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Champlain Township needs its own planner


The new yearmay see a new addition or two to themunicipal staff roster in Champlain Township. The municipality is going on a recruiting drive to hire its own planning director. The township used to pay the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) to have any of its planning work needs done through the UCPR’s own forestry and plan- ning department. But earlier this year the UCPR decided it could no longer afford to have its planning staff’s time taken up with outside municipal planning work. Champlain Township will therefore hire its own expert to deal with local planning needs. “We absolutely need a planner,” said Paula Knudsen, chief administrator. The municipality is also considering the feasibility of hiring its own economic development co-ordinator. “We do need someone here for that (as well),” added Knudsen. Likemany rural municipalities in Eastern Ontario, Champlain Township has a small commercial and industrial sector.Themuni- cipal levy portion of the township’s 2018 budget proposal shows a heavy reliance on residential and farm properties for tax revenue for the operation and capital bud- gets. The 2018 breakdown of the municipal levy is $4,852,577 from residential and farm taxes. The commercial and industrial taxes levy is $795,942. An economic development coordinator could help find ways to attract new commer- cial and industrial investment to Champlain Township, broaden themunicipality’s corpo- rate tax base and thus relief the tax burden on homeowners and farming outfits. Having its own planner could also aid the township’s future economic growth. “Right now our business park is pretty much filled up in Vankleek Hill,” said Knud- sen, adding that the township side of County Road 17 could be suitable for commercial and/or industrial development. The one main barrier to that is providing an adequate water supply to that area to support business development. During the last couple of months township administration tried to recruit someone to serve as both director for plan- ning and economic development. “We were unable to find a suitable candidate,” Knud- sen explained. The goal now in January is to first find and hire a municipal planner. Second and third priorities are for a communications liaison and an economic development coor- dinator. Whether the municipality will be able to combine those last two needs in one employee is something administration will have to determine.

Les vitrines vides ne sont pas courantes dans le canton de Champlain comparativement aux autresmunicipalités. Mais lamunicipalité dépend des taxes foncières résidentielles pour une grande partie de son budget annuel et le conseil et l’administration souhaitent que ça change. L’un des objectifs pour 2018 est d’embaucher quelqu’un pour répondre aux besoins de planification économique de la municipalité. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

Trio confirms Champlain Township election plans


a councillor again,” said Riopel. Mayor Gary Barton has stated he will not run for re-election as mayor. The sole confirmed candidate for the post is Councillor Paul Emile Duval.

The names of three councilors of Cham- plain Township will once again appear on the ballot for the 2018 civic elections. CouncillorsMarc Séguin, GérardMiner, and Pierre Perrault all confirmed during phone interviews December 28 that they intend to file nomination papers before the May deadline for the 2018 municipal election. The elections will be held on Monday, October 22.

Councillor Pierre Perrault. —photo archives

were asked if they wanted the township to sell the municipal campground and use themoney for a community centre project. Township administration is still re- searching the subject. Councillor Séguin stated he would like to see a community centre for the village “hopefully before the election.”

Councillor Gérard Miner. —photo archives

Riopel said that he will make the final decision on his 2018 election plan in time for the May nomination deadline. Miner, Perrault, and Séguin also intend to file their papers later in the spring. Séguin already has one plank ready for his campaign platform as he seeks another term as one of the two council members for the Village of L’Orignal. “I want to make sure a community centre gets built,” Séguin said. The lack of a community centre for the village gained some attention last fall when township council and administration scheduled a public informationmeeting in L’Orignal to update residents on the future of the L’Orignal Campground. Residents

Le conseillerMarc Séguin sera candidat à la réélection au conseil du canton de Champlain et l’un de ses objectifs est un nouveau centre communautaire pour le village de L’Orignal. —photo archives Councillor Normand Riopel is also considering another termon Champlain Township council. He has not yet decided, however, in what capacity. “I’m either thinking of going for the mayorship or as



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Councillor Normand Riopel. —photo archives


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