Highlights of Lanark County Council meeting Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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Here are the highlights from the regular Lanark County Council meeting held Wednesday, June 17.

Commemorative Tree and Park Bench Policy Updated

Council has approved a bylaw that amends the Commemorative Tree and Park Bench Program Policy in order to ensure cost recovery. The policy is managed by the Lanark County Municipal Trails Corporation and was originally adopted in 2010. The LCMTC has a mandate to design, construct, manage and promote trails on county property and is currently responsible for the Tay River Pathway and the Baird Trail. Work is ongoing to develop other trails in community forests. LCMTC is a charitable organization and relies mostly on grants and donations to fund trail development. The Commemorative Tree and Park Bench Program Policy sets out a process for individuals and organizations to donate benches and trees for county trails. There is a standard bench design and a list of approved trees, and donors are given the chance to participate in a dedication ceremony, which is usually held each spring and fall. The public works department administers the policy and issues tax receipts on behalf of the LCMTC. The revisions will ensure donations cover full costs of purchase, installation and maintenance for the program. For more information about the policy or to make a donation, contact the public works department at 613-267-1353 or visit http://lanarkcounty.ca/Page2210.aspx. For more information, contact Jonathan Allen, Facilities Coordinator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 3170.

County Supports EOWC Comments on Bill 73

Council passed a resolution supporting the position of the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus and the County of Renfrew regarding concerns over Bill 73, which is an act to amend the Development Charges and Planning acts. The EOWC has expressed concern that the changes will affect the land-use planning approval functions that rest with upper tier municipalities, such as Lanark County. These concerns are related to the proposed update cycle for official plans, the creation of new mandated planning advisory committees, and the timelines for official plan and zoning by-law amendments by private landowners, as well as for owner-initiated minor variances following site-specific rezoning amendments. The resolution authorizes the warden to submit comments to the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. For more information, contact Mary Kirkham, Planning Administrator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1520.

Perth Drops OMB Appeal Lanark County and the Town of Perth have reached an agreement with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing regarding population growth projections for the town that will see a settlement to an Ontario Municipal Board appeal of the county’s official plan. County council accepted the minutes of settlement (MOS), which will be forwarded to the ministry and, ultimately, the OMB as a settlement to the appeal. Perth Town Council accepted the minutes at its meeting on June 2. The signing of the MOS ends almost two years of mediation and avoids a seven-day OMB hearing, which had been set for October this year. The modifications outlined in the MOS will require a change to the county’s Sustainable Communities Official Plan and Perth’s Official Plan, which will be outlined at a joint public meeting to be scheduled during the summer. For more information, contact Mary Kirkham, Planning Administrator, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1520.

Community Gardens Discontinued

Following unsuccessful efforts to find a local group interested in administering the community gardens at the Lanark County property, 99 Christie Lake Rd., council has voted to discontinue the program. In early May, the public works committee of the whole was advised that the 31 six-by-six-metre plots behind the administration and public works buildings were not available while the new public works facility is constructed. With increased staff time and costs related to maintaining the gardens, it was determined the plots should be relocated to another location on the property only if a community group could be found to manage them. Local community groups were approached by letter, phone, e-mail, media releases and social media, but no group came forward by the May 15 deadline. Current gardeners have been advised of contact information for a local group that has indicated it may initiate new gardens at a different location in Perth. For more information, contact Janet Tysick, Public Works Business Manager, at 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 3110.

Upcoming Meetings: County Council, Wednesday, June 24, 5 p.m.

Economic Development, June 24 (following County Council); Public Works, June 24 (following Economic Development). PLEASE NOTE: There are no meetings scheduled in July. County Council, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 5 p.m.; Community Services, Aug. 17 (following County Council); Corporate Services, Aug. 17 (following Community Services). For more information, contact 1-888-9-LANARK, ext. 1502. Like “LanarkCounty1” on Facebook and follow “@LanarkCounty1” on Twitter!