A Note from the desk of Deputy Mayor Shaver
Augusta Matters by Deputy Mayor Jeff Shaver
At its regular meeting of council on May 13, 2019 at the township office, two delegations had the opportunity to give their presentations to council members and staff. The first delegation was the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC) with Wendy Onstein and Jeannette Johnston as presenters. The LGSBEC is a premier resource centre helping local enterprising people start and grow their businesses. Their core services consist of business consultations, resources and tools for entrepreneurs and those owners requiring assistance with their business venture. Also, more than their core services, they offer a Starter Company Plus Program and a Summer Program. The Starter Company Plus Program is a 2 year program mandated to increase self-employment. The participants from this program receive business training, mentoring and coaching from local entrepreneurs as well as access to additional funding. The Summer Program is positioned around students and provides start-up funding. Both of these programs have been very successful in Leeds & Grenville. The LGSBEC also provides workshops, seminars, and assists the township with the Economic Development and Tourism Committee’s events such as “Business of the Year” and the “Augusta Township Mayor’s Breakfast”.
The second delegation consisted of members from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). Danielle Collins, an economic development policy analyst, explained the rural economic development strategy for our municipality. According to 2016 statistics, Augusta Township has 90 farms and the agri-food (from field to fork) employs 410 people in the township with 11,179 acres of land in crops. The four pillars of strategy behind OFA are Examine, Support, Promote and Strengthen. Council was given information in a form of a guide for municipal councillors and staff. This guide touches on areas such as land use planning and economic development, the environment and animal welfare, energy, infrastructure and social services. Keeping this in mind, we must always ask ourselves when making decisions in our municipality, “Why does it matter to farmers?” Especially for Augusta Township, the agriculture community plays an important role in our economic development. Council also received information on the Agri-Food Initiatives Ontario Directory which is an idea bank of resources that have already been created to support the agri-food sector.
Councillors and staff had the opportunity to attend a seminar on “Essentials of Municipal Fire Protection” presented by the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management. This workshop allowed councillors and staff to ask questions and receive current and updated information on the requirements and responsibilities to municipalities on the fire and emergency services. This training will aid council in making sound and forward thinking decisions to update our by-law to Establish and Regulate our fire department at a regular meeting of council in a few weeks.
In closing, I would like to mention the School Mountain Bike Challenge on Friday May 17th at Limerick Forest. Finally, I would also like to mention that Augusta’s Amnesty Day is May 25th at the transfer stations for Augusta residents. Please note only certain items and quantities are acceptable and as a reminder, on the same day is Ducks Unlimited Prescott Dinner & Auction at the Roebuck Hall. Please see Augusta Township Website for more information and contact numbers.