The Voice for the Urban & Rural Wards of Port Hope

PHCA Projects

The PHCA Projects

Solar Installation on County Road 9 near Garden Hill

Concern

A Chinese owned company, Renesol, has received permission from the IESO to build a solar panel installation on County Road #9. The concern is that this is prime agricultural land and according to the provincial regulations prime agricultural land is excluded from being used for power projects.

Actions

February 26, 2018

We have written to and contacted everyone in political authority from the Premier Kathleen Wynne down to local politicians. On February 27th 20018 we received the latest report confirming that the land in question is indeed prime agricultural land and have sent this on to the Premier, Minister of Energy, Minister of Rural Affairs and the head of the IESO.

No results to date.

High Speed Internet for the Rural Ward

Concern

Surveys conducted by us show that 99% of rural residents use the internet but over 70% of users are dissatisfied with the unreliable and slow service ( regardless of supplier).

Actions

February 25, 2018

We continue to investigate various alternatives to the existing ISP’s since none of them rank very high on either service or speed or reliability.

We have now asked some Councillors to lobby Bell to include Port Hope in providing a new rural solution which is being tested in 3 other communities.

Municipal Taxes

Concern

Municipal taxes in both Wards have increased between 125 – 150% since amalgamation in 2000. The 2018 budget continues this trend with a 1.7% increase in taxes. Service levels have not increased to support this expenditure increase.

Actions

In October 2017 we made a presentation to Council demonstrating how the budget increases could be contained and tax increases kept to 0%.

Our recommendations were never acted upon.

We continue to ask questions about increased expenditures and the rationale for same. We now have an unanswered question about the Works and Engineering Department 2018 increase of 5% which we intend to follow up on in March 2018.

Budget Surpluses

Concern

When the MPH has a budget surplus in any one year they are required by law (Municipal Act) to take this over expenditure into account in subsequent budget years. This has never been done.

Actions

We questioned what has happened to previous years budget surpluses. At the Council meeting on February 20 2018 the surplus from 2016 was allocated to increase reserves, the first time this has been acted upon. We also have an undertaking that these surpluses will be explained and visible in subsequent years’ budgets.

2018 Election

Concern

Councillors who were elected in prior years did not seem to think that they had an obligation to act upon the promises they made while campaigning. In addition no one was taking them to task about their failure to act.

Action

Port Hope Citizens’ Association will create a Citizens’ Election Platform and ask each candidate to indicate whether they will support the platform, if elected. After the election, PHCA will issue a quarterly report tracking progress and status of the promises made.

MPH Strategic Plan

Concern

The MPH Strategic plan has no monitoring or reporting of progress in any of the many priorities.

PHCA made a presentation to Council in December, 2017 and offered our assistance to help turn this into an actionable document.

Action

We have had one meeting with MPH staff and the Mayor in January 2018. A second meeting has not been scheduled.

Progress is nil.

 

 

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