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Tottenham to have better water next year: Mayor Milne

March 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

By this time next year, residents of Tottenham will have a better water source.

New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne said a $16 million water pipeline from Beeton to Tottenham is currently in the works and should be completed around March of 2021.

“Tottenham has had bursts of growth and there’s more demand for good water,” explained Mayor Milne, who has served as Mayor or Deputy Mayor for almost 30 years.

The pipeline will run water to the community from Collingwood and blend it with the well water that currently services most Tottenham residents.

Mayor Milne said the project is in its second year and would have been set for completion sooner but was delayed by 16 months because a Town resident took the project to the Ministry for approval.

Another area of focus for Mayor Milne in the year ahead is putting a transit system into place for the town and county.

He said by the end of 2020 a Simcoe County bus service will run through Alliston, Beeton, and Bradford.

For just the Town of New Tecumseth, an internal bus service that travels through Alliston, Tottenham and Beeton is expected to be in place by early 2021 at the latest, Mayor Milne noted.

Town staff, he added, are now exploring opportunities for grants from higher levels of government to offset the transit system’s cost.

“We’re just looking everywhere for financial help, whether provincial or even federal,” noted Mayor Milne.

He told the Times around 10 years ago a private system ran from Bradford to Penetang and before that there was a route from Penetang to New Tecumseth to Toronto that was stopped because it was no longer financially viable.

Meanwhile, potential locations for a new Town Civic Centre are being explored as Council tries to determine their best path going forward, said Mayor Milne.

A location was picked by the last term of Councillors at the former Alliston Union Public School (25 Albert Street) that was purchased by the Town in July of 2016.

However, it was determined that the costs to convert it into a town centre would be around $18 million and half of Council felt it was too high, according to Mayor Milne.

“Right now, everything is stopped on that school building until we decide what we’re going to do,” he noted.

Council had a 5-5 vote on whether to move forward with the school location and, because it’s a tie, the project has been put on hold.

The former school location that was proposed is in a central location beside the Alliston Memorial Arena and Curling Club.

It’s also in close proximity to the Alliston Fire Station and PPG Park.

When looking at the Town’s economy, Mayor Milne said seven out of ten of Simcoe County’s large industrial operations are inside New Tecumseth.

The largest employer is Honda Canada which has a staff of approximately 5,000.

In the south end of Town there’s also F&P Manufacturing, which produces automotive parts and employs around 800 people.

Roughly 500 workers are employed at Baxter as well, which makes IV bags for hospitals around the world.

With all of the different industries in town, Mayor Milne said the community’s economy is thriving,

“We are booming in housing,” he enthused. “We have some large subdivisions that will be bringing people into the area.”

That being said, filling all of the available positions for New Tecumseth’s larger employers is an obstacle, according to Mayor Milne.

“There’s several companies that are wanting help and are looking for help,” he remarked.

“Our challenge is that we’ve got all these jobs and we don’t have enough people to fill them.”

Fortunately, Georgian College is just 40 km away from New Tecumseth and offers courses that are financially supported by Honda Canada which provide specific training for students who want to work for them in town.

When looking back at what’s been accomplished since the new term of council was sworn in following the municipal election in October 2018, Mayor Milne said he’s most proud of all the small projects that have been completed in New Tecumseth.

Each year residents of Beeton deal with flooded properties and roads, so the Town conducted a study to see how the problem can be addressed.

Mayor Milne said some of the developers that have come to Beeton have helped re-route part of the water to avoid flooding.

He told the Times repairing and improving the town’s infrastructure has also been in focus as they’ve recently replaced a little over $2 million in roadways.

“We’re doing more paving, we’re doing more sidewalks,” Mayor Milne noted.

In addition to upgrading roads, he said they’re working with police to prevent speeding through certain areas of the Town.


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