At their Aug. 16 meeting, Limerick Township council heard from Victoria Tisdale, the clerk and treasurer, who gave them her clerk’s report, her community emergency management coordinator report and her treasurer’s report. After hearing her reports, and having some discussion and some questions to follow, Mayor Carl Stefanski and council subsequently approved Tisdale’s reports.
Tisdale gave her clerk’s report to council first, informing them that this month, they were focusing on tax collection as the final due date had been July 29. As of June 9, $1,119,663.85 in taxes had been collected, with another $439,782.37 collected from June 9 to Aug. 9. Therefore, the outstanding taxes to be collected as of Aug. 9 comes to $639,881.48.
Tisdale said there was an increase in the amount of people in the municipal building since they opened the doors, to pay their taxes and to procure permits, and it was really nice to see people in person again.
The new township website officially launched that day, according to Tisdale. They had been working with Katherine Houlding from UpNorthWebs to get this done, and at this point there are just a few items including some photos to be uploaded to the new site. In addition, the old website address will automatically redirect people to the new website.
Tisdale specifically mentioned the section on the new site that lists the council members.
“I would like to include a picture of each of the council members in this section if you’re all agreeable to that. There is a small block for a bit of a biography or background information. Most of the surrounding municipalities have this on their websites,” she says.
Council agreed to this, and following a recommendation by Councillor Ingo Weise, decided to do a group photo of council versus individual photos of each councillor.
Tisdale said that they had not had any feedback on the new website from the public yet, but the response from staff and council has been positive.
“For the group photo I have not secured a photographer yet, but am currently looking for one,” she says.
Tisdale also informed council that she’d had a contractor, JLM Contracting, to come in to look at doing some renovations to the municipal building; painting, light replacements, lunchroom, making the downstairs bathrooms accessible, and putting a breezeway off of the front door. She said she would be working with Frank Mills, the township’s CBO, to get whatever permits are necessary and to hopefully get the construction started within the next month or so.
While JLM Contracting won’t be able to do the electrical work or the plumbing, Tisdale said she had arranged for Martin Electric to do the former and the latter will be handled by another contractor, though that has yet to be decided.
Tisdale told them that she had also applied for the grant for making the community centre washrooms more accessible, the total cost of which she said would be around $200,000. She is hoping to hear news on whether this grant, the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Green Infrastructure Stream – 2021 Intake, has been approved, sooner rather than later.
By 2025, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act, it will be required to have a fully accessible Ontario for people with disabilities, so the renovation of these washrooms needs to be done sooner rather than later.
On another note, Tisdale told council that Schooley Mitchell consultants had provided a cost saving analysis for the township. Schooley Mitchell advertises that they give their clients the best business services at the best price, while identifying billing errors, eliminating redundancies and improving efficiency. Their fees are funded by the savings they find and they say on their website, no savings, no charges. Over the past 22 years, they claim to have reduced costs by an average of 28 per cent for over 25,000 clients.
Tisdale told council that the consultants looked at their debit machine charges and the charges for the township’s benefits plan to the tune of $5,000 per year and $21,600 per year respectively. She says they have been a pleasure to work with thus far and she looks forward to continuing this relationship with them.
For Tisdale’s CEMC report, she said that with the COVID-19 numbers on the rise again, she wasn’t sure what the province was going to do going forward.
“As far as the vaccination numbers we were supposed to move into stage 4 in the near future, but with the rise in COVID-19 cases I’m not sure what decision will be made, so we’ll have to play that by ear,” she says.
Tisdale also told council that she still has some CEMC training to do, and that there was a two-day course in September or October in Toronto, depending on the COVID-19 numbers. She has signed up for it and will wait and see if it’s in person or virtual.
“This is the third prerequisite course that I need to be fully qualified for the CEMC role,” she says.
For Tisdale’s treasurer’s report, she submitted the budgetary control to council, which aims at the maximization of profits for the township and putting its resources to the best possible use. It compares the budget with actual operational results, and helps with planning, coordination between different departments in the township, decision making, the monitoring of operating results and motivation of personnel to attain the township’s objectives.
There was a question from Councillor Kim Carson pertaining to the budgetary control, about why there were no expenses on the minor variances listed in the budgetary control document. Tisdale replied that it was because the township doesn’t pay for that, while they do pay a small amount for shoreline variances (with the bulk of that being paid for by the residents applying for the shoreline variance).
Tisdale also mentioned that Nicole Ilcio, the deputy clerk and treasurer, had been doing some work on the township’s tax comparison sheet.
“It was a little bit confusing last time, so hopefully this is a little bit easier to understand,” she says.
Council agreed that it was indeed easier to comprehend, and thanked Ilcio for her efforts.
At that point, the council made a motion to accept Tisdale’s three reports, voted to approve them and then they moved on to other business.
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times