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April 21, 2020 City Council Meeting

View April 21, 2020 Meeting Agenda   View Live Stream of the Meeting

Covid-19 Service Level Update, Image of City Hall
Update on COVID-19 Service Levels
The City's Director of Municipal Works, Erik Nickel, along with the Director of Recreation & Culture, Kathy Moldenhauer jointly updated Council on the City's COVID-19 service levels:
  • Extended facility closures and cancellations
    • Last week, the Ontario government extended the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 12, 2020. This means all City of Niagara Falls facilities, play structures and park amenities will remain closed, at least until that date. 
    • Parks remain open for walk-through access only, as well as open spaces and trails.
    • All programming, events, facility and field rentals have also been cancelled until the end of May. 
  • Niagara Falls Farmers' Market
    • Deemed an essential service, the Market is anticipated to open in late May, early June 2020.
  • Canada Day
    • Council made the decision to cancel the Canada Day Parade, directing staff to explore alternate ways to celebrate, including virtual celebrations.
  • Swimming Pools & Splash Pads
    • Council will determine the status of municipal pools and splash pads as more information from the provincial and federal governments, and advice from Niagara Region Public Health is received.
  • Seasonal Maintenance of Sports Fields and Parks
    • Council indicated their support for staff and their efforts to maintain service through staff redeployment and not filling vacant positions.
    • Cutting grass in parks and sports fields is important to continue as it allows the City to control weeds, overgrowth, ticks and vermin like rats. In the long run, it ensures our fields will be financially viable, and ready for the community when the emergency is lifted. 
View the presentation
2020 Water and Wastewater Budget, Image of a water faucet with running water
2020 Water & Wastewater Budget Approved
The City of Niagara Falls held the line on water and wastewater rates for 2020 with a slight decrease in fixed charges for most users. Council also approved converting two part-time positions into full-time positions to assist with trench maintenance. 
View the presentation
Municipal Service Centre Site Remediation, Image of the Service Centre
Municipal Service Centre Site Remediation & Repairs
Since February, staff have been taking immediate and imperative action to address the fuel leak at the City's Municipal Service Centre located on Stanley Avenue. A report brought to Council outlined the estimated cost of remediation and repairs at $2.3 million.

Council pre-approved funding from the 2021 budget to pay for the work and anticipates this investment will make the facility usable for the next 5 years, as staff work towards plans to build a new Service Centre in the future.
View the full report
Allister Young Endowment Fund, Image of Leona Skye Grandmond
Allister Young Endowment Fund Recipient
Council acknowledged Leona Skye Grandmond as the 2020 Allister Young Arts & Culture Endowment Fund. Leona Skye is an accomplished Indigenous visual artists and social activist. She is a past member of the Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Committee and her works are displayed locally, nationally and internationally. She is also an outspoken and passionate advocate for victims of human trafficking and has designed the Anti-trafficking logo for the Ontario Native Women’s Society. 

The Allister Young Arts & Culture Endowment Fund is awarded annually to one Niagara Falls resident in any creative arts field. The Culture Committee received several, very worthy applications for the award. 
View Leona Skye's Biography
Letter from Ontario Ombudsman, Image of a gavel in council chambers
Letter from Ontario Ombudsman
Niagara Falls City Council received a letter from the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario that dealt with two complaints filed regarding Council's In-Camera meeting held on July 29, 2019. 

The investigation determined that Council’s closed session discussion on July 29, 2019, came within the Act’s closed meeting exception for information supplied in confidence by another level of government and did not contravene the Act’s in camera voting prohibition. 
Read the letter from the Ontario Ombudsman
Annual Statement of Remuneration & Expenses, Image of a calculator, pen, notebook and piggy banks
Annual Statement of Remuneration & Expenses
The 2019 Statement of Remuneration and Expenses was provided to Council on Tuesday. The report outlines Councillors salaries, benefits and expenses as well as compensation for sitting on committees and for meetings related to the Niagara Falls Hydro Holding Corp.
View the full report
Waste Management Collection Update, image of rake and grass clippings
Waste Management and Collection Update
The Niagara Region has announced temporary updates to landfill services and operations:

Landfill sites and drop-off depots are open but will focus on providing essential services such as commercial/ contractors loads (including farmers), collection vehicles, commercial/municipal brush, etc.

In order to prioritize essential services and discourage frequent trips in the community, the Niagara Region has placed restrictions for non-essential services at the sites. Residents are permitted one trip, every two weeks, to dispose of the following:

• Leaf and yard waste, which is still being collected at the curb
• Grass clippings, but residents are being encouraged to grasscycle
• Oversize brush bundles, tree limbs

Visit https://www.niagararegion.ca/waste/covid-changes.aspx for more information.
Other Reports
Council received additional applications and reports at the April 21, 2020 meeting, including:
  • F-2020-15 Monthly Tax Receivables Report – March
  •  F-2020-16 Municipal Accounts
  • F-2020-17 Cancellation, Reduction or Refund of Taxes Under Section 357 and 358 of The Municipal Act, 2001

Next Council Meeting: May 12, 2020

Image of Niagara Falls City Hall
Council Meetings
Niagara Falls City Council meetings can be viewed live on the City's YouTube Channel. The next meeting will be held on May 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm. Minutes from past Council meetings can also be viewed online, once they have been approved. Find them at niagarafalls.ca/council.
Niagara Falls Canada logo and skyline
Copyright © 2020 City of Niagara Falls, All rights reserved.


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