Highlights of the Cornwall City Council Meeting on April 9, 2024

Jason Setnyk
Highlights of the Cornwall City Council Meeting on April 9, 2024
Fred Ngoundjo at a Council meeting earlier in 2024 (Photo : Jason Setnyk)

Cornwall, Ontario – Members of Cornwall City Council met in the Council Chambers of City Hall on February 27, 2024, for its regular biweekly meeting. All members of council were present. Here are some key highlights from the meeting.

Cornwall Connect Initiative

Council received a report and heard a presentation by Louis Savard, Manager of Technology & Innovation, concerning an update on the Cornwall Connect initiative, specifically the Service Request portion (Citizen 3-1-1). The new platform will allow citizens to create an account and track the status of their service requests, while internally, requests will be queued by department for complete visibility and alignment with service levels. This will ensure efficient triaging, timely follow-up, and a seamless “submission to solution” experience for citizens interacting with city services. The project is on track for a mid-Q2 launch.

Procurement Waiver for Power-Load Systems

Council approved a procurement waiver for the purchase of Power-Load Systems for four ambulances set to be added to the Paramedic Services fleet in 2024. The systems, manufactured by Stryker Canada ULC, were procured at a total cost of $113,730.52, including HST. This non-competitive purchase was deemed necessary to maintain consistency across the fleet and is crucial for reducing the risk of back injuries among paramedics. The installation of these systems in the new ambulances is essential before they are put into service in August 2024.

Tenders Approved

Council approved Tender 24-T06, awarding contracts for roadside and drainage ditch mowing to EC Works Limited and Green Acres Snow Removal, with a combined cost of $220,224.00. Additionally, Tender 24-T01 was awarded to G.W. Blais Paving Limited for hot-mix asphalt placement at a total cost of $369,227.50. For the supply of hot mix asphalt, Tender 24-T10 was awarded to Cornwall Gravel Company Limited, with a net cost of $363,577.50. The replacement of fire sprinklers at the Cornwall Aquatic Centre was addressed through Tender 24-T20, awarded to RoseMech at a cost of $372,746.32.

No Mow May

Cornwall is once again embracing No Mow May, a citywide initiative to support wild pollinators by allowing grass and weeds on public and private properties to grow beyond the usual 15 cm limit throughout May. This relaxation of the Yard Maintenance By-Law from May 1 to May 31 is designed to enhance food sources for pollinators and minimize disturbances to hibernating insects and amphibians. With over 80% of flowering plants depending on pollinators for seed production, this initiative plays a crucial role in supporting biodiversity.

Joint Enforcement Task Force (JET) Update

Council received a report from Deputy Chief Leighton Woods of the Fire Services detailing the progress of the Joint Enforcement Task Force. The task force, now in its second year, continues to prioritize fire prevention, building, and by-law-related issues through cooperation between multiple city departments, including Fire Services, Building Services, and By-Law Services, as well as external agencies like Canadian Mental Health, Police Services, and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Eighteen cases were processed in the past year, leading to significant compliance improvements in residential and commercial properties. JET targets properties that pose risks, ensuring compliance with safety standards and regulations. The task force also educates the public about compliance with city by-laws, building codes, and fire codes.

First Quarter Non-Competitive Procurement Report

Council received the Non-Competitive Procurement Report for the first quarter of 2024 highlighting seven approved purchases made by the City of Cornwall. These included communication consulting services from Winston Wilmont, human resources advisory services, and supply and installation of electrical transformers for the Morrisburg Affordable Housing building, and more.

These procurements, made through non-competitive processes, were justified based on compatibility, urgency, and specialized needs, aligning with the City’s procurement policy and addressing specific requirements for various departments. Council eventually received the report after Councillor Elaine MacDonald raised several questions with CAO Mathieu Fleury, which led to an hour of debate.

Business Case for a University of Ottawa Campus in Cornwall

A Notice of Motion proposed by Councillor Fred Ngoundjo was put forward to direct the administration to collaborate with the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Institutional Development on a business case for offering post-secondary courses and programs in Cornwall. The business case will assess the economic, demographic, and educational impacts of establishing a university campus in Cornwall. The business case is to be completed by October 1, 2024, with funding allocated from a specified reserve fund.

Height and Parking Restrictions Resolution

The Height and Parking Restrictions Resolution, proposed by Councillor Sarah Good and seconded by Councillor Fred Ngoundjo, aims to promote sustainable urban development in Cornwall. The resolution seeks to remove parking minimums and height restrictions for new developments to encourage denser construction, reduce urban sprawl, and enhance walkability and transit use. Council directed administration to prepare a report.

Social Housing Resolution

The Social Housing resolution, proposed by Councillor Dean Hollingsworth and seconded by Sarah Good, addressed the need to increase Cornwall’s housing stock and ensure proper placement of new housing. Concerns were raised by some residents near Vincent Massey Place regarding its creation. The resolution, passed by Council, called for a report on the feasibility of extending the lease at Parisien Manor, allowing the City more time to explore all housing options and make well-informed decisions.

Meeting Rescheduling

The City Council of Cornwall decided to reschedule its regular meeting, initially set for April 23, 2024, to April 30, 2024. This change was made to accommodate several council members and administrative staff who will be representing the City at the Ontario Good Roads Association Conference.

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