Wellington North moves forward with community growth plan

Wellington North is moving forward with plans for future growth within the township.

On Jan. 9 council approved a staff recommendation to strike a community growth plan committee consisting of representatives from the township, county and the public.

The committee, as part of the township’s strategic plan, will provide strategic recommendations for forecasted growth and will help the township understand the implications of growth pressures.

The committee will provide council with advice on how to develop a community growth plan that addresses the projected 40 per cent population growth and the growth in the employment base, including:

– transportation;

– determination of the growth areas;

– addressing the capacity issue of the Arthur Wastewater treatment Plant;

– economic development;

– official plan zoning;

– recreation master plan;

– development fees, financial plans and budgets; and

– infrastructure maintenance and growth.

In a report to council, economic development officer Dale Small explained an “exploratory meeting” was held in the fall with Stantec Consulting.

“Stantec were asked to provide the municipality with a terms of reference, timeline and cost estimate to complete the work in Wellington North,” stated Small.

He expressed concerns with response times and suggested the township move on and seek requests for proposals from other consulting firms.

Councillor Sherry Burke questioned the need for external assistance.

“Why do we need somebody to help us find out how we want our community to look?” she asked.

Small said having an external consultant would facilitate the plan and ensure coverage of all the necessary areas. The consultant would also bring expertise in many important areas.

Mayor Andy Lennox said he thought the same way as Burke before the meeting last fall.

“Coming out of that meeting I changed my mind significantly because the person we were meeting with raised several issues that I hadn’t even considered,”  he said.

Currently, the terms of reference request two members of council and the mayor be appointed to the committee. Burke asked if all councillors could be on it.

“It’s one of the most important projects that will happen throughout the rest of this term,” she said.

Council approved the terms of reference and directed staff to find members to sit on the steering committee.

Council also asked staff to prepare an RFP for professional assistance and to include all members of council on the meeting.

Councillor Steve McCabe was absent.