Council Highlights - July 24, 2018

Plowing Match Scholarship Awarded

The County of Elgin is pleased to announce that Abbey Taylor and Alex Oswell are the recipients of the $2,500 International Plowing Match (IPM) legacy scholarships for 2018.

The program was launched by a committee formed by Council, staff and members of the 2010 Elgin IPM to award two County students with a $2,500 grant each to assist them in their agriculturally-related studies in college or university.

“I am pleased to present these scholarships to two talented and driven recipients who are the future of agriculture in our community” said Warden David Marr. “The scholarship is a great legacy of the IPM that honours Elgin’s agricultural roots and ensures continued investment in the development of local leaders.”

Recipients were selected by a review committee of Warden Marr, 2010 IPM Chairperson Duncan McPhail and the County’s Director of Community and Cultural Services, Brian Masschaele.

To be successful, applicants must be enrolled and returning to post-secondary education in an agriculturally-related discipline, actively involved in serving the County’s agricultural community and they must share their innovative ideas to further develop the County’s strong agricultural industry.

Abbey Taylor is a student in the Associate Diploma in Agriculture at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown campus, and has plans to pursue a career as a primary producer on her family’s farm or a career in agribusiness. Alex Oswell is attending the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph with plans to pursue a career as a large animal veterinarian.

Elgin County Council wishes both recipients the best in their future endeavours and encourages the increased participation of youth in agriculturally-related disciplines.

Elgin Calls for Equitable Funding for Medium-Sized Hospitals

The County of Elgin has joined the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) in its advocacy efforts for fair funding for medium-sized hospitals.

Elgin is concerned that under the current Provincial funding formula, funding is directed towards areas with larger populations and more rapid growth. This leaves medium-sized hospitals such as STEGH, disproportionately disadvantaged in 2018/19 funding allocations. As a result of these financial challenges, STEGH could be forced to reduce certain services which would certainly have a significant ‘domino’ impact on the viability of other services or the hospital itself. This would in turn erode community confidence and adversely affect the level of care received by the residents of Elgin County. Elgin County Council believes strongly that residents of small urban centres and rural communities should have access to the same level of care as those in large cities.

St. Thomas – Elgin Affordable and Social Housing Strategy

At the July 24, 2018 meeting, St. Thomas – Elgin Social Services presented the results a of a comprehensive long-term affordable and social housing action plan for St. Thomas and Elgin County. This was developed concurrently and in alignment with updated population, housing, and employment lands projections for St. Thomas. The intent of the St. Thomas – Elgin County Affordable and Social Housing Strategy is to help support Strategic Direction 1 of the local Housing and Homelessness Plan: Increase affordable housing supply to meet projected need.

An executive summary and a complete copy of this strategy are available on the Elgin County Website.

Elgin County Annual Report 2017

The Director of Financial Services presented the 2017 Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements. This report is a document that allows Council to communicate the state of the Corporation to the residents of Elgin County. It speaks to the achievements, the financial results and performance measures for 2017. The annual report included information on the continued success of the Elgincentives Community Improvement Plan, the construction of the Elgin County Heritage Centre, the completion of the new Southwold Township Library, Shedden, the retirements of several long-time senior staff, and significant investments in County road infrastructure.