Congratulations to Friends of the Arena (FOTA) – Bob Scott, Mark Herlehy, Marty Hawkins and many others. Your 2nd Annual FOTA Skate-a-thon raised over $2,500 for repairs/renovations to the arena. Well Done! Top fund raiser was our very own Michael Anson, THE most popular (and amazing) Westport Rideau’s Junior B hockey player. Thank you!
Celebs Leeds & Grenville MP Gord Brown, MPP Steve Clark and Rick Smith (who needs no further introduction) all on the ice at the same time. And joined by Mark Herlehy. Stop! Impossible! Thank you for taking the time to come to Westport today to support our community. In villages and towns across rural Ontario, arenas play a key role in sustaining the community – socially and financially. FOTA has made a huge difference for the arena in Westport, raising $157K in the past three years and turning it all back into improving the arena. Not tax payers dollars, but fund raising!
Gord, Steve and Rick – your support is important to Westport for many reasons. Most importantly, it lets everyone know that when a small group of community members thinks big – anything is possible! Thanks from all of us.
I am pleased to announce that within the next couple of months, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG) Social Services and Housing Departments are initiating a Community Engagement Strategy at three housing locations. Mountainview Manor on Bedford St in Westport is one of them. This collaborative new project aims for early conflict resolution and improving coordination and access to services.
A new position is being created, a Housing Case Manager. This person will be dedicated to these three buildings, bringing an in-depth knowledge of social housing and issues arising within the buildings. The Housing Case Manager will use his/her experience, leadership and excellent communication skills working with tenants and community partners to improve/develop:
- Enhance tenant relations and communication
- Promote collective responsibility in ensuring a safe environment
- Increase participation by tenants in resolving building issues
- Raise confidence of tenants so that they will come forward with their issues
- Educate about the process in dealing with behaviours; get to know who to call in the community, and what they can do when there is an issue
- More efficient service delivery and communication between agencies.
- Improve public perception of “social housing” buildings.
Community partners committed to working with tenants, Social Services and the Housing Department are:
- Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health
- Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
- Country Roads Community Health Centre
- Leeds OPP
- Victim Services
- Upper Canada Family Health Team
The goal of this strategy is to create a welcoming and positive environment for tenants where they can meet one another to plan, build and grow together. The participation of community partners will provide opportunities to access other supports and services. To be successful, the Community Engagement Strategy could use our support. Perhaps community members and groups can consider how to support the tenants and community partners and help make this strategy a success. I will keep you posted on its progress.
Call anytime – 9195.
Skate the Lake – Day 1. Fabulous turnout of skaters -including the large contingent from Netherlands – great weather, friendly volunteers. Well done Portland!
The work should be wrapping up soon at the waste water site. Pressure testing of the new system is expected to be completed later this week. After that successful test, the next step includes a 14 day testing period of continuous operations. If there are any major operational reasons to stop this cycle, a new 14 day testing period begins once the issue that prompted the interruption is corrected. A successful continuous 14-day period is required before “substantial performance” can be declared by the Engineering consultant.
2018 BUDGET – Village and United Counties of Leeds & Grenville
Council has held two meetings to develop the 2018 budget. As you will recall, 2017 had some unplanned incidents – i.e. the force main water break on Rideau St and the water pipe breaks on Concession St and Spring St. These and other unexpected 2017 costs must be rationalized in the 2018 budget. Our tax base is very small and that reality hits home when you consider that a 1% increase in the tax rate only increases revenue by $8000. On Feb 8, at the last budget meeting, Council asked the Treasurer to review the draft budget with a view of reducing both the general and capital budgets. This revised draft budget is on the Agenda for the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 20. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG) and the Board of Education have yet to inform the Village what their budgets are for 2018.
UCLG will approve its budget by mid-March and there are two projects included for Westport. The first is a major refurb of the Main St Bridge (Fish Hatchery Bridge) in 2018. The project will include a paved shoulder on the bridge, providing a safe route for pedestrians, particularly in winter. I understand that the plan is to keep a portion of the bridge open during construction. The Counties’ 2018 capital budget also includes a study of County Rd #10 from the Main St Bridge to Grady St (the top of the hill). UCLG has made the commitment to consult with the Village and Rideau Lakes Township, as part of the study, on other concerns regarding this road including considerations for alternate routes for heavy trucks. I will keep you informed on both projects.
Breakfast with the Mayor
The next Breakfast with the Mayor will occur on Wednesday, February 28 at 08:00 a.m. at the Cove Country Inn. We will have time to discuss several topics, including business preparations for Le Boat (expect the first Le Boat to arrive in the Harbour by the end of May), parking issues in the downtown and the new Heritage Walking Tour. The Cove offers a buffet breakfast at 08:00 ($10 pp). Meeting discussion begins around 08:30. Pls consider joining us and offering your thoughts.
Please call if you have any questions. 9195
Westport Arena has been nominated for Kraft Hockeyville and the winning community will host an NHL Pre-Season Game and receive $250,000 in upgrades to the arena. We need your help and all you have to do is click on the link and then tell your story about Westport and our arena. Please take the five minutes. $250,000 would go a long way…a new roof, a new Zamboni, or other items on FOTA’s list!
Here is the link … thank you for helping.