Busy 2009 in Wellington North … with promising 2010 ahead

While national and provincial politicians offer state of the union addresses, Wellington North’s mayor Mike Broomhead held his own recently to reflect on accomplishments of 2009.

He said “2009 was another busy and productive year in the Township of Wellington North.”

There was quite a bit of input from municipal departments this year. “Every department did a review.”

He said this is his sixth such report, having made his first only a few months after being elected as Wellington North’s mayor. “We’ve come a long way in  a few short years.”

Broomhead said 2009 mark­ed the 10th anniversary of the township, with celebrations in Arthur and Mount Forest, together with the launch of the newly-designed web­­site.

Other highlights included:

– a review of the economic development officer’s position and the formulation of two part-time positions that resulted in hiring a business economic manager and a tourism marketing promotion manager;

– successful completion of a Habitat for Humanity project in Arthur;

– Arthur Historical Society assistance towards a video and book Memories of Arthur and Area;

– construction of a communications tower in Kenilworth to service Mount Forest, Kenil­worth, Arthur and Wellington North Power;

– assistance towards the Ar­thur downtown revitalization project;

– sale of a portion of township owned rural agricultural property, with a gravel pit retained for municipal use;

– green energy approval of five wind turbines for Schnei­der Power;

– appointment of a municipal contact representative to the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network;

– grand opening of the Well­ington County multi-use facility on Durham Street in Mount Forest, which includes a health unit, day care, and Ontario Early Years program;

– the At Home program in leased space in the Arthur health services facility;

– lease of the old Mount Forest community centre and arena to the Mount Forest Victory Church for church and community uses;

– Mount Forest library addition and renovations, with a grand opening set for March;

– Persona (Eastlink) Tele­communications agreement for the installation of fibre optics on certain township rural road allowances;

– Wightman’s completion of fibre optics works;

– accessible standards for customer service and use of assistive devices policy and procedures and training of all township employees, compliance with the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act;

– once again the Mount For­est Fireworks Festival was a great success;

– 2010 Olympic Torch Run community event and celebrations in Mount Forest;

– sale of the former Murphy property (at the south end of Mount Forest) to Avila Invest­ments finalized;

– obtaining funding for four major construction projects from the provincial and federal government programs that fund­ed approved projects bas­ed on one-third funding shareby the federal, provincial and municipal governments,

– the new Mount Forest wastewater treatment plant which was put into operation in November 2008 and officially opened in August 2009,

– other works projects in­cluded: reconstruction of three downtown blocks of Mount Forest, upgrades of two sets of signal lights in Arthur, rural and urban asphalt resurfacing, rural road construction.

Broomhead said 2009 was also a very active year in recreation with a record number of events were held in the recreation facilities of Wellington North.

He noted that moonlight walks are something new plan­ned by the trails committee and are held once a month during the full moon.

Recreation grants were ap­proved for new lights above the Arthur arena ice surface, and for two summer students to work on the trails and parks, and two summer pool students.

At the Arthur community centre work was done on parking lot repaving, new flooring in the community hall and an elevator is to be installed in 2010.

The millpond committee in Mount Forest donated a by 32-foot lookout point for Mur­phy’s Park.

Broomhead said 2009 prov­ed to be a steady year for the building department. A total of 208 building permits were is­sued, with a combined construction value of just under $24-million.

Those permits included: five wind turbines, a church (scheduled to open in 2010), seven new barns including two sheep dairy barns, and 19 new single family dwellings.

Darren Jones was promoted from building inspector to chief building official and Arthur resident Patty Wright was hired as building inspector.

The first Industry Inno­vators reception was held, partnered with local chambers of commerce, OMAFRA and the Saugeen Economic Develop­ment Corporation (SEDC).

Financial partnership with local chambers of commerce to produce the annual Wellington North Community, Visitors and Business Guide.

Launch of a business retention and expansion program partnered with OMAFRA, SEDC, and the two chambers of commerce.

Five economic stimulus grant requests for funding were approved.

A community profile was developed and published.

In 2009, Mount Forest and Arthur fire departments standardized their breathing apparati with both departments completely outfitted with new SCBAs.

A new fire pumper was ordered for the Arthur Fire Department with delivery anti­cipated in late 2010.

Omited from his list was the opening of the Arthur library.

Broomhead said that last year, as the municipality headed into 2009, thoughts were of the recession and other issues.

“But if we look at the ac­complishments of 2009 we should be pretty proud of ourselves.”

Developments anticipated for 2010 include:

– Avcom (Edwards) Devel­opment at Hwy. 6 and Well­ington Rd. 109 in Arthur;

– Former Arthur Public School, housing and apartments;

– Preston Street in Arthur, with planning and anticipated development of 55 unit subdivision;

– proceeding with East Ridge Phase II development in Arthur;

– planning and information meeting in regards to a new works yard;

– planning and engineering for the Avila lands in Mount Forest;

– extension and continued development of the Reeves subdivision in Mount Forest;

– Strathcona development continued construction;

– planning, engineering and start of development of the property on the corner of Cork Street and Hwy. 89 in Mount Forest;

– planning and engineering of Sobeys property in the north end of Mount Forest with anticipated development in 2010-11;

– planning, engineering and development to start on the new OPP?forensic centre on Hwy. 6 at the north end of Mount Forest; and

– planning and engineering on two industrial parcels of township owned land.