Members Present: Linda Hibbert, Robert Bierling, Sue Bierling, Mark Evans, Jeff Margetts, Julia Pigache, George Pigache, Shelley Stazyk, Wendy Sim, Ruth Heard, Wendy MacMillan, Kathy Parker, Harold Parker, Nigel Howcroft, Dan McNeil, Wendy Cowie, Kelly Jones, Ted Halwa, Patricia Fryer, Ray Murdoch
Call to Order: Janet Kennedy welcomed everyone.
1) Treasurer’s Report: Harry reported $6290.18 in the account of which $4,000 is designated for the Port Stanley entry signage. This was Harry’s last meeting as treasurer. David McCarthy is taking over the role. Harry has served as treasurer for 3 years and we very much appreciate his service.
2) Entry Signage:
a) Fred Heintz spoke on the work he and Andrew Hibbert had done on the new Port Stanley entry signage. It is to be installed on Sunset Road across from East Road, which would include the new subdivision. Permission is required from Elgin County before the work can be completed. Lloyd Perrin will be meeting with them. The quotes of the cost have come in at about $3,500. There is a budget of $4,200 to cover the cost.
b) Discussion of the exit sign followed. The sign has been there for a very long time and recently the Gardiners Club installed a canoe in front of the sign and filled it with flowers. The possibility of refurbishing the lettering on the sign was discussed.
3) Harbour Secondary Review Steering Committee Update:
a) Janet Kennedy presented on the third committee meeting held June 23. Central Elgin needs the reaction of the public before going forward. The importance of being able to walk along the lakeshore is a goal. There is to be a blend of commercial and residential. There was a discussion of assets and potential. The full presentation will be posted on the PSVA website. There will be a public meeting on June 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Port Stanley Arena.
4) Port Stanley Future For Senior Living Committee Update:
a) Wendy MacMillan updated us on the committee work. A delegation presented to Central Elgin on June 12 re their proposal for senior housing. Central Elgin supports the PSVA re the application for a funding grant for a market analysis for senior housing. The results of the application will be known in January.
b) Seniors also need better transportation and medical facilities.
c) Wendy and Janet attended a meeting of the Elgin-St Thomas Age Friendly Community Plan. A discussion paper has come from the work of the committee. Another survey is out to gain further input. Rural communities are of particular concern. At the end of September there will be another meeting.
d) The government does have some programmes to keep seniors at home but seniors need access to information and are not always computer literate.
5) New Business
a) Councilor Dan McNeil discussed the work on the west harbour. He said the staff was disappointed with the progress of the work. The main well is in and the dewatering of the upper damn is done. There should be no more delay. The new well needs to be connected to the old well. When the bridge has to be closed, the crew will work 24/7 probably for 3 or 4 days. The end result will be an Elgin County Tourism building, public washrooms and a proper parking lot.
b) On the west walkway the apron of concrete will remain hard cap because of the pollution underneath. The soil near it all has to be remediated, then a geo tech barrier put in with soil and gravel from the DOC building to the boat launch. It may be done for August but needs Ministry of Environment approval. The memorial trees will be left in Hofhuis Park.
c) On the east walkway there is a plan to unify the walkway from Glover Park to the berm. The fishery workers need to be accommodated. (We have the largest freshwater fishery in the world.) The patterned concrete walkway will cost approximately $350,000. Transport Canada refused to pay for that and will only put a gravel, soft cap on the area therefore Central Elgin has negotiated with Elgin County for CE to do the work and Transport Canada will put in the money they would have spent. It may be completed this year.
d) The lights on the pier are stainless steel and will continue to Hofhuis Park and the boat launch area along the west walkway to the bridge. It is to be done by the fall.
e) A natural heritage study was done on the berm. All the vegetation is invasive and so can be removed. A geo tech barrier and gravel will replace it. Transport Canada has committed to a park land standard which means 6 inches of soil so trees can’t be planted. The federal standard is lower than the provincial standard which Transport Canada has accepted for this project. This means the remediation will be much better and so trees can be planted.
f) The question of access from Orchard Beach to Little Beach was raised. Dan said a proper walkway needs to give access for people to walk to town. It is not safe now. Residents would be advised to petition for a sidewalk.
g) The private fence should not have been built and should definitely not be in the water. Water is public domain. The issue is under the MNR and KCCA jurisdiction.
h) Walking from Prospect Street to the beach is over private property that had a covenant that allowed access to the beach for certain residents. The cut off is a private matter in civil court. It is not a municipal issue.
i) On the west pier the fisheries building was painted after we made the request to the province. Another building, which held the equipment to measure lake levels, is no longer required because the equipment has been moved to the boathouse. The building will be removed.
j) The Port Stanley lighthouse is iconic in that it is one of the first concrete structures. CE has $65,000 in escrow from the Ministry of Oceans. Work cannot begin until the ministry officially announces the work. The cost covers the work above the water. The work below the water is part of the pier and so covered by the money transferred in the divestiture. There are now surveillance cameras on the pier and boathouse.
k) Wendy MacMillan wanted to compliment those in charge of the excellent Canfest fireworks. Dan said it was a combination of GT’s and the BIA event organizer Natasha who, on her own initiative, raised funds from Don West, TD and Westall. Carol Gates, owner of GT’s, is the new chair of the BIA.
l) The problem of Canada geese in Hofhuis Park was raised. The CE Green Team is spending 20 hours per week on clean up. CE has a machine hired to clean poop off twice a week. The BIA will put in more money for more frequent cleaning. To keep the grass seed in place CE had to string lines to prevent the geese. Geese don’t like long grass. Other solutions to the problem are being investigated.
m) On George Street Westall wants to get started on the development but there some issues with a rare toad and park land area. They have not decided on the combination of apartments and single family dwellings. Carlow, Bridge and William Streets have traffic problems that affect George Street.
n) CE is charging the restaurants for the tables on William Street. William Street needs rebuilding and will eventually be one way.
o) Edith Cavell was rebuilt to redirect traffic and because the underground structure is the oldest in Port.
p) Little Beach will eventually get a proper parking lot and paid parking. The money from parking fees is allowing the upgrades on the beach like public washrooms.
q) The porta potty by East Road has caused a dispute about the view. CE has erected a barrier around it.
r) According to Dan more garbage cans will not solve the problem of the public dropping trash. These are people behaving badly and are a continuing source of frustration to Central Elgin.
MINUTES of PORT STANLEY VILLAGE ASSOCIATION - Thursday, July 13, 2017