Warden's Gala and National Seniors Day
The County of Simcoe hosted the 13th annual Warden's Gala at The Club at Bond Head on October 3, 2019. Thanks to the sponsorship of numerous individuals, businesses and organizations, the event raised $55,000 in support of United Way Simcoe Muskoka. Over the past 60 years, United Way Simcoe Muskoka has provided supports to our residents in need and helped equip partners with resources to implement life-changing programs. The Warden's Gala has raised more than $755,000 over 13 years towards the United Way Simcoe Muskoka.
The County of Simcoe celebrated National Seniors Day on October 1. Each year, this date acknowledges the life-long contributions seniors have made and continue to make to their families, communities and society. The County's Long-Term Care and Seniors Services Department provides supports to approximately 1,300 seniors through a variety of programs. Celebrations were held at each of the County's four long-term care homes to mark this important day. The County also issued a news release and social media to raise awareness about the vital contributions of our seniors.
Funding to support the YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka
At Committee of the Whole on September 24, Rob Armstrong, CEO of YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka led a presentation to County Councillors about the new YMCA Regional Hub in Barrie, which will support other YMCA centres throughout Simcoe County. Working in partnership with Youth Haven, the new YMCA will be home to Simcoe County's first standalone transitional housing unit for youth. In addition to the transitional housing component, the building will also include an expanded youth/senior centre, aquatic centre, YMCA Youth Services (addressing employment, life-skills, entrepreneurship, youth at risk), support for new Canadians through YMCA Immigrant Services, traditional health & fitness programming, community meeting spaces, and a public café.
This week, County Council voted to provide $2.5 million donation capital funding to the Barrie YMCA across four years to be dedicated to Youth Haven Transitional housing and child care services, conditional on the HUB capital project proceeding.
Provincial Blue Box Special Advisor's Report and Minister's Blue Box Transition Direction
On May 14, Council received a Provincial Discussion Paper – Reducing Litter and Waste in our Communities, which described a number of key areas for provincial action including making producers responsible for their waste. Producer responsibility will reduce the collective financial burden on Ontario municipalities by approximately $130 million annually. This is something that the County has been advocating for over the past several years.
Council received an update on the special advisor's report on the provincial blue box program transition. The provincial blue box program is on course to transition to producer responsibility through a phased approach between 2023 and 2025. The County's 2018 blue box program costs were $7,137,916, partially offset by producer funding received in 2018 of $3,140,984 for a net cost of $3,996,932. Theoretically, upon transition to producer responsibility, this cost would be removed.
Paramedic Services Facility Plan Update
In 2007, further to Council direction, staff engaged with consultants to assist in the development of a Paramedic Services facility model. In September 2008, a new model was introduced, including a hybrid facility model of both station-based and hub/post Paramedic Services facilities. Paramedics report into hubs for duty, check their vehicles and equipment, restock supplies, and undertake other activities as needed. Once fully equipped, staff are directed to appropriate posts in the community to optimize coverage and response across the area. Posts are located in high demand areas within the larger geography to ensure timely coverage. They typically have a smaller footprint with one vehicle bay, washroom, kitchenette and computer workstation.
Council received an update to the Paramedic Services Facility Plan including the status of current facilities, ongoing projects and potential future implications over a 10-year planning horizon. Both the Barrie hub and Elmvale station projects are proceeding as per schedule. Hub occupancy is planned for 2020, and Elmvale station is planned for completion in the fall of 2019.
Update on County of Simcoe Official Plan Amendment No. 2 (ERRC)
Council received an overview of the status of the on-going land use approvals process, additional studies being undertaken and next steps in the development of the Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC), including the County's reforestation/restoration of 11 hectares of land at a 2:1 ratio to mitigate the environmental impacts of the ERRC, planting more than 21,000 trees.
The report included an update on the appeal proceedings, and noted that on August 29, 2019 the Places to Grow Act, 2005 was modified in response to a number of specific planning matters, including County Official Plan Amendment No.2. This eliminates one issue and confirms the position previously taken by the Ministry and County.