2020 Tourism, Culture and Sport Grant
In January, the County launched its 2020 Tourism, Culture and Sport Grant to cultivate collaborations to develop tourism, culture and sport programs and initiatives. Ninety-nine applications were received, totalling a subscription of $1,089,446 for the $300,000 envelope. Due to the unforeseen COVID-19 crisis, well over half of the recommended recipients will no longer be able to carry out their intended projects.
Council approved an amended recommendation that the 2020 Tourism, Culture and Sport Grant be suspended and that the budgeted $300,000 from 2020 be transferred to the Tourism Simcoe County Reserve.
2019 Year End Report
The 2019 Year End Report provides the County’s statement of operations with a comparison to the 2019 budget, in addition to the balances for both reserves and financing requirements. Key Performance Indicators supplement year-end reporting to allow the measuring, reporting and monitoring of progress in order to manage, maintain and improve business performance.
Council received the 2019 Year End Report showing that the overall 2019 year-end surplus for operating and capital is $1.1M (0.21%) of the County of Simcoe’s $548M budget. This surplus is primarily due to savings in Social and Community Services, Health and Emergency Services and General Municipal costs. The surplus will be placed in reserves and considered for potential use to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
County of Simcoe Official Plan Amendment - Big Bay Point Golf Club
On August 9, 2018, the County of Simcoe received an application for an amendment to the County Official Plan (‘SCOPA’) for properties on Big Bay Point Road in the Town of Innisfil. The purpose and effect of the requested amendment was to redesignate the lands in order to include a golf course as a permitted use on the properties. Simcoe County Committee of the Whole considered the staff report on November 26, 2019. The report has since been deferred twice in order to allow Town of Innisfil Council to consider and make a decision on the related applications to amend the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law. Due to COVID-19, the report was also further delayed.
In November 2019, planning staff’s initial recommendation was for County Council to refuse the subject SCOPA. While the proposal met a number of Provincial and County policies including promoting tourism and economic development outside of Settlement Areas, due to the conformity issues with Provincial and County policy discussed, in particular as it relates to the protection and retention of significant natural heritage features present on the site, County planning staff could not support the SCOPA to permit the proposed golf course for these lands.
While planning staff agreed that a revised site plan did represent an improvement, Council supported staff’s view that the same policy conformity challenges existed, and ultimately voted to refuse the SCOPA.
Temporary Road Closure – CR 17
Construction for the rehabilitation of three bridges: Upper Big Chute Bridge, Durnford Bridge, and Lovering Bridge on County Road 17, is anticipated to commence in May 2020. During the course of construction for this project, it is recommended that County Road 17 be temporarily closed to through traffic at alternating locations of Durnford Bridge and Lovering bridge for a total duration of approximately 30 weeks. A single lane of two-way traffic will be maintained at Upper Big Chute Bridge utilizing temporary traffic signals throughout the duration of construction.
Council received a report on the temporary closure, which is anticipated between May and November 2020, with further confirmations to be provided once the project commences.
Simcoe County Hospital Alliance Funding Allocation
In June 2017, County Council approved the extension of the 2017-2026 Simcoe County Hospital Alliance Funding Policy, allocating $3 million annually to the Hospital Alliance for a 15-year period extending from 2017 to 2031. The County is not mandated to provide funding to area hospitals as it is a provincial jurisdiction but does so to support the local healthcare system. Between 1994-2031 the County has committed $107 million towards area hospitals. To incentivize emergency departments to receive patients in a prompt manner in order to allow Paramedics to be able to respond to the next call, transfer time performance is now measured for each hospital and the value of lost Paramedic time is deducted from the individual hospital’s capital payment by the County for that given year.
Council approved 2019 hospital allocations in the amount of $2,976,994 to reflect $23,006 of adjustments for failure to receive 90 per cent of transfers within 30 minutes.
Oro-Medonte McLean Park Initiative - Request for County Support for MZO
The McLean Family is requesting support from the County of Simcoe in its request for a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO). Their goal for the Oro-Medonte McLean Park initiative is to create a healthy and vibrant community which will enhance the quality of life for residents of all ages and incomes. This project will exceed current standards with regards to preservation of agricultural land, parks, recreation
and gathering spaces.
Council voted to support the Oro-Medonte McLean Park initiative’s request for an MZO to speed up the project, which aims to create approximately 430 new and permanent jobs and integrate seniors housing, long-term care, innovative community uses, low and medium density housing options and new agricultural technologies.