County Agreement with Midhurst Landowners – Update
from the Springwater News October 20 2016
On October 6 we had an opportunity to see the OMB Minutes of Settlement which outlined the deal the County made with the Midhurst Landowners. In summary it permits development on another 400 acres of good agricultural land for residential development. We also know most of the new lands are on the east side of Midhurst with a small 25 acre additional parcel on the west side at Anne and Carson Road. In all, it permits another 2,961 residents or about another 1,000 homes on top of the Phase 1 developments that total about 4,700 homes. So together it could represent a total additional population in the Midhurst area of 15,000 to 18,000 people over the next couple of decades. The agreement does suggest that the additional allocation is down the road and not part of the currently approved phase 1 developments. We as the local Council have met and are seeking more information. We are also discussing the matter with County officials to try and resolve the issue. On a separate note, since some of the local old cronies that created the Midhurst mess are worried we will waste taxpayer’s money on futile legal maneuvering, I can assure you that won’t be the case.
We as a Council continue to work on our operating and capital budget for 2017 and more importantly plan for the longer range of 6 years for future capital expenditures. In that way we can smooth out the tax rate fluctuations to address our needs going forward. I expect to see a moderate increase in 2017 and we will continue with the program we started two years ago with adding in a percentage for infrastructure reserves as we have been slowly depleting those reserves over the last number of years. To allow Council to better understand the implications we have segmented the budgetary process into its different business segments and we are able to make better decisions with staff input. We invite you to come out to our working sessions and you can find the upcoming dates on the Township calendar. We hope to complete the process by the end of the year.
Elmvale & District Food Bank
The Elmvale & District Food Bank received a helping hand by way of a $2,500 donation from the Township of Springwater. The Elmvale & District Food Bank regularly serves 60 people, with seasonal fluctuation of up to 120 people per week. Operated by 35 volunteers, the Elmvale Food Bank provides families with food that meets the Canadian Food Guide recommendations, and supplies dairy, meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables, often purchased or donated by local producers. The donation was made by way of the Springwater Community Assistance Program, which is funded through the Springwater Swing – Charity Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament, held in July, raised $26,000 for local worthwhile initiatives.
Grenfel Town Hall
We had over 30 people turnout from the Centre Vespra, Snow Valley and Grenfel areas of the Township to discuss local concerns and better understand how your tax dollars are spent in Springwater. Concerns on the increased traffic on Sunnidale through both Grenfel and Centre Vespra was a big concern as the Centre Vespra community is growing quickly. We have approached the County and have asked for speed reduction from the new intersection at CR90 and realigned Sunnidale, to just east of Grenfel Road, as the new bypass will open this year. Good questions were asked on local recreation and about city folk dumping garbage in farm laneways as examples. We have now completed Town Halls in Elmvale, Midhurst, Minesing, Hillsdale and now Grenfel. We plan to start the rotation over again and if you would like one in Anten Mills or Phelpston, please contact me and we will get you on the schedule. This Council is all about communication and dialogue and these Town Halls are part of that approach.
Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund
Council has endorsed the execution of an agreement with the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund for funding in the amount of $339,713. The grant provides a steady source of predictable, long-term funding and supports the repair and revitalization of roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure in small, rural and northern communities. We use these funds very prudently on the “need to do and have items” rather than some of the things that would be nice to do or have. These funds assist us as a Township in keeping taxes at reasonable rates.
New Fire Chief
If you do not already know I am pleased to announce that Ian Gavet has officially been appointed the Fire Chief of Springwater Fire & Emergency Services. Mr. Gavet has been a firefighter for over 16 years and has gained valuable firefighting experience and training throughout Canada and the United Kingdom. He was also appointed as Contract Fire Chief/Division Fire Chief and Fire Prevention Officer while serving the Canadian Armed Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Mayor’s Open Visiting Hours
Just a reminder that every Friday from 1 to 4:30, I will be hosting my open hours where you can drop in and address complaints, concerns or even appreciation for what is happening in Springwater. I have had numerous people come by and in some cases we have resolved some simple issues. The door is open. If you can’t make it and want to keep up to date, you can listen to my thoughts on items of interest on our local Kool FM or Rock 95 or go to their website as they have a feature with a monthly interview with me hosted by Dan Blakely. Keep informed and involved with Springwater by checking out our website www.springwwater.ca and especially our calendar of meetings. Tune into our live streaming of the Council Meetings at www.springwater.ca/live . 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 email@example.com 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 Township