Happy New Year.
Perth Mayor John Fenik, wearing his chain of office, looked back on 2012 and the challenges and opportunities for 2013 during the last town council session of the year in December.
So much done, so much left to do.
That really could sum up the work done and left to be done at any number of departments at the Town of Perth, as council and staff looked back at the year that was and made plans for the future during a recent committee-of-the-whole report card night.
For Perth Mayor John Fenik, the town’s arterial road project, which was given the green light by the county this year, was part of an ongoing plan to bring in new residential development to the area, when the bypass is in the works between 2025 and 2030.
“From day one, the bypass has been a goal of mine,’’ said Fenik. “Getting the county to step up was huge. I look forward to cutting the ribbon on that,’’ he said, before realizing that that happy day was likely 18 years away.
“I may be pushing a cane, I may not be on council, but I want to be there,’’ said Fenik.
He also pointed to the vote to disband the Perth Police Service and ask the OPP to patrol the town as a historic moment, as well as the ongoing strategic plan to 2022.
“We’ve got a good blueprint to follow,” said Fenik. “I think Perth’s future is on a good, solid footing. (But) we need an infrastructure dialogue with our other levels of government.”
While the landscape of provincial politics has changed recently, and will change with a new premier in January – and may change again after that with a provincial election – he noted that Queen’s Park is taking notice of Perth’s needs, in particular, Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli.
The council then heard about different projects that are in the works in the coming months, including the installation of street lights on Drummond Street West, a new sidewalk near the Stewart School, and reconstruction on Beckwith Street between Halton Street and South Street.
At public works, workers will continue to regain sewage treatment capacity through sanitary sewer system optimization. There will also be a commercial environmental assessment of the Perth lagoon, to see how additional capacity for 11,000 new residents can be accommodated.
In tourism, declaring Perth the wedding capital of eastern Ontario has been seeing good returns, with 37 weddings there this past year. The permanent Dr. Wilson geology exhibit at the Perth Museum has also drawing a lot of attention. Stewart Park is also slated for a perennial garden overhaul, along with new green bin abutments. Conlon Farm will also see the replacement of its tennis courts in 2013.
Also on the horizon for 2013 will be the hiring of an economic development coordinator and the launching of a marketing campaign for the town’s industrial park. The splash pad continues apace, and former Olympian Mike Brown has been hired as the town’s new aquatics coordinator.
The fire department’s 25-year-old pumper truck has a cracked frame and needs replacing in the new year, and four new volunteers are needed at the fire department to replace two retirements, one job relocation and one resignation.
The town’s one-day budget session was also slated for 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 25.