Highlights – Town Council Meeting, November 10, 2020

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

Pro Mayor Lynda Phelps opened the meeting at 7:37 pm.  

The meeting started by appointing Councilor Lynda Phelps as Pro Mayor for the period from November 1st until February 28, 2021. It then proceeded to confirm the resignation of Mayor Tutino and announce the appointment of Councilor Heidi Ektvedt to the position of Mayor by acclamation.

The agenda was adopted with one added item: A donation in the memory of Michael Dawson.

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 procedure in government leadership positions appointed without a public election – Pro-Mayor Phelps: Mayor-elect Ektvedt’s appointment was handled professionally and expertly by the Town Clerk and in compliance with all established guidelines.
  • Which green space had its maintenance handled by outside contracts and the yearly cost of these contracts? – DG: will ask Public Works for this information and get back to the resident at the next Council meeting
  • Not able to access the statistics from the web site Commandant Bianchi referred to during the last Council meeting. – Commandant Bianchi: Provided the DG with the link to make the data accessible and the Town will post the link on its website as of tomorrow.
  • Can the towns of Baie-D’Urfé and Beaconsfield agree to allow Baie-D’Urfé residents access to Beaconsfield’s skating rinks.  – DG:  Given the current COVID situation, Beaconsfield has limited access to their facilities to their residents; he will still ask their DG and inform the resident as soon as he gets a response.
  • Is the Town going to file complaint against the Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeois for mishandling of its septic tank problem – Town Clerk: the Town will not file any complaint against the Commission; it is handling the problem satisfactorily but progress is slow due to bureaucratic procedures and to current COVID situation.

 

Commandant’s Report

Pro-Mayor thanked Commandant Bianchi for the daily police presence in the town, as noted by a resident’s letter. The Commandant reported on a tragic incident that occurred on Saturday, November 7th, involving the drowning of a resident from another neighboring town. Despite the effectiveness and speed of the search and rescue operation that took place that night, the resident could not be saved and his body was found some time later.  The search involved helicopters heard by many residents that night, and despite the sad outcome, the Commandant appreciated the support and help the operation received from the Coast Guard and from many members of the community.

Mayor’s Report

– Mayor-Elect Ektvedt: 1) A message to all residents, to the volunteers, to the Administration, to the Council and to all town staff, confirming her commitment to pursue, with the collaboration of those involved in one capacity or another the interests of the Town and to keep in mind the wellbeing of its residents while ensuring the health of its finances.  2) In the context of her most recent role as a Councilor, Mayor-elect Ektvedt thanked the Baie-D’Urfé Coast Guard for their help during the November 7th search and rescue operation. She also thanked the Tennis Club for extending its activities one more week to benefit from the recent spring weather.

Pro-Mayor Phelps: – 1) Appreciation of the help our Baie-D’Urfé Coast Guard, Unit 8, provided to the search operation that took place on Saturday, November 7th, at night and well into the early hours of the next day. Condolences to the family of the Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot resident who died while out on Lake St-Louis on his jet-ski. 2) With respect to the COVID situation, numbers are spiking in Lachine, Lasalle, Pierrefonds and DDO East, which are dense areas where community transmission is higher; Baie-D’Urfé residents do not face similar constraints and are able to practice social distancing. 3) For Remembrance Day, because of the COVID situation, a wreath will be laid by the Legion on behalf of the Town but the usual participants (Scouts, Girls Guides, Rescue Squad, the Mayor, etc.).  will not attend this year 4) In a demonstration of gratitude and appreciation for Maria’s 15 years of service to the Town, a huge parade of volunteer organizations as well as many residents went out around town on November 9th  to honor her and thank her. Maria’s many accomplishments include her efforts in creating and supporting various volunteer organizations, and she will always be remembered for leading the Town’s fight to retain its autonomy during the municipal demerger in 2005.

Councilors’ Reports

Councilor Lowensteyn: 1) Fritz Garden, best produce ever, 390 pounds more than last year, with an estimated retail value of over $8,300. All produce goes to food banks and the work is carried out solely by volunteers – residents are encouraged to volunteer next year. 2) The Lunch&Learn program, which is run with the collaboration of McGill, was put on hold because of the COVID situation, but a new formula compliant with the pandemic restrictions is being submitted; details will be published in the upcoming issue of the N&V. A big Thank You to Maria who lobbied for. and obtained, funding for the program. 3) Words of appreciation and thanks to Maria for her years of service and for her legacy.

Councilor Ryan: 1) Two hearings in October for the Demolition Committee; a 3rd one cancelled; two more are scheduled, for no. 43 Magnolia and no. 62 Devon. 2) Words of appreciation and thanks to Maria for her years of service and for her legacy.

Councilor Doherty: 1) Inspectors from Montreal are working in Baie-D’Urfé to complete a big map of the Island of Montreal surveying the piping for the Island’s drainage. 2) Announced that Maria’s mother-in-law had passed away this very same afternoon and extended condolences to her and her family on behalf of the Council and the Administration.

Councilor Gilpin: 1) Council and Administration had begun the 2021 budget. The budget process:  budget will be adopted on December 8 during a special session preceding the regular council meeting; during the regular Council meeting a notice of motion will be submitted to adopt the new taxation schedule and on December 11, the Council will adopt the taxation bylaw fixing the real estate rates on properties. 2) Words of appreciation and thanks to Maria for her years of service and for her legacy.

 Director General’s Report

1) Budget meetings are currently taking place; the Council is facing big challenges given the scope of the projects requiring large capital expenditures, exceeding the available surplus: repairs to the Lakeshore west, the service road of Highway 40, the renovation of the Town Hall,…;  hard decisions will need to be made during the budget process. 2) Words of appreciation and thanks to Maria for her years of service and for her legacy.

Correspondence

  • Letters regarding road safety and road maintenance – Mayor-elect Ektvedt: same concerns as those raised last Council meeting about road safety around Dorset and residents need to reach out directly to the school administration. Public Works were made aware of the condition of the road around Dorset and repairs will be handled.
  • Letter regarding dangerous parking at an intersection of Brittany and Lakeshore – Mayor-elect Ektvedt: parking at an intersection is prohibited and subject to fines by the police; residents need to report such incidents to the police since municipal personnel cannot issue such fines.
  • Three letters regarding opening of skating rinks – Councilor Lowensteyn: the issue was raised already last Council meeting and since then Public Works suggested a compromise, using the multi-sport surface behind the Red Barn. Higher boards will be installed this winter, improved lighting will allow skating in the evening, and the facilities of the Red Barn will be used for washroom and for changing footwear; only one to two persons will be allowed to skate at any given time given the current COVID restrictions.
  • Letter thanking the Administration and the Council for the improved communication by the Town (website, MailChimp, recorded Council meetings, etc.) and suggesting investing more resources dedicated to communication – Councilor Gilpin: the financial challenges facing the Town will not allow for additional communication resources. As for a Contact Management System, its implementation is already under way.
  • Letter regarding the 2021 budget and the project of the pathway between Shaw and Lakeview – Councilor Doherty: given the financial demands of this year, this project will not be part of the 2021 budget.

 Administration

Approval to remove the name of ex. Mayor Maria Tutino from the list of authorized signatories for the Town of Baie-D’Urfé.

Finance

– Approval of the list of expenses for October 2020 ($558,483.41).

– Filing of comparative statements, expenses and revenues for 2020 and 2019, and forecasts of the revenues and expenses for 2021. Statements and details will be posted on the Town’s website.

Parks, Recreation and Environment

Approval of the Shoreline Layout Plans at Bertold Park. The plans will be posted on the Town’s website.

  Public Security & Traffic

Following recommendations by the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Committee:  1) Approval (by majority vote) of the installation of  two stop signs: at the exit of Churchill cul-de-sac, southbound, and at Surrey and Churchill, eastbound from Devon ; 2) Approval of the installation of road signs indicating a two-way stop at the intersection of Normandy and Lorraine ; 3) Approval of the installation of  a dead end sign on Shaw and Oxford,

 Public Works and Town Infrastructures

1) Approval for the cancellation of the contract for the preparation of the plans and specifications for the construction of an access road and 5 concrete slabs for the canine recreational area at Bertold Park and to remunerate the contractor for the work done so far.

2) Approval for the cancellation of the contract of land surveyor for the subdivision of the designated site in anticipation of the construction of a new childcare centre (CPE), and to remunerate the contractor for the work done so far.

3) Approval for the award of a contract for the preparation of plans and specifications for the repair work of the western portion of Lakeshore Road and various streets to Chalex Group Conseil in the amount of $102,902.63.

4) Approval for the award of a contract for the Collection and Transportation of Recyclable Materials 2021-2022, with an option of an additional year for the Town of Baie-D’Urfé to Service Ricova Inc. in the amount of $177 911.76

 5) Approval for the award of a contract for Collection and Transportation of Household Waste 2021-2022, with an option of an additional year for the Town of Baie-D’Urfé to Service Ricova Inc., in the amount of $249,900.69.

Town Planning

  1. Approval to allow a minor exemption regarding two side setbacks at 48 Balsam
  2. Approval of a Site Planning Architectural Integration Program (SPAIP) requesting the installation of a door, replacing a window, on the north side of the property located at 20761 Lakeshore.
  3. Approval of a by-law no 1063 concerning animals, as already amended, in order to allow the refund of the registration fee in the case of sterilization and microchipping.
  4. Approval of a by-law regarding permits and certificates of the Town of Baie-D’Urfé, as already amended, in order to assign the same powers and duties to the municipal technicians in urban planning as the building inspectors and to make the posting of certificates of authorization mandatory in a location that is clearly visible at all times from the street on the landsite where the construction and/or the work is carried.
  5. Notice of motion for by-law to further amend another by-law to install stop signs at the intersection of Surrey and Churchill.
  6. Notice of motion for by-law regarding minor exemption to remove the obligation to put a deposit to cover the cost of public notices (public notices are no longer published).
  7. Notice of motion for by-law concerning demolition to remove the obligation to put a deposit to cover the cost of public notice (public notices are no longer published).

 

New Business

Approval to make a donation of $150 to the Old Brewery Mission in memory of Mr. Michael Dawson. Mr. Dawson was a Town Councilor from 1986 to 1999 and led the construction of the gazebo on the Fritz Farm. He was a music lover, a musician and introduced the music summer concert to the Town.  He passed away in October 2020. 

 Question Period II

  • Ada Colomb bench was recently spoiled with graffiti and broken glass – Council is grateful for pointing this out and Public Works will fix the bench.

 

Meeting closed at 9:23 pm.

 

Nadia Bissada, reporting for News & Views