June 10, 2020
Council this Week: Highlights from the June 10 County Council agenda
Council composition review, provincial changes to Blue Box program, inter-community bus service and more
COVID-19 impacts on budget
Countystaff continues to provide monthly updates to Council on the service level and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Oxford County’s 2020 budget. To date, the County is forecasting a year-end operating deficit of $2.8 million, although staff continue to monitor for ongoing impacts while also taking steps to mitigate a deficit through cost-saving measures where possible. The budgetary impacts of managing COVID-19 include relief measures the County is providing to others: a roll-back of water and wastewater rates, deferred water/wastewater mandatory connections and new service billings, interest-free deferred tax installments from area municipalities, and support for the Economic Stimulus Fund to help the local economy recover from financial and job losses. The report notes that the County’s financial situation could change between now and year-end relative to the ongoing needs of the pandemic response.
Finance is also presenting to Council proposed dates for the 2021 business plan and budget meetings: November 18, 25 and 30, with the regular December 9 Council meeting set for consideration of budget approval.
Read: CS 2020-19 - COVID-19 Financial Update – May and CS 2020-20 – Draft Budget Schedule
Council composition review
County Council will receive an update on June 10 on the council composition review, a process that looks at the number of members on Council, the ratio of area municipal representation by population, and election of the County Warden. The review was first before Council on March 11 and has been circulated to area municipalities since that time for comments, which are included in the report. The report also proposes July 8 as the date of a public meeting to hear feedback from residents, to be supplemented by other community engagement activities.
Oxford County is required by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to review its Council composition and reach decisions by triple majority, voted on by County Council and area municipal councils, by December 1, 2020. If the County does not meet this deadline, the Minister has the authority to impose changes on Oxford County Council’s composition.
Read: CS 2020-21 - County Council Composition and Election of Head of Council (Warden) Review – Update
Provincial changes to Blue Box program
A Public Works report for the June 10 meeting will give County Council an update on plans to transition to a Full Producer Responsibility (FPR) model for Oxford’s Blue Box program. FPR is mandated by the provincial government and is intended to shift the responsibility for managing and funding the costs of handling waste away from municipalities to the manufacturers and suppliers that produce the waste. Municipalities will have an opportunity to bid to deliver recycling services on behalf of producers after the transition (proposed between 2023 and 2025), an option Oxford and its area municipalities could explore together. Blue Box programs in the County are currently managed by Oxford County for Tillsonburg, Ingersoll, Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich and Zorra service areas, while South-West Oxford and Woodstock provide Blue Box services in their respective areas under contract to Oxford County.
Read: PW 2020-21 - Transitioning the Municipal Blue Box Program to Full Extended Producer Responsibility
Intercommunity transportation update
County Council will receive an update next Council meeting on inter-community transportation and municipal efforts to further connect communities across Southwestern Ontario to each other and to other larger urban cities and international borders. The planning and implementation of intercommunity bus transportation services are identified in Oxford’s Southwest Lynx plan and Ontario’s “Connecting the Southwest” draft strategy as a critical first step towards re-establishing local and regional intercommunity connections across Southwestern Ontario, many of which have experienced significant decline over the last decade. Such intercommunity bus services are intended to offer more options for residents travelling for work, medical/health appointments, leisure, education, and essential services. The newly formed Southwest Community Transit Association is proposed to help facilitate the integrated delivery of intercommunity bus transportation services by municipalities, a partnership that is envisioned to include Oxford County, the Town of Tillsonburg and several other municipalities across Southwestern Ontario.
Read: PW 2020-23 - 2019 Connecting Southwest Ontario – Intercommunity Transportation Update
Other reports and presentations
- Public meeting – Official Plan Amendment & Draft Plan of Subdivision OP 19-10-8 & SB 19-05-8 – Thames Developments (XI) Inc. (CP 2020-134)
- Public meeting– Draft Plan of Subdivision SB 18-10-8 – City of Woodstock (CP 2020-135)
- CP 2020-134 – Applications for Official Plan Amendment & Draft Plan of Subdivision OP 19-10-8 & SB 19-05-8 – Thames Developments (XI) Inc.
- CP 2020-135 – Applications for Draft Plan of Subdivision SB 18-10-8 – City of Woodstock
- CS 2020-22 – OILC Debenture Issue – Woodstock
- CS 2020-23 – OILC Financing Application – Woodstock
- PW 2020-22 – Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags
- PW 2020-24 – Highway Traffic Act Amendment – School Bus Cameras, Ontario Regulatory Registry Proposal No. 20-MTO028
- PW 2020-25 – Amendment to By-law No. 5398-2012 Dedication and Naming of Highways
Questions or comments?
Council this Week highlights Council activities for the public, employees and community partners. Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org