In August 2015, the Village of Westport received 2 summons informing it that the Municipality had been jointly charged with Mr Scott Bryce, Clerk/Treasurer. The first charge relates to activity at the waste water plant from December 1, 2013 to June 15, 2014 and the second charge is for the period between June 12, 2014 and June 15, 2014.
I want to keep you informed on what is happening in relation to the charges. After meeting with the Village lawyer on two separate occasions, Council passed a motion to vigorously defend the Municipality and Mr Bryce against these charges. This means that there will be a trial later this year. To say anything more about the details of the cases would be inappropriate as the matter is before the courts.
I can update you, though, on what the process will be moving forward until the trial.
On March 21st – Mr Tony Fleming, representing the Village and Mr Bryce, has a pretrial meeting with the Provincial Prosecutor in the Justice of the Peace Chambers in Brockville. This meeting is administrative – to discuss the anticipated length of the trial. The results of the pre-trial allow the Court Administration to find consecutive court dates the trial.
On April 20th – Mr Fleming will appear in Provincial Offences Court in Brockville to set the date for the trial. This court appearance and the trial are open to the public.
If any of these dates change, I will keep you updated.
We launched our new web site a few weeks ago and I think we have worked out most of the bugs. Thanks to all who let us know what wasn’t working. Should you find anything that still doesn’t connect the way it should, please let Niki Bresse know at Town Hall.
I would like to thank Christine Janeway for her amazing page on our website, VINTAGE WESTPORT. Each weekly edition contains a piece (or two!) of our history and many archival photos. I have included the link here for your convenience.
It is Saturday. Grab your coffee and spend a few moments looking at the Village through the eyes of an 1890 resident.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Town Hall meeting on Thursday night to share with Council your concerns about the current snow removal process and suggestions for changes to the by-law and additions to the next snow removal contract. Your comments were well thought out and on point. I very much appreciate your willingness to raise the issues publicly.
Your suggestions will be seriously considered by Council over the next few months as we prepare the tender for the next contract and factor any additional costs into the 2017 draft budget this fall.
Thank you to everyone who wrote to the Minister. He and his staff discussed the Westport e-mails and letters – so your work was not in vain.
The meeting with Minister Duguid did not result in a commitment for any money as he said “there is no pot of money”. This week the Premier announced that in 2017/18, the amount of money for infrastructure would be doubled and that there is another intake for OCIF funding in April – but again, this is for 2017.
The Minister is aware that we will be using our existing OCIF grant money to cover the costs of hauling this year – an amount that could easily be $500,000. He sympathized.
Minister Duguid and his staff encouraged us to be “shovel ready” for the Federal grants, which should be announced in April. According to our schedule of events including the tendering process, we should be. The Minister did share with us that the province doesn’t know what the scope of those grants will be.
The final discussion with them was my request to keep whatever is remaining from our 2015/16 OCIF grant beyond December 2016 and use it in 2017 with that year’s grant. Normally , this is not approved by government – but as the Minister said, due to our “unique” situation, he and his staff will see what they can do.
The Minister was a real gentleman – and although we did not make any headway in $$$ – I felt that he listened to our situation.
I am still waiting to confirm dates/times for meetings with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and with the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Thank you everyone for your support and comments. We are not finished in our quest by a long shot!
Attention business owners, snow plow operators, residents and other concerned community members.
The most recent snow storm and its clean up has highlighted the need to hold an open forum where everyone can have their say about snow removal. Roads, sidewalks, snow banks – they all require discussion. Council wants to hear from you. On Thursday, February 25 from 5:30-7:00 pm, mayor and council will be hosting a Town Hall meeting. Anyone wishing to share their concerns or perspective will be given the opportunity.
Within the next year, Council will be making changes to the existing snow removal by-law. The current contract for snow removal expires April 2017 and the village will be putting out a tender in 2016. The information that is shared on Thursday will assist us in our deliberations.
Please mark the date and time on our calendar – come to the Town Hall meeting and have your say!