Council update


The regularly scheduled October 3 meeting of North Dundas Council opened with consideration of a zoning by-law amendment proposal regarding phase 3 of Wellings of Winchester. A public meeting took place to give members of the public an opportunity to voice concerns or ask questions. Calvin Pol, the Township’s Director of Planning, Building, and By-law Services, gave a presentation with relevant facts. One highlight of the presentation was the fact that the Provincial Policy Statement requires municipalities to provide a variety of housing options, including high density housing. 

No written comments were received regarding the proposal, and when Mayor Tony Fraser asked if there were any questions from members of the public, no one came forward. Council members subsequently took turns discussing the vibrant and happy atmosphere of Wellings of Winchester, which they had seen firsthand on a recent visit to the site. 

Other routine business followed, including a closed session discussion. Such “routine” business related to matters such as municipal drains and the updating of cost figures in existing by-laws to reflect inflation. These items of housekeeping are a part of nearly every Council meeting. 

The meeting then circled back to approvals, and the Wellings of Winchester matter from earlier was approved, moving the zoning for the next step of the project into the “holding” phase. 

A familiar discussion took place next – one related to the Township’s municipal water systems. Municipal water in North Dundas is in high demand, and Council frequently discusses the quality and quantity of Township water. On the table on October 3 were discussions of two new municipal wells and pump tests for these wells, as well as discussions of how water unit allocations are being made. Such allocations are usually in short supply locally, and this was no different on October 3. 

After a short break, Council considered a change to its own schedule which would see a majority of Council meetings taking place in the early afternoon, instead of in the evening as is currently usual procedure. This new schedule was passed, with a note from Mayor Fraser that flexibility is possible if any Council members need a schedule change. 

Next, a somewhat difficult discussion took place. It turns out that the “Explore North Dundas” magazine which many readers will be familiar with, having received it in their mailbox annually for years, is expensive and time consuming to produce. Council had difficulty in deciding whether the magazine should be printed in the spring, or whether a different direction should be considered. The consensus, after much discussion, was that the $17,000+ cost of the magazine could be better spent reaching community members in other ways. 

Mayor Fraser pointed out the importance of deciding what should be produced instead of the magazine. “I think those who are looking to change the way need to come up with a way that is agreed upon,” he said. The discussion continued to be a tense one at times with such a symbol of North Dundas pride under the microscope. There was some confusion about Council members’ opinions, and when Mayor Fraser asked Councillor John Lennox to confirm that he was in favour of ceasing publication of the magazine, Councillor Lennox remarked “for the third time – yes”. 

Mayor Fraser did not share the opinion of fellow Council members. It had been his wish to continue the magazine, but accepted that he was outnumbered and the decision was made to discontinue it. Discussions of what to do instead were put on pause. 

Finally, a brief budget update took place, followed by routine items including a discussion of two Chesterville streets which had previously been slated for resurfacing, but will now require more extensive reconstruction. 

The October 3 meeting ended after just under two hours. Another meeting took place earlier this week, on October 17, which will be covered in the next issue of the Times. 


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