Highlights – Town Council Meeting, October 13, 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.  

The agenda was adopted with two new items:  (1) Request for Planning Architectural Integration Program:  20425 Clark Graham. (2) Professional mandate to lawyers to represent the Town to deal with 8 Sunny Acres.

 Question Period I

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

  • Required cleanup of the overgrown vacant lot on 88 Morgan – DG : Urban Planning Department sent already a letter to the owner in July and a cleanup was done then. The grass has overgrown since, requiring a new cleanup; a new letter will be sent to that effect.
  • When is the construction of the Berm expected to start – DG: some work is being done currently to address drainage issues; protocol to be signed soon with the Ministère des Transports and project work should start in 2021
  • The Berm and the possibility of extending it further by 400 meters east to Normandy – DG: cost of the Berm as currently planned, Lakeview to Apple Hill, is $5.1 million, for which a 50% provincial subsidy is granted allowing the go ahead. Project may still be cancelled if cost turned out to be higher, so an extension of the wall cannot be envisioned at the point.
  • Can a stop sign be installed on Cornwall, south east corner of Cornwall/Dorset – Councilor Ektdvedt: request will be discussed and it will be up to Council to mandate the Traffic Committee to look into it.
  • Are there bylaws requiring contractors to clean up the mess caused by their construction trucks? – DG: Yes, there is a provision to ensure that contractors are responsible for cleaning up any damage they cause.
  • Three questions regarding skating rinks for this winter – Councilor Lowensteyn : the location of the skating rink at Dorset did not work out well last winter so this year it is removed to Balsam Park, in addition to the small rink behind the Red Barn and to the one in Picardy Park. Difficult to maintain the heated trailers during the pandemics, with restrictions affecting public works.
  • Despite the relative calm of Baie-D’Urfé, more detailed reports to residents by the SPVM Station 1 will be appreciated – Commander Bianchi:  Station 1 enjoys already a  low rate of criminal activity and Baie-D’Urfé accounts for a small percentage (5% to 15%) of the incidents occurring on the territory assigned to Station 1. The COVID19 has resulted in a further decrease in the number of crimes and theft on the territory, hence there little to report.

A couple of questions received will be addressed in the Question Period II as they pertain to items on the agenda, wood burning and town hall repairs.

For the second question period, questions should be submitted after the particular agenda item.

Commandant’s Report

Commandant Guy Bianchi (SPVM Station 1) reiterated the fact that almost no criminal activity took place in the last month in Baie-D’Urfé. Response to questions from last meeting: there was no bike thefts and no serious incident associated with the PumpTrack, except for a complaint about noise, which was quickly resolved. Police will be patrolling parks to ensure social distancing.  To reassure residents, he explained that a recent police intervention on David Kennedy street was pursuant to a call by a concerned resident; the police intervention led to the detention of an individual suspected of theft of vehicles.  He encouraged residents to report any suspicious individuals or activities and allow the police to duly investigate.

Mayor’s Report

Thanks and words of gratitude:  1) to the Baie-D’Urfé COVID task force, to the volunteers, to the VCops, to the Maxwell House, etc. for all the services offered to residents since March and still in place, and are likely to be needed still for some time to come as the second wave of the pandemic is hitting hard. 2) to the Provincial Government and to the Minister Chantal Rouleau who called to announce a grant of $500,000 to help with the additional costs resulting from the pandemic. 3) to our MNA Greg Kelly who donated a few thousands dollars to purchase masks, to the Coast Guard, to the Junior Council, and to the Lunch & Learn program. 4)  to the Agglomeration who donated 1000 masks to the Town distributed to the teachers and volunteers and to the residents. 5) To the CN – celebrating its 100th anniversary and donated $10,000 to our library, together with two commemorative books, English and French version. 6) to the West Island CIU SSS, our local health authority, for providing the flu vaccines for free this year.  The vaccine will be offered to various groups, by appointment only, via the site clicsante.ca.  It also agreed to find a vaccination site here in Baie-D’Urfé. 7) Number of cumulative confirmed COVID19 cases in Baie-D’Urfé are now 33 case, up 2 new cases in the last two weeks.  For statistics, two reliable sites are santequebec.ca and covidecolesquebec.org, for numbers of cases across the province and in Quebec schools respectively. Please keep respecting safety guidelines, particularly the wearing of masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Councilors’ Reports

Councilor Lowensteyn: Ministère de l’Environnement did approve the recreational canine area’s water access in Bertold Park and the work will start for the fencing as of October 16. The remainder of the water access will be done later as part of the shore stabilization project.

Councilor Phelps: Two corrections to last month’s report in the N&V: 1) The number of parking spots at the Whiteside Taylor parking lot will remain as is, i.e. there will not be less spots ; 2) The new septic tank system at the Yacht Club is not installed yet; it will be put in in October once the boats are brought out of the water.

Councilor Ektvedt: 1) Thanks to the VCops for their ongoing support and their reports which are very valuable to the Town. 2) Words of appreciation to the Tennis Club and the leadership of Margaret Hill and Werner Buchmann for quickly adapting to the Red Alert restriction. Welcome to the new Interim President, Raphael Garofalo 3) Thanks to the Yacht Club and to Chris Atack for the COVID19 protocol and for respecting all safety & security measures. 4) The Coast Guard continues to provide 24/7 service, went on 26 missions, brought 21 boats and 58 persons to safety; clarification to the name of the prize they received this year: “Le Grand Prix de la Garde côtière”. 5) A reminder to the residents to use the leaf blowers according to the town’s bylaws, posted on the Town’s web site, which prohibit their use on Sundays. 6) Thanks to the DG and the Director of Public Works for their support of the Town Planning Committee.

Director General’s Report

1) At Bertold Park, in order to install the fencing for water access in the recreational canine area, the surveyor will place some pickets; so please make sure not to move or touch these pickets. 2) Council and Administration are working together to resume the work on the renovation of the Town Hall and will present the residents with the new plans while maintaining the existing footprint. 3) The centralization of the Urban Planning Department with only one phone number, 514 457-3321 and one email: info-urb@baie-durfe.qc.ca is more effective and allows for a quicker turnaround in processing requests.  Residents are asked to go through this channel and to avoid contacting directly staff members.

Correspondence

  • Request for financial support for Scout Baie-D’Urfé – Councilor Phelps: the request will be addressed and responded to positively later in the meeting.
  • Request for a moratorium on the use of wood burning stoves considering the COVID19 situation – Councilor Ryan: the Council will stand by the bylaw it voted for in 2017, and hence will not impose a moratorium on the use of wood burning stoves this winter.
  • Three letters regarding the safety of pedestrians and cyclists who access the Dorset Elementary school with concrete suggestions to address the problem – Councilor Ektvedt: both police and council members observed the traffic for a few days and discussed some suggestions with the Principal. Parents need to raise their concerns and share their suggestions with the School Principal and the School Board who then can initiate talks with the town to address such issues.

Administration

Award of the contract for professional services in architecture to Affleck de la Riva for repair and enlargement work of the Town Hall for an amount of $12,934.69, which allows the renovation to take place while maintaining the existing footprint.

Finance

– Awarding of contract, in the amount of $65,535.75, to Goudreau Poirier Inc., the town’s current auditor, for the audit of financial statements for 2020, 2021 and 2022, to maintain continuity during the COVID19 situation.

– Request for Transfer of funds in the amount of $1,391,485.15 from affected surplus to non-affected surplus, given the cancellation of the New Childcare Centre (CPE) project.

– Approval of the list of expenses for September 2020 ($896,765.14), a much higher amount compared to the same period last year due primarily to the cost of the paving contract.

 Public Security & Traffic

Recommendation of the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Committee: installation on Morgan Road, of two speed limit signs, 40km/h, southbound and northbound, and of a bollard during the summer month, in order to ensure visibility of the speed limit signs.

Public Works and Town Infrastructures

1) Cancellation of contract signed with Maggy Apollon Architecte for the professional services of the preparation of plans for the new CPE project, which was cancelled; the Town will compensate the company as per the terms agreed upon. 

2) Award of contract for repair work on the parking lot and access road of the Fritz Community Centre for an amount $26,352.27.

3) Rejection of tenders to build a pedestrian path between Shaw and Lakeview and cancellation of the project as it would have cost much more than initially anticipated.

4) Renewal of the Snow Removal Operations Contract for 2020 and 2021 with Landcare Inc.  to reflect the price increases.

5) Creation of a carpenter position – blue collar Group “A” to have an in-house expertise to do the maintenance and repair work of the town’s buildings. Mr. Frederic Lemieux will be hired for this position subject to a probationary period of 450 hours.

Town Planning

  1. Appointment of three Municipal Building Inspectors who were so far municipal technicians and authorize them to enforce town planning bylaws, to sign permits, to inspect construction work, etc. for a more effective work flow of the Urban Planning Department.
  2. Notice of motion for modification of bylaw concerning Animal Control bylaw to facilitate the refund of the license fee in cases of sterilization and microchipping.
  3. Notice of motion for modification of bylaw regarding permits and certificates of the Town of Baie-D’Urfé, in order to assign same powers and duties to municipal technicians in urban planning as to building inspectors, and to make the posting of certificates of authorization mandatory, in order for the certificates to be visible for all to see.
  4. Rejection of the request for approval of a Site Planning Architectural Integration Program – 84 Oxford – asking to complete an extension with a different stone than originally authorized; this is a heritage house and the extension should use the same stones.
  5. Approval of the request of a Site Planning Architectural Integration Program at 20679 Lakeshore, for repair and extension of a solarium.

Citizen Services & Community Affairs

1) Approval of a subsidy of $550 to Baie-D’Urfé Scouts Canada help with extra Covid expenses

2) Approval of a subsidy of $550 to Baie-D’Urfé Girl Guides Canada to help with the extra COVID19 Expenses.

New Business

  • Approval for a site extension in 20425 Clark Graham in the Industrial Park. The extension will encroach on a wooden area and 34 trees will need to be cut, out of which 9 are dead and 2 are in poor condition; in anticipation of this extension the company had planted already 29 new trees on their property.
  • Approval for hiring the professional services of a law firm to get an injunction on behalf of the Town to stop construction and tree cutting done without authorization on the property at 8 Sunny Acres.

Question Period II

-Wood burning this winter, which represents health hazards  – Councilor Ryan: As stated earlier under Correspondence, the Town will allow citizens to comply with the bylaw and will not impose any moratorium.

– Was there a permit issued for 8 Sunny Acres to cut the trees on the property – DG: There was no permit issued and the Town is taking measure to stop the construction work and the tree cutting. This is why a new bylaw requiring permits to be displayed and visible to all is desirable.

– Questions regarding Townhall renovations –  DG :  1) following the consultation, Council decided to proceed with an extension that respects the same existing footprint, as per residents’ comments received, and complying with the building code. 2) The Town will continue to work with Affleck de la Riva given that this company did work on the Town Hall in 2013 and hence is already familiar with the building. 3) $20,900 was spent so far on the work and plans regarding Town Hall renovation. 4) During the renovation of the Town Hall some employees will have to relocate temporarily in the Public Work building, but eventually the PW building needs to be rebuilt and the request to rebuild it will be submitted to the Council once the  renovation of the Town Hall is complete. 5) Work schedule was delayed because of the COVID situation and will resume in 2021.

Meeting closed at 10:10 pm.

Nadia Bissada, reporting for News & Views