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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Special Meeting Called For Port Elgin Waterfront Development Proposal

Saugeen Shores | by Megan Johnson  

Plans and draft lease to be presented in meeting next week.

The long-awaited Port Elgin Waterfront Revitalization Project proposal will be presented at a special Committee of a Whole (COW) meeting; which will take place December 16 inside Rotary Hall at the Plex in Port Elgin.

Town CAO David Smith says the anticipated proposal and draft lease are now at a point to be shared with the public and "December 16 was an available date on our Council schedule".

"Normally there are two weeks between meetings, in this case there will be at least four weeks between the COW meeting and the Council meeting to review and provide feedback," Smith says citing the holiday season.

"Selecting that date also gives people a longer time to review the information over the holidays, if the proposal comes back for Council’s consideration in the new year."

Smith and project proponent Pier Donnini will each present on the proposal, addressing the list of topics the Waterfront Project Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee has gathered from the considerable amount of public input the Town has received on the project.

During the December 9 meeting Council approved some bylaw changes specifically for the December 16 COW which include an extended 30-minute Open Forum session and the change to the six month delegation rule says Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau.

"That's twice as long as it normally runs," says Charbonneau about the Open Forum, adding they can accoemdate 10 speakers at 3 minutes in length in total. 

During the Open Forum Council is unable to comment or question presenters, which has been the format since it was adopted in 2015.

"Council has also decided to waive what we commonly refer to as the six-month rule. Folks who have spoken to us on a particular matter within the last six months cannot come back to speak to us again for a period of six-months.

New plans and drawings for the Waterfront Revitization project will be posted on the Town's website in the coming days, and hard copies will be available at the Town Office (600 Tomlinson Drive, Port Elgin).

Member of the Port Elgin Beach Preservers, Patricia Corrigan-Frank says in an e-mail they require the proposed plans "now" to form their delegations and request the deadline for delegations to be extended.

She also feels the additional COW and the four weeks between meetings "does not give the pubic enough time to respond to the proposal" and asks for a Spring 2020 meeting.

She cites winter driving conditions may be difficult for out of area cottagers and residents " as many have gone south for winter...  before they (council) votes on the draft lease agreement?"

The public can continue to send written or emailed feedback to Town of Saugeen Shores, 600 Tomlinson Drive, Box 820, Port Elgin, ON, N0H 2C0 or clerk@saugeenshores.ca. All correspondence becomes part of the public record and available for Council and staff to view.

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