Monday, October 22, 2018



The Challenge of Growing Economic Development Opportunities in a Small Town

StephenVance 540Like any small town, it's always interesting to discover how people ended up here. In the dozen years I've lived in Meaford, “what brought you to Meaford?” or, “how did you end up here?” have been common questions posed to me when meeting people for the first time, and I tend to ask similar questions myself. One answer to such questions that I can't say I've heard is “I came here for a job”.

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We Can't Have Our Cake & Eat it Too

StephenVance 540I can already hear the complaints of frustration. Four percent? Really? Our taxes are already too high. Ratepayers aren't wrong, even councillors and municipal management acknowledge that we're on the razor's edge of affordability when it comes to all the various levels of taxation we must dig into our pockets for. On the other hand, those same councillors and municipal managers aren't wrong when they say that we're in deep trouble on the infrastructure front, and the money to fund the badly needed repair and rehabilitation of our aging and crumbling roads and bridges has to come from somewhere – or does it?

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Sure, We've Got Our Problems, But Things Could be Worse

StephenVance 540The calendar has flipped to the month of September, the kids have returned to school, and scarecrows have begun appearing throughout the downtown this week – all is right in Meaford's world.

While we're concerning ourselves with scarecrow displays, school supplies, and canning some vegetables before winter arrives, the folks in Houston are wading through several feet of water as they try to pick up their lives and move on post-hurricane Harvey. The folks in southern Florida are bracing themselves for hurricane Irma which could be even more devastating than was Harvey.

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Municipal Infrastructure Management Will be a Challenge For Generations to Come

StephenVance 540You have to feel for the folks who live on Story Book Park Road, east of Grey Road 11. They have been living the infrastructure nightmare that's been warned about in recent years. The road that provides access to their homes has been a contentious subject for years, with its poor construction and ever-present potholes in the single layer tar and chip hard-top surface. Facing the years of frustration along with the failure to maintain the road to an acceptable level, Meaford's management opted to do what they considered the most cost-efficient thing they could do – they pulverized the 2.2 kilometres of road and returned it to gravel.

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