November 28, 2017 City Council Meeting


(people chatting) – Welcome, everybody, to
tonight’s council meeting, of Tuesday, November the 28th. We just came from our in camera meeting and now we’re going to
start off our meeting. So let me just, so the
first order of business, we generally our meeting off
with someone singing O Canada, our national anthem, and we
had a last-minute request. And we were able to get her at the last minute, Samantha Antonio. So Samantha, can you step up to the mic? And then I’m going to
introduce you, Samantha. Is the little red light on the button? – They are.
– They are? Okay, they are.
– Sure. So Samantha, thank you for making yourself available at the last minute. We had a last minute cancellation, and she stepped up with
little to no notice. She’s a vocal music teacher
at Niagara Institute of Music, right here on Queen Street,
working with Rick Rose. And she started out as
a student at the Niagara Institute of Music & Art
when she was five years old. And now, she is a teacher and she teaches all the other students. Samantha studies drama at Brock University and she’s been singing her entire life. So Samantha, whenever you’re ready. – Okay.
– And as a little bit of backup, Wayne Campbell
will do back up, okay? So yeah.
– Perfect. (laughs) ♪ O Canada ♪ ♪ Our home and native land ♪ ♪ True patriot love ♪ ♪ In all thy sons command ♪ ♪ With glowing hearts we see thee rise ♪ ♪ The True North strong and free ♪ ♪ From far and wide ♪ ♪ O Canada, we stand ♪ ♪ On guard for thee ♪ ♪ God keep our land ♪ ♪ Glorious and free ♪ ♪ O Canada ♪ ♪ We stand on guard for thee ♪ ♪ O Canada ♪ ♪ We stand on guard for thee ♪ (crowd clapping)
(person cheering) – Samantha, that was terrific. Well done.
– Thank you. (laughs) – Especially, thank you for
coming on such short notice. – No problem.
– All right, well done. Thank you, thank you.
– Thank you. – Well done.
– I didn’t find anything wrong with it.
(Jim laughing) (people chatting) – Okay, one second here. One second here, guys. Okay, first order of business is the adoption of the minutes from our meeting on October the 24th. – So motioned.
– Okay, a move by Councillor Morocco, oh (laughs), how about I slide over, how’s that? – Thank you very much.
– Moved by Councillor Morocco, seconded, did I get a
second by Councillor Kerrio? – I had my hand up.
– Oh you did, Councillor Kerrio, I’m sorry, Craitor– – Craitor.
– Okay, sorry. It’s kind of hard, when I sit
here, Kerrio’s blocked out, when I sit here, it’s
the other way around. – Put the tree in front of Kerrio. – (laughs) So if there’s
no questions or comments from the agenda, I’m
sorry, from the minutes, of October 24th, we’ll call the vote. All those in favor? Okay, and that’s, is
that unanimous, clerk? I can’t see that. – Some people would say
you can’t see the forest for the trees, Jim.
(Jim laughing) – Oh, can’t see the forest
for the trees, that was good. That’s our comedian, we got a singer and our comedian up here
tonight, that’s great. Disclosures of a pecuniary
interest from council. Do we have any disclosures? Councillor Thomson and then Kerrio. – Yes, I have a conflict with CAO-2017-07, transient accommodation tax.
– Thank you for that, Councillor, Councillor Kerrio?
– I have the same one as Councillor Thomson, and additionally, L2017-29, the permit holds a clear surplus north of Weaver Road, my daughter lives adjacent to that property. – [Jim] Okay, thank you for that. Councillor Pietrangelo.
– Thank you, Your Worship. An in camera report
L-2017-26, dealing with the Niagara Catholic District
School Board, my employer. And also, along the
same lines, TS-2017-36. The Booth Street parking. Generally, I wouldn’t for a kiss and ride, but this one talks about
city transportation staff redesigning the school’s
parking facilities. And obviously, money
will have to be spent. So I’ll declare a conflict on both. – Okay, thank you. Councillor Craitor. – Thank you, Your
Worship, conflict with the in camera matter, report number L-2017-26, a member of my family is employed by the Niagara
Catholic District School Board. And that dealt with the board. Under municipal accounts,
I have two checks that I want to declare
a conflict with, 409118 and 41000, both payable to myself. And finally, under report, TS-2017-36, same conflict as explained by Councillor Pietrangelo as well, thank you. – Okay, thank you for that, Councillor. Any other conflicts of Council? Okay, and I will declare my own. Check number 409730, that’s
a check made out to myself. Okay, so we’ve got them all covered? All right, so next order of business, I’d like to call to the inner
horseshoe, Frank LaPenna. Frank LaPenna, is he here? Oh, there he is, come join me, Frank. – [Man] As opposed to the outer horseshoe? – Yeah. (laughs) Can you tell?
(crowd laughing) – [Man] He has no idea. (man drowned out by laughter) – That’s what we got here. Well, actually, if we’re delayed, we just sit there and look at it. (people laughing) So here’s what we’re doing for Frank. We’ve got this beautiful framed print, from all of council, on behalf your BIAs and all of your involvement. I’m going to present this to you and I’m going to read
a little bit of a bio on why we’re doing all this. Why do you think you were here, anyway? – I’m there to support him, he said. (crowd laughing) – All right, so Frank LaPenna, for most of you folks and
all the folks at home, and through our wifi,
through our live streaming, we’ll have multiple
countries, people watching you right now in Mexico, India, Italy. People all over the world
are watching you right now. They want to know why is Frank LaPenna in the inner horseshoe? – (laughs) Tell me. – All right, I’m going to tell you. Well, since you ask, Frank
is one of the key founding members of the Victoria Centre BIA. Along with some councillors here, I know Councillor Kerrio,
Councillor Thomson, are also longtime members. Frank has been there since 1996. Yeah, I wasn’t even born at that time, actually, when he started. He helped Vince Farrell and Sue Mingle to make it an official BIA in 1998. For those of you who don’t know, BIA stands for Business Improvement Area. We have them through the community. And it’s the BIAs that kind of
are the stewards of the area. And they take a portion of their taxes, and they make sure that
it’s done up in a nice way, with nice, maybe, it
could be benches, flowers, it could be all sort of
marketing of the area. All sorts of things, there are watchdogs to make sure that things are done right. Frank was a major supporter
of what the BIA stood for, helping to market and promote
its commercial success, ensuring beautification of the area, so that it was appealing to
the visitors in the area. Since his first success in his teens, with Napoli Pizzeria, Frank
continued with projects like the Plantation nightclub. Anybody remember when the Plantation? The Plant, we used to
call it the plant, yeah. The original glow in the dark mini putt, and many various construction projects. But perhaps he’s most recognized for Nightmares Fear Factory. And we know there’s been,
how many have chickened out? – I think we’re at like 150,000. – 150,000 people chickened out. It boasts being the oldest haunted house in North America in continuous operation. And yes, it’s so scary that it even has its own Wikipedia page. Frank is committed, he’s a
hard-working community partner and he was instrumental
in seeing Casino Niagara designated as a permanent site. He worked very closely
with those politically, and those in economic development. And his fellow members of the
BIAs and business community, to work with MPP to make
sure that, the original plan was to shut down Casino Niagara. Through their diligence, they kept it up, they kept it running, and to
this day, it’s very successful. He was very involved in the
redevelopment of Clifton Hill and the Center Street
intersection and promenade. You guys remember there used to be train tracks going across there? It used be a a great
big hump, blind spots, and now people don’t
realize how much better, how much safer, how much nicer it is. And he’s one of the three
founding board members of the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Which today, helps us so
successfully fill in one of the missing pieces of the
puzzle in the shoulder season. Which helps Niagara Falls become more of a year-round destination. He spent a number of years as chair of the Victoria Centre BIA, and he
recently resigned his chair, and a member of the board. So we’re sad to see you go, but today, we’re not celebrating that, Frank, we’re celebrating all
of your accomplishments and your leadership in the city. And on behalf of the
city council and the BIA, we’re acknowledging your many
years of dedicate service and we wish him well in all
of his future endeavors. How about together, give me a hand. (crowd clapping) (speakers drowned out by applause) No, Frank’s going to, we’re
going to do a picture here. Okay, smile, smile. He’s speechless.
(people laughing) So Frank, why do you
don’t just share with, yeah, you guys get comfortable, sit down. He didn’t lie, he doesn’t
really care about this, and this is the kind of guy he is, he doesn’t do it for this. And that’s why all of your good friends dragged you out here today. But Frank, maybe you can
just say a few words. – I’d much rather be behind the scenes. (people laughing) When I see my wife walked in behind me. (Frank drowned out by laughter) I’d just stroll on out of here, I thought. Anyways, thank you so much. And thank you, everybody,
that’s helped along the way. And I don’t know. (laughs)
(crowd laughing) – Great speech.
– I was just blown away. I’m just shocked.
– Well, that’s awesome. Well, a big hand, thank you so much. (speakers drowned out by applause) Councillor Kerrio. – Just a quick comment, Your Worship, having sat with Frank on
the BI for many, many years. Frank’s a tireless worker
and anytime a tough job came along, we always call on Frank. And he never said no. I don’t know if anybody knows how you get to become a chairman of the BIA, but when the BIA first got formed, Frank left the room and
the rest of us voted, (crowd laughing) for Frank to become the
chairman of the BIA. Nobody wanted to do it,
because it’s a difficult job. And every time we needed a chairman, it would be a difficult position to fill, because it was so much work. And it’s really a thankless position. Thank you, Frank, on
behalf of the council, and all the business
people, all your friends. You did a great job for us,
we’re going to miss you. (crowd clapping) – Councillor Thomson. – Yeah, I also want to echo our thanks and appreciation to Frank. We’ve worked together
for how many years now, and you’ve always been there,
with rational decisions and the chairmanship of
the BIA was second to none. I think you did a great job. You’ve been an asset
from economic development through the businesses that
you’ve brought on board over the years, particularly
the ones that you operate now. But I think the one we’re
really most appreciative is the purchase of the
property on Brookfield. (crowd laughing) To really get rid of the
aggravation that we’ll be having. – [Frank] Happy to help. – Anyway, congratulations and good luck. I’m sure you’re going to be back anyway. (crowd laughing)
(crowd clapping) (people chatting) – That was a little bit of a surprise. He didn’t see that coming. – He was really shocked.
– Yeah. (laughs) Well, when I called his
name, he didn’t get up. He just kept wondering
what he waiting for. (man speaking off microphone)
(people chuckling) Okay, next up.
– Shows you how well Tim Parker can lie.
– (laughs) Yeah. Item 5.2, trees on private property. Andrea Giacometti, Andrea’s here. Okay, hi, Andrea, if you want
to step up to microphone. We’ve got approximately five minutes, because we’ve got a full night tonight. So, council, Andrea’s here to address and share with you her concerns
about trees and leaves. – All right, thank you. Good evening, Mr. Mayor Jim Diodati, Members of Council and all the members of our community who
are here with us today. My name is Andrea Giacometti and I was born and
raised in Niagara Falls, and I have never left. I’m here today to have
a conversation with you regarding private trees
in our municipality. Now the reason I would
bring this topic before you is that it really took me by surprise that homeowners are frequently
faced with additional burdens and responsibilities
stemming from factors that are wholly outside of their control. I was very surprised to learn
that trees you don’t own which encroach onto your property, you may be obligated to
upkeep, and in some cases, required to do annual maintenance on. This really shocked me,
since expectations based on moral and social
responsibilities dictate that when you are the owner
of something, you are required to take full responsibility
for that object. Coming back to the
concern of private trees. I want to paint you a picture to highlight some issues faced by
homeowners in the municipality. Bill just bought a property
that has a maple tree quite close to the property
line of his neighbor. Quite a few years later,
Bill’s tree is increasingly encroaching on the neighboring
property, where Ken lives. Branches are overhanging, and
even pushing into the fence. Ken now has some obligations,
if he doesn’t want Bill’s tree infringing on his property. Ken is an elderly gentleman with some moderate health issues. Ken doesn’t have any trees
planted on his property, so Ken doesn’t have the tools
or the experience for properly and safely trimming Bill’s
trees from his property. Furthermore, Ken will
also have to purchase, at his own expense, compost bags, if he plans to trim Bill’s tree, because he is responsible
for cleaning the mess resulting from trimming Bill’s tree. On top of these issues, Ken
doesn’t have the knowledge to properly Bill’s tree,
and is fearful that he might cause potential damage to the tree, for which he could be held
financially responsible for. For these reasons, he is
obligated to call an arborist at his own expense, to
get the job done right, without any further issues. You may think that Bill
and Ken’s situation is an isolated situation,
but it’s actually much more commonplace than you think. These types of situations have definitely taken me by surprise. I came here today to ask my
City Councillors if we could resolve these situations more easily, through the creation of a new
by-law that would more clearly define the responsibilities
of tree owners. Rather than resorting to
legal or civil outcome and further burdening the legal system, clearly defining the
responsibilities of a tree owner would be a direct way to
ensure that these situations could easily be resolved
for thousands of people who live in the municipality. I do understand that this
is a sensitive subject that would take time and
energy to properly address. I’m here to ask my City
Councillors to develop better clarity in how
homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of
trees on their property. If changes are implemented
properly and efficiently, it would certainly create a more positive atmosphere for the municipality. Thank you very much for your time, and I would be happy to
discuss this topic further. – Thank you very much,
appreciate you doing that. I’ve got a question right
now from Councillor Thomson. – Well, no I don’t have a question. If you’ve been on council
for a little while, the words we’ve just heard, you know exactly what
Andrea’s talking about. I think in the last three to four months, I’ve been called out to
houses, mostly seniors that do not have the financial ability, and don’t have the strength to be able to go and cut trees that are
infringing on their property for a substantial period of time. So this is not something
that’s insignificant. It’s very difficult to deal with and if you talk to the staff, they say, well, it’s a legal matter,
it’s private, it’s civil, nothing we can do about it. I’m just wondering if we can refer this to staff to see if there
is any municipality that has any unique and ideas with respect to trying to help people in this particular situation. I was at one a month ago,
where at the back of the yard, the trees were so big and so huge, that they couldn’t have a
garden in their backyard, because it was totally
covered in shade all the time. So there are some problems
with respect to this. And you don’t really know what it is, if you’re a senior, or if
you don’t know the ability to trim trees and it’s not
your fault that they’re there. So I think all we can do at this point is refer, have the staff
seriously examine the situation. Look at complaints that we’ve had and see if we can come back,
if another municipality has some unique ideas, innovative thinking with respect to this problem. Because it’s not insignificant, and to some people, it’s a serious problem that they have to deal
with on a daily basis. So I would make a motion that we refer, I think that’s what we want to do anyway, refer it to staff and
see if we can come back with some appropriate answers. – Okay, so I’ve got a motion
by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor Campbell. But before we call that vote, we’ve got a speakers list here. So I’ve got next up Councillor
Craitor and Pietrangelo. – Thank you, Your Worship, I’m
going to follow a bit on what Councillor Thomson has said,
which he’s totally correct. And I would have been
happy to second the motion. And I too, the number of calls been going up, about these trees. Now we do have, because our
staff has issued these orders, they are allowed to issue
orders under property standards, if it’s deemed that the tree is unsafe. And I have seen where
they’ve issued the order, because they’ve gone out and
the tree behind the neighbor, that has the concern,
is unsafe and it looks like it could fall into their backyard. And the way it works is
they’re given a notice. They’re given a reasonable, the individual who has the remove the
tree is given a reasonable period of time, by letter, and
that if they don’t remove it, then the city will come in,
the city will remove it, and the city will charge
any costs that we incur to moving it, to putting
onto your property taxes. And there have been a couple situations where I’ve seen that’s happened,
and just to share with you, I’ve seen other situations
where the individual has removed the tree, but it
has to be deemed to be unsafe. And I know which ones you’re referring to, as the trees and the amount of leaves, and the branches that hang over, and I’ve been up to see them as well. And right now, the only explanation we get from our staff, and Councillor
Thomson said it correctly, that they’re always telling
us it’s a legal matter between two homeowners and
the city has no jurisdiction to go in and issue any kind of an order, except the way I’ve explained it to you. So referring to staff,
I totally agree with. I’m not sure, but if there is a solution, and if it’s in other communities, as Councillor Thomson has
suggested that it may be. Because it is becoming, he’s quite right, it’s becoming enormous problems. People with swimming pools,
I’ve been to their homes, where they can’t have their pool because it’s full of leaves. People where there’s leaves
all over their backyards and their lawns are ruined
because the leaves cover everything and the grass
won’t grow over the winter or it dies because it’s covered in leaves. And then the number of
people who have no trees, but are putting out
bags and bags of leaves, because they’re picking them up, because they all end up in the their yard. So it is become, although
it’s a great thing to have the trees, there
is, I think you’re right, there’s a sense of responsibility. If you have them, then you
should be accountable for them. I have some and we look after them. – And there are by-laws
that state about pools and things like that, like
there’s by-laws saying if you don’t have a pool
that’s being used properly, that you could be ask to either
fill it or use it properly. So I do feel maybe there
are ways that we could implement new by-laws on trees
in general or private trees. I just think it’s very,
there’s not very much on it right now, I think there could
be a lot more to implement into the by-laws.
– So congratulations for being here and echoing your concerns. – No, I appreciate everybody
having me here tonight. – Thank you very much. Councillor Pietrangelo,
and then Councillor Kerrio. – Yeah, thank you, Your Worship. I just want to thank Miss Giacometti for coming here tonight. It’s not every time that we see a resident that’s so passionate about an item, that they come and ask us to change it. And I agree with her. I think that there’s a number
of by-laws that the city has, and from time to time,
they should all be updated. Especially in terms of
providing clear language. For anyone who hasn’t dealt with a by-law, and I’m sure everyone’s been
here long enough that we have. The by-law is double fisted
in the sense that it says that you’re allowed to
cut the tree if it comes on your portion of the property, however, you’re not allowed to
harm the tree in anyway. So you’re not allowed to get it to a point where the tree actually dies. But I agree with you in the
sense that it’s not actually the tree owner who is
responsible for the maintenance, once the tree actually
leaves their property. So, Your Worship, I was
going to make the exact same motion as Councillor Thomson did, in terms of just simply asking other municipalities out there
what their by-laws are. And maybe getting one back that kind of is the sum of all the best practices. So thanks again for coming down here. – Thank you very much.
– Councillor Kerrio. – Thank you, Your Worship. The other thing that should be mentioned, the timing is appropriate
because we’re right in the middle of the emerald ash borer
disease in our area. And our area is predominantly, there’s a predominant
number of emerald ash trees. So it could get worse, a lot worse, and the ash trees are dying
over the next little while. We’ll have no ash trees left in our area. And backyards are full of them, so it looks like a good time
to see what we’re going to do, how we’re going to deal
with it, as they’re dying, as they’re breaking, as they’re
falling in people yards. I think it’s good timing. – And I find more and
more people are planting ornamental type trees.
– Yes. Because back in the day, right, we put these big trees on boulevards, and they’re maybe a little
too big for the boulevard, lifting the sidewalks
and the sewers and, yeah. Vancouver used to call it a forest tree, you’ve got a forest tree,
it should be a city tree. So if there’s no further comments
or questions from Council, I’ve got a motion by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor Campbell,
that we refer this issue that was brought forth
by Andrea to our staff to come back with a
report on best practices that are being observed
in other municipalities and bring that back to Council
and we could look at it. Okay, so we’ll call that vote. All those in favor. Okay, and that’s unanimous. So thank you very much for coming out. We’ll notify you when
that report comes back. – [Andrea] Okay, thank you so much. – Okay, thank you very much, thank you. Okay, next up, we’ve got Metrolinx report. Erin and Leon are going to be presenting the GO report.
– Yes. – So welcome, I noticed you’ve
got Matt here with you, too. Matt Robinson, GQ from the Region. – GQ. (laughs)
– Aw, that’s just his nickname, I shouldn’t
have said that, sorry. – (laughs) Well, good
evening, Mayor Diodati, Members of Council, city
staff, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for having Mertrolinx here tonight. Really appreciate that, sincerely. My name is Leon Stambolich,
I’m the director of capital projects for the
Lakeshore West corridor. So my responsibility is
capitol project delivery across the Lakeshore West
corridor for Metrolinx. I’m joined here tonight by Erin Moroz, she’s the director of communications and community relations for Metrolinx. So we have a presentation for you today, to give you an update on
the GO rail expansion, and we’ll get to that in a minute. But first, I’d like Erin to
give you a bit of context. – And I’ve been told to
keep the context short, so I will move through
this pretty quickly. But if you have questions, please let me know, happy to take them. I think the long and short of it is, and you’ve probably
heard this number before, but we currently in the
region lose about $11 billion a year in lost productivity,
in terms of gridlock. And what sits on our
highways and how difficult it is to move around the region. Leon and I left this
afternoon from Union at 2:30, to be here for this
evening, I think it’s never lost on us when we’re
traveling around the region for this type of thing,
how difficult it is to get out to different
communities throughout the region. I think more important than that, we can all agree that there
is a quality of life element to that gridlock that’s
lost when you’re sitting in traffic and it’s
difficult to get around to either to work or to
appointments or different activities that you need to get to during the day. We’re currently in the middle of, you’re probably quite
familiar with the broader transit planning for the region. So that is a combined
program of both GO expansion, GO rail expansion, as well as LRT program. So the closest LRT being in Hamilton, but we are looking at ensuring
that throughout the region, that we’re looking at
quadrupling of ridership from what we see today by
the end of the program, which is ’24, ’25, in terms of the full build out of infrastructure. We go over just a bit, but
also to explain Leon and I being here tonight is,
you’re probably familiar that at Metrolinx, we have
different parts of our team. There’s planning and
policy, which is working on the regional transportation
plan, and you may be involved in some of that thinking. There’s the build component,
which Leon and myself, and there’s the operations. So GO, PRESTO, UP is also
part of Metrolinx’s mandate. I think the good news is
Leon and I are here tonight because we’re the build component. So that means that we’re past
the planning, funding stage. It’s been decided that this will be built. And Leon and I are here
to talk to you tonight about what some of the
build out of the extension of GO rail service into Niagara Region is going to look like and
what’s it going to take. We first went to Niagara Region Council, and I think we want to
recognize the efforts of both the staff that we work with, Mr. Todd and with Matt, I
will now call him GQ as well. And that there is a lot of
activity happening in the Region, but it’s based on a long history. So we were in Lincoln last
week, and the introduction of service there was described as really life-changing for some of the
residents in that community that haven’t previously
been able to access transit. So we do appreciate the
partnership of both the Region and the municipalities, and Niagara Falls, in terms of moving this
great, I would say, transformational program forward. Currently, I use this slide
to speak to, we are on a tour of all municipal councils
that are under the program. We intend to make this annual,
so we would like to come back to you each year
and provide an update on where we’re at in
the program and ensure that you are able to ask
us questions directly, in terms of progress and
projects, schedules and timelines. I’m currently in front of
all 42 municipal councils that we cover and I would like to say that this is my last one,
so thank you for that. – Best for last.
– Yeah, best for last. We’ve spoken a bit,
but we do like to start by talking about some of
the service enhancements that have already been put in place, in terms of the partnership
that we’ve worked with. You’ll recognize this bus,
it is a wonderful route. And we appreciate the
support of the region, in terms of ensuring that
the ridership on this, region and municipality
in terms of the ridership on this route being
the success that it is. I think we run 35, currently, buses today, and the recent stop in
Niagara, at Niagara College is really important to the post-secondary students that we serve. So right now, one of our
biggest growth markets in the post-secondary market. Being able to go between
campuses throughout the greater
Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara region, really is something that
is much needed and supports the overall transit integration
that we’re looking for. You’ll also see that
thanks to a partnership in this past year, I think
our COO of Operations, Greg Percy, has been
out here and he has said one of the best things that
we could to do together to increase the amount of service out here is to focus on, currently,
the seasonal GO service and getting those numbers up. A partnership this year
resulted in a 21% increase in ridership over the summer season. And that’s a very positive sign, and we appreciate the support
in making that happen. We’ve also been working with the region and municipal staff on
the secondary planning. I think it’s important just to note this, that we are working in partnership, but see these two
processes as complementary. Secondary planning and the planning work, just as our planning team in
the regional transportation plan needs to continue to
move the vision forward. And understand how communities
in around our facilities will continue to encourage transit and transit-oriented development. That’s related to, but
also somewhat separate from the funded capital program
that we’re working towards, which Leon is going to
get into a bit more. Because we are working
to deliver right now on a set parameter of project,
and a funded pot of money, that we’ve been told move this forward. So those two things are complementary, but I do want to make the point
and happy to take questions that they aren’t always on
the exact same timeline. And lastly, a hot topic
and a wonderful initiative. I did want to just make
the point to Council that we’re committed
to working with Region and municipalities on the Canada Games, and that we have said that
when a little bit more is known about venues, in
terms of where different things are going to be, that
similar to the process that we worked through
with Pan Am, we would work with the Region in terms of
ensuring that we’re doing what we can to support the games. And with that, I will turn it over to Leon to get into the amount of infrastructure and what exactly is required
to come out to the region. – Thanks, Erin, so one of
the ways to track progress is look at milestones,
so this is a listing of some of the milestones that
have been achieved to date. To help give you a sense of what’s being accomplished along the way. So in May 2015, as you
know, was the announcement for expansion to Stoney Creek area, with the new Confederation station. We’re targeting service
by the end of 2019 there. 2016 in June, was the announcement of the future Confederation station and Niagara Region
service starting in 2021, and then to Niagara Falls in 2023. We expect service to
arrive in Grimsby by 2021. September 2016, a new Ontario
Street stop in Lincoln, for the #12 GO bus route. We understand that was a big news story. April 2017, the additional
stop for Niagara College. June, we really started
planning and preliminary design before, but that
was the initial deep dive. Not only for the rail improvements, but the stations and the
labor facilities as well. Spring 2018 is when we
expect to have Hamilton Phase 1 complete, which
is the Hamilton Junction to the West Harbor Station,
those familiar with West Harbor. And in late 2017, this year, we will begin construction on the Confederation station, that’s days away at this point. So just to give you an idea. Some other things we’ve accomplished are the Valley Inn Road embankment widening. There’s a pedestrian tunnel
that’s in the Hamilton Area. Again, the Desjardins
Canal Bridge widening, that was a big moment
that was complete in 2016. Centennial Parkway bridge,
which is right near the future Confederation
station, was widened. The Lewis Road layover
facility, which will assist with daytime train storage, was complete and operational as of April this year. West Harbor GO Station was in service much sooner than this,
but the final platform and additional track
to serve that platform will be complete this year. Confederation station, as I mentioned, will start later this year. We have track work and retaining walls that are currently
underway and will continue until the end of the year as well. And then the John Street
Bridge in the Hamilton area, just beyond West Harbor
station is in design. Anticipated construction
start will be sometime in the spring of next year. So there’s a lot of work underway. In terms of the future, we
have station work as well. So two brand new
stations, at Confederation and Hamilton-Stoney Creek,
that’s Centennial Parkway. And the Grimsby station in Casablanca. At Casablanca Boulevard. And then obviously, the
two existing VIA stations that would be upgraded for service, for the new service,
for Niagara expansion. This is a significant amount of work. It’s very difficult to explain that fully, but we’re talking about a
60-kilometer railway corridor, CN-owned corridor, so to
accomplish this expansion requires approximately 25
kilometers of new track. Not just new track, signals, it’s a full signaling upgrade across the corridor. There are level crossings
that all have to be upgraded to new standards to accommodate the new tracks and the new service. There are drainage upgrades,
things like culvert extensions that connect underground
waterways and sewers. Bridge widenings, there’s
structural work required on a number of bridges
to either widen them or expand them or upgrade
them for the new service. A new train layover facility
in Niagara Falls, brand new, for daytime storage once
the service arrives here. And we have to actually
expand the existing Lewis Road layover facility that
was recently completed. So given the scope and the magnitude and the complexity of this whole program, we are taking a phased approach. So the initial phases that you’re seeing and that the accomplishments you’re seeing are more in the Hamilton area,
Hamilton-Stoney Creek area. And then followed by
Grimsby station service and the subsequent phases are really the St. Catharines to Niagara Falls. So I can’t underemphasize this enough, or overemphasize it enough, there’s a serious amount of work here. I think one of the challenges is that a good proportion of the
work that you’re seeing unfold now is in this
sort of Hamilton area. And to that, I just want to
say, it’s a linear program. And so in order to get from
West Harbor to Niagara Falls, all the work has to be done in between. So work is well underway in that area. And will be continued to be in that area for a period of time. Some examples of what GO stations look like, the new stations. So what you’re seeing
there is some renderings early for the Confederation GO station. The one on the top right is
one where we’ve integrated the new station into an older site that has more heritage components. The bottom left is sort
of a passenger area of the ticket booth, what the
modern version looks like. And the bottom right is a
canopy over the platform, under our newer standards. Just to give you an idea of what some of these will look like. I want to speak about
community engagement, a little bit as well,
it’s kind of a cornerstone of our project delivery lifecycle. So the community engagement
happens at all stages of the program development. So this slide is really meant to show you that it starts at the planning
and feasibility stage. It continues on through any environmental assessment program. In our case, the environmental
assessment is complete. However, any changes to the
program or updates would involve some public consultation
and community engagement. During design and procurement, we work with the
community to collect input and feedback on what
things they’d like to see. And then again, during
construction, the focus is on minimizing impacts to the
community and the residents. An important point. So this slide’s called
beginning the conversation. We know that there have
been some discussions, secondary plan and Niagara Region meetings that talk about GO expansion. This is really Metrolinx’s
first opportunity to talk about things
like the new stations. So there are four public
meeting dates here. Some have already occurred,
as you can see by the dates. And the one in Niagara Falls
is scheduled for December 6th. In addition, there will
be some signs installed in the relevant locations
indicating the new infrastructure on the way, so Future Home
Of signs for the stations. We really value our partnership
with Niagara Region, it’s going very well,
and city staff as well. And so I wanted to emphasize that we do appreciate that
partnership, it’s a big part of how we’ve gotten to where we’ve gotten. So we have a working group
that meets regularly, between Metrolinx and Niagara Region, to discuss progress
issues and to coordinate. That’s going really well. We’re working on finalizing
an Agreement-in-Principle between Niagara Region municipalities and Metrolinx to sort out some of the responsibilities and
expectations on both sides. Obviously, we support in
confirming the funding agreement and commitments between
Niagara Region and MTO. The station planning
efforts, we’ll collaborate with Niagara Region on
the important aspects of the stations in the
community engagement process. Supporting the new Niagara inter-municipal transit authority. And we work on trying to
identify areas where there’s an interface between our
program and the rail expansion and potentially some work
that the municipality or the Region is
undertaking that interfaces or is, connects to the rail corridor. Next steps, there are lots,
these are just some of them. So Metrolinx is intending on initiating any environmental assessment
addenda items in early 2018. So clarifying what was
in the old EA, or the EA that’s approved, versus what
we are undertaking shortly. Start of Confederation
station construction, as I mentioned, that’s days away. Planning, procurement, design, so we have, as we
mentioned, all those things, the Grimsby station, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls VIA stations
that need to be upgraded. The layover facilities,
the two that I mentioned. And a significant amount
of CN corridor work that involves design and
construction activities. Those are all underway and will continue for a long period of time. And our targets for
initial service are again, the Confederation station, 2019, Grimsby, 2021 and Niagara Falls and St. Catherines would be 2023. There’s our contact information, if you want to talk to
either myself or Erin, also Manuel as well there. Just open the floor now to any questions. – [Jim] Thank you very much, Leon. Do members of Council? Yes, Councillor Morocco? – Yeah, so I’d just like to
say thank you to Erin and Leon. As a representative for our city council, I sit on the regional
transportation steering committee. And also the inter-municipal
and I’m so excited because this is a great opportunity
for us to start looking at how we can move our, not
just within our city, but all the cities to
get everybody moving. And keep the businesses going. As you pointed out, that
lost time is lost production. And we see that so much on the highway, so we’re really looking forward to that. We’re very excited about the GO train. And as everybody says,
why does it take so long? And why is it going to
take so long before we get, I think, 2023 was the date. But as you see, all of the
things that has to happen to get it here is very time consuming. So I appreciate the fact,
I know a lot of residents do ask us those questions. So with you coming here
to give us updates, it’s greatly appreciated to inform us and to keep us informed as well. So we look forward to working with you, and I know the mayor also
is on the inter-municipal and is a regional representative as well. So we’re very exciting
about working and trying to make sure that we move
everyone throughout the city. And I’m very excited
about the Niagara College. We were actually just having
a conversation earlier about how our buses are so
extremely busy within our city, to get the students moving back and forth to both Brock University
and Niagara College. But I’m glad to see that
there’s more GO buses moving our students here. And bringing them here. So hopefully, they’ll graduate and open up businesses and keep our city growing. – So thank you very much. Thank you very much, Councillors? So maybe Councillor, do
you want to make a motion to receive the presentation tonight, then? – Yes, I would.
– Seconded. – So moved by Councillor Morocco, seconded by Councillor Craitor. If there’s no further questions or com, oh, yep, Councillor Craitor. – I did have one question. If there was a political decision by whoever is in government then, to move this up, you said a 2023, to move it up to, say,
2020, is that feasible? Now since I really appreciate this, as Councillor Morocco was saying, and get a better understanding of all the things that are involved. Is something like that
feasible, if a government just says we decided
we want to move it up? All those timelines and all those EAs and all those studies that you have to do? Could they prevent that from happening? – I’ll take this question,
just because you started with political, but I
would respond to that by saying this is an ambitious
program, there’s no doubt. I think the answer to
that is we would have to honestly look at and see if
anything in here could be condensed in some ways,
if we were asked to do so. But this already, in terms of a timeline, for this amount of
infrastructure, is very ambitious. We’re an agency, we’re
required to look if asked. But I think at this point in
time, we’re pretty comfortable to say, this is already
going maximum speed, in terms of real infrastructure. – Thank you, I think what
it shows, Your Worship, is that the accomplishment,
that you’re able, with the Region to get this to go, and I was there and for
all the years I tried, I just always sort of hit the brick wall. I’m not being critical of Metrolinx, but the accomplishments
of what you’re able to achieve to get it to 2023. Because it is true, out in the community, the feeling is, well, how come
it’s so far down the road? Why can’t it just, why
does Grimsby get it first? What happened to Niagara Falls? Now you start to understand all the things that are involved in getting it, to get approved to down here. So it’s really beneficial
to take the time, I hope the public does, watching you, gets a better understanding of why we can’t have it, literally, tomorrow, and that’s what people wanted, tomorrow. So congratulations. – And later on, and thank
you for that Councillor. Later on the in the agenda,
you’re going to see Council, there’s going to be a part on
expanding our inter-municipal transit and taking it to the next level. So it’s going to time
in perfectly to tee up with the GO train that’s
coming into the region. Because it’s really going
to transform the region, where you’ll be able
to get to work anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe,
without having a car. And without being at the
mercy of the weather, or congestion, or construction, or whatever the challenges are. Because at one time, I remember my dad commuted every day for 30 years, it was an hour and 15 minutes,
right downtown Toronto. And today, good luck doing
it in an hour and 15. Because you think you can
go at night time to avoid everything, well, that’s when
they do the construction. So it’s hard to really
plan, so you have to leave yourself hours extra just in case. So this is going to be
terrific, and you’re right, Councillors, there’s
a lot of moving parts. It’s not just as simple
as just put another train on the track and let’s get going, there’s a lot of moving parts. So thank you very much. I will call that vote now, a
move by Councillor Morocco, seconded by Councillor
Craitor, that we receive the report tonight, the presentation. All those in favor? Okay, so that’s received and thank you very much for your time. – Thank you for your time.
– Hope your ride back’s quicker.
– Yes, thanks. – Take care.
– Thank you. And our last presentation is Honk Mobile. And tonight, I understand we’ve got either Kacey Siskind or Michael Back that’ll be presenting here to Council. – Hi, I’m Kacey.
– Hello, welcome. You’re Kacey, okay.
– Although, I feel like I was here to celebrate Frank. Like I was so happy for Frank. (laughs) – (laughs) Isn’t that a great story? – So I know I don’t have a ton of time. I can get online and show
you online what Honk is, or I can just explain it,
and it might be faster. – Yeah, why don’t we
ask Karl, our director of transportation what that means? – So Council, through the mayor, in September, Council approved an RFP and Honk was the successful
bidder on cellular payments at pay and display
machines and parking meters. So what they’re going to do is demonstrate how that’s done and then moving forward, we’ll begin to start
introducing that in December. Just to let you know, I think, there’s many communities that have Honk. It’s used throughout North America. It’s in St. Catharines, Toronto,
London, and various others. So there’s about 150 locations. And it’ll make it easier for,
whether you’re a resident, tourist or whatever, to
get on and, you’re at a restaurant and the meter’s running down and it gives you that information as well. And you can add more time without having to worry about getting a ticket. That’s what Honk is about. – Great.
– Yeah, so I’m going to show you the web version,
but generally speaking, most people will use it on their phones, because it’s a mobile application. But you can definitely
also buy parking from any other source, so if you have
an iPad or a different phones. So basically what you do is
you would already be logged in. I won’t go through the signup process, just because it’ll take more time. But we ask you for your email address, your license plate, and then
your payment information. So it’s pretty straightforward, it does not take very long to set up. – Now when you say payment information, like your credit card or your PayPal? – Yep, PayPal, credit card and Masterpass, so that’s similar to
PayPal, and Apple Pay. All those work through Honk. (keyboard tapping) All right, okay. So as you can see, we
have these locations. So we do this through geolocation. So wherever you are in the
city, there’ll be zones. This is all just information that we’ve inputted for the purpose of today. But these will all be, so you
would pull up to your zone, the app would geolocate you. But you can also just
manually enter the zone ID. So you can see here Zone 4507, that’s the closest zone
to where we are now. And you can do Book Now. You can also, so on your
phone, it’ll mostly come up with these little guys over here. You can see it’s sort
of clustered together. But you click on Book
Now and you can choose how you want this to be. So you can here, it’s
first come, first serve. Book Your Spot or Choose Your Rate. So we automatically do
a two-hour time slot, but you can change that at any time. And you can also choose your rate. So we exit before, or we can go down here and choose our rates,
one hour, half an hour. We kind of give you all the, and you guys, you’ll be able
to set the parameters on this. So we take the information
that you give us, we put it into the system
and it’s really convenient. You no longer have to go to the machine, you can just easily pull out your phone. You can pay for parking
from within your car. It’s really good for safety at night time, for during the day, during
snow storms, rain storms, it’s just an easy thing to do. If you’re out for lunch and
you’re time is running over, you can re-up from wherever you are. Let’s book an hour. So I have all my information
here, my plate information. I can add as many license
plates as I’d like, so I have my husband’s car, or a friend’s, or a rental, my car, whatever it may be. Payment methods, as I
said, there’s numerous payment methods that you can add in. This is going to give you your start time and your end time,
because I chose an hour. The parking, there’s a small
service fee that’s added. So again, you do have
machines here so you can choose whether you want
to use Honk or not. Convenience, we find, most
people don’t seem to mind paying a small convenience
fee for the service. We do promo codes sometimes. So a lot of times, if
they’re starting out, we want people to use Honk, we want to get you on the system. We’ll say like, oh, here’s
a dollar off parking today. Or sometimes, some
municipalities at Christmas, they like to offer
special half an hour free based things for participating for, we work with the BIAs, speaking of Frank. (laughs) So we get the BIAs
involved and we get them wanting to participate in the systems to get people coming into downtown and to different areas to make purchases. So we can do promo codes for them, they can buy promo codes from us. It’s as simple and pay and park. We’re going to ask again
for your license plate, because obviously, this is all run through license plate recognition system. So we have to have the
correct license plate in order for it to work. It tells me when it’s going to go through. And there you go, I’ve paid for parking, it’s as simple as that. So it’s fairly basic, we’ll have it up and running really quickly. I’m sure it’ll be a great
system for you guys, the city will love it and
for tourism, for everything. – [Jim] So a couple questions for you. I guess there’s no piece of
paper necessary now, right? – Nothing, nothing.
– To put on your dash. It saw your license plate. The other question, and
so obviously if you’re in the restaurant, you don’t have to, and say you’re running
out, will it give you a notification that your
time is running out? – It does, it sends a text message. Or in-app notifications as well. I think we started to
do some in-app stuff, but mostly we send a text message to you. – And can you also put messages on there, if we ever had a special,
let’s say it’s New Year’s Eve, and we’re telling people, best to exit, go left on Stanley, or
whatever the case is, could you do things like that? – Absolutely, the other thing I didn’t show you is, here’s directions. So we also provide
directions to the location. So this is sort of after the fact, but if I click on there,
it’ll take me right to Google Maps and it’ll
give me directions. Because sometimes parking
lots, for example, have an address that’s like King Street, but actually you pull into the parking lot on Wellington, type of thing. So we can provide directions, we do notifications from within, so we can provide an in-app, like, hey, this particular
parking lot is closed today, somebody’s rented it out for a movie. Or exactly what you’re
saying, it’s New Year’s Eve, this is going to be super busy,
park around this area instead. Down the line, we’ve
talked a lot about maybe doing some dynamic
pricing and there’s some exciting things you can do this, in terms of revenue
generation and just allowing us to help you from a
technology standpoint to make your parking a
little easier for everybody. – Dynamic pricing responding
to supply and demand kind of thing, yeah.
– Yes, yes, that’s right. – Excellent idea, so do
we have any questions of Council for Kacey? Okay, I guess we have none,
I guess that was bang on. So thank you very much. Motion to proceed, Councillor Campbell? – Make that motion.
– Motion to receive the report, second by Councillor Thomson. All those in favor? Okay, and that’s unanimous,
thank you very much. – Okay, thanks so much.
– Okay, buh-bye. Okay, next item on the agenda is reports. F-21017-24, this is our financial reports. And I’ll ask Mr. Harrison,
without a name tag, if he will lead us in this
part of the presentation. – Yes, Mr. Mayor, thank you very much. Our annual financial statements are here for Council’s approval. They’re in draft form until
such time that the Council approves the audit for
the financial statements, that we have a clean audit opinion. The statements are there, and our auditor, Mark Pulambi of Crawford, Smith & Swallow is here for any questions. – Okay, Council, you had
the financial statements in your possession, do we have any questions for Mr. Palumbi? Okay, I guess we don’t have any questions. So are we looking for a motion to receive? – Yeah, we have a motion
to approve the financial statements as drafted and
then it’ll be finalized. – Okay, we’ve got a motion
by Councillor Morocco, seconded by Councillor Thomson. Did you want to speak to it, Councillor? – This looks identical to
last year, this first page, is that the same letter
they send out every year? Or is that? (chuckles) if there’s no further probing questions, we’ll call the vote. All those in favor? Okay, and that’s approved unanimously. Thank you very much, Mr.
Todd, thank you, Mr. Palumbi. We’re good to go, thanks for being here. Okay, next item is TS-2017-36, Booth Street parking
review post implementation. And everybody get your
chance to call up the report. It’s for the information of Council. I understand we’ve got a request. Yes, Mr. Dren. – Thank you, Mr. Mayor. If I could give a bit of a lead in, I know there’s some
people that want to speak. And just to bring Council up to date on a summary of the report. So the information report
that’s here tonight is a followup to the school
time parking restrictions that we implemented along Booth in August. The restrictions were put
in place as a result of unsafe interactions between
schoolchildren and vehicles, and are similar to the
restrictions that we have in other schools like
Loretto, Kate Durdan, and Orchard Park, where we’ve
had to do the same thing. The school has a kiss and
ride program on the property and they’re responsible to maintain that and make sure it’s working properly. And as a result of the
fact that the school has acknowledged that they need
improvement on the property with the kiss and ride
and parking and so forth, some parents have migrated
to the surrounding streets instead of utilizing the kiss and ride, due to the length of time
it takes to drop off kids and the lack, the fact that
there’s some parking issues. And so the school has acknowledged
that they are committed to improve the kiss and ride area and the parking areas
on the school property. And in the report, I think
you’ll see on page two of the report, they’ve also instituted some short-term improvements right now, because it’s limited,
unless you reconstruct. And that they’re programming
in long-term improvements for summer 2018 and again,
subject to school budget approvals to improve the kiss and ride and the construction of the
additional parking spaces. Thank you.
– All right, thank you for that, so I understand that we’ve got a few people here, so
Robert Hird, Robert Hird, has asked to speak and address Council. And as well, I know I see
here Giuliana Procopio and Luisa Carbonara have
also, are they here as well? (man speaking off mic)
Okay. – Do you want to go first, okay. – Good evening, Mayor
Diodati and City Council. I’m going to start just by going over what’s happened over
the past little while. – [Jim] Are you Luisa? – I’m Luisa.
– Okay. Guiliana couldn’t be here this evening. I’m going to start by going
over what happened in June. We received an email from the school, letting us know that we had a week’s time to get some emails over
to City Council to address our concern that Booth
Street would no longer be a place where we
could pick up our kids. Cardinal Newman School had
a kiss and ride in effect. We have 550 students at
Cardinal Newman School. And I use Booth Street to
pick up my three children. And I use Booth Street
and we had a week’s, to send our email and I
wrote a letter to Council. And our letters never
reach, they reached Council, and our letters never reached in time to the August 22nd,
when City Council passed the no parking on Booth Street. Our school parking lot
has 44 parking spots, but we have 42 teachers. Our pickup and drop off,
when we pick up our children, on the Booth Street
side, the Cardinal Newman property has a safety concern. That’s why we have utilized
the Booth Street entrance. Orchard Grove now has
become the new pickup spot, there’s signs that if
we pick up our students on Booth Street, we will
be given a $50 ticket, between the hours of
8:30 in the morning to, I believe it’s nine, nine
o’clock or 2:30 to four o’clock. Now, Orchard Grove is now
become the new safety, in my opinion, safety concern. Because children are, the safety
issues that were happening on Booth Street are now
happening on Orchard Grove. – Can I ask you, on Orchard Grove, is it anywhere in
particular on Orchard Grove? – It’s the whole street.
– Okay. – Mr. Dren, did you want to, I’m sorry, excuse me.
– Oh no, I was just pointing to the clerk to
see if he could take that. – Oh that?
– That board with the map up. (speakers voices interposing) – We’ve had some meetings with Mr. Dren. At the station there,
and we’ve been working together with him and with the reports. And he’s been very kind with us and we’ve been looking
over the safety concerns. But the safety concerns that
we’ve had on Booth Street, now they’ve just kind of
moved over to Booth Street. – Orchard Grove.
– Sorry, Orchard Grove. I apologize for that. In my opinion, Cardinal
Newman doesn’t have a kiss and ride program. They’ve staggered now the buses. They start at three
o’clock instead of 3:09. Because there’s an issue
with the education program. We have to have a certain
number of hours in a day. So they, the buses now
come a little earlier, at three o’clock, so it’s
a little bit staggered. But still, there are issues
with the kiss and ride. They’ve added a bus loading zone. So they’ve added some yellow places for the buses to come, but it’s still very busy in the front, which is why we use the
back street, Booth Street. As the winter weather approaches,
it hasn’t happened yet, but in the last few years, you will notice that it’s slippery, there’s
been cars that were hit by buses, a lot of other
issues in the front, which is another reason why we use the Booth Street entrance. Some resolutions that
the city has promised us, when talking to Mr.
Dren, that the sidewalks will be plowed for us. Another, Mr. Thomson and us have discussed a possible crossing guard, might help us with the resolution
while we’re waiting for the school board to, eventually
in the September 2018, for more parking spots in the front, to have a kiss and ride program. The reason I personally use
the Booth Street entrance, I have been ill, Booth Street provides me with convenient, and I’m
using the word convenient, but for me, I don’t have
to get out of my car, I’m not using a kiss and ride
program that does not work. There’s 550 students at
Cardinal Newman School, a school that wasn’t
built for 550 students. It’s not feasible, the
kids get out at 3:09, you’re not picking up
your kid for, ’til 3:25. Most of us have children
in extra curricular, I know we live a busy lifestyle. Maybe that’s not a good enough reason, but we have to go, I can’t
get out my car some days. My older children pick
up my six year old son, who comes out, sometimes
on Orchard Grove now. My son who’s six, tends
to run across the street. That’s why Mr. Thomson
offered maybe a crossing guard might be another solution for now, to help with the safety
concerns that are there. Thank you for your time. – Thank you, and do we have any questions? – Oh, sorry.
– For our first speaker? Okay, okay, we’re good,
okay, thank you very much. – Hello, I wanted to thank Mayor Diodati and the members of City Council
for letting us speak today. My name is Robert Hird, and
I’m a parent of three children, two that currently attend
Cardinal Newman school. I’m here to speak about the no-stopping zone on Booth Street. My daughter, Colleen is in grade four, and I have been taking her back and forth for the last six years. Each year, the student
population is growing, and the one vehicle
entrance off Beaverdams Road is being becoming more and
more congested and dangerous. There are many buses and cars competing for very little space. There is no distinct kiss and
ride like most schools have, and a little area to drop off
and pick up your children. With over 550 students, the
time between nine o’clock, times around nine
o’clock and three o’clock are very chaotic and a serious
accident waiting to happen. Until this past September,
there were fewer parents, about two to three dozen, who used the back entrance to the school. There’s a walkway leading
to Booth Street we used as entrance because it is safer than the Beaverdams entrance. In June, the principal of the Cardinal Newman School was
informed that Booth Street would become a no-stopping zone. And this prohibition would
not allow a driver to stop, even momentarily, to pick
up or discharge members. And this restriction would
be strictly enforced. Offenders would not have
to be ticketed onsite, they could be sent a
$50 ticket in the mail. $50, that’s $100 a day,
that’s $500 a week, that’s $20,000 for a school year. That’s very extreme. For safely stopping out
for a one-minute walk, to take my child into school
and get her back in my car. Some of the older children, like Luisa’s, would get out of the car, 10 seconds, and the parents would be on their way. Much safer than the chaos
of the main entrance. Even somebody stopping to get their mail, that would be a $50
fine, if a senior stopped on Booth Street to get their
mail between these times. This is a residential
street, not an airport. Not a hospital, where stopping
restrictions usually occur. $50 fine seems a little bit much. The problem I have with
the new restrictions are the reasons given for it. The memo dated June 14th,
2017, stated the reason for the new changes were
then, I quote, to prevent continued damage to the
shoulder and grass boulevard. Really, somebody’s
grass is that important? Is somebody’s grass more
important than my kid’s safety? The problem is, and I
think the real reason that we are here, is that
there are a few people on Booth Street don’t like
their grass being ruined and don’t like people
stopping on their street. This seems like a very difficult, this seems like a very
self-centered attitude and very difficult argument to defend. For years now, we’ve seen
city parking attendants out on Booth Street, bothering parents, grandparents, children and basically for anyone stopping on Booth Street. The city would not waste this manpower if someone wasn’t
complaining again and again. The next given to us parents was the safety before
convenience argument. That’s a tough one to argue. Safety is more important than convenience, I’ll agree with that. But the problem I have
with that is the fact that Booth Street is worse
than the front entrance, and that seems to be irrelevant. Also the fact that many
parents who use Booth Street, now like Luisa, now use
the Orchard Grove street. Orchard Grove is the same issues. There’s nothing different, they’ve just been moved over a block. We have the same problems
of kids crossing streets, people stopping, basically if
it’s as safe on Booth Street, it as safe as on Orchard Grave. If safety is the real
concern, there are many more streets busier than Booth Street that should be no-stopping zones. Beaverdams is a very, very hectic street. There should be a no-stopping zone there. The school area, you get much
more traffic than on Booth. A couple of weeks ago,
my family spent time with the Wonder Pass,
the WonderFalls Pass, and we spent a lot of
time around the Falls. The number of cars that
stopped at the Falls, to drop off people, pick up people, stopped at the Falls,
got out, took a picture and got back in their car was immense. If ever there was an issue of
safety for vehicle stopping, Niagara Parkway would be a better street. But there are no restrictions there, which is unusual. Safety over convenience could be used to argue almost anything. If we could only ban cars
and all use Metrolinx, our life would be a lot safer. We parents were given
one week to get input into the city and many did. The no-stopping zone was
passed by City Council in August without any of
us parents being notified this issue was being discussed. Here today, we are allowed to talk, but we were told that there are
no changes being considered. In September, the reaction
I received from parents ranged from you can’t fight City Hall to a feeling of helplessness. We tried, but we couldn’t do anything. Now some of us use Orchard Grove. The children still manage
safely to cross the road, same as on Booth Street. The only small problem with Orchard Grove is the parking spots are small. Most cars cannot park without being within four feet of somebody’s driveway. This is only a $40 fine,
so that’s an improvement. So basically, instead of a $50 fine, you’re only risking a $40 fine. The main problem we
have with Orchard Grove is that winter is coming. And people do not shovel the sidewalks, especially before 9:00 a.m. Which means more grandparents and mothers with strollers will have
a more difficult time getting their children to school. Other parents are now
using the main entrance, so it means that even more
cars are put into the chaos. Even if you honestly believe that there is a safety issue, you have not fixed it. You have moved the problem
over to the next street. From Booth Street to Orchard Grove. And you have made the Beaverdams
entrance more congested. Last Tuesday, a fire alarm went off at 3:00 p.m. in Cardinal Newman. The fire chief parked on Beaverdams Road, because he could not get into the school. Basically the firetruck had difficulties getting into anywhere near the school, because it was so congested
with buses and cars. Luckily, two buses were
smart enough to stop outside the school, or nobody would have got in, and nobody would have gotten out. This was a very dangerous situation, and this wasn’t a fire. What if there was a fire? Where was the safety here? Seriously, the safety of the
many must outweigh the grass of a few, especially when
it comes to our children. I hope that we can think about removing the no-stopping zone on Booth Street and help alleviate some
of the real safety issues that happen at Cardinal Newman, thank you. – Thank you very much, Robert. Are there any questions
or comments for Robert? Okay, Councillor Morocco? Did you have a comment? – Not to the gentleman,
just in regards to this. – Right, the general, the topic in general.
– Yes, first of all, I’m somewhat upset to know
that there was no letters that didn’t, those
letters didn’t reach us. We actually went and made a
motion to put a no-stopping. First of all, and I apologize. It seems to be, a little
bit horrifying to think that there’s over 500 children there and everyone’s trying
to get in and now people are complaining because they can’t park. For God’s sakes, I think it’s the safety of these children that we
have to be concerned about. So again, I do understand
we put a no-parking, for heaven sake’s, that they can’t get in. Is there any way that we can possibly work with the school to find another way to try and help these
parents get their children? I sure as heck wouldn’t
want to see some little child in any grade there
trying to run across a street to try to get
into their family’s car, when everybody’s trying to lobby or jockey for some parking, for their children. I mean, it must be just chaos. – [Robert] I refuse to
use the front entrance. – Just chaos.
– I’ve got too many scratches on my car already.
– I think that, I’m sure the rest of my fellow Councillors
feel the same way, that we definitely want to make sure that the children are safe
and that their parents have accessibility to get them. And also, the buses are
getting in and out on time. So what can we do to help
these people at the school? – We’ll direct that to Mr. Dren. – Thank you, Mr. Mayor. With regards to the notifications, Council did receive all the letters, and I indicated that in
the report back in August. They’d received them
through emails and there was a mass email out to Council,
so they were aware of it. The other thing, too, is
that I put in my report, that said, that there are
parents that are objecting to this and this is what we have today. In essence, what we’ve
done with Booth Street, we’ve taken the area where the
kids come out of the school, so it’s no different than
the front of the school, they’re coming along the walkway, and now they’re dispersing,
in between vehicles. And so what we’ve done,
similar to Heikoop, which is Loretto, and latest, Forest View, where we push the cars back. That’s all we’re doing. We’re not taking away their
parking, they are pushed back. So observations by myself and my staff, have identified it is safer than it was, because now you don’t
have the kids running in between the cars,
that they’ve just been released out of school,
they have a lot of energy and typically they do that. So we push the cars away. They can park, there’s
ample parking there, I know people park on Beaver Valley, I know they do that as well,
and walk up the street, but until the school can correct it, and it is a school problem. They have to reconstruct
the kiss and ride. And the kiss and ride does work. So contrary, it does work,
it’s just overcrowded. So what we’re looking
at, is in the meantime, the cars are pushed back,
people have to walk. And it means they walk
with their children, which to me, is making it safe for them. The other side of it,
too, what was mentioned at our meeting was, I
didn’t, at the meeting, I didn’t commit to either
snowplowing or a crossing guard, I suggested that it be brought to Council, to say whether they want to
do that, as an interim step until the school corrects their problem. And so we’re working with the school. The school has indicated they made a bunch of changes right away. And they’ve indicated that,
in fact, we just received request for redesign and
all that in our office, to redesign the kiss and ride and parking. And they are working through it. So to say that we’ve made it less safe, we’ve made it more safe. And there’s example after
example after example, where we’ve pushed the
cars and the people, pushed them away from each
other, so it’s very clear that a child walking down the road, now there’s a clear view of that person. And the parents do get out and
walk and meet their children. And it just means they have
to walk another 50 feet to get to the back of the school. – So, through you, Your Worship, to Karl, it didn’t seem to come across
that they’re feeling safe right now, from the presentation. So let’s just cut to the chase, I guess. Where are we then, with the
school, and getting this fixed? And also, I’m not sure
that I feel comfortable that we’re actually giving them a fine, the $50, when there’s actually something in place where they’re to trying to fix. – To deal with the, like
in front of all schools, when we start, we go through a program. And it was identified
in the August report. As we go through an education
process with the process. So the first couple weeks,
our officers are out there, explaining what’s
happened, what’s going on. And that you could get
a fine if you do it. Even two weeks after
that, we had instances of somebody went cut one of the signs down. A parent was hitting
an officer on the hand, there was things that were going on, until they got sort of educated to say, no, you just stay way from that area, that’s supposed to be clear. We’re making it safe for the children and if you have to walk
a little bit extra, you walk a little bit extra. But we’re dispersing the
kids and not having them run in between cars is what we observed. – That’s important, their safety. So sorry, but when are we
going to have that improved, is there any timeline for
this, sorry, for this school saying that this kiss and
ride program is going to be improved to satisfy
the 550 children exiting? – So with regards to the kiss and ride, what the school has indicated
is that they’ve programmed it in to their 2018 construction year, which means they’re in the
process of designing right now. They want to get it constructed in summer, this summer coming up,
so that for September, they’ll have the new kiss
and ride with the changes. – So we have seven months of school where they’re still going to have to deal with? – With kiss and rides, even
if you look at Loretto. Loretto, which is a huge school, that has this huge,
wonderful kiss and ride, a lot of time it’s choice by the parents. So the parents are going to Niagara or United Soccer Field,
and they’re parking there, they’re not using the kiss and ride. Then they’re going over to Heikoop, and that’s what created
there, there was a walkway that was similar to
this, where the parents were right at the walkway, gathering, and it was creating a bad
situation for the kids. And so all we did is just push
the traffic away, that’s all. That’s all we’ve done. So in this case here, it
becomes a choice, right? And so the parent is choosing,
I’m not going to sit in line, I’m not going to sit waiting
for them, I’m going to go over here and tell my
child to meet me out here. And that’s what they’re doing. – So then what about Booth Street? – Booth Street is, I can’t recommend that we put anything back out there, because of what we
experienced through this. With the kids cutting through cars, it really was an unsafe situation that you don’t want to recreate again. – Okay, so as long as it
was focused on the thought that we did what we did for
safety, then I’m okay that. – Councillor Thomson. – Well, I’m going to start
off by thanking the staff, for their concern with
respect to this situation. And how they have been trying to deal with a very serious problem,
which is created by 550 kids going to an elementary school. It’s unbelievable that the congestion, and the number of children trying to get in and trying to get out. And I’ve been at the transit building, when we had a meeting with the parents. I listened to all the concerns. I listened to what the staff were saying. I also went to a meeting
with Councillor Craitor, at the corner of Orchard
Grove and Booth Street, where we stood there and
watched at 3:00 or 3:15, the situation, and I honestly believe that there was, in fact, if
you read the report today, on the Council Agenda, it tells
you exactly what’s going on. Our staff have been
dealing with the school and putting a great
deal of pressure on them and getting a lot of
support from the principal to come up with changes. They bought additional land,
they’re moving ahead with all kinds of changes, with respect
to the school property, to accommodate the
concerns and the problems. And I think we just have
to be a little bit patient, but be certainly conscious
of the safety aspect of it. Because that’s why the staff
have reacted they have. Because the last thing they want out there is some child being hit,
running out between cars. So it’s going to take a little time. The school board has
indicated they’re on board. They’re going to buy property,
they’re going to change the whole situation out
there to try to improve it. So I think we have to be a little patient and recognize that, really,
it’s not the city’s problem. We have to react to it,
but they’ve created, can you imagine, 550
young kids running into an elementary school, it’s
unbelievable, it’s unheard of. They should take some
responsibility for that, but I really think the staff
have done an excellent job in responding and meeting and
going after the school board. And the other situation
is, I think the people here have to be at the school
board, to make sure when they’re talking about
the budget, that the, or realize how serious this
is, and that you demand that they get on with what
the dialogue have had, with the staff at the city. The other thing is, and I
suggested, when I was out there, because of your comments
about the snow banks at the corner of Booth and Orchard Grove, that we should have a
crossing guard there, during the winter months,
because of the snow banks to make sure that nobody
has a concern or problem. But I think we all have to
realize this is a situation, it isn’t going to be snapping the fingers and everything’s going to be cleared up. It’s going to take some
time and I think we all have to work together,
pressure on the school board, to do what they’re responsible for. And come up with any suggestions
or ideas that improve the situation, as far as
dropping off and picking up. But the key element, that
they’ve said consistently, from the staff, is the safety. So I think we have to be a little patient. They’ve tried to react to
it as much as they can. But it’s not totally our problem. – Yeah, Councillor Morocco? – [Joyce] Would Councillor
Thomson like to make the motion to appoint another crossing guard there? – I intend to do that, yes.
– Okay. – I was going to ask that, if Mr. Dren– – I would, as a result of our discussions, I would make sure that the staff know that the Council expects to be, safety, the ultimate, and a crossing guard is going to help that, so I move that. – Is that a motion?
– Yeah. – So we got a motion
by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor
Morocco, that we put a crossing guard there
as an interim measure until we get things straightened out. Mr. Dren, where would we put
that crossing guard, exactly? – [Joyce] Because snow will be here soon. – It would be at Orchard Grove and Booth. So that, from what I observed, it’s about a 20-minute window. So their crossing guard would be there to cross kids at the intersection. We did observe, actually,
while we were there, some cars, I don’t know
if they were parents or residents or whatever,
that actually just rolled right through the stop sign. So that was the concern,
so the kids are crossing, so we’d add a crossing guard there. The other thing was mentioned
about the snow removal, because there is a long stretch there, as to whether Council wants
to entertain that as well. And that’s trough Municipal Works. – I would include that in the motion, because if the Booth Street is plowed, they haven’t been plowing
sidewalk aspect of it. That would certainly
make a big difference. – Okay, so the motion, and you’re good with that too, as a seconder?
– Yes. – So the motion for Council,
moved by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor Morocco is that at Cardinal Newman School,
we add in a cross guard during the interim, until they
redesign the kiss and ride. And secondly, that we add
snowplowing to the sidewalks in the areas around the
school, to make sure that we’ve got a safe passage for
the kids and the parents. – And I would include the correspondence to the school board, on
behalf of the Council, to realize the position we’re in, and what we’re trying to do and accomplish and want their full
support, as we move forward. – Okay, and corresponding with the NCDSBN. Okay, any other questions? Okay, we’ll call the
vote, all those in favor? Okay, we’ve got two conflicts,
but that’s a unanimous vote. So thank you very much,
parents, Luisa and Robert, we appreciate you coming
out and we’re going to do all that we can on our end, to help make things better as well. – That will help, yes,
which is appreciated. Because like I say, basically,
the moving things from Booth Street to Orchard
Grove just moves things, basically, one to two blocks away. Especially when you’re talking
with kids as young as four, that there are parents
that drop their kids off and let them walk in, I
don’t, I take my kids in. But like I say, when
you’ve got little kids, the people are still doing the same thing they’re doing on Booth Street. They stop, let the kids out, you’re talking little kids walking, sometimes a big distance
for them, to get into school safely, it’s important that
there’s somebody there. And that, like I say, for
mothers and for grandparents, that there is a safe way to walk, instead of trying to walk down the street. Which I’ve seen people
do, so when they do, sidewalk’s not done, the street’s safer, which is not really safe. – Well, we’re on board. And yes, Mr. Dren. – Just one comment, just
Council’s not aware of this, I send them the information,
but there’s a publication called Safe Walk to School,
and actually Cardinal Newman was on the front cover
of this publication, because there’s a
program that’s introduced many times a year, where it’s
a safe walk to school program and they were one of the leaders. – Okay, great.
– Thank you. – Great, well, thank you very much. – Thank you.
– Thank you for your time. Okay, we’ve got one more report. MW-2017-48, we call up Mr. Nick Golia, project manager with our
Municipal Works department. He’s going to make a brief
presentation to Council on the St. John’s Marsh Drain project. Welcome, Mr. Golia.
– Thank you. Good evening, Your
Worship, Member of Council, and ladies and gentlemen of the audience. I am Nick Golia, project
manager and appointed drainage superintendent for
the city of Niagara Falls. Before you tonight is
the engineer’s report, prepared by Spriet
Associates for a portion of the St. John’s Marsh
Drain, from Netherby Road to approximately 400 meters
north of Willow Road. St. John’s Drain was last
constructed pursuant to an engineer’s report
prepared by C.A. Grassie Engineering, dated July 29th, 1848. Even though a small
portion of the drain exists in the City of Niagara Falls,
it is still the obligation of the municipality to
maintain portions of the drain within its boundaries
and assess properties within the watershed accordingly. Due to the period of time
since the last filed report, a new engineer’s report was required. In 2016, Town of Fort
Erie, through a Section 78 of the Drainage Act, passed a by-law, for the most southerly portion
of the St. John’s Marsh drain from Netherby Road
south to the Black Creek. Construction is anticipated in 2018. Staff asked that Council adopt
the filed engineer’s report and give two readings to
the provisional by-law. This will initiate
appeals process outlined through the Drainage Act,
and allows property owners within the watershed,
should they wish to appeal on technical assessments
and/or legal merits of the proposed engineer’s report. The drainage engineer is
in attendance tonight, should anyone have any questions for them or myself, thank you. – Okay, thank you, do
we have any questions of Council for Mr. Golia? Okay, so what are we looking at, receiving the report, Mr. Clerk?
– Yep. Looking for a motion
to receive his report. Moved by Councillor Morocco,
seconded by Councillor Craitor. If there’s no further
discussion, we’ll call the vote. Yep, oh I’m sorry, Councillor Thomson. – Isn’t there somebody
who wanted to speak? – Well, if we had any questions, is that what you said, Mr. Golia? – [Nick] Yes, if there’s anyone attending. – [Wayne T.] Is Mr. White here? – Is there somebody here to speak, that wants to speak this,
you’re saying, Councillor? – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Is there someone here that
wants to address Council? – I believe there is someone
here, but it’s not Mr. White. It’s another property owner,
it sounds, Mr. Daniels? Did you wish to speak?
– Yeah. – You can come forward, if you’d like to come to the microphone. What are we doing, just receiving these? Are we just receiving these? – Good evening.
– Hello, can you state your name and your address please? – My name is Oliverio, Daniel, I live at 5762 Baker Road, in Niagara Falls. And I’m part of this here. And I’d like to know why,
that we are doing this drain, and why all the property owners in Niagara Falls are not
paying for this drain? – [Man] Who’s going to
answer these questions? – [Jim] Is that your question? Or is there more? – And why we have to pay
twice for this drain? We have to pay to Niagara Falls, and we have to pay to Fort Erie. But we will billed through our taxes in Niagara Falls. Why isn’t this money coming out of the budget for Niagara Falls? If there’s a drain that
is, needs replacing, or is too small in the
City of Niagara Falls, do the owners of that property
in front of that drain have to pay for it, or the
whole town has to pay for it? – Why don’t we try to
get you some answers. I don’t know the answer to that. Mr. Golia, would you be
able to help us answer that? – So what the Drainage Act allows for is properties within the
watershed of the identified drain, those are what the assessments
goal are allocated to. So anyone outside of the
watershed wouldn’t be paying a portion to the drain itself. To Mr. Daniel’s comment
about paying to Fort Erie and to Niagara Falls, as I was mentioning, as you work downstream, if
there’s additional drains that this St. John’s,
because we’re at the top end of the St. John’s Marsh
Drain, it flows into a St. John’s Marsh Drain
that’s part of Fort Erie, there will be additional
costs that get invoiced to the municipality of
City of Niagara Falls, and we then distribute it to properties within the watershed, for
the City of Niagara Falls. So that’s where he’s
commenting on getting paid, you’re not doubling up on a one drain. What it is, is as flow downstream, there could be costs
associated with all the drains, all the way down until you
get to a sufficient outlet. I hope that answers the question. – Okay, and our CAO is going to add– – If I could just add
to Mr. Golia’s comment. So the purpose of the
report tonight is that you’ll give two readings to a by-law, under the Drainage Act. And what will happen,
there’s an appeal process that kicks in, so the
gentleman speaking tonight can appeal the assessment on his property. It goes to the Court of Revision, which this council approves. Court of Revision looks at those charges that are allocated to the property, and they may make
revisions to those charges. Once that’s settled at
the Court of Revision, we would then bring the
third reading of the by-law for final approval to Council. So this gentleman does
have the right to go to the Court of Revision,
and to object or appeal those charges that he believes
are unfair on his property. – Okay, does that help answer
your question, Mr. Daniels? – it doesn’t answer me
why I have to pay twice. – Again, I think what Mr.
Daniels is getting at, because, as I mentioned,
Fort Erie passed their by-law for their portion of the
St. John’s Marsh Drain. Once that’s constructed,
all the costs associated with that portion of the drain get billed to the City of Niagara
Falls, we then bill it out to all the residents that
are within the watershed. So that’s, I think, where he’s saying, getting at that’s saying, why
am I getting billed twice? They’re both called
St. John’s Marsh Drain, one’s the north portion, one’s the southern portion that’s in Fort Erie. – Okay, Councillor Thomson, or I’m sorry, Councillor Pietrangelo wanted to comment. – Just kidding. I was trying to stand up this high. Your Worship, I wanted
to address something that Mr. Daniel said,
because I thought years ago, when we were dealing with Tea Creek, if my memory serves me correctly, we made a decision at that
time not to go according to the Drainage Act, and charge
every single property owner that was along that particular
portion of drainage. And the reason why we made that decision is because, just as Mr. Daniels had said, in our eyes, it should be
viewed as infrastructure. It’s like if the sewer goes
in front of your house, the city doesn’t come to you and say, you need to pay the costs
to replace that sewer. That’s taken up amongst everyone. In the rural area, if
there’s ditching that’s done, in front of someone’s house,
we don’t go to that homeowner, because generally that
water isn’t, I guess, originated from that home anyway. It’s usually up the road. And I thought that we’ve
already made that decision, when Tea Creek came down here. And if anyone else’s
memory serves them correct, I remember that the
decision was downstairs in Committee Room Two, a long time ago. And we chose to take the funds to do the drainage out of General Purposes. And I think that that’s
the right course of action, to be honest with you. I mean, I can’t help but support what the resident is saying. And I think that on a go-forward basis, that should be the way
that we look at doing it. – [Jim] Okay, our CAO’s
going to weigh in as well. – [Ken] If I may, maybe
this source can help, too, but this is a drain I
identified already under the Drainage Act, and anybody
in the urban boundary, that has municipal services
pays an urban service charge in the sense that through
their sewer and water rates, they are paying for capital
replacement of that. In the rural area, where
there aren’t those services, there aren’t those
charges that are in place. So this act, and the Drainage
Act gives the ability to apportion those costs
across the ratepayers that are in the watershed that are, and that’s the theory behind why this kind of urban
versus rural is in place. Because others are paying
for that through their, in part, by their sewer and
water rates that they get charged for services in
front of their house. This case is, they don’t. – Our solicitor’s going
to weigh in on it, too. – These types of applications are put into motion by requests
from property owners who are on, within the drainage system. The city doesn’t, can’t contract
out of the Drainage Act. If somebody brings one
of the things forward, then Mr. Golia has to respond,
it’s a statutory scheme. It was not Tea Creek, Tea
Creek itself actually was assessed out in the
fashion described here, after various appeals, but
the Councillor Pietrangelo is correct, Mr. Mayor, I speak
to Councillor Pietrangelo through yourself, there was two situations of Drainage Act matters that
came before the Council, where Council elected to pay them out of the general tax base. Mr. Golia might be able
to help, I can’t remember the names of the actual drains involved, but there were two, they
appeared on the same day. I think it was in around 2007, if I remember right,
Councillor Pietrangelo. But there were two where that was done. It just wasn’t Tea Creek,
Tea Creek was in 2002 or something, but it certainly did happen. That there were two that once Council did. But as far as the situation for Mr. Golia, he’s the drainage superintendent, that’s a statutory position
under the Drainage Act. If an application is made
to him to clean out a drain, he has to process it in the way he has that’s required by law. But that doesn’t mean
Council has to necessarily do it as recommended, but he has to bring the recommendation to you. – Thank you, Mr. Beaman. We now have the CAO. – Maybe I’ll try to take
one more shot at the cost. Because there’s two
municipal jurisdictions, there’s costs of fixing the drain, costs that are being incurred
in both municipalities. But how the assessments
get allocated is that all the total costs are put together from that project on
both sides of the border. And then it’s allocated to
everybody in the watershed, whether you’re on the Fort Erie side, or whether you’re on
the Niagara Falls side. So there’s a portion that’s, are allocated based on those total costs
that Mr. Golia has identified. so when you go to the Court
of Revision, that’s where you can argue your portion
then, on those costs. If you think that your proportionate share of that drain is too much, that’s what the Court of Revision can deal with. – Yep, Mr. Golia. – Just to add to that, property owners within the watershed, where
it flows to the outlet wouldn’t be paying for
upstream property owners within the watershed,
because obviously they are following the whole drain itself. So as it works its way down
to the sufficient outlet, you are allocated as per
you portion of the drains. So people at the upstream pay all the way, unfortunately, all the way
down to the sufficient outlet. Okay, Mr. Daniels, does
that help clear it up? – What Mr. Todd is saying
is you’ve got a law that was put in place in 1948, okay, and it’s about
time changes gets made. And it’s about time, I don’t have anybody backing me up because those
people are paying $100, they’re not concerned to back me up. But when you’re paying
a huge amount of money, it makes a difference
whether I want to live there or I want to demolish my home. Because this is not right. I am not contributing, I
don’t have sewers in my home, but I have to put a septic system in. I designed that septic system in. I’m not contributing to water that ditch, that water’s coming from upstairs. I have nothing to do with that water. – Well, I guess in this
case here, the opportunity’s the Court of Revision–
– Yeah, the only thing I can appeal is how much I’m paying. That’s all I can appeal. – Councillor Pietrangelo–
– He’s right. – Yeah, Your Worship, thanks very much. I never had a chance to respond to stuff. I understand that there is an extra charge for people that are inside
the urban service area, as opposed to people that
are in the rural area. Mr. Daniels is entirely correct that those people that are in the rural area, they have to put in
their own septic system. They also have to put in
their own cistern for water. And that’s a cost that they bear. So they already pay for
their cost of sewage. Perhaps you should just look
at it from the standpoint that drainage is a service
that the city provides. And we shouldn’t hinder
the people who actually live in the watershed, it’s
just a service that we provide. I know where I’m voting on this. I think it should be
something that’s borne across the entire municipality, Your Worship. – Did you want to bring some kind of a motion forward, Councillor? – I’m happy, but I think I
brought the other one forward anyway, so I’d be happy
to make the motion. And see what the floor is right now. – So the current recommendation
is that City Council adopt the engineer’s report, okay. And the second part is that the city gives two–
– I don’t mind adopting the engineer’s report.
– Pardon me? – But I’m sure that in
the by-law, it talks about the collection of funds,
if I’m not mistaken. But I think that the collection of funds should be spread over the
general purposes budget, as opposed to apportioned
to each homeowner. So that would be the gist of my motion. – Okay.
– We’ve done it before. And I don’t think that we should be turning around right now.
– And to that point, the engineer’s report should be adopted, but I guess to Councillor Pietrangelo’s, if the will of Council to
have this cost absorbed, there’s no need for the
Court of Revision process and the first and second
reading of the by-law. Because it really just
be a cost that would be absorbed through our capital budget. – [Victor] So it’s only recommendation one that needs to go forward? – Recommendation, is that all it would be, then, recommendation one? Mr. Holman, you wanted to comment. – Yes, I just want to
point out in the case of Usher’s Creek, I think
was the other example that Councillor Pietrangelo identified. The drainage engineers identified all the properties that are impacted. That includes municipal road allowances, trunk transmission
mains for gas companies, so if you’re going to
make a recommendation about what we pay for,
what the City is going to be responsible, please
restrict it to just those private property assessments. Because I think in the other case, the region did have to contribute, the MTO had to contribute. In this particular case,
I think one of the large land owners in the Niagara
Peninsula Conservation Authority. So you may just want to
stick to those private property contributions that are attached or included in the engineer’s
assessment schedule. – [Man] That would make
sense, we would see that. – [Man] Yeah, that would makes sense. – Do you want to make that motion? – Mr. Mayor, but in that
case, we need the by-laws to go forward, because what we would do, is we would basically exempt
the private property owners and keep the rest of the charges there. – Yeah, so in other words, Your Worship, then, we’ll go forward
with recommendations one and two, but two will
be (drowned out by coughing) to say that the private
property owners will not pay the portion, but the City
will pay the portion for them. – Is that all right, I gotcha, hang on. Jack, is that right? – Yep, that’s correct. Just one other thing,
though, that assessment needs to referred to the capital budget. – [Jim] Okay, Councillor Thomson. – Yeah, this is provincial legislation and I think why wouldn’t we go through the process,
our Court of Revision, and see what the results are? We’re talking about accepting something we don’t even know what it is. We don’t know how much
money is in involved. Why don’t we have at least the, Mr. Daniels can come back here and say, I’ve been to the Court of Revision and this is what they’ve charged me. Because he’s not the only one. I thought Mr. White would be here. I’ve spent hours on the phone with him, over the past several years,
about this same situation. And we don’t really know
what we’re getting into. Go through the process,
and then, at the end, come back and say, well,
look, this is what they’ve, and this is what the City
is going to be charged. I think the unknown is scary. – [Jim] Okay, thank you for that. I’ve got Councillor Craitor. – [Kim] Thank you, Your Worship. There was a motion
already put on the floor to adopt the report, because I second it. – Is that we had the first one? – Remember that?
– Yeah, okay. I’m going to have Mr. Clerk help me. – Am I correct, Mr. Clerk?
– Yes. – Okay, so there’s already
a motion on the floor. When I seconded the motion, I was looking strictly at the report
and everything that was, I did not understand, until
Councillor Pietrangelo explained how the cost system worked. So I just had a couple questions, and I think Councillor
Thomson’s quite right, I’m trying to get clear in my mind, if we were to go in the
direction that Councillor Pietrangelo is suggesting,
that I am leaning towards, what does that mean in dollars and cents? So I can understand this. Like if we just did that
and we waived all the costs, what maybe to you, Mr.
Golia, what would that mean? – [Jim] Mr. Golia, do
you have an idea on that? – [Nick] Through the mayor,
one thing just to touch on. If you do make a motion on
paying for the assessments, you may just want to make sure
that it’s for Niagara Falls property owners only, because
this does include Fort Erie property owners within
the watershed as well. I’m not sure if we’re thinking about taking over that portion. But as it sits–
– I apologize, can I just? So you’re saying that if
we do this, then the people on the Fort Erie side, they’re
still going to be charged, but they’re going to see on our side, that we waived it then, is
that what you’re saying? – [Nick] And that’s what’s happened previously with Usher’s Creek. – [Man] That’s under
the town of Fort Erie? – Yeah, it is.
– I understand. – [Nick] What would happen is
when we go to construction, we would still bill out Town of Fort Erie, and then it’s up to
them to distribute that between the properties
within their watershed. – I interrupted you, sorry. – Oh no, not a problem, I can, just trying to look here
in the engineer’s report. The engineer actually
might, I’ll pull up Brandon from Spriet and Associates,
he may have that number. To get it a little quicker. So again, we’re looking at, it’s an estimated construction cost. But I’ll turn it over to Brandon
from Spriet and Associates. – There’s an estimated construction cost of this project, about $76,600. Now it is divided between
the two municipalities. There’s Fort Erie and Niagara Falls. And in the first part of the report, it will mention how much
is divided among each. So the Town of Fort Erie is responsible for approximately 34,200. And Niagara Falls, based on the estimate, is responsible for 40,400. But there are roads assessed,
one being Netherby Road, which is the Region. There is a Niagara Peninsula
Conservation Authority’s in there as well, so they’re not
all your private landowners. But if you go through the report, it’s identified who pays what. – And just as a followup, an estimate, if we passed the suggestion that Councillor Pietrangelo
is putting forward, what’s the cost? If it’s just the
homeowners, what’s the cost? – [Brandon] To just the homeowners? it would take me a little
bit to figure that out. – Just a round figure. – Well, it’d be less than 40,000. – That’s, okay, so that’s just the 40,000 was all homeowners?
– No, that’s everybody in Niagara Falls, it’s the cost of work. – Including the Conservation Authority, regional roads, anything.
– So he’s asking how much would it be just for the
people that are living there? – They don’t break it down just– – Half of that?
– Yeah, you can’t. – Just ballpark. – [Kim] Since it’s going to get referred to our capital budget. – Approximately $45,000. That is the portion of
assessment to the lands in Niagara Falls, excluding the roads. – [Kim] So the homeowners
are going to paid $45,000? – But, people need to
remember that while there’s agricultural properties assessed in this, and OMAFRA does provide a 1/3 grant to do the agricultural properties. So if you do look through the report, you can see how the assessing’s done. And at the end of it, there
is a net assessment page. And it kind of explains which everyone’s out of pocket expense is,
based on the estimate. And if you look at that,
yes, the drain is 76,600, but the out-of-pocket
expense to everybody, including the roads, is $58,000. There’s approximately
$12,300 of grant from OMAFRA on this project, to agricultural lands. – [Kim] Through Your
Worship, to Mr. Golia, do we have others coming
forward under this? – Yes, we’re working on
Border’s Creek as well, which is a large, that’s
quite a large drain. So any one in the future,
plus there’s multiple drains in City of Niagara Falls. – And there’s one coming up next week, which is also on this map
that you see to the left, which the Younger.
– Yes. – Which is the same process. – So I have them all, okay. That’s really helpful,
thank you, Your Worship. – Thank you, Mr. Beaman. – Councillor, I’m wondering
if Councillor Thomson might have the wisest suggestion here, that perhaps that the
process can be allowed to go its normal course
and then the amount, then the assessments of
the private property owners be revisited after that, but it’s starts to have to bring those back to you after the revision
process has gone through. Councillor Thomson has
mentioned Mr. White, who is a property owner in this area. He’s already got one of our
drainage matters under appeal. He is the primary driver of this, he is the one that has
asked the city to do it. It only took him 15 years to get the city to respond properly to
what he’s asking for. For which, we perhaps, have
not distinguished ourselves, but in any event, we’re here now, bringing this thing forward. He will, I think, appeal
us with enthusiasm, he’s already promised to,
before we even saw the report, and so I’m suggesting to Council
that the less complicated the matter we have going
forward to deal with, in the litigation with Mr. White, would be helpful to me,
anyway, as your lawyer, and so I would ask if
you just let the regular process happen, then we can
find out what the individual assessments are, and know
exactly what the amounts Council has to address are,
and we can bring those back to Councillor Pietrangelo’s concerns, which are a matter of he’s
unsure regarding these about how to be consistent
in our treatment of different members of this great city. – Thank you, thank you, Councillor Kerrio. – Thank you, Your Worship,
the discussion is going in a direction that I didn’t
know it was going to go. I live a different drain. If we’re going to have a
discussion that possibly could benefit me in the
future, I’m going to declare a conflict and not debate
this, or not vote on it. – Okay, so Councillor,
you pointed out earlier, you started off with the
motion to receive the report. That was yourself and Councillor
Morocco, is that right? – Yes, Your Worship, I’m
going to stay with that, because I have to just
say that I think we’re opening up Pandora’s Box here. Because if we actually say
that we’re going to now take on the cost of
this drain on the city, now we have to figure out who
owns what and the portion. There’s other Drainage Acts
that are going to come forward and then we’re going to take them all on? I think that’s set here
because of a reason. And I’m not going to say,
but if you wish to live in the country, there’s a
cost to living in the country. And I don’t think as
city, that the city wants to pick up any other additional taxes, we all pay enough taxes as it is. So I’m just saying that
I think we have to stick with this motion and not open that up, because this is one Drainage
Act, as well as many others that will be coming looking
for us to do the same thing. So I’m actually going to
stick with the report. – Okay, so here’s the
way I see it right now. We’ve got a motion that’s originally made. I know we’ve got a second motion here. I didn’t realize we had
one on the floor already. This debate went on long. So we’re going to
entertain the first motion, which is the recommendation,
which receives the report and allows the city two readings
to the by-law provisional, which will allow the appeals process. So here’s the way I see it. We’re going to vote on this. If it’s successful, then Mr.
Daniels, through the Court of Revision, you can deal with them. Once you come up with a
number, you’ll be able to bring that back to this
Council, do you understand? – What I understand is
what you’re saying is that she doesn’t want to pay for my drain, but I should pay for hers. – No, no, that’s not what
she’s saying at all, sir. Listen, let me explain,
that’s not what she said. What they’re saying is if
you go through the process, and then you go to the Court of Revision, and they come back with a number now, that you’re responsible for, now you come back to that Council. Right now, they don’t want to vote on a number they don’t know. Nobody knows what that number is. So what they’re saying is
you go through the process, go to the Court of Revision–
– They know the numbers. – No, they don’t know the number, until you go to the Court of Revision. So that’s what this
vote is going to be on. And if that is successful,
that’s what’s going to happen. If it’s not, then we’re going to have Councillor Pietrangelo’s motion. Councillor Pietrangelo. – Your Worship, the
recommendation that’s on the floor right now is to proceed
with what’s in the report, which simply says to adopt
the engineer’s report and then to adopt the two by-laws. The two by-laws say that
every landowner that lives in the watershed be charged their portion. I won’t support that
motion, because I would rather see a motion put forward where we’re more fair to the property owners. If this motion does get defeated, then we can pass what
Mr. Beaman has suggested, which is simply to pass
the engineer’s report, pass the two by-laws,
but hold off on charging the property owners until
we know the exact amount. And then we can make a
decision at that time. So I’ll vote against this motion now, because I don’t think
it’s fair to be charging every homeowner that’s on the watershed. – Okay, thank you, Mr. Beaman. – I just want to, that
in the circumstances, we won’t know the amounts until
the appeals are dealt with. That’s the whole gist of why– – [Man] We know the amount right now– (speakers voices interposing) – There will inevitably
be at least one appeal. I guarantee Mr. White
will appeal these by-laws. – Okay, so does everybody
understand what we’re voting on, with the exception of Councillor Kerrio? – Okay, we’re voting
on the recommendations, the two that are in the Council report. And if that passes, then
Mr. Daniels can go to the Court of Revision and
once he has his dollar amount, you can come back here to this council. – [Oliverio] We know the
dollar amount, Your Honor. – Okay, we’re going to call a vote, then. Okay, all those in favor. Okay, that’s one, two, three, four. Opposed, and two opposed, so that passes. So the next steps now, Mr. Daniels, is when you go to the Court of Revisions, they give you a dollar
amount, you can come back here to us and then we can
deal with that amount. Okay, so thank you very
much to the engineers, Mr. Golia, thank you for being out here, and Mr. Daniels as well, thank you. And you got the sheet ready? – Yep.
– Okay. (people chatting) There’s more seats here
folks, up at the front, if anyone’s looking for
chairs, you can come on in, you don’t need to stand. All right, we’re now
onto the planning portion of our agenda tonight, so I would now ask our City Clerk to first,
if you would introduce the next item on the agenda. – A public meeting is now being convened to consider a proposed
amendment to the city’s Zoning By-law to permit the
existing single detached dwelling at 6410 Orchard Avenue to be converted into a duplex dwelling. Notice was given by First Class mail, in accordance with the Planning Act, and by posting a sign on
the property in question, on Friday, October 27th, 2017. Anyone who wants notice of the passage of the Zoning By-law amendment,
to participate in any site plan process, if
applicable, or preserve their opportunity to appeal
to interior municipal board, shall leave their name
on the sign-in sheets outside the Council chamber. – Thank you, Mr. Clerk. I now ask our director of
planning, Mr. Herlovitch, to explain the purpose and the reason for the proposed by-law amendment. – Thank you, Your Worship, the
property is on the east side of Orchard Avenue, excuse me, adjacent to Hyrdo Corridor, and it’s just south of
Murray Street, in the city. It’s currently occupied by
a single detached dwelling. There are single detached
dwellings in the area, as well as a low-rise apartment building. The applicant is requesting
that the property be rezoned from an R1 zone to an R2
zone, to allow the property to be used as two dwelling units. He’s proposing that there
be two parking spaces, so basically, widening the
driveway to a double width, to allow for two parking
spaces for that unit. There will be no changes in
the exterior of the building. In order to meet the zoning requirements, they’re looking for a
reduction of frontage from 18 meters to 15
meters and a reduction in lot area to 887 square meters. This is picture of the
house in question, in fact. The owner has already poured the driveway, which is within the by-law limits. So that white van is
sitting on the second pad of this house, in the event
that this zoning goes through. So right now, the property is zoned R1E, they wish to have the property
zoned R2 for a duplex. They have one unit on the ground floor and one unit on the second floor. There was a neighborhood
open house in October, no neighbors attended at that time. The planning, provincial
policy statements, rather, encourage that the city accommodate 40% of its residential growth
in the built-up areas. Proposed development would
actually meet some of those targets set by the province for
intensification in the city. The official plan designates
the lands as residential. It does permit semi-detached
and duplex dwellings. And up to 40 units per hectare. This proposal would have a
density of 23 units per hectare. Therefore, it would meed the density requirements of the official plan. The neighborhood already
contains a mix of housing types, although predominantly single detached. But also duplex and apartment buildings. The conversion would occur
within the existing dwelling, and therefore the existing
character of the neighborhood, the surrounding dwellings,
would be retained. The proposed zoning, as
I said, they’re going from an R1E zone to a R2 zone. They require a modification
of the lot frontage to go from 18 meters down to 15 meters. So from 60 feet to 50 feet. And then so in addition to
the lesser lot frontage, they’re looking for a
reduction in lot area, as well. We’re recommending the
approval of this application, because it does comply with
provincial growth plan, and the provincial policy statements. It conforms with the official plan. The conversion of a
single family to a duplex is unlikely to have any measurable effect. And the R2 zone will
provide appropriate setback and regulations for that duplex dwelling. Therefore, we’re recommending that Council approve the Zoning By-Law
amendment before you tonight, to rezone this property
to an R2, and to permit the exist dwelling to be
converted to a duplex dwelling. Those are the highlights. – Thank you, Mr. Herlovitch. Do we have any questions
for Mr. Herlovitch? Councillor Campbell. – Thank you, Your Worship. I don’t know if there’s people
here tonight for this by-law. But the first thing that came to my mind, this is a great location for an Airbnb. Is that a possibility, that this building could be used for that purpose? – In our city, we call those
cottage rental dwellings. They need to be
specifically zoned for that. We have many Airbnbs
operating illegally in town. We’re working with the staff on a report, we’ve had a public meeting
last fall, in October. August, rather, was it August? August, I think, and we’ll
be bringing a report back, but if it operates as an Airbnb, it’ll be operating illegally. We have been taking action
against any of the ones that we get complaints on at City Hall. – Could it be possible for
us to be a designation on it that it cannot be used as an Airbnb? Until we get to the point
where we’ve dealt with all the illegal ones that are
presently taking place? – It’s a belt and suspenders approach, but I suppose we could.
– Mr. Beaman? – No, that wouldn’t be necessary. It already is only going
to be able to be used for what’s a permitted use. The way Zoning By-laws
work, they prohibit all uses but the ones that are permitted. To try and, it just
would kind of undermine every other Zoning
By-law we have, if we try to put special you can’t do
this in one particular place. Because the way the
by-law works is you can’t do anything but what’s allowed. – Thank you.
– Any other questions for Mr. Herlovitch? Okay, members of the public are advised that failure to make an
oral or written submission at this public meeting
will result in the interior municipal board dismissing
any referral that it receives. Failure to sign the
sign-in sheet will result in staff rejecting an appeal as per Section 34(19) of the Planning Act. Council will now hear from
anyone other than the applicant, who wishes to speak to this
proposed by-law amendment. Is there anyone here other than applicant? Yes, sir, you can come forward. – I’m the applicant. – Oh, no, no, looking for
anyone other than the applicant that wanted to speak to this. Okay, seeing none, Council will now hear from the applicant, or
his or her representative, so now’s the time to speak, step up. So anything other than
what’s already been covered that you wanted to share or not share. – Well, I’m a little nervous,
I’ve never done this before. But it won’t be an Airbnb.
– It won’t be. – It is guaranteed for that. One is actually scheduled
in case my father leaves a retirement home, because he
did sell his house last year. And we don’t know if he really likes it. He is up on the Lundy’s Lane, and after time, you
know, you have a garden and then you don’t have a garden. We’re just kind of concerned on that. Then I have my other son, he,
one day he wants to move out, one day he doesn’t want to move out, you know how teenagers are on that. (crowd chuckling)
– We want them to move out. – Yeah, we do want them, we do want them to move out. (crowd laughing) – You got my vote.
– This was scheduled for one of them, and it is
a long-term investment. We did spent a lot of
money, I have pictures that this was all white,
there was nothing done to it. The previous owner
really did nothing to it, and we’ve changed it, we’ve
changed the siding, the roof. – Lighting.
– Wiring and everything. And we’re following with
the building department to increase it and make it respectable, so that people, whoever does live there, which there people, ones living there now and then either my father,
they feel comfortable. And that’s what we feel, because
if they feel comfortable, they’ll take care of things. – And just a side note,
we live on Orchard Avenue, so it’s our neighborhood, too. We don’t, we want what’s good
for the neighborhood, also. – Okay, great, well, if there’s no, yep, Councillor– (Councillor speaking off microphone) okay, so now, if there’s
no other questions, then I’m going to have the public meeting, with respect to the proposed
Zoning By-law amendment now concluded.
– I second. – Okay, and I’ve got motion
by Councillor Strange and second by Councillor Thomson. If there’s no further
discussion, we’ll call the vote. All those in favor? Okay, and you’re approved. Thank you very much.
– Thank you very much. – [Councillor] And thank
you for taking care of your father and your son.
– And your children. – Yeah, if your son’s watching TV now, he’ll find out how much he’s loved, yeah. – Thank you.
– Thank you. Because I’m sure his son is watching the city council on Cogeco right now. Okay, Mr. Clerk, would you introduce the next item on the agenda, please. – A public meeting is now
being convened to consider a region and city initiated
to the official plan to introduce the GO
transit secondary plan. Notice was given with
accordance with the regulations, buy publishing a notice in
the Niagara Falls Review on Saturday, November 4th, 2017. And by prepaid First Class mail on Friday, November 3rd, 2017, to certain agencies, all as
documented by planning staff. Anyone who wants notice of
the adoption of the official planned amendment 125 shall
leave their name and address on the sign-in sheets
outside the Council Chamber. – Thank you, Mr. Acting Clerk. Now I’ll ask our director
of planning, Mr. Herlovitch to explain the purpose and
the reason for the public meeting for the official plan amendment. – Thank you, Your Worship. In fact, this Council heard from Metrolinx a little earlier this
evening, about the extension of full GO service, full GO
train service, to the Falls. And certainly this is a followup of that. So with the GO train service,
the region has undertaken a study to Dillon, and is
studying the four GO train station locations, Grimsby, Lincoln, St. Catherines and Niagara Falls. And they have prepared a land use study. You might recall Diana Diana Morreale’s been at this council before. And we’re now at the final
phase of this particular study, where we’re gathering the public input. And we’ll be bringing
back the final amendment document for adoption in the future. This is really a 20-year visioning plan. The intention of the vision
is to concentrate mixed-use intensification in proximity
of that transit station, as one of the goals of the province. So that the GO train doesn’t
travel back and forth without people, but that we actually create housing near the stations so that they’re actually using this GO service. It’s to strengthen the
residential neighborhoods. And to reduce any land
use conflicts over time. It’s to support the
tourism along River Road. It’s to help celebrate the downtown, and then comprehensively
improve the public realm, in and around the VIA station or the GO station. This is a Transit Oriented
Development, a TOD, and that TOD is basically, as I outlined, the provincial growth plan
provides policy direction that we intensify, the
residential and employment uses around those transit stations. And to really create a walking destination next to these stations. So the land use plan
that has been prepared by the consultants,
studied an 800 meter radius from that VIA station,
so it extends up into the Glenview area and all the way down toward Armoury
Street, so they’ve settled a land use plan, the
purple color is employment. There’s kind of a faded
pink or a red color, which is our downtown and
commercial designation. The yellow colors are largely residential. And then there’s a lighter pink
tone along Victoria Avenue, representing a mixed commercial 2 designation along there. And again, that focuses
towards higher density in the vicinity of the GO transit. A transition of densities as
we move from the downtown, trying to maintain and strengthen the tourist area along River Road. And that would be the area
where Souvenir City is. I think there’s a Ramada Inn along there. The Buddhist Temple,
all those tourist areas would be recognized and strengthened. The intent is to provide
a long-term approach to the redevelopment of
the former industries that would be along Buttrey
and Ferguson Streets. As well as the former
rail lands between the VIA station and Buttrey street as well. The official plan has a
current height strategy, so Dillon Consultants did look at that. They made some modifications, we’ll show you the map in a minute. They’re allowing for additional heights in proximity to that GO station. They’ll be limiting
heights along Queen Street and Erie Avenue to try
to protect the heritage character of the downtown. There’s a transition of
height from higher to lower in order to protect the
areas as we move down towards Ryerson Circle and
over towards Second Avenue. So it would be a stepping down of heights. And then the policies
provide for a step-back form of buildings into downtown,
to ensure that there is a good pedestrian environment. So again, the height strategy, I apologize that on the mop, it
appears a little bit small. But basically, we’re
looking at the dark purple, about 20 stories, the blue
area along River Road, that tourist area I
spoke about a minute ago, up to eight stories (clears throat), excuse me, the kind of the
rose colored up to 12 stories. So that it basically provides
a strategy for increased heights in the downtown,
with the intention of intensifying and strengthening
our commercial district. In addition, there are public realm and transportation
improvements identified. So some of the key ingredients
of that would include a major gateway at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Bridge Street. This would coincide with
the extension of Thorold Stone Road, from the Gale
Center, along the rail tracks, coming down to Bridge and Victoria. And providing for a traffic
circle in that location. There would be a minor gateway at Erie Avenue and Bridge Street. So as you step out of the train station, once you’ve arrived in Niagara Falls, and certainly the tourists will continue to use this transit system,
they’ll be greeted by a new public sense of space
that’s being created out there. As well as streetscape
improvements along Bridge Street, Erie Avenue in the downtown
with wider sidewalks, lighting and street furniture. The GO station will become
a major transportation hub. So this will be basically an
area where intercity buses, the Wego system, the City bus, the Amtrak, all of these will meet in this location, allowing a seamless transition between modes of transportation. It is intended to be an
active transportation corridor that is providing for
cycling and pedestrians, networking through the city. It provides for widening of roads, within that official plan. So again, here’s the public realm map. So there’s a round circle
towards the middle of this map, that’s basically Victoria and Bridge, so a new gateway entrance there. You can see a green swath cutting through, that’s part of the rail
corridor owned by the city. That would become part
of the pedestrian realm that would connect with
the Millennium Trail that extends from City
Hall to Bender Street. There’s a new connection,
a blue dotted line extending from about the rail station, heading north towards Great Wolf Lodge. Again, this is an active
transportation corridor, bicycles and pedestrians,
to basically allow for a full integration of the station, with the surrounding neighborhood. Then you see some other
green areas as well, which would be enhancement of parks. There’s some lesser
circles for minor gateways at Erie and Bridge, I mentioned, and as well, Bridge and River Road. Those are among the
public realm improvements that the consultant has identified. And you will be hearing
from the consultant immediately after my presentation. The implementation is
going to be carried out. It will require the
adoption of a secondary plan that will come at a
later meeting of Council. And then through a private application, we will actually carry
out the zoning amendments so that while this plan sets the stage, or the direction, for high-rise buildings, the 20 story buildings, the 10 stories, the eight stories I mentioned, those would be carried out through site-specific zoning amendments. The plan contains a phasing
plan for incorporating these into the capital
improvement program of the city. Therefore, we are
recommending that the Council receive comments from public tonight, so that we can prepare
modifications to the policies that have been drafted by the consultant. Those draft policies have been available for the last month on our city’s website. They’ll continue to be
available on our website, so the public can look at those. And that at a future Council meeting, we will bring that
amended planning document, for adoption by the Council. Those are the highlights
that I have this evening. And I know there are a
couple of other speakers that will be following. – Thank you very much, Mr. Herlovitch. And this, just a reminder to
Council and to the gallery here, how many people are
here tonight for this issue? Show of hands? Okay, good, that’s what I figured. So this is just a reminder
to everyone that tonight we’re receiving comments only. So tonight we’re just receiving comments. There’s no actual official, there’s no official plan
amendment happening tonight. Council’s not voting on that. So once we get all the
comments, all the feedback, the public meetings, this will all come back to City Council. But tonight, no decisions will be made. So now I’d like to call up Paddy Kennedy from Dillon Consulting,
who’s going to present. And as well, Diana Morreale
from Niagara Region, will be in attendance to
answer questions as well. So Paddy, welcome. – Thank you, Mr. Mayor,
Members of Council, can you hear me okay? – [Jim] Yeah, and if it’s easier, that microphone’s a little taller. – All right, let’s try that
one, see if that works. I’m going to open my slide deck here. This is it. Okay, so it’s be a long
point to get to this evening, but we have a draft
plan, and Mr. Herlovitch has shared with you some of
the highlights to this plan. I have a few additional highlights, and I know that you have a full agenda, so I’m not going to speak ad nauseum and cover all the
elements, but simply just give you the highlights and try to leave as much time for anybody from the gallery to deliver their comments
on the plan as well. One of the things I did want to speak to a little bit at the beginning is why do we need a secondary
plan for this area? And why is it important to have it? Across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, municipalities have
been leveraging transit investment as a way to help drive growth and intensification and revitalization. The provincial investment
in the GO station in Niagara Falls presents
us with a unique opportunity to proactively plan for
change in the downtown. And use that as a catalyst
for positive change. It means we can start
thinking more practically about land use opportunities,
transportation improvements, public realm improvements, and
infrastructure improvements, that Mr. Herlovitch alluded to earlier. On top of that, we have a responsibility, the province does direct
municipalities to plan for intensification, so it’s
not something we can ignore. We do have to embrace that opportunity and do the best we can with it. The transit stations themselves
are catalysts for growth. You don’t see change
happening the very next day. But it’s something that
gradually happens over time. This investment does
change property values, it does create some interest. And so it’s a really excellent opportunity to plan ahead before the
change comes in front of you. Before you get those complicated,
complex applications, you want to have a plan
and policies in place to evaluate those applications, and that’s what this
plan is intended to do. These are the main
secondary plan objectives, that were covered earlier around
improving the public realm, concentrating mixed-use
development in a few key locations. Trying to strengthen some of
those residential neighborhoods that are on the periphery of the downtown. Supporting the tourist
uses along River Road and celebrating the historical and cultural assets of the downtown. And you may have seen this image before. The last time regional staff was here, this is intended to take all those things and put in a picture to make it easier for everybody to understand
what we’re talking about. This is a visualization looking across the existing VIA rail station, which you see on your right-hand side. Looking back across what is
today a vacant parking lot, and in the future could be
a portion of the GO facility and in the fullness of
time, it could have some public realm improvements
along the street edge. You see this more safer,
complete street vision that allows people to walk, take the bus, use their bicycles, et
cetera, all in the vicinity. I think this image also includes some adaptive reuse of existing heritage and heritage buildings and that character, so this about blending
the new with the old. And I think is intended
to capture the spirit of what the plan is trying to achieve. I have a couple of snapshots of the plans, and I’m not going to go through them, since Mr. Herlovitch did
highlight most of those main elements, but what you have is, in the plan, you have a land use plan. You do have the building heights plan, that works together with an
active transportation network, which shows the recommended improvements for the active transportation network. The public realm improvement plan, and there is a few minor
road improvements as well, that aren’t shown here. Collectively, these four plans are the framework for managing change. As was mentioned earlier,
this is a land use plan for the downtown, so
that’s getting modified. There’s a building heights plan for the downtown, that’s getting modified. There’s not a public
realm improvement plan for the downtown, so that’s
new, that’s an add-on. And then active transportation
plan is a sort of partial add on, you do have
some recommended improvements for the downtown, so that’s new. On the capital improvements side, the point I wanted to make, there is a detailed list of
projects that can go with, municipal projects that can go with implementing the secondary plan. Some of those are going to be
eligible through development charges, some of them are
going to be from the tax base. That’s like a next step to figure out. And in adopting this plan,
it doesn’t commit the city to any one given project at a given time. That’s something you will
do on an annual basis when you prepare your capital budgets, or when you update your
development charges by-law. So we are here tonight, we’re
going to hear some comments, I imagine, from the gallery. And continue, we’ve had a lot
of engagement so far to date. This is the fourth public
opportunity to receive comments. And we’re going to hear some more. And take the time to make
some tweaks and changes and whatever needs to
be done to get the plan in front of you, so you’re
in a position to adopt it. So that’s all I have to say, thank you. – Okay, thank you very much, Paddy. Any questions of Council for Paddy? Okay, none at this point. Next up, members of the public are advised that failure to make an
oral or written submission at this public meeting
will result in the interior municipal board dismissing
any referrals it receives. Failure to sign the
sign-in sheet will result in staff rejecting any appeals, as per Section 34(19) of the Planning Act. Council will now hear from
anyone who wishes to speak to the proposed official plan amendment. So if anyone is interested, one at a time, you can take a couple of minutes. Yeah, you can step forward, ma’am, yep, and come to the microphone. And just state your name and your address. And whatever questions or
comments that you have. We’re asking everyone to
keep it just to a couple of minutes, so we can
get through everybody. – Good evening, everyone. My first name, which is Spanish, and the second one is French, so I’m sorry if I make
mistakes in English. – [Jim] And your name is, I’m sorry? – My name is Salome Torres. And I’m 4549 Cataract Avenue. And my question is, in this plan, do you have considered the bridge? The old bridge, to do something with that? Because it’s–
– Which bridge are you talking about, which one? – The Michigan Bridge, the
one that is not in use. And it’s just right,
going to the downtown. Because it’s a great
opportunity to have a green pathway, like is in New York. It’s very small, but we can
also take advantage of that. I know it’s from Pacific
Railroad, that I don’t know if there’s something
going on with that bridge. – Yeah, so you’re talking
about the CP bridge, Canadian Pacific, that
goes, it’s no longer used. It goes from Canda to the U.S. And that bridge, yes, and
we’ve seen the designs that they’ve done in New York City, where they’ve turned some rail bridges, and they’ve used them
into pedestrian walkways, and they’ve got greenery and they’ve done a lot of creative things,
– Beautiful. – By repurposing them, yes. So I know that’s been part
of our staff discussions, I don’t know if Paddy or Diane or Alex had any comment on the bridge. Or any discussions on the
options on the bridge. – Yeah, so that is, there
is a recommendation, there’s a policy in the plan that directs the city to consider
turning that, finding, investigating opportunities to make that a pedestrian international
connection across the border. So in a plan like this,
we can’t really do much more than make a, like
start the ball rolling on that big, big opportunity. – Okay.
– So that’s what we’ve done. – But it’s in play, and it’s
in front of the discussion. – [Paddy] It’s part of the plan, yeah. – Okay, thank you for that. Anyone else, yep, yep,
right up front here. Yes, just state your name
and your address, please, and you can all work your
way to the front here. – My name is Zoran
Cocov, I own the property where the expropriation will take place. – So you’re behind the train station. – Yes, so I own the property
from the train station all the way to Victoria
Street, it’s 51 acres. I’m supporting the plan. – [Jim] And you live, I’m sorry, you live? – I live in Brampton.
– Brampton. – So I’d like to incorporate
my development plan, which will be adding more tourist and recreational activities. I would suggest another bridge, from where Bridge Street and Victoria is, where the turnabout will be, to connect across the railway. And I would also connect,
suggest a connection from River Road onto the property. I’ve had several meetings
with the bridge commission. There is interest there and obviously, we’ll have to work with
the parks commission to jump through all the
hurdles to achieve that. But I think this is an opportunity to make it more of destination, in terms of recreational sports and entertainment. This is what’s needed more
to attract more tourists, so the tourists will stay
here longer than they are. – Okay, thank you.
– I’ll be happy to work with the staff and the consultants, with my architects to
incorporate a more complete plan. Because right now, my
land is shown as a blank, and I don’t know what
and the amount of acreage will be expropriated, whether
it’s 10, 15 or 20 acres, but still leaves a bigger
chunk available for a creation of a more
comprehensive destination. – Okay, thank you for that. Any questions of Mr. Cocov? Or any comment from Paddy or Alex? Is there anything to comment? You don’t have to comment every time, I just mean if there is. – I’m going to stay here.
– Yeah, that’s probably a really good idea. Unless you you got a FitBit
and you’re trying to get some extra steps going. – (laughs) I could use that, too. The property in question is
designated, it’s not blank. It is designated employment
mixed use, in the plan. And it also has that number two on it. That applies to a current
set of site-specific permissions that the property owner has. It’s related to an amendment that was done several years ago. It allows for a full suite of industrial and tourist commercial
uses as well as other uses. I do think there’s an
opportunity to continue to speak with Mr. Zoran
and see if we can fine-tune some of these site-specific permissions. We are, however,
handcuffed with the purple. Which is an employment
use, and we can’t change that employment function through
the secondary plan process. That has to go through
the city’s OP process, as well as the region’s. So there are some limitations
as to how far we can implement some of the requests there. – Another question from Mr. Cocov. – Actually, just to clarify that, I went through an official plan amendment and a re-zoning to add
to the employment land an outlet mall use and tourist uses. So that is part of that zoning,
it’s not just employment. – Okay, all right, great
thank you for that. Yep, sir, you can step up. – Thank you.
– Can you tate your name and your address?
– My name is Garth Wheldon, our address is 4248 Broughton Avenue. I’m president of Canadian
Specialty Castings, which is an employer in this area
that’s affected by the plan. I think the first comment
saying we are very pleased to see this development plan, however we have a few concerns. Considering the policies affecting existing industries in that area. Particularly those on page
34 on the secondary plan, it has a direct impact
on the industry itself. I might bring your attention
Ontario regulation D.6, which, as it stands right now,
it’s not in compliance with. And that’s something that
needs to be looked at. What we would like to
suggest at this point though, is that we are very open
to a meeting with the city and the economic development staff. Who have been extremely helpful to us, and we’d like to have a meeting
so we can be constructive in terms of how this is handled and how it affects the industry
in the affected area. One example, if you go
back to the maps there, you will find there’s a bike path, running down right in the
middle of the industry, which is not in compliance
with Ontario regulations. So there’s things like that,
that will have to be addressed. So we’d be more than happy
to work with the city, and their development
staff and planning staff to help work these out,
for everybody’s advantage. That’s it.
– That’s great. Thank you for your comments. Do we have anyone else here that would like to present to Council? Yeah, step forward, Mr. Raimondo. – Good evening, Councillors, city staff. Gillian Raimondo, 4667 Queen Street. Just a general question. Certainly the secondary plan
envisions a 20-year vision. And has the city considered when GO does in fact become a
resident of our downtown core, and to maintain a
certain sense of momentum and conviction to the secondary plan, are there any specific areas that the city would sort of invest
in, as immediate impact, that would kind of put
some skin in the game? To move things along and
to provide confidence to developers such as Zoran,
that the secondary plan is in fact something that has some teeth. – Okay, I’m going to ask
our CAO to address this one. – Thank you, Mr. Mayor, and I
think what I could allude to is that you may have seen
earlier the GO presentation. So one of our immediate concerns will be around the GO station itself. The heritage character of that building. Improvements on, you’ve noticed that we’ve demolished our
whole transit building, to try to get that
eyesore out of the area. We look at probably that for us, in terms of some of the
capital budget projects that Mr. Holman’s going
to be putting forward. And sort of the Park
Street, Erie Street area, to get moving on that whole
node around the station. And we figured that’s
probably where we would be recommending to Council that we spent some of our initial
dollars, improving that immediate area and those intersections. – That all, okay, thank you. Anyone else yet, you just come forward if, yep, by all means, come to the mic, sir. Just if you can state your
name and your address. – My name is Doug Funke. I’m actually from Buffalo. Just wanted to, it’s a real
peripheral interest here, but as I think this is a wonderful plan that we’re hearing about here. But I’d like to keep the
focus a little bit broader, when it’s appropriate, and
also connecting to Buffalo, there’s a brand new train
station on the other side of the river in Niagara Falls. The idea of having a pedestrian
walkway to the States and between here and the
U.S. is an excellent idea. And if you consider the new
train station in Niagara Falls, new one being designed
and built in Buffalo, along with the new waterfront in Buffalo. We have an opportunity for
connecting our entire region, from Toronto, Niagara Falls,
Niagara Falls, New York, to Buffalo and possibly to Rochester. There’s like nine million people or so, living in that corridor. It’s a linear area, could
be connected very easily with trains, so I just
like to ask everyone to keep that opportunity
in mind as we move forward. And this was a very good first step. – We appreciate that, we work regularly with Mayor Brown and Mayor
Dyster on commonalities. And of course, your new
train station and the Amtrak crossing with our VIA and our GO. So definitely, we’re looking
at the bigger picture and we appreciate that. Especially your new
high-speed train, as well, going from Niagara Falls to New York. Which is things that have
got us motivated as well. – Yep, there’s a lot of opportunity, we just need to work together,
so thank you very much. – Appreciate you being here, thank you. Do we have anyone else
here that would like to comment or ask questions? Yep, step forward. – Hi, my name’s Avril Kaley, and I live at 4597 Cataract Avenue. That Cataract is a very
small cul-de-sac off of Park. Now I have looked at some
of these plans online and from what I can make out, eventually they will
be closing Park Street. But where would that leave me? Because that’s my only
access into my street. I can’t get in there without Park. – We’re closing it? Maybe we can get some staff
to give some feedback. – I think in terms of conceptuals, that, there would be no way
that we could completely block off access to current
residential properties. – [Avril] Yeah, well, there’s only the two houses down there. – Yeah, on the little butt end. – But we need to get in.
– If it meant that at some time in the future that
there is a developer that consolidated lands, in that area, then there may be an opportunity for redevelopment, road reconfiguration. But while those two residents there on that part of the street exist, there’s really, we have to still continue to provide access to your property. – Yeah, because on the maps,
it did show Park Street closing, and a new service
road going at the back of us. – Well, those are
conceptuals, but in reality, unless there was a development
plan that came forward that purchased up all the
properties in that area, we could not take your street and block access to your street. Because you would still be living there. So that would only happen in
a bigger redevelopment scheme. – All right, okay.
– Mr. Herlovitch, did you want to weigh in on this, too? – Yes, for the benefit of
Council and the speaker, as Paddy had in the
outline, what his firm has put together is, these are four plans that are going to guide us. So this mauve line here,
that’s Park Avenue. Here’s Cataract, the speaker was saying she has a house on Cataract. So what the mauve is indicating is, basically it says public realm refinement, I think is in there, let’s see. Potential street grid refinement. So it’s talking about refining it. But what that’s going to
look like, we don’t know. So it might include some closures. But certainly, as our CAO outlined, we can’t cut off people’s
access to their property. But it’s basically identifying
opportunities there. So it may be that in conjunction with some redevelopment of our transit station, which is our former
transit station lands here, that runs through to Park. So there could be some
opportunities there, bridging over that,
providing for opportunities to get into some of our parking. So there are opportunities. It’s not anything cast in stone. – Thank you, Mr. Herlovitch. Do we have anyone else? Yes, yep, step forward. – I just wanted to add one
minor clarification there. So in the plan, Park Street stays open. We never contemplate closing Park Street whatsoever, or anything of that nature. It’s hard to tell on the map. Like that pink line is as, Mr. Todd said, if properties get
redeveloped, we might get a laneway opportunity to
develop here to improve it. But Park Street is always contemplated as a full complete street, always open. So just wanted to clarify that. – Thank you for that. Anyone else that wanted to comment? – Yes, step forward, ma’am. – Yes, my name is Nia
Sharma, I have my house on 4774 Park Steet. So what would be the future
plan around that area? – Where is that on Park Street, 4774? Do you know where that is? – That’s about the third or fourth house, right as you turn from
Victoria, right-hand side. It’s backing onto Queen
Street, that parking lot. That’s accountants’
office all those offices in that parking lot. It’s backing onto that. – [Jim] Right there where he’s pointing? – Yes.
– So I don’t know if Paddy or Alex, you wanted to give
a general idea of what. – Well, I’ll just, oops,
sorry, going the wrong way. – I cannot see that far.
– The screen right in front of you should be on as well. – Oh, okay.
– Yeah, so it does show, again, the speaker’s
property, this is Park Street, running through here, that white line. So the speaker’s property
is somewhere in here, backing onto that greenbelt. So that basically is identifying an area, I think of, about four stories in height. So it does recognize what
the existing character is, because it is zoned for–
– It’s a detached house. – Sorry?
– It’s a detached house and it has a driveway like, there’s a driveway with it. – So is anything specific proposed, or is it all conceptual at this point, especially for her end
of town, Mr. Herlovitch? – Yeah, it’s all conceptual and proposed. So currently, it’s designated residential, or I mean commercial, and it’s
still designated commercial. So this red tone for the downtown, this is a mixed, what
they call a mixed-use one, so mixed-use typically is residential and commercial together. So if it’s a small
property, it may require amalgamation with other properties, if it was to develop
into something larger. Otherwise, it does
recognize that there would be residential uses as well as
commercial uses co-existing. – So right now, that’s what it is, and it will continue to be that way? – [Alex] So far, unless you
come up with a better idea. (crowd laughing)
– No, no. (laughs) I just wanted to know and
just if there was anything going around that, that’s all, thank you. – Okay, thank you very much. Yep, you can step forward,
I had a gentleman here right in the front and then
you can step up, ma’am. You can come closer. – Good evening, Elloitt
Herdman, 4450 Second Avenue. Just have a question in reference to the secondary plan that I have here. On page seven, figure
2.1, existing land use, I’m just looking for
clarification of the properties on Second Avenue East, on the east side of Second Avenue north of Bridge Street. It seems here that they’ve
been designated commercial. I’m wondering if that’s accurate, of there’s an inaccuracy in this plan? – Maybe the gentleman
right behind you, Paddy. Can you see that map
he’s looking at, Paddy? – This one here?
– Yes. – Okay, so this particular map is intended as an existing land use map, so it’s just trying to document at a point in time, what we think the existing
land use is for it. It doesn’t form part of the actual plan. It’s just background information. It’s possible that some properties, we keep changing this particular map, trying to get it right,
because we didn’t do like a lot by lot
assessment of each property. So right now it is shown as commercial, if it’s not right, we can change that, if it’s something else. – Okay, so it’s not an official? – No.
– I know that this is existing, and I’m just curious as to, is it currently zoned commercial, when it, ’cause in your
proposal for further use, it’s not commercial, so I’m just wondering if it would be rezoned
on parcel by parcel. But if this isn’t necessarily
an accurate representation, then I’m not so worried. – Yeah, yeah, the existing
almost never quite matches what the aspirational
is intended to be. So it’s different, it could be different. We can talk offline if you
want to go through the map. – Okay, sure, thank you. – All right, great, thank you. Yes, ma’am. – Hello, my name’s Jolene
Dennis, I live at 3423 Ellis. So a couple of things I just want to, just, I have queries about. One is, so the GO station,
the GO trains come in, as somebody who actually
commutes into Toronto most days, I’m really kind of interested
to know, like how much, what’s going to be the
parking facilities available? And also, how are we going to encourage folks to actually use the GO trains. Because one of the things
I’m very much aware of, as somebody who currently uses the GO bus and realized that an hour
and a half to Burlington just doesn’t cut it for me. We’ve really got to encourage
people to use the GO train. That’s going to be a whole culture shift, where most people tend to
drive in the Niagara Region. If they’re going to go
into, out of the city. So I’m really interested to
know, one is about transit. How are we going to encourage,
what are going to be the incentives to get people
to the GO station? And what are going to be
the parking arrangements around that area as well? So that’s just something
that’s like in my mind at the moment, and I get
on the QEW every morning. It’s like how are we going
to change the culture? So that we can really maximize the use of having a commuter
GO service in Niagara? The other piece for me, as
well, I’m really interested in, as somebody who lives in this community, is that there are very few facilities. Just, I know we talk about tourism, but actually for how do we encourage this to become a much more
of a vibrant community? There are no stores here,
just regular stores. The buildings along Queen, they’re not, the stores are, the businesses
are not working here. So how are we going to encourage the kinds of businesses which are going to really serve a community, other than tourism? So those are the two
things I really want to, like I’d love to see a
supermarket in this area. I know for sure a lot of
people would love to be able to walk to a supermarket,
instead of having to drive. So just some thoughts there. – Well, let me tackle a couple of them, and then we’ll call up
some experts to help me. Supermarket, everyone
remember there used to be the Dominion, it used to
be downtown at one time? There used to be a grocery store. When people used to live downtown, and more than they do today. And so what are we doing? Part of our plan is the GO train, which in itself is going to be a catalyst. Because as you travel to go anywhere along the Golden Horseshoe,
those areas all explode. And people start to live near the station, where they can walk there and take the train to where they’re going. That will happen, there will be intensification in the downtown. At the same time, this city council wisely has an application through the FedDev, the federal government, in partnership with Ryerson University, to bring a digital media zone into our downtown. Which will bring students and teachers and then add more people, then you’ve got people here that need to buy things. And then you need merchants
that need to set up. It’s got to start with people,
so the catalyst will be, number one, the GO train. Number two will be Ryerson. And not necessarily in that
order, but definitely together. The other part of it is,
and we’ve got Matt Robinson here from the Region, who’s
be working with our CAO, Ken Todd, to put together,
and along with a big team, a transportation master
plan for the region. Where instead of having
three different transits in the region, we’re bring
them together to work as one. And it’s all going to
coordinate and integrate with the GO stations throughout. So we’re master planning the region to address exactly what you’re saying. In terms of the parking,
I don’t know if Paddy or one of the staff here can help me address the parking issue, Diane? – So we are currently working with City of Niagara Falls, the Region, and Metrolinx. We’ve come up with a concept plan, where we’re trying to
integrate existing transit in Niagara Falls as well as other services that get people to the train station. So the taxi industry as
well as having good walkable connections and cycling
connections to the transit station. So we do have a parking
strategy that we’re trying to incorporate with
existing municipal lots. Currently, this will probably
be the one transit station within the Niagara expansion
that is actually a true hub. Where you have a transit all
connecting in one location. So Niagara Falls Transit
as well as GO Transit interfacing into one another
and trying to amalgamate all those uses into one ticketing agency. So we’re having those
discussions right now with Metrolinx and we’re
hoping to come back with some sort of concept plan that shows how truly integrated it is. And so that people can drive here as well as take transit here
and it will be very convenient. – That, and as well, I
would like to mention Council’s created a CIP, a
community improvement program, and we give financial
incentives for the businesses to be fixed up, the facade improvements, and different things in the downtown. We give them financial
grants to encourage them to fix up their properties. So the city is throwing
everything at this, and we know that with the GO coming, and with once we nail Ryerson, we’re going to have a lot more exciting things happening in this area. And that’s why we’re
master-planning it now. So hopefully that addressed
some of your questions. Yes, sir, if you’d like to
come around to the microphone. Anyone else here that want to comment? Yeah, okay, okay, good. So you can come to the mic, just state your name and your address, if you would. – Thank you, my name is Vito Corello, I’m on 4553 Ferguson Street. I just had a quick simple question. There’s a few, I believe,
the only building right on Buttrey Street
and I know the city owns, I think a piece of land at
the end, closer to River Road. Anything involved with this plan to make some improvements
in the area over there? – So you’re saying Buttrey and River Road? – Right, right.
– in that area specifically? – Is there a land action that
city and Buttrey is running? Or something?
– Okay. We’ll ask that gentleman
behind you there, Paddy, or Alex, if either of you have a comment on Buttrey in Silvertown. So that’d be north of the train station, at River Road there. – [Alex] Yeah, I’m not
sure whether the speaker is referring to the land that there’s a regional pumping
facility, here on Buttrey. – Right, right.
– Is that the land you’re thinking of? So there is some
additional property there, but it really is part of that servicing hub, so it’s basically, I think, a large centrifuge for separating waste, as part of the treatment program. But this dotted line,
this red dotted line, and this beige color in the middle here, really signals what they call a transportation station area. And it would be basically refined. But this is unidentified,
you can see the bike path, which one of the other speakers, from Canadian Specialty
Castings had some concern about. But that’s part of our active integration. There’s a symbol here for a park, but it doesn’t necessarily
mean it’s right there. It could be here, it could be in the area, identified as the green area here. So some sort of public
improvements with a park is identified, certainly
the gateway improvements represented by these symbols. And the Metrolinx has all
identified a need for parking, a kiss and ride situation, so that drivers are coming in, they’re dropping
off their significant other to get on the GO train to ride in Toronto, or they’re picking them up
as they return from the city. And so there’s a fair
amount of infrastructure envisioned for this area. It’s again, it’s a 20-year plan, so it’ll come together piece by piece. But certainly, the Region’s
transportation plan that we heard about, our own
transportation master plan, plus this document will work hand in hand to basically make
improvements in the area. – Did you say we’re going
to have a kiss and ride at the train station, Mr. Herlovitch? Like we have at the schools? Is that what you said? – [Alex] Something like that, yes. – Well, good, that’s good.
(people laughing) It’s going to be very warm
and welcoming train station. We’ve got other, I saw
other hands going up. We have, oh yeah, sir, if you could state your
name and your address, please, for Council. – My name is George Radochich,
3308 Avery Boulevard. And thank you Mr. Mayor, or
Your Worship, I should say. Members of Council and staff
and the public in general. I’m actually here on behalf of my mother, and it’s in relation to Silvertown, or the Belleview Tavern,
more specifically, that I think most
everybody’s familiar with. The reason I’m here that
within the designations that are there, currently, I
believe it’s a grandfathered neighborhood commercial designation, that actually fits in more
closely to a medium density. Because there is an eightplex complex of apartments on that property. There’s also a commercial
tavern with rooms above it. But that whole parcel is
actually one contiguous land use. In other words, it has to rely on each lot that’s composes that
parcel to be effective. And in the current plan,
I see that it’s being designated or designed to become a single family or low-density. And on the map, right across the street, there is another apartment building, that’s actually on the south
side of Ferguson Street. The bike trial that’s
indicated would come out very closely to where that property is. And what we would like to do is maintain that grandfathered density,
perhaps as a site-specific zoning exemption to the plan. To permit either the continued use as-is, or perhaps upgraded
redevelopment to increase the availability of low-cost,
medium-density housing. Which I think fits in to the overall plan. You want to have a mixed-use neighborhood. I think that that would be appropriate. And that’s what we’re asking Council and the planning committee and department to at least examine the possibility of being able to incorporate
the existing use. Because it’s not going to go away, it’s just a question of
whether we could work to maybe improve it, and enhance it, and be consistent with what we want to do. As you said, Mr. Mayor,
more people, more services, it works out better for everybody. – That’s great, maybe we’ll
get a little bit of feedback, Mr. Radochich, from Mr. Herlovitch. Did you want to weigh
in on that comment about the Belleview, if you’ve ever heard of that place, the Belleview Tavern. – I might have heard of it once or twice. Yes, so again, Mr.
Radochich, as he points out, they did obtain a site-specific
zoning on their property for those eight apartment units, so that would not be taken away. But certainly we could look at this. This is through an official plan, a broader-based document, so it’s not the zoning of the properties. And so when you look at those lands, so the property in question, I’m not sure just where I, this is
Ferguson Street here. – [George] It’s
kitty-corner from the yellow on the south part of Ferguson,
so it’s to your right. – Is it right down here? – [George] No, it’s actually to the right. – Somewhere in here.
– Right there, yes. – All right, so the intention
is not to take that away, but that yellow designation actually provides for low-density residential. So we, in our official
plan, that’s singles, duplexes, a semi-detached
and townhouse development. I’m not sure whether,
Paddy, did we include some, we may have included some walkup apartments in there as well. But, by and large, it’s low-density, but it does span more
than just single family. – So is there any other
questions or comments you want on the record?
– Well, there’s a lot at stake for me, because if this doesn’t work out, my mother’s not going to
give me cabbage rolls anymore (crowd laughing) Everybody knows how important that is. – Serious.
– We’re on it. Note bene. (laughs) Do we have anyone else that
wanted to address Council with any questions or comments? Okay, so again, this is
not the end of the line. This is just part of the trail. (chuckles) No pun intended, that’s right. So Council, and is there any
other questions of Council? Okay, seeing none, the
public meeting with respect to the official plan amendment
125 is now concluded. So if there’s nothing further, thank you very much, moved
by Councillor Pietrangelo, seconded by Councillor Kerrio that we, what do we, make a motion
regarding the what, make the recommendation, is that right? (man speaking off microphone) So number one, that we
receive the presentation and adopt the proposed
amendment for the GO transit secondary at a future meeting. Okay, that’s what the motion
is, and the recommendation. We’ll call the vote, all those in favor? Okay, and that’s approved,
thank you for that. And thank you to all of
you, and we’ll be in touch with the next stage of the process. And it is moving forward, and it’s going to be very exciting. So thank you very much for being here. – Don’t forget to tell
them to stay longer. – Yeah, (laughs) feel free to hang around, it’s really exciting.
(crowd laughing) I guess not. (people chatting) What’s that?
– Should read your remarks earlier.
– Oh, believe me, I thought about it. Yeah, because the next one is the. – It’s a legal report,
which is a public meeting. – Oh it is? (clerk drowned out by chatting) Okay, now who’s going to lead this one? (clerk drowned out by chatting) He will, okay. – If there’s anything to present or if there’s any motions on the floor. – Where’d he go, did he take off? I got to find the right
break to go to the washrooms. (laughs) I heard that, Mr. Holman. You know, he’s not
going to be the only one knocking your computer over, okay? (man speaking off microphone) I can’t believe how he
just bullied you like that. That was unbelievable. (people chatting) Okay, we all set here? We’re going to move on to the next part. Mr. Beaman, I’m going
to get, are you engaged? Okay, now we’re moving on to permanently closing and declaring surplus, some land, and where are we here? Weaver Road, on Weaver Road. Is anybody here for the Weaver Road issue? Okay, we do have Mr. And Ms. Okay, Mr. Lupia, okay, so Mr. Beaman, did you want to lead us in this report? – There’s not much to say, Councillor. We were approached by one
of the neighboring property owners, which is usually the case when we’re dealing with a road allowance. He asked would we consider
making the thing surplus, he paid his money, we did the circulation. One of the concerns always
with a road allowance is the general account. The Council policy is to
divide it down the middle, convey to the neighboring properties, or at least give the neighboring property on the other side an
opportunity to participate. The neighboring property
owner on the other side informed us that they would like to purchase down the middle. The original applicant is
agreeable to that, so here we are. We’ve asked, we’ve circulated
all the people on the road that have access or frontage on it. None of them want it, so none
of them to use it anymore. So we’re here proposing
that it be declared surplus. Next step would be to consider
whether to sell it or not. – Got it, okay, Mr. Lupia,
did you want to address Council in anyway? – [Mr. Lupia] I was just
wondering what’s going on, like are we able to purchase that? How does this work? – What’s that, okay, Mr. Beaman, can you just explain that? Do you live adjacent to this land? – Abutting.
– Abutting. – [Mr. Lupia] I’m right,
that’s right beside mine. – Yes, and what I understood
had been agreed to by the property owners,
from the one we’ve been communicating with, is
that it’s been agreed that it’s going to be
down the middle, sir. And each side, each one
gets a chance to purchase it at the appraised value.
– Perfect. – That’s the arrangement. – So are you one of the
abutting owners then? – Yeah.
– And well, I’m happy he’s here, because that’s
who we want to debate. – Okay, so that’s what the plan is, so you’re good with that?
– Yeah. – Okay, good.
– If you’ll leave me your, I’ll just get his contact inform, or I’ll leave my card with him, Mr. Mayor. – Excellent, okay.
– Perhaps we could have the vote then, before I? – [Jim] Yeah, why don’t we do that? Councillor Thomson? – Yeah, I would move the motion. – [Victor] I’ll second the motion. – Okay, moved by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor Pietrangelo that we receive and
approve the recommendations in the report, there’s one, two and three. – Conflict.
– With a conflict noted for Councillor Kerrio. Is there any other comments or questions of Council before we call the vote? Okay, seeing none, all those in favor? Okay, and that’s unanimous. So we’re good on that one. Thank you for coming
out, have a good night. All right, so now we’re
moving on to our reports. And the first report
is, this is really neat, for those of you that haven’t
been able to participate, the Cultural Hub and Farmer’s Market. So we’re going to get a status update. And tonight, Megan is going
to give us a presentation on what she’s been
doing, working with our, I know we’ve got Clark here, from our Niagara History Museum. And what she’s been doing, we’ve had a couple of public meetings. I know the CAO’s been there,
we’ve had a couple Members of Council, but the public
is really, really excited. If you read, there was a
couple of very strongly worded letters of support
for what we’re doing. I know Councillor Campbell
sits on our committee that’s helping guide us through this. But Megan, I would welcome you to present to Council and give us the lowdown. – Great, thank you very much. Do you mind if I put this on full screen? – No, please do.
– Okay. So my name is Megan Torza, I’m an architect and partner at DTAH, which is a design firm. We do architecture, landscape architecture and urban design and we
were engaged to assist the City of Niagara Falls with visioning the new Culture Hub and Farmer’s Market on the Main and Ferry site. Our study area is outlined in purple. So it’s including the History Museum. The existing Farmer’s
Market, just to the south of the History Museum,
as well as a portion of land that the city owned
that extends to Main Street. And the scope of our work was to establish a needs assessment and concept plan, which includes the
understanding of what needs need to be accommodated in this hub. What mix of uses are appropriate, how the space could be
designed in a conceptual manner to address those needs
and what was required, within the various stake-holding groups, including culture, market,
arts communities, et cetera. What they felt would make
a comprehensive culture hub for the neighborhood and the region. As part of our work, we began
with a fairly comprehensive community consultation program
that included stakeholder meetings with arts and culture
and museum committee members, artists and artisans, curators, advocates, Farmer’s Market vendors and patrons, local business owners, the BIA, et cetera. We also met with the
Mayor, City Councillors and the chief administrative
officer of the city, Ken. As well as two meetings
with high-level city staff to discuss their ambitions for the project and what they had heard to date, with respect to the community’s needs. And we also submitted and
posted an online survey at the beginning of our
work, to understand better what this project meant to
the community as a whole and to the various stakeholders. And with that initial
feedback, we began to develop our understanding of the
project and the potential for the site and shared
our work in progress in series of two public meetings. The first at the beginning
of October of this year. Where we had plus or minus 80 attendees and after the meeting, we
posted all of the material that we shared with the group
online, for further comment. And we also engaged after
that first public meeting in a bit of an exercise
with the attendees, around what were their favorite
concepts that we presented? What were their least
favorite concepts and why? So that first meeting, we presented four, I’ll call them land use
concepts, for the site. That distinguished themselves
with different orientations and configurations and
buildings and open spaces and program on the property,
to determine what people felt was the best mix and the best
organization on the site. And then, hearing from the
public, after that meeting, a very strong preference
for one particular scheme, we developed that scheme
further and presented a more refined version
of that preferred option, which is what we’ll show
you tonight as well, at a second public
meeting on November 14th. And again, that material
was also posted online, we also collected the feedback from online commentary, as well as
Facebook commentary, throughout the entire process. In our work, one of the
challenges was to determine what the building wanted to be
and what wanted to be in it. And therefore, we established
a building program for the interior spaces
that included the notion of a large hall that accommodate
the market on market days, but would also accommodate
a range of events over the course of a typical week, month, or in the course of the year. We heard loud and clear that
there needed to be an anchor, that was open and available to the public, seven days a week and a
cafe seemed to be the thing that resonated with
people in the community. So we’ve accommodated that. We’ve accommodated a number
of multi-purpose rooms, a very large artist
studio, which was intended to be configured in many
ways, to accommodate space for local artists who work. A workshop, which would
have tools that would be available to community to utilize, as well as a tool library,
which is a resource that many communities
are now establishing, in order to allow for some
of these more expensive tools to be lent out or utilized by the public, at a relatively inexpensive manner. And then, supporting
all of that is a number of supporting facilities, washrooms, administrative office,
storage space, et cetera. And a complement to that
indoor area, are outdoor spaces that the community
thought were appropriate, and that we think are appropriate as well. Including a civic plaza,
some sort of linear element that might help people
to negotiate the site. The site is an interesting
configuration of land. It’s kind of an L-shape. And it connects Main
Street with Sylvia Place. So there’s a need to really
draw people through the site, which we thought could be
done in an effective way. There’s talk a lot
about green space needed in the community, about adequate parking to support the events onsite. About signage and way-finding,
public art, as I mentioned, as well as the adequate
power and audio/visual infrastructure to allow for festivals and other special events
to occur on the property. The preferred approach that we came to, that we’ll show you today, takes advantage of the site’s access to
Main Street frontage, as its primary address. It illustrates parking
consolidated along the, I guess the eastern edge of
the site, along Sylvia Place, in order to improve
access to that parking, but also improve the safety
of vehicles and pedestrians, so that there isn’t a lot of
crossing one to the other. We’ve identified accessible parking spaces within that parking, how wind
impacts might be mitigated by the positioning of the buildings. How loading would work, so these buildings are only as successful
as they can be serviced. And loading, for market
vendors especially, for artists also, is a
very important thing. Sidewalk connectivity through the site, to the adjacent rights of way,
very important to everyone from a safety and access point of view. CPTED, so crime prevention
through environmental design, is something that we consider in our work. And particularly on this site,
there was a lot of concern around evening activity and
making sure that it’s safe. And sight lines, as
well, in order to improve and ensure that safety element. And the building wanted
to be, we’ve heard loud and clear from the public, it
wanted to be a connected hub, not two separate buildings,
not disparate elements. But a really connected, integrated hub, where artists and market
vendors and musicians and all of the cultural
community can interact. And there was also a
challenge to us to consider how this new facility, as it’s adjacent to the History Museum, might
relate to the History Museum, architecturally, spacially, et cetera. We’ve added on to that
feedback our own feelings around architectural
approach and landscape. Wherein, given that this
is a civic community building that will be heavily
used throughout the year, we were interested in durability, in flexibility, and in simplicity. So that it will last a long time, it will be useful to as
many people as possible, and it will be inexpensive, relatively, to build and to maintain. So it’s a very simple building on purpose. In order to allow for that, those elements to maintain themselves. Daylight is a very important element that we’ve considered through the project. Artists want north light, we
have given them north light. We’ve also, at the same
time, designed the building in a conceptual way to
allow for solar access, for potential future solar photovoltaics, solar hot water, other
elements of sustainable design that I think our industry certainly is moving fast and furious towards, especially for these kinds of buildings. And we’ve also chosen a
material palette that is durable and relates to the History Museum. Within the landscape,
we’ve marked a very clear pedestrian path that connects Main Street through the buildings
and along Sylvia Place to the History Museum, so
it connects the facilities together into one civic whole. We’ve accommodated seating areas outside. Adequate lighting as well the
opportunities for public art and projection and we thought,
and with the city staff and public’s input, were
critical of the animation of this place throughout the year. So the proposed preferred option, we’ve taken on a working
title for the place, that we’re calling the
Niagara Falls Exchange. And again, this is a working
title, it’s not cast in stone, but we thought that the notion of exchange was very appropriate for the site. The exchange of goods,
the exchange of ideas, the exchange between one
community member and another. And so we’ve branded it for now, as the Niagara Falls Exchange,
and what you see in the slide in front of you is an
aerial view of the site. The History Museum is just
on the right-hand side, Sylvia Place is at the bottom of the page. And then Main Street is
up at the top of the page, with a series of buildings,
that I’ve outlined in purple. Buildings connected together by interior, as well as exterior walkways. Public open spaces, that
are again connected through a pedestrian path from Main
Street all the way through to Sylvia Place and the
courtyard at the Museum. Parking facilities that
are accommodated against Sylvia Place, including
the lot that is currently leased to the ministry, or the Region, that is available for use
evenings and weekends already, just by the nature of
the use by the Region. So it’s available to
support this facility. Loading facilities at the
back of each of the wings of the building to allow
for artists as well as for market vendors, without disturbing the adjacent hardware
store’s loading operations. And then the floor plans. So it may be a little hard
to see on the slide in front of you here, but I’ll use my
cursor to walk you through. The ground floor plan is
on the right-hand side, and the second floor, which only pertains to one portion of the
building, is adjacent. So we have, facing Main
Street, a cafe that has direct access to a
plaza on Main Street. Through that cafe, you can
walk into the main lobby of the facility that connects
you to the second floor, where there are artist
studios and flexible meeting and classroom, flex rooms. On the ground floor, we have
a workshop and a tool library, public washrooms available to all. A small administrative
office for city staff. And then an interior
vestibule, glazed connection, into the hall, which is where
the market could happen, is where performances could happen, teaching cooking classes
could happen, et cetera. The hall itself can be
configured in a variety of ways. The capacity of that space
is roughly 300 people, standing, 150 in a performance setting. 130 in a dinner party, the
market can accommodate, we think, somewhere in
the order of 14 vendors in the winter time set up. And then in the summer time, it expands, it opens and vendors can set up outside. In the second level of the Main Street portion of the building, we
have these flexible rooms that can be classroom mode, so 60 people and 40 people is the approximate
size of those spaces. Could be a workshop for a
smaller number of people, it could also be set up as
artists, featured artists spaces where an artist might
use the space for a period, say, of a week, set up
a studio in that space, but there’s still enough
room in those spaces for the public to enter
and maybe see some of the work in progress while an artist
is working behind a table. So visualizing this space,
this is a view from above Main Street, looking towards the east. We have a courtyard that
faces onto Main Street that welcomes you into the site. We have the cafe at the ground floor, we have large doors that
open and a canopy overhead. And we can either enter
through the cafe or walk along a covered walkway into
the heart of the building. We’ve illustrated the opportunity along, between this hub or the
Niagara Falls Exchange and the adjacent properties
for landscape improvement, seating, even some
public art installations. And then, behind you in the distance, you see the hall and then
the outdoor open spaces that we’ve developed to support that hall, as well as to connect
to the History Museum. So at ground level, this
is what you would see from Main Street,
looking towards the east. And then, if we were to
fly around and hover above the History Museum, this is
the other side of the view. So you can see that the
building is configured with a saw-tooth roof, which is a typical industrial type roof, but
what it allows us to do is to expose the structure in
the inside of the building, which is something of visual
and architectural interest. It also allows us to capture north light through the windows that are facing north, while presenting an angled solid roof on which the photovoltiacs or some other technologies could be
mounted in the future. So we have a market or cultural hall here, with its own loading
area that is contiguous with the loading for the History Museum. A plaza out front that could
be parking during the week. It could be open space
and a special events space on the weekend. A gathering space in between
the two halves of the building, and entrances and then the additional parking along Sylvia Place. That parking lot, as I
mentioned, on Sylvia Place, could be converted into an events space, during good weather or
even during bad weather. This is an idea of a
food truck kind of event, where even in the
wintertime, you could invite vendors to vend hot chocolate or BeaverTails or whatnot, and draw people in to the site. In the summer time, the market building could be used in open air,
the big doors opening up to allow for vendors to exist
both inside the building as well as outside the
building, so that you really can increase the volume of the
market vendors themselves. So this is 25 vendors
we’ve illustrated here. And as well, allow for a
really good circulation for the public between the stalls. In the evenings, at the heart of the site, where the two halves of the building meet, you have a space for small performances. You have a space where you can buy, where you bought your food at
the market, you can eat it. And there’s good visibility
into the buildings, from the outside, and
good light illumination from the inside out, so that
there is a transparency, there’s animation, there’s safety and the perception that
this place is alive. Even in a downpour, this place is alive. Inside the hall, this is a
view showing how the market might be set up in the winter
time with the doors closed. So again, 14 vendors, plus or minus. There’s also a kitchen within that space that could be used for
food demonstrations, which is something that we heard was desirable from the community. And then, in the main
lobby of the Main Street facing building, this is
showing you the openness between the ground floor
and the second floor, where the flex rooms and
artist studios are located. The administrative office
for City of Niagara Falls would be just behind us
here, so that there’s good oversight through who’s coming
and going in the building. And a lot of opportunity for
art to be displayed as well. And then upstairs, a view from that same, within that same kind of lobby
space, showing circulation into the artist studios at
the end of the corridor, as well as the flex rooms to the left. And then in the artist studio itself, again, it’s a 200 square meter
space, so 2,000 square feet. Open span space that could be reconfigured in a variety of ways,
depending upon the number of artists active in the space. All the light is north light,
therefore, it’s a very even and effective space for artists to work. And then this is a final
view of one of the flex rooms overlooking the Sylvia Place open spaces. Showing a small or more
intimate group of 40 to 60 people gathering to listen to a lecture, to watch a movie, all sorts
of other kinds of events that can be accommodated in the space. So we’ve concluded the main
bulk of our work at this point. There are a number of
issues that have been raised in the course of our
work that we acknowledge are still in the process
of being resolved. And we have a little bit of information about some of these to
share with you today. But we’ve heard many
times by the community the need for adequate
parking to support the uses on the site that are proposed. Assuming that this place is successful, we need to allow for folks to
drive and park conveniently. We did a count of, the city
traffic and transportation group did a count of available
parking spaces within a three-minute walk of
the site, and there’s 185, according to that count
that are available. So there’s onsite
parking, but there is also a good supply of parking
within the immediate vicinity that, in their minds at least, is adequate to support
a lot of the activities that are happening or are
proposed to happen on the site. Second comment that was
raised by the public, especially in our last
public meeting was around the use of Sylvia Place
as a, at the moment, a temporary bus loop, for
the municipal bus service. Their main stop is on
Main Street, but they do loop through Sylvia Place
in order to correct timings of bus service and other
things, and there was some concern around that
traffic and the potential for conflicts between that traffic and the traffic that
are utilizing this site. And there’s an acknowledgement
of the acoustic impact of those buses
on the potential outdoor open spaces that are presented here, so that’s something to be worked out and worked through, I think, in future. And then the last point to
raise is there is still some discussions around the
impact of this change proposed on the site
to the property owners on Main Street, who at
the moment, are accessing their properties from the
city parking lot to the rear. So in the loading configuration
that we’ve illustrated for the hall, there is, in our minds at least, there was an allowance for
continuing that loading drive into the rear yards of
the adjacent properties, but there are some
details there that I think are worth working out in the future in the detail design
phase of this project. So as I said, our work is
nearly done at this point, but I think the motion
that you have before you is in large part to allow
the process to continue. To allow for the detail design to proceed, but only after a business
plan and an operating plan are prepared by city staff
and then presented to you as well, to confirm that
this place is feasible. Not only from a design point of view, but also from a financial
and operating point of view. And that’s it for me, thanks. – Well done, thank you, Megan.
– Thank you. – Does Council, yes, I’ve
got Councillor Campbell, Councillor Pietrangelo, any
questions or comments for Megan? – More so a comment, Your Worship. I’m pleased that this came
before Council at this point. I take my hat off to staff and their team. I’m looking forward to this,
creating a cultural space, a recreation space in our community. Something we’ve needed for
a long time, thank you. – Thank you for that,
Councillor Pietrangelo. – Yeah, thanks, Your Worship. I guess I’ll just start out by saying that I think we’ve received
some criticism in the past for maybe not providing
enough support to the arts and culture community, but
in the past little while, I think we’ve shown a
concerted effort to show a greater amount of support to
the arts and culture sector. It was back, I think in
2014, when we decided to initiate a master
plan and that master plan became the blueprint of
everything that we should be doing, in terms of arts
and culture in our city. We adopted that in 2015 and since then, we’ve adopted a few of
the recommendations, none more bigger than
this, though, Your Worship. This one, once it’s actually built, I really believe is going
to be the cornerstone of arts and culture in our community. I had a chance to go to
the second PIC with you, and I have to say that I
absolutely love the concept of melding together and
art center with a cafe, with a new Farmer’s
Market, I think they’re all feel-good senses and
it’s going to bring a hub of activity to our community. I’ll be happy to second the motion after Councillor Campbell makes it. – Okay, that’s great, Councillor Strange. – Yeah, Your Worship, I
just want to thank Megan for a great presentation. I met with you a couple
times, a public meeting and one with Councillor Thomson. And you had a tough job, you did. And you worked hard in
the last few months, you and your team,
Clark and everyone else, to get everyone’s suggestions from music to cooking, a cafe and painting
and the Farmer’s Market. And to combine them all
and do something like this is just amazing, so great job. It’s something I know I couldn’t do it, so thanks, thank you
very much, appreciate it. – You want to create boxed
art down there, too, maybe? Where you, yeah, everything
else, boxed rum, boxed. Well, we’ve had a lot
of positive feedback. That was a great presentation
and I think you really nailed it, it was not an
easy task, bringing all different groups and interests together for something that’s going
to benefit everybody. And like we said, to
benefit most the people most of the time, for most
of the things that we want. I mean, no one’s going to get
everything that they want, but we can get a lot of what
we want by something like this. So I guess we’re, did you want
to say something, Mr. CAO? – If I could, and first
of all, thank you, Megan. Another great presentation,
and Clark and your group. I just want to make
sure that Council knows where we’re headed if we’ve got
the comments out of the way. So the motion tonight is
to take these concepts that Megan has developed for us, and advance to the detail design stage. Once we get that detail design finished, we will be back to Council
with the cost estimates and what this facility is going to cost. And we’ve indicated to
all the stakeholders that there would not be any
shovels in the ground prior to 2019 because
Council has to consider it in the appropriate budget cycle. So that would be the earliest that Council could consider getting
any shovels in the ground. Part of that, though, that
Megan’s already mentioned is we want Council, at
the time that the detailed architectural designs are being presented, to have a complete business
plan and operational model so that you know
approving the building, from a capital standpoint, you also know what the ongoing operational
costs are going to be. And that’s very important for Council to understand that, because
the operational part will have a long-term impact
on your future budget. So we just want to make sure
you have a clear picture, before we just jump full
steam ahead on this. So those can be accomplished
over the many months ahead and we would hope, I’m
not going to provide any guarantees here, but
sometime during the 2018 calendar year, we’d have
all of that back to you. With some future decision
points for Council. – [Victor] I’ll second
the motion, Your Worship. – [Wayne C.] I’ll make
the motion to receive. – Okay, motion by
Councillor Campbell to move the report, all three recommendations, seconded by Councillor Pietrangelo. And if there’s no further discussion, we’ll call the vote, all those in favor? Okay, and that’s unanimous,
thank you very much, Megan, appreciate it, well done. And to your team, thank
you and Clark as well. All righty, so are we on
the consent agenda, Bill? Okay, Council we are now
on the consent agenda, what is your desire? Councillor Craitor. – [Kim] Two items I want to do. – Okay, yep, which two were those? – Actually, I just want
to say, on this report, L-2017-31, the RFP for the
integrity commissioner? I just want to compliment
staff on putting together, I think, a very excellent
report for the RFP, so congratulations.
– Okay. – The only other one, I
only just wanted to get some thoughts from
yourself and maybe the CAO and maybe some other Members of Council, and I’m supporting this, is that 2017-07, the transient tax, I’d just
be interested in hearing what some of the thoughts are. And maybe some of the
Councillors who are more in tune with this than I am. – Absolutely, I’ll start off if you like. So in the budget, the provincial budget that was passed in April,
there was a provision in there that allowed municipalities
at the lower tier, or single tier, to pass a
transient accommodation tax, but we’ve called it a hotel room tax. We’ve been aware of that,
we’ve been having conversations with both the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Municipal
Affairs to determine what the regulations might look like. And the regulations were
just released late last week. We wanted to get this
report in front of Council because we believe that
getting a Council commitment to proceed, that we could
then work to figure out all of the details, in
terms of how we would engage our stakeholders
to implement that tax. So that was the purpose why we brought it, with some expediency and
a little bit of urgency tonight to get it in front of you. But all along in our
conversations with the Ministry, and with the Minister of Tourism, and you can see there’s
a very pointed letter from her in your package as well. And she is truly encouraging
us to pass this tax so that, in the belief
that there’ll be more transparency and more accountability around what we’re using that money for. So what the game plan would
be, is that if Council approves that tax, in our situation, 50% of it has to be shared with, in our case, Niagara Falls Tourism. So right off the bat, they’re collecting. And that’s not a choice,
that’s by regulation. So 50% automatically goes to the Niagara Falls Tourism, and they would be charged
with, as the report indicates, for certain things that they would fund. It would be all of our
marketing and promotion. They’ve indicated that they
would take over a lot of the BIA costs related to the Convention
Centre operation, some of the commitments that the BIAs
have to their organizations. The other 50% would be used by us. And what we would do is we
would have to set an annual budget determining what those
funds would be used for. And it’s staff’s view
that that money should be focused solely on the tourist area. In other words, we’re
collecting from room tax, that money should be plowed
into tourism and economic development opportunities
within the tourist area. So that would give us an opportunity to eliminate our payments
to Niagara Falls Tourism and Festival of Lights on the tax bill. It would then allow us,
through the hotel tax, to fund New Year’s Eve
shows, Kelly and Ryan shows, it would allow us to fund
the Illumination Board, it would allow us to put money
back into the Wego system, that services the tourism area. It would allow us to do
streetscaping capital improvements within the tourist area
that currently comes out of our current capital budget. So that’s where our vision is for it. And again, if Council is
agreeable or receptible to that, we’re suggesting a 4% tax on the rooms. That seems to be, from
our first investigation across the province,
Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, that’s the rate that they’re
setting, so there’s some common rate setting that
we’re involved with. We’re suggesting that we
look at implementing it in April of 2018, giving the treasurer and his staff the ability
to implement a plan as to how he would collect this. The plan would call for basically a, you collect it this year,
and you set your budget and spend it in, sorry,
you collect it in 2018. That would become your
budget money for ’19. What you collect in ’19
becomes your budget for, so it’s always on a go-forward basis. So that in 2018, there
would not be any actual impact that you would
see, because the money would be collected, we
would know by the end of the year what that amount of money is. We’d do our split with
Niagara Falls Tourism, and then we would be able to set a budget and what our priorities for
spending that money would be, in the tourist area,
based on what the amount is at the end of the year. That’s the concept. We know that there’s many other municipalities that are engaging this. What it will do, under the legislation, if we put a hotel tax in
place, it will eliminate the hotel’s ability to charge a DMF. That would disappear, but the hotels still would have the ability
to charge a resort fee, a convenience fee, a facilities fee, whatever, and there’s many
hotels across the world that charge those charges, but
they could not call it a DMF. And it would not be a tax. It would be a charge that the hoteliers would choose to either
put on their properties or not, that would be specific to them. The tax would be tax and that
would be what we collect. And then that would be
transparent and open in terms of what we spend on
that for tourism industry. So, Mr. Mayor, I think in a
nutshell, that pretty well covers it, and I’d be happy
to answer any questions. – Yep, no, you did a great job. You still have the floor, Councillor. – Thank you, I just want to say that I’m particularly pleased
for a couple reasons. One, I think it’s great
for Niagara Falls Tourism. Because now they’ll have, they
didn’t come around the table, we don’t get into politics of
it, they’ll have a permanent structure for funding,
and I think that’s great. And I’m particularly pleased with the way you explained it in terms
of our half of the funding, that we get to keep, that
we will spend in the area that generates it, that
makes sense to me as well. So I was just going to
support it, but I think it was just important for the public, because this is pretty
significant to understand. And I wanted to hear from
yourself and the clerk, or not the, the CAO
what your thoughts were. So I take that you’re
very positive about this. Obviously the staff is
making the recommendation that we support it, so that’s great. Thank you very much. – [Jim] Okay, thank you, I’ve got Councillor Morocco
and then Pietrangelo. – Thank you, Your Worship. Just in regards, there’s two
items that you’re asking for, but I’ll speak to the same
one that Councillor Craitor just spoke to, the transient tax. So I just wanted to understand,
this is a great opportunity that actually we’re saying
that we’re going to alleviate some of the burden, it’s
not really a huge burden, but the percentage that actually would go, would now be paid to fund the tourism, and also Winter Festival
of Lights, which is great, because we want to make sure
that we have a great marketing and strong marketing for our area. But I think my concern is
I don’t see anything where, okay, first, I’ll just
maybe get this clear. So we are going to impose a 4% and then there’s no more destination marketing fee that any of the hotels
will charge, that’s gone. Have we consulted with them? And they’re okay with this? So I just want to know, because to me, it’s their industry, it’s
something that we’re now going to say that we’re going
to put on this industry. And not have any input, I’m just kind of a little leery to say, okay, let’s do this without the input of the industry. – Well, Mr. Mayor, the second
part of the recommendation talks about us going out and
in terms of the implementation, as to how we do this, of going out and talking to the stakeholders. We’ve had some preliminary discussion with Niagara Falls Tourism,
we have not reached out and talked individually to the properties. We have, I think the
report says, about 136 hotel and motel properties
across the city. Some 13, over 13,000 hotel rooms. So we would need to get out and
engage them in a discussion. But the purpose of the
report here tonight was, if Council is buying into
the concept and saying, yes, we want to go forward with this, we will report back to you on exactly how we’re going to implement it. – Yeah, because to me, this is
the largest industry that we have and we’re actually now pretty much going to dictate what they’ve been doing. And let’s face it, they’ve
been charging a destination marketing fee, some of them
have been more than 4%. And I’m sure that the dollars
that they’ve been collecting has a huge impact in their
marketing, we see that. And the marketing dollars
that are being spent, I have to say that some of
these properties have been spending millions of dollars
marketing their properties. Of course, because a lot
of them are a large chain, I think they probably
don’t have an obligation to commit to so much, so
I’m just concerned that we actually are going to
make a decision based on their industry without having their input. So I think it’s great, like
I’m looking forward to this, I’m thinking like great,
we want a percentage, and then we also want to be able to say that we have money ourselves to help feature some events and
promote tourism, too. But I think that’s also a huge part of the tourism sector itself. So I would really, before I do this, I would like to say that I would like to know what the response is
from our tourism industry. – Thank you for that, we’ve got Councillor Pietrangelo, then Campbell. – Yeah, thanks, Your Worship. I guess I’ll start off by
saying that in Niagara Falls, I’ve always felt that
there’s been a general animosity towards tourist commercial, the tourist commercial sector, mostly from the residents who believe that tax dollars are taken to support the industry. Then there’s the other side of the coin that believes that we take the tax dollars that they pay for their
properties, and we also take the tax dollars that we
collect for garbage collection, although we don’t give them the service. And that’s what we use to
subsidize other things. And regardless of who’s
right, Your Worship, if we go down this road,
then I really believe that there isn’t any more debate. Because if the city
institutes a 4%, a room tax, then there could never
again be a tax subsidy for the tourist sector. So I do have a couple questions. I wanted to ask first
about public meetings, although Councillor Morocco
already addressed it. Was there not going to
be any public meetings before the Council makes a decision? This kind of came to us, I
saw that the Minister’s letter was from November 24th, which
would have been on Friday. So you probably didn’t
receive it until Friday. I know it didn’t get in
our package until recently. Was there not going to be
any public consultation before the Council, I
guess, decides on this? – I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask the CAO if you want to address that. – Certainly, if that’s
the wish of Council, we’d be happy to do that. We just wanted to get here, this is all really breaking news. As you say, the Minister’s
letter, we just got late Friday afternoon.
– Friday night, six o’clock. – Friday night and the
regulations just came out, I believe it was late Thursday afternoon. We worked over the weekend
to put things together and get the report here for you. But if that’s the will of
Council, we’d be happy to do that. I know there’s been
some informal discussion with the director of economic development and a few of the stakeholders
with Niagara Falls Tourism, but I can’t say that’s
been in any formal way of formal engagement where
we’ve got the industry together. But if that’s the wish of
Council, we’d be happy to do that. – Okay, Your Worship, I had
a couple other questions. First of all, has legislation been passed which will allow
municipalities to do this? – Yes.
– Have they already the implemented legislation?
– Yes, so it was in the provincial budget
and then the regulations that just came down on
Thursday set out the, it was in the, I can’t
remember the name of the act right now, it’s in the report. But the regulations then
set in motion how you can go about collecting it
and what the split is. So when I talked about the split between your tourism organization, that is by regulation, we don’t
have a choice with that. So whatever you collect automatically 50% has to go back to that
tourism organization, for promotion and things
that they’re doing as your lead tourism
group in the municipality. So those were the details
we were waiting for. And we really didn’t want to
get anything in front of you until we sort of knew
what that regulation said. So it’s all set in motion now. It comes into effect December 1st, so municipalities can start collecting and doing whatever they
want as of December 1st. We’re suggesting, through
some stakeholder engagement, and we’re probably looking at latter part of the first quarter, just
because there’s a lot of work for our finance staff
to try to get what the fund, what the collection mechanism
would be and how we would do that, before we can
actually roll this out. – That’s the other question
I had, Your Worship, was the parameters around collecting it. Would audited statements
have to be given to the city in order to verify what
the actual revenues were? – Well, see, those are
a lot of the details I really don’t have, we
have more actual questions than we have answers to some of that. Because we thought the
regulations may go a little bit more detailed, but they haven’t. So our staff is going to have
to sit down with Ministry staff and just try to figure
out some of those questions. Because quite honestly, we don’t have the answers to those questions tonight. – Okay, just on that one note, Councillor, Mr. Beaman, you wanted to comment. – I have about 15 by-laws
from other municipalities sitting on my desk, that I
was reading this afternoon. And that is a common theme to all of them. That they can, if there’s any, there’s investigative powers to check up and look at the books to see if the amount being tendered is correct in the same way as income tax or provincial sales tax. – Okay, my other question, Your Worship, is the 4%, the 4% is just
the standard percentage that other municipalities have
decided to, I guess, adopt. I read in the report,
I think was it Toronto and Mississauga, have
they already adopted that? – I believe the three that
we have been in touch with, Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa are all looking at, they’ve all approved 4%. And our staff have had some conversation with them and that was just the percentage that seemed to be a reasonable amount, based on conversations
with other municipalities. And I think they were
trying to perhaps equate it somehow to what money was
generated from their DMF to try to equate it that way. But because we never
really had a formal DMF, and we never collected money before, where these other groups did. We really didn’t know
what the magnitude is, so we were kind of following
their lead a little bit. – Yeah, so that leads
into my next question, because I love numbers. So I did couple calculations
and I figured out that you’re guesstimating that
the accommodations sector would be worth about 375
million in Niagara Falls, and that’s how you got to
the figure of 15 million? – Yes, well, the number
was calculated based on a rough guesstimate on occupancy rates, what roughly your room rate would be and what the number of hotel rooms are. So that’s kind of how
we came up with that. – Okay, so I just want to get to some of the costs that we have currently. So I know Niagara Falls
Tourism is, are they 400? Winter Festival of Lights is 360, yeah. So that’s what, 760, so far? – Well, plus Winter Festival
of Lights comes back, we’ve been supplementing,
and so we have been for Niagara Falls Tourism, as well. – Well, that’s not out of the operating budget, though, right? I mean, that’s out of the funds from LOG. – One taxpayer, one taxpayer.
– We had suggested, the money you’re talking about
in the operating budget would be the Festival of
Lights, Illumination Board, and Niagara Falls Tourism. – And what’s the Illumination Board at? – 40, just around 40.
– 42. – 40, so that brings us up to 800, okay. – Those are the big three anyway. – Of the 15 million that
you’re proposing to collect, we have to give half of it to
Niagara Falls Tourism, right? So that would leave us
with approximately 7 1/2. We have 800,000 in our operating budget, so we’re looking at
collecting 10 times the amount that we currently spend
in our operating budget. Do we have other plans for it? And what happens if we
collect too much money? Do we just find ways to spend it? – Well, I would say this. That number’s going to be variable. Depending on external factors, whether it be occupancy
rates and room rates. So what you do is at the end of the year, you’re going to know how much
money you have going forward. And what we would be doing then is taking that money and basing your budget on it. So whether it be capital expenditures, in the tourist core
area, and I can tell you, there’s millions and millions of dollars of work that can be done. Whether it be looking at your Wego system, and future bus
replacements, you’re talking a million dollars a bus,
you could be spending a million dollars a year
over the next 20 years just replacing your buses,
and events and festivals. Things of that nature. So that’s how we would
set that budget each year. And we believe there’s enough opportunity, just based on the rough estimates, and looking at some of
our capital projects and commitments that that 4% seemed to be, to our mind, in a reasonable range. Based on what our guesstimate
of 15 million was. – Okay, I think that’s all the questions that I have, Your Worship. It certainly would be
the dawning of a new age, and I think the residents
would really support not having to put any of their tax dollars into the tourism sector anymore, so I think it’s a step
in the right direction. – Thank you, Councillor Campbell. – Thank you, Your Worship. Just so that I’m clear on this 4%, one of the biggest
complaints that we’ve heard, I’ve heard in the general public is, residents of the City of Niagara Falls should have been exempt from
the destination marketing tax. This marketing tax will only be for rooms. I know that in the past, if you went into the tourist area and you
had dinner or drinks, you got charged the
destination marketing tax. So there will be no longer
any taxes, tourist taxes, on corner stores, restaurants, meals, which would clear up one of
the biggest complaints that I’ve heard from citizens of
Niagara Falls, is that correct? – Yeah, so what would happen is that, because of the hotel
tax in this legislation, a DMF as mechanism, as a tax, would no longer be able to collected. That does not prohibit
a hotel or a restaurant from putting some kind of service fee on their menu or on their hotel room. But it’s not a tax and
it doesn’t have anything to do with the city, it
would not come to the city. We would not be accountable for it. And it could not be called a tax. But the hotel tax is on a room only. So it would apply to any
short-term accommodation in city. The only thing that’s
exempted from the legislation is if it’s a university or
college residence, it’s exempted. But any other hotel room that’s
a transient type of room, this would be applicable to them. – So that would apply
to bed and breakfasts? – Well, our understanding is it could be Airbnb, it could be– – Well, that was my next question. Is this something that we can somehow bring into play with respect to how we’re looking at the Airbnb
situation in our community? – Well, our recommendation to you, and we’re going to deal with
the whole short-term rental issue, but if Council
were to agree to some kind of licensing or governing
mechanism over those kind, we would certainly be
recommending that it has to have an even playing
field and be charging those residences the same kind of tax. I think it’s only fair–
– Absolutely. – And when we were in AMO, in Ottawa, the mayor and I actually had meetings with the Airbnb people,
and they have indicated that they’ve done that quite successfully in other jurisdictions
for anybody that signs up under their website and their program. – Thank you.
– Thank you. Any other, Councillor Strange. – Yeah, Mr. Mayor, I just,
so if we do apply this, so hotels will not be able to apply DMF. But they can have any kind of fee. They can have a fireworks
fee or something. They could have about any
kind of fee they wanted to, it could be a restaurant
of anything like that. – It could be a resort fee,
it could be a facility fee. – That we see in Vegas and
stuff like that all the time. – It just, but again, it
could not be called a tax. – A fee.
– It would be a fee that they would apply at their source, and it would have nothing to do with us. We would not control it and it’s totally up to that individual business. The tax would have to show
separately, as a accommodation room city tax at 4%. And then that’s what we
would be accountable for, in terms of setting budgets and making that known to the public. – I would just, I’m actually
like Councillor Morocco. I’d actually like to give the stakeholders a little heads up about this,
we just got it on Friday, and we just got it today. So I like the idea of everything, but like Councillor
Morocco, we’re just kind of, the tourism sector is everything for us. And the millions of dollars in taxes that they pay and everything,
I just would like, if we haven’t talked to them, give an opportunity to meet with them. And I know a lot of them won’t be happy, but at least we can talk to them and figure out whether it’s 4%, 3%, whatever we want to do. But I don’t think it’s
fair that we approve anything tonight, until we
talk to the stakeholders. – Okay, thank you, any other questions or comments of Council? – I just want to say thanks. When I brought it forward, I was hoping to get a few comments. It got a lot of comments. The one thing I will say is after listening to everything, I think we do, I’m going to say this, I think we do owe it to the stakeholders. Before we just go ahead,
you’ve expressed it, Councillor Strange and we do owe it to, just like if it was
something we were doing to the residents, then I’d
be saying the same thing if it was for the residents,
before we implement something. So I think we do at least owe it to have some meetings, to have some discussions. I’m excited that this, this may finally put the end to all this controversy. Not just here, other communities
that are having this DMF. But I think we should, if
there’s sufficient time, to have at least some
meetings with some of the key stakeholders, just to get
some input from them as well. We’ve always been a very
open and transparent with the way we run, I think we should do the same for those stakeholders. Because we’re going to
impose something on them, that the provincial
government is giving us the authority to do, so I’m
going to make that suggestion. And I don’t know, are we looking? I wanted to put it on the table
just to have some comments, but maybe it should be just
voted on independently. And I’m going to suggest
that I make a motion that we have some stakeholder meetings and get some input and
then it comes back to us and we make a final decision.
– I’ll second. – Okay, so it seems to
me, as it sounds to me, the general consensus
is we’re very supportive of this idea, but we’re
also supportive of the idea of having engagement with the stakeholders to get their input before we implement it. And it’s not like they’re being taxed, they’re not being taxed, they’re
being asked to collect it. And it’s not that it won’t benefit them, it will benefit them, because right now, this is going to take a lot
of the things they pay for off of their list of things they pay for, like the Convention
Centre, they put a million dollars a year into that. Fireworks, New Year’s Eve,
the list goes on and on. So it’s not like they
aren’t going to benefit. And our idea is that the money, 100% of it will go, come from tourism
and stay in tourism. And help with marketing and festivals and events and things like that. So I also very strongly support it. And I’m glad that it’s
finally coming forward. And I agree that we can
have a meeting with them, let’s have a Council-stakeholder meeting, we can invite them in. Representatives of the
different properties, or however we’re going to do that. So then, if I got your
motion straight, Councillor, you’re supportive of the recommendation, subsequent to the stakeholder meeting. So staff should schedule
a public, or a stakeholder meeting, where they could come in. And the public, if they
want, could come in as well. And they can give their
opinions at the same time. – Say support in principle, subject to. – Yeah, so then, would you
suggest then, Councillor, your motion be subject in principle, subject to public meetings. Is that the motion you’re suggesting? – [Kim] That’s the motion, thank you. – Okay, so we’ve got moved
by Councillor Craitor, seconded by Councillor
Morocco, Councillor Morocco? – That’s fine, I thought Vic seconded, but that’s fine, I’ll second. – Oh, I’m sorry, was it Vic?
– It’s all right. I didn’t second it in principle, I said that I would if it were opened.
– He mentioned he would second.
– Okay, so seconded by Councillor Morocco, is there any other discussion to the motion? Okay.
– Conflict. – Yep, conflicts with
Councillor Thomson and Kerrio. We’ll call the vote, all those in favor? Okay, and that’s unanimous. And Councillor Craitor, you
mentioned the other one, but you said you just
wanted to compliment staff on the integrity commissioner RFP? – Yeah.
– That’s all you wanted to say on that one?
– and I guess I’ll just close by saying, how quickly do you expect that to move forward, Mr. CAO? – Well, we have to go out and do the RFP. It’ll be sometime first
quarter of next year. – Thank you.
– Okay, Councillor Morocco. – Yes, just the Council’s
agenda, the calendar. We have a meeting scheduled
for June 12th of 2018, if we could maybe just
move it to another week. It’s actually a week that
I’m working at a conference. – You said the following? – That would, yeah, I’m
sorry, I don’t have that. – 19th, from the 12th to the 19th? – Yes.
– Does that work, Mr. Clerk? Does that, or can that work? – The reason why the calendar
was proposed this way was to try and keep it on the second or fourth Tuesday of each month. That just tends to fit best
with Cogeco’s schedule. As they are adding production
to Council meetings throughout the municipality. So I’m not sure they would be, it’s obviously the will of the Council, it’s not something that we can’t do. Hopefully that gives Cogeco enough time to try and figure out an alternative plan. – Yeah, ’cause I see that the week before is actually the provincial election week, so that’s probably a little difficult. – So why don’t you make
that motion, Councillor, that we move the, is that June? – June to the 19th? – [Jim] June 12th to the 19th. Do you want to make that motion? – Yes, if I could make that motion, I’d really appreciate it. – Okay, motion by Councillor Morocco, seconded by Councillor Craitor. Is there any discussion to
moving that one meeting in June? Okay, we’ll call the
vote, all those in favor? Okay, that’s approved, thank you. Councillor Thomson? – I may be out here for half an hour, but there’s so many things here. Integrity commissioner, the date for implementing that is March 2019, is there a rush to go into that? Would we have to chose somebody? And then have them on a per diem, if there are no, is it really by the hour? So what’s the rush,
unless we’re anticipating a lot of complaints to send
the integrity commissioner? – You’re quite right, Councillor, the deadline date for having one is that date in March of ’19. – [Wayne T.] It will be the
Council will be selecting them at the end of– – It would be, it would be, yes. But it depends on how we
end up engaging the person. It could be, some
municipalities have done it on a retainer, some have
just picked the individual and done it on a case by case basis, so you’re not incurring costs. So there’s different
ways we can structure it. And we can detail that
when we come back to you. In the report, it talks
about, Mr. Beaman’s indicated that the feeling is you
might need to have actually two individuals on
board, because of the way conflict of interest and
stuff like that works. But sooner or later, you’ve got to do it. And we’re figuring we might
as well get on with it, and as long as we can structure it so that we’re not having ongoing
costs, and you could perhaps deal with it on
a case by case basis, I think we should be okay. – Mr. Beaman wanted to
weigh in too, Councillor. – Because we have a code
of conduct, as well, for conflicts, it’s wise
to have one appointed, so that if there is a complaint, there’s no, that way I
don’t have to deal with these allegations that I ran off and found somebody that’s biased against the person or any and all that
stuff we’ve had recently. So if the person’s appointed
in advance, then there’s no, then it can’t be contested, they picked them, there they are. – Okay, I don’t have a problem with that, I just thought if it might be something that the new Council
would prefer deal with. The changes to election of Councillors, can somebody give us a brief rundown of, I
know it starts in May, rather than January 1st, is that the same as the
provincial guidelines, too? – Sorry, can you repeat the question? – [Wayne T.] The provincial
guidelines are the same, as far as funding is concerned? Corporate can no longer,
unions cannot donate? – And you’re speaking about
the provincial election? – And the municipal. – Well, they would fall
under different parameters. So it wouldn’t follow the same guidelines. So the Municipal Elections Act. – I was told that provincial has the same. – They may be, but since
that’s not a responsibility of ours, it’s not something
that I have followed. But that is possible. – Yeah, sure, yeah, that’s (mumbling). So what are the restrictions
regarding the fundraising? Is that, cannot start ’til May? Or what’s the parameters there? – For fundraising for
the municipal election, you wouldn’t be able to start fundraising until you filed your nomination. The earliest you can file
your nomination is May 1st. – Okay.
– So don’t show up here on January 2nd, okay?
– Pardon me? – Don’t show up here January 2. (people laughing) – I was going to be in January 1st. – What day is that?
(speakers voices interposing) – So many things on here, I think I have. Anyway, I guess I’m over it. I just had questions. – Okay, we can come
back to you if you think of something else, Councillor Pietrangelo. – Thanks, Your Worship, we’re
still on the consent agenda? – Yeah.
– Okay. – Unless you want me to
do the mayor’s report. – I’m going to leave in a minute early. MW-2017-50, the tennis and basketball service delivery review. I know I’ve asked a bunch of times, since this first came up. I’ve read the report, the report said that staff did a public consultation, I believe in the fall of 2016 and then they did a followup one. My question was more in regards to the actual public consultation. Was it one general meeting? Let’s say like at the MacBain Centre? Because I guess my question is like, when you look at the
report, you notice that there’s 15 parks, 15, that
are losing tennis courts. And do the people in those
neighborhoods know that? Because when you actually
look at the report, the people that came out,
the people that came out, their number one concern
was maintain tennis and basketball, within existing parks. That’s the number one bullet
under analysis and rationale. So I guess my question is,
the meetings that took place, where they more generalized? Was there just one of them? And all the public from across the city was invited to attend? Because you know how
it goes, Your Worship. We have these public meetings, we invite the public to come out, we don’t really get a great
showing a lot of times. Decisions are then made and people say, hey, I didn’t know that you were taking my tennis courts away? Well, yeah, we had public meetings. Well, no one told me. And then, as I go through the report, I just question whether or
not it’s the right path. I don’t like the fact that we’re going to be taking away so many tennis
courts in all of these parks. Again, there’s 15 parks that we’re going to be losing tennis courts in. That’s quite a bit. – Well, let’s get you some answers. And as I understand it,
we’ll get Miss Moldenhauer, I guess it, or is it Mr. Holman, sir. As I understood it, too,
in some of the parks, I was at a park opening on the weekend, that some of them are double tennis courts and looking to remove one and
make it a basketball court. But fix the tennis court,
because a lot of them are cracked and grass
growing through them. – Okay.
– So maybe, Mr. Holman, if you could just answer
Councillor Pietrangelo. He’s asking the public meeting process, how we’re doing it, is it one
general one or one per park? And I guess notication’s the other part. How are we letting them know? Are we putting fliers in their mailboxes? For the people that live
in the neighborhood. And maybe a sign at the park
for those that use the park? So we’ll just kind of,
I’ll just keep talking until you get thing on your iPad. (laughs) I’m running out of things to talk about. – Thanks, Mr. Mayor, I
know that Dave Antonsen, the project manager has worked closely with Dale Morton and Teresa Simmonds to try and engage the community. And it was done through a
series of public meetings and people could participate online. It’s very difficult to get the right people engaged at the right time, and I know we hear that
criticism all the time. But I think the public
meetings that we held were fairly well attended,
as you might expect. But the recommendations that
are being presented here are basically saying, we
know that when we compare what the standard should
be across the city, what we have doesn’t quite fit. But we also know that when
we go to take facilities away from parks, there an
outcry from those residents who may or may not have used them, but would like to have access to them. So what we’re proposing
is that, if we have, if we can justify removing
a basketball facility or a tennis court because
there’s enough in that area, that we would replace it with
some other type of amenity, that might be more appropriate for the people in that community. I don’t know what that would be, per se, maybe it’s additional playground equipment or some other amenity. And that’s kind of the concept here. The plan isn’t to take something away, but help to distribute
some of these courts to have better coverage
across the community. There are, as you know, limited funds. And so we want to put the right facilities in the right place. We don’t want to water
things down, either. If we’re going to be
providing tennis courts, let’s build them to a proper standard, that they’re going to last 20 or 30 years. That we’re going to be able to make sure that we can maintain them, put
the nets up in a timely way. And make sure weeds aren’t growing up through them, the fences aren’t broken. So there has to be some consideration about operating costs as well. And the recommendation here is to include, make those improvements
over a two-year timeline, which is very expensive. But it will help us to get to some of those tennis courts
that have been ignored, I guess, over the past five or 10 years. With respect to the
public engagement process, I don’t know what else
to do, other than to, on a lot by lot, park by park basis, when the time comes, at budget time, to reach out again. But under the circumstances,
I think that the staff has done a pretty good
job of trying to get those people who wanted to
come and say something, we’ve heard what they had to say. – Thank you, Councillor? – Yeah, Your Worship, I
appreciate the comment from Mr. Holman, I know it’s not easy to engage the public a lot of times. That’s why I simply
asked whether it was one big general meeting or whether there was small neighborhood meetings. And I support the concept
of new infrastructure. I think redoing our tennis courts and all of playground
equipment is always needed. I’m just not in favor of getting rid of so many courts, that’s all. So I’ll leave it at that, Your Worship. – Okay, thank you for that. Any other comments on that report? The tennis and basketball service review? Okay, who else has concerns or comments on the consent agenda, anybody else? – Oh, actually, Your Worship. – Yes?
– I forgot I have another one. Yeah, Your Worship, TS-2017-38, Royal Manor Drive, the parking review. I know that some no parking
signs are going to be put up at the bend,
which is understandable. I don’t think that we want
people parking on the bend. But the issue would be,
is there still remain parking on Royal Manner Drive? And I guess it would be
west of the trail head? Because right now, the Millennium Trail comes all the way through
out to Royal Manner Drive, but there really isn’t a parking lot, unless you go all the way to McLeod Road, which is about three kilometers away. When you look at what we’ve done, with the Paisley Janvary Trail, and then the extension,
would be the Lions Trail, there’s a parking lot on Portage. There’s a parking lot on
Stanley and Thorold Stone. And then there’s another parking lot, that you can use over on Whirlpool Road. And then there’s another parking lot over on the Parks Commission property. There’s a lot of parking lots. And this one here, there’s only one parking lot and it’s on McLeod road. So do we have any plans to either put a parking lot in somewhere,
or at least allow parking west of the trail. – On Royal Manor, you’re saying? – On Royal Manor.
– So, Mr. Dren, do we have any feedback on that? And I know what you’re
say, because we were at the park opening on
Sunday, and there was cars on the street,
there’s nowhere to park. – Exactly, yeah.
– So from my perspective, with respect to Royal Manor Drive. West of the trail, there
is parking permitted on the roadway.
– All right. – As far as a parking lot, I think I have to refer that to Miss Moldenhauer. – Sir, to the Mayor, when we developed this section of the Millennium Trail, there were some questions
asked about parking. And unfortunately, there’s
no space where we can add a parking lot on the section of the trail. And with the next section
of the Millennium Trail, we are currently working
with a consultant, and we are looking to ensure that we add some parking on the next section. But on this current
section, there’s really no area where we can add a parking lot. – [Victor] Okay, as long as
there’s parking on the street. – So there will be parking on the street. So that’d be on the south end of that part of the trail, right? On Royal Manor Drive, yeah, okay. Okay, so we’re good there. Okay, if there’s no further
comments or questions on the consent agenda,
does someone want to move the rest of the consent agenda? – So moved.
– Moved by Councillor Kerrio, seconded by Councillor Morocco. We’ll call those, all those in favor? Okay, and that’s approved. – I’m opposed to the tennis
and basketball service. – With Councillor
Pietrangelo being opposed to the tennis and basketball
service delivery review. Okay, so what are we at now? Okay, so on communications,
and comments to the city clerk, there’s a petition for electoral wards. Councillor Thomson? – Thank you. First of all, a long time ago, we identified that the,
through the Council, that it was appropriate
to reduce the Council from 12 to eight, and we made a motion at that particular
time to accomplish that. And the majority of the
Council approved that. And I think that we were
the leaders of the pack. Maybe not only in Niagara
Region, but across the province. Still, today, small municipalities have 12 council members
sitting around the table and I think that’s probably inappropriate. If you look at Mississauga,
five council members for that municipality, what
are they at, 500,000 people? So I think that was the right
move to make at that time. And I think that the other decision with respect to the at large and getting rid of the wards, came from a lot of frustration
at that particular time, on trying to accomplish
some of our objectives, with the Willoughby, Crowland, Chippawa, some of the outer wards
didn’t have the same enthusiasm for development
and it was very difficult. So we had a majority pass the motion to go at large, and this was opposed vigorously by several people. Most of them, people who are upset that the Council was reduced, and secondly, that they would have to
run at large for Council. And that would make it very difficult. I have all the minutes here
and all the information from the debates and the discussion that went on at that particular time. But what has happened,
you gave the opportunity for everybody in the City of Niagara Falls to vote for every council
member that’s elected. Democratically, how can
you argue about that? There’s also bringing the
entire Council together, as a one-team system, rather than having segmented people throughout the community. People would sabotage
something that was very good for the overall community, so that they could have something that they wanted to happen within their particular ward. So in my opinion, it
was not a good system. And what we’ve provided since 202, is something that gives the opportunity for everybody on this
council to be responsible for every decision that
is made in this community. I used to get people calling me, what ward person do I call? And I would say, well, that’s so-and-so. Oh, I don’t even like him,
I’m not going to talk to him. I would get this all the time. – Was it your ward?
– Pardon me? – [Man] Was it your ward? – I think that was probably (drowned out by laughter) anyway, I think we made
the right decision. I don’t think the people who have sent in this petition really have
researched this properly. There are 12 signatures,
the clerk can tell you that first of all, they
need a minimum of 500 to submit one to be considered by Council. The other thing is that
the Council has 90 days in which to consider that,
and it isn’t going to have any effect on this next election. Because obviously, you’re
going to have an OMB hearing, which could take up to a year. If my motion doesn’t pass, I’ll be appealing it to the OMB. So it isn’t going to have any
impact on the 2018 election. And I don’t think the merit is there to go back to a ward system. So I would make a motion that we receive and file the petition. – Okay, moved by Councillor
Thomson, seconded by Councillor Morocco, that we receive
and file the petition. Any other discussion or comments on that? Okay, we’ll call the
vote, all those in favor? Okay, and that’s unanimous. Thank you for that, Councillor. Next item is the double hat firefighters. A recommendation came
from, it’s a resolution that came from the Town
of Niagara on the Lake. Do we have any comments of Council? No, no, really, just one at a time, please, just one at a time. I need a motion from Council
on, are we supporting the double hatter recommendation? Councillor Campbell?
– I’ll support the motion. – Okay, moved by Councillor
Campbell that we support double hatters, seconded
by Councillor Morocco. Do have some discussion around the motion. – What is the motion?
– The motion is to support the double hatter, that the
City of Niagara Falls would support the double hatter position. Where the idea would be
then that volunteers, we support the fact that
they should be allowed to volunteer if you’re
a career firefighter. You should be able to volunteer. – Okay.
– Yep, Councillor, yep? – Yeah, I fully support
that, but I’m just wondering, why we have to deal with this. Is this not something that
the provincial government cannot step in and provide legislation that says this completely acceptable? And the way these people,
volunteers for volunteer fire departments are being
treated is unacceptable. Is that?
– I don’t know, Mr. Beaman? Is that something that
the province can legislate that it doesn’t have to
come to the municipalities? – Well, I suppose they could, except. They could.
– They could. So it’s a yes, the answer
is just a yes, okay. – Yes, but obviously, they haven’t. They’ve been able to do it for years. They don’t want to, it’s a hot potato, they don’t want to touch it. – Well, anyway, I think that
should be part of our motion, that we’re supporting
this is to include that. – That we ask the province to?
– Ask the province to look into this matter and resolve it, so municipalities don’t
have to put up with this, and people who are providing, can you imagine what would happen to the City of Niagara Falls, if tomorrow, we lost all
our volunteer firemen? I think I asked the question
to the former chief, at one point, and he said it
would be $6 million a year. A year, so I think it’s obvious we’re very fortunate and why I have
supported and made motions to build our volunteers up in the past. (speakers voices interposing) – We’ll have to go to 5% to bring that up. Okay, so are you agreeable to that, to the mover, as a seconder? – Yes.
– Okay, is there any other discussion around the double-hatter. Any other discussion? Okay, so we’ll call the vote. All those in favor. Okay, and that’s unanimous,
thank you for that. Okay, next item is the VISTA
Pyrotechnics, requesting approval for their annual New
Year’s Eve fireworks display at the Skylon.
– So moved. – Moved by Councillor
Pietrangelo, seconded by Councillor Strange, all those in favor? And lastly, Global Legacy Boxing, requesting a flag raising on December 2nd, in association with the
Canadian-Albanian heritage and support in the event
being held December 1st as the Scotiabank Convention
Centre, by purchasing a table. – Councillor Thomson? – Thank you very much. For about six years, I’m a boxing fan, probably got into when Councillor Strange was a Olympian and I had great opportunity to him and Billy Irwin at the same time, we had lots of fun and lots of praise for what they accomplished
and what they did. But I liked boxing before that. So anyway, we tried to
get something happening at the Convention Centre. It was very, very difficult,
and we kept working on it. And in the last year,
we have had tremendous success in dealing with Lennox Lewis, the world champion for many, many years, who actually said to me, we are excited to be in Niagara Falls
and we are going to make Niagara Falls the boxing
capital of Canada. And we’ve already one
fight, and we have one coming up on Friday, a championship for Canadian heavyweight boxing. And this is incredible,
and one of the boxers is from Albanian descent, and as a result, there is a thousand supporters of his, Albanian, coming to the
fight in Niagara Falls at the Convention Centre. And also, this November is Albanian month in Ontario. And the Canadian ambassador for Albania is coming down with them
and they have requested a flag raising and an opportunity for all of the Albanians
who are coming down to be at the flag raising. And also the have the
ambassador raise the flag, appropriately, in front of City Hall. So I think this is extremely exciting. It’s going to be a sold out event, there’s no question about it. And this is going to happen
four or five times a year. The tourist industry people
are extremely excited about this, with the exception of Kerrio, he didn’t know anything about
it, I talked to him earlier. I would be delighted to make a motion that we set this up, and they are asking that we support them with a table, I look at that as economic development. And we want them to keep coming. And they’re going to have four
or five major fights a year, at the Convention Centre. So you can imagine what’s
that’s going to do, as far as activities around that. So I’d be happy to move that motion. – Okay, do we have a
seconder for that motion? – [Mike] I’ll second that. – Seconded by Councillor Strange. – I’d just like to speak to that, too. And just, if you were at the last match, I think you were there. Mer-guh-dah-tee.
– Yeah, absolutely. – And that Albanian boxer,
and was like a former world kick-boxing champion from Europe, from Albania, obviously. And he brought in, God,
there had to be about 1,500 in the theatre, it only holds about 1,700 or something like that. So they’re fighting in
the big hall this time, so they’re expecting about
2,500 Albanians to come down. So they’re going to come
down and they’re spending the night and they’re
going to our restaurants, and staying, sticking
around for the next day, for the flag raising. It going to be awesome for our city. So hopefully everyone
can come out and support. And it’ll be nice to see
Lennox Lewis and Les Woods, from Global Legacy Boxing,
is really pumping up Niagara Falls and
treating it like a little mini Las Vegas here for boxing. And we have a Canadian
heavyweight championship. Big Country Dillon Carman,
he was just on Big Brother, actually, on that reality show. So he’s going to competing and trying to get back his Canadian title. And remain champion, and it’s going to be, I think there’s only a couple tables left, it’s almost sold out, and I’m sure most the Albanians have bought everything. But it’s going to be a great night, so hopefully we can all support it. And I’m looking forward to
Lennox Lewis coming down, Lennox Lewis, the only
heavyweight champion that has retired world champion, too. So it’s quite a good feat.
– You got a good story about him, too.
– I do, I can’t share it. (speakers voices interposing) Anyways, I’m happy to second that. – That was a second,
okay, Councillor Kerrio. – Well, Your Worship, I am a boxing fan, as well as Councillor
Thomson, I just have a bit of a problem buying a $3,000 table and putting that on the
backs of the taxpayers. And I’m sure that some of them
aren’t going to be real happy that they couldn’t afford
to buy a $3,000 ticket to a fight, but we’re going to buy it for ourselves and go the fight. So I’d be happy to support the motion, and make a contribution,
but to buy a $3,000 table so councillors can go
and sit at the fight. If I’m going to go to the
fight, I’ll buy my own ticket. – [Jim] Okay, Councillor Pietrangelo. – Yeah, thanks, Your Worship. I, too, have an aversion
to using tax dollars, I guess, for a for-profit business. I don’t believe that Global Legacy Boxing is not for profit, and I don’t think that that’s what the whole notion around asking Council to support a table was. Generally, we get asked by the non-profits in our community to support
their cause and to buy a table. Now, my understanding
is Global Legacy Boxing has already been here, I thought we bought a table earlier this year. It’s quite a stretch, actually, to think that we’re going to
purchase a $3,000 table. And use tax dollars to pay for it. If Councillor Thomson wants to coin it as economic development,
I think that’s fine, I think it is economic development. But perhaps then Council
should be looking at aside a budget for that
means, instead of taking it out of our general purposes. – We already have one.
– In the future, we have that, but we don’t have that at the present stage, Your
Worship, so thank you. – Okay, thank you for that. Any other comments or feedback of Council? – I don’t need a ticket, because
I’m doing the commentating, so I don’t actually need
a ticket, so if that’s what the big issue was, about
Councillors needing tickets. – Okay, any other feedback,
yeah, Councillor Campbell? – I can’t go so, I don’t
know, I’m just saying that we’re going to end up with five
people sitting around a table. – Yeah.
– $3,000 table. – Looking to the mover or the seconder to give me some direction
on what your thoughts are. Well, let’s look at it this way, we all agree we’re going to
support putting the flag up, right? The Albanian flag, that’s
no issue on that one. Well, why don’t we vote on that, why don’t we start with that? And I will say all those
in favor of raising the Albanian flag in honor of the fight? All those in favor? Okay, thank you, so I’ll
take that from the mover and the seconder, from Councillor Thomson and Councillor Strange,
and then on the other part, I don’t know if you want
to give it some thought, or how you guys want to deal with that. – Yeah, it’s not a big deal to me. But all I’m trying to do is show them that the city is supporting their efforts and what they’re trying to do. The last fight sold out,
did they make any money? No, so this is a process
we’re going through. I don’t care.
– Yeah, I believe, actually, part of this money
is going to a fight for cancer, for Princess Margaret, the
hospital, so maybe we can make some kind of donation,
if that’s up to you guys? – Well, tell you what, why don’t we come back to it, so it gives you a chance
to think about it. I can’t think of a better time to think than during the mayor’s announcements. (people laughing) This is the time everyone kind of relaxes and kicks back and leaves the room. So let me run through this, and then see.
– And thoughts wander. – And thoughts wander.
– Maybe if you’re busy Pietrangelo to the Albanian flag raising. – Yeah, maybe Vic would go to the Albanian flag raising for me. All right, there goes Councillor Kerrio, he’s rushing for the door, there he goes. Okay, obituaries, first
thing we want to offer condolences to the Lustig
family, on the loss of their son Christian
Lustig, to Ed and Delma. Ed was a former City of
Niagara Falls CAO and solicitor and condolences to the Lustig family. Carmina Iampietro, mother
in law of John Grubich, of our transportation
department passed away. Leigh Shelton, father of Dave Shelton, district deputy at
station 4 fire department. Norm Leonard, commissioner who worked as an parking officer with
the City of Niagara Falls for the past 17 years. Betty Coburn, mother of Darrin Coburn of Niagara Falls Transit. So our condolences go
the families of those who have been affected by obituary. Representatives by members of Council, I’d like to think thank Councillor Craitor for representing the
city at the Christchurch annual Remembrance Day service, as well as the veterans event at Heartland Forest. To Councillor Campbell,
representing the city at the Niagara Regional
Medical Center grand opening and the Salute to Canada. Councillor Pietrangelo,
representing the city at the Niagara District
Firefighters Association meeting. Councillor Strange representing the city at the Travelers Provincial Championship bonspiel opening ceremonies,
and the community mental health awareness
event hosted by the Mayor’s Youth Advisory
Committee with Valerie Pringle. To Councillor Morocco
for representing the city at the Canada-China travel forum. And the Toys for Tots for Opry Niagara. And council members also
attended the Matthew Danielli fundraiser, I was joined
by Councillors Morocco, Craitor and Ioannoni. The Remembrance Day ceremony in Chippawa, I was joined by Councillor Thomson. Remembrance Day ceremony
at the Gale Centre, I was joined by Councillor
Thomson and Ioannoni. Volunteer recognition
evening, also attended by Councillor Campbell, Morocco, Craitor, Thomson and Pietrangelo. The grand opening of level
two at Casino Niagara was attended by Councillor Thomson. The Winter Festival of
Lights opening ceremony, I was joined by Councillor
Morocco and Pietrangelo. The groundbreaking for Claret on St. Paul, I was also joined by Councillor Thomson. and the Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade, I was joined by Councillors
Campbell and Morocco. – [Wayne T.] Maybe you
can mention the donation. – Yeah, and as well,
that is the development, the 10-story condo that’s
going to be at Eagle Valley and they made a $10,000
donation for Project SHARE. Which was very nice as we
broke ground down there. Real neat condos that will have a view of the Toronto skyline, just
on the edge of the city, at Mountain Road and
St. Paul, really nice. – The golf course.
– Right there, yeah, over looking the golf course. We’d also like to thank
our staff for decorating chambers and our offices in
festive Christmas decorations. We’d like to congratulate
Councillor Joyce Morocco, on being honored at the Brilliant-Minded Women Gala, in Toronto. She received an award for
her political leadership. Among other great company and
a host of noteworthy women, both young and old, and
as well, we were joined by Mayor Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga, and former mayor Hazel McCallion
of Mississauga as well. So congratulations to Councillor Morocco, for receiving your
Brilliant-Minded Woman event. – Congratulations.
(people clapping) The City of Niagara Falls was
awarded a 2017 MarCom awards. MarCom is a prestigious
international competition that recognizes outstanding achievement of marketing and communication programs. Congratulations to Dale
Morton and Teresa Simmonds, and staff involved from
various departments in the following award-winning categories. Platinum level for our
Let’s Talk digital videos. Gold for our strategic
communications program and Operation Awesome Playgrounds, and an honorable mention
for the fire department Wake Up campaign and the
South End Dog Park video. The second Cultural
Hub and Farmer’s Market public meeting, I was joined
by Councillor Pietrangelo. As you heard earlier tonight,
it’s a continual exchange of information and we’re
continually refining the plan. And lastly, I’d like to think staff for doing a great job on Sunday, at the Royal Manor Park reopening, where we put in brand
new playground equipment. It’s the fifth of 10 for
this year’s new parks. So we’re halfway there as
we refurbish the parks. That was a Canadiana theme park, as part of our Canada 150
Legacy here in Niagara Falls. It was a nice addition,
along with the trail at Royal Manor, which was named
after the Canada 150 Legacy Trail, and I was joined by
Councillor Craitor as well. So our next Council meeting,
the last one of the year, will be Tuesday, December the 12th. So make sure you mark
that on your calendars. And that ends the mayor’s report. We’re now onto res–
– So we make room for ratification measures in chamber. – Okay, that’s right, I overlooked that in the beginning, didn’t I? – No, this is a good time. – So now, we are looking
for, in place of resolutions, we’re going to have a
ratification of in camera actions. Can I get a motion to ratify? Moved by Councillor Strange,
seconded by Councillor Morocco that we ratify our in
camera resolute actions. All those in favor? Raise your hands. Yes, Councillor Pietrangelo. – Yeah, thanks, Your Worship. I was opposed to the one, I’m not sure whether or not it’s going to be ratified. So I’ll wait to hear
the ratification first. – Okay.
– Okay, I’ll just take a moment and read off the
ratifications from in camera. Firstly, it was ordered on the motion of Councillor Thomson,
seconded by Councillor Strange, that the recommendations
from November 28th, 2017 in camera meeting pertaining
to proposed conveyance of city-owned lands, within the Montrose Business Park be supported. So that Council accept two
offers to purchase separate lands within the Montrose Business Park for the price of $33,000
an acre, as per reports L-2017-22 and L-2017-25. Secondly, ordered on
the motion Councillor, seconded by Mayor Diodati
that the recommendations from the November 28th,
2017 in camera meeting pertaining to Barker Street School and Drummond Hills Cemetery be supported. So that the city will
take appropriate steps to address any remediation
of 6015 Barker Street, that is required to be
undertaken by substances migrating from the
Drummond Hills Cemetery. And lastly, it was ordered on the motion of Councillor Morocco,
seconded by Councillor Strange that the recommendations
from the November 28th, 2017 in camera meeting pertaining
to the Niagara Catholic District School Board, education
and development charges by-law be supported so that
the city of Niagara Falls consent to settle its appeal
of the Niagara Catholic District School Board’s
development charges by-law, on the terms described
within report L-2017-26. – Thank you for that,
Councillor Pietrangelo. – Yeah, thanks, Your Worship. I just wanted to reiterate that I did have a conflict with the issue that dealt with the Niagara Catholic
District School Board. And I also wanted to
say that I was opposed to the issue that dealt with
the former Barker Street Battlefield School,
Your Worship, thank you. – Okay, so we’ve got you
on record as being opposed. Yes, Councillor Craitor? – I guess it’s appropriate
I should make sure that the conflict of
interest that I had regarding the school board is said in open council. – Yeah, including
conflicts by both yourself and Councillor Pietrangelo, is that right? And we have no resolutions? – And there was also a
conflict from Wayne Campbell on that as well, on Barker Street. – Oh, okay, oh, did he have? Are you sure, I don’t think so. Did you have a conflict in camera? – I don’t think so.
– Oh, sorry, I thought you did.
– You could get one. – So do we have any
other, any resolutions? – No.
– Okay, motion issues the by-laws?
– Is this the Drainage Act by-law? – I’m introducing those, too. – Are you introducing the by-laws? – Not if it’s the Drainage Act. – Oh, yeah, just for point
of clarification there, as discussed earlier
in the agenda tonight, we should deal with the
Drainage Act by-law separately, as it would only receive two readings and not actually be passed tonight. So that’s listed as by-law 2017-130. It should only be read
a first and second time. – Okay, motion by Councillor Thomson to introduce the Drainage Act by-law? Moved by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor Campbell. All those in favor? Okay, that’s approved, with one opposed. Councillor Pietrangelo opposed. – The motion to introduce the? – Do we have to do a second reading on? – Second reading. – Yeah, second reading as well. – Motion by Councillor
Thomson, seconded by Councillor Campbell to give the Drainage
Act by-law a second reading? All those in favor? Okay, thank you for that. – Opposed.
– With opposed, Councillor Pietrangelo opposed. And Councillor Pietrangelo introduces the rest of the by-laws. Seconded by Councillor Thomson. All those in favor? Okay, that’s approved. – So by-laws 2017-130, sorry, 130. That would be 131 through 2017-144, read a first and second, sorry, read a first and second time. – [Victor] Second reading. – Yeah, first time.
– First time, sorry. – Yep, moved by Councillor Pietrangelo, seconded by Councillor Thomson, the by-laws be given a
second and third reading. All those in favor? – By-laws 2017-131 through the 2017-144 read a second and third time passed. – Thank you, new business? Councillor Thomson, Craitor,
Strange, Pietrangelo. – First of all, I’d
like to mention an event that took place late last week at the Skylon Tower for
the 40th anniversary for Heart Niagara and honoring Dr. Stafford Dobbin. Wonderful event, and the reason I mention, and I know that we’re
going to maybe deal with that in the future, a future meeting. But the Yerich family was approached about having the event
up in the Summit Suite. And soon as they heard
it was for Heart Niagara, they immediately said, we’re
providing the facility. And we’re providing all the food. And gave the opportunity
for Heart Niagara, I think, to raise $9,000. It was, they expected 100 people, I think they probably came close to 250. So thank you very much to
the Skylon and the people at the Skylon were just
wonderful about that. I’d like to make a motion
that this came in late, for the Icewine Festival this year. Which will be held January 26th and 27th. The largest Icewine in Ontario. And this is being held at the Scotiabank, and they want to have this
as a significant event for the liquor board, so I’ll
give that back to the clerk. And I would so move. – Okay, moved by Councillor Thomson, seconded by Councillor Campbell. That this Icewine event at the
Scotiabank Convention Centre be considered a significant event. That’s for a special occasions permit? – Yes.
– Okay, all those in favor? Okay, that’s approved. – Okay, this one I’m extremely surprised about and thank you
for handing that to me. But I’m sure you had
something to do with that. We have a letter from
the Minister of Finance, who is that, that’s
Sousa, Charles Sousa, yes. And I’ll just read it. I am writing to follow up letter to send to Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, to your head of Council,
on October 27th, 2017. This letter is to advise you
that the City of Niagara Falls has been identified for the
location of at least one initial cannabis retail store, by July 2018. – Congratulations.
– There’s already one down the street from me.
(people laughing) – No, that’s your place, anyway. – I think they’re heard about your res– (Councillors speaking off microphone) They heard about Councillor
Thomson’s resolution coming, and they cut him off at the pass, and they made sure they
passed it before you had a chance to pass your resolution. So good job on that,
Councillor, thank you for that. – That’s awesome.
– Councillor Craitor. – Good business.
– Thank you, I just wanted to compliment staff, Todd Harrison. We had, as a council, indicated
we wanted to have public meetings with our budget and I was able, fortunately, I was able to
get out a number of them, just to kind of stand around. And I was at the senior
center, MacBane Centre. There was two other locations. So I just want to say congratulations. Not a big turnout, but
the most important thing is the first step and
you know I’ve always said I’d like to see more
engagement with the public. A fair number of people
I watched came over and talked with Todd and the staff. He had a number of graphs
up there and the one that I noticed people really
caught their attention was the graph that showed
where our expenditures go. I know most of the Councillors
have seen that one. Like the LOG money that shows
the things where it goes. And the capital expenditures,
it was quite impressive, the people that took the
time to speak to him. So I just want to say congratulations. He looked good all dressed up there in his blue jeans and sweats, it was pretty good. Actually, he had a shirt and tie on, but it was well-received, so
I think it’s the first step for us to get the public
a little more active and involved with our budgets. So congratulations to the staff. – That’s great, super. Councillor Strange, then Pietrangelo. – Yeah, Mr. Mayor, I’d
just like to acknowledge a young teenager from the city. Last, I don’t know,
about a year and a half, he’s been showing so much courage. Young Alex Luey, a young teenager who got diagnosed with osteosarcoma,
went through chemo and everything and, it’s actually the same cancer as Terry fox. They were forced to, active hockey player, and actually his knee started
hurting during practice and his coach, Adam Dunn, was
telling me the story about it. And he was a little discouraged about it, went down and found out
he had osteosarcoma. Did chemo and the result they had to actually amputate his leg. He likes hockey, he likes sports so much that he got it amputated in a way that he could play so
many different sports, and he’s still out on the ice right now. I think actually you
might have skated with him or you were on the ice with him. And just a great kid and one of his heroes that he wanted to meet was Alex Ovechkin. So it actually happened
at the Hometown Hockey they had here, he actually
did a hockey night, in Canada via satellite with Ovechkin. But it was a special
surprise last weekend, where they were playing
the Toronto Maple Leafs, and so he got into the
dressing room to see Alex. And he actually got to do the lineup, where you shout out the players names and they got to go out
and find out that they’re the starting line for the day,
or for the night, to play. And Alex Ovechkin promised Alex Luey that we would score a
goal that night for him. And it reminds of, I don’t
know, that older movie with that baseball
player, when he promised little Billy here or whatever
it was, gave him a home run, and he scored like
three home runs for him. – Babe Ruth.
– Babe Ruth. But anyways–
– Thomson was there. – Thomson, anyways, it was awesome to see. And he not only scored one
goal, but he scored a hat trick for little Alex and it went kind of viral. And just a special boy
and I was just wondering if we might be able to acknowledge Alex and if we have the room
on our next meeting to bring him down here beforehand, maybe give him a little presentation. I’d love to hear the story
of young Alex and how he met Ovechkin, his hero, and what a little hero and the courage that he’s
shown and perseverance. And I know he’s going
to be telling that story about meeting Ovechkin and
him scoring that hat trick for the rest of his life and
hopefully he’ll be sharing that story to other children
who are fighting cancer, and have knocked out
cancer like Alex is doing. So I’d like to make that
motion if we have room for him, for December 12th, I believe, bring him in and we can acknowledge him, it’d be great. – Okay, motion by Councillor Strange, seconded by Councillor Morocco,
that we try to bring in? – Alex Luey.
– Alex Luey, to our December 12th meeting,
okay, we’ll call the vote. All those in favor? Okay, that’s great, no,
that’s a great idea. Councillor Pietrangelo. – Thank you, Your Worship. The first item I had,
I think all of Council would have received an email that was in regards to closed captioning. And we had a resident who let us know that there is no closed
captioning on Cogeco. I think what we were told is
that it takes two or three days and then the closed captioning is there. I kind of went a little back
and forth with the resident on email, and I was led
to believe that the city had partial responsibility
for not requesting it. I don’t know whether or not that’s true. Maybe I can ask a staff member
whether or not that’s true. But if it is, I’d like to
go on the record saying that we would request that Cogeco provide closed captioning for our meetings. – I can tell you that’s 100% not true. Because we’ve had those
discussions before. And there are problems
with the technology. There is Google Translate, but apparently it wasn’t good enough for some. But we have absolutely
wanted it and there was some technology involved in getting it. But we need our IT staff here
to get engaged to tell you. But I can tell you, absolutely Councillor, we can make a motion
to reaffirm our support to have, did you have any
other feedback on that one? Mr. Acting Clerk, did you
have any feedback on that? – Being put on the spot
here, I just was copied on the email regarding
that closed captioning. I know that the response from
our director of information services was that the city is actually going above and beyond for what we do here with re-stream and paying
for the closed captioning. We don’t have control
over what Cogeco does with their closed captioning. They felt that under the legislation, that they don’t have to because they’re a community-based television network, that they don’t have to provide it live. Not yet, anyway, there
are requirements coming with further legislation in
the year or years to come. But as of right now, all
the closed captioning requirements, through
the CRTC, are being met by the city and as I stated earlier, our director of information
services said that we are going above and beyond what
our responsibilities are. – Okay, and I’m fine
with that, Your Worship. I didn’t think that was part
of the city’s responsibility, I just wanted to know whether or not we needed to pass a resolution
to have Cogeco do it. But from the sounds of our
clerk, it doesn’t sound like we can force them to do it anyway, it’s a decision that Cogeco’s made. So moving on then, Your
Worship, I know Airbnb was brought up a couple times tonight. It was brought up when
Orchard Avenue came forward and it was brought up with
the hotel tax as well. And I guess my question, I wanted to ask, but I didn’t want to muddy the waters is, does anyone know when this
is coming back to Council? Because I’ve had a couple
people ask me already. People are interested,
obviously, in this item. Do we know when it’s
coming back to Council? – The next Airbnb?
– Airbnb. – Oh, Mr. Herlovitch,
maybe you could get– – Vacation rentals, whatever
you want to call it. – Yeah, it’s not Airbnb, right. It’s vacation rentals, yeah. – Yeah, I expect we’ll
be bringing a summary of our information back to Council, probably the February meeting, we’re just collecting data now. – February? Okay. Sounds good, thank you, and my last item, Your Worship, I know I
spoke to you about it a couple days ago, it was in
regards to a train crossing. Either on Drummond or on Portage Road. I understand that right now the city is undertaking, I’m not
sure the exact words, but it would be called a rail review? I believe that’s what it is, that’s what we had termed it before. – Rail review, yeah.
– I think, yeah, a rail review and in that rail review, we’re going to be making recommendations. I also feel that because right now, we’re looking at redesigning Portage Road and Drummond Road, I think I would feel like I kind of missed the
boat, if I didn’t ask for the option of putting a bridge in one of those two locations. I think once we.
– The costs, the costs? – The cost of it, yeah, exactly. And how long it could be,
how long it would take before it could be implemented. I think if we’re going
to go down the road of, or another pun, but if we’re
going to go down the path of reconstructing both of those roads. And Portage used to have a
bridge, and I think personally that Drummond would be the ideal location. I don’t know that I have all
the confidence in the world. I think I’ve been hearing
for a lot of years, and so have the residents,
of, oh yeah, just wait, we’re very close, we’re
going to get rid of the rail. But we haven’t got rid of the rail. And it’s been a lot of years
that we’ve been saying that. So I think we just have
to keep our options open. At this point, I would just like a simple report from staff in
terms of perhaps a rough estimate of a cost of
putting an overpass in at either Portage or Drummond Road and what a timeframe for
something like that would be. I know there’s some land that
would have to be expropriated. Obviously, it would be a significant cost, but I think if we’re never
going to get rid of the rail, then we should at least look at having one crossing in the city. So that would be my motion,
Your Worship, is for a report. – Okay, and we’ve got
that, and we’re happy to obviously, I said to you before, we can obviously do that. Just to give you an update,
and to give all the Council an update, Councillor Thomson
and I sit on a committee with some other people,
including Mr. Dren, CAO, Rhett Esapon, and the city
has just recently engaged the services of Gary McNeil,
who used to run Metrolinx. And Gary is helping us bring
in a consulting company that is going to track all the traffic and the status of all of our crossings. And I can tell you that
this will include dialogue, CAO and I have met with
the top executives, COOs, Senior VPs of CN. I’ve done the same with Senior VP of CP. CP, the idea is, CP owns track
that diagonals the region, that completely misses
the city and goes right to their destination, which is Black Rock. So at one time, we
heard discussion earlier about the CP bridge, it used
come into Niagara Falls, cross over the bridge into
Niagara Falls, New York. That doesn’t happen anymore,
they come in the city, the block about 15 crossings
and then they leave the city. We’ve got like two rail
spurs rarely ever used. So there’s no reason for
them to ever be in the city. And they told us point
blank, we don’t want to be in any cities we don’t need to be. We have liability, we have
to slow our trains down, they break down, we
have a lot of problems. We don’t want to be there. So I said, I think we’d
rather put our money toward helping you use
the reciprocal agreement on the CP track to get out of the city. They’re very open to the dialogue, but it’s a complicated process for sure. Because they’re big organizations,
they don’t move fast. So we do have a strategy coming forward. But I agree, why not get the price in, while we’re doing work there, and at least we’ve got the two to compare. But I can tell you that,
we’re finally moving forward. And we’re going to have
something to report back early in the new year to Council, yes. – And just on that point, Your Worship, I think that’s great, really, that you’re having that dialogue. And these two processes can run parallel. Even if Council made the decision tonight, that we were going to
out in an overpass in on one of those streets, I
think we’re still two years out. There would have to be design work that would have to be done. There’d have to be
environmental assessment that would have to be done. We’d have to talk to landowners
and acquire some land. So we’re quite a ways
out from getting there. And I think that gives
you some time as well, to go through your process
that you’re going to. I think we can do both
of them, Your Worship, and then make a decision later. – Yep, fair enough, so,
yeah, Councillor Thomson? – Yeah, I think we should mark time. I think that if we went
ahead and did that now, sends the wrong message to
them with the discussions that you’re having and this
is the closest we’ve been. I think we just work
on that, and we try to, if you do anything else, I think
it sends the wrong message. So I would not be in favor of that. And what would it accomplish? And we’d be spending a lot of money, just to get that information, too. So not for me, thank you. – [Victor] We’d be spending money? – On the?
– On the study for bridge. – The report?
– Yeah, once you put one bridge in, you’re dead. – Well, I agree with that, too. If you do put one bridge in,
that’s what we were told. You put in a bridge, that’s
guaranteeing they’ll be here. Like just don’t waste your time then. Your just guaranteeing they’ll be here. But regardless, to get it, to me, to get a price on a bridge. So we’ve got a motion by
Councillor Pietrangelo to get a price on doing a rail crossing, either Portage or Drummond road. Did I get a seconder? Yeah, Councillor Morocco,
so we’ll call that vote. All those in favor? Okay, opposed? Any other new business? Motion for adjournment? Councillor Strange, seconded
by Councillor Campbell. All those in favor? Thank you. (people chatting)

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