Highlights – Town Council Meeting, May 12, 2020

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

Mayor Tutino opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. with some statistics and comments on the COVID-19 pandemic – as of May 12th, Baie-D’Urfé has 11 confirmed cases, second lowest town on the Island of Montreal with Senneville being the lowest. Interim DG* reported on plans for re-opening of Town that had been discussed – the Town will adopt a measured & cautious approach, keeping in mind the safety of its staff and citizens. Councillor Doherty reiterated that some services will restart, and some postponed – we all need to be a patient. Further news will be posted on the Town website.

*Mr. Nicholas Mavrias was appointed Interim DG during the sick leave of the DG, Nicholas Bouchard (tested negative for the Coronavirus).

 

Question Period I

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

  • Questions raised about continued clean-up of Somerset Park now that gardening services are essential services – Somerset Park done by contractor and debris will be removed as the first mowing by machine. Drainage of that park is part of the drainage’s master plan.
  • Pumptrack location option – Bertold Park not being considered since survey last year recommended to keep that park in its natural state.
  • Restrictions of pesticide usage not enforced. Town is looking into it & will provide homeowners with a list of banned pesticides.
  • Noisy industrial leaf blowers? – Will be looked into. In the by-law, maximum is 65 decibels per blower, but when there are several leaf blowers being used, it is much louder in practice.
  • Repairs & widening of Lakeshore Road? – Infrastructure project had been identified & is still a priority but delayed due to COVID-19. This is a major thoroughfare and professional services are being sought to remedy all the problem areas at same time, as well as allow sufficient time to apply for grants. The contractor will be held accountable for proper drainage.
  • How is Town planning to fund expenditures in 2020-2021 in light of pandemic? Prioritizing for impact and return of activities after COVID-19. Just learning now the pace of re-starting and what is the new normal.
  • How much did the dog park cost up to now? – $172,000. The access pathway, lighting, fence, & water access still needs to be done (additional $105,000).

 

Mayor’s Report

(1) New commandant for Station 1: Guy Bianchi and hope to have him attend our next meeting. (2) Shout out to the Masketeers who made and distributed over 500 masks to the town’s front line workers, volunteers and residents, and to Ralph and Ray Allison and Tim and Rosemary Reudelhuber who initiated and led that project early April, well before government’s latest recommendation that masks should be worn when in public. Thank you! (3) Applaud & honor all the volunteers doing so much to help their neighbors: grocery delivery services, prepared meals delivered to seniors in need, patrols by VCOPs and Baie-D’Urfé Rescue Squad, etc. (4) Letter received giving many thanks to Baie-D’Urfé Rescue Squad for their speedy & competent service on a resident’s house alarm. (5) A big thank you and best wishes to Cassandra Bergonzi (Town Clerk) who is leaving for a new job. (6) Mayor Tutino also explained her reasons to vote against the extension of the DG’s contract at the last Town Council meeting but conceded that the extraordinary meeting held on April 20th was in conformity with due process. The Council is continuing the conversation to achieve consensus and remains strong to face the challenges ahead.

 

Councilors’ Reports

Councillor Ektvedt: (1) Thank you to the VCOPs for assistance with the Dorset school & Joseph Henrico school parents in their collection of their children’s school items. (2) Thank you to all the volunteers & for the establishment of strong protocols so that the risks are lessened. These are stressful times but our current goals are in the best interests of the population.

Councilor Lowenstyn: (1) There are still restrictions to parks & to the dog park as per provincial directives. (2) Shoreline stabilization is still needed at the dog park. (3) Fritz Park gardening season will have safety guidelines in place. Looking for volunteers – if interested please email garden.fritz@gmail.com. (4) There will not be any compost available & wood chips are on hold. (5) Thank you for all the PumpTrack feedback.

Councilor Doherty: Thank you to the Rescue Squad for logging 185 hours so far and 22 days of street patrols.

 

Director General’s Report

Interim Director is Nicholas Mavrias. DG report items were all addressed earlier in the meeting.

Correspondence

Letter commenting on increasing number of large mansions being constructed & whether there would be a way to control for the increase in house sizes – Town is working on a complete overhaul of the pertinent bylaws (which should be done every 5 years anyway). Will also review drainage.

Letter asking whether the CPE is an essential service and the impact of adding 4 yr olds? – Yes. The license is for 65 children & the work on the new CPE is progressing but slowed down due to COVID-19. Those children that are less than 18 months old would need to be under another contract.

Letter received with 15 signatures about the noisiness of leaf blowers & whether there could be a change to the by-law. – Under consideration by Town.

Thank-you letter received for the video streaming and access of Council meetings. – These will continue to be available in the foreseeable future.

 

Administration

(1) Lucille Angers was appointed Interim Town Clerk; Cassandra found a position 15 minutes away from where she lives – we’ll miss her! (2) Conference attendance by Council members has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (3) Payment of Legal Fees: 3) item was removed & deferred to next meeting for clarification by majority vote.

 

Finance

(1)With COVID-19, spending is a lot less, but transfers are also less due to postponement of tax deadlines. (2) Payment to Revenue Quebec to correct for non-collection of GST and QST was negotiated & paid as agreed upon.

 

Parks, Recreation and Environment

Extension of Emerald Ash Borer program to Dec. 31st with a maximum of $15,000.

 

Public Works and Town Infrastructure

(1)Salt purchased for winter. (2) Application for authorization to the MELCC for the construction of the new CPE (3) Application for authorization to the MELCC for the reconstruction of the parking lot of the White Side Taylor/Library. (4) Agreement related to the new CPE (majority votes for the last three items as more discussions took place regarding the construction of the new CPE).

 

Town Planning

Law firm was engaged to enforce the municipal bylaws of the construction at 82 Morgan.

 

Citizen Services and Community Affairs

(1)A naming recognition agreement was entered into with the West Island Palliative Care Residence. (2) A $10,000 grant was awarded to the Baie d’Urfe Tennis Club for basic maintenance.

 

Question Period II

No questions were submitted.

Meeting closed at 9:29 pm. following additional words of appreciation and thanks addressed to Mrs. Cassandra Bergonzi.

Wendy Hauck, reporting for News & Views