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October 14, 2020
Council this Week: Highlights from the October 14 County Council agenda

Water and wastewater rates, Council composition, EarlyON, Tavistock WWTP and more

The October 14 County Council meeting is an online meeting that can be viewed live at

Water and wastewater rate consultation

Water and wastewater rates are back before Council following a one-month public consultation on proposed changes for the 2021-2024 period. One of the rate study’s key recommendations—folding the eight township wastewater fixed rates into one—moves forward for consideration along with recommendations to retire the Source Water Protection fee, eliminate the sewer levy for Tillsonburg, and move to one wastewater consumption charge for ICI (industrial, commercial and institutional) customers. The report also includes new recommendations that respond to public feedback:

  1. Recognizing the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and individual households, water and wastewater consumption (usage) rates for 2021 will remain at the 2019 rate, as they were reduced in June 2020.
  2. Following concerns about the rate of increases, in addition to the 2021 freeze on consumption rates, 2021-2024 fixed rate increases (to operate and maintain the systems) have been scaled back.

More information about the public consultation is on Speak Up, Oxford! at

Read: CS 2020-40 - Water and Wastewater Rates 2021-2024

Tavistock wastewater treatment plant upgrades

County Council will be asked on October 14 to approve a project plan update and additional funding to complete work at the Tavistock Wastewater Treatment Plant. Approximately 950 dry metric tonnes of biosolids have been removed from Lagoon Cell 1 to date. Remaining work at the site includes removing the remaining biosolids from the bottom of the lagoon, rehabilitating the lagoon banks, and installing a new aeration system. Construction work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2020, before winter weather conditions interfere with the ability to effectively treat wastewater and ensure regulatory compliance while the lagoon cell is offline.

PW 2020-49 – Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades – Request for Additional Funding

Council composition

The council composition review returns to County Council on October 14 to advise that triple majority support-- which includes County Council, the eight area municipal councils, and the number of electors represented by each municipality—has not been met to keep the number of council members at 10. If triple-majority support is not in place by December 1, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing can impose a change.

Through the review process, the Town of Tillsonburg proposed increasing its number of Council representatives from one to two based on its population. Right now, each of the area municipalities has one representative on County Council-- the mayor of that community-- except for Woodstock, which has three: the mayor and two city-county councillors. Council voted in favour of council composition remaining as status quo at the August 12 council meeting.

Read: CS 2020-41 – County Council Composition and Election of Head of Council (Warden) – Final Report

Early ON program

Council approval is being sought to return the Early Years Ontario (EarlyON) program to Oxford County beginning January 2021. The report explains that the program, an early childhood development intervention for children up to six years of age, can more easily reach out to at-risk families with its integration into the County’s Human Services department. Because EarlyON is fully funded by the Ministry of Education, there is no financial impact to the County for assuming the program.

Read: HS 2020-09 – Delivery of EarlyON Child and Family Centres Programs and Services in Oxford County

Other reports and presentations

  • Delegation – Grant request: Small Business Centre - Ramona Gallagher, Manager
  • Delegation – Future Oxford and Economic Stimulus Fund Updates: Community Futures Oxford - Allan Simm, General Manager
  • Delegation – Grant request: Oxford Connection - Len Magyar, Chair
  • Delegation – Grant request: International Student Exchanges - Bryan Smith, Support Coordinator
  • Delegation – Grant request: Oxford Physician Recruitment Group - A.J. Wells, Chair
  • Public meeting and Council report CP 2020-263 - Applications for Official Plan Amendment - OP 19-12-8 – 1904968Ontario Inc. & OP 19-13-8 – 2657086 Ontario Inc.
  • Public meeting and Council report PW 2020-45 - Declaration of Surplus Property – Rivers Road Allowance Transfer
  • HS 2020-08 - Authorization to Enter a Service Contract with New Child Care Provider
  • PW 2020-43 - Source Protection Program Business Plan Update
  • PW 2020-46 - Transfer of Surplus Lands to South-West Oxford – Mt. Elgin Road Allowance
  • PW 2020-47 - School Bus Stop Arm Camera Regulatory Framework
  • PW 2020-48 - Compressed Natural Gas Powered Fleet Utilization
  • PS 2020-01 - 2021 Land Ambulance Response Time Performance Plan
  • CAO 2020-04 - Oxford County Council Letter of Support for the Walters Theatre

Questions or comments?

Council this Week highlights Council activities for the public, employees and community partners. Please send your questions and comments to

Oxford County is taking steps to support our community's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) and measures taken by Southwestern Public Health. We are monitoring our operations daily to ensure we are taking the right actions to protect our residents, employees and visitors. Get updates at