Town Proclaims Emergency Preparedness Week

In celebration

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of Council proclaiming Emergency Preparedness Week (May 6 to 12) for the Town, Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety&Correctional Services, Honourable M.P.P. Monte Kwinter, joined Members of Council, and Deputy Fire Chief, Brian Ellsworth, to officially present the 6th Richmond Hill Girl Guides with their Emergency Preparedness Challenge badges. Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual, national event that aims to increase awareness about individual preparedness through public education activities. As such, the Town of Richmond Hill joined forces with Emergency Management Ontario in a new initiative called the Emergency Preparedness Challenge for the Girl Guides of Canada to teach Guiders how to “Be Prepared!” With the help of the Richmond Hill Fire Department, the Guides learned how to define an emergency, develop family emergency plans, create emergency survival kits, learn lifesaving skills, learn water and fire safety, and how to contact emergency services. In order to get their badges, the girls had to create a poster that included items that would go into a 72-hour emergency kit and be able to show what they would do if they were caught in certain emergencies (tornado, lightning storm, etc.). For more information on being prepared for emergencies, including how residents can build their own 72-hour emergency kit, check out the Town’s Website at For more information, contact Deputy Chief – Support Services, Brian Ellsworth, at (905) 883-5444, ext. 230 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, April 30, 2007; Staff Report SRFD.07.05, Agenda Item No. 6).
*Please note that there are photos available from the badge ceremony with the Girl Guides, M.P.P. Monte Kwinter, Council and Town staff.

Town Awarded Youth Friendly Status

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the Town’s Youth Action Committee members for their volunteer work and in recognition of the Youth Friendly Community Award received by the Town last week. On May 1 at Queen’s Park, as part of National Youth Week (May 1 to 7), the Town was awarded Youth Friendly status by Play Works, an independent group of organizations committed to helping youth by encouraging and promoting a greater investment in youth play. The Town was one of 14 Ontario communities acknowledged by the Play Works Youth Friendly Community Recognition Program for outstanding commitment in actively supporting and providing opportunities for the growth and development of youth (ages 13 to 19) through recreation, sport, arts, civic engagement, youth activism, volunteerism and leadership. The Town applied for Youth Friendly status last spring and was required to meet at least 10 of 16 youth friendly criteria, including providing opportunities for play, youth engagement, accessible programs and opportunities for youth activism. For more information, contact Darlene Joslin, Director of Recreation&Culture, at (905) 882-2423 (From Council Meeting held on Monday, May 7, 2007; Presentation).

Council Endorses Allocation Approach

Council was provided an update by staff on discussions with stakeholders regarding servicing capacity. The most common theme in the discussions was timeliness for processing of approvals and permits as applicants are anxious to proceed with construction as quickly as possible once the York-Durham Sewage System (YDSS) Interceptor/Lower Leslie Street Trunk (19th Avenue Sewer) is completed. To avoid potential conflict with potential home buyers, building permits will not be issued until the water and sewer infrastructure is completed. Because the timelines for construction of high-rise apartments are so much longer than for ground-related housing, the Town will consider issuing building permits for the two pre-approved high-rise projects prior to the regional infrastructure being completed (staged so that the completion and occupancy of the high-rises occurs after the regional infrastructure is constructed). Council endorsed the proposed approach to allocating servicing capacity which will become available once the YDSS Interceptor/Lower Leslie Street Trunk (19th Avenue Sewer) and Oak Ridges Elevated Storage Tank and watermains projects are completed. Council’s intention is that a total of 2, 989 units will be allocated once these projects are completed. The scheduled completion of the YDSS Interceptor/Lower Leslie Street Trunk (19th Avenue Sewer) anticipated for the first quarter of 2008 and the Oak Ridges Elevated Storage Tank anticipated for the second quarter of 2008. For more information, contact Ana Bassios, Commissioner of Planning&Development, at (905) 771-2417 or Italo Brutto, Commissioner of Engineering&Public Works, at (905) 771-2527 (From Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Monday, April 30, 2007; Staff Report SRPD.07.034, Agenda Item No. 8).

Council Gives Over $10,000 In Grants To Community Groups

Council approved the allocation of funds in support of 19 local community groups and organizations. Grants are provided annually by the Town to assist local non-profit groups that provide services to residents of Richmond Hill and York Region. Organizations were selected by Council to receive funding after submitting an application to the Town outlining the work they do and their need for financial support. Funding for these grants is provided within the annual operating budget of the Town. Some of the groups that will receive funding this year are Air Cadets Squadron, Girl Guides of Canada (multiple local districts), Oak Ridges Friends of the Environment, Richmond Hill Centennial Pipe Band, Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club, Wilderness Life Skills for Youth Inc. and York Symphony Orchestra. For more information, contact Dan Elliott, Commissioner of Finance/Treasurer, at (905) 771-2497 (From Budget Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Tuesday, May 1, 2007; Staff Report SRFIN.07.026, Agenda Item No. 1).

The next Committee of the Whole Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 14, 2007 at 4:30 p.m. and the next Council Meeting is Monday, May 28, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. Both of these meetings will be held in Council Chambers.