All I can say is THANK YOU very much.
With all the help, we were able to finish the total build including a snow fence around the perimeter to help with some security until the area is flooded and frozen. We were also able to bring a set of bleachers to the site thanks to the strength and will of most of the adults, children and Port High complement. This will allow parents and other individuals a more a comfortable area to lace up their skates and the skates of their little ones to get the out door experience. Although very tired, all were extremely pleased with the outcome. We now wait for the weather to turn cold so we can flood the rink.
I would be remise in not thanking all the adults that got coffee, tim bits, goodies and drinks for everyone. Councillor Desmarais showed up with hot chocolate and home made cookies. The mayor came for a visit and we had one individual, that doesn’t even live in our city, come out to the site and help with getting the snow fence we used to secure the site. What a fantastic experience. This continues today when I checked my phone and found an e-mail from Adam at Mak B’s Water. This individual wants to donate a few truck loads of water to the site for initial flooding. The surprises continue. I will keep everyone up to date on the condition of the site and when it will be fully frozen for use. We hope this will be soon. See you around.
WHEREAS seniors living In our community have indicated to Councillors and elected officials that they have a limited ability to pay property taxes – forcing them to consider selling their homes;
AND WHEREAS many seniors live on a fixed income and often live at the poverty level once retired;
AND WHEREAS it is desirable and cost effective to individuals and their communities for seniors to continue living in their homes for as long as possible;
NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF PORT COLBORNE RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
1 . That the Government of Ontario be requested to develop a new system of calculating property taxes, which in addition to assessed property value, takes age and income into consideration so that seniors pay less in property taxes than the average working individual.
- That this resolution be forwarded to the Premier of Ontario, the Ontario Minister of Finance, local Members of Provincial Parliament, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Region of Niagara and Local Area Municipalities for support.
The motion above was passed on Monday November 24 at our last meeting of this term of council. It should begin the process of discussion and resolution to the hardship that some of our seniors experience. They can often live at the poverty level once retired. There already exists a program that presently helps seniors with their property taxes. It is managed by the province of Ontario. Go to this link to get more details to see if you qualify for this program. It indicates that individuals can receive up to $500.00.
Port Colborne is starting to replace all city street lights with LED lighting. The information we now have indicates that it will pay itself off within a short time-a few years. These lights are warrantied for 10 years and all indications are that they will all be up and running by May of 2015. The company that won the tender will be starting in December by replacing all lights that CNP report are out and need replacing. Everyone must realize that these lights are very directional and will light the street and not inside the houses as the present lights do. Light will go where the fixture is directed. The LED lighting is considered the most efficient form of lighting. Only time will tell if we can save a considerable amount of money in doing so….. Have a great week. Remember inauguration of the new term of council was on Monday December 1 at 7:00 pm in council chambers on the 3rd floor of city hall.
Monday December 1 is Inauguration Day for the Port Colborne City Council and its new Mayor, John Maloney. The Inaugural Meeting and swearing in ceremony will take place in the Council Chambers at 7pm. The new Council members will be lead into the Council chambers by a Scottish bagpiper. The declarations of office will be administered by the Hon. Madam Justice Theresa Maddalena of the Superior Court of justice of the Province of Ontario. All are welcome to attend! Read Council Agenda.