Merrickville-Wolford – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:16:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Merrickville-Wolford: A Year in Review http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-wolford-year-review/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-wolford-year-review/#respond Thu, 04 Jan 2018 19:51:45 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10425 As I look through the articles I have written for the Merrickville-Wolford Times in 2017, it is clear that it was quite a busy and exciting year for the Municipality, and not just because of Canada’s 150th birthday. The beginning of the year saw the adoption of the Municipality’s new Strategic Plan, meant to govern […]

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As I look through the articles I have written for the Merrickville-Wolford Times in 2017, it is clear that it was quite a busy and exciting year for the Municipality, and not just because of Canada’s 150th birthday. The beginning of the year saw the adoption of the Municipality’s new Strategic Plan, meant to govern all decisions being made by council until 2025. Its creation was a highly collaborative process, with several public meetings, and could not have been done without the efforts of many dedicated volunteers, council and staff.

The community also welcomed a very successful series of Village Chef dinners at the Mainstreet Restaurant, which raised money for many local charities. One evening in February stands out, when the dinner turned into a fundraiser for not one, but two causes, the second being the Roulston family, who lost their home to a devastating fire. In a matter of minutes, they raised $700 to help get the family back on their feet.

Another successful community fundraising effort came to fruition over the summer, with the building of Merrickville Public School’s (MPS) new play structure. It took three years of hard work and a lot of community support to raise the $45,000 needed to build the new playground which now stands in the MPS yard, ready for climbing, swinging and sliding. It’s yet another example of how incredible the Merrickville-Wolford community is at coming together to support a cause.

Many people also rallied around Wolford Public School, as it fought to stay open during the UCDSB Accommodation Review Process in February and March. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of parents, politicians and community members, the school remained on the closure list and will be closed as of September, 2018.

Public washrooms were also a hot topic last year, when the Lions Club offered to spearhead the building of a public washroom and visitor centre in Merrickville to service the thousands of tourists who visit every year. Although that project never came to fruition, it did lead to the opening and/or signage of washrooms at the rink house and Community Centre for public use, and there are plans to make the necessary upgrades to these washrooms in order to make them accessible and pleasant to use.

On another note, Merrickville became a little more multicultural in May, when they welcomed a Syrian refugee family to the town. The family of six now lives in a house in Merrickville and the children attend North Grenville District High School and Merrickville Public School.

Le Boat officially announced the opening of their North American headquarters in Smiths Falls in May and committed to having self-drive luxury cruise boats on the Rideau Canal by Spring, 2018. This was met with a lot of enthusiasm by local dignitaries and business owners, who see this as a great way to promote the Village on the world stage.

The beautification of the community became extremely important in May as well, in preparation for the Communities in Bloom judges who visited the Village this spring. Although Merrickville-Wolford did not get the top prize, they received the highest honour of five blooms with bronze standing and were just a few points behind the winner. The Village also received an honourable mention for their multigenerational committee.

The summer was full of the typical festivals and celebrations, including Canal Fest, Canada Day, the Merrickville Fair, and the Car Show, all of which brought many visitors to the Village. Merrickville also hosted the Teeny Tiny Summit, with guest speaker Peter Kenyon all the way from Australia. The first ever Harvest Goat Festival came to the fairgrounds and locavores enjoyed the inaugural mid-week farmers market on Wednesdays throughout the growing season.

In the Fall, local teens Peyton and Taylor Horning were honoured for their volunteerism, with Gord Brown and Steve Clark’s Canada 150 medal. The girls were presented the medal at a special ceremony, where they were introduced by Mayor David Nash.

The Village also welcomed some special guests from the South Korean Embassy to the Municipality in November. The Embassy chose Merrickville-Wolford as their small town of choice to visit in 2017 and came to Merrickville to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day. Then, later in the month, they returned to make presentations about South Korea to the school children and local business community. Everyone involved felt it was a wonderful day of networking and getting to know one of Canada’s allies to the east.

Finally, in December, representatives from Tree Canada came to the municipal building to present a cheque to the municipality to fund planting trees and shrubs in Eastons Corners. The grant was part of a Canada 150 program partially funded by the Canadian Government, and the money was used to plant 50 trees and shrubs in the hamlet to replace some that had to be taken out. It was a nice last hurrah to celebrate the end of Canada’s 150th year.

Looking back on the year, it is clear that Merrickville-Wolford is anything but a sleepy rural community. It is busy, vibrant, and full of people making a difference. It is fun to look back on what has happened throughout the year, and to celebrate the successes and acknowledge the difficulties, while looking forward to the year to come. 2018 is Merrickville’s 225th birthday year, and who could forget that the Municipal election is just around the corner? If 2018 is anything like the past year, I think residents can look forward to a fun ride; and I’ll be there along the way, writing about the issues and events that make Merrickville-Wolford a great place to live.

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Christmas in Merrickville 2017 http://www.ngtimes.ca/christmas-merrickville-2017/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/christmas-merrickville-2017/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:15:13 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10346 by Mark Scullino, 2017 Coordinator Christmas in Merrickville 2017 was held on Saturday, December 2 and was an unprecedented success. On behalf of the Christmas in Merrickville Coordinating Committee and all of its volunteers, I wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the local business/merchants, Village, Fire Fighters, Service Groups who helped make it […]

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by Mark Scullino, 2017 Coordinator

Christmas in Merrickville 2017 was held on Saturday, December 2 and was an unprecedented success. On behalf of the Christmas in Merrickville Coordinating Committee and all of its volunteers, I wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the local business/merchants, Village, Fire Fighters, Service Groups who helped make it one of Merrickville’s most popular events!

The day started out with Breakfast with Santa, hosted by the Legion, where over 350 guests were served a hearty breakfast. Ron, Larry, and their teams of horses from Precious Moments Carriages, toured visitors throughout the Village for the entire event.

The weather, once again, cooperated this year and the crowds came out in record numbers for the annual Merrickville Fire Department’s Christmas Parade and Boot Drive. After the parade, children of all ages were entertained by Diego the Magician, our sax player Rob Barclay, strolling carollers, and the friendly animals of the Vanderlaan Barnyard Zoo. Polly Beach entertained quite a crowd with a Juice Jam at the Library, and many faces were painted up by our friendly clown at the Community Centre.

The Merrickville Day Nursery School coordinated another successful Cookie Walk & Weigh, where a variety of cookies and treats could be purchased. Thanks to Margo for creating a beautiful woodland scene for Santa to receive visitors and chat with children after the parade. Firefighters treated the kids to free hot chocolate and hot dogs as well.

The afternoon began with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who took time from their busy schedule to spend the day in Merrickville and pose for photos. From 9 am to 9 pm, visitors could participate in bidding on a variety of Silent Auction items. These events are made possible through generous donations from our local merchants and businesses. A special thank you to the Merrickville Lions Club for their support and for organizing the Christmas Hamper/Build a Mountain of Food Drives and providing hot apple cider.

The fire barrels burned from 1 pm to 7:30 pm and provided visitors with warmth from the cold, a cup of hot chocolate, and hotdogs and marshmallows to roast over the open fires. CiM gave out more than 1,100 hot dogs, 30 bags of marshmallow, and more than 40 pounds of hot chocolate. A special thank you to Weston Foods, who donated all of the hot dog buns for CiM, as they do every  year. Unfortunately, we did run out, due to higher than anticipated crowds. All of these foods are donated by companies and, without them, our fire barrels would not be as successful as they are. Our Chili Tent was, once again, very successful: thank you to all of the participants who took the time to make chili. The 2017 winner was Nana B’s.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony began at 5 pm in Blockhouse Park, where the lights were lit and get more beautiful each year. Thanks to Marc Bergeron and his team for adding to the magic of the evening by projected lights and images in the downtown core. The Mountain of Food will once again be taking place on the same day as Christmas in Merrickville in 2018.

I was asked by visitors on many occasions during the day, “Where do the donations go?” I was happy to advise them that the financial donations collected from the Silent Auction and donation bins would be directed to local charities. CiM has chosen the following local charities for their 2017 donations: Beth Donovan Hospice, Interval House, A Chance Animal Rescue, and the Merrickville Food Bank.

On a personal note, I am stepping down after two years of co-ordinating this event. It has been a wonderful experience. I would like to thank all of the committee members, who put many hours, prior to, and on the day of the event. Also, to our volunteers and sponsors, thank you so much in helping us make this event a successful one.

Christmas in Merrickville has been a long-standing and much anticipated event for the Village for over 25 years. The number and variety of activities has grown over the years, as has the attendance. It is important for the merchants, service groups, and village population to continue to be involved year after year for this event to grow and thrive. Christmas in Merrickville is a volunteer driven event. If you would like to participate, or would like to make suggestions for next year, please do not hesitate to send a message to the Christmas in Merrickville Facebook page, or to our website.

On behalf of the Christmas in Merrickville Coordinating Team, thank you Merrickville-Wolford for your support! Remember to follow us on our website and Facebook page.

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Victor Suthren: Heritage in the Community http://www.ngtimes.ca/victor-suthren-heritage-community/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/victor-suthren-heritage-community/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:42:12 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10351 The Times sat down for a coffee with Councillor Victor Suthren last week, and we talked about how his background as an historian and author are brought to bear on his work on the Merrickville-Wolford Council. Victor had a long career before arriving in the Village. He was Director General of the Canadian War Museum […]

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The Times sat down for a coffee with Councillor Victor Suthren last week, and we talked about how his background as an historian and author are brought to bear on his work on the Merrickville-Wolford Council. Victor had a long career before arriving in the Village. He was Director General of the Canadian War Museum from 1986 until 1997, when he left and he was appointed an Honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1997 until 2014, with responsibility for promoting a wider appreciation for Canadian naval history in the public sphere. On top of all that, Victor has had thirteen books published, many of historical fiction, of which the latest is set to be released next year. So, how had a man with this background found himself in Merrickville, serving his second term on the municipal Council?

“I always wanted to be a writer full time, and we’d been aware of Merrickville for a long time. It had a lot to offer: water you could reach the sea on, lots of historicity, a thriving artistic and cultural community. Oddly enough, the first time I came to Merrickville was in 1967 when I was in the Fort Henry Guard in Kingston, and we came and did a parade here when they reopened the Blockhouse after it had been restored. We shot muskets out of the slits and choked on the smoke and all that; and I remember thinking what a tremendous number of old homes there were here. All the streets were gravel then, except for St. Lawrence. I remembered the place and it seemed like a natural progression. My wife, Lindsay, is an artist, and this is such a vibrant community that it really attracted both of us.”

Victor’s time at the Museum and in the Navy had involved organising many public events, designed to promote Canadian history and bring it to the Canadian public. He believes he could do a similar job here in Merrickville-Wolford. “I realised that there is such a rich heritage here, and so many already protecting it, that I thought, if I could get on Council, I thought I might be able to add my experience from Federal Heritage activity to keeping what we have and still prudently advancing. I’d love to see the historical side of this town enhanced and to celebrate it a lot more.”

The idea that heritage and history are an elitist occupation is one that Victor has spent his entire career refuting. He believes that both the business community and the municipal council are very alive to the economic development aspect of heritage.

“I think there’s a fairly strong awareness, both on the part of the Chamber of Commerce, the business people in the town, and also the Council [that heritage is an economic development issue]. The Deputy Mayor, Anne Barr, is very strong on heritage, and there’s a lot of very well-informed people on Council who recognise its value. But they’d also like it to be a vibrant, working community. But we all see it as a marketable resource, not an elitist thing that gets in the way. Not at all.”

The key, he feels, is to learn from other towns, such as Perth and Niagara-on-theLake, to integrate heritage with the day-to-day economic and social life of the community. He is strongly of the opinion that this approach would make Merrickville a destination spot, especially given the heritage character of so much of the Village’s buildings and streetscape.

“With a bit of imagination, and without interfering too much with traffic flow and all that, you could stage events every now and then that would really transform the village into a Dickensian dream. As long as we don’t get the shrink-wrapped Disneyland, I still hope we can do more of that. I think it would be important for the future of the place. I keep wondering: what if some weekend we only had horse-drawn vehicles, and we scattered sand on the roads, and encouraged people to wear period dress. You could have period music playing in the park: you could almost have an Anne of Green Gables feel, just for an afternoon. That could spin off into economic pursuits, shopping in the stores, staying at the B&B’s, and so on. I think there’s a lot of realisation in the town that heritage is dollars and cents: heritage is prosperity. If we can only hold to that heritage side of things, it can only be for the good.”

He was encouraged by something that happened at a Council meeting once, showing the depth of history that exists in the area. “There were some people in the Gallery, and, in a light-hearted moment, I mentioned that Merrickville used to have its own Militia: No. 4 Company, Leeds and Grenville Militia was formed here. Other places, like Kemptville, Almonte, had Infantry companies, who wore red coats; but Merrickville had a Rifle Company, who wore green coats, and they were so proud of this. And I had a photograph of one of these Riflemen taken around 1865, when the regiment was formed, and I passed it around. And you could hear the stirring in the gallery. People don’t realise that in the old Town Hall there was Drill Hall, and the Merrickville Rifles used to drill there and were called out to the Fenian Raids.”

One of the keys is to find the grants that could make this happen: “Enhance the heritage and make it pay. His tory is part of us, this is where we came from. I did a lot of event organisation with the Museum, and later with the Navy, and it’s doable if you can just get the cash.”

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Merrickville Fire Fighters Association donation to Lions Club http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-fire-fighters-association-donation-lions-club/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-fire-fighters-association-donation-lions-club/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:07:41 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10357 On Tuesday, December 12, the Merrickville Fire Fighters Association presented the Merrickville Lions Club with a cheque for $1,213, money collected through the Boot Drive at Christmas in Merrickville. The Fire Fighters Association would like to than everyone who donated cash or a toy.

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On Tuesday, December 12, the Merrickville Fire Fighters Association presented the Merrickville Lions Club with a cheque for $1,213, money collected through the Boot Drive at Christmas in Merrickville. The Fire Fighters Association would like to than everyone who donated cash or a toy.

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Council cancels meeting http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-cancels-meeting/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-cancels-meeting/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:00:39 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10354 Council voted to cancel most of the last council meeting, because too many of them were sick. Deputy Mayor Anne Barr and Councillor Victor Suthren each sent their regrets and were not in attendance at the meeting. Mayor David Nash was present at the beginning of the meeting, but announced that he would be leaving […]

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Council voted to cancel most of the last council meeting, because too many of them were sick. Deputy Mayor Anne Barr and Councillor Victor Suthren each sent their regrets and were not in attendance at the meeting. Mayor David Nash was present at the beginning of the meeting, but announced that he would be leaving once anything pressing had been discussed. Even though they had quorum, many did not feel comfortable going ahead with the meeting, specifically since an item on the Agenda was budget discussions, with so much of council being absent.

It was the Mayor’s recommendation that they discuss the budget briefly, and hear a report regarding the Police Services Board, and one about future remuneration for Mayor and Council, about all of which the Mayor had comments to make. The Police Services Board report recommends that the Board meet quarterly, rather than monthly, as per the requirements of the Police Services Act. They wished to save time for staff, and money for the municipality. The report regarding council remuneration suggests that the method by which Mayor and Council is paid be changed, with a base rate given, plus another $50 for every council meeting they attend. Should they attend all meetings, their honorarium would remain the same. It was also suggested that the rate of pay be raised by 2%, to take into consideration the rise in the cost of living. This would leave the Mayor’s honorarium at $12,635.84, with Councillors being paid $9,627.24 each in 2018.

In the end, it was decided that council would only address the in-camera business, and leave the rest, including the discussion about the 2018 operating budget, to another meeting. CAO John Regan says that cancelling most of the meeting means that there will likely be a delay in finalizing the budget. He says staff will continue to work on streamlining the budget, looking for efficiencies and savings, while waiting for further direction from council. Council did meet on Monday, December 18, at a meeting called specifically to continue budget discussions. This meeting was already on the calendar before the previous week’s meeting was cancelled.

It is possible that council will call an extra meeting sometime between now and the next regular council meeting on January 8, to make up for lost time. John says that if a special meeting is not called, the meeting on January 8 will be very heavy, as the budget will be on the agenda, as well as what was not discussed at last week’s meeting. Council cancels meeting

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Draft capital budget presented to council http://www.ngtimes.ca/draft-capital-budget-presented-council/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/draft-capital-budget-presented-council/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:07:56 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10230 The 2018 draft capital budget was presented to council at the last meeting, totalling approximately $1.5 million. Some of the larger ticket items included several infrastructure projects on the roads in Merrickville, including water and wastewater sewer work, and road resurfacing. There were more renovations to the municipal centre proposed as well, with a kitchen […]

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The 2018 draft capital budget was presented to council at the last meeting, totalling approximately $1.5 million.

Some of the larger ticket items included several infrastructure projects on the roads in Merrickville, including water and wastewater sewer work, and road resurfacing. There were more renovations to the municipal centre proposed as well, with a kitchen renovation and update to the council chambers to make it more organized and accessible with the addition of better audio and visual systems. There is also a structural issue on the second floor of the building that needs to be rectified. Apparently, there were funds earmarked for this in the 2016 capital budget, but the project was never carried out.

The largest item in the capital budget to date is the purchase of a new fire pumper truck, at a cost of $500,000. Although the current truck has been maintained properly over the years, and is in relatively good condition, Chief Mark Urquhart says the National Fire Protection Association does not recognize any vehicles over 25-years of age. The Merrickville-Wolford 26-year-old pumper is one of their initial attack vehicles in the case of a fire, and it is imperative that it gets to where it needs to go without breaking down. “Would you be comfortable driving a 26-year-old car down the 401?” Mark asks, “There is risk for mechanical failure.”

Merrickvile-Wolford resident, Ivan Wood, stood up during the public question period to express his displeasure with a capital budget that is a more than 50% increase over last year. “One of the things that has appalled me has been the rise in taxes,” he told council. “There are a lot of pensioners who live in the Village. I don’t know if they can continue on in this way.”

The purpose of this initial budget presentation was for staff to be able to lay everything out on the table, so council could see what they were looking at for 2018’s capital budget. Two items, new flag poles for the municipal centre, and a reserve fund for the construction of a washroom/visitors centre, have already been crossed off the list. Mayor David Nash made it known early in the evening that he felt that the $1.5 million allocated for these was much too high and that prioritization of projects would be a necessity to bring the cost down to a more realistic number.

A complete list of the capital budget projects, and the costs associated with them, are in the November 27 council package which is available on the Municipality’s website.

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Sea salt caramels arrive in Merrickville http://www.ngtimes.ca/sea-salt-caramels-arrive-merrickville/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/sea-salt-caramels-arrive-merrickville/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:01:07 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10227 The micro-bakery and farm girl brand, Pickle & Myrrh, has arrived, to the delight of Merrickville and North Grenville residents. Erin Kergen, originally from Brockville, left Ontario on a three-month internship in Public Relations for Banff, Alberta, some twelve years ago, thinking it was going to be a summer of fun in the mountains. She […]

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The micro-bakery and farm girl brand, Pickle & Myrrh, has arrived, to the delight of Merrickville and North Grenville residents.

Erin Kergen, originally from Brockville, left Ontario on a three-month internship in Public Relations for Banff, Alberta, some twelve years ago, thinking it was going to be a summer of fun in the mountains. She fell in love with the western province, and had a wonderful career working for some of Calgary’s most notable events and organizations.

Two years ago, Erin and her husband, Tyler, started a family, and a new dream was born: to create a lifestyle all around the nostalgic ways of living. Erin launched her brand, Pickle & Myrrh, in the summer of 2016. It specializes in artisan caramels, old fashioned treats, and all natural health and home products.

On November 1, Erin, Tyler, and their daughter Willow, moved to Merrickville. By November 15, Pickle & Myrrh Sea Salt Caramels could be found on store shelves in Brockville, Kemptville, Smith Falls, Carleton Place, and Merrickville.

Erin said: “We had an opportunity to live anywhere in Canada, and chose the character of Merrickville’s community to come to, and bring my brand. I hoped I would have success, but didn’t dream in just a few weeks my caramels would be as popular as they are. I’m delighted at the welcome we have received!”

The Village Bean in Merrickville was the very first store to place an order before Erin had even arrived. Owner, Robyn Fredrickson, found Pickle & Myrrh on Instagram and knew it would be the perfect fit for her customers. “The caramels looked amazing.” said Robyn. “I knew our customers wouldn’t be able to resist a creamy caramel with their coffee.”

For further information, please contact Pickle & Myrrh via Facebook or Instagram @pickleandmyrrh.

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Plaque presented for tree planting program http://www.ngtimes.ca/plaque-presented-tree-planting-program/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/plaque-presented-tree-planting-program/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:55:47 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10120 The Village of Merrickville-Wolford was presented with a plaque on Friday to commemorate their involvement in Tree Canada’s special Canada 150 project. Tree Canada is the country’s largest not-for-profit tree planting organization. As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, Tree Canada received money from the Canadian Government and CN Rail to fund 150 tree-planting initiatives […]

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The Village of Merrickville-Wolford was presented with a plaque on Friday to commemorate their involvement in Tree Canada’s special Canada 150 project. Tree Canada is the country’s largest not-for-profit tree planting organization. As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, Tree Canada received money from the Canadian Government and CN Rail to fund 150 tree-planting initiatives across the country. At least one town, city, or organization was chosen from each of the provinces and territories.

Program Manager, Megan Quinn, was on hand to present the plaque to the Village, and MP Gord Brown and MPP Steve Clark were also there to offer their congratulations. “Smaller communities like Merrickville-Wolford add a personal touch,” Megan says, explaining why she chose the municipality as one of the successful applicants. “It makes a huge impact, and people will be able to appreciate it in an area that gets used a lot.”

MP Gord Brown congratulated Merrickville-Wolford for being progressive and forward thinking in applying for the grant. “It’s a wonderful community to be a part of the project,” he said.

The approximately 50 trees and shrubs were planted in Eastons Corners, around Centennial Hall, in October. “It looks really nice,” says Manager of Public Works, Dave Powers.

The trees and shrubs which were planted are all native to the area, with one maple representing Canada, another tree representing Ontario, and a third representing the indigenous people of the area, as per Tree Canada guidelines.

The commemorative plaque will be placed on the stone marker at the entrance to the community park to mark the occasion for years to come.

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Council offers financial contribution to Korea Day http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-offers-financial-contribution-korea-day/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/council-offers-financial-contribution-korea-day/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:48:08 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10118 Merrickville-Wolford council voted last Monday to contribute $600 towards the Korea Day luncheon that happened on November 16. The $600 was a request from the Chamber of Commerce, which had been turned down in a previous meeting. It was brought up again at the last council meeting at the request of the Industry, Economic Development […]

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Merrickville-Wolford council voted last Monday to contribute $600 towards the Korea Day luncheon that happened on November 16. The $600 was a request from the Chamber of Commerce, which had been turned down in a previous meeting. It was brought up again at the last council meeting at the request of the Industry, Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee, which urged the Council to reconsider contributing to the event.

The lunch, which was attended by members of the South Korean Embassy (including the Ambassador), members of council, staff, business people, and retired diplomats who live in the Village, totalled 45 people and cost $2,016. The Chamber of Commerce also spent money on signage and decorating the Village with South Korean flags, which brought the cost up to $2500. Right now, the Chamber of Commerce is prepared to foot the bill, but would still like to see the municipality contribute the $600 to supplement the cost. “We always felt that this was a village to village program,” a Chamber of Commerce representative told council at the meeting. “This was not just a chamber show.”
Councillor Steve Ireland was the first to express his willingness to support the $600 request. “I’m prepared to vote in favour of allocating the $600 as a sign of good will, in hopes of getting better cooperation between the Village and the Chamber,” he said at the meeting.

Other councillors were not so keen, including Deputy Mayor Ann Barr who expressed her concern over the cost of the lunch. “Based on the number of $2,500 for 45 people, that’s a $55.50 lunch per person,” she said. “That’s an expensive lunch.” She went on to say that, if they were going to make a habit of supporting events like this, they needed to put some mechanisms in place to control cost and share the business with more restaurants in the community. Councillor Kim Weedmark also expressed his concern, pointing out that, after going over the 2018 budget earlier in the meeting, there were lots of other areas to consider when choosing where to allocate the funds.

In the end, the resolution came down to a recorded vote, with everyone in attendance voting for contributing the $600, except for Councillor Weedmark and Deputy Mayor Barr. CAO John Regan says that, because this money was not in the budget, it they will likely go over budget in meeting expenses to cover the cost. “Going forward in the operational budget, you will see a new line item that surrounds these types of events,” the CAO said. “It can be discussed in the next budget meeting as to whether you want to allocate money going forward to these types of events.”

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Christmas in Merrickville http://www.ngtimes.ca/christmas-in-merrickville-2/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/christmas-in-merrickville-2/#respond Sat, 02 Dec 2017 18:03:51 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10033 Photos by Hilary Thomson

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Photos by Hilary Thomson

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