A look back at 2017 – Part 1

It was a very busy news year

January

The month started off cold (but not as cold as this year!) with temperatures in the – 10 range. It did warm up in mid January.

The Harlton Family Foundation donated $50,000 to the “Someone I Know” campaign.

The OPP reported the theft of two bikes in separate incidents. One was stolen on Waterloo Street South and the other on James Street.

The OPP and paramedics responded to a stabbing at a residence on Jones Street West. As a result Paul McNabb was charged with assault causing bodily harm under the Criminal Code.

Following a public meeting, Town Council voted unanimously in favour of seeking approval from the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to bring the Stratford Police Services to St. Marys.

The Town issued a reminder to the operators of snow vehicles, including snowmobiles, that the Town By-law prohibits driving on sidewalks, boulevards, St. Marys Cemetery boundaries or on Town parklands. It is also prohibited to drive after 11 PM or before 7AM.

Perth South Council held a moment of silence for Dan Rankin and passed a resolution to donate $100 to the Dan Rankin Scholarship Fund at DCVI.

Charlie Albers on behalf of the Army Navy and Air Force Unit 265, presented a cheque for $300 to Constable Barry Cookson, to be donated to the Salvation Army Food Drive.

St. Marys Memorial Hospital declared a gastrointestinal (gastro) outbreak on the Inpatient Unit.

The OPP were called to investigate several break and enters in Zorra Township at Happy Hills Resort.

The Town is reviewing how it can best communicate information to residents and businesses by asking for public input by having an on-line survey for the month of January.

The Heinz Employment Centre was open on Queen Street to assist those employees who had lost their jobs after the Heinz plant was closed in November.

Town Council approved plans for the reconstruction of the Wellington Bridge.

Town Council approved new rates for the Daycare Centre. The new rates increase the cost by 3.6%.

John McIntosh, chair of the Hospital Foundation, announces that the “Someone I Know” campaign has hit the $4.5 million mark in the quest to raise $5 million.

Andrea Strathdee, daughter of Mayor Al and Gloria Strathdee, was selected to be part of a historic group called “Daughters of the Vote”, whose mandate is to increase female representation in all levels of government in Canada.

George Brown Athletics announced the appointment of Tom Valcke as Head Coach of the men’s baseball team.

February

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announces that Roy Halladay, Vladimir Guerrero, Doug Hudlin, Ray Carter and Team Canada 2015 would be inducted this year into the Hall.

Town Treasurer Jim Brown announces that if no more changes are made, the tax increase will be 4.47% this year. This would mean an average increase $131 per household.

Thanks to the outpouring of support from the community, nearly $16,000 was raised for the Dan Rankin Memorial Scholarship at DCVI. For each of the next 16 years a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be provided to a graduating St. Marys DCVI student interested in the discipline of writing (journalism, English).

Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, was acclaimed as the Progressive Conservative candidate for the next provincial election, expected in June 2018.

According to the latest census numbers, the population of St. Marys has increased to 7,265 up from the previous number of 6,655, which is an increase of 9.2%. The numbers for Perth South showed a decline of 4.6%, with the population going from 3,993 down to 3,810.

A “Cease and Desist” has been received from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for the St. Marys Lincolns “Chase the Ace”.

The Bell Tower at the Town Hall is once more operational and the bells will ring three times a day at 9 AM, 12 Noon and 6 PM.

Young 10 year-old Charlotte Clinton, donated $53.35 of her money that she had saved up to the ‘Someone I Know” Campaign, in support of the hospital.

The Avon Maitland District School Board announced that Dr. Lisa Walsh would be the new Director of Education effective April 1.

The South West LHIN Board of Directors have decided on a two-site residential hospice in Huron Perth, with 6 beds in Stratford and 4 beds in Central Huron.

The temperature in St. Marys hit the mid teens in the third week of the month.

Rob Taylor, former Chairman and President of McLean Taylor Construction, was inducted into the Ontario Road Building Hall of Fame.

The Law Professional Corporation Waghorn, Stephens, Sipos and Poulton donated $25,000 to the “Someone I Know” campaign.

March

The Perth OPP reported that a pickup truck left running and unlocked was stolen from the Tim Hortons parking lot but later recovered by another police agency.

The donations for the “Someone I Know” campaign continued with Harris-Greig Automotive donating $1,000.

Town Council agreed to a recommendation from the Heritage Committee that the Grand Trunk Railway Station Designation be amended. However, postponed a decision on whether to renew a contract with VIA Rail to continue selling tickets at the station or opt instead to switch to a kiosk. The new contract comes up for renewal in 2018.

The town announced initial plans for the Canada 150 celebration with Trent Severn and the White Pine Dancers planned to perform at Cadzow on Canada Day.

After an extensive public consultation, Cadzow park is one step closer to having a new playground. Town employees Grant Brouwer and Ray Cousineau visited local elementary schools to hear input from the school children.

To acknowledge the high quality of medical care and the artistic talent of Darlean Morris, St. Marys resident Gary Austin made a double donation to the “Someone I Know” campaign in her memory. He donated $25,000 to the hospital and a set of 4 abstract paintings to be used as an auction item at the upcoming Fundraising Gala.

The DCVI Senior Girls volleyball team win OFSAA gold.

The Town announces that the Library CEO Shannan Sword is no longer a Town employee.

Matt Wakem was presented with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at a ceremony in London.

St. Marys Snipers U-12 Provincial Petite Ringette team won the provincial championship with a 4-3 win over Dorchester in the final.

The Town approved the tender for the reconstruction of Emily Street at a cost of $2,941,643 which was over the original estimate of $2.6 million.

St. Marys Firefighters are going door to door as part of a spring public education campaign with information about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors etc.

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