Welcome to the Municipality of Tweed!
I would like to start by wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year and sincerely thanking everyone for all of their support.
Council is very pleased with the accomplishments of 2013 and we look forward to a successful and productive 2014. This is an election year, however that does not mean that Council will be sitting still. We will continue to move things along and complete ongoing projects.
A major accomplishment of 2013 was the completion of our Asset Management Plan. This was a huge endeavour which involved much staff and Council time, as well as the contract services of an individual who guided the process. The Asset Management Plan describes, rates and prioritizes existing municipal assets; identifies levels of service delivery and management strategies; and outlines present and future financial considerations. The Province mandated all municipalities to develop Asset Management Plans and provided some funding to help with the process. Although an onerous task, the creation of the plan was a very worthwhile project for Council and staff to undertake. The information compiled will be beneficial when we are working through budgets and long range plans.
We know that we have many infrastructure needs and will continue to seek grants and funding opportunities for programs and projects. We must be proactive and petition the upper levels of government for sustainable funding.
Clear bags were introduced in July. This initiative has proven to be very successful and I wish to thank all residents for their acceptance of this program. Because of these efforts, we have seen less going into the landfill - this will result in prolonged longevity for our site.
Council held our second Volunteer Appreciation event in October. This was a great success and lots of fun. As we have said many times, volunteers are what make our Municipality so wonderful. Many events and activities would not take place if it were not for all of these dedicated community members.
The Tweed Library has had a very busy and successful year. Our membership continues to grow and the programs that were offered were very well received. I commend the staff for knowing the community and offering programs that spark interest. I hear nothing but good things about the children's programs and am pleased that these will continue in 2014.
At the County level, I am looking forward to our first Shared Services meeting where heads of Council and senior staff will be discussing opportunities for partnering and shared services. We will be looking at such things as bulk purchasing and sharing of services for potential cost savings, measures which will benefit all taxpayers.