Proposed student housing project moves forward

By Sue Tiffin

The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Nov. 10 committee-of-the-whole meeting of Dysart council.

A proposed student housing residence in Glebe Park that will accommodate Fleming College students is moving further forward after council addressed some outstanding items at a Nov. 10 meeting, including site plan control.

“The college has been busy working on studies required to move this project forward,” said Jeff Iles, director of planning and land information, in his report to council.

“Staff have requested that the college provide a proposal for the project, including the size, location and use of the building,” said Iles. “Upon receipt of the proposal, staff will review internally and provide pre-consultation comments. The proposed location of the building will help council determine the lands of Glebe Park to be conveyed to the college.”

“Things seem to be moving forward on both sides,” he told council.

The student residence project was introduced to the public at an Oct. 27 council meeting, at which representatives of Fleming College made a delegation. The project had previously been discussed in closed meetings. Council passed a resolution then supporting in principle a change of property line in Glebe Park to accommodate the student housing residence.
At the Nov. 10 meeting, councillors voted for site plan control for the proposed development.

According to Iles, “development used for public service by a public authority is exempt from the site plan control process,” and council can impose site plan control as a condition of a zoning amendment or minor variance.

“It is public lands and while we might be exempt it’s going to be in a very prominent area and an area that’s near and dear to people’s hearts,” said Mayor Andrea Roberts, opening the floor to a discussion by councillors. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to agree or disagree with what the college is doing but it does give us a certain involvement with that.”

Councillor John Smith agreed the property is sensitive to members of the community.

“The site plan control process would give us a chance to ensure there’s good communication both ways, both by council to the residents and property owners, and a chance for those residents and property owners to communicate their feelings to us,” he said, noting that an open process receptive to community input was important.

Roberts said it would put the municipality in a partnership with the college and the public land.

Additionally, council passed a resolution permitting the college to act as an agent on behalf of the municipality for the purpose of submitting applications related to the development.

“It is definitely a great idea to have them have the authority to act on behalf of municipality, it’s going to be their project ultimately,” said Roberts.

The college had asked for a memorandum of understanding during a delegation to council on Oct. 27, which council agreed to, though some of that discussion will take place in closed session.

Landfill attendants contract extended
Watson General Contracting, which has provided landfill attendant services to landfill sites in Dysart et al since 2009, was approved for a one-year extension with a price increase of 2.0 per cent, or an hourly rate of $20.96.
The company provided staffing at Haliburton landfill, Kennisis Lake landfill, West Bay landfill and West Guilford landfill in 2020, as well as occasional coverage for landfill attendants employed by the municipality during training, vacation and sick days.

Watson General Contracting had proposed a two-year extension of its agreement, with a price increase of 2.5 per cent in 2021, and an additional increase of 2.5 per cent in 2022.

John Watson, environmental manager, who is not related to the company, said a one-year extension provides workers as the municipality finalizes its waste management strategy and considers implementing recommendations from the muncipality’s service delivery review.

During summer hours, he said, additional landfill attendants would be required at West Bay and Kennisis Lake sites.

“Having at least two attendants at each landfill would provide more robust health and safety practices, and facilitate enhanced customer service to residents,” he said in his report to council.