Wellington North to undertake full Community Growth Plan review

WELLINGTON NORTH – Council here has supported a staff recommendation to undertake a full Community Growth Plan review within the next three to five years.

A July 12 report to council notes progress has been made on many of the initiatives identified as part of the township’s Community Growth Plan.

According to the report, housing and population growth is exploding in the township and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

Wellington North’s population is expected to grow from 12,490 (in 2016) to 17,800 in 2041. In 2051, the population is projected to expand to 20,500 residents.

The report also states that progress in regard to attainable or affordable housing targets has been slow.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago that we worked on this Community Growth Plan, but when I look back on some of that, it’s amazing how much has changed over the time frame as well,” said Mayor Andy Lennox.

He pointed to some progress made on items, including affordable housing.

“The new housing that’s coming has changed, I believe for the positive, to help ensure some affordability, despite the rising real estate market,” he said.

“We’ll continue to change, and I think the challenge becomes how do we change to keep up with the amount of change that’s around us.”

CAO Mike Givens said the conversation around growth in the township has changed over the past five years.

“We’re no longer talking about (growth) potentially being here, it is here,” Givens said.

Givens said the township should be prepared for 1,000 new residents in Mount Forest and 922 new residents in Arthur.

“Those are significant numbers of new people in our community, and it will change the dynamic within each of those communities,” he added.

Award of ‘penetration testing’

Council also voted to award cyber penetration testing for the township to Digital Boundary Group at a cost of $26,450. This came in below the township’s $27,000 budget.

A staff report notes that given the township’s increased reliance on digital technology, paired with the current cyber landscape, it is necessary for the township to have an external firm perform a cybersecurity audit to identify any vulnerabilities and work toward greater network security.

“While we all wish that we didn’t have to go through this kind of testing, I think we’re grateful that we have firms that can help protect our IT networks and services,” Lennox said.

“We don’t want to be paying ransom, and so I’m happy to pay $26,000 instead of the kind of dollars that some of these ransomware type of things I hear of are.”

Mount Forest Aquatics logo

Council also voted to approve a new Mount Forest Aquatics logo design for use on promotional and marketing material.

Wellington North agenda image.

The design had been recommended by the recreation, parks and leisure committee.

The design includes the shadow of a swimmer under the initials “MF” representing Mount Forest.