Seeker Coverage of the City Council Meetings by Neil Macmillan
Despite the frigid temperatures outside, the atmosphere at Cornwall City Council’s regular meeting on January 28 under the “gavel” of new mayor Bernadette Clement was positively balmy!
Mayor Clement campaigned partly on her wish to restore more decorum and civility to Council deliberations – and with the cooperation of her fellow Councillors, she definitely seems to have done so.
THE MAIN ORDER OF BUSINESS was the deferred matter of the City’s next $24-million, seven-year contract for Garbage Pick-up, to come into effect on April 1. With an extra two weeks to enable Council members to become more familiar with the pros and cons, including a closed session prior to the meeting to receive legal advice, the Council voted almost unanimously to award the contract to Environmental 360 Solutions of Pickering Ontario, the company that scored the highest in the tendering process. This will naturally be a severe blow to the more than 30 employees of current contractor HGC Management Inc., which has reportedly had the contract for the past 28 years.
It is expected that the new contractor will increase the City’s diversion rate of waste to recycling and other revenue-producing end uses will increase from the current 30% to around 60%. This will naturally mean a longer working life for the City’s landfill site.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, the Council:
- unanimously proclaimed February as Black History Month, with a proud nod to Mayor Clement as Ontario’s first woman mayor of colour and another nod to Bob Turner, another person of colour, as the City’s first recreation director;
- Approved parking restrictions and bicycle lanes on Lemay Street as a major traffic artery, which will mean no parking on either side of the road;
- Approved the purchase of a major upgrade to the City’s financial system software at a cost of around $775,000;
- Approved the purchase of a Transit Intelligent Transportation and Automatic Vehicle Location System, which among other things, will enable transit users to check their smartphones to find out when their bus is coming!