Ladies and Gentlemen
Mother Nature has followed Thanksgiving up with cooler weather - a reminder to start thinking about where you put the snow shovel last spring.
The fall is also our budget period and Midland has just concluded its second round of typically a three round budget preparation process. At the end of our Thursday budget meeting the projected cost increase (not tax increase) was about 2%. Major negotiations are still underway with the Police and Fire groups that could significantly affect that number. A lot of work is still ahead as we try to keep your tax increase to about the rate of inflation (1.5%).
One other financial matter this past week was the direction given by Council to consider the sale of the Midland Power Utility Corporation. This discussion was kicked off three weeks ago when the Town received an unsolicited offer from Hydro One. While I cannot divulge the details of the offer, it was significant. The MPUC is a wholly owned asset of the Town. The MPUC is heavily regulated so the Town has limited say on hydro rates and level of service. The Town does receive a “dividend stream” of $400,000 per year that is used to reduce the tax rate. The evaluation and sale process will likely take until next summer to complete.
On Monday October 21st Hospice Huronia will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at 2:00 pm at the Penetanguishene Branch of the GBGH. Then at 5:00 pm you may wish to drop by the MCC to participate in an innovative artistic endeavor called HUB. The HUB will bring our creative and artistic citizens together to build new cultural initiatives and just have some fun. Later that day (5:30 pm) I have the honour of opening the Palmer Chiropractic Centre in Midland - another sign of the growing importance of healthcare in our local economy.
Tuesday will see two important meetings. The regular County Council takes place at 9:00 am in Midlhurst. At the meeting Midland will be called to account for providing a limited leaf vacuuming service for its residents. The County has responsibility for leaf pick-up and this year mandated that all 16 municipalities use its “leaf bag” service. In order to help a number of our citizens transition to the new service, Midland Council voted to provide a limited leaf vacuuming service at our own expense, in addition to the County service. The Deputy Mayor and I (Midland’s two County Council representatives) will continue to make the case for our Midland residents.
Then at 5:00 pm that evening, Chigamik will host its AGM at their offices at 845 King Street. Always an interesting update. You are welcome to attend.
Wednesday October 23rd starts early at 6:30 am with the annual Christian Breakfast at the NSSRC. A good time to meet your neighbors, enjoy breakfast and be inspired by messages of hope and good fellowship.
On Thursday October 24th its back to the County at 9:00 am for their budget discussion. Then at 2:00 pm the Huronia Economic Alliance gets together at the Tay Town Hall at 2:00 pm. The discussion should be interesting as the four municipalities have now all passed motions agreeing to pool their share of $400,000 in County funds to pursue economic development. This is truly a milestone of cooperation in our area. My thanks to our good neighbours.
Right after the HEA meeting we move into our Heads of Council meeting (apparently we cannot get enough of each other). The Heads of Council is a quarterly informal discussion of common issues such as water levels and relations with the County.
And at 7:30 pm at the MCC Brookside Music hosts a tribute to legendary singer and songwriter Hank Williams. Jason Petty brings his unique and insightful perspective on one of country music’s most influential icons, offering a glimpse into the legend’s glorious and often dark personal life and musical career. Don’t miss this New York Obie Award winning production.
Friday starts early in the morning (again) with the Small Business Week breakfast at the Best Western at 7:00 am. Sponsored by NSCFDC this gathering honours our many small business entrepreneurs who provide us with products and services while creating most of the local jobs.
At 1:00 pm that afternoon Bayfield House Retirement Lodge, Beck Blvd. in Penetanguishene, will celebrate its 5th anniversary. Music will be provided by the Desotos – all are welcome.
Saturday at 9:00 am – the Horticultural Society holds its annual meeting at the NSSRC.
Be part of Midland’s Year of Getting Involved - 2013.