Tag Archives: City Council

Budget and Strategic Meetings

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.

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Santa Claus is coming to Town!

He’s almost here!  Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Christmas is on its way to Port Colborne beginning TODAY!  Don’t miss all the fun and excitement downtown this weekend!

It all begins with the Lionesses hosting “Breakfast with Santa” at the Lion’s Hall on Chippewa Road just north of Main Street East.  There are two seatings – 9am and 10:30am.

Santa then leaves and returns by TUGBOAT!  At 1pm, watch him come down the Welland Canal in the JW Cooper tugboat and disembark on West Street near Charlotte.  He will be welcomed by Music and Performance Niagara!  Then Santa will walk across Charlotte Street to the Guild Hall where he will hold an audience with any child that wants to talk to him!  There will be free hot chocolate, candy and kids will be able to participate in making Christmas crafts!  Kids will also be able to have their pictures taken with Santa. (A small fee applies)

santa_portcolborne

Then the BIG EVENT of the day!  The SANTA CLAUS PARADE!  It begins in front of Port Colborne High School on Elgin Street at 6:30p and head east across Clarence Street to West Street.  From there, the parade will move one block and turn up Charlotte, ending in front of City Hall to greet our new Mayor John Maloney!

Something NEW for the parade this year – the City Council will have its own float!  Yup, I guess I’m part of the festivities so come on downtown and watch for me!  I’m the really tall guy being really nice to Santa so that I don’t find coal in my stocking on Christmas morn!

The Christmas activities don’t end with the parade!

On Sunday is the Grand Old Christmas Festival at the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum on King Street.  Some of the buildings and the museum will be open from noon until 4pm.  Come and take in historical Christmas, munch on roasted chestnuts, sip wonderful apple cider, bring the kids to have their photos taken with Santa and then walk over to Arabella’s for tea and their famous Christmas pudding that is only available for this one week every year!  And…speaking of that delicious pudding, did you know you can purchase some to take home?    Call the musuem at 905-834-7604 with your order and then pick it up next week!  But it’s only available next week, so hurry and call in your order today!  Oh, and the tea room will also be open all next week!

There are Christmas shopping events also happening downtown and this is a heads up that on December 31 will be the 2014 edition of the New Year’s Eve Carnival at the Vale Health and Wellness Centre.   It’s a fabulous and FREE family event!

More information about these events are on the special City of Port Colborne Events page!

Have a fantastic weekend and hopefully we will see you all downtown tonight!

christmasportcolborne

New beginnings

 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.

  1. 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.

Inauguration Day – Monday December 1

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.

Moving on

 

Good morning everyone.  I am in the process of getting a new motion passed by council that will ask the upper levels of government to change their method of calculating property tax.  It is presently done by property value only and for some of our Senior citizens property taxes have become to difficult to pay.  Their pensions do not keep up with the increases and therefore often live in poverty once retired.

I feel that an increase of more than inflation would be hazardous to our  vulnerable citizens.  Seniors are in that group as well as handicapped individuals that are presently in need of some support from the province and the Region.  I will be suggesting that we change our way of calculating the property tax from just property values to taking into consideration the age of the individuals concerned in this calculation.  This will allow our seniors to stay in their homes.

There is proof out there, with studies from many groups, that it is more cost effective to keep seniors in their homes then paying for them to live in an apartment.  Hopefully the province and other communities in the region will see the benefits for seniors and the community at large.  Check the agenda on the Port Colborne website for the wording of the motion.  It will be in the Committee items.

Another issue that seems to be coming to my attention is street lights.  When they go out and need replacement we need to let CNP know.  You can do this online by going to the CNP website, go to the residents tab, go down to  the street light area and report the light in need of replacement.  It may take up to a few months to get this accomplished.  CNP waits until they have enough to dispatch a truck to change the lights.  Until they do, they place it into a “to do” file.  It will get done but once they have enough.

I also received and envelop this morning requesting some lumber and some water for an outside rink.  The young man started a petition and indicates that it will be low maintenance.  It will be my pleasure to present this to council on Monday.  We will need Noah’s phone number so staff can contact him over his ideas.  With him we may be able to reboot an idea that was common in Port Colborne in the old days.  Noah please contact me at (905)834-6896.

The new council takes over on December 1.  Until then the old council has meetings and is making decisions that are in the best interest of all citizens.  We are not a “lame duck” council due to the fact that more than 75% of council were returned to office.  The inauguration of the new council will be December 1 at city hall in council chambers.  It will start at 7pm.

Last but not least please be careful on the roads today and this week.  We are seeing some nasty weather hitting the southern part of our region.  It will be and is very wet snow which makes it very heavy.  Take care of yourself when lifting this type of snow.  We have heard all the stories about the dangers of shoveling wet snow.  Be safe and work smart when it comes to this type of chore.  You can be assured that city staff  are keeping a close eye on the weather and reacting accordingly.