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City of Brantford Council Notes from September 26, 2023

City of BrantfordCity of Brantford Council Notes from September 26, 2023

Meeting notes from Brantford’s regular Council meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

Senior’s Day

City of Brantford council recognizes October 1, 2023 as “National Senior’s Day.”

As known priorities in the Healthy Aging: the City of Brantford’s Age-Friendly Strategy, Senior’s Day encourages social inclusion, social participation and civic engagement to ensure a high quality of life for all citizens.

The goal of the Healthy Aging Campaign aims to provide opportunities to support seniors as they participate in social, recreational and educational activities throughout the city.

Brantford will be hosting a several events during the month of October as part of the Let’s Get Moving Series, while the Grand River Council on Aging and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) will be holding a flag raising ceremony at Harmony Square on Friday, September 29 at 1:00 p.m..

Fire Prevention Week

Council members proclaimed October 8 to October 14, 2023 as “Fire Prevention Week” in the City of Brantford.

Fire is a public safety concern both locally and nationally, and homes are often at the greatest risk of catching on fire as unattended cooking is the leading cause of house fires in Ontario.

Brantford first responders encourage fire safety education surrounding the principles of prevention, detection and escape.

This year’s Fire Prevention theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU, pay attention to fire prevention,” and the City encourages Brantford residents to turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, always keep a lid nearby when cooking, keep a three-foot kid-free zone around the stove, oven, and other things that could get hot, and to set a timer as a reminder.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

The City of Brantford has declared the month of October as “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”

In the past, Ontario has launched several challenges to Mayor’s across the Province in order to hire people with a disability in both their work force and within the community.

The month-long initiative was created with the goal to show the value in the contributions of all citizens and considers accessibility for all to be a guiding factor when it comes to the benefits and economic importance of a disability-inclusive employment.

In 2021, a nationwide campaign called “Light It Up! For NDEAM Event” encouraged government facilities and landmarks to light up for NDEAM.

The City will continue the campaign’s action of lighting up City Hall in purple and blue for the month of October.

Re-establishment of the Joint City-County Shared Services Committee is a go

City of Brantford council unanimously approved the re-establishment of the Joint City-County Shared Services Committee on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

The last time a Joint City-County Shared Services Committee existed was around 2018, however it was not renewed by the County at that time.

The new committee will be made up of five members (one per ward) of each council including councillors Rose Sicoli, John Sless, Dan McCreary, Linda Hunt and Mandy Samwell from the City of Brantford, and councillors Jennifer Kyle, Lukas Oakley, John Bell, Robert Chambers and Brian Coleman of the County of Brant.

Kevin Davis, City of Brantford Mayor and David Bailey, Mayor of the County of Brant will act as Ex-Officio members, meaning that while they are not official members, they will still hold influence within the committee.

The Joint City-County Shared Services Committee will look to explore opportunities for interest and initiative sharing, and to make recommendations to the two councils.

Some examples of services up for discussion could be organic waste collection, automated speed control, delivery of water and sanitary and stormwater services, especially in the areas that overlap.

Both Mayors have made it clear that this does not mean the City and County are looking to discuss or consider amalgamation or a merging of the two.

Mayor Kevin Davis thanked both councils for endorsing this “whole heartedly.”

“I think it sets the right tone for what we’re about to do, which is to try and find ways in which we can better serve our residents both in the City and in the County,” he said. “Since we dealt with this a couple of weeks ago, …I’ve been able to meet with both the Mayor of the County and a number of the councillors. From what I hear from the County and its members, they’re approaching this in the same very positive spirit and I’m really quite cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to accomplish some good things.”

The first City-County Shared Services Committee meeting is expected to be held next month.

Downtown business owners may just get a grant for safety improvements.

City of Brantford council voted to support a future amendment regarding the Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) during a Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

The Downtown Façade and Safety Improvement Grant Program is designed to be a financial incentive for downtown property owners who complete front entrance and safety improvements according to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.

The program will provide grants up to $15,000 or half of the total eligible cost for making improvements that will increase safety in the area. 

“This program is for things like security cameras, or maybe bars on windows, it’s improvements to make a property safer not just for the landowners and tenants but also for the City in general.” said Mayor Davis.

Councillor Greg Martin proposed an amendment that suggested staff utilize an incremental tax increase plan to fund the grant. Martin said that this would allow unlimited funds to be used toward the grant.

Council voted against the amendment before voting in favour 10-1 on the main motion. 

The final approval will go through council again at a later date.

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