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Concern About Proposed Downtown Development

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Following is a letter sent to the Municipality in advance of the Public Meeting on Feb. 2 regarding an application to amend the Official Plan to permit additional height for a development on #35-47 Sykes St:

The interest in development on Sykes Street is exciting news. It validates what we all know – Meaford is a great place with a lot of economic potential – and it's gratifying to have that recognized.

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Reader Offers Thoughts on 2015 Budget

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Dear Sir,

At the start of this year, our newly elected council, which contains four new members, were presented a 2015 draft budget by staff requesting a 2.8% tax increase for the Municipality. Council advised staff to review and prepare a budget with an increase of no more than 2.4%. On January 12, 2015, staff presented a draft budget with an overall tax increase of 1.79% which will bring an extra $223,000 to our municipal coffers. At first glance, this seem to be a small and acceptable increase when compared to past increases, however I and many others question why any increase at this time is needed at all.

The budget proposes a staff pay increase of $85,000 (2%)and $39,000 in benefits, and in total will consume $130,000 of the $223,000 raised. We should not be opposed to good pay for our staff but over the past six years, our staff have received increases totalling 16.9% whereas taxes have increased by 50%. I suggest a freeze on salaries and benefits for one year.

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Combining a Library & High School Has Been Successful Elsewhere

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Dear Editor,

Has the high school been considered as a location for the public library to move to?
When I lived in Erin a new high school had just been built.  As part of the planning the community tried to think outside of the box and see how they could get everything the community needed and wanted in one build. 

The high school and other community entities share facilities including:  the public library (no separate high school library); the community centre and skating rink, doctor, dentist and other health care provider offices, a theatre like our Meaford Hall.  

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