A short agenda for today's third 2021 Budget Ad Hoc committee meeting at 5:30pm, but there's a lot to discuss: The proposed 2021 Capital Budget, and the 10-year Capital Budget Forecast. Full package: calendar.wilmot.ca//townshipcalen…. Watch the proceedings at youtube.com/channel/UCcA8f….
Mayor Armstrong starts the meeting.

Coun Pfenning reads the land acknowledgement.
No declarations of pecuniary interest, so we're straight into a presentation by Patrick Kelly (Director of Finance) of the 2021 Capital Budget. The report is on p3 of the agenda package.
Mr Kelly: No external debt financing is required for 2021, but will be in the years ahead.
First discussion: Joint Service Delivery Review – Phase II

Coun Fisher asks Grant Whittington (Chief Administrative Officer) what other service areas are under consideration?

Mr Whittington: There will be a report in February.
Next: Prime Ministers Path Stakeholder Consultation Project.

Coun Pfenning: Says she has a request to add language to the description, asking for prioritizing Indigenous voices to aid reconciliation.
Dawn Mittelholtz (Director of Clerk's Services/Director of Information and Legislative Services) says staff advises against prioritizing the voice of any particular group and sets a dangerous precedent.
Coun Pfenning: Understands that perspective, but this is a particular case and the TRC makes it a different situation. It is specifically needed to underscore that particular group. It doesn't create a risk for the future.
Coun Hallman says she supports Coun Pfenning's friendly amendment.

Coun Gordijk asks Ms Mittelholtz where she thinks this might be setting a precedent?
Ms Mittelholtz says this is not just about TRC, and other less favourable groups might use precedent to apply to their own requests.

Coun Gordijk says this budget item was put forward as part of the Township's truth and reconciliation commitment.
Coun Fisher says he's happy with the original wording and wants it left as it is.

Coun Pfenning says she stands by what she's asking for. The TRC recommendations giving priority to Indigenous voices.
Coun Gerber says this is not the scope of reference for the consultation, it's a budget item. Perhaps language that says the Township prioritizes the *inclusion* on Indigenous voices would be better.
Coun Pfenning says her language change is to show that the Township is "walking the walk".

Coun Gordijk says she can see the benefit of the amendment that Coun Gerber suggested.
Coun Pfenning says she would accept that amendment.

Mr Kelly says based on the direction of this committee, he can amend the description as suggested.

Council votes to approve the change, with Coun Fisher the only dissenter.
No comments on the next few budget items, so we're on to the Corporate Security Program.

Coun Gordijk asks if there will be reports on the status of projects, so council will know if they've been completed.
Coun Hallman says she'd like to see CPTED reports, too, as these were requested during previous budget discussions.

Sandy Jackson (Director of Facilities & Recreation Services): yes, as long as they don't give away any security information.
The committee has skipped through numerous items without any questions or comments.

Next up is Rail Crossing Signage and Markings. Coun Hallman asks for staff clarification about signage, which Jeff Molenhuis (Director of Public Works) addresses.
Coun Gerber has a question about Wilmot Street Reconstruction (Phase 2) about on street parking. Mr Molenhuis confirms that that work will be included in this phase of work. Coun Pfenning says she's excited that electric vehicle charging stations are also included.
Coun Pfenning asks if the Snyder’s Road Reconstruction (Region) will proceed this year. Mr Molenhuis anticipates tenders in the next month or so.
Next is Sanitary Sewer I&I Reduction Program.

Coun Fisher asks is there is any progress in finding out where there are issues. Mr Molenhuis says we'll see some returns in the next 2-5 years.
Next: Municipal Drain Maintenance and Capital Works

Coun Gordijk asks Mr Molenhuis about drain inspections. He says that the plan is to be more proactive.
In answer to Coun Hallman, Mr Molenhuis says that part of the reason for the backlog is budgetary, as well as staffing. "We will always have a backlog, and we will continue to work through those."
Surface Treatment Program: Coun Gordijk asks why Nafziger Road (Bleams Rd-South End), which is a dead-end, is being converted from gravel to Triple Surface. Mr Molenhuis says it's part of the Township's program to convert all gravel roads. This is carried forward from last year.
Coun Hallman asks how the prioritization of which roads get converted work? Mr Molenhuis says traffic volume plays a part, as well as labour resource availability.
Sidewalk Repair and Replacement Program: Coun Hallman says she's happy to see the increase here. Says residents have asked about specific sidewalk repairs, which Mr Molenhuis should be done this year.
We've moved on to Guiderail and Chevron Program. Coun Hallman asks about installations in Ward 1. Mr Molenhuis says this will be coming to council through the RFP award process.
Next: WRC Back Entrance Lane Traffic Calming Improvements. Coun Hallman tells Ms Jackson her phone has been "exploding" with comments from the community, which is supporting this.
Coun Fisher asks if the speedbumps will be all of the way down Gingerich Rd. Mr Kelly says that this will be on Township-owned property only. Ms Jackson and Mr Molenhuis confirm this.
Coun Hallman asks about the Haysville Community Centre Exterior Maintenance. She says a resident asked about the replacement of the "Welcome" sign. Ms Jackson says that will be coming up in the budget.
Additional Funding Dog Park Construction: Coun Pfenning says she's heard from a lot of residents that the dog park is getting a lot of use, and they have found useful for maintaining community connection.
Reforestation Program: Coun Gordijk asks Ms Jackson for clarification about mapping of where trees will be going, as residents have been asking. Mr Molenhuis says council has been provided with a location list, but there aren't resources yet for detailed mapping.
Next: Rolled Storage for Artifact Collection (Castle Kilbride). Coun Hallman asks Tracy Loch (Castle Kilbride Curator/Director) how this will increase our storage. Ms Loch says it will double the available space for the collection.
Recommendation: THAT the 2021 Capital Budget, as prepared by the Director of Corporate Services / Treasurer, be endorsed in principle.

Carried unanimously.
The committee is now discussing the Ten Year Capital Forecast (2021-2030). Mr Kelly is presenting his report.
Coun Pfenning says she appreciates all of the work that went into preparing this report.

Coun Hallman echoes Coun Pfenning's comments.
Mr Molenhuis answers Coun Hallman's question from a resident about retaining walls.
Coun Fisher asks Mr Kelly about the process for adding a project like the New Hamburg fire hall to the 10 year forecast.
Coun Gordijk asks about abandoned cemeteries that the Township has taken over responsibility for, as residents have voiced concerns about their safety.
Ms Loch says that Heritage Wilmot used to do an assessment on headstones.
Chair Armstrong congratulates staff on all that they have done.

Recommendation: THAT the 10-Year Capital Forecast, as prepared by the Director of Corporate Services / Treasurer, be endorsed in principle.

We're adjourned at 7:21pm.

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