Craig Bakay | Aug 22, 2018
North Frontenac Mayor Ron Higgins started working on plans for the future of the Township even before he knew he was going to be acclaimed.
It was intended to be an election platform but “will now be my plans to discuss with the new Council,” he said.
“(My main objective) is to continue my vision toward self-sustainability by preserving our pristine land, attracting new environmentally friendly businesses and young families into North Frontenac,” Higgins said. “Businesses will bring job opportunities for current and future residents and families will help to keep our Plevna school open.
“Both will improve demographics, ensure growth and maintain or reduce taxes.”
In terms of community, Higgins would like to see cell and broadband coverage address the still current gaps in coverage. He’d also like to see more options for broadband.
He wants to revisit the road maintenance program to assess the capability to use asphalt vs. tar and chip and also to widen roads. Concurrent with that, he wants to revisit speed limit signage on gravel roads.
He’d also like to develop affordable seniors housing and in-home seniors care programs to help seniors stay in their homes.
On the economic development front, Higgins wants to attract ecologically related development and businesses he calls “suitable for North Frontenac” such as craft breweries, vertical farms, aquaponics, hydroponics, cannabis and tech eco villages.
He’d like to develop a four-seasons trail strategy and finalize the set-up of an investor forum to promote new or expanding businesses, with a number of investors pooling money to reduce individual risk.
He’s also interested in a project suggested by the economic development task force — developing a business case for a four-season municipal park which would address the four-season accommodation issue, attract tourists, and implement the slogan “Four Seasons, More Reasons.”
A possible long-term model could include tenting, RV camping and pump outs, yurt and tiny home rentals, a water park, an amphitheatre for music, movies, festivals and jamborees, trails, zip lines, outdoor education, mini golf, play structures, washroom, shower and laundry facilities.
He also plans as Mayor to promote North Frontenac at conferences, with political parties, other stakeholders and investors and to enhance the communications plan so residents are aware of projects/plans and Council resolutions/decisions.
He would like to revisit Council remuneration, to reflect the fact that some Council members dedicate more time than others. One possibility, he said, is to reduce the basic salary but pay committee members.
He’s considering applying for stumpage fees for Crown Land logging to help pay for road maintenance.
Finally, in terms of township administration, he wants to “assess the organizational structure to ensure they meet current needs and service delivery requirements.”