Chatham-Kent CAO Don Shropshire. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

CK Politicos Try To Bend Some Ears At AMO

The CAO of Chatham-Kent is hoping to raise some local issues at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference this week.

Don Shropshire says he’ll be talking to at least two invited provincial ministers about the planned closure of small local rural schools and standards for long-term care facilities.

Shropshire says the goal is to address community impact, if and when rural schools close.

“We recognize the boards have a responsibility to go through their own process but how the process is carried out and what happens to any buildings that might be closed, that will certainly have an impact on the community,” says Shropshire.

Local infrastructure investment will also be on the agenda at AMO this week.

Chatham-Kent council promised in May to lobby provincial politicians at the next AMO conference to keep small local schools open and vowed to work closer with school boards to save threatened schools, because many feel that closing those schools kill a community.

Shropshire says several local elected officials have concerns about closed and dormant school buildings impacting the community.

“If there’s going to be a school closure, what’s going to happen to that property and is it going to be redeveloped for something that’s going to benefit the community, or could it be allowed to sit dormant?” Shropshire says.

Shropshire says staffing requirements at Chatham’s Riverview Gardens long-term care facility will also be discussed.

“We run a terrific long-term care facility at Riverview Gardens, but there’s some increased stressing on our ability to continue to provide high quality service because of some of the stresses on staff requirements,” says Shropshire.