Highlights – Town Council Meeting, September 14, 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 7:31 pm

Adoption of the agenda with the addition of item G2: Tabling of the highlights of the strategic vision for the town for the years 2022 to 2026.

Question Period I

  • Question: What is the city doing on decrepit properties that do not mow their lawns and collect garbage on their front lawns? Doesn’t this reflect badly on the towns image? Answer – DG: The urban planning department is contacted; they govern those types of situations. First an inspector will pass by said property and inform the owner of the property. If nothing gets done, an official letter is sent by the Urban planning department requesting the proper maintenance of the property within a certain time. In worst case scenarios, if no action is taken from the owner, the situation would have to move to court.
  • Question: Concerning a burnt streetlight on Surrey causing the street to be too dark. Answer- DG: Public Works will make sure there is a follow up.
  • Question: Abandoned house on Surrey has been untouched for two years. How long can a house be closed off for and can there be a clean-up of the property since it is not well maintained. Answer – Counsellor Ryan: It is difficult to reach the owners, but the town will do its best to reach out to the owners again to ensure that the property is well maintained even if the house is not occupied.
  • A note by a resident thanking the Mayor and the members of the Council for their good work.

 SPVM Station 1 Report

Commandant Couture:  1) Starting September 15th, the probationary period of the vaccination passport ends, infractions will be enforced for any violations. Places that require the passport include restaurants, bars, recreational centers, etc. This is also a reminder to be respectful to the people enforcing this rule. These are people just like us and are not equipped to deal with the lack of discipline and aggression. 2) There has been a cooperative effort between the VCops and the police patrol cars and bikes around the three schools in BDU to ensure the children circulate safely on the streets. Tickets have been given out to drivers who do not respect the rules on the roads around the schools. Parents and employees of the schools are asked to cooperate. 3) There have been complaints about speeding on Rue Morgan; officers patrolled the street several times and have given out tickets for speeding. This is a reminder that the speed limit is 40km/h. 4) The island of Montreal has seen several incidences involving firearms. Fortunately, none of them were in this neighborhood. A team will be deployed in the fall to fight the trafficking of firearms.

 Mayor’s Report

1) As of September 15th, 72.4% of Baie-D’Urfé residents had received both doses of vaccination, compared with 68% for the whole CIUSS of the West Island. Efforts are continuing with the school vaccination campaigns, especially for kids at the age of 12 years. It should soon be announced that children of the ages 6-11 years old should start getting vaccinated by October. In the West Island, the Bob Bernie has closed now as a vaccination site; Jerry Robertson vaccination center is now the closest to BDU residents. 2) The Provincial Government is working on a provincial strategy for urban planning and a zoom information session was held on August 25th. The final report is expected in April 2022 preceded by a consultation period.  Municipalities are watching this dossier carefully. 3) The ASM (Association of Suburban Municipalities) is in the final stages of preparing a “mémoire” on Bill 96. It will discuss how bilingual municipalities would deal with the potential bill. 3) We will be hearing more from the PME, which is a non-profit organization helping fund new businesses. All mayors will be getting a presentation on how the organization can work with the towns. 4) The shoreline stabilization project is going smoothly and will have great outcomes. It is ensured that all the work being done on site follows all the regulations.  5) Reports for the urban planning department are received regularly. In the month of August, 16 permits were issued while during the summer months it was 40-50 permits per month on average. In addition, the department has received many calls about vehicles parking for longer than 4 hours on the western parts of town. The department has already issued tickets. 6) On August 17th, the Citizens’ Association held their first socially distanced in-person meeting at the Fritz Farm.  On August 24th, they held a webinar on Bill 96 with the attendee Greg Kelly. You can watch the webinars recordings on the CA’s website. A second zoom presentation regarding that same topic, Bill 96, will be held on September 30th and presented by a CAQ MNA, Mr. Skeete. On August 28th, Betsy Williamson, CA member, organized the fireworks for the residents. For the upcoming municipal elections, the CA is in the process of organizing a Meet the Candidates event, and the details will be announced shortly. The Municipal Directory was distributed recently to all residents by the CA;  it was produced entirely by CA volunteers. For coordinate changes, residents need to contact the CA directly. 7) The highlights of the Strategic Vision for the town will be accessible and will be forwarded to all residents shortly.

 Councilors’ Reports

Councilor Lowensteyn: 1) Lunch & Learn scheduled for September 20th is postponed to October, due to renovation on the McGill campus. People who have reserved tickets for September will be moved to October.

Councilor Gilpin: 1) Coast Guard has reported the following during their patrols since May: they responded to 40 emergency calls, and brought 99 people and 32 boats safely to shore. Be sure to always practise effective safety procedures. 2) VCops continue to ensure no violations of the no pesticide bylaws.

Councillor Doherty: The work on Highway-40 service road continues; hoping that the weather does not interfere, the work should be complete this fall. For the Lakeshore Road, the project should be complete by the month of October. The road should be safe not only for cars but also for cyclists and motorcyclists.

Councilor Ryan: Cllr Ryan is the longest running councillor. She would like her valuable experience not to be lost. Therefore, she is running again in the upcoming November elections.

Director General’s Report

The government’s 60% subsidy of the cost of the town hall development project is confirmed. The formal signature from the Minister is only awaiting some documents from the town. These documents include an archaeological study to ensure that project would not damage any historical land. An art piece will be required in front of or inside the building. The project is expected to go to tender by the end of the year.

Correspondence

1) Two letters were received on the same topic concerning the soil compaction around trees during periods of construction and development and requesting that there should be bylaws to avoid losing trees over time.

Answer- Councillor Ryan: standard conditions imposed by the Demolition Committee demand that trees located on or adjacent to the property be protected in a manner satisfactory to the town administration. The demolition Committee must always give an Arborist’s report, which would specify exactly how the trees are to be protected. Regarding the size of the area that must be protected, the town’s zoning bylaw does require that during construction work, fences of at least 1.2 meters high must be erected around the ground protection zones of the trees to be protected corresponding to a radius of 10 centimeters for each centimeter of diameter at chest height. Such fences must be in good condition and must stay in place for the duration of the work. While the bylaw is in place, it could be a problem to enforce it. It is recommended to the next council to hire a bylaw inspector to monitor such situations.

Administration

  • Appointment – Secretary in the Town Clerk’s Office. (Madame Marie-Ève Brouilleur Langlois).
  • Tabling of the highlights of the Strategic Vision of the Town for the years 2022 to 2026.

Finance

  • List of expenses for the month of August 2021: in the amount of ($8,670,290.13)

Parks, Recreation and Environment

  • Awarding of contract – Purchase of trees for the fall of 2021
    • One tree per household will be allowed
    • New system in place: raffle system will be used this year to be more inclusive.
    • If you have received a tree in the past, you are kindly asked not to participate in this raffle to allow others the chance of getting a tree
  • Extension of financial aid for the year of 2021 – Strategy against the Emerald Ash Borer of the Town of Baie-D’Urfé

Public works and town infrastructure

  • Awarding of the public call for tenders TP2021-08 – Snow removal services for the winter’s seasons of 2021-2022 and 2022- 2023.
  • Purchase – TP-2021-09 – Supply and delivery of a wheeled mini excavator with accessories year 2020 or later.

Town Planning:

  • Adoption of a by-law – By-law 1301 concerning the use of drinking water
    • Minor changes will be made to the current bylaw to be compliant with the provincial regulations.
  • Contribution for the purposes of parks and playgrounds – Lot 1 557 592 P,ll/tie (308 Victoria Street)

Question Period II

  • Follow-up on the problem of compacted soil and tree protection, wondering why there is no progress made on that dossier. – DG:  Protection of our natural environments and our trees are featured in the summary of the Strategic Vision that residents will see soon.  A recommendation will be made to the next Council to hire an inspector who can oversee the enforcement of the bylaws and ensure that they are respected.
  • Concerned that ash trees are being injected when these injections will not save them? Has an arborist been consulted? – Councillor Lowensteyn: The injections will not save the tree; they will simply help the tree survive a bit longer to ensure that not all trees are taken down at the same time but rather spread out over time. .

Meeting closed at 8:48 pm.

Lara Ali, reporting for News & Views