GO Hub and Transit Station Study – Region of Niagara Presentation

The consultant is working on the draft Secondary Plan for the station area to plan the land use, infrastructure needs and transportation network. The boundary of the study area is approximately 800m (as defined by Metrolinx Mobility Hub guidelines) and includes the Livingston Road extension within the Greenbelt.

Alderman DiFlavio questioned if the Greenbelt decision to not free up these lands would impact the station going forward, especially required intensification targets. The presenter indicated that the Region had “made an ask” to the provincial government and Ministers to reconsider the decision and await the final Co-ordinated Land Use Planning report. The station study would have to comply with all provincial plans.

Improvements to Casablanca, South Service and Livingston, to make these roads more pedestrian and bike-friendly, was discussed. The traffic impact study in the Winston neighbourhood currently being undertaken by the Town will feed into the Region’s report.

The question was asked if the station will be ready for the 2021 Canada Summer Games. The response was that it would meet all provincial timelines. Mayor Bentley noted that the Grimsby station timing is dependent on the completion of the Centennial station. There will be a PIC (Public Information Centre) on the draft secondary plan in June (details to come).

West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Update – HHS

Although not much new was presented, the point was made that WLMH “made it on the list” of provincial hospitals to advance in the process. Only 1 in 5 hospitals in the province made it on the list, so this was viewed as a very positive step.

Stages 1A and 1B of the plan are progressing concurrently. Stage 1A is the “big block design”, followed by selecting the chosen design in the fall and completion of Stage 1B winter of 2017. There are 5 stages in the process to be completed and all require approval of the LHIN and MOHLTC. There are two more presentations to the LHIN board before Stage 1A approval.

Concerns that new equipment and support is stretching the life of the aged hospital, without building up the core bones — and still could result in the province viewing the hospital for closure– was dismissed by the presenter.

No timeline could be given for when we might see redevelopment come to fruition. When asked what the community can do to move the process along, the response was “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

We think the wheels have been squeaky for a while now, so hopefully an upcoming election year will move things along.

Other Items Discussed

The 6% levy and tax impact was discussed as well as the IT department restructuring.

The Welcome Centre has a breath of new life from the Region and a small amount of funding will be put forward to support it once the adhoc committee formulates a strong business plan. Details as to where the funding will come from hasn’t been determined.

Speaking of Behind Closed Doors …

A closed session at the end of the meeting was held to discuss the Ombudsman’s Preliminary Report. This may or may not be tied to the previous issue of minute-taking shortfalls in closed sessions… we’ll have to wait and see what ends up being disclosed to the public.

New Business

Alderman Johnston asked Council for an update on the biodigester at the next meeting… watch for that!