Highlights – Town Council Meeting, February 09, 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 7:30 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 a request for an authorisation for a commemorative inscription on a bench in front of Lac St. Louis (Answer in the second half of the meeting addressed by Counsellor Phelps)

SPVM Station 1 Report

Lieutenant Deslauriers: 1) Reminder to the regulations concerning COVID-19: Red zone rules still apply – curfew from 8:00pm to 5:00am – retail stores can resume their work under the conditions of closing at 7:30 pm and considering limiting capacity – businesses and library can open to public – limit of 4 people for outdoor activities excluding training activities and guiding tours – Physical distancing of 2 meters must be maintained.

2) Complaint concerning the circulation around Dorset School was made on January 22 for late arriving emergency services. Please call 514-280-0101 for any complaints or questions concerning the circulation.

Mayor’s Report

1) Tax installments: maintain current installments on February 25 and May 25. Exceptions can be made in special cases. 2) Incident in Westmount on January 13.: Baie-D’Urfé denouncing a vandalization of a synagogue with antisemitic gravity. 3) First local webinar January 19: around 40 residents attended, and 148 views of the presentation mark a positive overview and sets a new era of communications. Feedback is to be reviewed starting February 12. 4) Covid-19: Maxwell residents received vaccination February 5. 2-3 large vaccination clinics opening in the West Island – no fixed dates yet. Mental health issues are taken seriously, as more than 20% of calls received by 811 reflect mental health issues revolving around Covid. 5) Valentine’s Day’s initiatives: Baie-D’Urfé Library is providing online crafts via Zoom for families (information on library website). AvH-Students are making cards to 25 senior residents in addition to the Maxwell House. Local teacher Caren Leporte working with her students providing sudoku packages. Many thanks to all!

Councilors’ Reports

Councilor Lowensteyn: 1) Lunch&Learn program can proceed. 50 meals to be delivered – completely booked out with a waiting list. There may be another session in March. 2) Public Works continues to maintain the cross-country ski trail. While waiting for ordered treads to arrive, Public Works may rent a snowmobile that can pull the grooming equipment. 3) Installation of signage for proper usage of ski trail is put on hold till grooming situation is solved.

Councillor Gilpin: 1) Announcement on Director of Communication will be made this evening. 2) Safety and security: VCops keep patrolling. Baie-D’Urfé citizens are taking the curfew seriously. Coast Guards are organizing their zoom training for new candidates. Rescue Squad clocked in 378 hours during January and they continue to do security and patrolling between 7:00-9:00 pm. They’ve been monitoring Allan Hill and provided some first aid support on Saturdays and Sundays between 11:00am and 4:00pm. They plan to continue in February as well. 3) Youth portfolios: Junior council is organizing a town wide youth trivia night. They’re building an ice wall on Sunday in front of the red barn and need lots of bricks of ice. For the bricks: Fill 2 Liter cartons with water and food coloring, and freeze. Deliver them at the Red Barn between 9:00am and 12:00pm.

Councillor Phelps: 1) Library is opening doors to public 6 days a week starting February 15. For exact opening hours and regulations, visit library website; the library’s AGM will be held via Zoom on February 22nd at 7:30 pm; details on how to access will be posted on their web site and included in their MailChimp. 2) Traffic committee: Requests for more stop signs will be analyzed, and speed radars will provide helpful data indicating the average speed in certain key areas.  3) AGM for Citizens’ Association to be held on February 16 on Zoom. (Details in N&V) 4) Snowman & ice sculpture competition ends February 18.

Director General’s Report

1) First meeting with Industrial Park representatives was held last week to explain the major work that needs to be done in the summer: huge project by Hydro Quebec will take place to upgrade of the Hydro Quebec substation;  MTQ will work to improve the 40 Highway, and we will be working on the service road. 2) Company hired to complete the study regarding the screen sound installation will set up five stations east of Morgan to Apple Hill.

Correspondence

Letter regarding wood burning stoves – Councilor Ryan: The Town brought in a new bylaw regulating wood burning during the summer of 2017. As of July 2022, any wood burning stove or fireplace being used as a primary or secondary means of heating must be EPA compliant. Occasionally used fireplaces will be exempt from this provision. There has already been a noticeable decline in the number of households using woodburning as a primary resource of heating. If at the end of the 5-year transition period the results are not satisfactory, we will revise the plan. At the moment, the use of all wood burning systems is banned on smog days.

Administration

1) Gabriel Hudon is appointed as Director of Urban Planning for 2-year contract starting February 15, 2021 to February 10, 2023.

2) Daphne Arias-Guillemette is appointed as Director of Communications by interim for an approximate one-year contract starting February 15, 2021 to February 14, 2022.

3)Yannick Hipps-Caron, Farah Jreij, Roxanne Lefson, Nico Saradjev, Lionel Thomas, and Mitchell West are appointed as ice rink attendants for the 2021 winter season from December 29, 2020 to the end of the 2021 winter season.

4) Adoption of the Commemorative Bench Policy of the Town of Baie-D’Urfé. As answer for the question posed at the beginning of the meeting, the decision by council is to limit this policy to current or previous Baie-D’Urfé residents. For more details on this policy, please visit the Baie-D’Urfé website.

5) Adoption of the Commemorative Tree Policy of the Town of Baie-D’Urfé – similar to the bench policy – Please check the website for details.

6) Confirmation of the UMQ’s awarding of contract of the mandate for professional services for consultant and risk manager in damage insurance.

7) Subscription to the Statement of Commitment on Democracy and Respect, from the UMQ – “Democracy with respect, out of respect for democracy”. Baie-D’Urfé Council members have not generally been the target of aggressions, but other municipalities have had very negative experiences (e.g., Quebec Mayor receiving death threats). The purpose of adopting this UMQ initiative is to support that campaign.

8) Confirmation of the undertaking regarding respect towards Town Employees. This is an extension to all town employees of the previously approved UMQ statement. In the caucus discussion of the UMQ resolution that was just passed, Council felt that it was important to indicate that the need for respect should also extend to town employees.

9) Authorization to apply for a grant for the renovation work of the Town Hall.

10) Order concerning the rules for determining the fiscal potential of demerged municipalities in the agglomeration of Montreal for the purposes of apportioning agglomeration expenditures – Lawsuit from the City of Beaconsfield. The filling of this action raises concern for the interest of the town of Baie-D’Urfé, the town would like to be prepared in  its own defense.

Finance

  • Tabling and approval of the list of expenses of Period 13 of 2020 and the month of January 2021 ($1,005,800.44).
  • Notice of motion and filing of draft bylaw – Authorizing the appropriate person now in position to act concerning the expenses.

Public Works &Town Infrastructure

  • Presentation of the TECQ 2019-2023 version no.1 work program.
  • Notice of motion and filing of draft bylaw ordering to carry out the work for the rehabilitation of the service road on Highway 40 Eastbound and authorizing an expenditure and a loan of $ 3,154,000.
  • Notice of motion and filing of draft bylaw ordering to carry out the work for the rehabilitation of Lakeshore Road West and various streets, the parking lot of the Whiteside Taylor Childcare Centre, the access road and the parking lot of the Fritz Community Centre and authorizing an expenditure and a loan of $ 3,007,000.

 Town Planning

Approval of a request of a Site Planning Architectural Integration Program at 34 Oxford, follow-up to submission at last council meeting.

 Citizen Services and Community Affairs

  1. Approval to grant financial assistance in the amount of $400 for AMCAL for the year 2021.
  2. Approval to grant financial assistance in the amount of $400 to Friend for Mental Health. This organization located in the West Island supports families, children and care givers concerning mental health. It has served more than 45 of our citizens. Funds will be used to finance their technology.

 Question Period II

Question concerning the budget of the Town Hall: Council can not answer this question today. Question Period II is only for topics discussed in this meeting. This question will be discussed during our next meeting.

Meeting closed at 8:53 pm.

 Lara Ali, reporting for News & Views