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Elgin County Council Highlights - Oct. 17, 2017

Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres 
In January of 2018, The Ontario Early Years Centres, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres, Family Resource Centres and, Better Beginnings Better Futures will be transitioning to the Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (OEYCFC). The City of St. Thomas will be responsible for the local service system planning, implementation, funding, and oversight of this organization in Elgin. St. Thomas-Elgin Social Services provided Council with a summary of the completed needs assessment, initial plan of action, proposed model of service delivery and key dates involved in this transition. 
The full report from St. Thomas-Elgin Social Services can be found in the October 17, 2017 Elgin County Council Agenda Package. 


Museum Receives Canadian Heritage Funding  
The Elgin County Museum has received $9,700 in funding through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museum Assistance Program. These funds will be used to cover the shipping, production and promotion costs associated with the inaugural exhibit to be held in the new Elgin County Heritage Centre. This exhibit will focus on medieval history and its ties to Elgin County. This topic was chosen as part of a broader strategy to connect museum exhibits with the Ontario’s school curriculum so that Elgin can host school groups, building a relationship with future generations and helping to cultivate their appreciation of local history. 


Updates to Museum Database         
The Elgin County Museum recently completed upgrades to its Museums of Elgin County Database that included improved design, screen optimization, navigation, and search features. This innovative database is one of only a few in Canada to offer online collaboration between area museums through the use of high-quality software. It is hosted and supported by the County’s Information Technology department and there is no cost to partner museums to participate. The database plays a key role in encouraging collaboration between museums serving the County. The database currently contains over 29,000 artifact descriptions, with over 10,000 of these coming from the Elgin County Museum. In addition to acting as a collection management tool for County museums, it is also open to the public for researching online.
The following museums are currently contributing to the database:
• Aylmer-Malahide Museum & Archives
• Backus-Page House Museum, Tyrconnell
• Museums Bayham / Port Burwell Marine Museum
• Elgin County Railway Museum, St. Thomas
• Forge and Anvil Museum, Sparta
• North America Railway Hall of Fame, St. Thomas.
A detailed description of upgrades to the Museums of Elgin County Database can be found in the October 17, 2017 Elgin County Council Agenda Package. 


County Calls for Barriers on 401 
The County of Elgin joined the neighbouring Municipality of Chatham-Kent in calling for the Province of Ontario to install barriers on the 401 corridor between Windsor and London. There are serious traffic safety concerns associated with the stretch of highway in question. Frequent serious and fatal collisions along this corridor impact the safety of those travelling this route and those travelling on adjacent detour routes. Elgin County believes that the installation of barriers along this section of highway will reduce the frequency and severity of these occurrences, providing a safer route for Ontario motorists.