Algonquin Highlands remains a stable and progressive municipality which, like any other, is facing its various challenges. There’s no questions that some tough decisions are ahead.

OPP Billing Reform will affect Tax Rates as the increase is phased in and our ‘new normal’ is determined. Council believes that the municipality’s development shouldn’t be sacrificed for the OPP increase, so will work hard to bring in good budgets and taxpayers will see this year’s changes explained in an upcoming Tax Bill. The final OPP increase, however, is less than originally projected and we thank everyone who rallied for our #OPPMayDay protest – we were heard loud and clear at the provincial level.

The Township’s part of the Airport Development is virtually complete and the province has begun construction on the MNRF Fire Headquarters. We look forward to seeing that substantial and exciting project complete and the annual lease fees being turned back into the Township’s coffers. Leasing out the new hangars will further increase revenues.

Council recently held a priority-setting discussion and details will be announced following more discussion to firm up next steps. Economic development, culture, the environment and diversified communications were top on the list.

Council recently supported the implementation of a septic re-inspection program but there is much work ahead before the program will be rolled out. Those who know their septic systems are suspect are advised to begin seeking solutions soon. Our lifestyles and our economy relies on healthy lakes and healthy lakes rely heavily on properly-working septic systems.

The Township’s committees are well-populated and actively working on many ideas and events to keep people engaged and active, and we thank those who are so dedicated to seeing the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre continue to flourish.

We await news and next steps on the proposed Health Care Hub in Dorset. Council has provided its $20,000 capital investment but has made no further commitment to the Hub’s future at this point.

Tourism, policing, highway maintenance, development opportunities and issues at both the County and provincial levels – there are dozens of ongoing projects and discussions for which this space is too small. Please feel free to keep in touch with Councillor Kyle on issues of concern and by all means, you may contact me at any time through telephone, email, Facebook or Twitter.

Carol Moffatt
Township of Algonquin Highlands

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