Haldimand County Council Approves 2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget

Haldimand County Council approved the 2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget on March 5, 2019. The Tax Supported Capital Budget outlines $30.7 million of new infrastructure investment in 2019, with a total tax-supported infrastructure investment of $224 million over the next 10 years. In total, 300 new tax-supported capital projects have been scheduled for the 2019 calendar year.

The 2019 Capital Budget is heavily focused on infrastructure renewal with notable expenditures in areas such as roadway improvements, bridge and culvert rehabilitation, municipal drain maintenance and enhancements to corporate, community and recreation facilities.

2019 Capital Budget Highlights:

– $15.7 million towards roadway and active transportation improvements such as paving,
reconstruction, resurfacing, gravel road conversion, pedestrian crosswalk installation,
sidewalk/curb replacements and street lighting

– $3.4 million towards community partnership projects and enhancements to parks, trails,
arenas, museums and libraries

– $2.9 million towards essential equipment like ambulance & fire apparatus, snow
removal vehicles and fleet-related items

– $2 million towards storm sewer and municipal drain enhancements/maintenance

– $1.7 million towards bridge repairs, bridge rehabilitation and other structure-related projects
(such as culvert replacements)

– $550,000 towards tree conservation and forestry management initiatives

In recent years the County has deliberately increased its investment in capital to ensure that existing facilities are updated, new facilities desired by the community are added and that a funding plan is in place to minimize tax impacts. Money is set aside every year to ensure that when assets need repairs or replacing, funding is available.

“We’re at a point where, during budget preparations, there aren’t a lot of surprises. Staff have applied strong financial principles and asset management practices that result in a predictable, flexible and sustainable capital program. By planning for the long-term, we’re in an excellent position to address priorities and respond to community needs,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“The numbers and projects outlined in the 2019 budget and 2019-2028 capital forecast reinforce Council’s commitment to making prudent infrastructure investments that result in safe, reliable services for residents,” he added.

Similar to past years, the capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase by about $640,000, or about 1% of the overall municipal levy. As well, Council approved an additional 0.75% to be added to the levy for further acceleration of the Gravel Road Conversion Program. With the addition of this new funding all granular roads within the County will be converted 3 years earlier – by 2025. This additional contribution to reserves will be considered by Council during review of the Tax Supported Operating Budget.

The total municipal levy for 2019 will be determined in April once the 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget is approved by Council. Council has set the target tax impact, on an average residential property, at 2% as part of the approved budget guidelines for this year.

The 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget will be presented to Council on the following dates:

• April 2, 3* & 4*, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Cayuga Administration Building (*if required)

More information on Haldimand County budgets can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/Financials/Budgets/.

Haldimand County Business Community Invited To Excellence Awards Breakfast

Haldimand County Council has extended an invitation to all local business owners and representatives from business organizations to attend the upcoming Business Excellence Awards Breakfast. This year’s free breakfast and networking event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at the Fisherville Community Centre (7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.)

The event will feature an address by Mayor Ken Hewitt along with a recognition ceremony to announce Business Excellence Award winners. Exceptional local businesses will be recognized in the following categories:

  • Agri-Business
  • Business – over 10 employees
  • Business – 10 employees and under
  • Not-for-profit
  • Tourism
  • Youth Entrepreneur Award (Under 30 years of age) sponsored by Grand Erie
    Business Centre

“This event is a great opportunity for business owners to connect and network with one another,” explained Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism division. She added, “The event highlights and recognizes local business leaders excelling and inspiring others in our communities.”

Any members of the business community who wish to attend may call 905-318-5932 ext. 6331, e-mail opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca or sign up online via www.BusinessHaldimand.ca. RSVPs must be received by Friday, April 5, 2019.

Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre wins Carol Ritchie Scotch Thistle Award

Tourism Caledonia recently recognized Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre for its presentation of the history of Caledonia through education/outreach activities and the numerous permanent & temporary exhibits available for tourists.

Edinburgh Square was also commended for the many improvements made to the 1857 building, an architectural design of the renowned John Turner.

The old Town Hall with its original 1857 jail cell is appealing to visitors from near and far. The permanent display highlighting the gypsum mining industry along the Grand River is an interesting feature. Family ancestors researched in the Gillespie Clark Reference Library attract tourists with Caledonia connections. The library contains books, files and historic documents relating to Caledonia’s rich history. The collection of surviving editions of the Grand River Sachem from 1856 to the present day is also valuable for visitor research.

Cayuga Grand Vista Trail Wins International Design Award For Architecture

Haldimand County’s Cayuga Grand Vista trail was recognized for its innovative design and architecture at the International Design Awards. The trail was awarded a ‘Silver’ for architectural design in the ‘arches, bridges, viaducts and gateways’ subcategory. This award follows the trail’s recognition at the Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence in January 2019.

The International Design Awards (IDA) exist to recognize, celebrate and promote legendary design vision and to uncover emerging talent in architecture, interior, product, graphic, and fashion design. The firm contracted to design the trail, Seferian Design Group of Burlington, put forward the award nomination.

“This is incredible news. I am so proud of this award, our team, and the project being recognized on the international stage,” said Brad Smith, Seferian Design Group’s Senior Landscape Architect. Seferian also won a Landscape Ontario Award of Excellence in January 2019 for the Cayuga Grand Vista design.

The Cayuga Grand Vista’s main trailhead is located behind the Cayuga Courthouse at 55 Munsee St. N. The trail guides pedestrians and cyclists on a scenic loop from the courthouse over the Grand River on the restored CN bridge to King George St. and Maple Rd. (secondary trailhead) and back to the courthouse via Talbot St. E. and Munsee St. N. Two lookout platforms on the east and west sides of the bridge offer picturesque views of the river and its natural surroundings. Parking is available at the main trailhead behind the Courthouse.

“Seeing the concept of this trail come to life – especially restoration of the bridge – was an amazing thing to witness. It’s a fantastic addition to the community that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

A Grand Opening Celebration for the Cayuga Grand Vista trail will be held on April 27 at 10:30 am, 2019; full details will be announced shortly.

Note: Trail photo courtesy of Seferian Design Group

Haldimand County Museum & Archives Hosting Family Heirloom Preservation Workshop, St. Patrick’s Celebrations And More This March

This March at Haldimand County Museum and Archives, residents and visitors are invited to celebrate all things Irish, learn how to take care of their family heirlooms and discover how Haldimand County lived through a number of natural disasters.

All events run from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Haldimand County Museums & Archives in Cayuga (8 Echo Street). Registration can be completed online for paid events or at any Haldimand County Office using the code provided.

March 6 – Adult Workshop: Preserving Your Family Heirlooms

At this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to take care of precious family heirlooms. Museum staff will provide instruction on how to care for precious documents, photos or objects and stop the damage caused by common environmental threats. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person includes handouts and light refreshments. Code: 8099

March 13 – Tea & Talk: Irish Celebrations

At this very Irish afternoon, participants will celebrate the wearing of green, learn about Irish culture and explore its superstitions with museum staff. Homemade scones and other Irish treats will be served. Pre-registration is required for this program; the cost is $10/person. Code: 8414

March 20 – Heritage Series: Flood, Fire, and Fury

At this informative talk, museum staff will highlight some of the major disasters that have had an impact on Haldimand County including floods, fires, snow storms and other significant weather events. Pre-registration is required for this event; the cost is $5/person. Code: 8093

For more information on museum programs and events, contact the museum at 905-772-5880 or email museum.archives@haldimandcounty.on.ca

 

Flood Warning terminated, High Lake Level Outlook remains in place

The Flood Warning for Lake Erie issued on Sunday, February 24 has been terminated. A Lake Erie Conditions Statement – High Lake Level Outlook remains in place due to the heightened potential for shoreline flooding and erosion.

During the peak of the weather event on Sunday, wind gusts reached upwards of 120 km/h in some locations with sustained winds of approximately 65 km/h along the Lake Erie shoreline. These winds caused flooding of Zones 1 and 2 in Port Maitland due to a lake surge of approximately 0.5m above critical level.

Due to the instability of ice along the Lake Erie shoreline, elevated water levels and cold water temperatures, people are reminded to stay well away from these areas and keep children and pets well back.

Lake levels are updated each hour on the GRCA website at www.grandriver.ca under the river data section.

Wind And Flood Warning Continues; High Risk Of Severe Flooding For Areas Downstream Of Dunnville Dam

The Flood Warning remains in effect for areas along the Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam, in the village of Port Maitland and along the lakeshore.
The current forecast indicates a high risk for severe flooding.

Surge levels of this magnitude have not been experienced since December 1985. In addition to high Lake Erie levels there is potential for Lake Erie ice to push up into the Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam and along the lakeshore.

Uncertainty remains regarding the timing and height of the Lake Erie surge. The timing of the surge peak will affected by the arrival of the strongest winds, while the height will be impacted by the ice cover on Lake Erie and whether the ice begins to break up during this event.

Haldimand County Fire & EMS are urging residents and businesses downstream of the dam to take precautions and remain alert. They should contact their insurance companies for flood insurance if they do not already have it. Powell Marina, Willow Lane, Port Maitland and low point cottage areas are expected to be the main affected areas along the Grand River and Lake Erie Shoreline.

Haldimand County Fire Chief Jason Gallagher is also urging residents stay in their homes and not venture out; high winds mean blowing debris which cause dangerous projectiles. Residents should also stay off the Port Maitland Pier until the winds subside. Residents are also reminded to only call 911 in cases of real emergencies; first responders need to be available to respond to true emergencies.

Haldimand County OPP and municipal staff will continue to monitor roads along the lakeshore on Sunday evening and overnight into Monday morning and implement closures as necessary.

The public are urged to stay away from Lake Erie shoreline areas experiencing strong wave action and elevated water levels. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from these areas. This message is in effect until Monday, February 25, 2019 and will be updated as needed.

Residents are encouraged to monitor the Grand River Conservation Authority & Haldimand County websites and social media accounts for the most up-to-date flood and weather warning information.

Grand River Conservation Authority Warns Of High Lake Erie Levels, Issues Flood Warning For Areas Downstream Of Dunnville Dam

On Friday, February 22, the Grand River Conservation Authority issued a Flood Warning for areas along the Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam, in the village of Port Maitland and along the lakeshore.

Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement for Lake Erie, warning of damaging south-west winds, gusting up to 110 km/h, beginning Sunday afternoon and persisting through Sunday night. As a result of these winds, Lake Erie levels are expected to rise and there is a strong possibility of flooding and erosion in low lying areas along the Lake Erie shoreline. Powell Marina, Willow Lane, Port Maitland and low point cottage areas are expected to be the main affected areas.

Haldimand County Emergency Services staff and the OPP will be closely monitoring conditions and roads along the lakeshore on Sunday to implement closures as necessary.

Members of the public are urged to stay away from Lake Erie shoreline areas experiencing strong wave action and elevated water levels. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from these areas.

The Flood Warning will remain in effect until noon on Monday, February 25, 2019. Updated flood messages will be issued as conditions develop and better forecast information becomes available. Residents are encouraged to monitor the Grand River Conservation Authority & Haldimand County websites and social media accounts for the most up-to-date flood and weather warning information.

CCGS Griffon Delayed Due To High Winds; Flood Warning Remains In Effect For Cayuga, Dunnville And Port Maitland

The Flood Warning for the Southern Grand River Watershed and Lake Erie Shoreline remains in effect. There is a currently a heightened risk of flooding in low-lying areas of Cayuga, as well as downstream of the Dunnville Dam, in the village of Port Maitland and along the lakeshore.

The Canadian Coast Guard CCGS Griffon is currently anchored in Long Point Bay and is waiting to approach Port Maitland until high winds subside. Its arrival in Port Maitland will be delayed due to the weather, and at this point an estimated time of arrival cannot be determined. Further updates will be provided as the wind dies down and the CCGS is able to makes its approach.

Residents are being urged to stay away from Lake Erie/Grand River shoreline areas experiencing elevated water levels and high winds; in particular, the Port Maitland Pier (Port Maitland Rd.) and Ouse St. South in Cayuga. Roads have been closed in these areas.

Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from shoreline areas. Residents in flood zones are recommended to contact their insurance companies about flood protection if they do not already have it.

The current flood warning will remain in effect until Friday, February 8, 2019 at 4pm. Updated flood messages will be issued as conditions develop and better forecast information becomes available. Residents are encouraged to monitor the Grand River Conservation Authority & Haldimand County websites and social media accounts for the most up-to-date flood and weather warning information.

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