Council votes to keep Sustainable Action Committee
Jan. 14, 2015
The recommended dissolution of the Orangeville Sustainable Action Committee (OSAT) was one of several issues that received a lot of attention at Monday night’s town council meeting. In an amendment to the evening’s agenda, several letters were from local groups and residents speaking out against OSAT’s demise.
Deborah Martin-Downs, CAO of Credit Valley Conservation, wrote to council addressing some of the accomplishments of their combined partnership, including the development of community gardens, providing emerald ash borer education, and further support of wildlife and water quality through tree planting.
She said Orangeville’s Earth Week, which saw 250 volunteers in 2014, along with 1000 trees and shrubs planted, was only developed because of OSAT.
Gary Skinn, a member of OSAT, and Jeff Lemon, Orangeville resident and owner of Cycling elements also wrote council, supporting continuation of the committee.
During the committee discussions, Councillor Sylvia Bradley made a strong case for retaining OSAT, and by a majority vote Council decided to keep it.
During the meeting, Council also received correspondence and a delegation from Ted Zarudny, Chair of the Communities in Bloom Committee, who spoke on behalf of the organization in seeking $2000 in support from the Town to help the committee in making Orangeville a visible part of the program. The funding would provide the registration and judges accommodation for Community In Bloom Awards.
The benefits to Orangeville of pursuing this partnership, according to Mr. Zarudny, include a comprehensive municipal review of the six criteria, which includes community involvement, from industry professionals, an internal review of results and future goal-setting and budgeting, the ability to network with all participating Communities in Bloom communities, both past and present, and national and international marketing exposure, amongst other things.
The discussion was deferred to the Budget period of the meeting, however, due to time constraints, the budget agenda was deferred.
Perhaps one issue that might come as a relief to many residents is that the current sidewalk snow-plowing policy and procedures will be coming under review by the Snow Clearing Committee this year. The committee will be evaluating the costs from the past five years, as well as whether all sidewalks continue to need the plowing services, and whether some paths not designated as sidewalks in town should receive the service.