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December 13, 2017
Council this Week: Highlights from the Dec 13 Council and budget meeting agenda

Regular Council reports on Official Plan review, Phase 2 of Hodges Pond restoration and more. Special budget meeting reports on court security and transportation costs, preliminary property assessment figures, and more

County Council meeting agenda


Agriculture, natural heritage and rural areas in Official Plan Review

A Community Planning report on December 13 will provide Council with an overview of the proposed first phase of the Official Plan review, which will focus on updating the County’s agricultural, natural heritage, natural hazard and other rural-related policy areas. The proposed updates are needed to align the Official Plan with updated provincial Acts, regulations, policies and guidelines, but will also serve to better reflect local objectives and findings from recent studies and background research. The report is seeking Council direction for staff to pre-consult on and initiate an application to amend the Official Plan to consider these updates, which will include broad public and agency consultation.

Read Council Report CP 2017-358 - Official Plan Review – Initiation of Phase 1 (Agriculture, Natural Heritage and Other Rural Related Policy Areas)

Phase 2 of Hodges Pond rehabilitation

County Council is being asked to authorize Phase 2 of an ongoing rehabilitation project at the Hodges Pond Property in Norwich Township. Phase 1 of the project drained the pond and realigned it back to the original Cedar Creek bed channel as part of an environmental strategy to help restore this watercourse as a natural cold water system. Phase 2 will create shallow open water wetlands on each side of the Creek, along with vegetative reforestation, to establish natural habitat for plants and wildlife which will improve biodiversity over time. The jointly funded project is being undertaken in partnership with Stewardship Oxford Inc. and Ducks Unlimited Canada and has received a $50,000 donation from the Cowan Foundation.

Read Council Report PW 2017-64 – Hodges Pond Rehabilitation Phase 2


2018 Business Plan & Budget reports


Preliminary property assessment figures

A December 5 report from the County Treasurer moves forward to the December 13 meeting to share preliminary figures from MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation). The reports points to a $338.8 million growth in property assessments in Oxford County in 2017, indicating a draft levy increase of 3.4%. Since the report’s release, however, new information about Ministry funding for the County’s 2018 blue box program and the 2018 conservation authorities draft budgets has modified the County’s draft levy to a 3.0% increase (see Council Report CS 2017-42). This means an average single family detached residential property, now valued at $257,000, will pay $11 less in County property taxes than in 2017. The report notes that estimates are preliminary and should not be used for calculating 2018 taxes.

Read Council report CS 2017-41 - 2018 Preliminary Assessment and Tax Analysis

Recommendation for court security and prisoner transportation costs

The Local Court Security Advisory Committee is recommending that the County fund 40% of the City of Woodstock’s deficit in court security and prisoner transportation costs in 2018. The Committee, formed by members of each of Oxford’s eight area municipalities, has been addressing the gap in provincial funding levels experienced by Woodstock, the municipality responsible for policing services related to court security and prisoner transportation in a two-tier municipal structure. The County portion of $117,255 will be funded through a special levy applied to area municipalities excluding Woodstock, which remains with 60% of the deficit. At the November 22 Council meeting, a recommendation came forward from the Committee to continue to advocate for full funding for these costs from the Province.

Read Council report WDN 2017-03 - Local Court Security Advisory Committee Recommendation Funding Model


Other reports and presentations


Public meeting – Application for Official Plan Amendment OP 17-08-5 – Anne Wullms-Bannon

Delegation – College Avenue Secondary School, Live Green program

Delegation – Cliff Evanitski, Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA)

CP 2017-351 – Application for Official Plan Amendment OP 17-08-5 – Anne Wullms-Bannon

PHES 2017-11 - Revised Medical Tiered Response Agreement for the Township of Blandford-Blenheim

WDN 2017-04 – 2016-17 Annual Review of Chief Administrative Officer

CS 2017-43 – 2018 Borrowing By-law 

CS 2017-40 – 2018 Library Business Plan and Budget  

BN CS 2017-02 (Briefing note) – Supplementary Information – New Initiative 2018-13 Assessment Management Shared Services

BN CS 2017-03 (Briefing note) Embro and Innerkip Servicing Costs Update

BN HR 2017-01 (Briefing note) Bill 148 Implications

BN PHES 2007-01 (Briefing note) – 2018 Paramedic Budget FTE Request


Questions or comments?


Council this Week highlights Council activities for the public, employees and community partners. Please send your questions and comments to

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