If you are wondering when spring will arrive, head out any morning before 7:00 and listen to the choirs – of the birds – calling to each other and singing the songs of spring! It is wonderful. The weather will catch up eventually as will the spring flowers.
We are waiting for details of the Federal government’s announcement concerning grants for infrastructure and, specifically, for waste water treatment plants (WWTP). In order to be eligible, we continue down the path to be “shovel ready” for this construction season. The Request For Proposal for the detailed drawings for the new approved waste water treatment system closed a couple of weeks ago and a technical team has been reviewing the offers. Their recommendation is on the Agenda for Monday night’s Council meeting. I am hopeful that by early May all MOECC and Council approvals will be in place. We will keep you informed as we learn more from the government of Canada.
Recently, Councillors and I spent time going door to door in some areas of the Village, speaking to community members about the high volume of clean water that is still being sent to the WWTP due to illegal sump pumps. An information package was provided to help people understand the profound expense to the rate payers of even one illegal sump pump. Additionally, Council was offering a grant of up to $500 to convert to a legal sump pump. As I walk my girls, I have noted that several houses are now pumping their sump pump externally into their yards. Thank you to everyone who has made their sump pump compliant with the by-law and eased some of the pressure at the lagoons. And yes, we did have one resident take advantage of the grant.
Some interesting items on the Agenda for Monday’s Council meeting were discussed at the last Committee of the Whole (CoW). Municipal by-law enforcement and changing the from garbage bags to tags for the large bags are two of them. You may wonder why items get discussed twice. The intention of CoW is for Councillors to discuss issues for the first time & that they are satisfied that they have enough information and to provide on-going updates from Committees of Council. On several occasions, more information is required from staff before the matter is ready to be considered and passed at a Council meeting. When no other information is required, the CoW passes a resolution recommending the item be approved at the next Council meeting. Depending on the item, it may be dealt with as part of the “Consent Agenda” portion of Council where several items are lumped together with one motion or it may be dealt with separately – either due to the nature of the issue or at the request of a member of Council. Both Council and CoW meetings are open to the public. Council meetings are held on the first Monday night of the first full week of the month and Committee of the Whole meetings follow two weeks later on the Monday night.
And still on the topic of spring, the 2nd Annual Town Spring Clean Up Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14th – so circle the date on your calendar. We will meet at Town Hall at 09:00 where there will be coffee and snacks. You can come with a team of people or alone and join some other volunteers. Please bring your rakes and brooms and wear a bright coloured shirt. Garbage bags will be provided and assignments given to the work teams. A noon Bar-B-Q at the spring will finish the day off – with much appreciation from myself and Council, and of course from those who live, work and play in the ‘Port. Reminders will be coming closer to the day.
Since I began this update talking about choirs, I am going to end it on the same note. Westport has its own, new Community Choir. Some Kind of Choir will be giving its first concert on Saturday, April 30 @ 7:00 p.m. at the North Crosby Hall. The quality and experience of many of the singers who have joined this new initiative of the Westport Arts Council has ensured that the music is beautiful, the four-part harmonies are on pitch and those involved are having a great deal of fun. The Rideau District High School Jazz Band is joining the choir on the 30th and all proceeds at the door and for refreshments are going to the band to help repair/replace instruments. That might be another date to circle on your calendar.
If you have any questions about the ongoing issues at Town Hall or something that is a concern of yours, please contact the Councillor of your choice or me.