Chatham-Kent city council briefs

Chatham-Kent Civic Centre. January 18, 2017. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Wallaceburg improvements full steam ahead

The construction companies for two major projects in Wallaceburg have been selected.

Aveiro Constructors Ltd. have been selected to complete the $1.8 million Memorial Arena Renovations. Upgrades for that project include a re-design of the front lobby area, expanded accessible viewing and the addition of three dressing rooms.

The Rehabilitation of the Lord Selkirk Bridge will be done by Landform Civil Infrastructures Inc of Hamilton. The cost to update the bridge will be around $5.3 million. Part of the contract terms states that the bridge must be fully accessible for cars and pedestrians for WAMBO in August.

No exact dates for construction were given although the municipality said they would like to begin work as soon as possbile.

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Council to get resident feedback on twin-pad arena

The public will be asked for their input in building a new arena in Chatham.

Council passed for two public information sessions to be held in 2019 in order to get public feedback on the construction of the proposed twin-pad arena.

Residents will be asked for their input on what kind of arena they would like to see including details such as seating capacity, design and ideal location. More discussion regarding costs and funding of the arena will come at a later time.

Dates for the public meetings have yet to be confirmed but are scheduled for sometime in February and April. The municipality said they are also in talks to use an online engagement strategy to get feedback as well.

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Speed limit back to 80 km/h on Eighth Line

Four months after the previous council approved a motion to decrease the speed limit on Eighth Line through Bloomfield from 80 km/hr to 60 km/hr, it has now been changed back to its original limit.

In August, Councillor Trevor Thompson put forth the original motion to limit the speed limit on the road, citing safety and noise concerns from residents.

In a move that the municipality admitted was not a regular practice, they held a public information session regarding the change after it had already passed in council. According to the engineering department, they found that decreasing the speed limit did not solve any problems on the road and may have created new issues.

The decision to put the limit back to 80 km/hr was a close one, council passed it 10-8.

Read more on this story by clicking here: Council questions municipal decision to challenge motion

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Transit Task Force coming to CK

New councillor Karen Kirkwood-Whyte will be getting her wish to bring a Transit Task Force to the community.

Kirkwood-Whyte was one of the major forces behind the CK Transit Survey earlier in the year.

The survey aimed to find out what issues residents have with the local transit system. Over 350 residents took the survey and now, with the Transit Task Force approved, the team will review the results of the survey and develop an action plan to address shortcomings within CK Transit.

The committee will be made up of two councillors, four members of the general public, two regular transit riders and three members of municipal staff. The task force will be temporary for now and will go until April 30, with the possibility for extension pending a report.

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Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, Princess Auto Elite 10 Event an economic success 

The Pinty’s Grand Slam event took place in September and cost the city around $47,000 but a report at Monday’s council meeting showed the economic spinoff was priceless.

Tourism staff were able to estimate over $1.1 million of economic spin-off during the event and a commercial promoting Chatham-Kent was able to reach over 8 million Canadian homes.

According to the municipality, Sportsnet said that after the success of the 2018 event,  they will definitely be looking at a future event for Chatham-Kent in either the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 season.

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Summer Camps in Tilbury and Bothwell

Depending on how budget deliberations go in January, the communities of Tilbury and Bothwell could be seeing some summer camps this coming year.

Councillor Melissa Harrigan initiated the motion, which passed unanimously, to have the operation of summer camps in rural areas be brought up during the 2019 budget time.

Harrigan’s motion stated that these areas don’t normally have access to municipal-run summer camps and such camps are important to promote healthy behaviours in children.

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Efforts to recruit doctors to Chatham-Kent

In an attempt to bring more doctors to the area, council passed a motion that $100,000 be submitted to the 2019 budget in support of a primary care practitioner recruitment and retention program.

The motion was brought forward by Councillor Trevor Thompson, who noted the severe shortage of family doctors in the area. The rate of general physicians in Chatham-Kent is 76.9 per 100,000 population, much lower than the provincial average of 109.4 per 100,000.

You can read more about this story here: Municipality supports doctor retention program