Carolyn Thompson Goddard
FINCH – North Stormont Mayor Dennis Fife appears optimistic about the coming year in this predominately agricultural township, while acknowledging the numerous accomplishments in 2017.
During a year-end interview, Fife was asked about accomplishments during the year that was coming to an end. The list included an increase in real estate sales in subdivisions, amalgamation of the municipal fire service, and water and wastewater upgrades, as well as repairs and upgrades to the Crysler Community Centre.
The Crysler Community Centre repairs and upgrades were quite extensive, with Pierre Thibault of the Crysler Community Centre Committee commenting in a separate interview that a new tin roof was installed, and the library and kitchen areas were renovated. Thibault thanked the township staff for their “awesome job repairing the foundation.” Thibault mentioned they had received a “grant through Canada 150 from Trillium for a matching fund of $90,000, so it became an $180,000 project.” It is expected the renovations will be completed in the upcoming year.
With the amalgamation of the four recreational groups in this community, Fife mentioned that while they will be operating under one department in the municipality, each group will still be independent with Thibault mentioning how things are “coming together” with the township staff assisting the groups in achieving their community goals. Fife was pleased with the work of the township recreation groups, noting the “very successful Canada 150 celebrations in Moose Creek, Avonmore, and Finch.”
From an economic viewpoint, Fife said, despite an anticipated reduction of approximately $80,000 in government and other funding in 2018, he is optimistic about a balanced budget for the coming year. When asked about the Nation Rise Wind Project, construction of which could begin in 2019, Fife cited the “significant money available for the township and recreation” use, as well as “roads when the road user agreement is signed” but mentioned the divisions in the municipality which this project has caused as a negative outcome.
Fife has served his community for three years as municipal councillor, three years as deputy mayor and for 15 years as mayor. He announced during the year-end interview his decision not to seek re-election as Mayor of North Stormont in 2018, commenting how “for 20 years we have had staff and councils who have done exceptionally well at keeping costs under control and I sincerely hope that continues after I leave.” He concluded with Happy New Year wishes for everyone.