As we come to the end of what was a very difficult year, its important to reflect and see beyond the struggles we have all experienced due to the pandemic and remember that there were plenty of positives as well!
Despite the adaptations that were required because of COVID-19, Township staff and Council were committed to maintaining or improving services to our residents. We implemented much improved online services, utilizing the brand new southstormont.ca website. These measures were vital throughout the pandemic to ensure residents continued to have access to services while the office was closed the public. We will continue to develop our online services to supplement in-person service to find efficiencies to provide improved services.
We have also made some strides toward improving the access to our waterfront with a new Waterfront Development Plan. With a much-improved relationship with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, including CEO, Hollee Kew, and Board of Commissioners Chair, Bob Runciman, we are positioned well to implement many of the recommended improvements to our waterfront areas. While the development plan is a long-term plan, we hope to begin certain aspects of the plan in 2021.
While the pandemic continues to affect each of our lives, the Township has some exciting plans for 2021 to move our communities forward. We have seen record levels of building permits issued in the Township across both commercial and residential development in 2020. We have some high-profile development projects occurring in the Township over the coming months and years. Woodland Villa will nearly double the size of their long-term care facility, Wills Transfer Ltd. Will be welcomed to the Ingleside Industrial Park as they plan to open a new logistics and warehousing facility, and we are hoping to see some exciting development south of the 401 in Long Sault, so stay tuned for more details on that in 2021!
We are hopeful we have seen the worst of the pandemic and we can return to “normal” in 2021, but your Township Council and staff will be prepared to move forward and continue to progress regardless of the curveballs and new challenges we face in 2021.
From all of Council and staff, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Mayor Bryan McGillis
Township of South Stormont