CHARLTON-DACK – Municipality of Charlton and Dack Reeve Merrill Bond is optimistic about the future for his municipality, and for the surrounding area.
He is seeing improvements for his municipality, and new opportunities and cost-savings from working with other municipalities.
The new year will be one of continuing road work.
The shared services agreement with Chamberlain Township has been beneficial for both municipalities, and Charlton-Dack plans to continue working on this shared services agreement with the township in the new year.
“We feel it will be just about finished next year.”
The municipality purchased a new brush mower in 2019, and hopes to carry out all the brush mowing needed in 2020. The municipality also plans to rent the mower to Chamberlain if it is needed there, noted Bond.
To oversee the shared services agreement, a committee has been formed with includes Bond and Chamberlain Reeve Kerry Stewart. It also includes the deputy reeves – Charlton-Dack Councillor Debbie Veerman and Chamberlain Councillor Cary Hager. The chief administrative officer for both townships, Dan Thibeault, records the meetings of the shared-services committee.
Bond said if a problem is ever encountered, a meeting is immediately called to find a solution, “so you don’t have anything behind you to worry about. You can just keep moving forward. I’m really impressed with what’s going on.”
The Municipality of Charlton and Dack conducted another municipal survey in 2019 to continue to provide guidance for the council.
The municipality had “an extremely good year last year” with donations for fireworks, said Bond, and plans are in place to expand the July 1 fireworks event in Charlton, with plans to provide activities for children. Efforts are also underway to attract food vendors.
The municipality will be finalizing its asset management plan, said Bond. The plan is required “to help improve long-term capital decision making.”
The municipality has applied for funding to add fire hydrants in the Bradley subdivision, he said. The Clarksville subdivision water line project has now been completed with new fire hydrants.
The municipality is continuing to invest in its capital water plant upgrades in Charlton “to help improve the long-term efficiency of the system,” Bond commented.
In 2019 the municipality resurfaced three roads with six inches of gravel at a cost of more than $80,000. The roads include Beaver Road, a section of Brentha Road, and Mills Creek Road North. The municipality also replaced a large culvert on Sprucegrove Road that had collapsed.
Work was completed on the renovation of the Charlton Heritage Centre in 2019.
Some park signs were also upgraded to provide more information.
Many of the park areas, including playground equipment, received a new coat of paint.
Progress continues with the proposal for a Northern Ontario Centre for Sustainable Development in Charlton, which is being pursued by a committee headed by Ambrose Raftis. The project has now been approved for charitable status, meaning that charitable tax receipts can be provided for donations.
Bond is a member of a new area economic development committee begun in 2019 which includes Charlton-Dack, Englehart, Evanturel Township and Chamberlain.
The committee has prepared pamphlets to advertise the area, said Bond, and plans to send the pamphlets to the mines, including a couple of new mines which are opening.
“These people are going to be looking for houses and places to live and we have a beautiful area here.”
Bond noted that the councils of the four area municipalities held a Christmas party together this year “for the first time in history. It was something that I thought I never would see but that’s a start. It’s always good to sit down and have a meal.”