Tag Archives: Mayor of Westport

Debrief of the “Westport – Let’s Talk Business” meeting – June 14

First, I would like to thank Mark DaSilva for facilitating the discussion at this meeting yesterday.  You did a great job!

There was a good cross section of business owners and residents who attended and several ideas were identified including recognition of store openings, milestones for years of being in business, mentoring for new business owners from seasoned ones, the importance of knowing enough about other businesses so that accurate referrals can be given to potential customers.  Also, lots of information sharing took place, which happens spontaneously when people get together.  The Economic Development and Tourism Committee will take some of the suggestions and put some meat on the bones and report back to this group, hopefully in July.

There were concerns raised about the changes to the minimum wage and the impact it may have on small businesses.  I informed the group that I have a resolution, being heard at the Village Committee of the Whole mtg on Monday afternoon and also at the United Counties Council mtg on June 22 , that challenges the Premier to (among other things) “to withdraw the proposed changes until such time they have done their due diligence by providing the residents and business owners of Ontario with a comprehensive economic impact analysis including mitigation measures in order to help businesses transition into any regulatory changes”.

Another topic that received a lot of discussion was the hours of business for the stores.  Two main concerns were identified – that most stores close at 5:00 p.m and the unannounced changes in store hours, particularly in the shoulder seasons.  Business owners who stay open on Fridays after 5:00 p.m. shared the successes they have experienced and staff from the Cove gave stories of guests checking in on Fridays and rushing to get to the stores before they close.

That being said, the group did land on the idea of “OPEN LATE.  ‘TIL 8” on Fridays during the summer and are encouraging other business owners to consider doing the same.  I am sure you will hear more about this from your colleagues.

We are hoping to get a guest speaker for our next meeting and when Paul Snider asked the group if we should hold off until fall, there was a strong push back that these early morning breakfast meetings can continue during the summer.  So stay tuned – we will plan for one in late July.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.  273-9195

Meet the NHL Pros GALA – fund raiser for Friends of the Arena

The Friends of the Arena (FOTA) have volunteered hundreds of hours to repair renovae and otherwise breathe life into the arena since 2015.  They have also spent a lot of time raising money to cover the cost of these jobs.  This summer you can see many of them working every Tuesday night from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.  The 2017 summer project involves removing all of the stands on the east side, placing them on the rink floor, insulating the (cold) east wall, putting it all back together in a way that will improve the views for the spectators.  Wow!!!  And all without tax dollars.

One of FOTA’s major fund raisers is taking place tomorrow night (June 15) at the Cove and is billed as Meet the NHL PROS GALA.  NHLers Rick Smith, Chris Phillips, Doug Jarvis, Fred O’Donnell, Rob Murphy and others will be at this event and are looking forward to spending some time chatting with you about their careers.  WOW! There are lots of prizes as well as a silent auction and a 50/50 draw.  Great buffet served by the Cove. And of course there will be music!  The Spencer Evans Trio is in the house.  Please consider supporting FOTA and their ongoing work at the arena.  You can call the Cove at 273-3636 for tickets.

NHL Gala 2017

Come on down to the Harbour!

Kevin Kardash, our Harbour Master, has the place looking fabulous.  He said today as he showed me the results of his spring cleaning, “it is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do!”  The picnic tables and benches are all set out waiting for you and your friends & family to sit a bit and enjoy the view.

And Kevin’s efforts are not the only ones working to make the spring and harbour look better than ever.  Westport in Bloom volunteers, Delvalle, Deb Bird, Rob and Marianne Roberts and Jackalyn Brady did a makeover today.  Look at the stunning gardens they put in!  Beautiful.

Kevin has three people working with him in the harbour this summer.  Watch my blog for your introductions to them next week!

Thank you to everyone who works to make our Village the best place to live, work and visit.

kevin kardash 30May17spring May30-17.JPG

Update on the waste water treatment plant, spring cleanup and a couple of planned events in the Village

We continue to move forward with the build of the new waste water treatment system (WWTS).  Requests for Proposals (RFP) were posted a couple of weeks ago to select the builder.  Last Monday, as part of the RFP process, a mandatory site visit was held in the Village.  This is a requirement of any company who is considering submitting a proposal.  The submissions are due by Thursday, May 25, 2017.  AECOM will review and analyze the proposals and provide Council with its recommendations.  Council will discuss the proposals and make a decision, likely at its June 5th monthly Council Meeting.

We have had some further discussions with Minister Chiarelli’s staff, but I have no new developments in regard to funding to announce.

Council included in the 2017 budget allocations to patch Bedford St and to have the parking lines painted, including the accessible spots and “No P” markings that indicate private driveways.  The wet spring has delayed both.  I expect some patching to be done this week, however the asphalt companies have indicated to our Engineer that they will begin production on May 18.  Spring production of asphalt will also allow the road to be repaired at Rideau and Church streets.  Line marking will occur soon – hopefully before the end of May and will include the parking lot at the Community Centre/Firehall.  We will be sending out notices to everyone so that all vehicles can be removed from the roads and parking lot for this work to be completed.

In 2016, the estimate to repair Bedford St was $1.5 million.  Mayor and Council are very aware of the condition of the road and continue to look for grant opportunities to get the work done.

Work to prepare the harbour for the opening of the Rideau is on schedule.  Our Harbour Master, Kevin Kardash and CAO Paul Snider are pulling out all the stops for this Sesquicentennial year on the water.  The advice from the Harbour Advisory Committee has been a real benefit to get ready for the season.

Another Sesquicentennial event this May is the “Victorian Tea, celebrating the Mothers of Confederation”.  The Tea is being organized by Mary Anne Bishop on behalf to the Mayor’s Sesquicentennial Task Force.  Mark your calendars for VICTORIA DAY! – YES, the tea is being held on Wednesday, May 24th, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Lions Club Beach House.  It should be a lot of fun.  Thank you to the churches in the Village for your hard work to make this event a success.  You can call Mary Anne @ 273-8699 for tickets.

The Grand Opening of the path at Lockwood Memorial Park is being held on Saturday, May 27th with a Walk-a-Thon between 2-4:00 p.m.  Come out and enjoy the fun!  Music, lots of vendors and have a visit with neighbours you haven’t seen all winter.  Many thanks to Kim Bonner and Councillor Frank Huth for their imagination and hard work.

All members of the public are invited to attend and hear what Council is discussing and the decisions it makes.  Council meetings are the Monday of the first full week of the month at 7:00 p.m.  Committee of the Whole meetings are the Monday of the third full week at 2:00 p.m.  They are also posted on the Municipal website at http://villageofwestport.ca/your-local-government/council-committee-of-whole-meeting-dates/.

You can contact me anytime with your questions and concerns , through my email rjones@villageofwestport.ca or at home @ 273-9195.

It looks like spring and summer are arriving together this week.  Enjoy the sunshine everyone.

Outdoor Association busy on Main Street tonight!

I received a couple of phone calls around 9:30 tonight from citizens concerned that  illegal fishing was occurring at the sanctuary on Main St.  Reports included that several men were in the water fishing and 5 or 6 pick ups were parked on the side of the road.  I responded and found several local gents from the Outdoor Association and MNR hard at work, trying to catch the spawning walleye.  And I received a lesson on how they actually accomplish their mission – Charlie Jones – perhaps it was a little too much information!  🙂

For those of you who called, all is legal.  Let’s give pat them on the back for their continued work to protect the fish.  Btw – they will likely be back over the next few nights until they catch the walleye.