Celebrate Springwater –  Canada 150 

This June 24th celebration in Springwater was filled with family fun, entertainment, live music and fireworks. The day gave us sun and a perfect evening.  There were an estimated 1,000 people who showed up. Children were happily playing in 2 large bouncy castles, a simulated rock climbing tower, face painting station and a mechanical bucking bronco (some of the adults were wishing they could give this one a try!). The firefighters were there with our new fire truck and equipment, sharing with the people, as always. Children entertainers and music by The Argues, Rob Watts Band and the headline River Town Saints kept the beats going. The final fireworks display was the best I have ever seen – long in duration and spectacularly choreographed. Very impressive indeed!

Congratulations and hearty thanks go to the Springwater staff and to the firefighters for making this event such a success. Staff had many meetings to plan this and worked hard before, during and after the event was over to make this fun and safe for everyone. There was a glitch with one of the food vendors and staff jumped to the rescue, executing plan B, to solve the problem. Very well done and thank you from all of us.

Other Canada 150 celebrations are happening leading up to and on July 1st.  The Springwater-Elmvale Farmers’ Market kicked off their 2017 season on June 9th. However, each year on the Friday before the Canada Day long weekend the Market holds its grand opening so come out this Friday June 30th for the ceremony, starting at 10am.

The Strut Your Vintage Festival in Elmvale on July 1 from 10am to 5pm will feature vintage cars and antique collectibles and music and celebration. Celebration of the progress on Elmvale District High School Shared Facility Project will occur from 2pm to 4:30pm with a historic photo being taken at 4:30pm.

There will be celebration and fireworks in Phelpston during the evening of July 1st.  Come out to these and enjoy.

Community Recreation Associations  (CRAs) – Hall boards

A staff report on governance and operations of the CRAs (hall boards) was discussed at last Council meeting. The Township is proposing that it will collect all revenue from rental activities of all of the CRAs and will pay for the ongoing operating expenses. The Township will still track internally the revenue and expenses of each CRA. The Township will be transitioning to contracting certain operational services by spring 2018, such as cleaning for example. The funds raised by CRAs for special events, after costs of the events, will be available for each CRA to accumulate and be used toward local community projects, which are approved (see below). A suggestion has been made that going forward, representation from each CRA should be part of the Recreational Advisory Committee (RAC). Communities will still depend on volunteers for caring for outdoor ice facilities. A by-law covering this will be presented at the next Council meeting.

A staff report on the Draft Capital Cost Sharing Policy for community initiated projects was presented and discussed last Council meeting.  Basically, the cost sharing would be 50% by the community fund raising and 50% by the Township, of the total project cost, after any development charge considerations. The draft policy sets out proposed eligibility and procedure for a potential project. After discussion, the report was referred to staff for further consideration after the discussion at Council. Any questions or comments regarding this can be emailed to Director Ron Belcourt.

I agree that clarifying the operational responsibilities and putting in place clear policies with respect to capital projects in the communities is good progress.

Midhurst Pavilion

Progress was made by Council approving the motion, made by Councillor Hanna and seconded by myself, that the construction proceed of a 70 by 140-foot covered pavilion, complete with rink boards and refrigeration piping, at an estimated cost of $450,000 and that the Midhurst Community Hall Board be required to fund 50% of the cost not covered by development charges (estimated to be $22,500). This will be located south of the tennis facility in Doran Park. Discussion occurred about the inclusion of the refrigeration piping, estimated to be $25,000 of the $450,000. If it is ever decided to build out the artificial ice component, it was noted that current cost estimates are up to an additional $250,000 for this, plus requiring three phase hydro and certified operators and increased hydro costs. Tay township currently spends annually over $100,000 for operations costs for an artificial ice facility. This facility will obviously be used for skating and hockey in the winter and also ball hockey and potentially pickleball in non-winter seasons.

This is a great result, which I have always been in support of, and I look forward to it progressing to completion quickly.

Community Improvement Plan (CIP)

Continuing on what has been previously written about this, the CIP is designed to support local industries, businesses, tourism, agri-tourism and agricultural facilities by establishing incentive programs that will encourage owners to make investments resulting in spin-off benefits within the key economic sectors of the Township. There are 8 Financial Incentive Programs including: Exterior Improvements; Signage Improvements; Interior Improvements or Expansion; Planning and Building Fee Rebates; Development Charge Rebates; Historic Property Improvements; Tax Increment Financing; and, Accessibility Improvements. Council has approved an initial $50,000 of funding to compliment owner funding for projects which are successful through the application process. Staff are finalizing the application process and more on this will be communicated in the near future.

Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC)

On June 19th Springwater held a public meeting to consider a plroposed Official Plan Amendment to re-designate a portion of the lands at 2975 Horseshoe Valley Road West from “Rural” and “Agricultural” to “Waste Disposal” to facilitate the proposed ERRC, which will house a Materials Management Facility (MMF), Organics Processing Facility (OPF), and associated ancillary facilities. The meeting was well attended by residents and was productive – many residents came forward with good questions and messages concerning this project. GHD, the consultants retained by the County, and County staff made a presentation update and addressed questions, where possible. Comments and questions arising from this meeting, along with the many written comments received by the Township and County, will be reviewed and summarized by GHD and will form part of an upcoming report to the Springwater planning department and this will form part of an eventual report to Springwater Council.

Have a wonderful Canada Day weekend.

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

Email me at info@donallen.ca  and Twitter @deputydonallen and Facebook DeputyMayorDonAllen