Kingston City Council – 20 Feb

| Published , updated April 21, 2024

This meeting summary was written by Parth Pasnani & GPT and originally published here. You can subscribe to Kingston Townhall Tracker here.

Main topic of discussion cost of living

The city council meeting on 20 Feb discussed the following points. Meeting details can be found here.

Members present: Councillor Gary Oosterhof, Councillor Wendy Stephen, Councillor Lisa Osanic, Councillor Jimmy Hassan, Councillor Brandon Tozzo, Councillor Don Amos, Councillor Ryan Boehme, Councillor Gregory Ridge, Councillor Cony Glenn, Mayor Bryan Paterson

  1. Approval was given for the repurchase of property at 143 Resource Road and the sale of 33 Compton Street, with proceeds going towards the creation of new affordable housing units.

  2. A petition was presented expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

  3. Recognition was extended to individuals retiring or taking up new positions, including Michael Harris of Keys, Michael Bell of Community Health Center, the late Dawn Bristol, and M. Annette Beron.

  4. Discussions were held on the renewal of the service level agreement between the city of Kingston and the Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest, with considerations for additional space.

  5. Environmental concerns were raised regarding the city's water system's annual reports and wastewater activities, with questions about ensuring clean and safe water supply and any environmental assessments following bypass events.

    1. Discussion regarding the environmental impact of secondary bypass events in 2023.

    2. Clarification on the lack of follow-up sampling on the environment after bypass events and assurance from Utilities Kingston that they monitor the quality of the final effluent released.

  6. Amendment proposed to split the for an honorarium for proponents between existing Municipal Capital budgets and the municipal accommodation tax Development Fund.

    1. Debate on the amendment including considerations of the financial aspects and the necessity of the honorarium.

    2. Questions about including affordable housing units in the project and the taxation implications of the convention center.

    3. Arguments made both for and against supporting the project, emphasizing the investment for the future and the benefits to the community.

  7. Final vote taken on the motion to amend the funding for the honorarium. The city council meeting discussed several key points:

    1. Investment in a new project: There was strong support for investing in a new project that would bring benefits to the local businesses, generate taxes, and provide better services for residents. The project was seen as an opportunity to enhance the city and cater to the needs of the community.

    2. Honorarium for project proposal: There was a discussion about providing an honorarium for bidders submitting proposals, with concerns raised about potential repercussions if the honorarium was not approved

    3. Focus on housing and climate crisis: Some councillors expressed concerns about the focus on a Convention Center project amid housing and climate crises, questioning the allocation of funds and resources. However, others emphasized the importance of pursuing multiple initiatives simultaneously to benefit the city.

  8. Municipal Fee Assistance Program (MFAP) review: The continuation of the affordable transit pass and efforts to increase awareness and utilization of the MFAP were discussed. Plans for communication and outreach strategies, including using mainstream platforms and partnerships, were highlighted to expand the reach of the program.

    1. Expansion of MFAP services: A new initiative to introduce spay and neuter services at the MFAP clinic in collaboration with the Humane Society was praised for its potential to benefit clients and promote animal welfare.

  9. Discussion on the importance of addressing food security at the municipal level, with concerns raised about the increasing of food and the strain on food banks.

  10. Questions raised during the meeting about the completion timeline for construction work at Fire Station Number 10 and support for events like the solar eclipse viewing.

  11. Motions tabled and discussed

    1. A motion urging the government to review Municipal fiscal arrangements and collaborate with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to enhance Municipal finances stability.

    2. The need for a new fiscal framework for cities to address the increasing costs of services like housing, healthcare, food security, and others.

    3. Concerns about the regressive nature of property taxes and the limitations they pose in funding essential services for residents.

    4. The strain on municipal budgets due to responsibilities like affordable housing, mental health, and addiction services.

    5. Support for a motion to engage federal and provincial governments in developing a sustainable funding model for municipal services.

  12. Emphasis on the need for municipalities to address issues beyond their traditional jurisdiction and call for collaboration with higher levels of government.

  13. The initiation of a pilot project to redirect $180,000 of parking revenues to support food banks and pantries in addressing food insecurity.

    1. There were supportive comments from various council members highlighting the importance of addressing food insecurity, especially among vulnerable populations like students and seniors.

    2. The motion was ultimately passed

Questions or comments about the format of this publication? Contact feedback.townhalltracker@gmail.com 

This meeting summary was written by Parth Pasnani & GPT and originally published here. You can subscribe to Kingston Townhall Tracker here.

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