Hall Monitor: A market for climate

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, Kingston City Council sat for meeting 16-2019 (agenda online) to make decisions regarding parking at Rideaucrest, the fourth quarter operating budget, staff information reports and a new community climate action working group.

The entrance to Council Chambers in Ontario Hall at Kingston City Hall.

The evening opened with a delegation from Chris Ackerman, a resident who operates a stand at the Kingston Public Market in Springer Market Square. Ackerman was speaking to an information report briefing council on ongoing meetings between the City, the Kingston Film Office and the Kingston Public Market Vendors Association and provided comment from the vendor perspective about the impact to local farmers and families of closing the market for a minimum of four days for filming projects.

Council next authorized the agreement to assume operation of the parking facility at 205 Rideau Street (Rideaucrest Towers). This parking lot would now be operated as a municipal lot at a rate of $1.50 per hour with a $3.00 flat rate fee for evening overnight and weekend parking and would also be added to the HONK Mobile parking program for mobile access to payments.

Council approved the Fourth Quarter Operating Budget for 2018, creating a WSIB Stabilization Reserve with $2.02 million dollars and approving the transfers of $3,950,894 in municipal surpluses to WSIB, transit, library and working fund reserves and the $8,005,193 in Utility surpluses to water capital, wastewater capital and municipal capital reserves. Council also asked staff to submit an Expression of Interest to the provincial government, seeking to take advantage of the new provincial Audit and Accountability Fund with the goal of having a review of municipal budget, service model, delivery modernization options and potential to reduce costs in administration.

A number of approvals in heritage and zoning were completed, including the provisioning of zoning to the Cataraqui Community Centre, Centre 70 Arena and the INVISTA Centre to enable more single-day retail sales, single day food sales and trade show operations.

Both information reports received discussion. First council asked about the First Capital Place Filming discussions. Staff assured council that conversations were ongoing, that alternate market location options or single-day buyouts are being looked at and that staff would prefer displacement to happen on Tuesdays – these discussions are ongoing. Council also briefly asked about the report regarding the sidewalk relocation on the upcoming bridge on John Counter Boulevard at VIA Rail. Staff confirmed that the relocation of the single sidewalk (from the north side to the south side) was to better connect with the pedestrian network and would not impact costs and the bridge was already designed to only have a single sidewalk. As these are information reports, no votes or decisions take place.

Lastly, a new motion was brought forward by Councillor Osanic (Councillor Kiley seconded) to create a Working Group on Community Climate Action. The motion to create the group specified the mandate, as all motions of this type do, but also dictated which councillors and community groups would be represented rather than having appointments be completed through the Nominations Committee. Discussion around the horseshoe primarily surrounded the non-standard way of appointing members, the potential overlap with existing groups (such as the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum) and the potential risk that by approving this group it creates a precedent for additional groups to be created in this ad hoc way by council. Following discussion, and with a potential deferral being proposed by Councillor Boehme, the motion was withdrawn. It will likely be re-tabled with some changes at the next meeting.

Kingston City Council next meets on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

 

Born and raised in Kingston, Tommy Vallier bleeds limestone. An avid council watcher since 2004, he first began reporting on municipal affairs in 2011, helping to modernize meetings and make them more accessible through social media and live video. When he isn’t focused on City Hall, he’s an avid gamer, theatre supporter, and Disney fan.

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