Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
ARMSTRONG TOWNSHIP - The Armstrong Township municipal office is closing Thursday, November 24, and moving to a new location at 115 10th Street (the former Roaster Restaurant) for the winter months.
The newly renovated office building will reopen in March or April 2023.
Officials expect the Armstrong Township Public Library, located on the lower floor of the building, will reopen in mid- or late-January.
Even the library will be brighter with a new ceiling and new lighting.
"We're hopeful that the library won't be shut down as long," said Armstrong Township Reeve Jean Marc Boileau in a telephone interview.
"We're trying to get them open earlier depending on all the work that is going to be done here," he said. However, residents are being encouraged to continue to use the drop box at the municipal office site while the doors are closed. The drop boxes will be checked regularly.
Council meetings will take place upstairs at the Earlton Community Centre (arena).
A new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is being installed in the building to improve air quality and two new furnaces are also being installed. The computer system is also being modernized.
When renovations are complete, administrative staff and the mayor will all have their own offices, and the area where council meetings will be held will be more spacious.
The municipality has been working steadily to make improvements and it is anticipated that in 2023 the town can proceed with renovations to the municipal pool building in the fall after the swimming season is completed, said Boileau.
"We're working on the drawing and then we have to go to tender to see what the cost is going to be," he said.
The municipality also has plans to build a new pavilion in the Earlton municipal park in 2023. Boileau noted the pathway in the park has now been upgraded with asphalt to improve accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers. The new pavilion will have electricity available making it possible for activities, such as musical entertainments, to take place.
Armstrong Township also has plans for a new snowplow and is currently working on getting financing together for that purchase, he said.
A new backup generator for the sewage plant has already been ordered, and, in the case of an emergency, the generator could also be used to provide lighting in the arena, said Boileau.
He said the community is getting busier with numerous home purchases, and more traffic in the downtown area.
The new Coeur du Village has regular musical gatherings. Sewing groups are using the building, and Christmas parties are taking place.
Boileau said the council will be working hard over the next year to keep taxes to a minimum.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker