Spring is here, so maybe that’s why the April meeting for the member of the Grand River Conservation Authority is going to be relatively light. What’s coming up this month? Insurance renewal, new hires, new terms for naming stuff, and the usual reports about the financials and the watershed conditions (there was a lot of rain and snow melting since the last meeting). Let’s look at the agenda this month from the GRCA.
NOTE: This meeting will be in a hybrid format, broadcast from the GRCA Admin Centre on YouTube starting at 9:30 am.
Correspondence – This month, there are a pair of letters to the board from residents who are concerned about the threats to area wetlands and would like to see the GRCA take a harder stand against things like Bill 23 and the expansion of development in the Greenbelt.
General Insurance Renewal, 2023-2024 – The GRCA gets general insurance in concert with the other 33 conservation authorities across Ontario through the insurance broker Marsh. For 2023-24, the insurance premiums will increase by $29,108, or 4.7 per cent, with total premiums for the policy period worth $645,615.
Revised Joint GRCA/GRCF Donor Naming Policy – The Grand River Conservation Foundation works to raise funds for various GRCA projects, and part of that includes opportunities to name things as a recognition for a big cheque or to honour someone for all their work through the conservation authority. The last time there was an update to the policy was 2019, but the revamped policy has been reviewed again and drafted by lawyers who specialize in charity and not-for-profit law to provide for clarity and structure on naming opportunities. The Community Foundation approved the agreement on their end at the end of March.
Cash and Investment Status – As of the end of March, the GRCA has Notes Receivable in the amount of $57,336,212 with outstanding cheques written in the amount of $318,153.
Financial Summary – Noting much to report from the last month’s fiances except for $30,000 from the revenue generated by the sale of timber. That money is going into the Forestry Reserve.
Provincial Offences Act Officer Designation: Section 29 (Conservation Areas) – The Conversation Authorities Act hires people to enforce infractions of the Act as well as the Trespass to Property Act; infractions like alcohol use, vandalism, dogs who are not on a leash and, obviously, trespassing. Rhonda Card and Avery Jenks are the preferred candidates.
Provincial Offences Act Officer Designations: Section 28 (Planning Services) – These officers have a different focus, the inspection, investigation and enforcement of the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses regulation, Ontario Regulation 150/06. Nicholas Stasiak and Tyler Slaght are the preferred candidates here.
Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines Regulation (Quarterly Permits) – So far this year there have been 155 permits approved for the Administration of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation Ontario Regulation 150/06. How many in Guelph? One, and that’s compared to nine in Puslinch alone. This report covers January, February and March 2023.
April 2023 Flood Event – There was between 30 to 60 millimetres of rain and snow melt over the March31/April 1 weekend that caused some minor funding in low-lying areas in Drayton, West Montrose, New Hamburg, and Ayr. However, the GRCA’s major reservoirs were used to reduce downstream flooding, to reduce river flows downstream of these reservoirs by 20 to 60 per cent, and the lake levels never reached flood thresholds even though a surge was forecast in the Zone 1.
Current Watershed Conditions – The current condition in the watershed is Level 1 Low Water, and this comes despite that rain and snow melt at the end of March/early April. Low groundwater conditions persist despite all the snow and rain we received in March and April, and while levels in Lake Erie are presently above the long-term average, it’s still lower when compared to 2022 levels.
Property Disposition, Township of Mapleton – Because this has to do with the “proposed or pending acquisition or disposition” of land it will need to be discussed in-camera.
Security of Property – Matters of security can be discussed in-camera under Section 239(2) (a) of the Municipal Act, “the security of the property of the municipality or local board.”
Labour Relations or Employee Negotiations – These matters are handled in closed under Section 239(2) (b) of the Municipal Act relating to “personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.”