Highlights – Town Council Meeting, April 14, 2020

(Held via teleconference due to COVID-19 restrictions; number of residents attending the webcast 141)

You can listen to the full meeting at:

http://webtv.coop/group/Ville-de-Baie-D039Urfe/5d4ed6dabc49908f6311a3ad3567dc90

Mayor Tutino opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. with a thank you to all the volunteers in Baie-D’Urfé and workers providing essential services to take care of all of us while at the same time take care of their families.  She also indicated that there are 5 cases of COVID-19 in Baie-D’Urfé – this number did not increase for a while and we hope to keep it that way. This number represent .1% of all cases on the Island of Montreal, whereas our population is .2% :  we are doing well thanks to the residents respecting the rules of confinement, and we need to continue to do so.

Question Period I

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

  • Use of electoral list for communications to seniors about COVID-19 information & services? – Mayor responded that this was an exceptional circumstance & in reaction to the city of Montreal’s intention to inform everyone 70+yrs old on the island of Montreal about Montreal services. Baie-D’Urfé has different services/contacts, in line with West Island communities & additional services such as groceries/medicine deliveries that are unique to Baie-D’Urfé.
  • Several questions regarding what services & projects are affected by COVID-19 restrictions & when will things move forward now? – The evolving situation is being monitored.    Communications & updates will be through the Town website as information becomes available.  It is believed that some services have been re-categorized in Quebec as essential services, such that housing constructions/renovations, lawn services & trimming of hedges, pool services would be allowed next week; the sod replacement & over seeding of soccer fields will then be considered. With regards to the construction of the new CPE, the government has granted an extension for its completion.  Regarding wood burning fireplaces and use of leaf blowers, please refrain from use during this difficult period in consideration of your neighbors with respiratory issues (the electronic bulletin & Town website already has an ongoing message about that).  Paving of Lakeshore is still a priority.  Repairs to Town Hall will be done but delayed.
  • Question about governance of Town of Baie-D’Urfé – Yes, Council meeting minutes are published on a monthly basis on Town website; Code of Ethics also on website; Town has liability insurance for elected officials. If need information, please email Town Clerk , ccominbergonzi@baie-durfe.qc.ca
  • Question about webcasts, as it was used in the last Extraordinary Council Meeting – professional services being used this time and now names of each member of the council and the administration appear on the screen.
  • Question regarding property # 20086 Lakeshore – taxes were paid but there are other legal matters still pending.
  • Question about the skating rink at Dorset – Rink opened Jan. 9th and closed Feb. 29th. “Skate-able” amount of time is not available, but could be if needed.

Further questions received after the deadline will be deferred to next meeting in May.

 Mayor’s Report

1)Much has been accomplished in our Town since the pandemic was declared, thanks to the way we pull together and to the strength of our volunteer spirit – what happens in Baie-D’Urfé is not reproducible everywhere.  Heartfelt thank you to everyone for current & ongoing help & support to our community.  2) Portfolios assigned to each councilor will be published in the May issue of the N&V. 3) Regarding budget, revenues from taxes are lower than expected due to postponement of deadlines –Challenging times.  Please refer to detailed report in the N&V.

Councilors’ Reports

Councilor Lowenstyn: 1) Grocery home delivery service – thanks to volunteers for being there at crack of dawn and special thanks to Mr. Deroo for all his personal time put in to processing everything.  2) Possible locations of the Pumptrack location will be posted on the website – would like everyone’s input on 3 possible locations.

Councilor Gilpin: Tremendously busy for, and a great job done by, the one-person Communication department (with just one other person helping):  developments of the situation  are published online almost daily on the COVID-19 section; signage about social distancing posted in parcs and around, door-to-door distribution of mayor’s messages , news inserted in the N&V publications, etc.  A new form is also available on the town’s website for questions to the councilors.

Councillor Ektvedt: Crisis can bring out the best in people.  Thank you to all groups for making sometimes difficult decisions but in the interest of public safety.  COVID-19 has changed the way we work – Thank you also to the Administration and to the Council of work in the background (Zooming daily now) to keep the Town running!

Councilor Doherty: Public works – subject to same guidelines as others in Quebec.  Branches & pick-ups will have to wait a little longer until allowed.  Both DG & Public Works however responded to emergencies (flooding) & maintained social distancing & other precautions while working.  In your own lives & work, please remember social distancing.

Director General’s Report

1)Thank you to all employees for their work & for their support in getting everyone up & running remotely and for the Council and the town groups for allowing a quick closure of public space and thus avoiding community transmission.2) Plans for CPE and Town Hall renovation had been posted on the Town website with the intent that citizens could see them before public consultations. However, public consultation could not be held due to COVID-19, and thus the plans were removed from the website.  When the situation allows for the Town to hold a consultation, information and plans will be posted again.

Correspondence

1) Financial aid to Lakeshore Soccer club: we will not be able to grant due to our budget situation.  2) Open letter of friendship to community members from a proud Baie-D’Urfé resident and thanks for the support to his family in his absence 3) Town council meetings have now been moved to a different platform (not Zoom like last meeting).  4) Letter received re: safer access to trains. Mayor will look into solutions once the crisis is over.  5) Letter by a new resident requesting that one single construction permit can allow for various smaller construction projects on the same property – a separate permit will be needed for each. 6) Suggestion regarding green space – interesting idea, but new projects, suggestions for projects & items will remain pending until the COVID-19 crisis ends.

Administration

1) Jasmine Ben’s contract modified and confirmed in the position of Municipal Technician, Town Planning Department 2) Extension of the DG’s employment contract – majority vote overridden by the mayor who asked the Town Clerk to resubmit this item next meeting*. 3) Lawyer’s fees paid; 4) Donation to SPCA in memory of Mrs. Lucille Gagnon Angers; 5) Use of electoral list (only by Communication Department) to be used for COVID-19 communications to residents 70-yrs old (majority vote).

*At the time of the writing of this report, an Extraordinary Council Meeting was scheduled for April 20 to vote once again on this item.

Finance

 Due to the COVID-19 crisis: 1) Postponement of payment of municipal taxes to June 25th, 2020. 2) Sending of welcome tax bills will be postponed as well.

 Parks, Recreation and Environment

1) Professional services engaged for landscaping of Bertold Park (more natural look).  2) Loan agreement for refrigeration system of Curling Club has been terminated; money to be put by Curling Club for new 10 yr lease.

 Public Works and Town Infrastructures

1) ATV for Search & Rescue to allow transportation to small spaces. 2 Stairs up to the train station to be fixed.

Town Planning

Mandates of Town Planning committee members extended by 3 months.

Citizen Services and Community Affairs

Excellence Support program award to Vincent Boisvert for Sailing (Green Fleet Canada, Kingston, Ontario).

 Question Period II

Question submitted online during meeting:

Clarification about Curling Club refrigerator – Town will have ownership for next 10 yrs & too early to say whether it will remain like that.

Wendy Hauck, reporting for News & Views

Meeting closed at 9:15 pm.

PS  Extraordinary Council Meeting of April 20 result: Extension of the DG’s employment contract was approved by majority vote.You can watch  the special meeting at:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vELsiP04Uhw