Highlights – Town Council Meeting, August 11, 2020

(Held via teleconference due to COVID-19 restrictions)

Mayor Tutino opened the meeting at 7:30 pm.

Question Period I

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

  • Pumptrack on Morgan Rd location: Councilor Lowensteyn replied: all citizens consulted for trial placement & surrounding neighbors also received a letter (July 21st) inviting feedback. Final location to be discussed following feedback after all locations have been tried.
  • Flags: DG replied: Quebec flag should indeed be flown from the middle flagpole & correction will be made.
  • 2 questions about road safety: Councilor Lowensteyn replied: Town does not typically receive reports of ambulances needed for accidents on Lakeshore Rd. Physical condition of the road is only one of the issues and Velo Quebec will be consulted.
  • 6 questions about new CPE: Mayor Tutino replied: the 2 CPEs cannot be combined into one building & thus remain as separate buildings to accommodate the extra 80 government subsidized spaces. Please refer to September 2019 of the N&V for full history.  Cost of new CPE? DG reply: building itself – $1.75 million, includes professional services, sewage work, small parking lot, subsidy from government $341K, leaving us to finance $1.4 million.  Current proposition at last public meeting: overrun varied (depending on options) – building: $652K.  If add all green extras, overrun reaches maximum of $972K.  This will be corrected on the website.  Current projections trying to be reduced to original cost estimates.  Figures will be changed on the website.  Towns receive back 100% of the GST & 50% of the TVQ.  Some requests for commercial daycares have recently been received by some Councillors.  Requests will be discussed.  Town Council is still generally in support if cost over-runs can be reduced, if parking lot can be removed away from the Fritz Farm grounds and continue to support families with young children & grandparents living in Baie-D’Urfé.  Council is awaiting new information & is in reflection.  Regarding location: citizens were consulted & location recommended was on Lakeshore next to Whiteside Taylor CPE.

For the second question period, questions should be submitted after the particular agenda item (not wait until the end).

Commandant’s Report

Commandant Guy Bianchi (SPVM Station 1) was introduced.   All is relatively calm in Baie-D’Urfé and has lowest rate of crime on island of Montreal.  For the first time in years, 102% of our effective personnel are at station 1 (fully staffed).  Current emphasis is on public safety of cyclists (patrols on Lakeshore Blvd).  Special COVID 12 hr shifts will be maintained until October.  Counter reception at Station 1 is open – please wear a mask when entering building.  Online services/questions are also available on SPVM website.

Mayor’s Report

Thank you to everyone who has made the first wave of the pandemic live-able for everyone here.  At end of July: no new confirmed cases.  Baie-D’Urfé community COVID task force (started on March 20th) celebrated the delivery of its 1000th order on Aug. 3rd.  Mr Deroo generously provided that order for free.  Other activities have also continued – senior shopping on Thursdays, Maxwell Residence preparation of meals for those in need. Thank you to all volunteer organizations as well.  Thank you for wearing your mask – we need to continue to do what needs to be done to remain safe & keep our fellow citizens safe.

Received email about 10 yr old AvH student, Emmanuelle Martineau, diagnosed with cancer, being treated in Boston.  Pendants with picture of a turtle are available.  Turtle represents strength, endurance, stability & longevity, protection & good fortune.  If you’d like one: please contact Heidi Beau (514-434-2662) so that you can send her your good vibes.  Whole Council sends their best wishes to Emmanuelle for a successful treatment, speedy recovery & await her return home to Baie-D’Urfé.

Councilors’ Reports

Councilor Lowensteyn: Hats off to BDAC staff for safe access to our community pool.  Curling club getting organized for upcoming season & putting in place safety measures for COVID-19; Fritz garden yielding plenty of beans, zucchini, cucumbers.  Many tomatoes – good year.  Eggplants & onions almost ready for harvest.  Food banks receiving so far ~$2520 of produce but still very much in need.  Volunteers invited to come help on Mondays or Thursdays at about 7:45 am to help with harvesting/gardening.

Councilor Ektvedt: Rescue Squad: 137 hours in July and helped patrols with VCOPs.  Coast Guard Auxiliary has also been out & responding to calls 24/7 with 13 emergency callouts, 12 boats & 30 passengers brought safely back to shore.  For Councilor Gilpin (absent) – traffic campaign: panels will be placed reminding drivers to slow down when school starts.  Question about why were some people video-taping?  Contractors hired for paving programs, part of regular process.

 Councillor Phelps: Thank you to Library volunteers! Circulation in July was 692.  Natasha Drouin’s bedtime stories on YouTube is a big hit!

 Director General’s Report

In addition to information already discussed, Zoom platform for public consultations such as that done for new CPE is admittedly not perfect but reflects means during pandemic.  Town Hall plans & consultation will be done but on pause for now due to pandemic.   Further discussion on new CPE also on hold, pending financial review.

Correspondence

  • 6 letters from citizen about leaf blowers : Council has discussed this at length. Will not proceed with the amendment to the nuisance by-law.  Will look at revising by-law more comprehensively & appropriately according to concerns that were raised by citizens.
  • Signs to reduce speed on streets will be placed by Town such that private signs can be removed.
  • 4 letters about Pumptrack: issue of traffic on Morgan Rd, parking space, loitering. Traffic committee will look into this. Track currently being assembled in the park and had been ordered in accordance with Jr Council’s plans to have it in time for Baie-D’Urfé Days.  COVID-19 delayed the delivery but a site had to be selected nevertheless.  Location is on a trial basis.
  • 16 letters received about new CPE: concerns about over-runs, parking lot, high cost, drop-off zone, real costs, drainage situation along parking lot, possibility of cancelling the project due to high cost & loss of green space, possibility of expansion of spaces into different buildings, impact of 4 yr old kindergarten, continues to provide good investment to attract new families, is it possible to bring costs down, access road to drop-off zone, would have liked more green initiatives, question about aesthetic fit with other buildings & property. Mayor Tutino read a statement about 4 yr old kindergarten: spoke to MNA & LBPSB & others about  plans in Sept 2020, prior to COVID.  At the moment there are no kindergartens planned to open in schools in Baie-D’Urfé, therefore there is no competition issue.
  • DG & Mayor Tutino: Thanks everyone for taking the time to send in your letters. All have been considered & reviewed, part of our democratic process.  We don’t know yet what the final decision is, but will let everyone know when we’re in a position to make a decision.

Administration

Unanimous agreement to authorize the acquittance and signature of the letter of reference for the former assistant to the Mayor and Coordinator of public relations.  It was a pleasure to work with the Mayor’s Assistant over the years & wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Finance

List of expenses for July 2020 approved ($347, 273.15), about 50% lower than this month last year.

Public Security & Traffic

Appointment of members of the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Committee: Councilor Heidi Ektvedt, Councilor Janet Ryan, Carmen Rinfret, Isabelle Lemay, Francois Pellerin.

Public Works and Town Infrastructures

1) Approval for replacement of exterior siding of the Fritz Community Center; 2) Awarding of contract for purchase of a replacement asphalt roller needed for the repair of our roads; 3) The TECQ 2019-2023 program is a program of subsidies based on a return of our taxes paid; such subsidies are available for paving works & other public works projects but an application has to be made; approval for program requests granted.

Town Planning

Under the Site Planning Architectural Integration Program: 1) Approval for addition of new windows & door at 6 Case. 2) Approval for new trees, greenery, extension of existing wall at 20170 Lakeshore.

New Business

1) donation of $150 to St. George’s Anglican church in memory of Mr. Arthur Shama; 2) Donation of $150 to NOVA de l’Ouest de l’Ile in memory of Mr. Michel Beauchamp.

Question Period II

No questions received.

Meeting closed at 9:59 pm.

Wendy Hauck, reporting for News & Views