Highlights of the Cornwall City Council Meeting on March 26, 2024

Jason Setnyk
Highlights of the Cornwall City Council Meeting on March 26, 2024
Councillor Denis Sabourin and Councillor Todd Bennett at a City Council meeting. (Photo : Jason Setnyk)

Cornwall, Ontario - Cornwall City Council held its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in the Council Chambers at City Hall. During the council meeting, there was an extensive debate regarding last-minute additions to the agenda. In addition, here are some key highlights.

Week of Mourning for City Employees 2023

Council has approved lowering the City flag during the week of April 1, 2024, to honour the memory of former city employees and Members of Council who passed away in 2023. The individuals being honoured include Francis St. Louis, Jacqueline Tabram, Leonard James Tapp, Donald Charles Deebank, Frank MacIsaac, Glenn Primeau, Leslie O’Shaughnessy, Jocelynne Sauve, Conrad Miller, George Joseph Sarault, Garry Derochie, Vincent Taillon, James Doherty, Reginald Grant, and William Rankin.

2024 Solar Eclipse

Council received a comprehensive report on preparations for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The event is expected to attract many visitors to Cornwall, particularly to prime viewing locations like Lamoureux Park. The city is implementing measures to manage accommodations, traffic, and emergency services, and is providing certified eclipse glasses for safe viewing. The eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event for the region, with the next total solar eclipse not expected for another 100 years.

Cornwall’s 4th Annual Eco Day

Council received a report on the upcoming 4th Annual Eco Day, set for April 20, 2024, in Lamoureux Park. This event aims to promote ecological, climate, and environmental awareness among residents. The day will feature public booths and activities from various organizations and city departments.

2023 Drinking Water Quality Report

Council received the 2023 Drinking Water Quality Report, which confirmed that Cornwall continues to provide safe and high-quality drinking water. The report outlines operational details, infrastructure upgrades, and sampling analysis for the Cornwall Drinking Water System, highlighting the city’s adherence to Ontario Regulation 170/03 under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 2002.

February PAC

Council approved six items recommended by the February Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) under the Heart of the City and Brownfields Community Improvement Plans. These items include funding for building restoration, improvement programs, and development fees grants for various projects to support local property owners in redeveloping their properties.

2023 Annual Remuneration and Expense Statement

Council received the 2023 Annual Remuneration and Expense Statement for elected officials, in compliance with Section 284 of the Municipal Act, 2001. The report ensures financial accountability and transparency by detailing the salaries and expenses incurred by the Mayor, Councillors, and committee members.

Projects and Tenders

Council approved a joint tender with the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry for hot mix asphalt on Vincent Massey Drive and Cornwall Centre Road. The project’s total cost is $915,345.20, awarded to Cornwall Gravel Company Limited.

Council approved a non-competitive procurement for the construction of Broadview Park Pickleball Courts to Bourassa Sport Technologie at a total cost of $424,650.58. The project includes resurfacing two tennis courts to create a dedicated six-court pickleball facility. Despite coming in about $70,000 under budget, Councillor Fred Ngoundjo questioned the price tag and whether the demand for pickleball was enough to warrant the expense.

Council awarded all schedules of Tender 24-T03 for grass cutting at various parks to EC Works Limited from Long Sault, Ontario, at a total cost of $346,966.50 for the 2024 and 2025 grass-cutting seasons.

Council awarded Tender 24-T04 for grass cutting and trimming at various city locations to multiple contractors, including EC Works Limited, CSL Group Limited, ServiceMaster by Fox, and Green Acres Snow Removal, at various costs per schedule. For 2024, the Municipal Works – Parks Division has allocated $410,000 in the operating budget specifically for grass-cutting expenses.

Council awarded Tender 24-T08 for supplying and delivering five new electric compact SUV/Crossover vehicles to Uptown Kia from Cornwall, Ontario, at a total net cost of $267,013.35.

Vision Statement Update

Council received a report on the revised vision statement as part of the Council’s Strategic Plan. The updated vision statement emphasizes Cornwall as a diverse and progressive community where residents and partners feel safe, welcomed, and enjoy a high quality of life supported by access to financially responsible and sustainable municipal services and infrastructure. The revised statement reflects Council’s commitment to fostering an inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable community.

Motion for Climate Lens on Council Reports

Proposed by Councillor Sarah Good and seconded by Councillor Syd Gardiner, this motion, which Council approved, aims to integrate a climate lens into decision-making processes for all relevant council reports. The directive would require assessing potential climate impacts and opportunities associated with proposed actions in reports pertaining to infrastructure, planning, procurement, operations, and other matters with climate implications. Each report would include a section stating any potential impact on climate change and the steps taken to mitigate any adverse effects.

Motion for Human Rights Lens on Council Reports

Also proposed by Councillor Sarah Good and seconded by Councillor Syd Gardiner, this motion, which Council approved after some debate, seeks to systematically incorporate a human rights lens into all relevant reports generated by the City of Cornwall. The goal is to enhance the city’s ability to identify, address, and prevent potential human rights violations, promote inclusivity, and advance the well-being of all residents. The motion calls for a report outlining a mechanism for this integration and recommendations on training, resources, and guidelines to support staff in implementing the mechanism effectively.

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