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Highlights from the Sept. 7 Council Meeting

Posted on Thursday September 07, 2023

Woodstock – With the start of September, Council is now back to meeting twice a month. Today’s meeting began at 1:30 p.m. following a closed session to deal with matters related to land acquisitions, personnel and negotiations. The following notable items were on the agenda:  

Budget Schedule

Council directed staff to prepare a budget that would maintain the current level of services offered for 2024. Capital budget deliberations will begin with an overview presentation at the Nov. 6 Council meeting, followed by detailed budget review at a special budget meeting on Nov. 21. Capital budget approval is scheduled for the Dec. 14 Council meeting agenda.

The revenue budget process will get underway with an overview presentation on Feb. 15, 2024, followed by detailed budget review on Feb. 20 and 22. The budgets for the Woodstock Police Services Board, Woodstock Public Library and Art Gallery Advisory Board will be reviewed on March 7, with final revenue budget approval slated for March 21. Details and the full schedule will be available at

Former Hydro Building Sale

Council approved the sale of 16 Graham St. to The Cora Group and Arnold Spina for redevelopment into a new residential building. The City offered the property for sale through a public tender process, with a focus on securing bids interested in high-density residential redevelopment. Of the three bids received, staff recommended the proposal that aligns most closely with the City’s strategic objectives for the downtown. The proposal envisions the construction of a six to 12 story building with a minimum of 100 residential units.

Building Faster Fund and Strong Mayor Powers

Staff provided Council with a report that outlined details about the new Building Faster Fund, which was announced by Premier Ford at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference on Aug. 23. The fund is intended to help offset the cost of new housing-supportive infrastructure for municipalities that commit to reaching the targets assigned by the province. Based on the information currently available, it’s anticipated that the City of Woodstock would be eligible for approximately $1.4M per year if it achieves 100 per cent of its target.

Premier Ford also announced that mayors who commit in writing to achieving their housing target would automatically receive strong mayor powers under the Municipal Act. Staff summarized the impact of this change for Woodstock, which includes granting authority to the mayor to provide direction to staff, appoint the CAO or delegate that role to Council, determine the organizational structure, hire and fire staff and establish committees of Council. The mayor also has the ability to exercise specific powers related to advancing provincial priorities, including adding items to the agenda, bringing forward bylaws for consideration and vetoing bylaws that could interfere with a provincial priority. Finally, responsibility to propose and adopt a budget would also be assigned to the mayor. For more detailed information on the impacts, please refer to the staff report.

Council received the report for information. The mayor has until Oct. 15 to commit in writing to achieving Woodstock’s housing target of 5,500 new housing units by 2031 to be eligible for the Building Faster Fund.

Request for Additional Public Works Staff

Council approved a new supervisor and four temporary employees for the public works department. The additional resources are needed due to the recent growth in Woodstock and will enable staff to better meet minimum maintenance standards and community expectations around snow and sidewalk clearing. The request was submitted in advance of the budget process so the resources could be in place starting in January 2024. 

Also worth noting, the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) was approved for the additional funding they requested for the north Woodstock elementary school currently in development. At their Aug. 10 meeting, Woodstock City Council directed the Mayor to submit a letter of support to the Ministry of Education and Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman. TVDSB shared the decision on Aug. 25.

A reminder for those interested in registering as a delegation for the special Council Meeting to discuss the potential Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) site in Woodstock, the deadline to submit a delegation request is Sept. 22 at 12 p.m. The meeting takes place in Council Chambers on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. and will be live streamed on the City’s YouTube channel. If you would like to submit feedback in writing, please email comments, including your contact information, to

If you would like more information about the items above, or any of the other topics discussed during the council meeting, visit Council meetings are live streamed on the City’s YouTube channel and recordings of the meetings are also posted online following the meetings.


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© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
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