Council update

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by Brandon Mayer

North Grenville Council gathered for three scheduled meetings last week, in addition to attending the Community Roundtable on January 10. The first meeting was a closed session on January 8, which satisfied the requirements for a closed session due to the topics covered: “Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the Municipality”, and “Advice that is subject to solicitor‑client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.”

A regular, open session meeting took place the following day, on January 9. The meeting was short – lasting under 30 minutes – and was held virtually due to the snowy weather that passed through the area on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The first major item of business was a report from CAO Karen Dunlop regarding a decision that was made during the closed session meeting on the previous day. It was revealed that the closed session dealt with an appeal that had been made to the Ontario Land Tribunal regarding the Jack-Joseph Subdivision, for which a zoning by-law amendment request was denied last summer. 

“At the special Council meeting held January 8, 2024, and as a result of legal advice provided, Council has decided to resolve the appeal on the basis of minutes of settlement and request the Ontario Land Tribunal approve the development as originally submitted,” CAO Dunlop announced during the January 9 meeting. The particular discussions between Council members and the Municipal legal team which led to the decision are not public. 

Following the statement from CAO Dunlop, some technical matters regarding Advisory Committee terms of reference were discussed. An amended Terms and Conditions for Advisory Committees document was provided to Council by Clerk Chloe Preston for approval, but Mayor Nancy Peckford pointed out that without the most recent changes highlighted, it is hard for Council to consider the changes quickly. Changes were therefore explained and discussed, and the Mayor acknowledged that the Terms and Conditions is an “evolving document”, and the update was approved. 

Next on the agenda came a significant milestone for the Kemptville District Hospital’s popular CT Scanner campaign. Council passed a Commitment Agreement to pledge $900,000 ($90,000 in each budget year for 10 years) to the campaign. The motion was passed. 

Mayor Peckford then provided an acknowledgment of some feedback received regarding the Municipality’s outdoor rink, including proposed modifications to recommended hours of use. She also reported that feedback has been very positive. Other routine business followed, including the pulling of a consent agenda item to ensure proper wording. 

On January 10, Council met once again to receive a draft budget presentation which lasted over two hours. Highlights from the draft budget presentation can be found in a separate article in this issue of the Times. Another regularly scheduled open session meeting took place on January 17, but due to print deadlines, it will be covered in the next issue of the Times. 

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