In everything except voting it seems, Tiny Township residents are passionate about their municipal affairs.
While just 33.6% of eligible voters turned out to cast their ballots in the 2022 municipal election, three public engagement sessions are scheduled simultaneously for Monday night across Tiny Township to hear from residents on a proposed new township administration centre.
Between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., residents can attend at the following three community centres:
* Lafontaine Community Centre - 342 Rue Lafontaine Road West * Tiny Township Community Centre - 91 Concession 8 East * Wyebridge Community Centre - 8340 Highway 93
Residents have expressed displeasure with the proposed construction of a new administration centre to replace the current municipal facility, addressing council and committee of the whole through numerous deputations.
A 2014 administrative building needs assessment report noted the construction of a new facility, at that time, would cost roughly $5.5 million.
In 2022, Tiny received an asset management report which stated that 76 per cent (or $25.7 million) of the township’s non-core assets, including the current municipal building at 130 Balm Beach Rd. W., were rated the lowest at ‘very poor’ on a five-rank scale based on age, and recommended those assets as ‘candidates for replacement in the short term’.
As part of his election campaign in 2022, Coun. Kelly Helowka told MidlandToday that new municipal offices were among the township’s highest infrastructure needs.
The recent 2024 draft budget contained an administrative public works item in the capital budget for a new administrative building design, listed as a $400,000 net budget impact and rated in the highest priority rank of the township’s requirements.
“This would be for our new administrative building design,” explained public works director Tim Leitch at the budget discussion. “This would be for the architects, based on the tender received, that we’ll need the funds that will be spent in 2024 to get us to that design stage where we’ll be in a position – basically, 90 per cent drawings – to allow us to kick off and go into design build.”
Those residents opposed to the proposed new administration centre have argued numerous reasons through deputations and social media, ranging from high taxes, rising costs of infrastructure, location of the proposed sites, as well as stating they do not want the municipality to spend money on a new building.
Approximately two per cent of property owners (397 people) in Tiny responded to the 2024 draft public budget survey in September, with a recorded 19,000 eligible voters according to the recent 2022 municipal election. Only three respondents stated that a new town hall was of importance in the budget priorities.
Further information on the proposed municipal administration centre is available on the new building page of the Tiny Township website.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca