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Council Highlights - January 24, 2011 Meeting

Council Highlights
January 24, 2011 Meeting
  
Salt Management Plan Update
Council adopted the newly updated 2005 Salt Management Plan, as presented by staff. The Plan details an operational and procedural framework for ensuring that Richmond Hill minimizes the amount of road salt penetrating the environment during winter maintenance operations. Five years have passed since Council originally adopted the Plan and there have been a number of changes that warrant updates to it, including an updated road inventory; a new section that includes measures for the uncontrolled release of road salts; updated structural components to the new salt storage shed at the Operations Centre; an update on the number of Road Weather Information Stations; and an update on winter maintenance equipment status. The Salt Management Plan helps to protect the environment from the negative impacts of road salts, while providing safe, efficient and cost-effective roadway systems. Richmond Hill remains committed to preserving the natural environment by reducing the negative effects associated with road salt to the Town’s fresh-water lakes, natural watercourses and the premature deterioration of municipal infrastructures, among many other initiatives. To learn more about Richmond Hill’s commitment to the environment, visit RichmondHill.ca/environment. For more information, contact John Armstrong, Director, Public Works Operations, at 905-780-2966 (from Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, January 17, 2011; Staff Report No. SRCS.11.001, Agenda Item No. 4).

New Partnership Aims to Further Sustainability
Council approved and supported Richmond Hill’s partnership with York Region and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) on a pilot program called Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), an initiative to identify opportunities to implement sustainable practices at the community scale. SNAP, to be conducted in the Lake Wilcox area of Oak Ridges, addresses the need to achieve a shift towards sustainability in existing developed communities. In the last 10 years, the Town has been conducting other watershed studies to confirm the need for the protection and enhancement of watershed health, along with the need for improved sustainability in community design, practices and behaviours, particularly within existing communities. As a result, the TRCA and Richmond Hill staff have identified a role for a catchment-based, neighbourhood-scale plan that will use an integrated community-based approached to guide the site-specific project (SNAP). It will focus on ensuring the ecological and hydrological integrity of this area in three phases – characterization and identification; preliminary evaluation of alternative integrated retrofit scenarios; and the development of the final action plan. TRCA has committed funding for all three phases of this program from York Region. This project demonstrates Richmond Hill’s innovative and responsible municipal management and will help connect the community to the environment, enhancing connections between the Town’s natural corridors and green spaces. It will also provide greater environmental awareness and connection between the Lake Wilcox community and the natural environment. For more information, contact John Nemeth, Manager, Water Resources, at 905-771-5495 (from Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, January 17, 2011; Staff Report SREIS.11.002, Agenda Item No 8).

Using Your Taste Buds to Raise Money for Those in Need
Tastes of the Hill Chair and Deputy Mayor/Regional & Local Councillor Vito Spatafora presented The Canadian Diabetes Association and Yellow Brick House each with a cheque for $30,000, proceeds from the Town’s Tastes of the Hill Multicultural Food Festival that took place on Sunday, October 3, 2010. The Canadian Diabetes Association leads the fight against Diabetes by helping people with Diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. They deliver their mission by: providing people with Diabetes and healthcare professionals with education and services; advocating on behalf of people with Diabetes; and supporting research, translating research into practical applications. The Yellow Brick House provides emergency shelter, counselling and supportive services to abused women and children. Yellow Brick House programs are designed to help women and children rebuild their lives and live free from abuse. Tastes of the Hill is an annual multicultural celebration that embraces the distinct cultural flavours of the community, bringing them together under one roof. To date, the event has raised $165,000 for local charities. For more information, contact Deputy Mayor and Regional & Local Councillor Vito Spatafora at 905-771-2517 (from Council Meeting held on Monday, January 24; Presentations).

  
The next Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 7, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. and the next Council meeting is Monday, February 14, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers.

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