CP council passes budget, remembers Fritz

CARLETON PLACE – Carleton Place council has passed a 1.97 tax increase as part of the 2021 budget in an emotional council meeting last Tuesday (Jan. 26) to kick off the new year.

“At the Dec. 8, 2020 Committee of the Whole meeting, treasurer Trisa McConkey presented the final draft version of the budget to the public for comment,” town staff released in a statement.

The public presentation was posted on the town’s website and advertised through social media with an invitation to provide comments to the treasurer up to Dec. 15, 2020.

“This evening, council approved the 2021 budget with a 1.97 per cent tax increase for municipal purposes,” staff said.

The increase represents an annual increase of $36.77 ($3.06 per month) on a home assessed at $273,750 (the 2020 median assessed value for residential properties).

On Sunday, Jan. 10, the Town of Carleton Place was advised of the sudden and unfortunate passing of Coun. Theresa Fritz. The Municipal Act addresses the matter of vacant council seats.

“The act requires that if the office of a member of council becomes vacant the council shall at its next meeting declare the office to be vacant, except if a vacancy occurs as a result of the death of a member, the declaration may be made at either of its next two meetings,” town staff said. “As a result of Coun. Fritz’s unexpected passing, and in accordance of the Municipal Act, council declared the seat of councillor vacant for the Town of Carleton Place effective immediately.”

The matter of determining a method with respect to filling the declared vacancy will be brought forward to council in a report at a subsequent meeting.

At the Jan. 26 Committee of the Whole meeting, Jackie Kavanagh, manager of the Carleton Place and District Chamber of Commerce presented the chamber’s 2021 plan for tourism-based service delivery. The chamber is requesting funding in the amount of $45,729 for 2021 to assist with their plans which include the operation of the Information Centre at 170 Bridge St., the production and delivery of the annual information guide, as well as attending meetings for regional tourism including Lanark County Tourism Association and Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization.

A statutory public meeting was held with respect to a proposed development permit bylaw amendment. Niki Dwyer, Director of Development Services outlined changes for a proposed Amendment which would create new provisions for permitted uses in the Mississippi Residential District in order to ensure infill development is constructed to “fit the established neighbourhood”.  The new policies will see more greenspace on lots, buildings constructed in keeping with the established building line of the street and a maximum height of two-storeys. The recommendations for the policy change were directly informed by the public feedback received from the interim control bylaw process.

Council passed a motion the current extension of one additional bag of curbside waste per household, per week, continue until one week after the end of the provincial shut-down period.