Update on McMeekin
Elmvale Fall Fair
The 155th celebration was exactly that. It had all the usual activities, displays, competitions and fun for everyone. The organizers again need to be congratulated for another successful event. The parade was great and I thank Councillor Ritchie for arranging for the wagon float for Council and Karen Todd from the Township in taking care of last minute decorations. We all had a good time and this year we could have not have asked for better weather for the day. Thank you to all the organizers, participants and the many ribbon winners.
Simcoe County Waste Management
We have now completed the 6 Information Sessions of the proposed Materials Management Facility (a Transfer facility) and Organic Processing Facility (Organics Composting) throughout Springwater. We had great turnouts, but more importantly extremely good questions and feedback. The key concerns centred around traffic, the environment and noise. All of our Springwater Councillors attended at least one of the sessions. At our last Springwater Council Meeting, we had a well presented deputation regarding three of the sites. The presentation focused on Flos Road 3 East, Horseshoe Valley Road and the Old Second proposed site locations. It was well researched and full of information for this Council to consider. Many on Council have concerns and are asking questions and challenging Deputy Mayor Allen and I to take those concerns to County Council. We will do that. We have a long way to go before there is any final decision on siting and if County Council decides that a Springwater Township location is preferred, it will require a zoning amendment which may not be supported by this Council. Kindly stay abreast of the situation on the County of Simcoe website and if Council agrees we will put a link on the Township website and provide progress reports in the Springwater Link.
Community Improvement Program (CIP)
We are well on our way to develop a Community Improvement Program and identify areas of the Township where special programs may re-energize certain areas. Our recent open house and workshop in mid-October provided a number of good ideas to investigate. We expect to complete the process by the end of the year or early next year. When complete, it will allow the Township to flexible in an number of areas, such as special programs with the possibility of reduced Development Charges, forgivable loans and grants and other tools of this nature to bring some vitality to some stagnant areas in Springwater. We really appreciate the residents and small businesses that participated and brought their good ideas to the table.
In the interest of assisting the growth of Springwater business and employment we staged our first Business Breakfast with a cross section of employers throughout the Township from a variety of business segments. We hope to continue with this initiative and become more focused on efforts and ideas to bring and keep jobs in Springwater, so our residents can truly live their life with our unique natural environment. We gained a lot of valuable feedback and it will help guide our future economic development plans.
Springwater Swing Annual Golf Tournament
The annual golf tournament had proceeds of about $15,000 this year. This is down from the previous years as some of the major sponsors would not participate because this Council’s long term vision is quite different from the past two councils. To be fair, I understand they have donated to some other local worthy causes. The long term supporters and Springwater based sponsors were as strong as ever and we thank them for remaining focused on the overall good of Springwater rather than have some “quid pro quo” expectation in return. Thank you all. We will be deciding where the funds go by the end of November and we do want the proceeds to go to causes that provide the greatest benefit to many in Springwater. If you have an idea, send me an email.
Special Citizen Recognition
At the October 20th Council meeting we, as a Township, were pleased to recognize some local accomplishments. Councillor Ritchie joined me in congratulating Matt Garwood for his appointment as Ambassador of Fairs. He won the title at a recent competition at the CNE and will reign for a year with a busy schedule. I also had to make mention that this young fellow is a hot competitor in the Formula 1200 open wheeled racing circuit. Proud grandparents Gil and Diane Moreau accompanied Matt in his recognition. Keep an eye out for Matt, as I think you will see his name on a municipal election ballot in the not too distant future. Councillor Hanna and I congratulated Kathleen Doherty from Midhurst for her recent Gold Medal Win at the World Dragon Boat Racing Series. She has won 8 medals in this category. An avid sports person and member of the OPP she is a power to be reckoned with. Congratulations to both from all the residents of Springwater.
Letter from Minister McMeekin, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
As some know, Deputy Mayor Allen and I met with the Minister to question some growth concerns we have in Springwater, especially around Midhurst. Instead of paraphrasing, the following are two paragraphs from his letter in response to our meeting on March 19. The letter identifies what the Ministry has approved through its “Midhurst Special Rule” and what is not yet approved.
“As noted in your letter, the Midhurst Secondary Plan (also known as Official Plan Amendment No. 38), has come into effect on some lands previously approved by the Township. Development on those lands was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that makes decisions at arm’s length from the government. In that regard the Board’s decision is final. Other portions of the Midhurst Secondary Plan that were previously approved by the Township remain under appeal at the OMB. As indicated in the Ministry withdrawal letter of November 28, 2012, the remaining appeal will be informed by growth management decisions made by the County and Township.”
In simple terms the first 300 hectares are still approved for development subject to about 140 or more conditions including EA 3 and 4 and the Long Term Financial Plan. The remaining 456 hectares of future development will be subject to approvals from the County and Township. Kindly refer to the Township website for complete details and letter.
For those interested, I have provided another update on the requested compliance audit of my election expenses. You will find it elsewhere in this edition. Keep informed and involved with Springwater by checking out our website www.springwwater.ca and especially our calendar of meetings. Also stay close to the action and read this excellent local paper, the Springwater News, and check out our regular Springwater Link and Council Corner columns. Be part of the solution and have your say. Contact me at 705-728-4784 ext. 2040 or my cell at 705-718-7031 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on twitter @MayorFrench A reminder these articles are my thoughts and perspectives on issues and I am but one voice on Council. These opinions may not reflect the position of other Councillors.
Bill French is the mayor of Springwater