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Council Highlights from the May 25, 2020 meeting

Council Highlights

Clarington Council seeks mediation with the Region on the proposed anaerobic digestion facility

Council unanimously decided that the Region of Durham's decision to build a mixed-waste transfer and pre-sort anaerobic digestion facility in the Clarington Energy Park violates a previously signed Host Community Agreement. The Region and the Municipality entered into that Agreement in 2010 when Durham decided to build its existing Energy From Waste Facility in Clarington. The newly proposed anaerobic digestion facility violates several sections of that Agreement, including an implied condition that the Region would not utilize the lands in Clarington's Energy Park for any other waste management purpose. As a result of Council's decision made on May 25, Clarington is asking for mediation to try and resolve the issue that has both levels of government at odds. Clarington wants to change the location of the anaerobic digestion facility as it doesn't fit in with the Municipality's plan for that area.

For many years, the Municipality has envisioned that the Clarington Energy Park will become a key employment area as well as a signature gateway to the community for businesses and visitors. The date for a future mediation has yet to be determined. Council previously voted on May 4 to become an "unwilling host" for the facility saying that Clarington should not "assume more than its share of the burden for the Region's waste."

The Region is moving forward with the chosen location for the mixed-waste transfer and pre-sort anaerobic digestion facility. That decision was made by the Region of Durham Council on Wednesday, May 27. Anaerobic digestion will assist with the disposal of household organic waste by using bacteria to breakdown the organic matter. The bi-product of this process is biogas, mostly made up of methane, the main component of natural gas.


Clarington approves a new software solution to enhance customer service

Clarington Council has decided to move forward with the implementation of a new integrated software system that will enhance the Municipality's customer service capabilities and streamline inter-departmental workflows. Clarington will go ahead with acquiring the Municipal Business Solution, a robust system that will link all Municipal departments under a central database. This new system will further the Municipality's goal of achieving a more customer-centric approach in our work with the community. The new system will allow residents real-time access to Municipal services and the ability to track any issues, concerns, applications, or licensing they wish to obtain. Simultaneously, Municipal staff will also be able to track resident files across various departments providing seamless customer care and resolution. The system will provide residents with online points of contact to apply for permits, submit payments, applications and any corresponding documents. This software will allow Clarington to streamline operations, improve services and maximize efficiency. By providing our residents access to Municipal services online, we are supporting a growing shift to internet-based operations, a critical business tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, the Municipality will work with the contracted company to develop this integrated software system.

Read report COD-018-20 for more details on the Municipal Business Solution software.


Clarington joins other Municipal voices in asking the Province and the Feds for funding assistance during COVID-19

Clarington Council has endorsed several different motions from other Municipalities asking for funding support from the Provincial and Federal governments to assist municipalities during the pandemic. Clarington is supporting a letter from the Township of Brock asking for money to support the day-to-day operations for municipalities in the form of municipal-specific grants. Clarington also endorsed several motions from the City of Oshawa, asking for financial assistance. Local municipalities are incurring financial losses due to the pandemic and are not permitted to run deficits; they are also limited in their ability to access the same borrowing and financial tools as more senior levels of government.

Clarington has also endorsed several motions asking for a Commercial Rent Assistance Program to help those tenants who cannot make their payments and are facing imminent eviction.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on global economies and people. Increasingly, municipalities are asking for funding assistance to help deal with the impact of lost revenues so that they are able to continue to provide the services residents expect.

For more information, read communications items 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 on the May 25, 2020, Council Agenda.

 

The next Council Meeting is Monday, June 15, 2020.

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