Bayham council excerpts - Dec. 16

·5 min read

Bayham councillors discussed and/or decided the following at a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16:

New fire truck

Councillors gave the green light to proceeding with the purchase of a new fire truck from Carrier Truck Centers at a price of $585,619.

Fire Chief Harry Baranik said Pumper 1 truck was scheduled to be replaced in 2023, and the cost for it hadn’t been included in the 2021 budget.

However, he said, with backlogs in manufacturing, Bayham decided to issue a request for proposals earlier than planned.

The price from Carrier was $585,619, and another from Safetek was $651,659.

Both manufacturers came with good references from other customers, he said.

The one from Safetek has a clause they “could not guarantee the price for the date it is delivered,” he said, adding Carrie offered a price guarantee.

He also noted the Carrier bid included a $30,000 trade-in value for Bayham’s existing truck.

He recommended accepting the Carrier proposal.

“This is a very volatile time when it comes to vehicles,” he added. “I talked to several chiefs that went to sole sourcing (getting a price from one manufacturer only) to get a vehicle on line. The sooner we get this locked up the better.”

Councillor Susan Chilcott asked if only $30,000 was being offered for the old pumper, was there any use keeping it.

Chief Baranik said previous appraisals for used trucks had run between $7,000 and $10,000.

Accessory buildings

How big can an “accessory” building be?

That question was raised during a discussion of a rezoning application.

Wayne Anderson and Patti Smith applied for an amendment to their residential property on the west side of Plank Road, north of Fifth Street, in Straffordville to allow an oversized accessory building to be built.

The application was to add a 26.7 cubic-metre enlargement to an existing accessory building. Construction had started without a permit.

Council was presented with the options of either not supporting the addition and requiring it to be removed or to allowing it to go ahead.

Deputy Mayor Rainey Weisler noted that council seems to do a lot of amendments for accessory buildings.

“I wonder if this is something we may look into,” she said. “I don’t have an issue with Mr. Smith’s building. How he set it up, he isn’t bothering his neighbours, and he has set this up far enough from the property line.”

Planning Coordinator Margaret Underhill agreed that many rezoning requests had been received for larger-than-allowed accessory buildings.

She has been researching if Bayham was in line with other municipalities as far as the allowable size of accessory buildings, and planned to continue in the new year.

Cr. Chilcott was the only council member to vote against allowing the rezoning.

Conversion therapy

Councillors unanimously backed a motion from their Kitchener counterparts supporting a ban on “conversion therapy.”

(It is a controversial therapy that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual.)

Cr. Valerie Donnell moved supporting the Kitchener call.

Deputy Mayor Weisler said, “I’m happy to support it. I just think our government is already addressing some of these issues that came up.”

Mayor Ed Ketchabaw said he heard comments that the government legislation against conversion therapy has gone too far.

Post office future

Councillors, who previously received a presentation from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers suggesting additional possible uses for small post offices, such as banking, electric vehicle charging stations and selling hunting and fishing licences, supported it at their Dec. 16 session, though in a split 3-2 vote.

Cr. Dan Froese had predicted Dec. 2 that electric vehicles wouldn’t become popular in rural areas for years yet. He’d also asserted that such vehicles had a larger carbon footprint that gasoline-powered vehicles, because of the batteries used in them.

Bayham Administrator Thomas Thayer said a letter received from CUPW after the initial meeting pointed out Bayham could remove “electric vehicle charging station” from any motion supporting the union’s proposal for expanded services.

Deputy Mayor Weisler liked the CUPW ideas, especially for rural areas.

Cr. Froese stated, “I am interested in how wishy-washy we are, to change a resolution based on a comment. I will withdraw my comment if we can get our charging station in Straffordville.”

He made a motion to receive the CUPW presentation for information, instead of supporting it. No one would second that.

Deputy Mayor Weisler moved supporting the CUPW proposal, which was seconded by Cr. Donnell.

They and Cr. Chilcott voted to adopt the motion. Mayor Ketchabaw and Cr. Froese opposed that.

Insurance hike

Councillors experienced some sticker shock when they learned that Bayham’s insurance premium for 2022 would be increasing by 10.5 percent over 2021’s, or by nearly $17,000.

Cr. Froese asked how that could be justified.

Mr. Thayer said other municipalities had experienced similar increases, and Bayham’s ratio of claims and losses was high.

For 2021, he said, the price had increased by 35 percent over 2020. Together, that equated to an overall increase of nearly 50 percent over two years.

He noted, the 2022 Bayham budget had anticipated an even higher increase, so what had already been allocated for that cost would suffice.

He suggested the municipality call a request for proposals from insurers in 2022, for 2023 and beyond.

Councillors approved paying the higher bill for 2022, and to call for proposals for 2023 insurance as recommended.

Rob Perry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express

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