Sarnia City Hall (BlackburnNews.com photo by Melanie Irwin)

Sarnia Council Briefs

A permanent basketball net, in a north end Sarnia neighbourhood for nearly 20 years, will stay where it is.

Residents on Bernard Court petitioned the city to save the net after bylaw enforcement officers threatened to remove it.

Sarnia Council voted 6-2 in favour of granting relief from the bylaw, leaving the basketball net where it is. The agreement is conditional on the pole being painted a bright colour as a precaution. Councillors Cindy Scholten and Bev MacDougall voted against the motion.

Councillor Anne-Marie Gillis says the net is doing what it’s intended to do, getting people outside and active.

City Engineer Andre Morin says the recommended removal came after a garbage truck hit a similar pole in another neighbourhood.

By-law officers identified 15 other poles at that time and notified residents of there removal. The other 14 have been removed.

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Sarnia council has asked staff to prepare a report seeing if any funds are available to support a Pow Wow at Clearwater Arena next April.

The Aboriginal Cultural Learning Centre at Lambton College had asked council to consider waiving fees at the arena for the event.

Councillor Mike Kelch cautioned that doing so may set a precedent and supported a motion seeing if the city could just contribute funds to the event given next year marks a few special anniversaries.

The 25th annual Lambton College Pow Wow in 2017 coincides with the college’s 50th anniversary and 150th anniversary of Canada.

The event, April 7, 8, and 9 will include one educational awareness day for local secondary school students and two days open to the general public.

Fees for the three day event total $8,250.

The organizing group had said it planned to move forward with the rental of the Clearwater space, with or without council support.

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The city has received a framed original certificate of ownership for the Sarnia-Lambton Afghanistan Monument recently dedicated at Veterans Park.

LAV III Afghanistan Monument Committee Chair Colonel Barry Hogan of the 1st Hussars presented the certificate to Sarnia council Monday.

The certificate states that the city is an approved community for the receipt of the Light Armoured Vehicle III and it will be used as an official monument to those members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan.

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Sarnia council has decided to expand the Planning and Building Permit Fee Exemption Program to include the Mitton Village Community Improvement Area.

Council passed a similar resolution in 1996 to eliminate planning and building fees within the Downtown and Waterfront Community Improvement Area.

Mayor Mike Bradley has said that program was vital in the revitalization of downtown Sarnia.

Since inception, the program has been applied to over 250 permits totaling in excess of $464,000 in waived fees for the downtown/waterfront area.

The boundaries encapsulate the area just east of the former SCITS high school site, from Stuart St. at Talfourd St. over to Ontario St. and north on Mitton to George St.

The exemption amount for any planning application or building permit costs will be limited to a maximum 50% of total fees.

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Sarnia council has authorized staff to acquire waterfront lands north of Old Lakeshore Rd. in Bright’s Grove between Marion Ave. and Centre St.

City staff recommended the purchase as work is done to repair a failing seawall there.

The narrow strip of land is unusable to the private property owner.

The continued investment to protect the road will not be done on private property now, thus benefiting the city.

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Lambton Public Health continues to support water fluoridation as a public health measure to protect dental health.

In a response to city council, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health says a presentation made to council November 14, contained factual inaccuracies, omitted key information and presented information outside of the appropriate context.

Dr. Sudit Ranade says selective information was presented in a way that conveyed more fear than fact and under-represented the benefits, supporting studies and broad support for fluoridation.