Blog

16 Apr
0

Springwater Launches New Municipal Website

https://www.springwater.ca/en/index.aspx

www.springwater.ca


Township of Springwater / April 16, 2019 – The Township of Springwater is pleased to announce the launch of the municipality’s new and improved website.
“As a Council, we are committed to continually improving the communication between the municipality and our community,” remarked Mayor Don Allen. “The launch of the newly redesigned municipal website represents another important step in that direction.”

The new website, which retains the address of springwater.ca, features a more modern appearance, easier navigation, refreshed content and improved functionality.

“We recognize that needs have changed since our last website renewal in 2011,” said Natalie Graham, Communications Officer. “Springwater strives to effectively engage with its citizens and other interested audiences. The goal was to design a website that is citizen-focused, which is why we invited community members to participate in site mapping exercises at the very beginning of this project,” she said.
The website integrates several new functions including:
? An enhanced event calendar that accepts public submissions

? The ability to subscribe to email notifications for news, events and individual page updates
? An emergency messaging system
? The ability to report a variety of concerns online
The website is also designed to be responsive so that it is easy to view on any type of device, including smartphones and tablets. The new website meets the accessibility standards required by the Province of Ontario.
The development of the website was a joint effort between staff and eSolutions Group a Canadian company that specializes in dynamic, accessible government and community websites. The project was a key action item in the Township’s Economic Development Marketing Plan endorsed by Council. This plan won a MarCom Gold Award in 2018, which honors excellence in marketing and communication.
Springwater’s new digital face helps the municipality distinguish itself from competing central Ontario municipalities to welcome investment, new residents and visitors, while also offering current citizens improved access to everything Springwater has to offer.
The Township’s website is a living project. It will continue to evolve and change based on the needs of residents, businesses and visitors. Feedback is welcome and can be submitted online using the “Website Feedback” link in the footer or by email to website@springwater.ca.

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07 Mar
0

Mayor Don’s Update – March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Mayor Don’s Update – by Don Allen

Springwater Budget

Council approved Springwater’s Budget & Business Plan for 2019. Council and staff worked diligently analyzing all expenditures to keep the tax increase as low as possible, while still maintaining current service levels and investing in capital infrastructure. Staff and Council reviewed proposed increased service requests through program changes and worked to settle these at acceptable levels. Residents will see a blended tax increase of 1.76% (compared to 1.86% in 2018) when combined with the County of Simcoe portion, the education rate (assumed to remain neutral) and the increased policing charge of 5.26% to $240. The impact of the budget is a $67.18 increase over 2018 based on an average residential property valued at $451,393, or $14.88 per $100,000 of property assessment.

The Water rates are being held at the same rates as in 2018.The Wastewater rate is budgeted to increase by 4.3%, with an impact of $35.70 for the year on a typical residential household.

 Expenditures of $40.7 million are divided $20 million in operating expenditures, $16.6 million in capital expenditures, $2.7 million in water operations and $1.4 million for wastewater operations. For every tax dollar spent, $0.40 is retained by Springwater for services, $0.34 goes to the County of Simcoe, $0.20 goes towards Education and $0.06 is allocated toward Policing.

Off-Road Vehicle Open House

Save the evening of March 27 or March 28. The Township will be holding two public open house meetings to obtain input from Springwater residents as to whether they support or do not support the use of off-road vehicles on more Springwater roads and trails than presently is allowed. The March 27th meeting will be at 6pm at the Elmvale Community Hall and March 28th will be same time at the Springwater Administration Centre.

Elmvale & District Food Bank (“Food Bank”)

Further to my write-up regarding this in the last Springwater News, a delegation by Deb McLean and Rob McClung and other supporting volunteers was made at the last Council meeting. They reviewed the present situation at the Food Bank and the need for more workable space. Council then reviewed a Staff report on the options and it was approved by Council that construction of a new facility for the Elmvale & District Food Bank will occur at 62 Yonge Street North. The Township of Springwater will make a one-time capital contribution of $100,000 towards the construction of a new facility for the Food Bank, drawn from the Elmvale Hydro Reserve Fund and the Township will front end the necessary funds in excess of $200,000 from the Elmvale Hydro Reserve Fund for the construction of a new facility and this funded amount in excess of the $200,000 will be repaid annually over a period of up to ten years.

Suggestions had been made about other possible lands that could be used and the possibility of purchasing used school portables for the facility. We are presently considering other potential joint uses with this new facility which would enhance and contribute to the total project and these would otherwise not be possible to consider.    

Central Ontario Agriculture Conference

I attended the 40th annual Central Ontario Agricultural Conference in Barrie last week. The sessions were excellent, focusing the first day on topics relating to organics, backyard farming, dairy and sheep. The second day dealt with crops and equine. Speakers were excellent and it was great networking with farmers and discussing issues. You won’t get a better deal and such great knowledge for the price. Well done to the conference organizers. 

The comments here reflect my perspective and do not necessarily represent those of the whole of Council.

This month, I started monthly radio comments reviewing current Springwater news items with Rock95 and 107.5 KOOL FM news director Dan Blakeley. See https://barrie360.com/springwater-update/

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet or reach me directly at 705-302-4253. We can also stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MayorDonAllen and review updates on www.donallen.ca.

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07 Mar
0

Council Meeting Highlights March 6, 2019

Council supports Edwin Espinal’s release from Honduran prison
Council passed a motion to call upon the Canadian Government to press the Honduran Government into releasing Edwin Espinal immediately and dropping all charges

Edwin Espinal, a close family member to a resident in Springwater, remains unjustly incarcerated in a Honduran prison, now for a period of 14 months.

Almost one thousand Canadian citizens have endorsed the Parliamentary E-Petition #1868, which advocates for Edwin Espinal’s release from prison. The petition was presented in the House Chamber by Member of Parliament Alex Nuttall of Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte in February 2019.

County introduces an age-friendly Seniors Housing Grant Program
The County of Simcoe has established an annual fund of $500,000 for eligible Seniors Housing Grant Program projects. Grant amounts will be distributed based on the number of applications received and ability to meet funding criteria.

Grants fall into three categories:

• Accessible housing design for seniors
• Design for people suffering dementia
• Support services (e.g. raised gardens)

The deadline for 2019 submissions is May 15. Find applications and eligibility criteria online at simcoe.ca/age-friendly or call 705-726-9300 x1405.

Township proceeds with the purchase of Hasty Tract
Council directed staff to continue with the purchase of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry property, Hasty Tract. This parcel is intended to be the future site for a new fire station and community hub.

Township plans for street sweeping 
Springwater’s Spring sweeping of winter sand and debris will be completed more efficiently this year for residents through contracted services. This allows municipal staff to begin other maintenance work earlier in the season. Further details will be provided once confirmed.

 









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06 Mar
0

Open House to Give Input on Proposed Use Off Road Vehicles on Municipal Highways

The Townshhip of Springwater / March 5, 2019 – Springwater residents are invited to attend one of two public Open Houses to give their input on the proposed use of off- road vehicles on municipal highways. Township staff will be on hand to answer questions.
Open House Details

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Location: Elmvale Community Hall (33 Queen Street, Elmvale) Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019
Location: Township Administration Centre (2231 Nursery Road, Minesing) Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
For those unable to attend the Open Houses, a survey is available at: HERE
Background Information
In early February, Township staff presented a report to Council recommending that Council undertake a review of permitting off-road vehicles on Springwater’s municipal highways as permitted by Ontario Regulation 316/03.
Off-road vehicles are currently permitted on certain Springwater municipal highways under an agreement with the Central Ontario ATV Club (COATV). These municipal highways are links that connect the County of Simcoe Forest Tracts, North Simcoe Rail Trail, and open and unopened road allowances to create an off-road vehicle trail system. These links include:
? Flos Road Three West – North Simcoe Rail Trail west to Phelpston Tract
? Flos Road Four West – North Simcoe Rail Trail west to Vigo Road
? Vigo Road – Flos Road Four West north to Flos Road Six West
? Flos Road Six West – Vigo Road to Ryther Road (Wasaga Beach)
The Central Ontario ATV Club (COATV) submitted an application to the Township in April 2018 to expand the current motorized trail system in order to make connections with neighbouring municipalities.
Phone: 705-728-4784 Fax: 705-728-6957
Contact Information:
Natalie Graham Communications Officer Township of Springwater 705-728-4784 Ext. 2067 Natalie.Graham@springwater.ca

Council requested that staff examine the proposal and gather public input on the specific routes and general use of off-road vehicles on all Springwater municipal highways.
For more information, please visit HERE

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22 Feb
0

Copy of the Springwater Link Feb 21, 2019

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22 Feb
0

Township of Springwater Approves the 2019 Budget & Business Plan Township of Springwater / February 21, 2019

– Springwater Council approved the 2019 Budget & Business Plan at the Council Meeting on February 20, 2019. Residents will see a 1.93% increase on the Township portion of their municipal property taxes in 2019. When combined with the County of Simcoe’s tax increase of 2%, the education rate—which is assumed to remain neutral—and the increasing policing charge, the blended tax increase is estimated at 1.76%. The impact of the budget is a $67.18 increase over 2018 based on an average residential property valued at $451,393, or $14.88 per $100,000 of property assessment. For every tax dollar spent: ? $0.40 is retained by the Township of Springwater ? $0.34 goes to the County of Simcoe ? $0.20 goes towards Education ? $0.06 is allocated towards Policing The budget includes expenditures of $40.7 million, which can be broken down into $20 million in operating expenses, $16.6 million in capital expenditures, $2.7 million for water operations and $1.4 million for wastewater operations. “Springwater’s carefully-planned 2019 Budget invests in our growing municipality while continuing to provide families with the local services they rely on each day,” says Mayor Don Allen. “Council and staff worked hard to find efficiencies to keep the tax increase to a minimum and maintain necessary services. Included in the tax increase is 1% to support the renewal and rehabilitation of capital infrastructure, as we have done over the past 5 years.” In 2019, Springwater residents will see road, traffic and other infrastructure improvements. This is in addition to the services residents expect, including fire and emergency services, winter road maintenance, libraries, recreation programs and bylaw enforcement. To learn more about Springwater’s budget, please visit springwater.ca.

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20 Feb
0

Mayor Don’s Updates – Feb 20/19

February 20, 2019

Mayor Don’s Update – by Don Allen

Minesing Mini Fest – By Ward 3 Councillor Wanda Maw-Chapman

We just celebrated another successful Minesing Mini Fest. It was a beautiful day, marking the 47th Mini Fest, with the theme ‘Winter in the Wild West’. The bowling & euchre on Friday night was a full house of rousing laughter and fun. Saturday started off with a Pancake Breakfast in the packed Minesing Community a Hall. Mayor Allen, Deputy Mayor Coughlin, Councillor Moore, MP Alex Nuttall and MPP Doug Downey joined me in presenting awards to Walter Priest as Citizen of the Year and Brianna Barnicutt as Youth of the Year. On to the parade, where floats were creatively decorated. Everyone enjoyed the Chili Cookoff back at the Community Hall and the Winner, voted making the best chili, was Mark Priest. The Magician kept the kids well entertained, with screeches of laughter and disbelief. We ended the night with a dance, with music by ‘County Line’. Thanks to all the hard-working volunteers who helped organize, set up and clean up throughout the weekend. Wanda.

Code of Conduct

Previous Council attempted on several occasions to institute a Code of Conduct, but it could not be completed.

New Provincial legislation requires that all municipal councils adopt a Code of Conduct for Council and Local Boards and Committees by March 1, 2019. In December 2018, this Council appointed an independent Township Integrity Commissioner (IC) and staff have been working with the IC to draft a suitable Code of Conduct for Council and Local Boards/Committees. Council recently participated in a workshop regarding this and further reviewed it at a public meeting before this Wednesday’s Council meeting at the Township. The Springwater Code of Conduct will be final reviewed on February 25th by Council in a Special open 6:30pm meeting at the Township for hopeful adoption. Drafts of these codes are posted on the website.

The Codes set out guidance on: conflicts of interest, gifts, benefits and hospitality, acceptable expenses, confidential information, use of Township resource, election campaigns, improper use of influence, business relations, conduct, media communications, Township by-laws and policies, respectful workplace, employment of relatives/family members, working against/undermining Council’s decisions, complaint protocol, actions of the Integrity Commissioner and Council review. I believe this is valuable and needed progress and I support it completely.

Off-road Vehicles

Save the evening of March 27or March 28. The Township will be holding two public open house meetings to obtain input from Springwater residents as to whether they support or do not support the use of off-road vehicles on more Springwater roads and trails than presently is allowed. The March 27th meeting will be at 7pm at the Elmvale Community Hall and March 28th will be same time at the Springwater Administration Centre. More details will be forthcoming.

Elmvale & District Food Bank (“Food Bank”)

The Food Bank, which is a registered charity, began operating out of a small space at the Elmvale Lions Hall in the early 1990’s and out of several other locations over subsequent years prior to its current location, since 2013, in the Elmvale Community Hall, using approximately 2,600 square feet. The demand for the Food Bank’s services has steadily increased – in 2018 it served 413 individuals/families, being a 21% increase over 2017. The current facility logistics requires food to be manually lifted to a second floor and being manually handled 14-16 times before finally being dispensed. The Food Bank depends on approximately 40 volunteers, many of them seniors, so lifting heavy volumes of food up and down stairs multiple times is impossible for them without the assistance of younger volunteers.

The option of installing a “dumb waiter” was researched to transport food between the two floors. A quote was obtained, and the total cost of this option is estimated to be $115,000.

Another option being considered is to construct a new 3,000 sq. ft. facility on Township property at 62 Yonge Street North. The facility would include a waiting/reception area, washroom, interview room, staff room, food preparation/packing room, cold storage and a warehouse area. The facility would be constructed with a large shipping/receiving door with a sloped ramp to allow for off-loading deliveries on pallets of donated food from larger trucks. Other aspects required would include the construction of the interior access routes and a parking area. Estimated costs for this option range from $285,000 to $360,000. Funding proposed for this includes $100,000 from the Food Bank, $100,000 from the Township and a loan to the Food Bank by the Township for the rest out of the existing Elmvale Hydro Reserve Fund, to be repaid over up to 10 years from future donations to the Food Bank. There are other funding possibilities that are being explored as well.

Council is considering this matter this week. I believe the current Food Bank issues and situation need to be rectified now and that the latter option could be made to work to create a more efficient operation for these hard-working volunteers to work in, which would provide more efficient service to those in need and the ability to expand to fulfill further potential volume increases.

Council Meeting Start Times

A motion is being reviewed by Council this week to change the start time of regular council meetings (only) from 6:30pm to 5:30pm. Prior to last 2014 to 2018 term, council meetings started at 5:30pm. These were changed to 6:30pm start in 2014. In 2016, Council reviewed this and conducted a public survey and by far, most responses agreed with a change to 5:30pm, but Council of the day decided to maintain the 6:30pm start time.

Should a 5:30pm start time be agreed upon by Council, staff would make certain that the agenda would be arranged in an order that administrative items would be dealt with at the beginning of the agenda. Any important, contentious or items of possible high public interest would be listed further on in the agenda, thus discussing them most likely after the 6:30pm time period. Items that could be moved forward could include public meetings for planning matters, certain delegations and related action reports and closed meeting sessions.

Senior staff are presently allowed in lieu time to recognize the two hours between the end of business day and the start of Council meetings. Their time during Council meetings is considered part of their job responsibility. Changing the start time to 5:30pm would reduce in lieu time for meeting attendance in half and if you attribute an average hourly wage estimate to this, it is presently valued at approximately $13,000 annually of time which is generally used by staff for time off before using vacation time.

It is great when residents attend council meetings and the fact that we stream all regular meetings and make all of them available on the Springwater web site is very positive and is watched by numbers of people. The 6:30pm start time has led to little or no change in physical attendance by the public to council meetings – over 90% of our regular council meetings are attended by very few if any residents. However, total transparency will continue to be maintained, as everything is recorded.  To suggest that there is no concern for residents’ involvement, or anything is being hidden by this proposal is total fallacy. You won’t find a more open Council. 

This month, I started monthly radio interviews, reviewing current Springwater news items with Rock95 and 107.5 KOOL FM news director Dan Blakeley.   

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet. Also, review updates on www.donallen.ca.

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04 Feb
0

Mayor Don’s Updates – February 7, 2019

Ontario Bill 66 Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act

The Ontario Provincial Government last December introduced Bill 66 – the proposed Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018. Included in the legislation in its Schedule 10, were proposed changes to the Planning Act that would create a new economic development tool, through an open-for-business planning by-law. After much reaction from different individuals and interest groups, the Government listened to the concerns raised by MPP’s, municipalities and stakeholders with regards to Schedule 10 of Bill 66, and when the legislature returns in February, they will not proceed with Schedule 10 of the Bill.

 

Springwater 2019 Draft Budget

Springwater Council continues to review in detail the draft budget in meetings that have been open to the public. It is anticipated that Council will be ready to approve the 2019 budget on February 20, 2019.

 

Off-road vehicles on Municipal Highways

The use of an off-road vehicle is governed by the Highway Traffic Act. Operation of an off-road vehicle is generally prohibited and shall not be driven on any highway except if a municipal by-law establishes where and when they can be driven. Off-road vehicles are currently permitted on certain Springwater municipal highways under an agreement with the Central Ontario ATV Club (COATV). These municipal highways are links that connect County of Simcoe Forest Tracts, North Simcoe Rail Trail and unopened road allowances to create and an off-road vehicle trail system. Springwater highways that are currently approved for off-road vehicles are: Flos Road Three West – North Simcoe Rail Trail west to Phelpston Tract; Flos Road Four West – North Simcoe Rail Trail west to Vigo Road; Vigo Road – Flos Road Four West north to Flos Road Six West; and Flos Road Six West – Vigo Road to Ryther Road (Wasaga Beach).

 

The COATV submitted an application to the Springwater in April 2018 to expand the current motorized trail system in order to make connections with other neighbouring municipalities to Springwater. The current approved COATV trails in Springwater do connect to the east end of the Town of Wasaga Beach where off-road vehicles are permitted on all municipal highways. This application is to create connections to the Township of Oro-Medonte, Township of Clearview, Township of Tiny and a second connection to the Town of Wasaga Beach. The neighbouring municipalities, except Tiny, have by-laws in place that permit the use of off-road vehicles on municipal highways. The Township of Tiny has granted approval for the use of off-road vehicles on certain highways for a COATV trail, subject to obtaining a connection from Springwater along Baseline Road. COATV has also requested consideration to permitting the use of off-road vehicles on all Springwater municipal highways.

 

The use of off-road vehicles continues to rapidly grow, and more municipalities are permitting their use on local highways. Staff recommended to Council this week that a public consultation process be undertaken and that two public open houses be held to obtain input from Springwater Residents as to whether they support or do not support the use of off-road vehicles on Springwater Highways. The proposed dates are March 27th, Elmvale Community Hall and March 28th, Springwater Administration Centre. If these are approved, the dates of the events will be confirmed through various forms of media.

 

Free Edwin Espinal

No doubt the well attended January 27th public meeting marking one year since the unjust imprisonment of Edwin in a Honduras prison will be covered elsewhere in this edition.  I was glad to battle the snow to attend and say a short message, along with the other well-informed speakers at this event. Pressure must be re-doubled on the Canadian Government to act on this, to put pressure on the Honduras Government for Edwin’s release. Please see more at

https://simcoecountyhondurasrightsmonitor.wordpress.com/ and sign the online e-petition before it closes end of day February 7, 2019.

 

Simcoe County Updates

Additional Yard Waste Pick Up

Two extra yard waste collections will occur by the County of Simcoe starting this summer to provide additional levels of service in urban areas and partially address the Invasive Phragmites in shoreline areas. The estimated cost for this is $200,000.

 

Timber sales

Timber sales in Simcoe County forests encompass approximately 600 to 700 hectares annually, which is generally divided into 25 to 40 individual sales. All operations are conducted in accordance with the approved 20-year Forest Management Plan. The competitive bidding process resulted in total revenues for timber sales in 2018 of $2,074,223, exceeding the original budget estimate of $1,500,000. All revenues are applied to the Forestry Reserve which is reinvested into forestry operations and the acquisition of additional forest lands.

 

Provincial Regional Government Review

On January 15, 2019 the Provincial Government announced that it is moving ahead with a review of regional government by appointing two special advisors. The regional government model has been in place for almost 50 years in Ontario and the Province is taking steps to ensure that regional governments are working efficiently and effectively. These advisors will consult broadly over the coming months and provide recommendations to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery. The review will examine Ontario’s eight regional municipalities plus the County of Simcoe (upper-tier) and its lower-tier municipalities, of which Springwater is one.

The advisors will work to explore:

–  Opportunities to make it easier for residents and businesses to access municipal services;

–  Processes to deliver efficient and effective local services that respects taxpayers’ money;

–  Methods to make municipalities open for business; and,

–  Possibilities to cut red tape and duplication and save costs.

To facilitate a productive and open conversation, the Provincial advisors will be coming to Simcoe County on February 19th to have in-person meetings with each of the Mayors individually. They are seeking feedback by posing the following questions:

1.  What reforms would you recommend to promote better representation and decision making? (would it be better to move to a single-tier municipality or amalgamating existing municipalities? If two-tier continues, should number of representatives on the upper-tier municipality be reduced or should they be appointed or elected differently?)

  1. What reforms do you recommend to improve the quality and/or reduce the cost of overlap of lower-tier and upper tier municipal services? For example, should there be greater rationalization and more specific assignments of responsibility in such functional areas as: land-use planning; water, wastewater and storm water; public transit; health, housing and social services (public health, long-term care, hospital capital fundraising, social housing); etc.? Are there municipal special purpose bodies that should be considered as part of the review (e.g., conservation authorities, police service boards, library boards, health units (where separated), etc.)?
    3. Where do you see your upper-tier and lower-tier municipality two years from now?

I am looking for input from Council before my February 19th meeting. If you have any comments, please email me (below) or write me a note regarding your thoughts on this.

Happy Valentine’s Day and have a great Family Day on February 18th. Check out the Springwater Link for winter fun activities occurring in February.

Stay Warm & Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca
or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet.

Follow me on Facebook – @MayorDonAllen
Follow me on Twitter – @MayorDonAllen 
Follow me on Instagram -@MayorDonAllen

 

 

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29 Jan
0

Quick Snapshot of ROMA Conference

DATES: JANUARY 27 – 29, 2019

LOCATION: SHERATON CENTRE TORONTO HOTEL, TORONTO

About ROMA – 2019, there are lots of changes afoot, including new municipal councils in every part of Ontario and a new government in Queens Park that is moving swiftly to implement its commitments.

ROMA is the proud voice of Rural Ontario. That pride is reflected in the ROMA 2019 conference program which brings together a wide range of issues that are critically important to rural municipalities. Perhaps more importantly, ROMA 2019 brings together municipal leaders from all over Ontario to discuss and advance the priorities of our rural communities in an ever changing world.

Through ROMA research, outreach and advocacy work on behalf of rural municipalities, and our support for key rural initiatives, the ROMA Board ensures that the interests and priorities of rural Ontario are heard loud and clear. In late 2018 for example, working with AMO, ROMA had a major breakthrough when the Government of Ontario announced it would deal with the double-hatter situation once and for all. That is what we can achieve when rural Ontario speaks with a united, informed and authoritative voice.

Pictured below, you will find snapshots of some of the people that the Deputy Mayor and myself have interacted with so far.  We’ve been able to learn from the ROMA conference attending informative sessions and sharing good delegations with Ministry of Environment Conservation & Parks, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services and with Ministry of Tourism Culture & Sport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca
or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet.

Follow me on Facebook – @MayorDonAllen
Follow me on Twitter – @MayorDonAllen 
Follow me on Instagram -@MayorDonAllen

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25 Jan
0

Important Information on Bill 66 and Schedule 10 of the Bill 66

Please find the letter received on January 24/19 from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing as it relates to important information on Bill 66.

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen

 

January 24, 2019
Dear Head of Council:
On June 7, 2018 the people of Ontario set a clear agenda for our government – they elected a government that believes in transparency and accountability for the people, they wanted a government that prioritizes fiscal responsibility and they wanted a government that would clean up the regulatory environment and make Ontario open for business.

As you know, we recently introduced Bill 66 – the proposed Restoring Ontario’s competitiveness Act, 2018. Included in the legislation, were proposed changes to the
Planning Act that would create a new economic development tool, the open-for business planning by-law. The tool would be available to all local municipalities to
ensure they can act quickly to attract businesses seeking development sites by streamlining land use planning approvals.

The use of this tool would never have been approved at the expense of the Greenbelt or other provincial interests like water quality or public health and safety. Our Made-inOntario Environment Plan committed to strong enforcement action to protect our lakes, waterways and groundwater from pollution. We will build on the ministry’s monitoring and drinking water source protection activities.

That said, our Government for the People has listened to the concerns raised by MPP’s, municipalities and stakeholders with regards to Schedule 10 of Bill 66 and when the
legislature returns in February, we will not proceed with Schedule 10 of the Bill.
For a copy of Bill 66 – the proposed Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 and to monitor the status of the Bill through the legislative process, please visit the
Legislative Assembly of Ontario website: www.ola.org/en/legislativebusiness/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-66.

 

 

 

Steve Clark
Minister

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25 Jan
0

The Latest Edition of the Springwater Link is Live – Jan 24, 2019

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22 Jan
0

Simcoe County Approves 2019 Simcoe Budget

Council approves 2019 County of Simcoe Budget

 

Midhurst / January 22, 2019 – Simcoe County Council today approved a 548 million budget for 2019, which focuses on the resources necessary to maintain existing services and service levels in the region, while continuing to invest in infrastructure, Transit, Paramedic Services, Solid Waste Management, and Social Housing.

Residents will see an overall 2.00 per cent increase on the County portion of their municipal property taxes in 2019, an impact of approximately $5.70 per $100,000 of property assessment across the region.

The County maintains a strong financial position, having received for the fourth year in a row a AA long-term issuer credit rating for 2018 from S&P Global Ratings, an independent credit company. The 2019 budget ensures the County continues along this path of long-term fiscal stability and contains items that address areas of growth, as well as initiatives directed by Council to enhance service levels for the region, support infrastructure, increase efficiencies, and prepare for the future.

“Simcoe County’s progression as a vibrant, growing and thriving region brings tremendous opportunity, as well as increased need and demand for regional services, supports and infrastructure,” said Warden George Cornell. “Our Council understands the significant role and impact of our services to our residents and communities and has approved a fiscally responsible budget that upholds our commitment to manage tax payers’ dollars efficiently, while providing flexibility to continue to invest in economic growth, tourism, municipal services, social and health programs, and regional infrastructure.”

2019 Budget Highlights include:                                                                                        

Total County Expenditures for 2019: $548 million:

  • Long Term Care and Seniors Services $60 million
  • Paramedic Services $73 million
  • Social Housing $88 million
  • Ontario Works $73 million
  • Transportation and Engineering $69 million
  • Solid Waste Management $46 million
  • Children and Community Services $62 million

Please find 2019 Budget Information HERE

Release – Council Approves 2019 County of Simcoe Budget

 

 

 

 

 

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca
or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet.

Follow me on Facebook – @MayorDonAllen
Follow me on Twitter – @MayorDonAllen 
Follow me on Instagram -@MayorDonAllen

 

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22 Jan
0

Mayor Don’s Updates Jan 24, 2019

January 24, 2019

Mayor Don’s Update – by Don Allen

Springwater new Council’s first two meetings occurred in January and here are some of the items reviewed.

 

We received an interesting deputation by Elmvale District High School students regarding their upcoming student exchange with James Smith First Nation, Melfort, Saskatchewan and Council agreed to contribute $1,000 of the previous golf tournament proceeds toward their expenses.

 

Council considered a request from the Barrie North Winter Tennis Club for a new clubhouse and the possibility of adding space to it to accommodate a change room, washrooms and storage for the new Midhurst Pavilion. This was referred to Staff for a further report on the details regarding this.

 

Elmvale & District Food Bank – Council reviewed the existing challenges experienced by the Food Bank in its present location and referred this to staff for a further report regarding options of modifications to the existing facility or consideration of a new location and the potential of partnering in this with a local charitable organization.

 

Cannabis

After considerable discussion and feedback from residents, Council voted to “opt-in” to allow the private retail sale of cannabis in Springwater. The Township will receive financial compensation from the Province to assist with the implementation costs of legalization. Council will be looking to develop Township by-laws that will determine the usage of cannabis in public areas going forward and other related matters.

 

Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC)

Director of Planning Brent Spagnol provided a verbal summary of the background and an update regarding the proposed ERRC at 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West in Springwater. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently approved the County Official Plan amendment, subject to an appeal period. Director Spagnol reviewed the next steps of the Township processing of applications for an Official Plan Amendment and Rezoning at the Township Level. The Township of Springwater will host an open house on this matter. The public will be provided all the comments received to date and the County of Simcoe’s consultants will be available to update attendees. This meeting is expected in the spring of 2019. After completion of the open house, the Planning Department will prepare a detailed report for Council’s consideration. This is expected in the early fall of 2019.

 

City of Barrie Non-Resident Fee Agreement

Council approved the renewal agreement between Springwater and the City of Barrie that allows Springwater residents to access Barrie recreation services with the same guidelines and the same rates provided to Barrie residents and with no wait times to be able to register. In 2018, there were 2,389 Springwater participants in various Barrie programs.

 

Ontario Bill 66 Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act

Part of this recently proposed Act allows for municipalities to pass an “open for business planning by-law” (OFB by-law) which in effect removes barriers to a lot of planning and resource protection regulations to expedite major business investments in the municipality. A municipality may pass an OFB by-law only with ministerial approval and only when prescribed criteria have been satisfied. Government regulation details have not yet been released regarding this. Council reviewed what has been released to date and expressed that it would not contemplate using this legislation in a way that would be detrimental to the environment. Council passed a motion that a letter be sent to the Province stating that further information needs to be provided before Council can provide further comments with respect to this.

 

Springwater 2019 Draft Budget

The draft budget was tabled earlier this month. Meetings to review it in detail, open to the public, are scheduled for January 16, and 30 and February 4 in Special Council Meetings, starting at 3pm each day. It is anticipated that Council will be ready to approve the 2019 budget on February 20, 2019. More on this will follow in later articles.

 

2018 Municipal Election Analysis

The 2018 Springwater municipal election had 5,962 votes cast out of 15,796 eligible voters. (37.7%). This is down from 6,475 votes (42.5%) in the 2014 election. Of the 2018 votes cast, 74.8% were cast by phone or internet (6.6% phone, 68.3% internet) and 25.2% by traditional paper ballot. Ward voter turnout in numbers and percentage of eligible voters in the wards was as follows: Ward 1 – 1,135 voters (42.1%); Ward 2 – 958 voters (31.9%), Ward 3 – 1,349 voters (39.1%); Ward 4 – 1,166 (33.9%); Ward 5 – 1,354 (42.2%). Of total votes cast, advanced voting from October 12 to 21 resulted in 48.8% of these votes. On election day, 44.9% of the total votes were cast and on the extra day of extended voting resulted in 6.3% of the total votes or 375 votes. Voters aged 45-59 represented 32.9% of total votes and ages 60-74 represented 32.6%. Females were 36.4% of the votes and males 39.1%.

On voting day, 51 Ontario municipalities using the phone and internet services of Dominion Voting experienced slow voting response and problems casting votes and a 90-minute system failure due to unpredicted limitations on incoming voting traffic.  After consultation with all the municipal clerks in the affected municipalities, it was decided by 39 of them to extend the voting period for 24 hours to October 23rd. Dominion has extended a 20% discount on a portion of the voting costs as a result of this.

 

Simcoe County News

The Provincial government announced last week it is undertaking a review of regional governments in Ontario and including Simcoe County and its member municipalities. We understand this will focus on service delivery, decision-making and governance. A report is expected this fall and there will be extensive consultation in the interim.

 

The various committees for Simcoe County Council were finalized this week. Deputy Mayor Coughlin will sit on the Simcoe County Housing Corporation Board and the Grant Program Task Force Committee. I am chairing the Performance Management section of County Council and therefore sitting on the Governance and Striking committees. I am also sitting on the Planning Committee, Agricultural Liaison Committee, and will serve as the County representative on the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture. We look forward to being involved and having input in the above-noted regional government review.

Stay Warm and Healthy

 

 

 

 

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca
or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet.

Follow me on Facebook – @MayorDonAllen
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19 Jan
0

Springwater Council Agenda Summary – January 23, 2019

Public planning meeting – 2293 North Orr Lake Rd.
Presentation – Aware Simcoe – Bill 66
Question period
Correspondence/Information
– Regional Government – comments from Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing, AMO & County
Simcoe
Council Committee/Board Appointments
Action reports
– Oversize/Overweight Load Permits By-law
– Temporary Borrowing By-law
– Approval of committee terms of reference
– Easement Agreement Request – Bell Canada
Information Reports
– By-law, Building, Accessibility, 2018 Municipal election, Drinking water, Planning reports
Verbal update reports – Official Plan, Economic Development, County, Municipal
Motions – Regular meeting start times
Items for future consideration review
Closed session – Committee appointments
Report from Closed session
By-laws and Confirmatory By-law
Adjournment

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14 Jan
0

Stay Informed with the Springwater Link – Jan 10/2019

Please find a copy of the latest Springwater Link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

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07 Jan
0

Springwater Council Meeting Agenda Summary – January 9, 2019

Starting 6:30pm
Deputation- Elmvale High School – Youth Exchange to Saskatchewan
Deputation – Barrie North Tennis Club – New Clubhouse
Question Period
Minutes Review
Correspondence & Information Items
– NVCA Board meeting highlights;
– Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit – Food Insecurity;
– Elmvale & District Food Bank challenges;
– ON Municipal Partnership Fund;
– Bill 66 Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act;
– Elmvale & District Lions Club – Bus shelters
Draft 2019 Springwater Budget – Initial Overview presentation
Correspondence and Information Items
– Private Retail Cannabis – Options Report;
– Environmental resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) – verbal
update.
Action Reports
– Barrie Non Resident Fee Agreement;
– Barrie North Winter Tennis – Clubhouse;
– Revised Committee Terms of Reference.
Verbal Reports
Notice of Motion
– Dissolution of certain committees
Items For Future Consideration
By-laws
Confirmatory By-laws
Adjournment

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

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03 Jan
0

Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) – Update

Simcoe staff sent the message below and attachment to County councillors on January 2, 2019. Springwater Council, in its January 9th meeting, will be discussing this and next steps regarding the Springwater local official plan and rezoning amendments with respect to this.

Today we received notification that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) has approved the County Official Plan Amendment for the Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) at 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Springwater (details are found on the provincial Environmental Registry here).  This Official Plan Amendment approval has the standard 20-day appeal period requirement, which is noted in the MMAH Notice of Decision.

 Initiated in 2014, County Council directed development of this infrastructure to support long term waste management operations and further our commitment to environmental leadership and diversion.  Receiving provincial land use approval is an important milestone and follows a comprehensive, multi-year siting and land use planning process, an investment in a long list of environmental, technical, and business case studies, and extensive consultation with the public, Indigenous communities, and agencies.  For reference, a Quick Facts summary sheet is attached. Also, additional information (including business case reports) can be found at www.simcoe.ca/errc.

 We continue to work with the Township of Springwater on the required local land use changes and additional studies required to support development of this critical infrastructure – infrastructure that will allow us to prudently plan future operations and prepare for the closure of County landfills and new provincial waste policy.  Staff look forward to providing County Council with a thorough update on the ERRC project and our waste management operations as the new session begins.  Being cognizant of the sensitivities of developing this type of project, we are committed to on-going, meaningful engagement as development continues.

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

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27 Dec
0

Taking a Look at Elmvale District High School – Additions and Renovations 2018

SCDSB Trustee Peter Beacock arranged for Springwater Council to tour the almost finished addition and renovations to Elmvale District High School (EDHS) with Vice Principal Hillary Glass. The exciting addition will be used to create programs and services for students and the public to use during school hours, evenings and weekends. This $11 million project has had major support from the Simcoe County District School Board and additional funding has been raised through donations in a campaign organized by George Allen. Springwater Township will continue to contribute toward this project over the next 10 years. The double-sized gym allows for two sporting events to be played simultaneously. There are official retracting basketball nets, an electronic score board, pullout bleachers and a projector screen. The gym is bright, with an expanse of windows controlled with electric blinds.

 

The performance stage can be partitioned off for classes and practice by using curtains and sliding walls. It has stage lighting, an accessible elevator and other features.

The cafetorium has a large bank of retractable seating to create audience seating. When not in use for this purpose, the bright cafetorium area will afford students a space to hang out at tables and chairs.

The adjoining full kitchen and walk in freezers are almost completed. We are told that some of the school’s food preparation courses will be conducted in this area in the future.

 

 

Change rooms have been newly constructed, along with shower rooms, all being accessible.

A technology lab has been created with direct access to the renovated library.

 

A special separate area has been created and reserved for the new grade 7 and 8 students coming in fall 2019. These state-of-the-art classrooms each have sinks, shelves, white boards and projection equipment.

The goal is to have the first athletic games played in the gym starting in January 2019. The official opening is planned to occur in the spring and will be well-advertised in advance.

A donation recognition plaque will be created and mounted close to the addition entrance.

This is an excellent achievement as the result of the vision, hard work and support of many people in the Springwater community.

Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

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20 Dec
0

Team Springwater Christmas Gathering

Delicious Christmas staff lunch catered by Snow Valley yesterday.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of decorations and zany Christmas get up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to staff for a great year, marriages,births and long service awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a lot to be thankful for. Merry Christmas to all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Follow me on Facebook – @MayorDonAllen
Follow me on Twitter – @MayorDonAllen 
Follow me on Instagram -@MayorDonAllen

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13 Dec
0

Mayor Don’s Update – December 12, 2018

By now, most of the Christmas tree lightings, parades and sleigh rides have happened this year and they were all wonderful. The weather cooperated and provided some snow and conditions not too cold and windy. The special aspect of these is how much the children enjoy them, with their looks of wonder, anticipation and happiness. Thank you to the many volunteers and donors who organize and make these events happen, including clean up afterward. Thank you to Springwater staff and firefighters and Simcoe County paramedics who work at these, conduct food and toy drives, sell Christmas trees and provide transportation for Santa and others during these events. Last but not least, thank you to the resident parents and children who support these events by being in parades, sometimes with floats, marching and in bands and for the observers, who cheer and bring donations of food and/or toys. It is what our communities are all about – bringing people together to celebrate and share fun.

Springwater Council Inauguration

Springwater’s Inaugural meeting on December 5, 2018 was a great event. As advertised, it was open to the public and about 185 people attended so we needed to move it to the Elmvale Community Centre to be able to hold the numbers. Thank you for the support of the dignitaries in attendance. Staff did a great job of preparing for this and all in attendance appeared to have a great time. I was very appreciative to have my daughter be able to sing a song for us, accompanied by a local guitar player.

First Springwater Council Meeting

The first regular meeting of the new council was on December 12th. We dealt with altering aspects of the agenda format and approving the appointment of council members to certain boards, committees and agencies. Other topics reviewed are described below.

 

Appointment of Integrity Commissioner

The Municipal Act requires, by March 1, 2019, that all municipalities appoint an Integrity Commissioner (IC), to ensure the creation of a code of a conduct for council and boards/committees, ethical behaviour procedures, rules and policies and conflict of interest rules. In mid-2017 County of Simcoe initiated a joint procurement process for the appointment of an IC in the most efficient and least costly manner. Principles Integrity was selected as the successful proponent. Council will consider this week whether Principles Integrity be appointed as the Integrity Commissioner for the Township of Springwater effective January 1, 2019. If the appointment is approved, Council will be scheduled for an education session with Principles Integrity regarding the adoption of a Code of Conduct in early 2019.

As the functions of the IC are broad and highly situational, the potential financial implications are difficult to estimate. At this time, staff have included a budget amount of $5,000 for IC services in 2019.

 

Private Retail Cannabis

An information report was presented to Council this week to inform and provide updated information related to legalized cannabis. Staff will be reporting back to Council in early January 2019 seeking a Township resolution related to “opting -in/-out” of private retail cannabis stores in Springwater. Further, Township staff have raised a number of items related to cannabis implementation that will require future consideration including: Commercial-scale production of cannabis, Municipal usage/consumption By-laws, Operation of private establishments serving as ‘cannabis lounges’ and other aspects.

 

On October 17, 2018 cannabis was legalized initially online through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) website. Private cannabis retail stores will be permitted in Ontario after April 1, 2019 and those stores will be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (ACGO).

 

Municipalities have a one-time opportunity to ‘opt out’ from allowing private retail cannabis stores (commercial sales of cannabis) to be located within their municipal boundaries. A resolution passed by Council to ‘opt out’ is required no later than January 22, 2019. If a municipality does not ‘opt-out’ by the January 22, 2019 deadline, they will not be able to ‘opt out’ at a later date.

 

The AGCO will keep a public list of municipalities that have ‘opted-out’ of hosting private retail cannabis stores and operators will not be able to propose store locations in those communities. In such instances, cannabis will continue to be legally available online to the public through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).

 

In municipalities that decide to ‘opt-in’ and accept the Province’s private retail model, the Province, through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, will accept applications for private retail cannabis storefronts scheduled to open after April 1, 2019.

 

There will be a 15-day window for public and municipal comments for each store site proposed by an approved operator. Municipalities will need to their comments on whether the proposed store is in the “public interest”, defined as public health or safety, protecting youth and eliminating the illegal market.

 

A retail store may only be established and operated by a licensed retail operator, as issued by the Province. The retail store must be enclosed by walls separating it from any other commercial establishment, activity or outdoor area. The retail store may not be entered from or passed through in order to access any other commercial establishment or activity, other than a common area of an enclosed shopping mall. In addition, the premises at which the cannabis is received or stored may not be accessible to any other commercial establishment, activity, or to the public. A cannabis retail store may not be located within 150 metres (492 feet) of a school or school property, or within 150 metres (492 feet) of the boundary of any space occupied by a school within a building. Applicants will be permitted up to seventy-five (75) retail store authorizations.

Retail cannabis stores may be open to the public between 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on any day. The stores may sell cannabis accessories like rolling papers or wraps, holders, pipes, water pipes, bongs and vaporizers. The retail store must display the cannabis retail seal in a conspicuous place that is visible from the exterior of the public entrance. The holder of the retail store is responsible for ensuring no individual who appears to be under 25 years of age to enter the retail store unless the holder of the store or employee has required the individual to provide a form of identification, or the holder or employee is satisfied that the individual is at least 19 years of age.

 

The Province has allocated a total of $40 million to the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund (OCLIF), to assist municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization. Basic funding is to be provided to all municipalities regardless of their opt-in/opt-out status starting in early January 2019. A second follow up payment will be provided to municipalities and adjusted on a per capita basis to municipalities which have ‘opted-in’. The Township received an allocation notice from the Province indicating the Township of Springwater will receive a total of $9,940 for the first payment in January 2019. Following the first payment, a second payment is planned to be distributed by March 2019. For municipalities which have opted-in, the secondary payment will mirror the first payment. Additionally, if Ontario’s portion of the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis exceeds $100 million over the first two years, the Province will provide 50 per cent of the surplus to municipalities that have not opted-out.

 

Municipalities must use the funding to address costs directly related to the legalization of recreational cannabis. Examples of permitted costs includes increased enforcement, increased response to public inquiries, increased fire services, By-law/policy development etc. Municipalities’ may not use the money for costs that will be funded/reimbursed by any other government body or third party and may not use the funding for costs unrelated to cannabis legalization.

 

County Simcoe Inaugural meeting occurred this week. Council elected Mayor George Cornell of Tiny as the Warden and Deputy Mayor Barry Burton of Clearview as Deputy Warden.  The Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the business sections had not been determined by the deadline for this issue. Each of these positions will be for a two-year term.

I have moved into an office in the Springwater administration building and would be glad to see you any time. Please call me to discuss matters or make an appointment if you want to meet. 705-728-4784 ext. 2040.

 

My wife Wanda and I extend our best wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas and a healthy happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Follow me on Facebook – @MayorDonAllen
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Follow me on Instagram -@MayorDonAllen

 

 

These are my thoughts and interpretations and not necessarily those of Council.

 

 

 

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12 Dec
0

County Council elects George Cornell as Simcoe County Warden

Please find the press release from The County of Simcoe of yesterday’s County Council meeting.  Looking forward to a great term with a great group of people!
Midhurst/December 11, 2018 – County Council today elected George Cornell, Mayor of the Township of Tiny, to serve as Simcoe County Warden for 2019 and 2020.
“I am honoured to be elected as Simcoe County Warden for the next two years and I look forward to working on behalf of Council and County staff to advance our services, programs and regional leadership,” said Warden George Cornell. “We’re a growing County with tremendous opportunities to advance our economy, grow tourism, strengthen our regional infrastructure and improve the health and well-being of our residents. I thank my colleagues for demonstrating their confidence in my leadership and I look forward to serving the residents of Simcoe County.”
As a Civil Engineer, Cornell spent his career working in the oil and gas sector. He joined municipal politics as a Councillor for the Township of Tiny from 2006 to 2010. He became Mayor of the Township of Tiny in 2014 and was recently acclaimed for his second term in the role. As a County Councillor from 2014 to 2018, Cornell sat as Chair of the Economic Development Sub Committee, Vice-Chair of Corporate Services and on the Grant Task Force Committee and the Governance and Striking Committees. Cornell and his wife Sandy have two children and two grandchildren.
County Council also elected Barry Burton, Deputy Mayor of the Township of Clearview, as the Simcoe County Deputy Warden for 2019 and 2020.
Burton is an independent business owner and was elected as Deputy Mayor of the Township of Clearview from 2014 to 2018 and was recently re-elected to the position. As a Deputy Mayor, Burton served as a member of County Council from 2014 to 2018, where he sat as a member of the County’s Museum Advisory Sub-Committee. Burton also represents Simcoe County on the Niagara Escarpment Commission. Burton and his wife Lorraine have four adult children and six grandchildren.
Additionally, the County’s Business Section Chairs and Vice Chairs for 2019 and 2020 were elected/acclaimed on Tuesday:
Councillor Don Allen, Business Section Chair of Performance Management; Councillor Steffen Walma, Business Section Chair of Human Services; and Councillor Lynn Dollin Business Section Chair of Corporate Services.
Councillor Harry Hughes, Business Section Vice Chair of Performance Management; Councillor Anita Dubeau, Business Section Vice Chair of Human Services; and Councillor Richard Norcross Business Section Vice Chair of Corporate Services.
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
– 30 –
Collin Matanowitsch
Public Relations Manager
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)
Jennifer Straw
Communications Co-ordinator
County of Simcoe, Services Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1036
705-790-5979 (mobile)

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10 Dec
0

Springwater Council Meeting – Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Springwater Council Meeting December 12, 2018

6:30pm Council Chambers, Administration Centre, Minesing

First Meeting of New Council!

1.Minutes approval

2. Correspondence and Information Items

3. Agenda Discussion – Standing Items

4. Council Board/Committee and Agency Appointments

NVCA
SSEA
Barrie & Area Physician Recruitment
South Georgian Bay Physician Recruitment

5. Action Reports

Appointment of Integrity Commissioner

6. Information Reports

Monthly Fire Report
Oversize/Overweight Load Limits
Private Retail Cannabis

7.Verbal Reports

8. Items For Future Consideration Review

9. Closed Session – Public Appointments to Boards/Committees (Committee of Adjustment & Library Board)

Applications for the appointment of Fence Viewers and Livestock Valuers

By-laws

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Don Allen – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

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06 Dec
0

Township of Springwater Holds Inaugural Council Meeting

Sharing information on the Inaugural Council Meeting (as found in the recent press release from the Township of Springwater).  Thank you to all who attended this event and to the Township staff that organized it.  It was a great event and I am certainly looking forward to seeing what the future holds as we move forward! Scroll down to see a few more candid shots taken of the event.

Township of Springwater / December 5, 2018 – The Township of Springwater’s newly elected Council held its inaugural meeting tonight at the Elmvale Community Hall.

Mayor Don Allen, Deputy Mayor Jennifer Coughlin and the Township’s five Councillors were officially sworn in by Justice Robert Gattrell for the 2018-2022 Council term.

 

Pictured L to R: Ward 2 Councillor Perry Ritchie, Ward 4 Councillor Anita Moore, Mayor Don Allen, Ward 1 Councillor George Cabral, Deputy Mayor Jennifer Coughlin and Ward 3 Councillor Wanda MawChapman. Not pictured: Ward 5 Councillor Jack Hanna.
The ceremony took place before a large group of supporters, family and friends. Mayor Allen was joined by members of his new council which included two incumbents—
Deputy Mayor Jennifer Coughlin and Ward 2 Councillor Perry Ritchie—and three new Councillors—Ward 1 Councillor George Cabral, Ward 3 Councillor Wanda MawChapman and Ward 4 Councillor Anita Moore. Incumbent Ward 5 Councillor Jack Hanna was unable to attend the ceremony.

In Mayor Allen’s Inaugural Council address, he spoke about his future vision for the Township and how he plans to move Springwater forward.
“Development will be a common theme in Springwater over the next four years,” said Mayor Allen in reference to the Township’s residential, commercial and community growth. “Overarching this will be matters that need to be addressed on a Township-wide basis, such as completing our Springwater Official Plan update, policing, traffic calming, recreational vehicles, seniors’ accommodation, cannabis regulation implementation and many more.”
“Being proactive rather than reactive, having good communication and working as a team will lead to the best results,” added Mayor Allen. “This applies at the Township level and also with Simcoe County staff and Councillors. We will endeavour to work more closely with other municipalities and government agencies to share best practices, ideas and synergies.”
Other members of Council expressed their own sentiments and aspirations for the coming years and thanked their family and friends for their support. Mayor Allen and Deputy Mayor Coughlin will officially be sworn into Simcoe County Council on December 11, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. The next regular Council meeting is meeting is scheduled for December 12, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at the Township Administration Centre.

More official photos to follow, here is just a small snapshot collage of the event.

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15 Nov
0

Latest Springwater Link

Below is the latest Springwater Link.  Keep up to date with all the latest news from the Township!

Click on the picture below for the November 15 2018 Edition!

 

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25 Oct
0

Important Information on Curbside Battery Collection!

County of Simcoe and City of Barrie battery collection week runs November 5-9, 2018

 

Midhurst/October 24, 2018 – Curbside battery collection is back in Simcoe County and the City of Barrie as collection crews hit curbs November 5-9, 2018 to roundup dead batteries from households across the region.

The County of Simcoe and City of Barrie are once again partnering to create greater operational efficiencies and grow regional participation. In fact, the County ranked first in the province in 2017, collecting 24 tonnes of batteries. Combined with the City of Barrie’s totals of 6.8 tonnes, residents across the region continue to show strong participation and leadership in their recycling habits.

This program is vital to protecting the environment by keeping batteries, which contain harmful substances, out of the garbage and landfills. Some batteries may also pose health and safety risks due to leaking or the potential for fire and explosion. 

Disposable battery bags, with instructions, were mailed to households in September. Battery bags are also available at County of Simcoe and City of Barrie Waste Management facilities or local municipal/city offices. Batteries can also be placed in clear, sealed bags. Battery bags must be placed curbside in a visible location beside (not inside) the recycling box on residents’ regularly scheduled collection day, during the week of Nov 5-9.

The program is for single use batteries only, including type AAA, AA, A, C, D, 9 volt and button batteries commonly used for hearing aids and watches. Rechargeable batteries, cell phone and lap top batteries, car, industrial and battery packs are NOT accepted in the program, but may be taken to any County of Simcoe or City of Barrie household hazardous waste facility for safe, free disposal.

Collected batteries are consolidated and sent for processing to an Ontario company that separates the various components of the batteries, with approximately 90 per cent of the battery components being recycled.

For more information about the single use battery collection week, please contact County of Simcoe Customer Service at 705-735-6901 or visit simcoe.ca. City of Barrie residents can visit barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection or call 705-739-4219.

 

About Barrie

Barrie is an exciting, caring and progressive community that 147,000 people call home.  Situated 90 km north of the Greater Toronto Area on beautiful Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie offers an excellent life style and multitude of recreational opportunities.  We are committed to the growth of prosperity of Central Ontario’s leading City and most dynamic waterfront community. 

 

About County of Simcoe

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca

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24 Oct
0

Thank you Springwater Residents!

Thank you Springwater residents for voting and for giving me the honour of serving you as Mayor for the next four years. With your trust, I will work tirelessly on your behalf to address challenges and secure lasting improvements for Springwater.

I also acknowledge all the candidates who offer to serve their communities and seek solutions for the public good. It is not easy to put oneself out there in such a public forum, so I give credit to those with the initiative to do so.

The campaign was challenging and I acknowledge the hard work my opponents put into their campaigns. The existing Council will be in place until the swearing in of the new Council on December 5, 2018. Congratulations to this Council for the accomplishments it has made over the last four years and thank you to Bill French for leading Council during this period.

Thank you to my wonderful and tireless wife Wanda and Team Allen of loyal friends and supporters who provided opinions, feedback and a lot of hard work to help in this journey.

Thank you to the Springwater staff for going through this election process and especially Clerk Chaperon and her team for running a professional and generally smooth election. Internet and telephone voting continue to be a challenge and we will work to improve in this area.

Congratulations to Deputy Mayor Elect Jennifer Coughlin, as well as her new role as a Councillor of County Simcoe.

Congratulations to the Councillors Elect:

Acclaimed for Ward 2 – Councillor Perry Ritchie, about to enter his third term.

Ward 1 – Councillor Elect George Cabral

Ward 3 – Councillor Elect Wanda Maw-Chapman

Ward 4 – Councillor Elect Anita Moore

Ward 5 – Councillor Jack Hanna, also about to enter his third term.

School Board Trustee – Simcoe County – Peter Beacock

Moving forward, there are many tasks and initiatives that will require consideration, focus and commitment. Together, embracing Council’s ideas, thoughtfulness, civility and consideration, we will work with staff and residents to get things done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Elect Don Allen- Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

 

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22 Oct
0

Today is Election Day – Make Sure that You Vote!

Good Morning

Today is the final day of this municipal election. If you have voted, I thank you. If you have not, we need you and all of your eligible family members to vote by 8pm tonight (Monday October 22nd). Based on the number of votes in so far, it appears that the voter turn out might be considerably lower this election compared to the election 4 years ago, where 43% of the eligible voters turned out to vote.

I ask you to vote by internet or phone, using your voter information letters received. Alternatively, go to the polls, with picture identification, to vote between 10am and 8pm today. They are located at:

Township Office – 2231 Nursery Road

Minesing Community Centre – 2347Ronald Road

Elmvale Arena (Springwater Room) 14 George Street

Some people say the lower turn out might be because “there are no major issues this time like there were last time”. This is not the case. There are many ongoing issues that will need to be addressed, determined and decisions implemented over the next 4 years. You have heard and seen people discuss leadership in this election and what they have done in the past to make them the best candidate.

A true leader, in my opinion, is one who has training and experience in a variety of business and life skills. They have the right personality to lead by developing and implementing the best strategy with a team of people who work together to contribute constructively to achieve goals. A leader works with others to initiate ideas, involves others, develops consensus and implements action as a team. This team includes Township Council, Staff and County Council. A leader develops relationships to work with other municipalities to share best practices to be able to use in our Township. A leader consistently works hard to get things done – they roll up their sleeves and really gets involved rather than being involved superficially. A leader gives credit to those who deserve it rather than taking it all for themselves. They are consistently professional, honest, fair, open and accountable.

I suggest you consider this when you are comparing the candidates for the position of Mayor and other positions. Consider this when you look at their history and their campaign strategies and styles over the recent past. I have reviewed on my website www.donallen.ca my background, my platform, and my blog of articles I have written about Springwater and County Simcoe issues over the past 4 year, all searchable by category.

I hope you decide that Don Allen is the best choice for Mayor.

Thank you and please VOTE TODAY.

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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12 Oct
0

Internet and Telephone Voting Opens in Springwater Election

Please find an informative press release from the Township of Springwater regarding Voting.

Township of Springwater / October 12, 2018 – Internet and telephone voting have officially opened in the Springwater Municipal & School Board Election. Qualified
electors are able to vote 24/7 from the comfort or their home, office or anywhere with an internet or telephone connection, until the close of Election Day on Monday, October 22,
2018 at 8:00 pm.

Voter Information Letters were mailed at the end of the September and contain a unique ID and PIN to access internet and telephone voting.
Qualified electors who did not receive a Voter Information Letter, or those who received letters containing incorrect personal information, are encouraged to contact the
Township of Springwater Clerk’s Department at 705-728-4784 Ext. 2015 or visit the Township Administration Centre (2231 Nursery Road) during regular business hours to
make an addition or amendment to the Voters’ List.

Additions and amendments can also be made by visiting a Voter Help Centre taking place:
Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Hillsdale Elementary School (16 Albert Street E)
or
Saturday, October 20, 2018 and Sunday, October 21, 2018
12:00 to 4:00 pm
Township Administration Centre (2231 Nursery Road)

Anyone wishing to cast their ballot in person may do on Election Day only, Monday, October 22, 2018 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at one the three following locations:
-Township Administration Centre, 2231 Nursery Road
– Minesing Community Centre, 2347 Ronald Road
– Elmvale Arena (Springwater Room), 14 George Street

Additional information regarding the 2018 Springwater Municipal & School Board Election can be found online at: www.springwater.ca/election

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12 Oct
0

Not on the Voter List Yet? Come to Hillsdale Tomorrow (Sat. Oct 13)

Didn’t receive your Voter Information Card in the mail? If you can’t make it to the Township offices during regular weekday hours, visit the Voter Help Centre:

Visit our Voter Help Centre at Hillsdale Elementary School (16 Albert Street E) on Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with your ID and get on the list!

 

Here is a quick info video on how you can vote online or via telephone-

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09 Oct
0

Three More Scheduled Meeting Discussions to learn more about Mayoral Candidate Don Allen

Join me this week for informative discussions!  If you can’t meet up with me then, drop me an email info@donallen.ca and we can connect.

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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02 Oct
0

How to Remove a Person from the Voters List…see details.

There have been questions surrounding a simple solution to the removal of a person from the voters list for such instances as deaths, children who move away etc. In these circumstances, there are 2 options, share by the Township of Springwater

  1. Persons have the option of visiting the office in person to complete the appropriate form for removal of a person’s name from the voters list. This will require ID of the person making the change and changes will only be authorized by a member of the family. People are urged to contact MPAC to update their household information to ensure that the names aren’t added again in future elections. (MPAC 1-866-296-6722)
  1. Persons receiving a VIL for someone who no longer lives there, old tenants/owners, persons who are deceased may return the sealed VIL envelope to the municipal office either in person or via Canada Post with the markings of “return to sender – moved/deceased/etc” written on the front.  Once received, Clerks staff will delete these persons from the Voters List. Families should still contact MPAC to update their household information as the names will most likely be on future voters lists.

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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24 Sep
0

Fact or Fiction – Learn the FACTS from Don Allen on legal fees incurred by The Township of Springwater

Claim – Fiction

Did you vote to support over $1.2 million on wasted legal fees?

 

Here are the Facts – 

The claims of Tony Guergis are not based on facts and are filled with incorrect negative innuendos and allegations. He refers to a chart of legal fees produced by Director of Finance Schmidt from 2010 to March 2018 totalling $1.286 million. The total legal fees spent from 2011 to March 2018 total $1.242 million. This is over two terms of Council, where they had impact on the fees in each term. Previous Council spent approximately $312,000 on legal fees. This term of Council spent legal fees to March 31, 2018 of $974,000, of which $195,000 (to March 31, 2018) related to the Bill French JCAC matter which, as stated above, has now increased to close to $300,000, with legal and other related fees. As stated, this has not been able to be controlled by this Council, which had had to remain independent from this legal action. Netting this off these related legal fees to March 31, 2018 leaves $779,000 of legal fees to March 31, 2018 for this term of Council. Of this, $52,250 relates to personnel and employment matters and $150,000 relates to general matters, $165,000 relates to growth matters and the remaining $411,750 related to OMB appeals for EEK pit, Estates of Anten Mills, County Official Plan, Midhurst OPA 38, Jurisdiction motion and other smaller matters.  These have been necessary legal costs related to planning and increasing growth in Springwater and always with consideration and concern for what is best for the residents.

Feel free to contact me directly and we can chat further!

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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24 Sep
0

Fact or Fiction – Learn the FACTS from Don Allen on Why His Experience Gets Votes

Claim – Fiction 

Don Allen won as Deputy Mayor and County Councillor due to special interest group influence and knew nothing about Springwater or municipal experience.

Here are the Facts-

To make the statement that I won the last election due to a special interest group is blatantly wrong. The interest groups were very vocal in the last election. The main reason for my winning was that the majority of voters were tired of the old Council, which in their mind was not working or representing them adequately. I offered a new face with education and experience to help me in a position that needed a change.

My training and experience as a CPA, a Trustee and a Forensic Auditor, with over 41 years experience as a Partner and Office Managing Partner at Deloitte, an international professional services firm and at various executive positions in industry, has fully prepared me for the job of Deputy Mayor and Mayor. I have been involved with many committees in the past and during the last fours years, have chaired the Finance and Audit Committees in both Springwater and Simcoe County. I have been Vice-Chair of the Governance Committee and Performance Management Section at County Council. I have been involved on other committees at Springwater as well.

I have the best training and experience for the job of Mayor of any candidate and I will devote 100% of my time to that job.

Family members have lived in this Springwater for over 35 years. I live in Springwater and I will die in Springwater and what I do in between is what I will be judged on.

Feel free to contact me directly and we can chat further!

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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24 Sep
0

Fact or Fiction – Learn the FACTS from Don Allen on Municipal Staffing Issues

Claim – FICTION

Why did 13 Springwater municipal staff quit under Don Allen and Bill French?

 

Fact

Staff have moved on for various and personal reasons. Some have found opportunities that resulted in a promotion for them and some have relocated due to personal preferences. These departures have all been good staff members and we have hired good new staff members. We have a great compliment of staff that work hard and work well with current Council.

Feel free to contact me directly and we can chat further!

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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24 Sep
0

Fact or Fiction – Learn the FACTS from Don Allen Legal Bills – the Challenge Against Bill French

Fiction – Claim

Bill French’s personal issues have already cost Springwater tax payers over $87,000 in legal bills. Don Allen voted to pay for this with your taxes. When Bill and Don are gone, these expenses stop.

Here are the Facts – 

This refers to a challenge of Bill French’s 2014 election expenses, which were challenged and had to be heard by an independent Joint Compliance Audit Committee (JCAC) selected by the previous 2010-2014 Council under the Municipal Elections Act guidelines. Current Council has had no control over this committee, as it is required to be independent and neutral but, by the Act, it has had to be funded for its expenses by Springwater Township.  All of Council has been made aware of this and although not in agreement, has had to comply with the Municipal Elections Act rules to fund this exercise. The hearing has gone on for the last three and a half years and has included challenges of the process by Bill French, who initiated a judicial review application of the Committee’s powers to act in this case.  He lost this and had to pay $20,000 toward the legal costs as a result.

The legal and audit costs with respect to this have reached over $250,000 and will be closer to $300,000 before it is finalized and these have had to be paid by the Township pursuant to the  Municipal Elections Act. The JCAC has found against Bill French and referred the matter on to a Prosecutor, who has found 10 counts of election spending mis-reporting. This is scheduled to be heard in a Court hearing on November 2, 2018 to determine the penalty. Costs related to this matter will continue until it is completely finalized.

All candidates have to file a report on election expenses and this will be the case for this election campaign. If there are no challenges as a result of this process, as there was with Bill French related to the last election, then there will be no further expenses similar to this related to this election.

 

Feel free to contact me directly and we can chat further!

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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24 Sep
0

Fact or Fiction – Learn the FACTS from Don Allen on Midhurst Growth Allocation

Fiction – Claim

Under Bill French and Don Allen’s watch, did the Midhurst growth get approved even bigger?

 

Here are the Facts – 

Current Springwater Council agreed unanimously that it did not want any of the extra 20,000 population allocation mandated by the Province to Simcoe County. Springwater received applications from developers for over 6,000 of additional population of this extra 20,000 population allocation and this was located in the Midhurst area. Simcoe County Council voted to abide by Springwater’s desire regarding this. The developers appealed this decision to the OMB.  Unbeknownst to Springwater, the County met with developers to present to Simcoe County a deal to accept half of the requested 6,000 population, to avoid any further action by the developers and OMB costs. This was accepted by County Council to avoid a possible “lengthy, unpredictable and very expensive legal battle, with vast and variable outcomes” according to Simcoe County Warden, Gerry Marshall. Springwater had no choice at this point but to accept this. The agreement which County reached includes planning measures that control location and pace of growth with respect to this additional population.

No other Mayor and Deputy Mayor could have achieved different results with these circumstances.

 

Feel free to contact me directly and we can chat further!

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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24 Sep
0

Fact or Fiction – Learn the FACTS from Don Allen on the MSP Letter Dated 14-9-15

CLAIM

Tony Guergis claims that Bill French and Don Allen were elected in 2014 to stop or slow down the Midhurst Secondary Plan (MSP). Don Allen was party to a letter to the Midhurst landowners in 2015 confirming all MSP approvals and a promise to work “expeditiously and diligently” to help complete the MSP. – THIS IS FICTION

Here are the Facts – 

Don Allen did not run on a platform in 2014 to stop the MSP. I did run on my ability to negotiate the best outcome with respect to the MSP conditions and I will continue to accomplish this over the next four years. My over 42 years of experience as a CPA and a Trustee and Forensic Auditor provide me with the best skills and tools to complete this. The September 14, 2015 letter was drafted and signed by Mayor Bill French.

Here is the copy of the LETTER DATED 14-9-15

14-9-15 French ltr to Geranium re MSP

Feel free to contact me directly and we can chat further!

 

 

 

 

 

Elect Don Allen for Mayor – Leadership Driving Us Forward!

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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19 Sep
0

Voter Information Letters are in the Mail

Please find important information and contact details regarding voter letters for the upcoming municipal election:

Please note that the Voter Information Letters (VIL) containing electors voting instructions have been mailed through Canada Post and could arrive in mailboxes as early as tomorrow. The VIL’s have been mailed early due to the potential Canada Post strike.

Post cards will also be mailed out early next week to all Springwater homes, whether they are on the voters list or not, advising of the VIL mail out. This post card will also include voting methods and how to get added to the voters list. These cards will be handed out at the Midhurst Autumn Fest and the Elmvale Fall Fair. If you would like some post cards, please let me know.

If a residents approaches you and advises that they have not received their VIL by October 1, please direct them to contact the Clerks Department at 705-728-4784 x 2015 or at election@springwater.ca .

Electors who are not on the list must visit in person to have additions, deletions or amendments done to the voters list. The following in-person opportunities are available:

Administration Centre – Monday to Friday 8:30 amto 4:30 pm

Hillsdale Elementary School – Saturday, October 13 from 10am to 2pm

Administration Centre – Saturday, October 20 and Sunday October 21 from 12pm to 4pm (office will be open only for this purpose)

Electors may also visit any of the above locations to vote electronically by bringing their Voter Information Letter with them.

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18 Sep
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Raising the Big Brothers’ Big Sisters’ Flag in Township of Springwater

Thank you everyone to gathered to raise the flag in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Month. The theme of this month is IMAGINE and we are encouraged to imagine what a young person can become when they have the support of a caring adult in their lives.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe offers a variety of programs to help children in our area reach their full potential. These programs include 1 to 1 matching, Big Bunch Group, In School Mentoring and Go Girl programs. They currently serve over 160 students in Springwater, Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay.

Studies have shown the positive effects of these programs on our youth; those who have a Big Brother or a Big Sister are less likely to bully or be bullied, feel better about school, and are more likely to have a healthy and positive outlook on life – well into adulthood.

These positive effects also extend to the mentors, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, who report having a happier life knowing that they are enhancing the life of a young person and contributing to their community.

I encourage everyone to learn more about the wonderful services and opportunities offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe and make a difference in a young person’s life.

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13 Sep
0

#TBT- Springwater Fire & Emergency Services

Springwater Fire & Emergency Services – Facilities

A bit of history – The replacement of Station 2 (Midhurst) started in 2002. The 2003 Master Fire Plan recommended (among other things) amalgamating Station 1 (Centre Vespra) and Station 2. Station 2 was closed and sold and Station 3 (Minesing) was built. Station 1 was kept and currently is rented to Georgian College for $40K per year. Station 1 and 2 were amalgamated in 2004 in the Public Works Yard facilities on Snow Valley Rd., presently housing 3 vehicles and being served by 25 firefighters. In June 2010, property was purchased for a new station on Snow Valley Rd., just east of Anne St. north. Between 2011 and 2014 staff and the Fire Station Building Committee worked to create an RFP, pre-qualify bidders, issued an RFP, reviewed submissions and selected as the preferred bid Domm Construction, which bid $2 million to complete an 11,836 sq. ft. building. Previous Council did not finalize this decision and move forward with it before end of its term.

 

When the current Council assumed this project, the time deadline for this bid had expired and the bid price had to be re-visited.  We received an updated estimate from Domm of  $2,134,000 including non-recoverable HST of $37,000, before any cost overruns.

 

Under current Council, the Fire Master Plan was updated during this term and it identified the need for a new fire station to replace the Station 2 facility.

 

When I came on Council 4 years ago, I wanted to explore the possibility of having fire services co-locate in a new station with Simcoe Paramedic Services, similar to the Clearview station, but without the police services component. I met with Simcoe County staff and developed with them an expression of interest to co-locate with Springwater fire services if the location was on the Bayfield corridor around the juncture of Snow Valley Rd. In November 2015, Council confirmed with Simcoe County its interest in co-locating the services and a written undertaking was obtained.

 

The Fire Building Committee, of which I have been a member this term, and Council decided to continue working on Fire Station 2 improvements while the search continued for an appropriate site for a new station that could accommodate co-location with paramedic services. Significant delays were experienced getting performance and results from the design architects retained by Springwater. The RFP and RFQ process eventually occurred and in January 2018, the contract for Station 2 renovations was awarded at a cost of $716,000 plus taxes. Work commenced in 2018 and will be completed by the fall of 2018.

 

It remains a priority of mine and of Council to continue to explore possibilities for a permanent fire station to replace Fire Station 2, at which point in future, Public Works will expand into the full Yard 2 renovated facility, to provide much needed additional space for operating. A possible location for a new fire station is actively being pursued and investigated at this time.

 

Simcoe County paramedic services remain committed to co-locate with Springwater Fire & Emergency Services once this is finalized.

Next term when I am Mayor, all of this will be completed.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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04 Sep
0

County of Simcoe Forestry to conduct controlled burn in Museum Tract in Midhurst

Please find information regarding an upcoming controlled burn scheduled for the Midhurst Tract

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

County of Simcoe Forestry to conduct controlled burn in Museum Tract in Midhurst

Midhurst/September 4, 2018 – The County of Simcoe will be executing a controlled burn on 30 hectares (74 acres) of County Forests within the Museum Tract in Midhurst adjacent to the Simcoe County Museum. The controlled burn is scheduled to occur this fall as early as conditions permit after mid-September. The exact date cannot be determined at this time as it will be dictated by site and weather conditions. During the controlled burn, a section of Anne Street North directly adjacent to the site between Snow Valley Road and Highway 26 will be closed.

Once the date of the controlled burn has been confirmed, every effort will be made to inform residents, stakeholders and media through a variety of communication channels, including:

  • County website: www.simcoe.ca
  • Twitter: @simcoecounty and @simcoecountyCS
  • Facebook: @CountyofSimcoe
  • Details will also be published through local media outlets (should timelines permit)

Fire is a critical element for the renewal of some forest types. Due to the ecological benefits of fire, controlled burning is widely used by forest managers to help in the renewal process. This controlled burn will serve multiple purposes such as:

  • Reducing fire risk on the site by burning debris in a controlled manner
  • Clearing debris to allow for reforestation
  • Supporting the release of nutrients to improve growing conditions for target species
  • Helping to reduce some of the non-native invasive species currently on site. In particular, burning will reduce the seed and subsequent re-growth of scots pine, one of the non-native species which needs to be eliminated to achieve desired results

The Museum Tract controlled burn is a key step in preparing the site for a significant forest restoration and habitat creation project on the property being led by the County. The restoration involves the removal of existing vegetation (largely non-native/exotic plants and trees) and re-planting of approximately 160,000 native trees. In addition to the significant tree planting effort, the site will be over-seeded with a mix of native plant and shrub seeds to establish a diverse groundcover. With this project, the County will be joining an international recovery effort for the Kirtland’s Warbler, a globally endangered and rare migratory bird.  Funding has been received from the Government of Canada, through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP) and American Forests. For details about the project visit www.simcoe.ca/restorationproject.

County Council approved the Simcoe County Forests Management Plan in 2011 to guide our policies through 2030. The Plan outlines that fire has historically played a primary role in influencing the composition and structure of our forests, and that utilizing fire in a controlled way is an important management tool. Controlled burns have been conducted previously within the County Forests, most recently in 2014 within the Brentwood Tract in Clearview Township.

A highly experienced company has been retained to plan and conduct the burn, with trained and experienced personnel on site until it is completely extinguished. The operation is anticipated to be conducted over a 3-day span if weather permits. Smoke will be minimized by burning under specific wind and atmospheric conditions. However, there will be stages of the operation when large amounts of low-lying smoke is generated, while at other times a very large smoke column will be visible for many miles.

Public questions and inquiries can be directed to our County Forestry Department by contacting Customer Service at1-800-263-3199. More information about the controlled burn can be found here. Media interested in covering the burn are asked to contact Corporate Communications (contact details are included below) to arrange interviews and visuals.

 

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01 Sep
0

Deputy Don’s Updates – Garbage Collection Updates in Simcoe County this Fall

Sharing the highlights from a recent Garbage Collection Flyer, mark these important dates on your household calendar.  With kitty litter and pet waste being added to your green bin components, there are many ways to become greener in Springwater!

 


 

 

 

DON’T FORGET – Electronics collection coming to Simcoe County curbs weeks of September 17 and 24

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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31 Aug
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference – In Conversation (Aug 19-22,2018)

Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference – In Conversation

 Ottawa August 19-22, 2018

This annual conference gathers municipal politicians from different parts of Ontario plus suppliers of services and Provincial politicians. As with all conferences which councillors choose to attend, the councilor and therefore the Township get out of the conference what the councilor is willing to put into it – what sessions they attend and the learning they draw from these and the networking they do. It takes work and follow up by the councilor to make them worthwhile. It is also good to have more than one councilor attend a conference, as there are numerous concurrent presentations, and these can be split between attendees to get the maximum learning. I was the only councilor attending this AMO conference.

Minister Delegations

A major component of these conferences is the ability to make delegations to Provincial ministers and staff regarding issues in your township. I corresponded with Mayor French and CAO Brindley well before the conference, requesting I be copied on all materials about our planned delegations and requested that I attend all delegations.  I followed up with the CAO, only to find out that the Mayor had indicated that because he was not going to be attending the conference, there were going to be no delegations at this conference by the Township. There was no communication with me as Deputy Mayor regarding this. It is logical that, in his absence, I would make the appropriate delegations, to get our Township represented and heard. This was an important missed opportunity to meet with new ministers of a new government to get Springwater exposed to them. There were between four and eight delegations made by each of the other Simcoe municipalities there and over 500 delegations made in total.

 Conference Summary

On the conference programming page (link below) are videos and presentations made during the conference. I will comment on some of them.

https://www.amo.on.ca/Events/AMOConference/Programming

 

Keynote Speaker: Shawn Kanungo – “We are on the Brink of a Revolution”

Shawn is described as a strategist who operates at the intersection of creativity, business and technology. He reviewed his 2020 Strategy and talked about how we will hire and use talent and the use of automation through artificial intelligence. He talked of the balance between nostalgia and disruption in our society and being prepared for this. He used the example of Dominos Pizza, with 1,000 locations in 2010 and now having 21,238 locations, and really becoming a data management company to help manage its growth in today’s environment. Municipalities have not been designed to experiment quickly and analyze the results and change accordingly – he recommended creating a culture of experimentation. Be hungry to learn and experiment.

 

Building Better Infrastructure Projects in Your Community

Discussed maximizing the use of wood for infrastructure building of midrise, tall buildings, low rise commercial and bridges. Building code amendments allow for structural wood framing up to six stories. Cost per square metre to replace bridges: Concrete $8,022 versus Timber $2,552. Timber bridges last average 82 years with many over 100 years. Lower maintenance costs, reduced ratings and failures.

Political Leader Presentations

We heard from Premier Doug Ford, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner. Videos of their presentations are on the link above.

Citizens Perspectives for the Municipal Election 2018

Nik Nanos of Nanos Research gave a very interesting presentation of his recent polling results. Video of the presentation is on the link above and it is summarized in my August 23rd Springwater News article (page 13).

Municipal Fiscal Health – What We Know

For every six in ten people, improving the state of roads and bridges is a high priority. Seven in ten people are concerned property taxes will not cover the cost of infrastructure. Ontario property tax revenue per capita is higher than the rest of Canada. AMO conducted its Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review and noted the following:

$4.9 billion needed each year for 10 years to close the infrastructure gap and continue delivering today’s services and to close the infrastructure gap.

Average estimated household tax at $3,000 in 2015 will be $6,989 in 2025.

 

Spurring Rural Economic Activity: Challenges & Opportunities

Presentations on: Burk’s Falls downtown community improvement; Grey County revitalization; CannAssist – a prospective Ontario based producer of pharmaceutical grade cannabis for medical use. Examples of development in Kapuskasing as a local community partner.

 

Hubs Coming to a Community Near You

Role of Municipal Council in Rural Ontario Communities – Township in Huron County. Examples of revitalization of communities by creating hubs in different towns of the township. Reviewed steps and processes used. Referenced CommunityHubsOntario.ca – provincial funding and resources.

 

Municipal Investment Income Potential with Prudent Investor

Reviewed the current Safe Harbour rules and use of prudence in investing municipal monies. Reviewed examples of investment needs and options, reviewing asset classes. Reviewed One Investment business model and how municipalities can use it for better returns with safe investments.

 

Vision: 100% Plastics Recovery through the 4Rs

Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover. Most plastic enters oceans from mismanaged waste. Leakage by country – China is #1, Canada is #112. CPIA goal – 100% of plastics packaging is re-used, recycled and recovered by 2040. Interim goal – 100% of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030. Working with G7 countries’ global plastic commitment. Convert post consumer plastics into original state molecules to be reused in new products. Plastics = valuable energy source – advanced thermal and energy recovery. Reviewed London ON example.

 

Cannabis & Communities – The Here and Now

Panel presentations on Cannabis Legislation, Policing and Cannabis, Municipal Enforcement & Provincial Offences Act Implications, Questions and Impacts. Considerations and implications of coming change to the legislation.

Ministers’ Forum – BEAR PIT SESSION

The annual hour-long session of questions from the floor and answers from Ministers (video on link above).

Basically, the theme of answers was that – we hear you – we heard the delegations messaging – we are looking into these and studying them – we have made some changes to start to address these – we are committed to do more – stay tuned.

 

Topics included:

Municipal Joint and several liability – Fair & reasonable limits on municipal liability – AG Mulroney has been briefed and this was raised in delegations – they are looking at this closely to follow up.

Interest arbitration – So that Police and Fire get fair wage increases that the taxpayers can afford. Legislative changes in this process to enable municipalities to pay. Min Labour Laurie Scott – directed staff to look into issues and delegation recommendations and get back.

Commercial Water Taking Permits – Municipalities do not (but should) have a priority to take licenses. Put commercial requests on hold until municipalities submit requests and until further testing is done to see what should be taken. Min. Rod Phillips looking at all aspects of water expect to hear from government on all aspects of water. Many delegations referred to this.

PhragmitesMinistry to take on as a lead ministry – Min. of Enviro Rod Phillips – a multi ministry concern – understand the tools and need to work collectively – serious threat.

Downloading – commit to no more downloads – Vic Fedeli – reviewed relief for families & municipalities by cancelling cap in trade – hydro reduction – corporate income tax – small bus tax reductions.

Clarity around Crown’s Duty to Consult – Min. Indiginous Affairs Rickford – Increase Crown’s duty to consult – increase consultation and make sure it is communicated.

Commit to work with AMO to streamline legislation and bureaucracy

Min. Steve Clark & Dep Christine Elliott – Committed to fixing unnecessary bureaucracy.

Youth voting and involvement

Lisa McLeod Youth initiative – more of a mentorship mold – listen to new ideas.

Double Hatters – Laurie Scott – Look into issue look at all the sides – heard the issues.

Disabled – reduction in support – Fideli re buck a beer – no cost to government or taxpayer

Pause button on social programs – Lisa MacLeod – Come back with a sustainable plan within 100 days. Referred to delegations regarding this.

Affordable housing – work with municipal governments – Planning to convene a working group to meet after Oct 22 election.

Rural hospitals – Funding formula – revisit so smaller hospitals can continue to function. Looking at this.

Investing in programs to improve health – public health initiative to keep people out of care

Greater emphasis on wellness – working with other agencies.

Complete streets and active transportation corridors

Withdrew critical funding for this – was funded by cap in trade – line by line review and will assess ability to deliver programs going forward.

Funding for forestry

Jeff Yurek $54M budgeted for roads – want to build on solution for the industry – build and develop economy in Northern Ont.

Affordable housing

Need help aging seniors to stay in homes – programs to help people to do repairs – suggestions and will discuss at federal level as well.

Youth engagement – Cannabis education

Lisa Thompson – Programs will work together.

 

Community Hub Building

Monte McNaughton – What is commitment to community hubs and work with Ministry of Health

Lay out federal and provincial infrastructure program in the fall – possible funding for hubs.

Plan to ensure francophones and indigenous receive health services of the same standard

Elliott – work with federal government to ensure no gap

Infrastructure Funding

Monte McNaughton – releasing fed provincial infrastructure program this fall – 4 streams

Waste Diversion

Transition blue box to full producer responsibility. – 2023 target – conversation ongoing.

Increase mentally ill + opioid crisis

Elliott – $3.8B over 10 yrs prov + fed for mental health strategy + housing strategy + supervised injection sites review.

Crisis of palliative care – care for seniors

Brian Smith – Elliott – eliminate hallway care – 15000 long term beds in next 5 years and 15K in the next 5 years after that

Wetlaufer examination – awaiting recommendations re specific care arising from this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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30 Aug
0

County to Build Regional Services Hub in Orillia

Please find the most recent press release from the County of Simcoe regarding a land acquisition agreement for future regional services hub

 

County to build regional services hub in Orillia

Midhurst/August 30, 2018 – The County of Simcoe has completed a land acquisition agreement with Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) to purchase the closed Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute (ODCVI) property for development of a future regional services hub.

Open Houses related to the project and future uses on the site will be held in 2019, in which the County will be seeking input on the design, amenities and potential community services to be offered at the site. Construction timelines, building design and services to be offered on the site will be determined through community needs and after public input is received.

Demolition of the aged buildings will commence immediately for public safety reasons. Investigation into the viability of utilizing or re-purposing the older infrastructure revealed that this option was not prudent or cost effective. The County and SCDSB have made arrangements to protect the existing student memorial arboretum on the property and the County will incorporate this area into future designs. The County is also working closely with the City of Orillia to complete the permit processes and future planning.

This project aligns with the County’s Strategic Asset Management Plan, 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy, and the Simcoe County Positive Aging Strategy. It remains prudent to identify multi-benefit projects that align with the County’s long-term goals and objectives, and meet the growing service demands in the areas of affordable housing, long term care, paramedic services and other community service needs, including a positive aging framework. Recent County capital investments in these areas include:

2010 – Development of a Joint Emergency Services Centre in Stayner
2011 – Redevelopment of a Bradford social and affordable housing complex
2013 – Redevelopment of Georgian Village
2016 – Development of the Alliston Paramedic Services Station
2016 – Development of the Beeton Paramedic Services Station
2016 – Redevelopment of Barrie social and affordable housing complex
2017 – Development of the Orillia Paramedic Services Station
Underway – Partnership with the City of Barrie to develop the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Operations Centre
Underway – Development of the Collingwood Paramedic Services Station
Underway – Development of an affordable housing complex in Collingwood
Underway – Development of an affordable housing complex in Wasaga Beech
Underway – Redevelopment of Barr’s Motel in Barrie for affordable housing
Underway – Development of an affordable housing complex in Tay Township
View our FAQ.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

Quotes

“County Council continues to make critical investments in our communities to ensure we can meet the current and future service demands and social infrastructure requirements of our growing region,” said Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall.

“Orillia Council is excited to see our longstanding partner, the County of Simcoe, take ownership of this important piece of property in Orillia. Further, I commend the County for protecting the student memorial arboretum. We look forward to seeing the County’s final development plans for the site following the public consultation process in 2019,” said City of Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke.

“We look forward to working with both the City of Orillia and our residents to redevelop this property into a community service hub that could address multiple areas of need in Orillia and the surrounding Townships, greatly benefitting residents for generations to come,” said Mark Aitken, Chief Administrative Officer, County of Simcoe.

– 30 –

Allan Greenwood
Director, Corporate Communications
705-726-9300 ext. 1230
705-794-9301 (mobile)
Allan.Greenwood@simcoe.ca

Collin Matanowitsch
Communications Co-ordinator
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)
Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca

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28 Aug
0

Deputy Don’s Update – AMO

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) brings together municipal politicians from all over Ontario to share knowledge, ideas and contacts. This is just a summary of Day 1 at the annual conference this week in Ottawa at the deadline for submission of this issue and wanted to get to you an interesting piece from the conference so far. I will do a further write-up of interesting points of the whole conference in the near future.

  1. Nik Nanos, President of Nanos Research, always presents illuminating studies and statistics of his recent research. Citizens Perspectives for the Municipal Election 2018 was hot off the press for this conference.

Some points of study:

Economic factors – 12% of Ontarians believe the next generation will have a higher standard of living than Canadians have today.
Most responsive government levels to our needs – Federal 20%, Provincial 35%, Municipal 31%, Unsure 14%.
Top challenges facing municipal governments – Infrastructure/Transportation 31%.
Prioritization of municipal services – 84% ensuring quality of drinking water.
Service contributing most to property taxes – public works 33%, police and fire services 28%.
Wages and benefits of fire and police personnel – 43% want the same wage and benefit increase as other employees in the same municipality.
What services should be cut if revenues do not grow – 19% say no services should be cut.
Method for obtaining community news – 35% local paper, 26% online, 14% TV News, 8% social media.
Most valued service provided by local government – Health care 17%, Public works/infrastructure 14%, Safety & Emergency Services 13%.
When it comes to the collection of taxes in Canada, the federal government collects 47% of every household tax dollar, the provincial government collects 44% and municipalities collect 9%. Given the services each order of government delivers, should municipal government receive a greater share of taxes, a smaller share or is the current amount right? 60% say a greater share – 27% say the current amount is right.
Should the municipal government cut services to freeze property taxes – 49% say No.
Keeping your property tax increases to the rate of inflation no matter the impact on the quality or level of municipal services. 31% oppose, 28% support, 18% somewhat support, 35% somewhat oppose.
Are you concerned that your current local property taxes will not cover the cost to fund future maintenance, replacement and new essential infrastructure and other municipal services? 41% concerned, 28% somewhat concerned.
Would you support a 1% increase in HST solely dedicated to municipal infrastructure projects in your community? 43% support, 15% somewhat support, 33% oppose.
Are you aware there is a municipal election this October? 66% aware, 34% unaware.
How likely is it you will vote in the October election? 84% yes, 5% unlikely.
The reason for not voting. 30% don’t know enough, 19% not interested/don’t vote.
Issues that motivate to vote municipally – Healthcare/Services offered by the city 20%, electing a good leader 16%.

Important qualities for a candidate for office – Honesty/Integrity/Transparency/Trustworthy – 32%, Caring about local issues/Responsive to local population – 23%.

In summary, Ontarians still see infrastructure as both a problem and a priority. There is concern that the local property taxes will not cover the future cost of infrastructure, as well as the demands from the Province will lead to an increase in property taxes. Ontarians feel the municipalities should get a greater share of tax revenue. There is still support from Ontarians for a 1% HST increase to solely be dedicated to municipal governments for infrastructure projects.  Ontarians are likely or somewhat likely to vote in the upcoming municipal election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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27 Aug
0

Electronics Collection Coming to Simcoe County in September

Please find press release from County if Simcoe regarding electronics collection.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Electronics collection coming to Simcoe County curbs weeks of September 17 and 24

 

Midhurst/ August 27, 2018 – Simcoe County residents have a new option to recycle their old or unused electronics through a convenient curbside collection program that runs the weeks of September 17 and 24 across the region.

The County’s audit data indicates that approximately 650,000 kgs. of electronics end up in curbside garbage collected each year. Many electronics are harmful to the environment when not recycled properly and the goal of this new program is to offer residents an easy solution to properly recycle common electronic items.

“The County is constantly striving to enhance our services and programs and increase our diversion rate,” said Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall. “We’re pleased to introduce another innovative collection program that will assist Simcoe County residents in clearing out old electronics and help our environment with a simple and convenient recycling solution.”

All Simcoe County households will receive one electronics collection, with half the County receiving pick-up September 17-21 (Zone 1) and the other half receiving pick-up September 24-28 (Zone 2). Visit www.simcoe.ca/electronicscollection or check out your Waste Calendar to determine your zone.

An electronics collection bag will arrive through Canada Post by early September as part of the County’s Big News envelope. The mailer will also include a bag for our annual Battery Collection occurring November 5-9, 2018 and information about upcoming changes to our green bin program.

Similar to other special collection programs, electronics pick-up does not necessarily coincide with your regular collection day. Place bags (sealed clear plastic bags will also be accepted) and larger loose items at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Monday of your designated week.

Acceptable items include:

  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Printers
  • Televisions
  • Cellular phones
  • Video gaming consoles
  • Small appliances (toasters, vacuums, kettles, electric mixers and coffee makers)
  • Personal care items (hair dryers, electric shavers and toothbrushes)
  • Cords and small corded power tools

 

Please delete all personal data from items placed at the curb. The County is not responsible for personal information contained on computer hard drives, motherboards or other electronic devices that may potentially store information. ?Electronic items collected will be processed at a local approved electronics recycling facility where they are sorted and recyclable materials are sent out for reuse.

Visit www.simcoe.ca/electronicscollection for details.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

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23 Aug
0

Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall to assume the functions of the Warden

Please find press release from The County of Simcoe, which comes as a result of Gerry Marshall taking a new role in Wasaga as interim CAO.

Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall to assume the functions of the Warden

Midhurst/ August 22, 2018 – The County of Simcoe has received notice from the Town of Penetanguishene that Gerry Marshall has resigned from his position as Mayor of Penetanguishene.

As a result of this notice, and the fact that Simcoe County Councillors are appointed to their positions by virtue of holding the Office of Mayor or Deputy Mayor of one of our sixteen member municipalities, he has also therefore effectively resigned both his seat on Simcoe County Council and his position as the Warden, or Head of Simcoe County Council.

Given the County’s governance provisions, Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall will assume the functions commonly performed by the Warden in the interim, and County Council will continue to govern and provide direction as per the norm.

The County of Simcoe would like to thank Gerry Marshall for his time and contributions to Simcoe County Council, and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours.

 

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17 Aug
0

Voting Information in The Township of Springwater

Voting methods
Eligible electors will be able to cast their ballots 3 different ways: by internet, telephone or in-person with a traditional paper ballot.

Internet and Telephone Voting
Details on how to vote via internet and telephone will be mailed to all eligible electors during the first week of October, 2018. This Voter Information Letter will include details on when and how to access the internet or telephone voting system. Eligible electors will be able to cast their internet or telephone ballot 24/7, at their convenience starting at 10:00 am on Friday, October 12, 2018. Voting closes at 8:00 pm on Monday, October
22, 2018. Your Voter Information Letter holds important information required to cast their ballot. Lost or stolen Voter Information Letters can be replaced at the Township Administration Centre between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday or at any of the below listed voting locations. Valid identification is required. A list of valid ID is available on the MAH website:
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page18734.aspx#identification

 

Options to Cast a Vote Include:
– Desktop or laptop computer
–  Smart Phone (mobile device)
–  Tablet Device
– Touch tone phone

A Voter Help Centre will be available from Monday, October 15 to Friday October 19, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at the Administration Centre 2231 Nursery Rd, Minesing.
The Voter Help Centre will have a voting kiosk as well as staff available to assist with any questions. Free internet access is also available at all branches of the Springwater Public Library during regular business hours.

An Electronic Voting Location will be held at Hillsdale Elementary located at 16 Albert St East on Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Here, eligible electors will have the opportunity to cast their ballot via internet voting, be added to the voters list and receive copy of lost or stolen Voter Information Letters.

Voter Information Letters will be required when voting at the Voter Help Centre or the Electronic Voting Location. 

A phone-in Voter Help Centre will be available on Saturday October 20 and Sunday October 21, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM by calling 705-728-4784 Ext. 2028.

 

Traditional Paper Ballot Voting
Electors may vote with a traditional paper ballot on Election Day Monday, October 22, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM at any of the following locations:

1.Administration Centre
2231 Nursery Road

2. Minesing Community Centre
2347 Ronald Road
3. Springwater Room – Elmvale Community Arena
14 George Street

4. A poll will be held for the residents of Sara Vista on October 22, 2018. This location will not be publicly available and will only be open for approximately 1 hour to allow the
residents the opportunity to vote.

Voter Information Letters
Voter Information Letters will be mailed to all persons eligible to vote in the municipal and school board election at the beginning of October 2018. Voter Information Letters contain important information on how and where to vote and will be required to cast their ballot by internet or telephone. This is why it is important to ensure that information is accurate and up to date. In the coming days, www.springwater.ca/areyouonthelist will be activated for residents to check if they are on the voters list. Candidates will be notified

If someone does not receive a Voter Information Letter by October 15, 2018 or to replace if lost or stolen, contact the Clerk’s Office at 705-728-4784 ext. 2015 or visit the
Administration Centre at 22312 Nursery Rd, Minesing. Acceptable ID must be provided to receive a new or replacement Voter Information Letter.

Additions, deletions or amendments to the Voters List.
Application for additions, deletions or amendments to the Voters List will be accepted starting on September 5, 2018. These will be accepted during business hours up until the close of nominations (8pm on October 22, 2018). Further details regarding changes to the Voters List will be provided in a subsequent memo.
All of the above information is available at:
http://www.springwater.ca/Election2018/voter_Information

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16 Aug
0

Heard on the Campaign Trail – The Keeping of Chickens.

In my door to door visits, I have been questioned about reviewing the bylaw that prevents the controlled keeping of chickens to provide fresh eggs.

When I am Mayor, I will recommend to Council that we review consideration of possibly allowing this in a controlled manner. I will recommend a staff report and input from the residents before considering a recommendation.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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16 Aug
0

The Weather is Warm and the Splash Pad is Ready for Family Fun!

It is perfect weather to get out there and enjoy the new splash pad in Elmvale.  Yesterday, as members of council, we were able to be at the official grand opening of the Homer Barrett Park Splash Pad.  It was wonderful to see so many young families out and enjoying this new park.  Since today is as very warm, it is a perfect day to head over and cool off under the water at the park.  Stop by and check it out..it is located at 43 Centennial Avenue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all of those who had a part in making this splash pad a reality.  It is truly a wonderful addition to Springwater!

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

Here is the release from the Township of Springwater with all the details of the Grand Opening and the Splash Pad

Township of Springwater / August 15, 2018 – Springwater residents have a new place to cool down with the opening of the Homer Barrett Park Splash Pad in Elmvale. Township Council officially cut the ribbon and invited the public to enjoy the park during a ceremony which took place on Wednesday afternoon.

The new 3,050 square foot splash pad is located at 43 Centennial Avenue in Elmvale and features a design focusing around a water tower, which was a prominent landmark in Elmvale until the early 2000s. The park includes two designated play zones and 20 spray features. An aluminum shade shelter with two accessible tables was also included in the creation of the park.

The new splash pad features an environmentally friendly recirculation system to drastically reduce the amount of water used.

“The new splash pad is a great addition to our Township,” says Mayor Bill French. “Council is supportive of investing in new ways to keep our residents active in our community and the new splash pad provides a great way for families to get out, meet their neighbours and cool off while having fun. Furthermore, the new splash pad will draw additional people to Elmvale, increasing visitation to our main street businesses.”

The Homer Barrett Park Splash Pad will operate from May to mid-September and be open daily from 9 am to 8 pm, weather permitting.

The new splash pad cost approximately $350,000 and was funded through the development charges reserve fund and the Elmvale hydro reserve fund.

View photos of the splash pad on the Township Facebook page here:www.facebook.com/TownshipofSpringwater

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15 Aug
0

Platform Topics – ATV’s on Roadsides

ATV’s on Roadsides

I have heard from some people I have met going door to door about having more access to roads when driving ATV’s in Springwater. This is a subject that has been debated in the past, resulting in the current by-law related to this. Other Simcoe municipalities have recently reviewed or are in the process of reviewing their by-law with respect to this.

When I am Mayor, I will recommend to Council that we review considerations concerning this and hold public meetings to hear different points of view. Based on this, we could entertain whether to adjust the by-law or leave it as is.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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14 Aug
0

Fact or Fiction – Council Compensation

Fact or Fiction – Council Compensation

Recent comments by the Mayor French and Councillor Hanna about certain councillors voting to maintain the pension contribution for councillors is “feeding at the public trough” and not honouring savings, are nothing but selected spin.

 

It’s fiction – here’s the facts

  • The adjustments agreed upon affect the future Council, not the present one. It is mandatory that existing Council review these at this time.
  • The adjustments made to the salary do not result in any increased remuneration to councillors – it makes the new net pay equal to what it is now, after the federal future tax changes are in effect.
  • The adjustments to the benefits paid will save the tax payers money and will also provide an extra $3,000 to each of the councillors over 70 years of age.
  • The internet and mileage re-imbursement will save the tax payers money.
  • The OMERS pension contribution is split between the Township and the councillor, as it has been in the past and continues to be for employees. Councillors over 70 can not be part of the pension plan. It is not unusual for senior councillors to be part of an existing pension plan already from previous careers. This component can be reviewed by a future Council and be adjusted if it so chooses.
  • This combination of these remuneration components is common for many municipalities.
  • To be competitive and have a package that will attract quality future Council candidates, I believe this reflects a fair compensation package.

To discuss further, please feel free to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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08 Aug
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Part 4 – Express Your Concerns on the Environment Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC)

Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC)

The Official Plan Amendment for the garbage and organics facilities is now being considered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. It’s important to express your concerns about the issues surrounding this proposed project by an August 31, 2018 deadline. You can write a letter, making sure to reference EBR Registry number 013-3377, and direct your comments to Aldo Ingraldi
Senior Planner, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Municipal Services Division, Municipal Services Office – Central Ontario, 777 Bay Street, Floor 13, Toronto ON, M5G 2E5.

Alternatively, you may submit your comments online by visiting the Environment Registry page below, going to the “Contact” section on the right-hand side of the page, and clicking on the link “Submit Comment”.

http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTM1NzA0&statusId=MjA2NjE1&language=en

I have submitted my concerns about the proposed location in a forest, including fire concerns, safety issues, traffic, odour, lack of servicing and the costs of this project.

 

This is the last issue where we can write articles before the election. Further communication in this paper will be by paid advertising. I will continue to inform and express my opinion on matters on my website www.donallen.ca and other social media. I welcome your contacting me at 705-302-4253 or emailing me at info@donallen.ca.

 

These are my thoughts and interpretations and not necessarily those of Council.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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08 Aug
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Part 3 – Update on Edwin Espinal

Edwin Espinal Bail Hearing

Source -Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor site.

We have been supportively following the unjust arrest and incarceration of Edwin Espinal in La Tolva maximum- security prison in Honduras six months ago. The Spring family and supporters have tirelessly travelled to the prison to try to see Edwin and have pleaded the case of Edwin and other political prisoners to many officials and politicians.
Janet Spring is again travelling to Honduras this week. Edwin’s family were able to see him last weekend and are very upset at his physical state – he has lost more weight and is very skinny and his spirits and emotions are understandable very challenged. Prison authorities have cut back further on the starchy food portions and the water and sanitation conditions remain incomprehensively deplorable. A bail hearing for Edwin is supposed to happen this week, with a ruling around 10 days thereafter. This remains fluid, as there continues to be a total lack of following due legal process in this case, with no formal charges and a total lack of evidence and communication. The corruption and scandals of the current Hernandez government have reached such an extreme that the United States may step in and become more involved soon. Canada has much less influence in this situation.  I recently telephoned the Honduran ambassador to Canada – Sofia Cerrato Rodriquez to discuss this and demand answers. She indicated she would respond but I have not heard back from her. I will again try to speak with her this week. Please continue to support the Spring family to get Edwin and other political prisoners released. More information and contacts are found on the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor site.

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08 Aug
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Part 2 – Municipal Elections

Municipal Elections

Municipal elections happen every 4 years, occurring this October, to determine the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Springwater and in this coming election, for the ward councillors for wards 1,3,4 and 5. Congratulations to Perry Ritchie, who was acclaimed as Ward 2 councillor, for his third term. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor also sit on Simcoe County Council and help make decisions about the running of the County, which affects Springwater residents in significant ways. There are 9 weeks until the advance voting by internet and phone starts and 10 weeks until voting occurs at the polling stations on October 22, 2018.

In the 2014 Springwater election, of the 15,233 qualified Springwater voters, 6,475 or 42.5% actually voted. This was up from 38.8% in 2010. Of those who voted, 63% voted in advance of election day, using the internet or phone voting and 37% voted at the polls on voting day. There will again be voting by internet or the phone, starting October 12th.

 

I suggest you look thoroughly at the actual accomplishments of each of those who are running again for office. See if they have a website that clearly sets out what they initiated and what they accomplished over the last four years, compared to what they claimed they would accomplish, and evaluate their goals and platform for the next four years if they get elected. Don’t get caught up with rumours and innuendo. Check for the facts. If the candidate has not contacted you, then contact them to have a face-to-face meeting to discuss ideas and positions. For those who are running for office for the first time, research the actual job experience they have had and judge whether you think it will directly and meaningfully contribute to them doing the best job as councillor to represent you.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

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07 Aug
0

Deputy Don’s Updates – Part 1 – Economic Statistics for Springwater

Springwater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have done some research about current 2018 economic statistics for Springwater compared to all of Simcoe County (Simcoe), including Barrie and Orillia, to best understand the resident segments in the Township. Springwater’s population is 20,124 compared to Simcoe of 508,463. Springwater has 7,112 households compared to 194,750 in Simcoe. For Springwater, the age span of the household maintainer is – 25-34 (9%); 35-44 (18%); 45-54 (23%); 55-64 (25%) and 65-74 (15%). The average household income is $136,080 in Springwater, with the average in Simcoe being $100,378. Households with children at home are 50% for Springwater and 44% for Simcoe.

 

For Springwater, the top 5 segments of population, representing 83% of the households, consist of:

 

Country Acres – 1,972 households (27%) representing 4,489 (22%) of Springwater population.  These are middle-aged and older couples and families earning an average income in agriculture or blue-collar professions. They are content with a rural lifestyle rather than city life.

 

Satellite Burbs – 1,105 households (16%) representing 3,429 (17%) of the people. These are middle-aged families and older couples living in satellite communities in outer-ring subdivisions with wooded tracts and spacious homes. One quarter have university degrees and another quarter have high school diplomas, with average income of $140,000. They enjoy the arts as well as the great outdoors.

 

Exurban Wonderland – 1,104 households (16%) representing 3,221 (16%) of the people. These are middle-aged families who have settled in the emerging sprawl beyond large cities. With incomes nearing $145,000, residents of these new communities tend to be prosperous professionals who like their toys: boats, RVs, snowmobiles, computers, home theatre systems and impressive collections of sporting equipment. Many enjoy outdoor activities. With a majority still raising children at home—most kids are between 5 and 20 years old—the segment scores high for family-friendly activities.

 

Fresh Air Families – 1,060 households (15%) representing 2,574 (13%) of the people. These neighbourhoods feature a mix of middle-aged couples and families with children ages 5 to 24 years old. While most adults have high school, trade school or college educations, these two-income households enjoy solid, upper-middle-income lifestyles with positions in public administration, construction or the trades. They own single-detached homes and 9 out of 10 commute by car to jobs. They enjoy the great outdoors, particularly fishing, boating, snowmobiling and camping.

 

Exurban Homesteaders – 641 households (9%) representing 2,030 (10%) of the people. These consist of middle-aged families and couples living in near-rural settings. Most of the couples earn average incomes from solid, blue-collar jobs in primary industries, manufacturing, transportation and the trades. With 83 percent owning single-family homes, many have settled in these communities for the affordable housing and laid-back lifestyle. They spend a lot of their leisure time outdoors. In this DIY-friendly segment, residents tend to work on their cars, patronize big-box hardware chains, tend their gardens and enjoy sewing and crafts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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07 Aug
0

NEW Simcoe County LINX Transit Service now connecting communities with Route 1

LINX Transit is now official running!  Read through today’s press release from the County of Simcoe to see all the details on the LINX Transit Service in Simcoe County!

 

NEW Simcoe County LINX Transit Service now connecting communities with Route 1

                                                                                                    

Midhurst/August 7, 2018 – The County of Simcoe celebrated the launch of its new LINX Transit Service today with representatives from local MPP offices, Council Councillors, partners, staff and media. Route 1 runs north and south from Penetanguishene/Midland to Barrie with stops in Wyebridge, Waverley, Elmvale and Midhurst. To introduce the service, the County is offering complimentary fares between August 7-September 4, with regular fare rates starting after Labour Day.

The County is also offering an accessible door-to-door transit service for individuals with mobility needs called the LINX+, which will launch on September 4. Residents are asked to complete a registration form to access the LINX+ service by visiting linx.simcoe.ca or by calling 1-800-263-3199.

“We’re officially in the transit business and we’re pleased to offer another crucial public service to our residents and communities,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “Route 1 is just the first stop on an ambitious plan to link our municipalities across the region and connect residents to health services, jobs, education centres and retail hubs in other communities.”

During a formal launch celebration, the County also unveiled its unique social media marketing campaign to inform residents and encourage ridership called Get Your Brass on the Bus. The online video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/cgpLUYww1bQ.

In 2017, as part of the County’s Transit Implementation Plan, County Council approved a 5-year, $5 million plan to create a regional transit service. Recognizing the need to increase public transit within Simcoe County, the Government of Ontario recently topped up funding with a significant $8.4 million contribution.

As part of a five year roll out of the LINX service, the following proposed routes will be considered: Orillia to Barrie (2019), Collingwood to Barrie (2019/2020), Alliston to Bradford West Gwillimbury and Midland to Orillia (2020/2021). The County will also assume some existing inter-municipal routes currently operating throughout the County.

Visit linx.simcoe.ca to learn more.

Quick Facts:

Fares: Fares will operate on a zone system based on distance travelled – fares for Route 1 range from $2, $4 and $6.  Exact cash fares only will be accepted on the bus. The County will be offering a LINX reloadable card that users can purchase for convenient access to the LINX. LINX cards will be available in late August. For sales locations and information, please visit linx.simcoe.ca.

Hours of Operation: Route 1 LINX service will operate Monday to Friday with the first bus starting at 6 a.m. and the last drop off occurring at 7:40 p.m. The LINX Service does not operate on weekends.

 

Locating Your Bus: Alerts and real-time bus tracking will be available on linx.simcoe.ca. The County has also partnered with an existing App company to link real-time bus and route information through the popular app. Residents are encouraged to download the “Transit app” on their Apple and Android devices. 

LINX Buses: The first route will start with four 30 foot buses, with seating for up to 24 passengers plus room for eight standing passengers each and two wheelchairs, and 2 LINX+ buses with seating for up seven passengers, including 3 wheelchairs. The buses are equipped with GPS based vehicle location systems, automated stop announcements, smart card fare systems and CCTV cameras.

Environment: LINX buses are equipped with low emission engines with current clean diesel technology. The LINX bus offers above average fuel economy and the manufacture has also partnered with the aerospace industry, integrating proven concepts into the bus, greatly reducing noise pollution – making it one of the quietest transit buses on the road today.

 

Bus Operation: The County has entered into an agreement with First Canada ULC to operate and maintain LINX buses. First Canada has transit operating agreements across Canada and also provide school bus transportation services.

                                                      

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

Photo caption (image attached): Members of County Council were joined by legendary brass band The Shuffle Demons to help launch the new Simcoe County LINX Transit Service, which started transporting passengers along Route 1 on August 7, 2018.

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31 Jul
0

LINX Launch Day Announced by Simcoe County – Tuesday, August 7

 LINX launch day marks the start of an exiting addition to services in Simcoe County.  Find out more about the start of this new service below:

County celebrates LINX launch day

~ Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 10 a.m. ~

 Midhurst / July 31, 2018 – Media are invited to attend the launch day celebration of the new Simcoe County LINX Transit Service, which starts connecting communities with Route 1 on August 7, 2018. The launch day ceremony will be held on August 7, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the County of Simcoe Administration Centre in Midhurst.

Brief presentations will be followed by photo/video opportunities and a short tour of Route 1 on a LINX or a LINX+ bus. LINX buses offer seating for up to 24 passengers plus room for eight standing passengers and two wheelchairs, while the LINX+ specialized transit service offers accessible door-to-door service through registration and pre-booking only. The County will also unveil its LINX social media marketing and communications campaign during the ceremony.

 

EVENT:

 

What

 

Simcoe County LINX Transit Service Launch Day Celebration

Where

County of Simcoe Administration Centre – Atrium
1110 Highway 26

Midhurst, ON

When

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

10 – 11 a.m.

 

 

Media will have an opportunity learn more about the LINX service and take a short tour of Route 1 on a LINX or LINX+ bus. Visuals and interviews are available following brief presentations and after the tour.

 

 

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30 Jul
0

List of Election Candidates from Springwater Municipal and School Board 2018 Election

Please see the attached media release regarding the release of the certified list of candidates for the 2018 Springwater Municipal and School Board Election:

20180730 – Certified List of Election Candidates Released

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26 Jul
0

#TBT – Finances 2014-2018

#TBT – ThrowBack Thursday with Don Allen

Introducing “Throw Back Thursday” to www.donallen.ca where you can take a look back to see the accomplishments of Deputy Don during my term.
Read through the #tbt posts and if you want to discuss further drop me a quick email or give me a shout! Please refer to my blog entries  over the last 4 years searchable by date and category for more discussion on these topics

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

 

Springwater and Simcoe Finance and Audit 2014-2018

One of my 2014 election commitments was to use my financial and business expertise in my involvement as Springwater Deputy Mayor and as a Simcoe County Councillor. I initiated the establishment of the Springwater Finance and Audit Committee (F&A) and Council approved its creation in December 2014. Working with Director of Finance Jeff Schmidt, the Committee developed its terms of reference – to review financial reporting, internal controls, review with the auditors the annual financial audit and ensure fiscal management and compliance. The F&A committee presented regular finance reports regarding these matters to Council for approval. I have been the elected Chair of this Committee for the last four years.

I have also served as elected Chair of the Simcoe County Council Finance and Audit Committee for the last four years, working on aspects of the County financial management.

The Springwater F&A has met with the external auditors each of the last four years and reviewed each year’s draft audited financial statements, auditor’s management letters and discussed the audit and made recommendations to Council.

Each year, the F&A has reviewed the Springwater operating surplus and recommended to Council how it should be allocated to Township reserves or debt paydown and Council has approved these recommendations.

I believe that Council has increased its understanding and input into the financial management of the Township over the last four years. Under the direction of Director of Finance Jeff Schmidt, Council’s involvement in the annual budget review process and results have continued to improve. Director Schmidt has communicated that the Finance and Audit Committee has assisted him in carrying out his work and has been a benefit to Council.

In Simcoe County Council, I challenged each year the automatic 2% increase in tax levy proposed by County staff. I was able to get this reduced to 1.06% for 2015 and 1.04% for 2018, resulting in lower taxes for the municipality.

Summarized in the table are the final budgeted tax rate increases for 2015 to 2018, blending the Springwater and Simcoe County taxes. Remember that generally, for every tax dollar spent, $0.40 is retained by the Township, $0.36 goes to the County of Simcoe and $0.24 goes towards education.

 

 

 

The Springwater F&A also met on numerous occasions and worked with consultants to review the Midhurst Secondary Plan Long Range Financial Plan (LRFP), helped develop a questionnaire and arranged for public stakeholder’s meetings regarding growth scenarios in the LRFP.

The F&A reviewed the preliminary LRFP forecast results with consultants in preparation for presenting it to Council.

The F&A worked with staff to review the Springwater Community Recreation Centres financial positions and operations plan, which were presented to Council.

To provide an overall indication of the Springwater budget, in 2018 it includes expenditures of $37.9 million which can be broken down into $18.6 million in operating expenses, $15.2 million in capital expenditures, $2.8 million for water operations and $1.3 million for wastewater operations.

My commitment as Mayor is to continue to help the Township respect taxpayers’ money and utilize tax dollars to make sure only necessary expenditures are made, to keep tax increases to a minimum both at a Township and County level. My training as a CPA, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and a Certified Fraud Examiner will continue to assist in ensuring this occurs.

 

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25 Jul
0

Deputy Don’s Update: We Are Going to Pot

We Are Going to Pot!

Even before the next municipal election, cannabis (marijuana) will be legal to buy and use in Canada, with the October 17, 2018 implementation date just 12 weeks away. The federal, provincial and territorial governments share responsibility for overseeing the new system. The provinces will each set their own rules for who can grow cannabis at home, how much people can legally purchase and where it will be sold. Municipalities will have to consider these regulations and develop, through municipal government, appropriate by-laws and practices for implementation.

I wanted to make sure we were considering plans to deal with this in Springwater so I did some research and spoke with Springwater staff. They are working on a staff report to bring to Council for discussion in September. As has been the case with some other Provincial initiatives, initially there is a lack of detail and clarity from the Provincial government regarding implementation and clarifying what the municipality’s role is in the roll-out of cannabis legalization. Having a new Ontario provincial government recently has made this more of a challenge. The Province is leaving the municipalities ill prepared for the oncoming permissions related to cannabis use in our community – there is a lot to do in a short period of time and municipalities are waiting for details.

In Ontario, the outgoing Liberal government initiated giving the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) a monopoly on the sale of recreational cannabis under a subsidiary of the LCBO called the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). It had been announced that the Ontario target would see 40 stores opened by July 2018, rising to 80 by July 2019 and 150 standalone stores by 2020. To this point, the OCS has identified 4 initial locations in Guelph, Kingston, Toronto and Thunder Bay.

After winning the provincial election, Premier Doug Ford said he is open to focusing on the LCBO for this, but also might involve the private sector more.

Some of the main rules for the upcoming cannabis legalization include:

  • Store locations will need to adhere to municipal zoning by-laws, minimize the proximity to primary and secondary schools and consider where illegal storefronts are currently operating (if any in the area);
  • You will need to be 19 or older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario;
  • You will only be able to use cannabis in a private residence, including the outdoor space of a home, or your unit or on your balcony if you live in a multi-unit building, depending on the rules of or your lease agreement. The ability to use recreational cannabis in any public place, workplaces or in motorized vehicles will need to be clarified by regulations and whether it is a medical cannabis situation. Recently, there was news that the Provincial government is reconsidering the use of “vapes” (electronic cigarettes) for cannabis smoking. We do not have clarity yet on how violations will be prosecuted. Under the Smoke Free Ontario Act, the local Health Unit is supposed to enforce smoking violations. They already seem to be taxed with handling current violation complaints;
  • It will be illegal to drive drug-impaired and serious penalties will be imposed. Police officers will be authorized to use roadside testing with oral fluid screening devices. You will not be allowed to have any cannabis in your system if you are driving and are under 21 or have beginner licences or operating a commercial vehicle;
  • People 19 and over can purchase up to 30 grams (about 1 ounce) of dried cannabis for personal use at one time through an Ontario Cannabis Store or through regulated online purchasing delivered to you. You can possess a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis at any one time. The excise tax will be $1 a gram or 10 per cent, whichever is higher;
  • You will be able to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person). You will be able to purchase legal seeds and seedlings from the Ontario Cannabis Store.
  • Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal and will continue to be after legalization;
  • Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis. The production and sale of medical cannabis is regulated exclusively by the federal government.

The only way to purchase medical cannabis is from:

  • a federally licensed producer online
  • by written order and
  • over the phone and delivered by secure mail
  • If a health care professional has already authorized you to use cannabis for medical reasons, your access will not change when recreational cannabis is legal. You can also receive a licence from Health Canada to grow medical cannabis on your own or designate someone else to grow it on your behalf.

The following outlines some of the areas requiring clarification from the Province regarding planned cannabis regulations and then making implementation decisions at the municipal level and developing co-ordinated municipal by-laws to accommodate these.

Land use management of the location and size of cannabis cultivation and retail facilities will need to be considered. Factors to consider include odours and usage of public water and energy utilities. Local governments’ ability to manage land use with tools like zoning will depend on the authority that Provincegives to the municipality, as will the retail model a municipality chooses to adopt and its potential location, if in fact the residents and Council want a retail facility in the Municipality at all.

Personal cultivation of cannabis is an issue that will require extensive public consultation. Some options to consider include: allowing the minimum four plants without regulations, requiring some type of permit and allowing only indoor production in only certain types of dwellings.

Local governments may use tools like business licensing to protect public health and safety, to protect youth and restrict their access to cannabis, to deter illicit activities, to mitigate public nuisances, and more. In doing so, it will be essential to strike an effective balance between empowering legal cannabis businesses to operate and addressing legitimate community concerns.

Consideration of rules with respect to public cannabis consumption could involve options such as: make no changes to public place policies or bylaws, amend them to clarify that smoking cannabis is permitted under certain regulations and policies, prohibit smoking of cannabis in specific public places such as parks, community centres, arenas and have special event rules to have the host control and be accountable for responsible cannabis usage.

Banning cannabis use among all employees is a problem because some may be using it as prescribed by a doctor. Human resources policies need to be based on an employee’s ability to do their job, rather than moral judgements about cannabis use.Factors to consider in creating workplace policies include: maintaining workplace safety, determining impairment, zero tolerance policies, medical cannabis use, real occupational requirements, workplace substance testing policies and duty to accommodate employees with disabilities.

With legalization, municipal enforcement roles will include inspection and compliance with provincial building codes and municipal bylaws, including regulating neighbourhood disputes over nuisance issues. In designing new bylaws and tools, municipalities must carefully weigh how practical they will be to enforce, and how well they can align with the work of police services.

There will be a lot to consider and resolve over the next year as cannabis implementation occurs. What are your thoughts about this? I welcome any comments you have with respect to this by calling me at 705-302-4253 or emailing me at info@donallen.ca.

These are my thoughts and interpretations of this topic and not necessarily those of Council.

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19 Jul
0

Deputy Don’s Update – County Expanding Paramedic and Seniors’ Services in Elmvale

 


Read through today’s press release from the County of Simcoe, where you will find updated information on the investments that the County of Simcoe is making in paramedic service, long-term care and Senior Services Adult Day Programs.  These important initiatives  will serve both Springwater and surrounding areas for many years to come and is a very important step in the County’s Strategic Asset Management plan.

As always, if you require further information, please feel free to contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

Email – info@donallen.ca
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County Expanding Paramedic and Seniors’ Services in Elmvale

Midhurst/July 19, 2018 – The County of Simcoe is investing in the development of a new facility in the
village of Elmvale that will house a Paramedic Services station and the Long Term Care and Seniors’
Services Adult Day Program Centre for the surrounding area.
“With an aging population and rising paramedic call volumes across the region, we continue to make
strategic investments which enable us to expand and enhance our services to meet the needs of our
residents and communities,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “This new dual use facility will serve
residents in Springwater, Wasaga Beach, Oro-Medonte, Tiny and Tay for years to come and we thank
our partners at Springwater Township for working with us on this important venture.”

The County has acquired 191 Queen Street West in Elmvale. The facility will consist of a two bay
Paramedic Services station, allowing the County to expand services to the area and address increased
call volumes. The County has outgrown its current leased space at the Elmvale Fire Hall, which was
originally set up for a single paramedic response unit 12-hours per day and is now being used to house
a 24-hour, fully staffed paramedic transport unit. This space no longer meets the operational needs of
Paramedic Services and is anticipated to be used by Springwater Fire.

The Adult Day Program Centre will enable the County to expand its current program operating out of
leased space at the Manse of St-John’s United Church in Elmvale. The new space will allow for an
increase in capacity and reduce the existing waitlists for the program. The County’s Adult Day Program
operates in Penetanguishene and Elmvale and provides daytime respite, support, education and
activities for families and caregivers. Potential clients for the program are referred through a variety of
sources such as Community Care Access Centres, program clientele, physicians, friends and relatives.
Construction of the facility is anticipated to commence in late 2018, and be completed in mid-2019. The
estimated cost of constructing the facility is $3.9 million, inclusive of land acquisition and construction.

The investment aligns with the County’s Strategic Asset Management Plan to identify cost-efficient
projects that align with the County’s long term goals and objectives, including reducing leased/rented
spaces in an effort to manage and control long-term costs and provide flexibility to meet service
demands.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to
County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie
and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
– 30 –
Allan Greenwood
Director, Corporate Communications
County of Simcoe
705-726-9300 ext. 1230
705-794-9301 (mobile)
Allan.Greenwood@simcoe.ca

Collin Matanowitsch
Communications Co-ordinator
County of Simcoe
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)
Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca

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13 Jul
0

Fire Ban

With the lack of rain and long dry periods that we have been experiencing, The Township has implemented a complete fire ban   See more details below in their press release   We certainly hope for rain not only for the fire ban but for the farmers in our area that have been impacted by the lack of rain

Deputy Don


 

Fire Ban Implemented in Springwater Township
Springwater Township / July 13, 2018 – Due to the recent hot and dry weather and the extended forecast of dry conditions for the coming days, the Fire Danger Rating has reached the high to extreme levels.
As a result of the increased risk, a fire ban has been implemented in Springwater Township. Effective Friday, July 13, 2018 at 9:00 am, all outdoor burning is prohibited and all fire permits are void until the ban is lifted. Please note that this ban includes the use of fireworks in the Township.
Residents will be notified via social media and the Township website when the ban has been lifted. The current fire danger rating can be viewed online at www.springwater.ca/fire
Anybody caught in contravention of the Fire Ban will be fined.
For further information on the ban please contact Springwater Fire & Emergency Services at 705-728-4784 Ext. 2045 during regular business hours.
Contact Information:
Nicole Audette Communications Officer Township of Springwater 705-728-4784 Ext. 2067 nicole.audette@springwate

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06 Jul
0

Simcoe County Gets Electric Charging Stations for Vehicles

Check out the latest press release from the County of Simcoe!   Great strides being made in the county towards sustainable infrastructure and environmental stewardship

(more…)

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02 Jul
0

Springwater Council Agenda – July 4, 2018

Agenda  July 4, 2018

6:30pm Regular Council Meeting

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Delegation – Lindsay Lock – Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items;
  • Action Report – Request from Town of Wasaga Beach – Connection from Rylan Road to Flos Road 8 West;
  • Action Report – Drainage Agreement Acceptance Consent – W. Van Laarhoven, 1940 Crossland Road;
  • Action Report – Award of the Relocation of Fuel Lines and Tank Replacement at the Del Trend Pumphouse;
  • Action Report – Fuel System Upgrades Yard 2;
  • Action Report – Albert Street Reconstruction Phase 1- Tender Results;
  • Action Report – Administration Centre Lower Level Space Construction;
  • Action Report – Tree Nursery Sports Park Fencing;
  • Action Report – Midhurst Union Cemetery Revitalization Project;
  • Action Report – Request for Purchase of Land – Property abutting 1224 Sunnidale Road;
  • Action Report – Landowner Agreement – Ontario Geological Survey Monitoring Wells;
  • Action Report – Enbridge Gas Distribution – Franchise Agreement;
  • Information Reports – Building Permit; By-law Activity; Fire; Holder Unit #29; Linx stops Springwater; SFES Radio RFP; Planning; 2019 Budget Directions; Credit Card reports.
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approval – Development Charges By-law
     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
    Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
    Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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30 Jun
0

Deputy Don’s Update – June 28, 2018

Deputy Don’s Update – June 28, 2018

Fire Training
I had a great experience last weekend being involved in a fire training exercise with some of our Springwater volunteer firefighters, led on Saturday by Deputy Chief Jeff French. The other half of the team was on the next day, led by Chief Ian Gavet. They are very keen and dedicated and work very hard to keep us safe – thank you always.
2018 Development Charges Background Study & Bylaw

Development Charges (D.C.s) are collected when building permits are issued by the Township for residential and non-residential building, to provide for the recovery of growth-related capital expenditures arising from new development. The D.C. Act provides the formula for collecting D.C.s through a by-law, with the current one expiring on February 1, 2019.
In general terms, to determine D.C.s, the amount, type and location of growth is determined for a future time period. Servicing needs to accommodate the growth are determined. Capital costs to provide services to meet the needs are determined. After certain deductions, the net is allocated between residential and non-residential benefit. The net cost is divided by growth to provide the D.C. rate for the Township and also area specific D.C. charges within the Township.
Watson & Associates Economists Ltd were retained by the Township in the fall of 2017 to assist staff in preparing the 2018 Development Charges Background Study & By-law. Public meetings were held and the Report and By-law were posted on the Springwater website for comment two months ago. On June 20th, Council approved the new rates, which result in D.C.s that will recover the greatest amount possible of growth related costs under the D.C. Act for the next five years.

Council Compensation 2018-2022 Term of Council
The Municipal Act requires that Council review the Council Compensation by-law at least once during its four-year term. Since 1990, federal tax legislation has allowed elected municipal officials to exclude one-third of their remuneration from income, due to related expenses in carrying out their duties. This effectively allowed elected officials to treat one-third of their remuneration as tax-free. The Federal government announced in its 2017-18 Budget that the one-third tax free exemption for elected officials’ remuneration would no longer be allowed as of January 1, 2019. Council reviewed all aspects of compensation with the goal of not costing more for the taxpayer and yet offering a fair remuneration package for the time spent fulfilling the role of a councillor. It was decided to increase the basic pay so that there is no difference to the net amount paid to each councillor. Council replaced the family benefit coverage with an annual reimbursement of up to $3,000 for each elected official’s private healthcare benefit plan, if it was spent. The benefits costs will be lower than under the current method and will be more predictable. Council approved opting out of the previous pension plan for elected officials, saving an estimated $18,000 annually. Reimbursement for a portion of councillor internet will be reduced to a flat $50 per month per councillor. Mileage reimbursement will be at the same per kilometer rate, based on actual kilometers driven to municipal functions excluding Township regular council meetings. These expenses will be based on submitted and approved expense reports. All of this offers a competitive compensation package that will attract quality future Council candidates, be fiscally sustainable and be efficient to administer by staff.

Strategic Asset Management Policy
Under Ontario regulations, Council is required to approve a Strategic Asset Management Policy by July 1, 2019. Subsequently, the Strategic Asset Management Policy must be reviewed and, if necessary, updated at least every five years. The Township has received funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and has engaged the services of Public Sector Digest to assist in developing the Policy. A cross-departmental Asset Management Steering Committee has been formed and has met regularly to refine the Policy. Council reviewed and approved the Policy in its meeting last week, in advance of the required timeframe proposed under the regulations. Work will continue by the Steering Committee to review the current levels of service and develop the proposed levels of service to present to Council in future.

Midhurst Pavilion
The original contractor for this project has requested additional funds to complete the project and is in default of the original contract obligations. Legal advice was to terminate the contract and obtain a replacement contractor to complete the construction of the building. Staff have sourced a replacement contractor to complete the foundation, erect the structure and pour the concrete slab at a cost of $221,000 plus HST. The electrical cost, estimated at $35,000, will be a separate cost. A contingency has been included for any unforeseen additional cost with the removal of the original contractor such as additional engineering and missing building components. The revised total budgeted project cost is now $550,000, an additional $125,000, which will come from recreational development charges and reserves. The new contractor anticipates being able to resume the project by the end of July. Options with respect to pursuing the original contractor are being reviewed and evaluated.

Midhurst Class Environmental Assessment (EA)
On June 12, 2018, the draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) was completed and placed in public record for review and comment on the Township website, along with a hard copy being available for review at the Springwater Administration Centre. On that day, meetings were held with the Midhurst EA Steering Committee and the Midhurst Resident Liaison Committee to review comments from the MOECC and the revised ESR. A final Open House was held on June 18th at Snow Valley Resort, with information boards and consultants available to discuss aspects of the EA and the final ESR, a presentation by Mr. Joe Mullen, CEO Ainley & Assoc. Ltd. and questions asked by residents. The Revised Notice of Completion of the ESR was issued on June 15th. The formal public review period associated with the draft Environmental Study Report (ESR) has been increased to 90 days (Tues. Jun. 19 to Tues. Sept. 18, 2018). This provides more time to review the reports and raise any questions and concerns. If you have any outstanding concerns about this project, please address them to Ms. Heather Coleman, Director of Public Works, at the Township and/or Mr. Joe Mullan, (contact information on the Township website) prior to 4:00pm on Tuesday, September 18, 2018. If concerns regarding this project cannot be
resolved in discussion with the Township, the person with the concern(s) may request that the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) order a change in the project status and require a higher level of assessment under an Individual Environmental Assessment process (referred to as a Part II Order). To submit such a request, please send a completed “Part II Order Request form”, available on the Township and/or MOECC website, along with any supporting information to all three individuals on (contact information on
Township website). If no requests are received by 4:00pm on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Township may proceed to carry out design and construction of the project, as presented in the planning documentation.

ERRC Official Plan Amendment – ERRC
Last month, Springwater Council approved a motion I raised to request County to hold a public meeting to have its consultants provide an update and responses to the questions, concerns, issues raised by residents and agencies and Springwater through correspondence and in the public meetings previously held by the County and Springwater over the last 2 years and that this be done well in advance of County and local Official Plan amendment applications. On June 12th, County released a report and motion seeking approval of an Official Plan Amendment by law for the ERRC.

I believe it is premature to approve the County Official Plan Amendment 2 for the ERRC at this time. We need more fulsome communication and dialogue regarding the questions, issues and problems raised and that needs to be done by way of a public meeting. I disagree that these issues have effectively been addressed in the staff reports presented – this does not represent effective two-way communication with some of the key affected parties.

The staff report says there will be further plans drafted before building including: a Wildlife Management Plan, Environmental Management Plan, Compensation Planting Plan, Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report, Fire Prevention Plan and Emergency Response Plan. The public needs to know the details of these now before rushing to approve the Official Plan amendment.
Fire potential is a huge concern. Notwithstanding what MNRF says regarding the risk of fire, Springwater Fire has raised concerns that still need to be addressed. Another waste management facility fire occurred in Orillia last Friday. Fires will happen. We need to know now the details of how they will be dealt with.
Other items not yet addressed include:
• Compensation for affected residents;
• Emergency Road exits on dead end roads;
• Need update on feasibility of going ahead with this project now versus renewing contracts for another term
• Need to update the business plan options and look at funding models.

I do not support this Official Plan amendment by-law approval because I think we are rushing too quickly before these and other steps are completed and decisions made.
The vote at County Council this week approved the Official Plan Amendment by a recorded vote of 92 to 31. After the amendment was passed, I then tried to get a motion passed to still have the County hold a public information meeting to review comments and concerns expressed by the public and regulatory agencies and how they have been specifically addressed in the County Amended Studies regarding the ERRC and how they will be further addressed in the additional work that will be required in future as part of site plan and environmental compliance approval.
Discussion occurred regarding having an information meeting now as opposed to a later time period in late 2018 and 2019.when staff indicates that more aspects of the ERRC are determined. My motion was defeated in a recorded vote 73 to 50.

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
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29 Jun
0

Fact or Fiction – Team/Slate or Faction?


I am part of a team or slate or faction and that I spread dirt and rumours about others.

 

I am an independent candidate running for Mayor on my own merits. I am not aligned or teamed up with any other candidate or anyone and I will remain that way.  I take the high road and do not spread rumours, lies or innuendos. It is not in my personality to do this and there are too many other issues to discuss and deal with. I invite anyone to call me directly to discuss any aspect of my campaign with me.

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
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29 Jun
0

Fact or Fiction – Rumors on the Campaign Trails

As political campaign moves forward, some will accuse other candidates of spreading rumours, lies and innuendos,  even as they are doing just that themselves.

FACT – I take the high road and do not spread rumours, lies or innuendos. I stand and will be judged by the positions I have taken and the causes I have supported during this term on Council.

I can work with anybody on Council – I don’t play favourites and don’t take sides. I can’t be bought or threatened.  If I did not have this philosophy, I couldn’t be in politics.

I hope that everyone in the campaign will take the high road – be fair, honest and conduct an above board campaign and not sink to below the belt tactics of spreading rumours and innuendos.

I have written about these in detail over the last four years in my blog at www:donallen.ca, categorized by subject/topic and these are fully able to be searched. I invite anyone to review them and contact me directly to question or discuss any aspect of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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26 Jun
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Grow Your Own Bin – Not Your Garbage – at WR Best Public School

It was a great day to meet up with the students from Simcoe County’s WR Best Public School in Oro today.  Together we learned a great deal of information on “Living Green” including the County’s initiative on organics and the green bin program.


Learn more about this valuable initiative in today’s press release from the County of Simcoe:

 

Grow Your Green Bin. Not Your Garbage

Simcoe County youth educate adults about waste, organics, future

 

Midhurst/June 26, 2018 – Councillors received a first-hand look at the County of Simcoe’s new green bin marketing and events campaign during Council on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. As the County strives to increase its diversion rate and grow participation in its green bin program, it is rolling out a multi-platform campaign to engage, motivate and educate County residents about the benefits of using their green bins, with a heavy emphasis on regional youth educating today’s parents and adults.

The campaign leads with a call to action: Grow Your Green Bin. Not Your Garbage! It is being promoted through TV ads, online videos, print, billboard and radio ads, social media and a household mailer. There is also a contest running on local radio throughout the summer for a chance to win great prizes. The campaign features children educating the public about the benefits of using greens bins. It also aligns with the County’s “Learning and Living Green” program where more than 100 local schools participate in waste education and diversion initiatives. Another component of the campaign is a summer festival and event series where the County’s green bin team is touring to all 16 member municipalities to attend events and raise awareness about the use of green bins. The event includes a 9-metre-high inflatable green bin to drive home the message.

For a full list of summer events and details about the Grow Your Green Bin campaign, visit www.simcoe.ca/growyourgreenbin

“We’re second in the province when it comes to overall waste diversion, and while our residents deserve credit for our continued improvement, we still have room to grow when it comes to our green bin program,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “About 40 per cent of our residents don’t use a green bin, and 58 per cent of green bin material is still going into the garbage stream. Our call to action is simple, food is not garbage so please grow your green bin.”

The County has a helpful tool on its website that lists the materials accepted in its green bin program https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/swm/where. In addition to food scraps, items such as coffee cups, food-contaminated cardboard products, paper towel, dryer lint, and wood stir sticks can all go in the green bin. While residents can use backyard compost to dispose of their food scraps, it is important to remember that the items listed above should also stay out of the garbage stream.

The County’s commitment to growing it’s green bin program and overall diversion includes ongoing promotion and education, student awareness, new collection programs such as battery, textile and electronics, the addition of new materials being accepted in its green bin program (October 2018) and the proposed development of a local organics processing facility operated by the County.

                                                      

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

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22 Jun
0

Fact or Fiction – Hooking up to Sewer Systems in Midhurst

I’ve heard rumors that you support forcing people on septic systems to hook up to the coming new sewage system in Midhurst as part of the Midhurst Secondary Plan. This greatly distresses me and  my neighbors. Please confirm or deny this rumour.

 

Firstly, I appreciate being asked directly the validity of the rumour.  I responded that I have never been in favour of this. My wife and I live in Midhurst and use a well and a septic system and both work fine and we want to keep using them.

Please also note – At Springwater council, I supported the  January 4, 2017 motion, which passed unanimously:

Be it resolved that this Council affirms that the existing residents in the Midhurst Settlement Area will not be required to connect or pay for any of the new infrastructure services related to the Wastewater Treatment Plant that is being constructed to service the new Midhurst Landowners Group Developments and required in the Midhurst Secondary Plan OPA38.

Further it be resolved that, unless ordered by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Township of Springwater will not require residents currently on private septic systems to connect to any new wastewater treatment system.

Hope that clears up this issue.

Thanks again for taking the time to learn more about issues that are important to Springwater residents.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
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15 Jun
0

Springwater Council Agenda – June 20, 2018

Springwater Council Agenda – June 20, 2018

4:30pm Special Council Meeting – Asset Management 101 webinar

6:30pm Regular Council Meeting

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Presentation of the Senior of the Year Award – Ms. Mary Fleming;
  • Delegation – Jodie Delgado – Update on 2018 Springwater Public Library Initiatives
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items;
  • Action Report – 2018 Development Charges Background Study & Bylaw;
  • Action Report – Council Compensation 2018-2022 Term of Council;
  • Action Report – Strategic Asset Management Policy;
  • Action Report – Award for the Supply and Installation of Clarifier Dome Covers for the Elmvale Wastewater Treatment Plant;
  • Action Report – Tower Site Lease Agreement – Point to Point Communications;
  • Action Report – Tower Site Lease Agreement – Ultrafast T1 Wireless;
  • Information Reports – Springwater Fire and Emergency Services 2017 Annual Report; OCWA’s Performance Report Card for 2017, Township of Springwater Legal Fees Breakdown; Anten Mills Drinking Water Report; Structural Assessment Report RFP results; Minor Variance T. Roberts, 32 William St., Minor Variance G. Neil, 17 Lawrence Ave.;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approval – Development Charges By-law
     

     

     

     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
    Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
    Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

     

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13 Jun
0

County prepares to connect communities with new LINX Transit Service starting August 2018

Yesterday, The County of Simcoe announced the new LINX Transit Service that will be starting this summer in our region.  I was on hand to tour the new buses and hear about the plans for the future of this service.It is a very exciting opportunity to bring transits to various demographics and provide affordable transportation to our region.

Read further information from the County’s press release –

Simcoe County residents will soon have a new public transportation service to connect communities across the region with the first route starting August 2018. County Councillors gathered today at the County of Simcoe Administration Centre in Midhurst to unveil the Simcoe County LINX transit service, showcasing the new buses and outlining the first route and five year plan to link Simcoe County residents to key service and labour hubs across the region. 

“This is a huge milestone for our County and we’re pleased to offer another crucial service to our residents and communities,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “Our region has a large geographical footprint and we have a growing population of seniors, students and residents who need affordable and reliable transportation options to access health services, jobs and education hubs in other communities.”

Route 1 launches August 7, 2018 and runs from Penetanguishene/Midland to Barrie with stops in Wyebridge, Waverley, Elmvale and Midhurst. To introduce the service, the County is offering complimentary fares between August 7-September 4, with regular fare rates starting after Labour Day. The County is also offering an accessible door to door transit service for individuals with mobility needs called the LINX+. Residents are asked to complete a registration form to access the service by visiting sclinx.simcoe.ca or by calling 1-800-263-3199.

In 2017, as part of the County’s Transit Implementation Plan, County Council approved a 5-year, $5 million plan to create a regional transit service. Recognizing the need to increase public transit within Simcoe County, the Government of Ontario recently topped up funding with a significant $8.4 million contribution.

As part of a five year roll out of the LINX Service, the following proposed routes will be considered: Orillia to Barrie (2019), Collingwood to Barrie (2019/2020), Alliston to Bradford West Gwillimbury and Midland to Orillia (2020/2021). The County will also assume some existing inter-municipal routes currently operating throughout the County.

Visit linx.simcoe.ca to learn more.

Here are some quick facts also released by the County –

Quick Facts:

 

Fares: Fares will operate on a zone system based on distance travelled – fares for Route 1 range from $2, $4 and $6.  Exact cash fares only will be accepted on the bus. The County will be offering a LINX reloadable card that users can purchase for convenient access to the LINX. LINX cards will be available in mid-July. For sales locations and information, please visit sclinx.simcoe.ca.

Hours of Operation: Route 1 LINX service will operate Monday to Friday with the first bus starting at 6 a.m. and the last drop off occurring at 7:40 p.m. The LINX Service does not operate on weekends.

 Locating Your Bus: Alerts and real-time bus tracking will be available on sclinx.simcoe.ca. The County has also partnered with an existing App company called Transit App to link real-time bus and route information through the popular app. The app is available for download by Apple and Android devices. Tracking information will be available once the route launches in August.

LINX Buses: The first route will start with four 30 foot buses, with seating for up to 24 passengers plus room for eight standing passengers each and two wheelchairs, and 2 LINX+ buses with seating for up seven passengers, including 3 wheelchairs. The buses are equipped with GPS based vehicle location systems, automated stop announcements, smart card fare systems and CCTV cameras.

Environment: LINX buses are equipped with low emission engines with current clean diesel technology. The LINX bus offers above average fuel economy and the manufacture has also partnered with the aerospace industry, integrating proven concepts into the bus, greatly reducing noise pollution – making it one of the quietest transit buses on the road today.

 Bus Operation: The County has entered into an agreement with First Canada ULC to operate and maintain LINX buses. First Canada has transit operating agreements across Canada and also provide school bus transportation services.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
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04 Jun
0

Springwater Council Agenda – June 6, 2018

Please find the agenda  HERE , with related staff reports:

  • Deputation – J. Mullan of Ainley Group – Midhurst Environmental Assessment (EA) Update – Presentation of Draft Environmental Study Report (ESR);
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Motion – Approval of conditional offer of purchase to MNR for the Hasty Tracks property;
  • Action Report – Draft By-law – Establish and Regulate the Springwater Fire Department;
  • Action Report – Group Benefits Program Renewal;
  • Information Reports – Building permit activity; Vespra valley Estates Phase 3; Completion of Roads Needs Study; Del Trend Drinking Water System Annual Report; Education Development Charges Simcoe County District School Board and Simcoe Muskoka District School Board; Legal Fees & Annual Net Tax Levy Increases.
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Motions To Which Notice Has been Given – Request that an Update Open House be held By Simcoe County consultants re the ERRC to provide responses/updates to outstanding questions from residents and agencies.
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approvals.

     

     

     

     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
    Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
    Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

     

     

 

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22 May
0

Happy 175th Anniversary – Simcoe County!!

Simcoe County celebrates its 175th Anniversary!  It is an honour to be part of the council during this historic celebration.  In the press release below you will find out some historical facts, as well as details about some of the celebrations that will take place to commemorate this milestone.  There is a fun social media contest happening…be sure to take part!

County of Simcoe celebrates 175 years

 

Midhurst/ May 22, 2018 – 2018 marks the 175th Anniversary of the County of Simcoe. “Simcoe District” was established in 1843 by the Legislature of Upper Canada. The area has seen significant change and growth but the region has always been rich with culture and history.

The 175 celebration officially kicked-off during County Council on Tuesday, May 22 as members of County Council unveiled a commemorative 175 interactive icon that will travel to select locations throughout the County.

To commemorate this significant milestone, the County is hosting a number of public engagement activities:

The Simcoe County Museum and Archives are jointly creating a Simcoe County 175 Exhibit that will be on display from August 4 to Labour Day in the Museum’s main gallery. Admission to the Museum is by donation.

The County is hosting its second annual Simcoe Day event at the Simcoe County Museum on August 6, 2018. This event will include access to the Simcoe County Museum, a free BBQ lunch, a chance to meet the County’s paramedic and vehicle service fleet, and guided trail walks through the Museum Tract with a member of our Forestry Department.

The County is also hosting a social media campaign to commemorate the 175th Anniversary. Celebrate #simcoecounty175 by following @experiencesimcoecounty on Instagram and sharing selfies enjoying the best of Simcoe County for a chance to win a County Prize Pack. Everyone living/working/visiting in Simcoe County are invited to participate and share photos on Instagram @experiencesimcoecounty using #simcoecountyselfie and #simcoecounty175 and tag the location. The campaign runs May 22 to December 14, 2018 with monthly prize draws for most social media engagement.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

Photo caption (image attached): County Council unveiled the commemorative 175 interactive icon on Tuesday, May 22. The icon will tour select County facilities throughout the year.

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16 May
0

Deputy Don’s Updates – May 16/18

Deputy Don’s Update

Last issue, I reported on Simcoe County 2017 Financial results. Below I review Springwater financials. Although a little “dry”, this is important stuff to be aware of.

 

Springwater Financial Report

The Springwater financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017 were positive, with total revenue of $17.6 million, being $1.38 million over budget and expenses being below budget by $366,000. After net transfers to reserves, the total tax based operating surplus was $830,267. The bulk of the over budget revenue was due to supplementary taxes and user fees being higher than planned and the main expense reduction was due to salary and benefit delays in starting new hires in 2017.

 

The Finance and Audit Committee met with Director Schmidt and the external auditors, Collins Barrow LLP and reviewed the draft audited financial statements and related year-end reporting, reviewed below. Different options for allocating the surplus were reviewed the Committee recommends to Council to allocate $81,300 to the Planning Reserve, $49,453 to the Land Acquisition Reserve and $634,761 to the Tax Rate Stabilization reserve to reduce Township unfunded capital. This will assist in smoothing potential tax increases in future years and provide for a contingency.

 

Development Charge Reserve Funds

Development Charges (DCs)are one-time fees collected on new residential and non-residential construction to finance a portion of the capital infrastructure requirements associated with growth. The fees are collected at the time of building permit issuance. The Development Charges Act requires the Treasurer to provide Council with an annual financial statement relating to Development Charge By-laws and Reserve Funds.

 

During 2017, Development Charge collections totaled $2.4M and capital/operating expenditures funded by DCs totaled $3.0M. The year end summary of the reserve fund balances totals $4.97 million.

 

Four of the DC reserve funds have unfunded balances as of December 31, 2017. The General Government DC has an unfunded balance in the amount of $97,664. This is due to the Long Range Financial Plan, Official Plan Update and the Development Charge Background Study Update, which are all being temporarily funded from the working reserve fund. The Public Works – Roads & Related DC has an unfunded balance of $1.16 million. This is due to a number of road capital projects. This balance will be repaid via future DC collections. The Midhurst Secondary Plan Area Specific DC is unfunded in the amount of $91,953. This is due to previous studies conducted for the Midhurst Secondary Plan. This balance is being temporarily funded by the Planning Reserve. The Centre Vespra Area Specific DC is unfunded in the amount of $310,543. This balance will be repaid by future DC collections.

 

2017 Reserves & Reserve Fund Statement

A Reserve is an allocation of Township surpluses set aside for specific purposes. An example of a Reserve is the Public Works Reserve, where Council annually budgets funds for future capital replacements. Reserves are contained within the main Township bank account and do not have interest applied against them.

 

A Reserve Fund can be either Obligatory or Discretionary. Reserve Funds are contained in different bank accounts than the Township general funds and do earn interest for the purpose of the specific Reserve Fund. Obligatory Reserve Funds are required by various legislation, such as Development Charge funds, which are mandated to be set aside in a Reserve Fund by the Development Charge Act. Discretionary Reserve Funds are set up at Council’s discretion. An example of a Discretionary Reserve Fund is the Hydro Reserve fund. In 2001, Springwater Hydro was sold to Hydro One, the net proceeds were transferred to the Hydro Reserve Fund.to finance future capital requirements in Elmvale.

 

Transfers are made to and from the reserves and reserve funds throughout the year by the Director of Finance. The majority of the transfers are related to and approved by the operating and capital budgets. Other transfers are approved through specific resolutions of Council arising from items that are reported on throughout the year.

During 2017, transfers to reserves and reserve funds totaled $8.7 million; whereas capital and operating expenditures funded by reserves and reserve funds totaled $7.1 million. The 2017 yearend balance in the Township’s reserves and reserve funds equate to $29.1 million (excluding outstanding DC commitments).

 

 

2018 Budget & Business Plan – Results as of March 31, 2018

For the first quarter ending March 31, 2018, the Township has $42,000 better than planned revenue and the financial results to date are mostly tracking as budgeted.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
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11 May
0

Springwater Agenda – May 16, 2018

Springwater Agenda – May 16, 2018

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

    • Public Meeting Session – Development Charges – Presentation Watson & Associates
    • Public Meeting Session – Development Charges – Amelia Homes question
    • Presentation – J. Mullan – Ainley Group – Midhurst EA Update
    • Minutes review and approval
    • Question Period
    • Committee Recommendations – Finance & Audit Committee:
      – Auditor Collins Barrow presentation on Draft Audited 2017 Consolidated Financial Statements;
      –  Post- Audit Letter and Management Letter:
      –  2017 Budget & Business Plan year end results as at December 31, 2017 – Operating Surplus Allocation;
      –  2017 Statement of Development Charge Reserve Funds;
      –  2018 Budget and Business Plan – Results as of March 31, 2018;
       
    • Correspondence and Information Items – NVCA Board Highlights & Media Release; Severn Sound Environmental Assoc (SSEA) 2018 First Quarter Report;
    • Action Report – Sign By-law – Request for Grace Period – 68 Glenhuron Dr.;
    • Action Report – Cameron Estates – Cameron Estates  Authorization to Execute Subdivision Agreement Servicing Confirmation Phase 1;
    • Action Report – Scarlett Line Subdivision Authorization;
    • Action Report – Elmvale Village, Phase 1A2 Assessment of Development Securities;
    • Action Report – Community Improvement Plan Application – 6 Queen St. E.;
    • Action Report – Springwater Township Web Site Project –Vendor of Record;
    • Action Report – Patrick’s Drive Reconstruction PW-09-2018 Tender Results;
    • Action Report – Request for Proposal PW-04-2018 Wheeled Excavator;
    • Action Report – Hazardous Materials Response Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Simcoe;
    • Action Report – Draft Fireworks By-law –  Notice of Public Consultation;
    • Action Report – Heritage Committee – Evaluation of Community Halls;
    • Information Reports –Bylaw;Fire, Official Plan amendment 1316 Hwy 26; Minor Variance – 5 Frid Blvd.;
    • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
    • Notices of Motion
    • Items For Future Consideration
    • By-law approvals.

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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10 May
0

Pie Off for Mental Health Event Coming Up This Weekend!

Just wanted to help share the information on a great event coming up this Saturday at the Midhurst Community Hall.

Location:

78 Doran Rd, Midhurst, ON

Doors open at 6pm
Show starts at 7pm
Cut off for Pie Entries: 7:30

Admission $20 or $15 with a pie entry!

Get your tickets here! http://www.starttalking.ca/simcoe-county-suicide-awareness-council/

Tanya Davis and Catherine MacLellan bring their musical Pie Off to Midhurst ON – May 12 – in support of Mental Health Awareness and in the name of community fun.
Bring a home-baked pie to enter into the competition or just come for the music and words by these two East Coast artists.

Tanya Davis is a renowned poet and musician, former Poet Laureate of Halifax and composer of “How To Be Alone” – her most famous poem that went viral on YouTube. ( www.tanyadavismusic.ca )

Catherine MacLellan is a JUNO Award winning songwriter from Prince Edward Island who has been speaking about her experiences with mental health as well as her late father’s, famed songwriter Gene MacLellan (Snowbird, Put Your Hand in the Hand, etc) (catherinemaclellan.com)

Celebrity judges will be announced closer to the event! We will keep you posted!

Categories for PIE:
Sweet Pie
Savoury Pie
100 Mile PIE (made completely with ingredients grown within 100 miles.)
Prettiest Pie

Looking forward to this event for a worthy cause in our community!

See you there!

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

 

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07 May
0

Deputy Don’s Update – The County of  Simcoe has chosen Bio-En Power for its organics processing

 

Further to my article about this in Deputy Don’s Update of April 19, 2018, given the disposal cost per tonne under the new contract for pet waste is the same as pet waste plus diapers, I think it would be good to see the increased diversion results from collecting both pet waste and diapers, but County Council did not support my proposed amendment regarding this.

Please find update as received from Bio En Powers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen

Email me at info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook @votedonallen
Follow me on Instagram @votedonallen
Follow me on Twitter @votedonallen

Beginning this October, The County of Simcoe will stop sending its curbside organics to be composted in Hamilton, and will instead begin shipping the material to the Elmira facility.

In part, the decision was made because using our Elmira plant would also allow Simcoe to add pet wastes to its curbside organics program, starting this Fall.  The Hamilton facility could not accommodate this addition. 

Simcoe is part-way through a process to design and build its own organics processing facility.  A site has been selected, and is currently going through various approvals reviews.  Until that facility is ready, Simcoe wanted to find a place to process its organics that would allow it  to expand the types of materials that it could capture.  The County also considered adding diapers and other sanitary products to its organics scope at the same time, but decided to defer this decision, in case its own future facility ended up being designed in a way that could not accommodate these materials.  (We already process diapers and related materials at our plant–Simcoe just didn’t want to try that for now).

The contract runs for 4 years, with the potential for 3 possible one-year extensions, if the County’s new facility is not yet available.  The County projects its SSO tonnage to be approximately 16,500 tonnes in 2018.

Simcoe County becomes the latest Ontario municipality to process its SSO using a biogas plant.  Most of Toronto’s organics are processed that way today.  Simcoe now joins the City of Toronto, and the Regional Municipalities of Peel and York in their use of Bio-En’s Elmira facility for contracted SSO management.

Organics delivered to our facility are used to produce much of the electricity consumed in our community, and also to make a high-quality agricultural fertilizer, licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.   Automated systems inside our plant separate and remove essentially all of the plastic, glass, and other contaminants that are routinely mixed in with SSO.  As a result, the organic product going out the back door of our plant is far cleaner than what can be produced by any composting facility.  Our fertilizer is also approved for use in Certified Organic Farming. 

 

 

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01 May
0

Deputy Don’s Updates – May 1, 2018 – Emvale Maple Syrup Festival, Homer Barrett Park Splash Pad, Community Hub and More!

Lots of great things happening in Springwater, and several updates to report on this week!

Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival

It was cold but as much fun as always being part of the Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival last weekend!
On Saturday, Wanda and I enjoyed helping at the Pancake House breakfast. I was pouring pancake batter for all the hard-working cooking and serving volunteers and Wanda was in the hall helping with clean up. So much great teamwork by loyal volunteers.

Onto the log sawing contest with my brother-in-law Rob Ross – we almost got the win but missed by a couple of seconds and settled for second place. Great support from a cheering crowd, including some of our kids and grand kids, helped us on.

Then we walked main street and chatted to the different vendors and bought some treats. Finally, it was fun  working at the maple taffy ice block turning taffy sticks for patient people lining up, anxiously waiting for these sweet treats.

Thanks to all staff and volunteers who make this event run like a well-oiled engine. And of course, thank you to all who came out.

Homer Barrett Park Splash Pad

This week Council is receiving a Staff report, proposing hiring a company to complete the approved splash pad for Homer Barrett Park in Elmvale. The request for approval process resulted in 5 submissions, evaluated by staff, who recommended hiring Diamond Head Irrigation Inc., who have completed many similar installations. Some of the features of the splash pad will include:

  • a 3,050 square foot splash pad with the design focusing around a water tower;
  • 2 designated play zones;
  • Individual activation bollards for each play zone;
  • 3 drains with anti-slip surface;
  • 20 spray features;
  • programmable flow rates for each feature;
  • recirculation pumps and filtration system complete with chemical controller, acid feed pump, chlorine feed pump, cartridge filter and UV system; and,
  • 16’x16’ aluminum shade shelter with 2 accessible tables.

Should fouling of the water or the water chemistry require adjustment, the system will automatically shut down and staff will be notified via the monitoring system.

The 2018 approved capital budget includes funds in the amount of $350,000 for this project, which includes $300,000 for the splash pad and $50,000 for housing the recirculation system and utility connections. The price proposed by Diamond Head Irrigation Inc. in the amount of $298,800 plus taxes is within budget. This is exciting and will be operational by the summer.

 

New Community Hub

Springwater has negotiated with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF) to purchase approximately 50 acres of land, subject to an Environmental Assessment Process (EA) being completed over the next four months. The Hasty Tract, as it is called, is on the north west corner of Bayfield Street and Snow Valley Road. We have been in discussion with MNRF about all aspects of this over the last year, including consulting with First Nations. This land will have the potential to consolidate a variety of municipal and community services, including a fire station, recreation centre and the potential for a library, community centre and lands for future Springwater needs.

Once this purchase is finalized, the first priority will be to construct a new fire station on the most logical portion of the property. Early in this term, I approached Simcoe County about its future potential interest in co-locating paramedic services with Springwater fire services and interest was established, if the location was right. This location is ideally located and discussions regarding this aspect are continuing. It is hoped that if the EA results are satisfactory and we can close the purchase by the end of this summer, then building of the new station will begin in the Spring of 2019.

Meanwhile, the improvements in the Fire Station 2 / Public Works Building on Snow Valley Road are progressing well and should be finished by this spring.

I am very supportive of this development and believe it will create significant economic opportunities for the Township moving forward.

 

Simcoe County Museum Fire

Much was reported on the Simcoe County Museum fire on April 21st. In discussion with firefighters involved in the event, it is clear that this fire was very close to getting much worse than it was. It was the quick calls from staff and the resulting quick response and decisions by the firefighters that caught this fire before it accelerated and did much more damage. The quick assessments by the Springwater firefighters and the decision to engage other neighbouring fire services and the communication of strategy while they raced to the scene enabled a strong, co-ordinated, immediate attack on this fire as it was steadily increasing. The use of heat and fire sensors to track the movement of the fire also helped to develop a strategy quickly to deal with it. Much credit is due to all firefighters involved for the quick and decisive actions they took which prevented a much worse outcome.

 

Simcoe County Financial Report

The Simcoe County continues to be in a very healthy financial position, as evidenced by the 2017 Year End Financial Report of operations which was reviewed at County Council last week. Total operating revenue of the County was $417.3 million, which was $4 million greater than budget. Recall that this was after a reduction I proposed and got passed from 2% to 1% in the County portion of property tax increase charged to municipalities in 2018. Remember also that the total County operating plus capital budget expenditures for 2018 are $510 million.

 

The Year end surplus from operations was $3.183 million and after using $404,000 for the Simcoe Road Bridge capital project, the net surplus is $2.780 million. By comparison, the surplus for 2016 was $4 million and this surplus was allocated to Social Housing and Paramedic reserves. Determination of the use of the 2017 surplus will be made by County at its strategic planning session in June.

 

The 2017 Development Charge receipts were $33.4million (up from $23.2 million in 2016) and they were used to fund development charge eligible expenses.

 

Total debt was $146.8 million, with external debt being $38.2 million compared to $40.8 million in 2016.

 

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01 May
0

Running for Mayor

Today, I announced that I am running for re-election in this October’s municipal election – this time for the position of Mayor of Springwater.

First I would like to thank my wife Wanda, my family and my team of supporters who continue to provide me with much support, advice and encouragement.

I have enjoyed many experiences in the last three and a half years as Deputy Mayor of Springwater and County Councillor on Simcoe County Council.

Springwater Council has achieved some progress over this period however, there are a lot of matters in the early stages of work that need to be completed.

Achieving the right results in the completion of these initiatives will have a very significant impact for the Township and its future.

I feel very involved and committed to these initiatives and I want to play a key role in leading Council as a team, to attain the best results.

My finance and leadership experience in business over my career will help lead a strong Council, working with staff and County Council, to accomplish significant results in many areas.

Strong organizational, communicating and negotiating skills will be required in dealing with development throughout Springwater, including the Midhurst Secondary Plan and other developments in the various communities.

Strong skills in fiscal management will be key as Springwater negotiates and finalizes millions of dollars of costs for infrastructure and other community spending, as the Township grows. This will need to be accomplished in a fashion that is affordable and workable for all Springwater residents.

One of my primary objectives will be ensuring the ongoing importance of farmers and agriculture, through tangible initiatives that will help them maintain and grow their operations and realize the value they deserve for their hard work.

I will implement a plan for the creation of significant tangible initiatives in economic development, for existing and new business in Springwater.

Progress in planning, with the Official Plan completion and other planning changes, will need to be accomplished optimally, in conjunction with the ongoing Simcoe County Municipal Comprehensive Review.

All of this and more will require working proactively and effectively as a team with Springwater Council and staff, Simcoe County Council and staff and the Province of Ontario. My working with Simcoe County Council in different leadership positions over this term continues to provide me with ongoing momentum to accomplish positive results over the next 4 years.

This will require a leader who is a teambuilder, who works well with people, is a good listener, and negotiator, and who pays attention to the details in getting things done right. I will accomplish this – hence my vision is – Leadership – Driving Us Forward.

I will provide my full attention to getting this done when I become Mayor. I will be winding down and selling my current restructuring practice, to accomplish this exciting progress. Be sure to stay informed, by following my website www.donallen.ca and my ongoing social media information.

 

 

 

 

Email – info@donallen.ca
Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Instagram

 

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19 Apr
0

Deputy Don’s Update – April 19, 2018

Honduras Rights Monitor

Springwater and other residents have been supporting and working with the Spring Family on behalf of Honduran human rights worker Edwin Espinal, being held along with 21 other political prisoners under horrific conditions in military prisons in Honduras, after being falsely arrested and imprisoned last January. Good background  and current information regarding this can be found on the Simcoe County

 

Honduras Rights Monitor site https://simcoecountyhondurasrightsmonitor.wordpress.com/. Tireless efforts by the Spring Family and much community support continues. On April 8th there was a well-attended community gathering of support in Elmvale hearing speakers, Karen Spring (Edwin’s spouse) and Janet Spring and good questions and discussion by attendees.

A motion of support is coming before Springwater Council during this week’s meeting, which will be forwarded to different political parties in an attempt to bring attention, support and resolution to this unjust situation.

 

Updates on Waste Management

2017 Waste Tonnage Review 

In 2017, approximately 86,400 tonnes of waste material was collected curbside in Simcoe County. The weekly combined garbage, organics, and blue box recyclables and seasonal collections diversion rate decreased slightly to 51.7% in 2017 from 52.3% in 2016. The volume of total curbside garbage increased by nearly 4.5%, with the component of organics increasing approximately 11.5%. Despite the significant increases in green bin organics, this area has the most potential for increasing the County’s diversion rate..

The County’s 2017 curbside battery collection resulted in over 24,038 kg or approximately 950,000 acceptable batteries being received, an increase of over 7.2% compared with 2016. The County collected the highest tonnage compared to all other municipalities in Ontario participating in the curbside battery collection program.

The County received approximately 62,000 tonnes of material, managed in the 21 diversion programs, at the County’s 8 waste management facilities, an increase of 15% over the previous year. The combined direct diversion rate for both curbside and facility managed tonnes was 60.3% in 2017, compared to 60.7% in 2016.

New Organics Processing Contract

Simcoe County’s existing Source Separated Organics (green bin) processing contract will expire on September 30, 2018. Council directed that staff explore a new contract to process organics until the County’s Organic Processing Facility (OPF) is operational in future and to explore the options of processing:  a) the existing type of organic materials b) existing organic materials plus pet waste c) existing organic materials plus pet waste and diapers/sanitary products. Staff tendered this and recommended that Cornerstone Renewables be the selected vendor. This company obtains feedstock for the processor, Woolwich Bio-En Inc., located in Elmira, Ontario. The Woolwich Bio-En facility processes municipal and commercial organics and process water utilizing wet anaerobic digestion technology to capture methane, which drives reciprocating engines to generate renewable energy that is sold back to the electrical grid. The vendor indicates that their process generates much of the electrical needs of the Town of Elmira. The process also creates a fertilizer product for direct application on local farms, including certified organic farms.

The newly proposed combined processing and transportation costs for just existing organics is $124.42 per tonne, existing organics plus pet waste is $144.42 per tonne and existing organics plus pet waste plus diapers/sanitary products is $144.42 per tonne.

Staff recommended that the County’s green bin program be expanded to accept just pet waste. They indicated that pet waste makes up 8% of curbside garbage, while diaper products make up 4% and that the residual inorganic material from diapers requires more retrieving and disposing into garbage than pet waste. Given the disposal cost per tonne under the new contract for pet waste is the same as pet waste plus diapers, I think it would be good to see the increased diversion results from collecting both pet waste and diapers, but County Council did not support my proposed amendment regarding this.

Annual cost for organics processing currently is budgeted at $1,580,000. The anticipated increased tonnages resulting from the inclusion of pet waste, are estimated to cost an additional $100,000 for the last three months of 2018 and an extra $400,000 for a full year, for a total of $1,980,000 for 2019.

The new proposed contract is for two years plus the option for a two-year extension. It appears therefore that starting this October 1, pet waste will be able to be included in your green bins rather than making its way to landfill sites. I would have liked to see both pet waste and diapers be included for this contract to see the results, but at least processing pet waste is good progress.

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14 Apr
0

Springwater Council Agenda – April 18, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Delegation – Tony Boseovski regarding Signage and the Sign By-Law
  • Delegation – Peter Beacock, Trustee – regarding SCDSB – Township Capital Plan Presentation
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items – Senior for the Year; Friends of Simcoe Forest re ERRC; Currie Notice of Decision; Dalston Speed Limits; Nottawasaga River Blockage Removals.
  • Action Report – Swaley Drain Scoping Study Report and Appointment of Drainage Engineer
  • Action Report – Residential Tenancies Act
  • Action Report – No Stopping Zone Forest Hill Drive;
  • Action Report – Steelers Patio Pilot;
  • Action Report – Central Ontario ATV Club Agreement Renewal;
  • Action Report – 1315050 Ontario Inc. Reduction of Securities;
  • Action Report – Winter Sand Tender Results;
  • Action Report – Supply and Place Hot Mix Asphalt Tender Award;
  • Action Report – Conditional Building Permits for Elmvale Village;
  • Action Report – Building Permit Fee and Building By-law Update 2018;
  • Action Report – Agreement Renewal – 9-1-1 Central Emergency Reporting Bureau Services;
  • Action Report – Automatic Aid Agreement with Oro-Medonte;
  • Action Report – Stop-up, Close and & Sell – Unopened Portion of Road Allowance- Jodies Lane
  • Action Report – Rzone Policy
  • Information Reports – Fire, Phelpston Road Reconstruction Update; Swaley Drain Scoping Study Report; Stonemanor Woods Holding Corp.  – Part West Half Lot 18, Concession 8;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Motion with Notice – Edwin Espinal and political prisoners in Honduras;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approvals;
  • Closed Session
  • Confirmatory By-law

     

     

     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Twitter @deputydonallen
    Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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09 Apr
0

Spring Family – Free Edwin Espinal & Political Prisoners

A very well-attended community event occurred on April 8, 2018 at the Elmvale Community Hall to further inform and encourage the community to move forward with pressure to free Edwin Espinal and other political prisoners in Honduras.

The Spring family and the community of Elmvale and beyond, continue to work to free Edwin Espinal, spouse of Karen Spring, who is still incarcerated in the La Tolva maximum-security prison in Honduras. Edwin was arrested on January 19, 2018 for his human rights work, as he assisted the Honduran people who are targets of the military regime of Juan Orlando Hernandez due to their pro-democracy views.

Dr. Tyler Shipley, a professor at York University and author specializing in Honduras issues, discussed the recent political situation , including violence and repression of the Honduran people since the coup d’etat of the 2009 government of Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Karen Spring, spouse of Edwin, recounted some her experiences living and working in Honduras over the last nine years providing humanitarian assistance to many Hondurans. She added much feeling and context, having lived through the various political tactics and regimes over that period.

Dr. Janet Spring, mother of Karen, then spoke of what has been done and continues to be planned to appeal to authorities and politicians in Canada and Honduras. She and Karen are meeting with politicians on Ottawa this week to continue this.

M.P.’s Bruce Stanton and Alex Nuttall spoke, as did Mayor French and myself and then there were excellent questions and discussion with the audience, which continued with active conversation in a reception thereafter.

This was an excellent event, planned by Anne Nahuis-Ritchie, AWARE Simcoe  and others.

For more ongoing coverage and to find contacts to write and express your thoughts, refer to this site:

https://simcoecountyhondurasrightsmonitor.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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02 Apr
0

Springwater Council Agenda – April 4, 2018

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Delegation – Tony Boseovski regarding Signage and the Sign By-Law
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items – 2018 Senior of the Year Award; NVCA Spring Tonic Maple Syrup Festival;
  • Action Report – No Stopping Zone Forest Hill Drive;
  • Action Report – Steelers Patio Pilot;
  • Action Report – Central Ontario ATV Club Agreement Renewal;
  • Action Report – 1315050 Ontario Inc.Reduction of Securities;
  • Action Report – Winter Sand Tender Results;
  • Action Report – Supply and Place Hot Mix Asphalt Tender Award;
  • Action Report – Conditional Building Permits for Elmvale Village;
  • Action Report – Building Permit Fee and Building By-law Update 2018;
  • Action Report – Agreement Renewal – 9-1-1 Central Emergency Reporting Bureau Services;
  • Information Reports – Phelpston Road Reconstruction Update; Swaley Drain Scoping Study Report; Stonemanor Woods Holding Corp.  – Part West Half Lot 18, Concession 8;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approvals;
  • Confirmatory By-law

     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Twitter @deputydonallen
    Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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27 Mar
0

Simcoe County Announcements Funding Announcement to Area Hospitals

County to invest $45 million in area hospitals!


Midhurst/ March 27, 2018 – The County of Simcoe is investing $45 million in area hospitals to support capital and redevelopment projects occurring between 2017 and 2031. Warden Gerry Marshall and members from County Council welcomed representatives from the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance (SCHA) on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 to make the15-year pledge official.
The County’s strong commitment to area hospitals is not a mandated investment. County Council has continued to show leadership in supporting area healthcare to help improve access to critical services and to transform the quality of care for residents. With this renewed pledge, the County has committed $107 million over a 37-year period (1994-2031) to support area hospitals.

Read more about today’s funding announcement in the attached press release

Release – County to invest $45 million in area hospitals.doc (2)

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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22 Mar
0

Deputy Don’s Update – March 22, 2018

Community Recreation Associations

Also known as Hall Boards. The acronym for Community Recreation Association (CRA) makes us think of more “taxing” thoughts however, I will use “CRA” and try not to smile when using it going forward!

CRAs are vital to our community and have for many years been places for communities to gather, play, celebrate and work. With the aid of countless volunteer hours, community meetings, parties and events continue to occur to help make communities vibrant. To enable volunteers to focus on community events and fundraising, Staff and Council recognized that the operation of the CRAs needed to be adjusted, to make working and volunteering for CRAs more efficient and rewarding.

A 2017 approved by-law identified the CRAs key functions as:

  • Provide recreational activities and community events;
  • Establish fees, if any, for the recreational activities, social and community events provided by the Association;
  • Engage community members to assist in the operation and maintenance of outdoor rinks, hosting of community events and fundraising campaigns; and,
  • Recomend to the Township potential capital or maintenance improvements required.

The Township responsibilities include: establish user fees, approve capital projects, provide liability insurance for CRA volunteers and events, arrange and oversee all operations, maintenance and rentals of the CRAs, and entering into contracts.

Council recently approved changes that will make this happen. The Township will manage the CRAs through the Recreation, Parks and Properties department. All CRA facility rentals will be booked through the Springwater Customer Service Representatives.

Part-time Facility Monitors are being employed by the Township. They will be the Township’s representative during events, responsible for opening, set up and closing of the facility. They will provide client orientation and answer questions related to the facility event.

The Township will be responsible for CRA facility operations including:

  • Room set-up and clean-up and ensuring that all tables and chairs are clean and in good working order;
  • Responsible to complete repairs and report any damage to the facility or equipment;
  • Responsible for stocking supplies and providing general housekeeping duties for the functions such as cleaning floors, windows, washrooms etc.;
  • Conducting detailed inspections of the interior and exterior of the facility to ensure that all exits are clear of obstructions including external snow removal during the winter months. Complete appropriate forms indicating any repairs required;
  • Ensuring that all licensed functions have acquired and posted the appropriate license;
  • Ensuring that the facility is secure and vacant at the end of use and that the alarm is appropriately set and building is secure; and,
  • Performing general maintenance functions as required.
  • Staff has issued a request for proposal for a cleaning service for all of the CRAs. The goal is to proceed with one or more (if necessary) contracts to perform this.

The Recreation Advisory Committee is reviewing current rental rates, operating costs and the variety of fee schedules of the CRAs, to draft a policy and fee schedule that will be applied to all facilities, for Council’s consideration. The fee policy will also address requests for reduction and/or waiver of fees. Note that CRAs will not be required to pay facility use fees for CRA meetings and CRA events.

On the financial side, Staff completed a full analysis of the financial status of each CRA, including reviewing historical fundraising, operating costs, rental revenues and reserves which was presented to a recent meeting of CRA representatives. Good questions and discussion occurred at this meeting, resulting in a report and motion to Council, which it approved in March. As a result, the CRA accumulated deficits will be balanced from the Township Working Fund Reserve, Funds from fundraising by certain CRAs will be held in Township Reserves for future improvements/renovations and a surplus from baseball will be transferred to that organization. This positive analysis and exercise results in the Township CRAs being in a fair and understandable starting point for moving forward under this new structure and organization.

Turning to some Simcoe County matters…

Secondary Suites Funding

Simcoe County has relaunched its 2018 Secondary Suites funding program, providing $635,000 in additional funding to grow and expand this program. These County funds will complement $300,000 already dedicated through federal and provincial funds for creation of secondary and/or garden suites this year, bringing the total available funding close to $1 million for 2018. This program provides added incentive to homeowners to be part of the solution, while contributing to affordable housing goals across all our communities – particularly smaller or rural hamlets and villages where larger builds aren’t as feasible. The program provides financial support in the form of a forgivable loan, up to a maximum of $25,000, to create a secondary or garden suite. These new units will then be placed in the social housing rental system. Since 2014, 900 new affordable housing units have been created toward a target of creating 2,685 new units by 2024. To learn more visit www.simcoe.ca/ontariorenovates

2018 Skilled Trades Expo
Simcoe County is looking for local businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs from the skilled trades to participate as exhibitors in the 2018 edition of the Simcoe Muskoka Skilled Trades Expo, being held Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Elmvale Community Arena. The 2018 event will feature two sessions: a student/school session for grades 7/8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a session geared for the general public from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. New this year, the evening event will feature a live Job Fair, which will provide participating businesses an opportunity to meet and interview skilled tradespeople during the event. It’s free to participate as an exhibitor and you can get on board by contacting the Simcoe economic development office at edo@simcoe.ca.

 

 

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16 Mar
0

Springwater Council Agenda – March 21, 2018

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Delegation – Scott Brown – Site Alteration Application 1857 & 1929 Penetanguishene Rd.- Greaves (also see Item 10.13 and Information Report below)
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items – NVCA, correspondence regarding Site Alteration Application 1857 & 1929 Penetanguishene Rd., OFA letter re Greenbelt, Simcoe County submission re Greenbelt;
  • Action Report – Canadian Cancer Society Approval to Raise Flag;
  • Action Report – Stonemanor Woods – Phase 2C Subdivision Agreement Authorization Report;
  • Action Report – Lift Hold Application (Gallo) Elmvale Village Subdivision Phase IA;
  • Action Report – Community Improvement Plan Application HGR Graham Partners LLP – 4 Queen Street West;
  • Action Report – No Stopping Zone Forest Hill Drive;
  • Action Report – Renewal of Municipal Insurance Program for 2018/19;
  • Action Report – Economic Development Marketing Plan – Initiative Implementation;
  • Action Report – County of Simcoe Economic Development Transitional Funding Program 2018 Funding Allocation Proposal;
  • Action Report – Springwater Swing 2018;
  • Information Reports – Bylaw, Fire, Building Permit, Net Zero Waste, Vespra Downs Drinking Water System, Minor Variance 11 Maria St. & 40 Marni Lane & Elmvale Village, Consent application 1605 George Johnston Rd.,Water System Summary Reports, Lorne Street Reconstruction Engineering Request for Quotation (RFQ) Results, Site Alteration Permit 1857 and 1929 Penetanguishene Road Oro-Medonte;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approvals;
  • Confirmatory By-law
  •  

     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Twitter @deputydonallen
    Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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06 Mar
0

Springwater Council Agenda – March 7, 2018

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Public Planning Meeting- Washburn – 1 Bridle Trail
  • Delegation – Team 6336 The JavaWockies, Request for Funding
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items – NVCA; OMB Decision – Kazemi.;
  • Action Report – Signs and Advertising Devices By-law Review;
  • Action Report – Elmvale Village – Gallo Phase 2 Request for Extension of Draft Plan Approval;
  • Action Report – Road Naming Cameron Estates Subdivision;
  • Action Report – Elmvale Arena Chiller Replacement;
  • Action Report – Tandem Truck Tender Results;
  • Action Report – Delegation of Powers – Restricted Acts of Council (“Lame Duck” Period);
  • Action Report – Policy – Use of Corporate Resources for Election Purposes;
  • Action Report – Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee – Revised Term of Reference;
  • Action Report – Community Hall Financial Status;
  • Information Reports – 1315076 Ontario Inc. (E.Eisses) Moran Street and Rainbow Valley Road West; Outdoor Watering Ban Notice for Hillsdale; Bill 175 Update – The Safer Ontario Act; Administration Centre Lower Level Space Accommodation Design;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approvals;
  • Closed Session;
  • Confirmatory By-law

     

     

     

     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Twitter @deputydonallen
    Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

     

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28 Feb
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Wednesday, Feb 28/18 – Check Out the Update on Elmvale District High School

We have just received an update on the recent progress at Elmvale District High School and I thought that I would pass it along incase you have seen the high school recently.

The addition is well under way and that there will be exciting progress happening in the next month with the erection of steel framing, core slab installation etc.  There will be lots of crane work and the building should appear to progress rapidly for the next month after several months getting up out of the ground.

We will keep you posted with future progress, this is just to let those who have not seen the project have an idea of where the project is at.

Great Progress! Exciting for our community!

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

 

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20 Feb
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Potential Greenbelt Expansion Information and Council Meeting February 21/18

Potential Greenbelt Expansion – Continued

The population of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) in Ontario, currently approximately 9 million, is forecasted to grow to about 13.5 million by 2041. The Outer Ring municipalities within the GGH (which Springwater is part of) are anticipated to grow from 2.29 million in 2016 to 3.35 million in 2041. Originally established in 2005, Ontario’s Greenbelt permanently protects roughly 810,000 ha of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds. Protecting water is a key theme of the Provincial Government’s Co-ordinated Review, including the Greenbelt Plan. The updated Greenbelt Plan (2017) and 2017 Growth Plan now contain stronger policies for protecting water resources across the GGH. The updated Greenbelt Plan (2017) identifies that the Province shall continue to explore opportunities to grow the Greenbelt as part of the Province’s growth management strategy and will protect sensitive areas, including the agricultural land base and ecological and hydrological features, areas and functions within the areas being considered. These include moraines, cold water streams and wetlands.

The Provincial Government is looking at potential study areas to possibly include in expanding the Greenbelt boundaries. Two of the proposed identified areas/features are partially located within Springwater including: Area 4 – Oro-Moraine and Area 5 – Nottawasaga River Corridor (includes Minesing Wetlands). Staff estimate that the Greenbelt Study Area encompasses roughly 55% of total Springwater Township area. The proposed study area, along with the in-effect Greenbelt Plan (2017), do not apply to existing and identified Settlement Areas.

Public stakeholders are encouraged to make comments regarding the proposed Study Area to the Province through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs EBR website by no later than March 7, 2018, at https://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/.  EBR posting #013-1661. Press “Submit Comment” once finished.

 

On February 21st, the Council meeting will include a 7pm presentation and opportunity for public comment and questions regarding the Greenbelt Expansion Study Area. The comments arising from this will be attached the Springwater official submission, which will include comments of Staff and Council. As mentioned above, comments from the public should be directly submitted to the EBR website.

 Subject to Council approval this week, the following comments are recommended to be included in the Springwater submission regarding this:

  • Springwater is supportive of the Province’s efforts to protect, maintain and enhance water resources in the Outer Ring;
  • Staff anticipate and request that once, the Study Area is refined, and an updated Greenbelt Boundary is proposed, the Province provide an opportunity for additional comments related to implementation policies;
  • Staff requests clarification regarding how the Study Area and anticipated future Greenbelt expansion would interact with and compliment the Province’s Agricultural and Natural Heritage System mapping. Similar considerations should be given to the County’s Greenland’s system. Staff appreciate the benefits of a multi-layer approach to the protection of water resources, but duplication of work and layers of regulation, where unnecessary, should be avoided;
  • Given the area east of Centre Vespa, south of Snow Valley and north of the City of Barrie is surrounded on three sides by identified settlement areas, Staff requests the Study Area boundaries be reviewed within this area, to confirm whether their inclusion is representative of the stated objective to protect hydrological systems and river corridors;
  • Existing rural business parks, rural businesses and active aggregate operations should be reviewed for potential exemption from the Greenbelt Study Area where ecological/ hydrological impacts have already been determined through Planning Approvals. The Province will need to balance the directives within the Growth Plan regarding economic development and the protection of key hydrological features;
  • While it is recognized that existing settlement areas are not included within the Greenbelt Study Area, careful review of ecological/hydrological functions surrounding Settlement Areas is needed to ensure that responsible growth and expansion is considered. The Greenbelt Plan 2017 establishes a limitation of 10 ha (25 acres) of land that can be expanded into the Greenbelt area. This may not be large enough to ensure the long-term viability and rural character of smaller settlement areas and those without full municipal services. A draft boundary for the Greenbelt should reflect this review prior to its implementation. I believe that the population increases which Springwater is committed to are more than enough to be contained within the existing settlement boundaries and therefore it is not likely that settlement boundaries will need to be expanded before a future municipal comprehensive review after the current one being commenced;
  • The completion of the County’s Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) should be completed prior to finalizing the Greenbelt Study Area, as local knowledge and resources provided through the County’s MCR process would better inform the Study Area. This is particularly important to determine the impact that the Study Area and a future Greenbelt expansion might have on rural settlement areas and rural land uses;
  • Staff requests a review of the northwestern portion of the Midhurst settlement area boundary for accuracy and potential refinement of the Study Area to match the borders of the existing settlement areas.

Additional thoughts which I support concerning Greenbelt expansion include:

  • The Greenbelt Plan 2017 introduces a set of checks and balances that no other planning legislation provides, which will limit negative impacts to watersheds, natural heritage and agricultural systems. As a result, the Greenbelt Plan it is not redundant – rather, it requires conformity and adds more control related to these aspects than is offered by the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the Growth Plan 2017;
  • The Greenbelt Plan will enable more effective planning controls and rigor in the Official Plan review for municipalities which are currently underway, to incorporate Greenbelt Plan provisions;
  • Agricultural, agriculture-related or on-farm diversified uses are allowed and encouraged by the Greenbelt, which provides more protection and strength to maintain farmland;
  • Statistics demonstrate that farmland prices do not decrease by being included in Greenbelt areas;
  • Greenbelt regulations increase obligations for any aggregate mining to be more accountable for the impact they have on water systems, natural heritage and agriculture features and obligations to for them to rehabilitate;
  • The Greenbelt will permit planning based on better long term certainty regarding where growth will and will not occur;
  • The Greenbelt regulations provide further protection to what is available through Source Water Protection Plans and will help to protect private well owners;
  • The Greenbelt will contribute to protecting significant recharge areas, as mapped in Source Water Protection Plans;
  • The Greenbelt has a stronger policy framework which can assist to safeguard threatened or rare habitats, water systems and sensitive natural heritage features;
  • Considering climate change projections and technical limitations, the time to protect our water is now.

 

It appears that the Province’s process going forward entails the following and an estimated timeline has not been provided:

  1. Consider Comments received through the Study Area Process;
  2. Establish a Study Area;
  3. Study and Determine an appropriate Greenbelt Boundary;
  4. Release a Draft Greenbelt Boundary for review and comment;
  5. Consider comments on the implementation of an expanded Greenbelt Boundary;
  6. Prepare and release formal Provincial policy to implement an expansion of the Greenbelt.

It is important to be informed and provide your input to this, as it will impact our way of living for the next 25 years and beyond.

These are my thoughts and interpretations of these topics and not necessarily those of Council.

If you have any questions or comment, please feel free to reach me at the contact info listed below:

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

 

 

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20 Feb
0

Deputy Don’s Update – Family Day 2018!

Even though rain was expected on Family Day, families were out sharing community fun in Springwater.

  • Elmvale had free skate at the Arena so it did not need to worry about the rain.
  • The Hillsdale rink was busy throughout the day, with skating and hockey being enjoyed by families.
  • The Phelpston skate and BBQ was well attended.
  • Midhurst Family Day Fun organizers had arranged with the Township to shove snow to make a sliding hill at the Doran Road Park, but the weather shifted those plans to the community centre, where games, food and drink, a great fire and local vendor displays were enjoyed by all.

I am sure there were other events as well in the township. The way we celebrate special events and days like this really distinguishes Springwateras a hidden gem.

As always, a big thank you to all the volunteer organizers who spend many hours planning,organizing, setting up, running and cleaning up after these events.

Your contributions are so much appreciated!


 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

 

 

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16 Feb
0

Greenbelt Study Area Expansion Public Meeting – February 21, 2018

Please find information regarding the February 21, 2018 – 5pm Springwater Council Agenda found in today’s blog post –

 

Part of the February 21st  Council meeting, starting at 7pm, will be to receive comments from the general public and stakeholders in regards to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs process regarding the proposed Greenbelt Expansion Study Area.

Persons wishing to provide comments regarding the Provincial initiative will be invited to speak for a maximum of three (3) minutes each. Names of the presenter, including company/group/organization, address and the general nature of the comment presented will be noted in the minutes of the meeting and will form part of the Township’s public record.

Those persons wishing to make comment(s) will be required to sign in prior to the start of this portion of the meeting, between the hours of 4:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., in the lobby of the Administration Centre.

**Important – Please note that public comments and submissions provided during this portion of the meeting will be submitted as an attached document and sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for information only but will not form part of the Township of Springwater official submission, nor will they be submitted through the separate prescribed EBR commenting process. Those interested in officially submitting comments to the Province are required to do so through the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry website by no later than March 7, 2018 at www.ebr.gov.on.ca and searching EBR Registration Number: 013-1661.

Reports from the Springwater Planning Staff regarding this can be found BELOW:

Report – Greenbelt Study Area 2018

Greenbelt Presentation – 21-2-18

 

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

 

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16 Feb
0

Springwater Council Agenda February 21, 2018 – starts 5pm

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items – NVCA; Cameron Estates; Building a Seniors Campus; Severn Sound Environmental Assoc.;
  • Action Report – Snow Valley Highlands Phase 5 Certificate of Completion;
  • Action Report – Updated Temporary Borrowing By-law;
  • Action Report – Tax Adjustment and Supplementary Taxes;
  • Action Report – Discussion Paper: Proposed methodology for Land Needs Assessment for the Greater Golden Horseshoe;
  • Action Report – Breathing Apparatus Replacement;
  • Information Reports – Fire; Building Permits; ROMA; Elmvale & Minesing Drinking Water Annual reports; 2017 Statement of Council & Board Remuneration;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Motion To Which Notice Was Given – Austin re Provincial Funding for Ontario Libraries;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • Presentation- Greenbelt Expansion Study Area and Public Commenting Period
  • Report – Greenbelt Expansion Study Area EBR Posting (see separate Blog post)
  • By-law approvals;
  • Confirmatory By-law

 

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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06 Feb
0

Deputy Don’s Update – February 6, 2018

Potential Greenbelt Expansion

The Greenbelt Plan is a cornerstone planning policy document in Ontario, which provides clarity about where and how future growth should be accommodated and what natural features must be protected for current and future generations. It provides permanent protection to the agricultural land base and for ecological and hydrological features, areas and functions. In 2017, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, and the Greenbelt Plan were all updated and their environmental protection policies were aligned as a result of the Provincial Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. This resulted in the updated Greenbelt Plan (2017), which identified that the Province will continue to explore opportunities to grow the Greenbelt to uphold and strengthen the Province’s growth management strategy and provide additional protection to sensitive areas from development pressures.

On December 7, 2017 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA) announced that it is undertaking a consultation regarding a study area for a potential Greenbelt expansion (“Expansion Study Area”). Seven key areas/features across the GGH are being examined including these in Simcoe County:

Area 4 – Oro-Moraine

Area 5 – Nottawasaga River Corridor (includes Minesing Wetlands)

More information on this can be found at the MMA site HERE.

It is important to note that the Expansion Study Area does not represent a proposed Greenbelt boundary expansion at this time. Input received through the consultation process will help form the Province’s decisions on how to move from the Expansion Study Area to an actual proposed expanded Greenbelt boundary. The Province will be consulting further on any proposed boundary before any official changes are made.

Springwater Staff estimates that the Greenbelt Expansion Study Area encompasses roughly 55% of the Springwater Township area land, however, it does not apply to existing and identified Settlement Areas.

A Township public meeting will be held to receive comments regarding the proposed Greenbelt Study Area at the Township office on February 21, 2018, starting at approximately 7pm (subject to final notice to be published). A Staff report will be available in advance of the meeting and there will be opportunity for discussion and questions by residents and Council members. A complete Springwater response package, summarizing comments from Staff, Council and resident’s, will be provided to the Province prior to its March 7, 2018 deadline for submission. Also, the public is invited to provide comments to MMA via the site listed above.

Some factors that require further consideration, discussion and clarification include:

  • Private property owners in close proximity to identified natural features may have additional restrictions placed on development occurring on their property;
  • Existing agricultural uses within expanded Greenbelt Areas will likely be permitted to continue operating, however, expansions or new on-farm diversified uses may in some cases be limited or restricted. Detailed information regarding the Provinces plan is needed;
  • Potential impacts on rural-type businesses (including mineral aggregates) and their ability to expand operations outside settlement areas;
  • Future municipally initiated expansions of settlement area boundaries must have regard for Greenbelt policies. Expansions into Greenbelt Areas will be highly limited and restricted. Current Greenbelt (2017) policies restrict settlement area expansions to 10ha total. This has potential to alter where future growth in the Township is directed;
  • Some claim that Source Water Protection Plans already protect water. Others respond stating Source Water protects against contamination of municipal wells only and not private wells, whereas Greenbelt protects water more generally as a landscape. Both of these plans should work in tandem and from different approaches;
  • The Agricultural System mapping and the Natural Heritage System mapping are not yet finalized by the Province. How will the Expansion Greenbelt Study Area overlap with these and will they be governed by the Greenbelt policies? Does it make send to consolidate these, resulting in one consistent set of guidelines?
  • These plans must be reconciled with the updated Springwater Official Plan, which must fit in with the Simcoe County municipal comprehensive review of the County Official Plan;
  • For the long-term viability of agriculture in Springwater, assurances must come from the Province that the Greenbelt policies won’t disrupt the viability and potential growth of Springwater’s agricultural community.

This is an important topic affecting many planning aspects in the future. Your involvement and comments regarding it are very important.

Building Permit Fee Review

Building fee reviews were done in Springwater in 2008 and last in 2015. Building fees are designed to rely on a user pay system and not require taxpayer dollars to support this area. Staff have currently estimated that new home construction will decline in 2018 – 2020, when compared to 2015-2017. However, the actual total number of overall building permits issued is expected to remain relatively stable, with an increase in new smaller projects (pools, decks, sheds, finished basements etc.) linked with previous year’s new homes construction. These do not generate as much revenue as new home permits but still require staff and overhead to administer.

Fees are reviewed with reference to the Non-Residential Building Construction Price Index increases by Statistics Canada. This has increased by 6% since 2015 and staff are proposing to increase building permit fees by this 6%, as well as the septic re-inspection fee by 6%. The Springwater building fees for new residential, industrial building and farm buildings will remain well below County averages. A public meeting to review the proposed increases was held on February 7, 2018. The proposed new rates are detailed on the Springwater website – they will be reviewed and approved by Council in the near future, with the intent of being effective April 1, 2018.

 

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01 Feb
0

Springwater Council Agenda – February 7, 2018

Please find the agenda  HERE with related staff reports:

  • Public Planning Meeting- E. Graham re-zoning application – 136 Queen St. E.
  • Public Meeting – Building Permit & Septic Re-inspection Fee Review 2018
  • Delegation – Colleen Forest – Proposed Age-In-Place Retirement Community
  • Minutes review and approval
  • Question Period
  • Correspondence and Information Items – NVCA; Cameron Estates; Hydro EA , Barrie Transmission Upgrade; B. Stanton letter re: TD Closing;
  • Action Report – Stonemanor Woods Security Adjustment;
  • Action Report – Scarlett Line Plan of Subdivision Extension Request, Draft Plan Approval;
  • Action Report – Signs and Advertising Devices By-law Review;
  • Action Report – Cut and Fill By-law;
  • Action Report – Breathing Apparatus Replacement;
  • Action Report – Light Duty Trucks awards;
  • Action Report – Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Amended Transfer Payment Agreement;
  • Action Report – Amendment to Council Meeting Schedule – February 21, 2018;
  • Action Report – Barrie Area Physician Recruitment – Request for Contribution;
  • Information Reports – Building Permits; Bylaw Activity; Annual Accessibility Status; Planning Report – Greenbelt Study Area 2018;
  • Verbal Report Updates – Official Plan, Economic Development Updates; County & Municipal Updates;
  • Notices of Motion
  • Items For Future Consideration
  • By-law approvals –Cut and Fill; Graham;
  • Confirmatory By-law
  • Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Twitter @deputydonallen
    Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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25 Jan
0

Midhurst Secondary Plan – Environmental Assessment Update

Springwater Chief Administrative Officer Robert Brindley reports that at this time, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has not completed its review of the Draft Environmental Study Report (ESR).

The Draft ESR was submitted to the MOECC in May of 2017.  Staff have been in regular contact with the MOECC throughout this time in hopes that the review would be coming to an end.  To date, staff continues to be informed that the MOECC’s review is still ongoing.

Once the Draft ESR is reviewed by the MOECC, staff and Council will establish a new schedule of meetings regarding this.

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24 Jan
0

Deputy Don’s Update – January 25, 2018

Fire Station 2/Yard 1 Renovation and Expansion

The tender documents were posted for this project last December and five proposals were received by the January closing. Proposals were reviewed by staff and the Township’s contracted architects, who recommended that the contract be awarded to the low bidder, Norfield Construction Inc., in the amount of $716,000, plus taxes. In addition to this base bid, there are works to be completed by the Township, estimated to cost $60,000. The total project cost of $776,000 was approved by Council and is within the capital budget allocation of $800,000. The work will commence once the ground has thawed and is estimated to be completed by late summer 2018. This is great long-awaited progress. Council is continuing to explore possibilities for a permanent fire station to replace Fire Station 2, at which point in future, Public Works will expand into the the full Yard 1 facility, to provide much needed additional space for operating.

 

Potential Greenbelt Expansion

The Greenbelt is the cornerstone of Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan), which is an overarching strategy that provides guidelines about urban structure, where and how future growth should be accommodated and what must be protected for current and future generations.

The Greenbelt Plan, together with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan, identifies where urbanization should not occur. It provides permanent protection to the agricultural land base and the ecological and hydrological features, areas and functions occurring on this landscape. In 2017, the Greenbelt Plan was updated as part of updating the 2017 Growth Plan.

On December 7, 2017 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA) announced that it is undertaking a consultation regarding study areas for potential Greenbelt expansion, to protect important water resources in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), of which the County of Simcoe is a part. The study areas have identified various water resources, five of which are located in Simcoe County. This proposal has been posted on Ontario’s Environmental Registry for a 90-day public review and comment period, which closes on March 07, 2018.  On THIS SITE the Province has announced they will hold public open houses throughout the study areas; the only public meeting planned in Simcoe is January 31, in Barrie.

The Province has prepared a Public Consultation Document (2017) titled “Protecting Water for Future Generations, Growing the Greenbelt in the Outer Ring”, which has been posted to the government’s website HERE.

Input received through the planned consultation process will help form the Province’s decisions on how to move from these study areas to a proposed expanded Greenbelt boundary.

The 5 areas in Simcoe County are:

  1. The 5 areas in Simcoe County are:
    1. Escarpment area moraines in Dufferin and Simcoe Counties;
    2. Oro Moraine in northeast Simcoe County;
    3. Nottawasaga River corridor in Dufferin and Simcoe Counties;
    4. Important surface water and recharge features in southeast Simcoe County; and
    5. Catchment areas and wetlands west of Minesing in Dufferin and Simcoe Counties.

    The urban sections of several river corridors, including the Nottawasaga River, are also being considered for addition to the Greenbelt under the Urban River Valley (URV) designation.

Simcoe County planning staff have prepared a report regarding the potential Greenbelt Expansion, which will be reviewed at County Council on January 23, 2017. The following summarizes staff comments regarding the study, which staff are seeking approval to submit to the government:

  • The potential expansion of the Greenbelt will have significant effects on the long-term planning for the County of Simcoe. If implemented it will fundamentally change certain directions on where and how growth will occur in the County. The Greenbelt Plan designations place limits on expansion of settlement areas and land uses. The County is in the process of beginning its Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) process, which is estimated to take two and a half years to complete. Depending on the timing and exact location of the Greenbelt boundary expansion, the results of the County’s MCR could potentially be in conflict with it.
  • Through the County’s Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) process, the County will be exploring options to accommodate growth. This could include the expansion of certain settlement area boundaries, if determined appropriate and necessary to achieve population and employment growth forecasts. If these expanded areas involved the same areas as the expanded Greenbelt boundary in Simcoe County, it would have significant impacts on settlement area expansions, as the Greenbelt Plan does not permit settlement areas outside of the Greenbelt to expand into it. This potential expansion could significantly limit the County’s opportunity to meet the county planned growth forecasts to accommodate residential and employment growth as required by the Growth Plan.
  • The Province has indicated it was planning to release Watershed Planning Guidance Materials by the end of 2017, however, these materials have not yet been released. Watershed Planning is also to be considered in the County’s MCR process. The province needs to provide very clear criteria on how to implement the various provincial documents.
  • How will the Province balance the accommodation of planned future urban growth, based on the Growth Plan forecasts for 2031/2041, with protecting water resources?
  • The potential expansion of the Greenbelt would affect planning for things such as mineral aggregate extraction and making the resources available as close to market as possible. The province needs to provide very clear criteria on how to implement the various provincial documents.
  • It is unclear how the potential expansion of the Greenbelt will be affected by, or work with, the Provincial mapping of the Agricultural System and Natural Heritage System currently being finalized. The province needs to provide very clear criteria on how to implement the various provincial documents.
  • Municipalities would be required to bring their plans into conformity with the Greenbelt Plan. What would the transition rules be for planning processes currently underway such as a Municipal Comprehensive Review?

County Council this week passed a motion to forward a written request to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to extend the comment period for this by 6 months to July 2018 and to include consultation meetings in Simcoe County locations, to enable the lower tier municipalities to be fully engaged in the public commenting process.

Springwater Council will be reviewing this matter and considering comments to submit in its February Council meetings and I will write more regarding this as it progresses.

2018 Cut and Fill By-Law

The Springwater Cut and Fill By-law has been under review since 2016. A draft by-law was presented to and reviewed by Council and then placed on the Township website for public comment. The draft by-law was circulated, with staff report for Information, on December 6, 2017. It will come to Council for approval at its February 7, 2018 meeting.

Highlights include:

  • No person shall Place or Dump Fill, or cause or permit Fill to be Placed or Dumped, on any land, without first obtaining a Fill Permit under this by-law;
  • No person shall commence any Site Alteration, or cause or permit any Site Alteration to occur, without first obtaining a Site Alteration Permit under this bylaw;
  • “Site Alteration” means altering the Existing Grade of the land, whether temporarily or permanently, without the Placing or Dumping of Fill.
  • No blockage shall occur of a swale, ditch or drainage course;
  • This bylaw does not apply to the Placing or Dumping of soil on lands for the purpose of lawn dressing, landscaping or adding to flower beds or vegetable gardens;
  • Permit applications – information required;
  • Permit conditions, revocation, expiration;
  • Administration, enforcement and penalty.
     

    Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
    Email me at info@donallen.ca
    Twitter @deputydonallen
    Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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19 Jan
0

A good follow up article supporting David Phillip’s presentation this week on Climate change.

I came across this article in the Globe and Mail yesterday, demonstrating an example of what David Phillips was referring to in his Climate Change presentation. Cape Town, Africa is heading toward April 21, 2018 “Day Zero”, being the first major city in the world to run out of water for 3.7 million inhabitants.

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18 Jan
0

Climate Change For Real

On January 17, 2018, David Phillips presented to about 200 attendees at the Springwater Township building a very interesting presentation on Climate Change. He is a Senior Climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, who has been widely awarded for his work and contributions, including the Order of Canada. His authored books include: The Climates of Canada and 2 bestsellers, The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry and Blame It On the Weather.

David started his talk by distinguishing between Climate and Weather and provided some enlightening (no pun) figures about weather events globally and locally. He reviewed elements of weather and how much these continue to change, including temperatures, precipitation, tornados and other elements and storms.  He kept us all laughing with his Climate humour. He demonstrated how our thinking and infrastructure will need to change due to climate change. Reviewing significant storm events over the last 25 years, he demonstrated how storms are lasting in one place longer and creating more damage as a result. Climatologists’ prediction 20 years ago of what would happen in the next 20 years pretty much got it right, except for the fact that sea levels have not receded – they have risen, for numerous reasons, and that causes damage as we know.

Population growth is challenging to climate change and must be handled more efficiently than we have in the past. He cited that 80% of the precipitation falling in Toronto is runoff on asphalt or cement rather than being absorbed. There are more examples of allowing building to occur where we shouldn’t – too close to water or on flood plains or wetlands. Wetlands were natures way of protecting us – eliminating or negatively affecting them causes permanent damage, increasing the negative impacts of climate change.

While we are hearing about weather more due to the social media network, “stormporn” he calls it, a better standard of living in some areas shields us from truly witnessing what other less fortunate parts of the world are enduring due to climate change and this can lead to inaction.

98% of climate scientists believe that weather is warming at a greater and faster pace. Sea levels are rising because of greater ice cap melting and more and faster heating of the exposed ground. The ice is disappearing in the Arctic, which has functioned as Earth’s refrigerator, and the ice which is there is called “rookie ice”, as it disappears faster each summer.

Weather is wetter, windier and wilder. By 2055, he predicts on average, temperatures will be 3 degrees warmer, where a 1 degree increase represents a significant change. In Ontario, it is predicted that there will be more “tropical nights”, where the average nighttime temperature is greater than 20 degrees Celsius – not very comfortable. In our geographical area, we have an average of 6 of these nights annually currently – this will change to 20 by 2055 and 26, 6 years later. “Hot days” as defined will go from 10 days to 30 to 50 days in this same period. Precipitation will increase 10% to 15% but that increase will not be sufficient to offset the increased temperatures and that will challenge water supply aquafers. There will be more lightening events, hail storms and freezing rain. Winners will be farmers, as they will have 30% more growing days, but there will be challenges with bugs, diseases and pests, requiring more spraying. Fish will decline due to warmer water bodies.

So what can we do about bringing change? Obvious actions involve cutting back on emissions and reducing the use of fossil fuels. We need to do things differently to accomplish this, weening ourselves away from fossil fuels. We need to build resilience rather than looking for the easiest and most comfortable way to live. In any new development projects undertaken, we need to demand consideration of the impacts and effects on climate change within the next 30 years and require action to mitigate these?

If you want to review streaming of this informative presentation, please see HERE.

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

 

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17 Jan
0

A Great Celebration for Regional Healthcare!

Today I had the privilege of attending the official opening of Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program!  What an amazing facility that we now have, right here in our community!  This advanced cardiac intervention facility is a true example of the collaboration of many in our community, including –  Various levels of government, local businesses, community groups and residents and volunteers, all working together to provide the funds needed for this incredible undertaking.

Above, Health Minister Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Premier Kathleen Wynne

Until now, heart patients in our region had to travel to centers outside the region for heart procedures. The Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program will give patients access to faster treatment, a shorter hospital stay and less travel time.  This state of the art facility boasts 16-beds. The 14,300 square-foot unit includes two procedure rooms, featuring first-in-Canada technology to perform cardiac angiograms and angioplasty in future.

 

For a complete summary of this new facility in our region, read this news article found in BarrieToday.com

Thank-you to the citizens and businesses of Springwater, that were an important part of raising funds for local healthcare close to home!

 

 

 

Deputy Mayor – Don Allen
Email me at info@donallen.ca
Twitter @deputydonallen
Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen

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