North Huron rec facilities may have to hire security guards

·5 min read

NORTH HURON – CAO Dwayne Evans is exploring options to relieve the stress and increase the safety of their staff members.

Aggressive patrons bullying staff members who are required to ask for proof of vaccination will not be tolerated at North Huron facilities, said Evans.

Evan’s presented his activity report to council on Sept. 20, including how the township is preparing to deal with those who choose to yell at and berate the staff who are only doing their jobs and following the guidelines set out by the Ontario government.

“It is expected patrons denied access to the township’s recreation facilities will be upset,” Evans said in his report. “Staff are investigating possible options to address controlled entry to recreation facilities, including the hiring of a security company on a temporary basis to screen patrons.”

If the option to hire security guards is necessary, the township will use COVID-19 funds received from the province to offset the cost.

Wingham Trailer Park

Staff reports significant progress on the Wingham Trailer Park development with the recently signed purchase and sale agreement.

Evan’s said in his report, “It is expected the development plan for this site will become public in the very near future. Staff are very pleased with the timing and progress of this project to date.”

Blyth Public Works property

MTE Consultants have completed Phase 1 of the environmental site condition assessment at the former Blyth Public Works property, Evans told council.

“Phase I has been completed and most of Phase II has been completed. As a result of preliminary findings, MTE Consultants has prepared a price quote for supplementary Phase II work,” the report said. “In the near future, staff will be presenting a report to Council regarding the preliminary findings and seeking direction as to how Council wishes to proceed.”

Blyth BIA

Evans reported that a previously scheduled meeting between the Blyth BIA and North Huron staff had to be postponed due to other competing priorities.

The meeting was prompted after the CAO had a conversation with the Blyth BIA Board a few weeks ago regarding several matters, including meeting procedures.

“Staff will be reaching out to the Chair of the Blyth BIA shortly to re-schedule this meeting,” Evans said. “With the permission of the Blyth BIA Chair, an invitation will also be extended to the Wingham BIA to attend this meeting.”

Blyth Campground

Staff is preparing a report detailing this initiative’s experience, costs, challenges, and benefits to present to council at the Nov. 5 special council meeting.

This report will include a financial summary.

“To assist in preparing the first draft of 2022 budget, staff will be seeking council direction regarding future plans for the Blyth campground,” Evan’s report said.

“As noted in motion M60/21, the Blyth Campground was a pilot project with a one-year term.”

Richard LeVan Airport

The township received offers to purchase the property, and council held a closed meeting to discuss the proposals, Evans told council in his report.

Council then authorized staff in an open session to negotiate an agreement with one of the interested purchasers.

“It is expected a purchase and sale agreement will be presented for council’s approval at the Oct. 4 regular meeting,” the report said. “At that time staff will be seeking council direction regarding the remaining agricultural lands.”

Cross Border Agreement

Evans updated council about the Cross Border Agreement with Morris-Turnberry, saying, “North Huron provided comments in a letter dated July 30, 2021. A response was received in a letter dated Sept. 2, 2021.

“In a letter dated Sept. 16, 2021, the CAO requested additional information for North Huron council’s consideration.

“All information received will be shared and discussed with council in closed session at a future meeting.”

NWMO discussions

Evan reported that North Huron Reeve Bernie Bailey, Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip, and the CAO held a virtual meeting with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) a few weeks ago due to staff changes.

During the discussion, North Huron representatives were informed of several studies being commissioned by the Municipality of South Bruce and NWMO.

“The study topics include a traffic study, a workforce development study, a housing needs and demand analysis study, a road conditions study, a social programs study, a labour baseline study and a regional economic development study,” Evans said. “All materials were shared in draft form.”

If South Bruce is the chosen site location, it is expected that there will be impacts on neighbouring communities, and North Huron has been identified as one of them.

The NWMO and the Municipality of South Bruce have invited North Huron, Huron-Kinloss, and Brockton to be part of the study process, which should take about six months, according to South Bruce and NWMO representatives.

All three CAOs agreed that their municipalities should be involved in this process, Evan’s said.

“However, North Huron’s CAO clarified and it was agreed that North Huron’s participation in these studies does not constitute a municipal endorsement of the project,” the report said.

The CAO will be seeking council’s direction regarding North Huron’s future role in this project.

“As a point of interest, Huron-Kinloss is in the process of considering the establishing of a working group to determine that municipality’s involvement,” Evans said. “This may be an approach North Huron council may want to consider. Further thought is required.”

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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