It has been 6 months since the new Council began its term and I was sworn in as your Mayor. The new Committees of Council were established in February and by March meetings were taking place. Many residents of Westport are members of the committees and I expect amazing things to occur with their valued input and efforts. The Committee of the Whole is a new monthly meeting of Council, a little less formal than Council meetings and is generally the 4th Tuesday and yes, it is open to the public.
In regard to the waste water plant, I am happy to report that we did not need to transport any effluent this year. Although we had a winter of freezing nozzles and pipe breaks, we processed enough effluent that our lagoon levels were lower this spring than in 2014. We monitored the lagoon levels daily and had a contingency plan in place to transport effluent if the lagoon levels rose beyond predetermined levels during the winter. We are in the process of getting the summer application equipment set up and will be operating under a Ministry of the Environment Emergency Order again this year to lower the lagoons to where they need to be for next winter.
The Village is also moving forward in providing a climate-proof, dependable waste water system and one that will allow growth for the Village. The first step is a process called a Municipal Environment Assessment (MEA). This is a prescriptive process, which is led by an Engineering firm with the assistance of a technical steering committee, which includes several Village residents. The Project Coordinator reports to Council on the progress of the MEA at each Council meeting this year. Please consider joining us at Council meetings to hear what is being proposed.
Council worked with a consultant this winter and spring to develop a Village Strategic Plan, a first for Westport. Many members of the business community and public were interviewed by the consultant for their input. A strategic plan helps Council prioritize its goals in line with the budget. The final plan will be shared with Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Winter turned into spring slowly this year so our “Pulling Together in Westport” spring clean up was held on Saturday, May 9th. Over 40 community members volunteered their time, effort and rakes to get the Village ready for the May long week-end and summer. Thank you to everyone who helped out. Watch for this to repeat in 2016.
Recently, village residents Bob Scott and Mark Herlehy approached me with a proposal to help the arena. They had done a review of repairs and improvements that need to be done. The “wish list” was well thought out, however as the Village has many other pressures, there is only a small amount of money set aside in the budget for repairs to the community centre. And this is when Bob and Mark offered their suggestion, which I accepted!
Those now using the facility or who have fond memories of time spent on the ice or in the stands might consider becoming a “Friend of the Arena” by making a donation. Donations made to the Village of Westport for arena improvements qualify as gifts for income tax purposes and the Village would issue receipts. All donations will only be used for this purpose. For further information contact Mark Herlehy at firstname.lastname@example.org. or Frank Huth at email@example.com.
I hope you enjoy a long, hot summer and that you spend time with loved ones. As always, if you have any questions, please contact a Councillor or myself.
The start of the 2015 navigation season for Ontario’s historic canals has
been a banner one marked by unprecedented investment by the Government of
Canada and an increase in boating numbers.
In keeping with this positive trend, I am very pleased to advise you that,
for the first time, canal boaters can take advantage of FREE LOCKAGE on
Wednesday July 1, 2015 in celebration of Canada Day throughout the Rideau
Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway! In addition, just as a reminder,
boaters can continue to take advantage of the 2 for 1 lockage coupon until
June 30, 2015.
For the month of May, on the Trent-Severn Waterway the number of vessels
travelling through the system has increased 34% and the number of vessels
mooring has increased 51% from 2014. On the Rideau Canal, the number of
vessels travelling through the system has increased 32% and the number of
vessels mooring has increased 20% from 2014.
This increased use of canals supports economic benefits for local
communities and businesses and is due in part to investment in increased
service levels and active promotions. Visitors travelling by land can also
take advantage of new services offered on both the Trent-Severn Waterway
and Rideau Canal this season including; oTENTiks, Red Chairs, and Voyageur
Canoe tours at Ottawa Locks and at the Peterborough Lift Lock. Visitors
will also find new showers, canoe docks, firewood and ice sales at select
This month, the Government announced new infrastructure investments
totalling more than $39 million for the Rideau Canal and more than $285
million for the Trent-Severn Waterway. This record investment will ensure
the care and preservation of these treasured National Historic Sites and
UNESCO World Heritage Site for use and enjoyment of future generations.
Parks Canada is committed to working in partnership with communities to
further the recent positive trends and to raise the economic benefits of
the waterways to new heightened levels through bold and concrete steps. To
that end we are offering free lockage on Canada Day in hopes of exposing
new boaters and visitors to the many opportunities available on the
Historic Canals and in your communities. We invite you, our valued partner
to join us in our effort to communicate this exciting opportunity and to
further engage us in how together we can all realize the full potential of
Ontario’s Historic Canals.
Director Ontario Waterways