Council Preview

By John Swartz

Orillia council has maybe the lightest agenda, at 40 pages, seen in some time for its 2 p.m. meeting April 22.

The only new report council will be discussing is a request from deployment services to increase the budget for a study being done regarding the flood plain around Ben’s Ditch and Mill Creek.

Ben’s Ditch was dug during the Depression and runs parallel to Barrie Road and then parallel Memorial Avenue to Lake Simcoe and creates a channel for water coming from a couple underground streams. Mill Creek runs through Scout Valley, under Highway 11 and on to Lake Simcoe.

Consultants, WSP, were hired to do the study and they found the geographic information system (GIS) on the area of the study was incomplete. The province contributed $68,500 of the $157,000 budget, but in order for the province to pay the City, the information needed to be accurate. WSP spent time updating the info and that work was not part of the contract with the City. WSP concluded the value of the work is $9,000.

This lead to a second problem, the new data showed the boundaries of the flood plain study should be changed beyond the scope of the work of the initial study parameters.

WSP says in order to provide the City with accurate information – which will be used to update the Official Plan (which is currently being updated), as to where development will be allowed – more work on their part is required and not accounted for in the contract. Staff say increasing the scope of the study will cost an additional $37,000.

Staff say the additional budget can be covered by the storm water asset management reserve fund.

The Rest Of The Agenda

Council has two motions to endorse and add the City‘s name to petitions for the province to strengthen requirements under municipal codes of conduct and enforcement provisions; they also have the opportunity to add the City to a growing list of communities who want the province to update Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program financial assistance rates, which are currently set below poverty levels.

Council also has a deferred from December motion to increase the limits management of Orillia Power Generation to make financial commitments to the value of 25% of the City’s equity stake in OPG (The City has 100% ownership).

If it passes, there is a by-law to rename Centennial Drive to Lightfoot Drive.

Council meetings are open to the public or can be watched on the City’s Youtube channel.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)


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