County council hears employment news

By Cecilia Nasmith

Employment news was on the February Northumberland County council agenda in several capacities.

A Federation of Canadian Municipalities Climate Innovation Program grant for $122,400 will be used to fund a temporary full-time environmental officer position for 24 months, combined with $30,600 identified in the current budget for this purpose.

The motion passed to approve the move committed the county to several activities as a Climate Change Mitigation project submitted to the FCM with the goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Duties include integrating greenhouse-gas emission reduction plans into all departmental plans within the county, as well as developing a new section in the county's four-year strategic plan to address energy-conservation and greenhouse-gas emission reduction objectives.

The new staffer will collaborate with the Town of Cobourg, Municipality of Port Hope and Hamilton Township on a joint project to advance energy conservation and greenhouse-gas emission reduction plans, communicating all lessons learned to the remaining four municipalities. As well, he or she will monitor the effectiveness of these initiatives throughout the two years to ensure their effectiveness.

Another new position is being made possible through provincial funding. The Business and Entrepreneurship Centre of Northumberland – which offers youth entrepreneurship training, support and funding through a multi-year agreement with the province – has received the opportunity to finance a one-year program co-ordinator's position.

“This provides an opportunity to continue enhanced services and partnership opportunities without additional costs to the residents of Northumberland,” the motion said.

Though it doesn't affect county taxpayers, Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson wondered about the salary – it will work out to $22.91 per hour.

The contracts of seven positions at the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre in Colborne will expire March 31. A motion before council noted that the centre is fully operational with a staffing pattern that meets clients' needs and ensures the operation of a safe food environment. With that in mind, council voted for a two-year extension on those seven positions.