Haldimand County Council approves 2022 Water and Wastewater Budget

On January 13, 2022, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2022 Rate-Supported Capital and Operating Budget. Otherwise known as the Water & Wastewater Budget, it is an important strategic document that ensures reliable, safe, clean and affordable potable water is available to residents across the County. New water & wastewater rates take effect on February 1, 2022.

This Rate-Supported Budget deals exclusively with water and wastewater treatment initiatives and is funded directly by user rates (with no support from property taxes). With a focus on the following key principles – providing service capacity for anticipated growth, to ensure the systems are optimized and improved when required, and a focus on replacement/rehabilitation – the average residential, combined water & wastewater user will see a slight increase of about $1.73 (2.1%) on their average monthly bill.

Haldimand’s water & wastewater rates remain below the provincial average due to ongoing strategic planning efforts and diligent asset management practices. In the long-term, rates are expected to remain stable due to a comprehensive, long-term infrastructure maintenance/rehabilitation schedule and a projected increase in user growth.

Council will next review the Tax-Supported Operating & Capital Budgets on the following dates:

Tax-Supported Capital Budget: March 3, 2022 & March 4, 2022* (*if required)

Tax-Supported Operating Budget: March 31, 2022 & April 1, 2022* (*if required)

More information about 2022 budget deliberations will be shared closer to the scheduled meeting dates. Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, it has not yet been determined whether the meetings will be hosted in-person or virtually.

More information about County budgets is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/financials.

Empire Communities Donates $600,000 to Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre project in advance of capital fundraising campaign

On Thursday, October 28, 2021, members of Haldimand County Council and staff were presented with a $600,000 donation from Empire Communities, which will be used to construct the future Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre.

This significant donation is the first received for this project, which will see a community capital fundraising campaign launched before the end of 2021 to cover the balance of funds required for construction.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous contribution and investment in the vibrancy and quality of life in our county,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“Blending in to and enhancing the larger community is something we strive for in every project we undertake. Supporting the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre project is one way we can contribute and fulfill this commitment,” said Mark Tutton, Empire’s President of Low Rise.

Plans for this new, multi-purpose facility were introduced earlier this year during capital budget deliberations and approved by Council for construction in 2024.

As outlined in the project’s funding conditions, the community will need to raise approximately $1 million towards the combined Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre, comprising approximately 10% of the total anticipated project budget.

This condition is consistent with similar community/County partnership projects to construct major assets, including the Cayuga and Dunnville arenas. “This substantial donation will have long lasting impacts and is an important step forward in making this facility a reality,” said Ward 4 Councillor and community fundraising committee chair Tony Dalimonte.

Dalimonte noted that a large scale, community-driven fundraising campaign will likely kick off later this year.

A preliminary community open house regarding the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre was held on October 20, 2021. Further opportunities to get involved and provide feedback will be announced as the project progresses.

For background information and additional details, visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/hagersvilleALC/.

Members of Haldimand Council, Haldimand staff, community members and Empire representatives pose atop a set of stairs outdoors with a ceremonial cheque for $600,000.

Photographed above (Left to right):

Rob Phillips, President, Hagersville Chamber of Commerce

Paul Diette, CEO, Haldimand County Public Library

Doug Miller, committee member, Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre Project Capital Fundraising Committee

Tony Dalimonte, Ward 4 Councillor and community fundraising committee chair, Haldimand County

Mark Tutton, President of Low Rise, Empire

Stephen Armstrong, President, Armstrong Planning and Project Management

Dan Lawrence, Ward 3 Councillor, Haldimand County

Haldimand County Council approves COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff, volunteers

On September 21, 2021, Haldimand County Council approved a COVID-19 vaccination policy for municipal employees and volunteers.

The policy applies to all representatives of Haldimand County including all existing staff, elected officials board/committee appointees, volunteers, volunteer firefighters, the Haldimand County Library Board and its staff and volunteers.

Grandview Lodge staff and Paramedics are covered by separate policies, introduced earlier this year, as mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Council amended these policies at the September 21 meeting to require mandatory vaccination for all staff in these high risk settings by November 17.

The new policy aims to fulfill the county’s commitment of providing a safe working environment and has been implemented to protect the county’s workforce and members of the public from the hazards of COVID-19.

The policy is in alignment with provincial directives and subject to limited exceptions in accordance with the Human Rights Code (Ontario), consistent with public health policy.

Existing county representatives will be required to disclose their vaccination status by no later than Monday, October 18, 2021. New employees, or employees entering into a new employment contract internally (i.e. transferring positions) must be fully vaccinated or produce an eligible exemption, as a condition of the new employment agreement.

As of Tuesday, October 19, 2021, employees who indicate they are “not fully vaccinated” or “medically exempted” must participate in regular rapid antigen testing until such time as they are considered fully immunized.

For additional details, please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (No. 2021-02).

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County Recruiting For New Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Advisory Committee

Haldimand County is recruiting members for its new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. This committee will advise Council, staff and the Police Services Board on promoting inclusion, respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity within the community.

The committee will consist of seven members, including one member from the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Seniors Advisory Committee, and Youth Advisory Committee. Members will meet at least four times yearly, or more frequently if required.

As a committee, members will be responsible for advising Council, staff and the Police Services Board on a number of matters, including (but not limited to):

  • Removing barriers to inclusion for all residents;
  • Policies, procedures and practices that foster diversity and inclusion;
  • Effectively engaging with diverse communities for input on municipal initiatives;
  • Initiatives that will achieve a greater understanding of the increasingly diverse communities in Haldimand County.

Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2021. For more information about the committee, application process, terms of reference or the expectations of members, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/boards-and-committees or e-mail clerk@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County seeking local youth, seniors to join advisory committees

Haldimand County is continuing to recruit members for its new youth and seniors advisory committees. These committees will advise Council about issues and policies that impact the quality of life for these groups.

The Youth Advisory Committee is looking for members from ages 16 to 24 years from across the county, while the Seniors Advisory Committee welcomes interested residents 60 years and older.

Both committees will have ten members and will work with staff to establish a vision and work plan with action steps, timelines and outcomes for each term of Council.

Youth committee members will act as representatives for the county’s youngest residents, advising on ways to enrich and enhance their health and quality of life.

Seniors committee participants will share information about issues impacting seniors while developing recommendations and action plans to build supports for older adults.

Both committees offer opportunities to make new connections, gain knowledge and skills and make a meaningful contribution to Haldimand County.

“This is the time to get involved if you have a desire to influence positive change and help shape policies and programs that meet the evolving needs of our youth and seniors,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Applications will be accepted until September 15, 2021. For more information about the committees, application process, terms of reference or the expectations of members, visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/community-partnerships or contact Andrea Moodie at 905-318-5932 ext. 6119.

 

Statement from the Mayor & Council – July 28, 2021

COVID-19 Update

We have had tremendous success in Haldimand-Norfolk as we continue through with the vaccination programs.  The staff and volunteers have been dedicated, professional and courteous, making the experience for everyone as flawless as possible. We have received plenty of positive feedback regarding the process and we thank you for taking the time to thank those on the frontlines.

At present, over 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across both counties, with almost 65% of residents fully vaccinated. The Ministry of Health is aiming for all communities across the province to have 80% of the population with first dose, and over 75% of the population fully vaccinated by early August.

All residents with a second dose appointment booked for August, September or October who are 28 days past their first dose are being asked to book an appointment at a closer date. Appointments are available in various locations and may be booked using the HNHU’s Online Booking Tool or by calling the Health Unit’s Vaccine Hotline at 519-427-5903.

I urge those of you who are holding out to reconsider and think about your family and your community. While I can appreciate the decision being yours to make, your decision not only impacts you, it impacts those of us around you and we must ensure that we can withstand another potential wave. For the sake of our children who need to reacquaint themselves with traditional schooling; our businesses who need to bring much needed revenue for their families; our sporting programs that help our community stay health and vibrant both physically and mentally, lets pull together and be one of the leading areas in vaccinations in Ontario.

As we move into the fall, we are transitioning out of the arenas to make way for the sporting programs and will be working towards providing vaccination clinics in a variety of places throughout both counties.

 

Caledonia Protest Update

As you all know, the developer has begun the process of refunding deposits to those poor home owners who have been cheated of their dream. This is not them abandoning the site, as we still believe that they hold legal title to the lands in dispute. This is a respectful decision to allow the potential homeowners to make future decisions that best serve them.

If and when the Province and the Federal government move forward and not just engage those on Six Nations with some meaningful dialogue but also stand behind the land registry system that guides all of us accordingly, we will then start to see progress.

Whether you are a homeowner, a developer, or a municipality following the planning process, you should be able to count on the regulations and policies set out to guide the final outcome of owning your dream home.

I continue to support my friends on Six Nations who truly deserve an outcome on their long time outstanding claims, but I will never support the methodology that has been employed on Douglas Creek Estates or Mackenzie Meadows or any of those involved in such acts of disobedience.

I will continue to lobby those at the Province to engage leaders on Six Nations and to bring the Feds to account on the actual claims that are legitimate and will continue to show Haldimand, of which Caledonia is in, being a great place to live, to work, to play and mostly to raise a family.

Stay Safe……

Mayor Hewitt

Haldimand County Issues Correction and Apology Re: KWIC Internet and KWIC Telecom Ltd.

Haldimand Country would like to correct some inaccurate statements recently made by its representatives regarding KWIC Internet and KWIC Telecom Ltd. (“KWIC”).

In June 2020, after a procurement process, Haldimand County selected KWIC as the preferred proponent to deliver internet services to underserviced areas of the County. KWIC ranked first among its competitors in the procurement and was determined by Haldimand County to be competent and well-qualified.

On June 3, 2021, Mayor Ken Hewitt of Haldimand County mistakenly announced that KWIC had merged with another internet service provider (Xplornet Communications), that Xplornet had purchased KWIC, and that the merger was a surprise to the County. These statements were reported in the Haldimand Press. Regrettably, these statements were based on a misunderstanding of the true facts, and were inaccurate. KWIC has not merged with or been purchased by Xplornet, and did not in any way surprise the County by its actions. KWIC remains an independent and active internet service provider, servicing communities across Ontario.

On June 4, 2021, County CAO Craig Manley stated in a press release that, as a result of increased competition from other internet service providers in Haldimand County, the result would be better internet service in the County. The County wishes to correct that statement, as it has no information to suggest that KWIC’s competitors provide better internet service than KWIC provides.

As a result of recent media interest in the expansion of internet service to underserviced areas of the County, County representatives have made other statements about KWIC that have been reported in the media. None of the County’s statements should be construed as a criticism of KWIC or its capabilities, nor should any impression be left that KWIC is anything other than an active, competitive player in the Ontario internet service provider market. The County is grateful to KWIC for its interest and efforts in bringing internet service to County residents.

Haldimand County sincerely apologizes to KWIC for the mistaken statements made by County representatives.

Haldimand County Council Opposes Use of Haldibrook Road for City of Hamilton’s Truck Route Master Plan

At the Council meeting held on June 28, 2021, Haldimand County Council passed the following resolution:

THAT Haldimand County Council has reviewed the City of Hamilton’s draft recommended Truck Route Master Plan as outlined in the correspondence from the City of Hamilton sent on June 14, 2021;

AND THAT given the overwhelming public opposition, lack of adequate infrastructure to support truck traffic and the existence of a designated truck route in close proximity, Haldimand County Council is strongly opposed to Haldibrook Road being included as a proposed truck route in the City of Hamilton’s Truck Route Master Plan.

Notice of the passing of this resolution will be sent to the City of Hamilton.

The City of Hamilton is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of their Truck Route Master Plan. More information regarding the project, including how residents can participate and provide comments, can be found at engage.hamilton.ca/trmp

Haldimand & Norfolk Counties Opt Out of Canborough Landfill Facility Proposal

Haldimand County Council and Norfolk County Council, as joint owners of the Canborough Landfill Facility located at 499 James Road Dunnville, considered an unsolicited proposal made by a private sector entity for the use of the property.  After deliberations, both Councils agreed to not accept the proposal. In accordance with the conditions of the offer, the details will remain confidential.

Haldimand County Recruiting for New Youth and Seniors Advisory Committees

Haldimand County is launching two new community engagement opportunities for residents who want to get involved: a Youth Advisory Committee and a Seniors Advisory Committee. These Committees will advise Council about issues and policies that impact the quality of life of youth and seniors in the County.

The Youth Advisory Committee is looking for members from ages 16 to 24 years from across the County, while the Seniors Advisory Committee welcomes interested residents 60 years and older. Both Committees will have ten members and will work with staff to establish a vision and work plan with action steps, timelines and outcomes for each term of Council.

Youth Committee members will act as representatives for the County’s youngest residents, advising on ways to enrich and enhance their health and quality of life. Seniors Committee participants will share information about issues impacting seniors while developing recommendations and action plans to build supports for older adults. Both Committee offer opportunities to make new connections, gain knowledge and skills and make a meaningful contribution to Haldimand County.

Applications will be accepted until August 15, 2021. For more information about the committees, application process, terms of reference or the expectations of members, visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/community-partnerships or contact Andrea Moodie at 905-318-5932 Ext. 6119 or amoodie@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

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