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March 2015 Spring Into County Projects

Spring is finally here and winter will soon be forgotten. As the snow melts, projects heat up at the County of Simcoe.

Staff are busy preparing for our upcoming Public Information Sessions to provide information on the status and approval process of our Official Plan. I encourage our residents and stakeholder groups to attend the sessions on April 20, 2015 at the Simcoe County Museum. We will host two separate sessions running from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Our Official Plan is an important document that will guide growth and responsible planning in our County for future generations. Since it is currently under appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board, I would like to express that the sessions will be for information only. We have no jurisdiction to reconsider matters that have been determined by or are before the Ontario Municipal Board.

For more information visit www.simcoe.ca/op.

Staff are also working on two exciting Solid Waste Management infrastructure projects – development of an Organics Processing Facility (OPF) and a Materials Management Facility (MMF).

There are many potential benefits to operating these two facilities within our borders, including the secure management of our own materials, reduced contracting costs, operational flexibility, less haulage of materials to outside processors and the potential to add additional materials to our green bin program, which will further this environmentally responsible diversion program.

We held two public information sessions about these facilities last December, and siting methodology and evaluation criteria have been developed for both facilities. Council recently provided staff with direction to proceed with short-listing both County-owned and private sites. The short list of potential sites will be presented to Council in the summer and there will be further public consultation in the fall.

This is a multi-phased project and our Council will be reviewing staff reports and providing direction to staff throughout the process. My goal is to ensure that the public is informed and engaged. For more information, visit www.simcoe.ca/opf andwww.simcoe.ca/mmf.

As you may know, Council approved our 2015 budget in late January. The budget included major capital expenditures of $47 million on county road and bridge projects and these projects are partially funded by gas tax revenues of $8 million. As the weather improves, you will see our transportation and engineering team starting projects throughout the County. Please use caution when driving through construction zones, and remember that these projects will ultimately improve our roads and transportation across Simcoe County. Visit www.simcoe.ca/dpt/trs for updates on road closures and projects.

Sincerely,

Gerry Marshall
Simcoe County Warden