St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission Working hard For Augusta Township and Corridor Partners

St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission Working hard For Augusta Township and Corridor Partners

Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka

In June 2017, Augusta Township signed up with seven other Municipalities to pool our limited economic development dollars and people resources to create the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission or the CORRIDOR.  The objective of the CORRIDOR is to attract new industrial and commercial employers to the region to increase the quantity and quality of jobs for our residents along with assisting our existing businesses to expand.  The membership or Board includes, Edwardsburgh Cardinal, Town of Prescott, Augusta Township, Elizabethtown-Kitley, City of Brockville, Front of Yonge and Leeds and the Thousand Islands.  Each municipality contributes $4 per capita per year.  For Augusta, this amounts to $29,720 annually.  The Mayors of each Municipality form the Board of the CORRIDOR and each Municipality appoints an Industry Representative.  Augusta’s representative is Joe Hendriks, former Plant Manager at INVISTA.  We are extremely fortunate to have Joe’s knowledge and experience.

In February of 2018, the Board of the CORRIDOR hired Charlie Mignault as its Commissioner.  It was recognized that the success of the CORRIDOR is very dependent on the knowledge, experience, contacts, art and skill of its Commissioner, and the research and administrative supported of Up and To The Right, Michael Adamcryck and James Wilson and their staff.  On June 26th, 2019, the Board held its latest meeting which included an In-Camera session for Commissioner Charlie Mignault to provide Board members with a status report on his progress and successes.  That part of the meeting was in‑camera primarily because businesses considering any location generally insist that their inquiries or plans not be not discussed publicly until there is an official announcement of coming to a community.  For this reason, my report on Commissioner Mignault’s progress and successes cannot identify companies or individuals.  2018 achievements of the CORRIDOR include 225 Business to Business interactions, 88 stakeholder engagements with 36 current opportunities and 15 high-value companies actively being pursued. In addition, the CORRIDOR has achieved $1.3 million in investment and help gain 95 jobs.  When I am asked how things are going with the CORRIDOR, I find it difficult to answer concretely.  It’s a little like trying to sell your house, business or farm.  When you list it, it is important that you attract lots of people to come and see the property or business.  This tells you that you are offering something that others agree has value and confirms that there are people interested in what you’re selling. It is also often a testament to your selling agent.  And while you have someone negotiating with you, there is nothing to celebrate until the ink dries on the paper.  The Commissioner’s report confirms that there is considerable strong industry interest in the Maitland chemical industrial site and that we need to have a collective fingers crossed.

As a closing comment, I hope everyone had an enjoyable Canada Day weekend spent with family and friends.  Happy Canada Day everyone!