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Mayor Column July 2016


Forgoing partnerships a key part of building a great community - July 28, 2016

One of the building blocks of the town's strategic plan is to provide quality, affordable programs and services for our residents. I have found that residents support this idea because a great community is one where everyone can participate.

Keeping our community engaged is important. We do that, in part, by promoting partnership. We work with York Region, our neighbouring municipalities, local businesses, social service agencies and many community groups to cooperate in projects that get things done for the betterment of the town. 

Because we partner with the York Catholic District School Board and the York Region District School Board residents can enjoy programs right in their neighbourhood, such as the Harvest Hills Activity Centre in Phoebe Gilman Public School.  By partnering with groups such as the Mount Albert Lions we are able to co-ordinate future projects such as a possible skate zone in Mount Albert. Our partnerships with our neighbouring municipalities have saved tens of thousands of dollars through the economies of joint purchasing. 

You may notice that the west pad in the sports complex is called the NewRoads ice pad. This is the result of a new partnership agreement we signed in the spring. In return, NewRoads provided funding for a new ice re-surfacer and updates to the ice pad. We are also working on another partnership for the east ice pad, and we will keep you informed as this evolves.

These kinds of partnerships engage people and businesses, provide input from a broader spectrum of our community, access new sources of funding, and achieve greater results than any one organization could accomplish alone.

Recently, we have been talking about an exciting new Health and Active Living Plaza in East Gwillimbury. In June the town met with potential partners and we have begun planning for sports fields, trails, a skate park, gymnasium, library, pool, fitness centre, child care centre and much more. Construction could begin as soon as 2019.

In keeping with our commitment that growth pays for growth, the town portion of the cost of this new facility will be entirely funded through development charges and not through property taxes.

As EG grows larger, we will maintain a strong sense of community by continuing to engage residents and businesses. We want everyone to feel EG is where they belong, a place where they can participate, a place that listens to their concerns and will make the effort to find solutions that work for the community as a whole.

Business will be a key partner in our growth and we will continue to work together to ensure EG remains a viable, self-sufficient community.

By partnering we are not just building better facilities like recreation centres, we are building a better community. We are building a better future.