Council online with rural internet plan
Brighton Council is supportive of a unique plan to expand high-speed internet service to the most rural parts of the municipality.
Dave Dingle of Canal District Co-Operative Inc. made a presentation Monday night, asking for support in applying for federal dollars, which could cover up to 75 percent of the project, to connect rural parts of Brighton and Quinte West.
The plan is to have a community-owned fibre-optic network, which could provide residents who want it, with higher broadband speeds and cheaper rates, than are currently available here.
Dingle says similar networks are already being successfully run in hundreds of other locales, including rural towns in England, Sweden and the United States
To learn more, click here to visit the Canal District Co-Operative Inc. website, click “get started” and enter the code “iwantfiber”.
Councillors agreed to support the network as it moves ahead.
Dingle will go to Quinte West to make a similar request and says if they get approved, the network could be up and running in about three years.
Who should choose the deputy mayor?
Voters in Brighton may get to choose the town’s Deputy Mayor in the future.
Council re-hashed a tabled motion from last year, from Councillors Martinello and McMurray, which called for staff to report back on the process of adding the deputy mayor to the ballot for the 2018 municipal election.
Currently councillors nominate and vote on a deputy mayor each year.
Martinello says letting the people choose could make a big difference on a small council.
Martinello noted towns like Cobourg and Cramahe do the same thing.
Staff will put together that report and have to submit it by the meeting on March 20th.
No recorded vote needed on letter from former councillor
The discussion about recorded votes at Brighton council was brief and to the point on Monday night.
Responding to a letter from former councillor Dave Cutler, which criticized the number of recorded votes councillors had been calling for, at least three current councillors noted it’s their right under the municipal act to do so.
Councillor John Martinello had been named in the letter as calling for 75 percent of those votes and answered back by calling one early in the meeting, which was unanimously passed (with Mayor Mark Walas absent).
He timed it and made the point that each vote only takes up about 45 seconds or so, he says which doesn’t waste as much time as Mr. Cutler suggested.
Council received the letter as information, but took no action as far as a policy on recorded votes moving forward.
Lou stops by with annual update
Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi stopped by Brighton Council on Monday night, to give his annual update on how the provincial government is helping the municipality and answer councillors’ various questions.
He was quizzed about provincial plans for things like how the expansion of natural gas will impact farm property values, to highway winter control, to of course hydro rates.
Brighton CAO Bill Watson tells Quinte News overall, the relationship with the province is good, but they’d like a little more help in getting sparse provincial grant funding after being denied multiple times last year.
In his presentation, Rinaldi did note a number of significant funding increases, including more than $1 million for the town’s combined benefit for the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund.
That’s almost $100,000 more than last year.