West Lincoln council notebook: vaccine mandate suspension, Queen’s portrait and Niagara Pallets

·2 min read

Even though municipal election season is well underway, the business of council continues unabated in West Lincoln.

The planning, building and environmental committee convened Sept. 12 and here are three take-aways from that meeting:

VACCINE MANDATE SUSPENDED

On Sept. 6, the township’s emergency operations centre (EOC) and recovery table made the decision to suspend the township’s vaccination policy for current workers, effective Sept. 12.

The decision was made to suspend the policy rather than rescind it, meaning the policy can be put back in place should there be another surge in cases or if a new highly contagious variant emerges. The ECO and recovery table are continuing to monitor all COVID-19 data and guidelines to determine if the policy needs to be reinstated.

This was the first meeting of council since the policy was suspended, and no councillors nor the mayor joined remotely.

PORTRAIT OF THE QUEEN SHROUDED IN BLACK

The portrait of Queen Elizabeth, which hangs behind the chair of council and committees was shrouded in a black cloth, after the monarch died on Sept. 8.

This is observed in all township facilities, in accordance with standard protocol across Commonwealth countries.

In addition, flags were lowered at all township facilities to mourn the passing of the monarch.

LONG-RUNNING NIAGARA PALLETS BYLAW ISSUES CONTINUE

The committee held a public meeting to discuss a technical report regarding Niagara Pallets.

In February 2020, council granted a two-year temporary use bylaw for 4981 Regional Rd. 20 to permit the temporary use of the property for commercial activity, primarily for the storage of pallets and other materials related to the local business known as Niagara Pallets.

That permit was due to expire in February 2022, but due to the pandemic, the owners argued that there should be an automatic six-month extension. The staff report submitted to the committee notes that specifics about this were not provided by the owners’ legal counsel despite multiple requests.

Now, the owners submitted a request to extend that temporary use bylaw for a year, from August 2022 to August 2023, because they need more time to finish the new storage facility on Grimsby Road, which was delayed due to the pandemic.

Planning staff want to see justification for the one-year extension, and information about how the building addition will accommodate the 1.7 hectares of outdoor pallet storage on the property and make the property compliant with the zoning bylaw.

The committee approved staff’s recommendation that the report be received and that a recommendation report be submitted to a future planning, building and environmental committee or council meeting once a staff and agency review is completed.

Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News