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Council asked to help fund municipal asset management upgrade

In a report, Director of Public Works Darryl Halloch is asking council to commit $12,000 to the program
Elliot Lake City Hall in a file photo. Kris Svela for ElliotLakeToday

At Monday's virtual meeting of Elliot Lake City Council, Director of Public Works Daryl Halloch will ask council to sign on for new funding for an upgrade of the Municipal Asset Management Program.

In a written report, Halloch has asked council to commit $12,000 towards the initiative.

"The City currently has an asset management plan from 2013 to 2022, that has changed during the last seven years," Halloch wrote.

"With the high percentage of turnover amongst staff and updated regulations requirements to be met (Reg 588/17), as well as the implementation of an Environmental Policy and Communication Strategy, it is a good opportunity for the City of Elliot Lake to apply for funding through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Municipal Asset Management Program which will update the current plan and help train new staff."

"Municipalities can now apply for funding for eligible activities such as assessing the physical condition of assets, documenting the long term maintenance of lifecycle costs, implementing policies to integrate asset management practices into daily routines and training organizational development for elected officials and staff on an asset management approach."

The program applies to all Canadian municipalities which could receive up to 80 per cent of eligible projects to a maximum of $50,000 and projects must be completed within 11 months from funding approval.

Halloch outlined four categories of projects – roads and sidewalks ($35,000), asset management plan ($17,000), environmental policy and communication strategy ($7,500), and training activities ($2,500) – for a total of $62,500.

The total contribution from FCM is $50,000 and the city's share, $12,500. If approved, the city's share will come from reserves.

Also at Monday's meeting, there is a report from CAO Daniel Gagnon which advocated COVID-19 safety measures that will stop short of urging the mandatory wearing of masks at all indoor spaces.

Gagnon was asking council to approve "the use of masks be required for appointments at city hall (except for members of the public with underlying reasons for exemptions), the use of masks be required for use of the municipal transit system (except members of the public with underlying reasons for exemptions) and that staff be directed to conduct additional promotional campaigns locally to improve the use of masks for all indoor spaces within the City of Elliot Lake."

"Recently several larger municipalities have passed bylaws making the use of masks mandatory in all indoor municipal facilities and businesses,” Gagnon said. “Council can certainly consider a similar bylaw, but enforcement would be challenging with the small complement of existing bylaw enforcement officers. (two full time)"

"The Sudbury and Manitoulin Health Unit is highly recommending/almost requiring the use of masks in all businesses and indoor spaces (yet does not have the ability to fully enforce a ban)," Gagnon added.

The financial impact is yet to be determined but, "additional radio ads and door-to-door flyers (in both languages) would be in the order of scale of $2,500 - $4,000."

Gagnon’s report was outdated on Friday when Algoma Public Health announced it was enacting an order for mandatory face masks for all of Algoma, including Elliot Lake, as of July 17.

These and other items will be up for discussion when Elliot Lake city council meets at its next virtual session Monday night at 7 p.m.

About the Author: Brent Sleightholm

As a reporter, Brent has covered everything from amateur and professional sports, to politics, entertainment, police and courts, to human interest stories and government issues
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