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Here’s what happened at Mississippi Mills’ Feb. 20 council meeting

Photo via Mississippi Mills

Here are highlights from Mississippi Mills’ council meeting that took place on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Council heard a delegation from Danielle Shewfelt with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit, who is the Municipal Public Health Nurse Liaison. The role will help support and work with Municipalities to strengthen policies and by-laws surrounding alcohol, smoking and equity, diversity and inclusion; adapt and strengthen strategic and Official Plans; and identify community strengths and health priorities through data collection and surveys.

A public meeting for a zoning by-law amendment for 6443 Martin Street North was held. The application request is to re-zone the lot from the development zone to first density residential to permit a single detached dwelling on the enlarged lot. The matter will come before a future council meeting for discussion.

Council approved the 2023 Freedom of Information (FOI) Summary. A requirement under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, an annual report must be submitted to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. In 2023, the municipality received five general records requests, and one which was carried over from 2022.

The Aquatic Reimbursement Pilot Program was given the green light by council to continue in 2024, with a budget of $25,000. This pilot, first offered in September 2023, reimburses the difference between resident and non-resident fees charged for the use of aquatic programs (public swim fees, swim lessons, aquafit and similar programs) at municipal facilities in Carleton Place, Arnprior or West Ottawa. The program’s future will be considered in 2025 budget deliberations as part of the Community Services Master Plan.

Council endorsed a Notice of Motion by Pakenham Ward Councillor Denzil Ferguson, requesting that staff undertake a council remuneration by-law review to be in line with Lanark County per diem and meal allowance rates. Mississippi Mills council meal allowance rates have not been changed since 2001, and per diem rates have not been updated since 2015.

Committee of the Whole also heard the following items, which will be brought forward for approval at a future Council meeting:

  • Quarterly reports were received for Protective Services and Community & Economic Development.
  • Projects related to Community Safety and Well-being, which totalled $178,762.40, were presented for consideration. These include pedestrian and traffic calming initiatives, a Mississippi Mills Shuttle Pilot, community campaigns, emergency response kits for seniors, and more.
  • A Notice of Motion was received from Mayor Christa Lowry, seeking Council support to direct staff to define and clarify zoning provisions for modular homes, and amend the fee schedule to reflect equitable building fees for certified modular homes. The motion also directs staff to identify challenges or barriers in existing provincial planning policies or the Ontario Building Code that could limit the local implementation of modular homes as a viable option to increase attainable housing stock.
  • Under the Mayor’s Report, updates to council’s advocacy and partnership plan were endorsed, including 34 Victoria Street (affordable housing), 2 Industrial Drive for local services, Abattoir Feasibility Study, and food security. Additions to the Advocacy Plan include Making Additional Residential Units Work, Childcare and engagement with local School Boards. A pillar of Council’s Strategic Plan is Accountable and Transparent Governance with deliverables focused on advocacy and collaboration.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • Hybrid Council Meeting – Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting to follow council.
  • Hybrid Council Meeting – Tuesday, March 19, 6:00 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting to follow council.

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