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This Weeks Question:

Should teaching be deemed an essential service and teachers not allowed to strike?

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Last Weeks Question:

Should the Town and the Police enforce the no-parking overnight ban on weekends?

Yes 4% | No 96%










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St. Marys Ford 30th Anniversary & Grand Re-Opening!

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St. Marys Ford held their 30th anniversary and Grand Re-Opening last evening. Present at the ribbon cutting ceremony were (from left) Isabel Edwards, Lorne Eedy, Mike Kochanowski, Joe Taylor, Jamie Hahn, Mayor Al Strathdee, Kipp Edwards, Mike Herniak (Ford Canada) Paul Marjenin, (Ford Canada) and Georgia Edwards.

Taxes up 2.2% – Avg. $74 for each household

At a special meeting on Tuesday night, Town Treasurer Jim Brown presented this year’s Town budget which shows an increase of 2.2% in taxes for this year. He told Council that the increase would amount to $74 on an average single family home with a value of $233K. Brown said that the tax levy increase would have been 5.7% had it not been for a growth in assessment for residential, commercial and industry. The budget includes $4.7 million for capital projects this year, including $894K for St. Maria/Washington/Wellington Streets construction, $650K to replace the roof at the PRC, $588K for the Water Street rehabilitation and $300K for the Bell Tower repair. In the ensuing Committee of the Whole Meeting, Council voted to retain BM Ross as the engineers for the Water Street bridge at an estimated cost of $68,600. Also included in the budget is the salary for half a year for a new deputy fire chief but the full details of this has not been finalized. The Town has $10.25 million in outstanding debt and a total of $11.3 in reserves and reserve funds, with the PUC Fund at $3.7 million.

It’s a long weekend! – What’s open and closed

With Monday being a holiday there are some businesses that will close on that day and some that will not. The following are closed on Monday: banks, the Post Office, the LCBO, The Beer Store, the Town Hall and the MOC. The Independent Grocer is open on Monday as is Foodland and Canadian Tire. Foodland has reduced hours from their normal 24, with the store closing at 10:00 pm on Sunday and the Monday hours are 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Sunset Diner and Rianna’s Restaurant are open all weekend. The PRC pool has regular hours on Saturday and Sunday but will be closed holiday Monday. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday, everyone!

New procedures planned for tennis courts – Community Players and Council prayer

Andrea Macko, on behalf of the St. Marys Social Tennis Club, made a presentation at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday night seeking an endorsement from Council for their vision of the courts. Macko, who led the charge to have the courts repaired, outlined some of the plans the Tennis committee came up with including a membership rate of $40 for adults, $10 for those between the ages of 10 – 17, a full-time student $20 and a family membership of $75. Macko said that days of using the tennis courts for activities other than tennis are finished. She said that cycling, skateboarding rollerblading or dog walking will not be permitted. The gates to the courts will be locked with a PIN lock and paying members would receive the PIN to open. However, both Couns. Hainer and Pope made the observation that because tax payer’s money was put into the project some consideration should be made for this. Macko acknowledged that the first year would be a learning experience on how to operate the courts and was asking for public input on the proper procedures to follow. Council decided to pass it onto the Recreation Dept. to come up with policy and procedures for the club. Macko said she had no problems with that suggestion. “I think everyone understands that this is a work in progress to find something amenable to all”, Macko said and asked if people have thoughts on membership, etc. they are encouraged to call the club at 519-280-1240 or email stmaryssocialtennisclub@gmail.com.Continue Reading

Community Players pleased with Harvey reception, looking ahead to Cabaret this fall – By Dan Rankin

Considering all of the things happening around town at the end of April and the beginning of May, St. Marys Community Players president Fern Pridham said the group’s most recent production of the comedy Harvey “had a great turnout and great support.”
“There were a lot of things going on, like the Hospital Gala at the Pyramid Centre, but it was well-received,” she said. “I think that shows the quality of the production.”
Auditions for their autumn production of the musical Cabaret are less than a month away, scheduled to take place on the evening of Friday, June 5 and afternoon of Saturday, June 6 at the St. Marys United Church. “There are a number of male and female roles, and some aren’t necessarily singing roles, so, there are some options for people who feel that they aren’t singers,” she said.
The cast for the show will be large, but a firm number was still being decided this week as the show’s director Terry Todd, as well as its music director and choreographer met to determine which chorus roles could be filled by several actors, and which could be combined together.Continue Reading

Celebrate Thorndale event set for May 22 at Purple Hill Country Hall – By Dan Rankin

One of the big items up for discussion at the I Love Thorndale public meeting on May 11 was seeing to the details and format of the first ever Celebrate Thorndale event scheduled for May 22 at George Taylor’s Purple Hill Country Hall.
“We’re going for a different feel for the event,” said I Love Thorndale co-facilitator Becky Clark. “We also discussed food and entertainment. The Thames Centre Community Choir will be one of the live musical acts who perform, and a couple other local performers who are often out at Purple Hill as well.”
She called it a multi-purpose event, which will also allow the community group to officially launch their new web site (ILoveThorndale.ca), and acknowledge the businesses that have supported the directory on the site.Continue Reading

Police out in full force this long weekend

It’s already Victoria Day Weekend, and that fact, combined with the OPP dubbing this Canada Road Safety Week (May 12-18), means police services across the country will be out on the highways, targeting what they call the “Big Four Killers” and trying to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. That list includes impaired operation of a vehicle by alcohol or drugs, failure to use or improper use of seatbelts, distracted driving and aggressive driving.
Police also said they would pay special attention to those drivers that continue to display “a total disregard for other users of the road by using hand-held communication and entertainment devices while driving.”
Tomorrow is National Enforcement Day for impaired driving.

Motorcycle Deaths Up, Off-road Vehicle Deaths Down

As the Ontario Provincial Police get ready for a busy Victoria Day Long Weekend on Ontario roads and trails, OPP officials are reporting a nine-year high in motorcycle deaths, with 32 people having died in motorcycle crashes on OPP-patrolled roads in 2014.
In contrast, OPP-investigated off-road vehicle (ORV) deaths are the lowest they have been in 11 years, with 11 people having died in 2014.
While the geography and terrain are vastly different for these two driver classes, there are a few common factors that place both of them at a higher risk of death than those who drive other types of motor vehicles.
Factor #1: Neither the motorcyclist nor ORV rider are restrained in these types of vehicles, and ejection almost always occurs in the event of a crash.Continue Reading