Mayor Dave’s Ten Things, revisited

So here were Mayor Barton’s 10 things, in his own words. In bold are his updates, a year onward:

We are one year in and we are a team. We all have individual voices and we have different view points, but in the end we find consensus, and we all have the same goal of making Uxbridge a better place to live, work and play.

2. The next few things are about projects carried over from the last term. The biggest one is supporting the hospital as they build the new healthcare campus at the Cottage Uxbridge Hospital site, including a new 192 bed long-term care facility.

The building design is in progress and we continue to work to get the shovels in the ground as quickly as possible, with the amazing support from our MPP and the team at Oak Valley Health.

3. Completing the Brock Street culvert project allows us to change our downtown. We are poised to make significant progress on downtown revitalization. It’s the key to increasing the availability and affordability of housing, improving tourism opportunities, supporting the local economy and much more.

Our Downtown Revitalization Design is complete. Now we just have to start building one site at a time. The plan for the new Trinity Church site is a major step in the right direction. We need more people living and working in downtown Uxbridge, and this project will house 105 additional families who can walk to our downtown shops more quickly than they can drive.

4. We are positioned to complete major upgrades in our parks, both urban and rural: completing the accessible playground in Elgin Park, making improvements at the Fields of Uxbridge, refurbishing the parks in the hamlets.

The major upgrades to Elgin Park (accessible playground, Path of Inclusion, winterized washrooms and additional improvements to accessibility, lighting and active transportation) are awesome. We have also added irrigation, lighting and fencing to the Fields of Uxbridge. About $1.5 million of those upgrades came from federal grants, and another $500,000 from provincial grants.

5. We need to continue to upgrade vital infrastructure in the township. There are bridges and culverts to repair, and another eight kilometres of gravel roads to pave by the end of this term.We started the eight kilometres of gravel road conversion, repaved roads in Leaskdale, Uxbridge and rural Uxbridge and completed the Planks Lane rebuild. 6. Internet service needs to continue to improve, and we will continue to advocate for this. Our efforts so far mean that we should have high-speed to the rest of rural Uxbridge in the very near future.

Fibre continues to be installed all over the township. Some is part of the Durham One Net Project, and other areas are being built out by private internet companies.

7. The modernization digitization of service delivery at town hall has made good progress, but we need to complete that work, to ensure that our services are efficient and totally accessible, 24/7.

These processes continue and are being driven by our high tech genius, CAO Kristi Honey.

8. I’m a heavy user of our great trails, so my last three items are really from a wish list I’ve put together as I use them through the seasons. The first is that I’d love to see a portion of one of our wilderness trails as an off-leash dog-walking site. The park up at the museum is great, but you can’t really give your dog a proper walk there. I know some of our residents let their dogs off leash on our trails now; they need a trail where they can legally do that.

The Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park is a huge win for Uxbridge, and I expect we will see an off leash area as part of that provincial park.

9. I’d like to see improvements in infrastructure on most of our wilderness trails, things like benches and particularly washrooms.

We now have porta-potties in multiple areas, and we hope to get something permanent built with the parking revenue in the next year. This will also happen as part of the provincial park.

10. Last is a winter wish: a few groomed cross-country ski trails, so more of our residents can use them year-round.

We had cross-country ski trails both at Trail Hub and Wooden Sticks this past winter. I hope to see these continue, as well as an expansion in the provincial park.

Conrad Boyce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos