Niagara-on-the-Lake News - Volume 5 - April 21, 2015


 Volume 5, April 21, 2015   Facebook icon Facebook   Twitter icon Twitter   YouTube logo YouTube 
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Council has approved the Town’s 2014 financial statements, which provides for a $963,664 operating budget surplus.  Most of these monies are the result of several factors, including a one-time dividend from NOTL Hydro, increases in planning applications fees, and adjustments for vacant staff positions.  The surplus funds will now be allocated to reserves for things such as bridges, culverts, roads, and building stabilization. $5,500 was also approved for two new defibrillators at public buildings.

However, Council also approved two motions calling for the allocation of $200,000 from this surplus to a new Ontario Municipal Board Appeal Fund and $17,648.80 for the Niagara District Airport Capital Budget.


The Town’s Agricultural Subcommittee is appealing to the province’s new Greenbelt Review Commission for more flexibility in the greenbelt policy for Niagara’s specialty crop farmers.  The Commission, headed by David Crombie, was in St. Catharines on April 15 to conduct a roundtable discussion with local stakeholders.  Lord Mayor Pat Darte and committee members encouraged the commission to recognize the diversity of agriculture in Niagara and the unique needs of specialty crop growers, particularly regarding farm practices and smaller farm sizes.


Council has approved the renewal of a contract with Niagara Patient Transfer, Inc., the Town’s current transit service provider.   While some changes were made to interim renewal periods, the formal length of the contract remains the same, expiring December 31, 2020.  The hourly contract rate under this contract remains competitively lower than comparable municipal transit systems.  In May, Council will review a staff report on possible extensions of the transit service to the Queenston and St. Davids communities.  Later this year, it will also review expansion options for access to the new hospital site in St. Catharines and connections to GO bus depots in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.


council business
At its April 20, 2015, meeting, Town Council approved:

Site Plan approval for the construction of a restaurant and retail facility at 135 Queen Street.

A one-time special event permit allowing the Niagara Jazz Festival to serve alcohol and food at Simcoe Park for a concert planned for July 25, 2015. In addition to providing the Town with a damage deposit and liability coverage, the Festival is required to use food from NOTL restaurants only, cordon off the beer/wine area and ensure all alcohol sale proceeds are directed to the Jazz Festival.

A staff recommendation to provide free NOTL Transit rides for patrons attending the Virgil Stampede on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

Tender of $96,310 from Sacco Construction Ltd. for the 2015 Sidewalk and Curb Repairs Program.

Tender of $253,604 from Rankin Construction Inc. for the Queenston Road Rehabilitation Project (from Concession 5 Road to 44 metres east).

The Queen Street Tree Inventory and 2015 Maintenance Program.


Councillor Disero - That staff design and implement a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to identify a vision and possible use(s) for the former Lawn Bowling property and that criteria for this process include a proposal that is financially self-sufficient, encourages broad public use of the site, and does not include the sale of the land.

Recommendation from Communities in Bloom Organizing Committee - That the composition of the Communities in Bloom Organizing Committee be amended to add Diane Hemmings in place of Marla Percy who, unfortunately, was unable to continue her membership.  Our thanks to Marla for helping to get this committee off the ground!


During a special presentation at the April 20 Council meeting, Lord Mayor Pat Darte and Town Council recognized the outstanding contributions of long-time residents John and Austin Kirkby.  John, a retired District Fire Chief, and Austin, a Town Councillor from 1992 - 2006, have each worked on many Town committees, particularly those in support of the agricultural community. Our sincere appreciation and congratulations to John and Austin for their many years of tireless dedication and commitment to the Town.  Photo courtesy of Melinda Cheevers, Niagara This Week - Town Crier.

For more information on these or other issues, please visit
SPECIAL HERITAGE COUNCIL MEETING - Town Council, on behalf of the Municipal Heritage Committee (MHC), hosted its annual Special Heritage Meeting on Monday, March 30, 2015, to honour citizens who are involved with local heritage conservation projects and/or conserve their heritage properties. Our thanks to Lisa Prosper, Director of the Cultural Centre of Landscape at Willowbank for being the guest speaker. In addition to the awards ceremony, retiring MHC members Tom Patterson and Don Chapman were recognized for their service to the Town.  Pictured is Mr. Chapman, founding member of Chapman Murray Associates Architects Inc., who is the longest serving member of the Committee at 35 years.
PARKS CANADA HOSTS SUMMER CONCERT - Mumford & Sons will headline a concert in the Commons on Monday, June 15, 2015.  This is their only concert in Canada this year east of Alberta.  Opening the concert is The Maccabees.  Tickets are available at or by calling 1-855-985-5000.  Free parking will be provided on Parks Canada property off the Niagara Parkway.
SHAW WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - Tim Jennings has been named the next Executive Director of the Shaw Festival, succeeding Elaine Calder, who is retiring in September of this year.  Mr. Jennings, who began his career with the Canadian Opera Company, has held a number of senior roles in theatre management, including Toronto’s Roseneath Theater, the Seattle Children’s Theatre and the Tony-Award winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis.  Welcome Tim!
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAYLord Mayor Pat Darte and Councillor Maria Bau-Coote joined the Niagara Chapter of Autism Ontario for their Raise the Flag Campaign on April 2. The campaign is designed to create awareness of autism within the community and to support those with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as their families.  Please visit for more information.
COMMEMORATING THE GREAT WAR - The Niagara Historical Museum continues its excellent exhibit on the First World War and its impact on Canadians, including our own unique history with Camp Niagara.  A lecture series runs on the third Thursday of each month until October sponsored by Geoffrey & Lorraine Joyner and Niagara’s Finest Hotels.  Please visit or call 905-468-3912 for more details.
1812 COMMITTEE RELEASES FINAL VIDEO - "Honouring our History” is the final video of the Town’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee.  The video provides “how-to” interviews and coverage of the many events staged by our volunteers to commemorate the war effort.  Copies are available at the Town Municipal Offices.
CUBAN PAINTER AT PUMPHOUSE - Don’t miss April’s featured artist Sanlly Viera's vibrant scenes of Cuban culture at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre running until April 27.  An exhibit by artist Colin Whitebread is scheduled for May.  Please visit for more information.
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