By the time we post this first edition of the Mayor’s Notepad for the year 2011, we will be just 22 days away from Spring 2011. Time sure flies. The months of January and February seem to have vanished into thin air, a sure sign that time waits for no one.
I would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on an important issue that has been discussed extensively in the media during the months of January and February. There is no doubt that the word on the street is all about the Finn Report. One of the initial concerns shared by municipalities and LSDs (Local Service Districts) is the possibility of amalgamations. However, the Premier has stated repeatedly that he will not force amalgamations. It is important to note that he has promised extensive consultations with the public before implementing the recommendations contained in the Finn Report. It is not my intention at this time to present a position of Council on this matter. Our Council needs input from the Village residents before preparing an official position to forward to the Premier. We are hoping that the Minister or a representative from the Department of Local Government will be able to participate in, or provide guidance for, a public information session. We will keep our residents posted as this issue moves forward.
One of our largest projects to date is near completion – the Elevated Water Storage Reservoir, commonly referred to as our Water Tower Project. Landmark, the contractor for the construction of the tower itself, has only a few minor deficiencies remaining to be completed. In an effort to speed up the completion of the project, a meeting has been arranged with the contractor, who will be advised that we need the remainder of the work completed without further delays.
The new equipment and communication systems for the water tower have been installed, and minor landscaping issues will be completed in the spring. The SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system subcontractor has completed the installation of the equipment and software. Commissioning of the system and training of Village personnel is ongoing and will continue for another month or so.
Our Fire Chief, Harry Farrell, asked me to remind our residents that you can call him for home safety checks such as chimney or wood stove inspections and there is no service fee for his inspection. The same service applies to the outlining districts that are serviced by the New Maryland Fire Department. You can reach Chief Farrell at his office in the Fire Hall at 450-8711.
I would like to thank our MLA Jack Carr for his recent visit to the Village Council Chambers. During his visit he presented a cheque for $28,500 on behalf of the Built Heritage Program to be used towards the Victoria Hall renovations project. He also spent an hour with Council and senior staff to review a number of important issues. On leaving, he thanked Council for the opportunity to meet with us and suggested that we meet two or three times each year. Council agreed to take him up on the suggestion and we look forward to future interaction with our MLA.
In closing, please note that our 2011 Budget is on the Village website. Please take the opportunity to review the data and forward any questions or suggestions to the Village Office via my E-mail address or to the Village Office E-mail address.
Our Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. here in Council Chambers. I am at the Village office every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and available for appointments through the week with reasonable notice. You can contact me through the Village office at 451-8508 or via E-mail.
Drive carefully and watch out for the little ones.
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