Tag Archives: announcements

Disappointing News – Westport’s request for waste water replacement grant turned down.

To say that this decision is unfortunate, is an understatement.  Staff are following up with the contact person mentioned in the letter below for the reasons why our application was not supported by the Ontario Liberal government.

CAO Paul Snider is contacting the offices of Minister J Leal and Minister B Mauro, the two Ministries involved in the decision making, and is requesting meetings between Mayor Jones and the Ministers.

Yes, this is a set back, however we will continue to work to resolve the challenges of our current waste water treatment system and together we will come through 2017 with a dependable solution.

I thought it would be interesting to everyone to read the letter, so please see it below.

If you have any questions, pls call the councillor of your choice or me – 9195OCIF AC3-3088 Ltr.pdf

Closing out 2016 and looking forward to 2017

There were many challenges/opportunities and lots of changes at Town Hall in 2016.  Here are just a few of them.

The disappointment in February when we learned that we had been refused the Ontario Community Infrastructure 2 Grant (OCIF) to finish the work on the new waste water plant was deeply felt by us all.  After taking a few deep breaths and writing letters expressing our concerns to the Premier and other Ministers, we took stock of our application and used this as an opportunity to prepare a stronger one for 2017.  We submitted the OCIF 3 grant application in November and hope to hear a positive response in late January/early February.

Our first Engineer, Mr Leslie Whiteman, decided to leave our team for a new opportunity.   We miss seeing him, his wife and beautiful children in the Village.  This created the opportunity for the Village to begin its relationship with Mr Max Christie, who has been our Manager of Infrastructure since May.  Max brings with him a wealth of water/waste water experience and a common sense approach to infrastructure related issues.

In November, we faced a challenge regarding incidents that occurred before this Council was elected.   On November 30th, I attended court when the matters in relation to charges laid against the Village in 2014 by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change were dealt with – a plea of guilty on one charge, all other charges withdrawn and a $10,000 fine.  Council used this as an opportunity to contract our water/waste water operations with Ontario Clean Water Agency.  With the court case just behind us and with a full understanding of the amount of regulatory compliance required for both the water and waste water systems, Council made this decision. The short term contract duration of six months will permit Council to undertake a thorough review of service delivery options before embarking on a long term operations commitment.  We wish Mr. David Wallond, who worked for the Village as the water/waste water operator since January 2014, the best in the future.

And finally, our Clerk, Mr Scott Bryce, has retired!  His last day was December 23, although you will see him in Town Hall over the next several weeks helping us out on a couple of matters.   Thank you Scott.  The best in retirement to you and Linda.

One of those matters that Scott will be helping us with will be to provide orientation and transition to our new CAO/Clerk.  Council is pleased to welcome Mr Paul Snider.  He brings with him years of municipal experience, currently working in Loyalist Township as their Clerk.  We are extremely proud that Paul has decided to join the Westport Team. Welcome home.  Paul and his wife, Heather, will be attending the Levee on New Year’s day.  Drop by and say hello.

So, that is a wrap for 2016. We know that there will be new challenges in 2017, however be assured that Council will continue to make decisions in the best interests of you and the Village.

On behalf of myself, Councillors Brady, Huth, Parliament and Schwinghamer and the staff from the Village, we wish you and your families a Happy New Year and a safe and prosperous 2017!

Special Thanks from Ottawa Bicycle Club

I received this email last week and checked that I could post it.  Thank you to everyone who works so hard and makes our village the friendliest place to visit (and live!).  Job well done!!

p.s. The bike repair kit Ruth mentions was donated by Rick Bonner and is on the Information Centre.

On Sep 6, 2016, at 1:40 PM, Ruth Bonk <rbonk@hotmail.ca> wrote:

Hello Robin;
My name is Ruth Bonk and I am the touring events director for the Ottawa Bicycle Club.
We held our very first club touring event in Westport in May this year.  We stayed at the Cove Inn. The feedback we have received from that event has been very positive and I want to share it with you.  
Our riders found the area roads and drivers lovely and bicycle friendly.  We have received comments on how nice it was that you visited and welcomed the group in person. There were remarks about how clean the tourist office and public washrooms are.   We have even received a picture of the bicycle maintenance tool kit at your municipal office.
Thank you for your welcome and bicycle friendly environment.  
We hope to add the Westport tour to our roster of annual touring events. 

Ruth Bonk
OBC Touring Events Director

The Lockwood Memorial Field and Park Renewal has begun in Westport!

The current and previous Village of Westport Councils gave strong support to developing Lockwood Memorial Field and Park into a place that will welcome everyone and be inclusive for people of all ages, all mental and physical abilities and where they can enjoy a peaceful day or one full of activities with family and friends.

The plan for the revitalization of the park is built upon the results of the Lockwood Memorial Park survey completed in 2014, which had a significant return rate of 35%,  and includes:  a walking path, stage area for the arts and family gatherings, spray pad for children, ageless playground/fitness area, Cenotaph relocation with a memorial walk, basketball court, improvements to the baseball field, picnic and leisure areas and gardens.  This plan was approved by Council earlier this year and has been used to apply for provincial and federal grants and in correspondence from the Mayor to Lockwood Foundation asking for funding.  The planning considerations for the government grant applications require the park to be open 12 months a year; to be accessible for people of all ages, all physical and mental abilities and all community groups; and that future arts, leisure and tourism events and programming can occur.

Over the next 6 weeks, the final steps in the demolition of the tennis courts and shuffleboard will be completed in Lockwood Memorial Field and Park.  Last Thursday, the new owner of the shuffleboard fencing removed it and the tennis court fencing owner will do the same by Labour Day.  The Village is tendering for removal of asphalt in the tennis and shuffleboard courts as well as for the construction of the walkway around the park.  This work will be completed in 2016.  Plans are proceeding to move the cenotaph in 2017 from its current location in front of the fire hall to be front and centre inside the Memorial Gates at the George Street entrance to Lockwood Memorial Field and Park.

The Village is applying for federal and provincial grants for sources of revenue. However, so far the renewal of Lockwood Memorial Field into a park that we all can enjoy is being funded through donations.  Generous donations.

The Lockwood Foundation has committed $100,000 to the Village over the next 4 years.  In 2016, they have given $25,000.  The Village needs to raise additional funds in 2017 – 2019 to receive the rest of the grant money. The continued support from the Lockwood Foundation is deeply appreciated and vital to building a sustainable park.

Individual donations from community members are helping move the projects along.  To date, donations of $1,000 have been received from Kim and Rick Bonner, The Cove Country Inn and Robin Jones.  Rob and Marianne Roberts and Seasons of Westport have helped out with $500 each.  David Egan provided architectural support and you will see his work in the professional drawing of the renewal plan for the park.

Moving the Cenotaph is the Village’s Sesquicentennial Project, a decision supported by Branch 542 of the Royal Canadian Legion.  The relocation of the cenotaph will help us remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we enjoy the freedoms we have.  A generous donation from Gregory and Susan (Hamilton) Guichon of $10,000 covers 50% of moving the cenotaph to its new location inside the Memorial gates.  Mr and Mrs Guichon have become involved in the Village, helping out in a variety of ways and picking up where Dr Hamilton left off.  In particular, this donation from the Guichons, which will help move the cenotaph to a prime location in the park, builds upon the deep Hamilton family service to Westport.  Dr Hamilton helped shape the Village of Westport through his unfailing dedication and service to the Westport area from the early years of the 1900s until his death in 1955.

How can you help with the renewal of Lockwood Memorial Field?  For the month of August, Kudrinko’s Country Grocer will be holding a Twoonie Month.  Your cashier will ask if you would like to donate $2 to the park.  Please consider helping.  You could ‘Be the Spark – in Lockwood Park.’  Thanks Neil and Martha!

To see a diagram of the plans, you can drop by Town Hall or the front display panel outside of the Arena. There will be an Open House in the next couple of months to provide you with further information.

If you have any questions about the Lockwood Memorial Field and Park renewal, please contact the Councillor of your choice or Mayor Robin Jones.