Highlights – Town Council Meeting, April 13, 2021

(Held via webcast due to COVID-19 restrictions) Full recording and agenda of the Town Council meeting is available on the Town website.)

Mayor Ektvedt opened the meeting at 7:31 pm

 Question Period I

 Questions sent prior to the meeting to the Town Clerk (as per instructions on the Baie-D’Urfé website)

  • Question regarding the welcome taxes : When one person of a married couple dies, and the joint ownership is changed to be in the name of the survivor, does Baie-D’Urfé charge welcome tax to the survivor? (Case in another city on the island of Montreal) – Director General Nicolas Bouchard: 90% of the time for direct decedents in a vertical line, e.g. spouse or kids, no taxes or fees to be charged. Only if the line is horizontal, e.g. aunt or niece, the case is to be handled differently.

SPVM Station 1 Report

 Chief Commander Guy Bianchi: – Good news: no risk of flooding this year.

  • Police is offering solidarity services to older people living alone.
  • Offering around a hundred presentations for school students to prevent cyber bullying.
  • Continue to be present on Lakeshore, Senneville, etc., to enforce the rules for cyclists and rules for Covid-19.
  • Event on the 29th of April: Ceremony for Mr. Lalonde: because of Covid postponed previously;  presentation for the family with limited amount of people wearing a mask.
  • Received hundreds of calls concerning the new Covid restrictions – Fines are very expensive – Please stick to the rules!

Mayor’s Report

Expecting an exciting month of May for Baie-D’Urfé –  Working together on our Strategic Planning.  1) Plant projects: In March 2 virtual meetings took place. One of them was held between the town and the users of the K9 Recreational Area discussing the area that might effect usage including the stabilization project, the large paving program along the west end of Lakeshore and some corrective drainage work in the Bertold Park area. The other meeting held with around 30 industrial park business owners discussing the large paving project along the 40 east service road. 2) The Council is working on the feedback received concerning the topic of demolitions. 3) Covid-19: First vaccination day was on March 25th in our local Proxim. All 100 doses received from the government were successfully given to Baie-D’Urfé citizens in one day. Special thanks to Councillor Ryan who recruited volunteers to help with the administration. Another 300 doses were provided starting on Saturday in addition to Astra Zeneca for the 55+ age group without appointment in the Vaccination sites in the West Island. As of April 7th, 30.6% of Baie-D’Urfé residents have received vaccinations marking the 2nd highest rate in the territory of the CIUSSS West Montreal 4) Communication to residents:  social distancing chairs have been added to the west side of the veranda of the Town Hall to allow meeting with the counselors or just enjoy the beautiful view. 5) Chocolate hop walk was great success. 6) Other events: Citizens association virtual meeting on March 16th – Rescue Squad AGM on March 31st – In April: West Island Women Center invited the MAMH (Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation) to speak to women about being in municipal politics.

Councilors’ Reports

 Councilor Doherty:  Zoom-Meeting with the industrial park: 3 entities are involved, Ourselves (service road including changing light towers), Hydro Quebec (running a powerline from Baie-D’Urfé station to the REM station supplying electricity for the train) and MTQ, in building the east side of the TransCanada Highway.

Councilor Lowensteyn: 1) Generational Swing donated by the Junior Council will be installed at Morgan Park as soon as the ground is dry enough to hold the equipment. 2) Environment: a) Rabbits damaged most of the apple trees in the Fritz Garden area. b) Earth Day workshop via Zoom planned: ‘Where does it go – Recycling, Compost and Garbage’ on April 29th. To register, please email the environment coordinator. Address to be found in News and Views p. 8 or 9. c) CA annual spring cleanup will be held during the week of April 22nd – Earth Day. Citizens are invited to lend a hand to clean up the areas around their neighborhood while staying in family bubbles. 8 families have already registered. To help with the coordination, please sign up by sending an email to betsywilliamson@live.ca. d) Tree Giveaway: on May 10th – for more info, please check the News and Views May issue. Residents will also receive an email for info about placing their orders.

Councilor Gilpin: 1) Youth portfolio: a) Virtual Games Night cancelled – not enough registrations. Will try to plan it again later this year. b) Strategic Review: Youth are participating. 2) Finance: a) Annual audit is keeping the finance team busy – Outcome will be reported in the May meeting. b) New software for the town: PJ Software allows cheques to be electronically issued. 3) Safety and Security: a) With more gatherings in parks, VCops keep patrolling. b) Residents should inform public works about any dangerous trees or branches on public domains. c) Public works have spotted several coyotes. Be mindful for leaving your pets outdoors and call 911, if you see a coyote that doesn’t go away. d) Search and Rescue: A search boat is being prepared and the team has almost completed the training for next season. Please be very careful on the water or wait for the water temperature to be warmer. e) The Rescue Squad provided 375 hours of service in March. They participated in the Montreal Miracle Food Drive and assisted 3 citizens with floods. 4) Communications: By the end of the month the town will be opening its own Facebook page led by our communications team.

Director General’s Report

1) Reconstruction of the service road: 4 bids for the project have been received and are being evaluated. Prices are under the estimate. Whiteside Taylor Community Center parking lot rehab: 4 bids received and are being evaluated. Prices are under the estimate. 2) Drainage on Surrey: Our engineers are currently evaluating the project and finding solutions. 3) Installation of an Acoustic Screen: Additional measurements have been run to find the best area. Once finalized, the Report to be shared with Council and then with citizens. 4) Strategic planning: Dates set for moving forward: Meeting with City employees on April 22nd, meeting with the council on May 6th, with association representatives May 13th, with all citizens on May 27th, with younger citizens on a weekend. Survey will also be sent to citizens and companies in the industrial park during this period. All details will be received by citizens shortly. 5) Sand wasp infestation at Picardy Park: approaching situation with prudence and consulting specialists.

Correspondence

  • Letter regarding demolitions and permits for new homes considering the town’s ability – Councilor Ryan: Council is aware of the concerns of the citizens about the number of demolitions in recent years and of the new houses that are being built. Demolition applicants are asked to provide an inspection report on the condition of the existing house as well as a drainage report and a report of every tree on the property. If not justified or in case of fear that it could overload the town’s drainage system, the demolition will be refused. Demolition fees will increase from $500 to $10,000 to cover our increased costs and bring us in line with other municipalities. However, multiple constructions on the same street at the same time can’t be controlled. Residents are invited to attend the hearing of the demolition committee to witness the process. Coming hearings are for 95 Upper Cambridge on April 15th and for 100 Summerset on April 19th. The Zoom-Meeting link of each meeting will be posted on the Town website on the day of the hearing that will take place at 7pm. There will also be a MailChimp to announce it.
  • Letter regarding the potential purchase of some land from the Town – Councilor Ryan: the resident is interested in buying the land from the town with the intention to demolish his house and have the area to build a bigger house. The Town very rarely sells land, as the space is usually needed for snow clearing or drainage. Unfortunately, the request will have to be declined.

 Administration

  • Amendment to the schedule of the regular meetings of the municipal council – to be moved to November 16th, 2021.
  • Authorization for attendance at conferences by members of the Council and authorization to incur expenses. Authorization to Counselors Andrea Gilpin and Wanda Lowensteyn to participate in the Assises annuelles de l’Union des municipalités du Québec that will be virtually held May 12th -14th, 2021 and the Annual Conference and Trade Show FCM that will be virtually held May 31st – June 4th, 2021 to approve the expenses in the amount of $3794,18.
  • Appointment of Mr. Anthony Gosselin as the Environmental technician as of April 29th, 2021, with a probation period of 6 months.
  • Acknowledging of the tabling of the list of new employees (blue collar) for the month of April 2021.
  • Acquittance and transaction agreement authorization to sign. Director General Nicolas Bouchard is to be authorized to sign all documents required to give full effect to the resolution.

 Finance

 Approval of the list of expenses for the month of March 2021 (539 949,82)

Public Works &Town Infrastructure

  • Participation to the group purchase program of de-icing salt – 2021-2022 winter season – Regroupement de l’Île de Montréal provides better prices. Left over salt from last winter which was mild.

Town Planning

Adoption – By-law no. 1060- 3 amending By-law no. 1060 concerning the demolition of immovables of the Town of Baie-D’Urfé, as already amended, in order to allow the order of an external inspection report for the building. No changes have been done between the draft By-law that was filed and the By-law that is submitted for adoption tonight. Relatively balanced feedback has been received from citizens. Purpose of the amendment made: a) allow the demolition committee to commission an independent inspection report on the house to be demolished, if not accepting the documents provided. – b) increase the cost of the permit to $10,000 to cover the costs of personnel and rising legal costs and to bring us in line with other municipalities. It’s important to consider that both, demolition permit fees and building permit fees, need to be taken into account as they are both needed in the process.

 Citizen Services and Community Affairs

Authorization to issue a $10,000 cheque to the Library of Baie-D’Urfé.  On March 17 the Town received a cheque in the amount of $10,000 by CN,  intended as a  donation to the Baie-D’Urfé Library.  As the cheque was issued to the Town, it will in turn issue a cheque in this amount to the library.

 Question Period II

 No questions received

Meeting closed at 8:41 pm.

 Lara Ali, reporting for News & Views