Augusta Township invites its residents to complete a community survey.

Augusta Township invites its residents to complete a community survey.

Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka

(As published in the South Grenville Journal – Wednesday, July 15, 2020)

Over the past several decades, Augusta Township and surrounding municipalities have experienced the loss or reduction of traditional manufacturing forcing a shift to knowledge, service and creative-based economies including tourism. For Augusta Township, the downsizing that has occurred at the Maitland Chemical site has prompted a significant municipal tax shift from industrial to residential.  To reverse this trend, the Township has been vigorously pursuing new industries and commercial and residential development and engaged in retention and expansion of existing businesses.  Currently, we are beginning to see some strong interest in real estate and industrial and commercial job growth in Augusta Township.  Thus, at our June 29th, 2020 Council meeting, on the recommendation of our CAO and Planner, Augusta’s Council directed Township staff to prepare a Community Improvement Plan (CIP), and to undertake a planning- and economic development-focused community survey to inform of the development of a CIP and other strategic plans.  CIPs are powerful planning and economic development tools which give municipalities the increased ability to leverage the funding and partnerships of higher orders of government; enhance the visual appearance (where needed) of our existing infrastructure; update our municipal services and community facilities; and provide loans, grants, and tax assistance to encourage private sector investment and strengthen our economic base.  CIPs have also been used for a wide array of priorities aimed at rehabilitating and revitalizing targeted areas, and Community Improvement Project Areas can range from specific properties or streets, to neighbourhoods or even entire communities. Having a strong CIP will make it easier for our municipality to effectively use, reuse and restore land, buildings, and infrastructure and to encourage reinvestment in our Industrial Park for the New Economy. Having a CIP will also allow us to realize a host of environmental, social, cultural, and economic benefits by developing quality projects that contribute to improving the livability of our community. This is where we need Augusta’s residents to take 10 to 15 minutes to have their say and help guide our Township’s planning and economic development priorities over the next several years.  I encourage all Augusta residents to complete The Great Augusta Community Survey, which can be found online on our municipal website through July 24, 2020.

Closing on a different subject, I look forward along with other Augusta residents to the re-opening of the Maynard Waste Transfer Site following the paving project that was recently completed.  This was something that needed to be done and I thank staff for their great work.