Regional Council Summary
August 1, 2017
Awards and Tenders
- Council awarded a tender worth $1,322,045 to Dexter Construction Company for a new traffic signal and sidewalks on Almon Street in Halifax.
- Council awarded a tender worth $1,348,314 to Dexter Construction Company for new concrete curb, gutter, and sidewalk improvements on Glendale Drive in Lower Sackville.
- Regional Council awarded a contract for Fixed Route Planning, Scheduling and Operations under the Transit Technology Program to Trapeze Software worth $2,216,909. Council also approved $2,969,945 over 10-years for support and maintenance.
- Council awarded a contact for Fare Management under the Transit Technology Program worth $7,120,127 to Trapeze Software. Council also approved $1,543,245 for 5-year support and maintenance. Fare management upgrades will include new fare boxes that county money and print transfers and will be installed in the next 18 months. Halifax Transit will also begin the process of installing electronic payment methods using smart cards, credit cards, or smartphones.
Permanent Encroachment at Dartmouth General Hospital
Regional Council approved a staff recommendation to allow a permanent encroachment at the Dartmouth General Hospital for the installation of underground power and communications services.
District Activity and District Capital Funds
Council voted to defer a decision on merging Councillors annual District Capital ($94,000) and District Activity ($4,300) Funds pending a staff report detailing the proposed changes. The funds are designed to allow councillors to provide funding quickly for events and initiatives in their communities. More information on District Capital and District Activity Funds is available at https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/districts-councillors/district-3/district-activity-district-capital-funds
Senior Citizen Housing – Land-Use Regulations
Regional Council voted to direct staff to begin the process of amending all relevant municipal planning strategies and by-laws to simplify and remove barriers to the development of special senior care facilities in HRM. Under the current rules, developments intended for a specific group of people are prohibited on the basis of discrimination. The new rules would allow for developments specifically designed for seniors with special care needs.
Nuisance Smoke Regulations
Regional Council voted not to create a new by-law that would regulate nuisance smoke from indoor wood burning appliances, electric smokers, or other devices that emit smoke.
Site-Specific Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy
There are 22 development applications in Halifax and Dartmouth which are currently in the approval process but do not meet existing planning rules. The 22 applications were brought to Regional Council to determine which will move forward. Council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to allow 14 of the development applications to move forward but voted against rejecting the remaining 8 applications. Regional Council voted to direct staff to compile an additional report on the remaining 8 developments to determine options for moving forward, or not. Each of the 22 developments will be subject to further public consultation and review by HRM planning staff. A list of the 22 development applications is available here: https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/applications/applications-site-specific-smps-amendments-regional
Gun Amnesty Program
Regional Council voted unanimously to approve $10,000 in funding for a new Gun Amnesty Program. Gun Amnesty Programs allow residents to turn in firearms and/or ammunition to the police without fear of being charged, and usually provide some kind of incentive. A previous Gun Amnesty Program which ran during the fall of 2016 offered residents 50 free bus tickets in exchange for every firearm they turned in. The details of how the funds will be used will be determined at a later date in partnership with Halifax Regional Police.
Natural Persons Powers
Under the current HRM Charter, the municipality does not have Natural Person Powers (NPPs). NPPs give municipalities the power to do what an ordinary individual can do under the law. For example, a person can give loans to another person, buy shares in a company, or buy and use the land for any purpose. Regional Council voted to continue to pursue its request to the Province of Nova Scotia to be granted NPPs.
Municipal Emergency Plan 2017
Regional Council approved the 2017 Municipal Emergency Plan. Changes to the plan, which was last updated in 2009, includes an update reflecting a previous decision to change the municipality’s emergency command and control systems from the Emergency Site Management system to the Incident Command System. The plan will also update the organizational structure of some groups mentioned in the Plan which has changed over time. For more information, please visit https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170801rc1433.pdf
Rural Transit Funding Program 2017-18
Regional Council approved the following grants and rate structure under the Rural Transit Grants Administrative Order for the 2017-18 fiscal year:
- $10,000 for the MusGo Rider Cooperative (Musquodoboit)
- $10,000 for the MusGo Rider Cooperative (Valley-Sheet Harbour)
- $5,000 for BayRides
- A flat rate of $0.42 per in-service kilometer up to a program maximum of $105,000.
Volunteer Search and Rescue Grants Program
Regional Council voted to approve the following grants to Volunteer Search and Rescue units within HRM:
- Operating grants for the Eastern Shore, Halifax Regional, Musquodoboit Valley, and Sheet Harbour Ground Search and Rescue teams totaling $132,210.
- A Capital Grant of $5,595 for the Eastern Shore Ground Search and Rescue Team for upgrading 12 existing radios.
- A one-time Special Project Grant of $2,500 for the Halifax Regional Search and Rescue Team to purchase new safety helmets.
- $8,195 for Joint Emergency Management (JEM) Teams
More information on these grants can be found by visiting https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170801rc1442.pdf
Black Educators Association
The Black Educators Association is a registered charity mandated to monitor the development of equitable educations system in NS, to ensure all black residents have equal access to roles as students, teachers, administrators, and decision-markers. The Association receives tax relief on their property located at 2136 Gottingen Street. Regional Council approved a recommendation by the Grants Committee that the tax relief rate for 2016-17 remains unchanged, and directed staff to consider an increase in the level of tax relief for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
Professional Arts Organizations Grant Program 2017-18
Regional Council approved 28 Professional Arts Organizations grants totaling $281,000. Regional Council approved the development of a new Professional Arts Grants Program in 2014, along with a budget allocation of $300,000 per fiscal year. The purpose of the grant program is to financially support professional arts and cultural organizations in the production and presentation of professional work. For a full list of grant awardees, please visit https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170801rc1444.pdf
Retirement of Taxi Roof Light #945
Regional Council approved a motion by Councillor Steve Adams to retire taxi roof number 945 in recognition of Robert “Bobby” Richards, who was the longest serving taxi driver in the City of Halifax and served customers for over 50 years.
Motorized Access on Active Transportation Greenway
Regional Council approved a motion by Councillor David Hendsbee to permit motorized access on the proposed active transportation greenway between the Head of Chezzetcook and Musquodoboit Valley, following a petition with 68 signatures from property owners in the area.
Dogs on Halifax Transit Ferries
Council voted against a motion by Councillor David Hendsbee to allow dogs on Halifax Transit Ferries. Only service dogs will be permitted to ride ferries.
Ferry Schedule for Special Events
Council approved a motion by Councillor Sam Austin to request a staff report on options for providing additional ferry service during special events and holidays starting in the 2018-19 fiscal year.