SWM What's New - May 11, 2022

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For further details on items discussed, please view the agenda or watch the council meeting on our YouTube channel.

Branding & Identity Presentation

Southwest Middlesex adopted a new brand and identity for Southwest Middlesex.  A formal announcement will follow in the coming days.

Our former logo paid homage to our agricultural roots, and through the collaborative process we discovered just how diverse we really are for a small municipality.  The branding team was made up of several members of the community including council, economic development committee members, urban, rural, business owners, professionals, service club members and interested individuals along with a community voting component following the gathering of information about Southwest Middlesex.  Much of the focus of discussions, including the voting sessions where feedback was always encouraged, were on our strong natural aspect and a strong desire to develop recreation programs for the community to enjoy.  We greatly thank all of the individuals who so passionately took part in the branding exercise – your time and your honesty about Southwest Middlesex made it a truly great experience. 

As you will see in the coming days, the new logo uses a brighter and more inviting color palette that we believe, is more expressive of who we are, but still contains the spirit of the original logo with the inclusion of the wheat symbol.  Over the next few months, you’ll see all the other visuals around Southwest Middlesex gradually aligning around this new direction such as on the website, and in our advertising and communications. It’s still us. We’re still Southwest Middlesex but more consistent and, we hope, more friendly and instantly recognizable.

Middlesex County Joint Accessibility Plan and Annual Status Report

Middlesex County and local municipalities are required to prepare an annual accessibility status report. The County Accessibility Coordinator is responsible for collaborating with local municipal staff to draft the Joint Annual Accessibility Status reports. Southwest Middlesex is responsible for adopting the report and posting on our municipal website’s accessibility page.  As per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), all designated public sector organizations are required to establish, implement, maintain and document a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP), outlining the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under the IASR.

Over the 5 years, annually, the County and its local municipalities are required to provide an update to Council on progress made toward the goals outlined in the Joint Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (2017-2021).

Some Highlights from the 2021 Report include:

• Enabling Accessibility Fund (Federal grant opportunity for funding up to $100,000) application support provided to multiple Local Municipal Partners
• Ministry for Seniors & Accessibility Compliance reports submitted by Middlesex County and all Local Municipal Partners in 2021
• Website upgrades completed on several local municipalities’ websites to ensure compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA requirements
• The Municipality of Southwest Middlesex revised document templates to ensure accessible formatting, made accessible updates to Glencoe Library and Glencoe Daycare, began updates to Glencoe Arena and Appin Play Equipment

To meet the requirements of the AODA and IASR, Middlesex County and the lower tier municipalities each included a section that outlines accessibility progress made in the last five years, as well as the goals and timelines set out for the next five years regarding accessibility initiatives. The plan supports the province’s goal of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025.  The full updated plan can be found on the Accessibility page of our website.

Planning Matters

Minor Variance -4087 Olde Drive

Council agreed to permit the applicant for a lot known municipally as 4087 Olde Drive to apply for a minor variance to be considered by the Southwest Middlesex Committee of Adjustment.  The subject lands are located on the south side of Olde Drive and west of Tait’s Road. 

The purpose of the request to council was to seek a resolution by Council to exempt the use of Section 45 (1.3) of the Planning Act to permit a future minor variance application to be made by the Owners.  The purpose of section 45 (1.3) sub (1.4) is to discourage land Owners from receiving zoning approvals on lands and then immediately seeking further amendments from those approvals.

The minor variance would be required to permit the construction of two additional accessory buildings that do not conform to the accessory building standards for size, lot coverage, and height.  Once the application is submitted, the minor variance application will be before council for their consideration.  

Removal of Holding Symbol -6460 Riverside Drive

The Holding Symbol that is being removed from the property known as 6460 Riverside Drive is a tool out of the zoning by-law which is used to prevent development prior to addressing developer obligations and responsibilities, and to generally ensure proper and orderly development. 

6460 Riverside Drive is approximately 38.8 ha (95.9 ac) in size and is located on the north side of Riverside Drive, west of Melbourne Road.   The subject lands contain a “U-Pick” blueberry operation, the “Harvest Table” caterer’s establishment and banquet hall, a single detached dwelling, a detached garage, agricultural accessory buildings (barn, produce sales booth, pump house), and agricultural crop production.   They are expanding their uses to include public outdoor facilities as well. 

Removal of the holding symbol is contingent on the owner entering into a site plan agreement with the Municipality to address developer obligations and responsibilities.  Staff are satisfied that the site plan process has been completed and the site plan agreement has been registered on title and therefore are of the opinion that the holding provision can be lifted and development can commence.

MARS for Mayors Reimbursement

In 2020, Southwest Middlesex was awarded a donation of $4,000 from Marilyn Buttery to be used at the discretion of the mayor; Mayor Mayhew elected to beautify the downtown areas on our communities with historic murals.  On February 12, 2021, the Historical Mural program was undertaken with the endorsement of SWM Council. With the assistance of the Historical Society, six images depicting local history were chosen for display – two murals in the former Ekfrid Township (Appin and Melbourne), two in Glencoe, and one in Wardsville.  Josh Laughton of Macksville Construction installed the murals on his own time and at his own expense.

A fund was established earlier for this project that has a balance remaining in the amount of $914.45.   council approved a reimbursement back to Mayor Mayhew in the total amount of $333.00 for ‘out of pocket’ expenses which include screws and hardware - $187.81, appreciation gift and cash for Mr. Laughton - $145.19.

Payroll Outsourcing

Southwest Middlesex endorse payroll outsourcing project led by Middlesex County and authorize the investment of $22,428.96 over a three year period.

In 2020, using an efficiency and effectiveness grant, the County of Middlesex engaged a consultant to conduct a Service Delivery Review for themselves and the lower tier municipalities. Southwest Middlesex participated in providing information on current time reporting system, timelines, and data input for all staff. The outcome of the consultation highlighted opportunities for improvement within each municipality, and it was determined that an automated payroll management system would be a great fit for most municipalities involved. After securing funding from the Province of Ontario’s Modernization Program, the County put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for payroll solutions. At it’s April 26, 2022 council meeting, the County announced that it had awarded the project to UKG for a comprehensive HRIS, Payroll, and Time and Attendance solution to be utilized by the County and lower tier municipalities.

The negotiated contract will be between the County and the service provider; however, the participating lower-tier municipalities, will be considered “third party beneficiaries” to this contract, so we can take advantage of the same services, which would commence upon County Council approval and conclude in three years. Following the conclusion of the third year of the contract, Southwest Middlesex will no longer be a third-party beneficiary to the County’s contract with the service provider, and we will no longer receive services. However, at such time, Southwest Middlesex will have the ability to enter into its own independent contract with the service provider for the same services, at the same rate that the County secured for each lower-tier municipality for an additional two years. Any contract discussions at such time will take place directly between Southwest Middlesex and the service provider.

Based on current information, the county has determined that Southwest Middlesex’s portion of the total project cost to be $13,524.96 for the first two years and $8,904 for the third year, for a total 3 year cost of $22,428.96.  In summary, the solution will cost Southwest Middlesex the following:

  • $7,476.32 on average in each of years 1-3
  • $1,500 annual savings from discontinuing our current payroll management system

In total, on average, this solution would cost SWM just under $6,000 annually.  Southwest Middlesex will include this in the operation budget going forward. In 2022, we will have sufficient payroll savings in this position to cover the costs.

Drainage Matters

Eddie Drain - Section 78 request to reconstruct the Eddie Drain Branch D was accepted by council.

McGregor Drain - Section 4(1) request for a downstream extension of the McGregor Drain was accepted by council with the report to be prepared by Spriet Associates

McCahon-Nemeth Drain - Section 4(1) request for the replacement of the culvert under Hagerty Road was accepted by council with the report to be prepared by Spriet Associates.

New Street in Middlemiss

A new street name is required in Middlemiss due to severances that occurred in Middlemiss for the purpose of building new homes.  The newly opened road allowance which had the potential to be named Mill Street requires a different name as there is an existing Mill Street in Southwest Middlesex. This is part of the emergency services review for naming of new streets. Staff approached Local Historian Joanne Galbraith regarding the renaming of Mill Street after a local Middlemiss veteran. Mrs. Galbraith provided several names and the names were sent to the County of Middlesex (Emergency Services) for review.  Further consideration was given to the names provided and Mrs. Galbraith will be providing some additional naming options before a decision is to be made on the final name of the new street in Middlemiss.

General Business of Council:

  • April 27, 2022 Special Meeting and Regular Council Meeting Minute
  • SWM Vouchers
  • First Quarter Building Report
  • Elections – Southwest Middlesex Representation Middlesex County Council Composition
  • Municipal Election 2022 Update
  • Election Accessibility Report
  • Trillium Landfill Update

Support of Resolutions of:

  • The Glencoe Agricultural Society received  approval to exempt them from paying planning fees to make application under the Planning Act to permit a ‘shipping container’ on their subject lands.  The container is currently used for the storage of display cases that are used during the fair to display the exhibitors’ items in the ag hall and arena, along with event signage, large lattice and parking stanchioning stands and rope, all that is used for the annual fair and other events throughout year.
  • Township of Cramahe resolution concerning Bill 109

Adopted By-laws to:

  • appoint a Compliance Audit Committee
  • to amend By-Law 2011/065 being the Zoning by-law of the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex (6460 Riverside Drive)
  • to confirm the proceedings of Council on May 11, 2022