Highlights of the Town of BWG Council Meeting – February 16, 2021
Town’s anti black racism flag revealed
Based on an initiative of the Mayor’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, the local group Impact Youth & Cultural Centre took on the goal of creating an anti black racism flag to be flown during future Black History Month and other commemorations. The group was comprised of six youth who researched and designed the flag – Jezelle Melo, Shekinah Duhaney, Alysha Dunbar, Rushell Campbell, Hannah Simmonds and Jahniah Duhaney – with support from Cheraldean Duhaney, Michelle Melo and Ramona Dean.
The youth explained the meaning behind each element:
- The colour Black holds many significant meaning that represents our black skin in power, elegance and sophistication.
- The colour Yellow represents the bright sun and our wealth as people. Africans were known to be amongst the richest people in the world.
- The colour Green symbolises the growth and the natural fertility of Africa and the motherland.
- The colour Red symbolizes the blood that unites all people of black African ancestry, and the blood shed for liberation.
- The Gold around parts of the flag represents our black Kings and Queens who strive to be resilient.
- The circle represents completion in unity and diversity that shows black people do come in many different shades showing that black is unique and diverse.
- The torn edges represent the struggle black people had to face in both past and present.
- The Funtunfunefu Denkyemfunefu symbol represents unity and diversity.
A date for the flag’s inaugural raising will be announced shortly.
Building activity up in 2020
Construction activity in BWG was up significantly in 2020, with total building permit fees more than double the previous year.
The Building Division issued 832 building permits, which represents an increase of 28.8% over 2019. Residential construction accounted for 722 permits, 487 of which were for new residential development and 235 for homeowner improvements.
Pattison Outdoor to replace traditional billboard with digital sign
Council approved a request from Pattison Outdoor Advertising for a variance from the Sign By-Law to permit the installation of a 100% electronic static copy ground sign at the northwest corner of the intersection of Bridge Street and Given Road. Pattison’s request stated that the new sign will support a healthier environment by removing an existing billboard that requires considerable maintenance and materials and replacing it with an electronic sign that can be changed easily and powered by “green” energy.
Town restructures events for 2021
Keeping in mind the uncertainty about what gathering restrictions may be in place later this year, Council approved a tentative list of spring and summer events:
- Community Clean-up Week (April) – instead of a group event, residents will be able to pick up a clean-up package and collect litter in an area of town of their choosing, then drop it off at a designated location
- Marsh Mash (May) – cancelled for May, seeking a fall date
- Trails Day (June) – anticipated to proceed in conjunction with LSRCA in a modified form, likely with pre-registration
- Music in the Park (June & July) – plan to proceed with this event with pre-registration and multiple timeslots on the Library lawn and the courthouse parking lot area
- Canada Day (July 1) – staff are preparing for two different options – an in-person event and a hybrid virtual and in-person event – based on gathering limits
- Outdoor Movies (August) – plan to proceed with this event with pre-registration and the Library lawn area fenced
- Carrot Fest (August) – staff are preparing for two different options – an in-person entertainment event (no in-person vendors) and a hybrid virtual and in-person event – based on gathering limits, with online vendor opportunities and a shop-local focus
Traffic Committee recommendations approved
Council approved the following Traffic Committee recommendations:
- That an additional pair of speed radar signs be purchased from the Community and Traffic Safety Committee's discretionary fund.
- That a requirement for developers to include traffic mitigation features and signage in their development plans be incorporated into the future update of the Town's Design Criteria Manual.
- That Council approve a review of the intersection of West Park Avenue and Holland Street West to ensure it meets the most current illumination standards; and that the intersection be reviewed for possible improvements.
Council approved all decisions from the Special Committee of the Whole Meeting for Budget Deliberations on January 25-26, 2021; the Special Committee of the Whole Meeting on Facilities on February 1, 2021; and the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 2, 2021.
Committee of the Whole
Please note that decisions made in Committee of the Whole are not final until approved at a subsequent Regular Council meeting.
New Official Plan presented
The Town’s Official Plan provides a policy framework for guiding the physical development and protecting the natural resources of the municipality for long term. The Committee of the Whole received the updated Official Plan, which will guide the Town until 2031, as per the Provincial Growth Plan. The Planning Act requires that an Official Plan "contain goals, objectives and policies established primarily to manage and direct physical change and the effects on the social, economic, and natural environment of the municipality."
Click to view the complete updated Official Plan.
Road closures for special events
In order to be prepared should these events be possible, the Committee of the Whole supported the list of annual road closures for Town of BWG events including Canada Day, Carrot Fest and the Santa Claus Parade, as well as parades and runs hosted by other community groups.
Click here for the complete list.
Town to receive $378,054 in gas tax funds from province
The MTO provides municipalities that operate public transit systems with a portion of the two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues that it collects.
BWG Transit has seen increased ridership every year, so this year’s allotment of $378,054 is the highest amount received to date. Since funds are based on the previous year’s ridership, this year’s allocation is unaffected by COVID-19; however, the decreased ridership in 2020 and potentially 2021 will have a negative impact on the amount of funds received next year.
Committee considers feasibility of snow removal on park trails
At Council’s request, staff presented a report on the costs of extending winter maintenance to hard-surfaced trails and pathways in parks to promote active transportation and outdoor activities.
The report estimated that the cost for purchasing additional sidewalk plows and other materials plus labour would be $192,000 in the first year and $31,000 per year thereafter.
This estimate did not take into account whether or not the existing pathways would withstand regular treatment by heavy machinery or whether funds would need to be allocated for the reconstruction or regular repair of these trails. The Committee of the Whole therefore asked staff to report back with this additional information before deciding whether to consider the program for funding in 2022.
Bradford North Public School poised to commence construction
The Committee of the Whole supported lifting the Holding symbol to enable the Simcoe County District School Board to move on to the Building Permit stage in order to construct an elementary school at 400 Crossland Boulevard.