In November 2012, I assumed the role of Chair of Community Programs and Infrastructure (CPI), the Townâ€™s largest department, responsible for half of the Townâ€™s budget and staff. Staff in these areas deal with sewers, roads, garbage, parks, facilities, trails, recreation programs and so much more.
The past 18 months have brought a tremendous amount of change as we made plans to address the imminent growth in the municipality. To prepare us, the CPI department was split into 2 areas: Community Infrastructure & Environmental Services (CIES), and Community Parks, Recreation & Culture (CPRC).
In addition to these changes, staff also dealt with a record-breaking winter of inclement weather, contracted waste collection issues and the unimaginable challenge of the Mount Albert fire station being destroyed by fire. An interim station was operational within days of the fire, thanks to the immense efforts of the staff team and our neighbouring municipal partners.
Furthermore, Council endorsed some significant accomplishments during the past 18 months that I have been Chair. Here are some highlights. I have included links if you would like more information:
- Council adopted a new Fill & Site Alteration Bylaw & Operational Guidelines. Lauded by environmental groups as the best in the province, this will protect our soil & water and sets clear guidelines for commercial fill operators in our municipality.
- New facilities: Delivered on time & on budget, the Harvest Hills Activity Centre at Phoebe Gilman PS â€“over 6,000 sq ft of exclusive Town space, supplemented by a shared use agreement for 5,280 sq ft including washrooms, gymnasium and program space.Â We also began work on a potential partnership with the YMCA for a multi-use recreation centre (with pool!) in Queensville.
- LSRCA land acquisition: In partnership with the Town, the Conservation Authority purchased 32 acres of land in the Rogers ReservoirÂ Conservation Area. This will provide for a key trail connection, allowing access fromÂ 2nd Concession all the way to Yonge St. in Holland Landing.
- Speeding & Traffic Safety: Â The town purchased radar signs and installed them around Town. The data collected gives us the evidence to request stronger enforcement from York Regional Police.Â The results were also made public on a quarterly basis.
- Erosion & Sedimentation Control Standards. We have raised the bar for developers, requiring them to take greater precautions against erosion when they disturb the ground in preparation for building.
- Sustainable Development Incentive Program adopted by Council: this â€œThinking Greenâ€ initiative is a â€œMade in EGâ€ solution to encourage sustainable development, and promote water & energy conservation, wastewater reduction, improve indoor air quality, and promote renewable energy and consumer education.Â This program applies not only to residential buildings, but also to commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
- Community Safety: We created a new policy for responding to your complaints about speeding within Town. We receive a number of requests every year to change speed limits on Town roads.Â This new policy ensures that our response is consistent and responsible.
- Stormwater Master Plan. The Town worked with the Conservation Authority to create a plan to prevent flooding, reduce erosion issues, and improve water quality.
- Rainwater Innovation: In partnership with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, East Gwillimburyâ€™s Civic Centre was chosen as the site for residential and commercial demonstration projects to show how rainwater can be used as a resource instead of a waste product.
- Designed & built Don Rose Park in Mount Albert.