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King Township Council Meeting - September 11, 2023

Council is back after the summer recess and had its first council meeting since June last night. I was active during the break and happy to negotiate a delay until November 15th of the road closure that had been planned on the 11th north of the 19th. Originally planned from August to October, the closure would have seriously impacted local farmers during the harvest season. I’ve also heard from residents about the resurfacing work being done on the 19th between the 10th and 11th concessions and am investigating.


You can watch the video here of last night's meeting but remember that it will only be live for two weeks.


Mayor's Comments

  • Moffat Dunlap passed away on Monday. The head of Moffat Dunlap Realty Brokers. He was also well known throughout the horse and farm community and 20 year member of the Canadian Equestrian Team winning a team Bronze a the 1967 Pan Am Games and team Gold at the 1970 World Championships. He was also co-founder of King’s Country Day School. You can read more about his many achievements here.

  • King has hired a new Manager of By-Law Enforcement in the Growth Management Services Department. Pat Burke has a wealth of experience from Toronto Police Services and the City of Toronto.

  • Tree Planting at Cold Creek - Saturday September 16th 10am to 1pm - King will join Ontario Streams to plant 400 tress on to improve the local habitat. Register here.

  • Terry Fox Run – Sunday, September 17 from 9am to 1pm - King’s Terry Fox Run takes place at Wellesley Park, Keele Street and King Road. Run, walk, bike or wheel one of three routes—two, five or 10 kilometres. There’s no entry free. Donations are welcomed!

  • Schomberg Street Gallery - Sunday Sept 18th from 10am to 5pm – More than 40 artists take over the street. Admission is free. There will be musicians to entertain, and families are encouraged to discover the Children's Tent and create a masterpiece of their own. For more information, please visit www.ArtsSocietyKing.ca or www.SchombergStreetGallery.ca

  • Taste of Main – September 8-24 – Seven participating restaurants on Schomberg’s Main Street are participating in this event with something for everyone. Diners will be able to enjoy breakfast and lunch options at cafes, and delicious lunches and dinners at the other restaurants. Dine in restaurants have also each created unique signature cocktails to commemorate the event. Visit www.schombergmainstreet.ca/taste-of-main for more information!

  • Snow Removal Program - Applications are being accepted for the seniors and those with disabilities for King’s snow windrow removal program. Qualified applicants can apply in person or online.

  • Library Hours – The King City Library Branch now has expanded hours and open each Friday from 10am until 5pm starting September 22nd.

  • Test Your Smoke Alarm - September 28th is Ontario's first Test Your Smoke Alarm Day. Ontario's Fire Marshall reports that there were 133 fire deaths in Ontario in 2022, the highest in 20 years.

  • Go Electric - Hosted this past Sunday with many different cars. Thanks to volunteers who organized!

  • Sip & Savour - Tickets are on sale for the King Food Bank’s annual Sip & Savour event which will be on Thursday October 26th from 6pm to 9pm. This year the event will be hosted at Magna Hall at Seneca and the theme is Casablanca.

  • Corn, Company & Crafts - Sunday September 24, 2pm to 4pm. Celebrate the fall season and meet your neighbours. There will be corn on the cob and bird feeder building. Meet at the shelter on the south side of Dr. Kay Drive in Schomberg. www.DufferinMarsh.ca

AGENDA HIGHLIGHT:


1) Schomberg Main Street Revitalization Strategy Progress Report

In 2018, King secured a grant from OMAFRA’s Rural Economic Development (RED) program to develop the Main Street Revitalization Strategy and Action Plan. In 2019, Council endorsed the plan and in 2021 King received a second grant from the RED program to implement the plan which was completed in March 2023.


The project had three high level goals as follows:

Goal 1: Enhance Quality of Place through enhancing physical design and appearance and through strengthening the existing business base. Goal 2: Attract people through increasing the annual days of activation (2019 = 100 to 2022 = 250) and driving awareness of Main Street as an excellent place to shop, dine or visit. Goal 3: Attract more businesses that fit with Main Street’s focus.


A business survey and interviews were conducted on Schomberg Main Street in late April 2023 to gather feedback on the impact of the Revitalization Strategy which found that:

• 87% agree that Main Street is an excellent place to have a business • 80% of businesses believe that pop-up patios were well executed • 80% of respondents are optimistic of doing business on Main Street.


With visitor data was gathered through Central Counties Tourism Geo-fencing data analysis, it was determined that Schomberg’s Main Street saw a total of 370,673 visits in 2022 which is 150% higher than 2021, 165% higher than 2022 and 39% higher than 2019. In addition, the number of trips per tourist (from 40km away) to Main Street more than doubled in comparison to 2021 from 3.4 times to 7.05 times and increased 42% from 2019’s comparator of 4.97 visits.


Visitor spending was calculated by the Government of Ontario's Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model data analysis simulation tool and revealed that visitors to Main Street Schomberg in 2022 had an estimated spend of $2,088,005 throughout York Region. This is an increase of 77% since 2021 when that spend was estimated to be $1,176,633.


Going forward, Economic Development Staff will continue to focus on Marketing and Economic Development. They will also continue to collaborate with Community Services and Public Works regarding event programing and physical design and improvements.


MOTION


Councillor Asselstine brought forward a new motion asking for staff to investigate the feasibility of a Heritage Conservation District for Schomberg. The resolution that was supported by council reads:


"Township of King Council request Planning Division Staff to prepare a report to review the benefits and feasibility to undertake the preparation of a Heritage Conservation District Plan (HCD) for Schomberg focusing on the area in and adjacent to the Village Core;


THAT said Report is to review the estimated costs and timing, including Staff resources required and/or impacts on current service levels and project schedules, if a Schomberg HCD were to be undertaken; and


THAT Staff report back to Council by October 30th, 2023 so that Council can decide whether a Schomberg Heritage Conservation District project should be considered as part of the 2024 budget process.


THAT said Report is to review the estimated costs and timing, including Staff resources required and/or impacts on current service levels and project schedules, if a Schomberg HCD were to be undertaken; and


THAT Staff report back to Council by October 30th, 2023 so that Council can decide whether a Schomberg Heritage Conservation District project should be considered as part of the 2024 budget process."


Everyone agrees that Schomberg’s Main Street is a gem in King and are eager to learn what the implications are in preserving it and what would be involved. I asked that staff’s report also include financial considerations for residents.


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