City Council received a presentation for a co-digestion feasibility study, approved a new job position within Administration, extended the 2-hour free parking until the end of December, and approved a by-law to limit garbage.
Presentation for the Co-digestion Feasibility Study, 2020-326-Infrastructure and Municipal Works
· The co-digester will convert wastewater and landfill waste into a resource by moving wastewater through it to produce bio-gas. The Bio-gas can then be used as a revenue generating tool.
· Councilor Hebert asked how this would compare to investing in a composting initiative instead and it was explained that composting would require building a whole new facility, where a digester would be integrated into the existing building.
· Councilor McIntosh asked if there would be a separate unit for the restaurants for the organic waste and it was confirmed that organics are going to the landfill.
· Councilor Towndale and Councilor Bergeron offered support for the project and inquired about the timeline for the project. It was suggested that through phases, this project could be completed in two to two and a half years.
· Councilor MacDonald asked if any cost of this project could be covered with grants, and it was explained that there are several different grants that this would be approved for.
· Councilor Gardiner commented that the bio-solids could be used for fertilizer. Furthermore, this process would extend the life of the current landfill.
Councilor Hollingsworth asked what other municipalities are doing with their landfill and it was answered that they move their waste out of Canada.
· Council approved several items under Consent including proclamation of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and quotes for snow removal.
Strategic Planning Coordinator
· After some discussion, it was approved by Council to authorize a new staff position of a Strategic Planning Coordinator who will report directly to the CAO, with the amendment to have bilingualism added as an asset.
· Councilor MacDonald, Councilor Gardiner, and Councilor Hebert expressed that this new position will be beneficial for moving the Council to move forward on projects and this position would help elevate the workload from Administration.
· Councilor Towndale also supports the position, however, does not believe that this position should report to the CAO, but should report to the Council and the Mayor.
· Councilor McIntosh supports the motion and believes that the position should report to the CAO as opposed to a board of several individuals.
· Councilor Bennett supports the position as it would provide additional support to help Council address more issues. He also commented that he would prefer to see the position report to Council and the Mayor but is not opposed to the position reporting to the CAO.
· Councilor Hollingsworth commented that the position has the potential to cost upwards of $112,000 a year (salary, pension, benefits, etc). He will not support the motion as he does not support the costs associated with the position, especially during the pandemic where many residents of Cornwall must endure losing their jobs or businesses.
· Councilor Dupelle supports the creation of the position, however, believes the cost of the position is too high and that this is not the ideal time for a new position to be added to Administration.
· Councilor Bergeron does not believe this position should report to the CAO and does not believe that Administration should be adding more staff.
· Mayor Clement believes that now is the time for positive changes and the addition of this job will help Council move towards its strategic plan.
· Council voted against removing the 2-hour free parking program put in place due to COVID-19. Furthermore, Council voted to extend the free 2-hr parking until their next regular meeting in January and to have a deeper discussion about paid parking at that time.
· Councilor Hollingsworth noted that it was time for things to return to normal and believes we should remove the 2-hr free parking program.
· Councilor Towndale, Councilor MacDonald and Councilor Dupelle believe it is too early to return to a pre-COVID-19 state, particularly if COVID cases continue to rise, and therefore believe we should continue 2-hr free parking.
· Councilor Grant believes that removing paid parking altogether will support our businesses by encouraging more activity in the downtown.
· Councilor Bergeron would like to see the 2-hr free parking program extended until January.
· Councilor Bennett asked if there is any income being generated from people parking longer than 2-hours and he does not believe that this is the time to remove the 2-hr free parking program.
· Councilor Hebert agrees that 2-hr free parking should continue in January, with the eventual return of paid parking.
· Council Gardiner notes that normally there is a request from the Chamber of Commerce to have free parking during Christmas time to encourage shopping in the downtown. This normally begins at the end of November, so extending the 2-hr free parking program until January would mean the free parking time would only be extended an additional one to two months longer than normally requested.
· Councilor McIntosh voiced concern over the increase to the taxpayers that could result from extending the 2-hr free parking.
· Mayor Clement wants to continue to support the downtown businesses by extending the 2-hr free parking until January.
Solid Waste By-Law Amendment – Bag and Container Limit
· Councilor Hebert moved a motion to reduce the bag from 6 bags to 4 bags or 2 containers until October 05, 2020 then further reduce to 2 bags or 1 container by April 05th 2020, and the implementation of bag tags for purchase for additional waste.
· Councilor Towndale, Councilor Bergeron, and Councilor MacDonald support the motion put forth by Councilor Hebert.
· Councilor Hollingsworth believes we should move to a 2-bag limit quicker but will support the motion as is.
RFP Terms of Reference for Play Structure and Engineered Wood Fiber for Various Parks
· Councilor Grant motioned to defer this topic to a future meeting and to allow more time for the design of the play structure to be truly unique. Councilor Bergeron, Councilor Towndale and Councilor Bennett support this motion and agree that more time is needed to for the design.
Council then approved several by-laws.
The next regular meeting will be held on September 28, 2020.
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