Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015 Fall Enewsletter

This is the enewsletter that we sent out to our residents and ratepayers. If you want to get it delivered right to your inbox, go to assiginack.ca and click on the newsletter button.

We are trying to stay connected to you through various social media platforms to keep you informed of what our wonderful community of Assiginack has been up to. This letter is an overview of 2015 and lists both the challenges we continue to face, and all the fun events and activities that happened around our community.
This year saw the replacement of our streetlights with new LED lights which after payback should see a huge reduction in our energy costs for street lighting.  The solar panels on the public works garage roof continue to exceed projections and we are now expecting a reduced payback.  We continue to await the new Certificate of Approval for our landfill site, recycling depot expansion and so we again ask for your cooperation in recycling efforts. 
The new municipal office and council chambers are to be completed by year end.  This will allow the expansion of the library and allow that facility to better respond to the new and increasing demand for learning resources.
We continue to work with the Ontario Clean Water Agency to find cost savings and efficiencies in the operation of our water and wastewater systems.

 2015 has been a year in which we have dealt with increased costs in hydro-electricity, O.P.P. policing, social services and many other costs that we have no control over.  Over 20% of your municipal tax dollar flows out of the municipality to fund services we have no local say over.  Transportation and public works costs represent a further 16% of the budget and our Public Works crew works diligently to look after 100 kilometres of roads and be available for every demand that we have no other option for, often on very short notice.

Council is also working to take advantage of the increased communication options available through social media and we are also learning as we go but with a municipality as diverse as ours, it is a necessity to take advantage of every option technology makes available.
2015 started out with a new sliding hill made by our Public Works Department at the Information booth that quickly became a huge hit for kids! The Fire Department, always ready to step up and get involved, hosted a night slide that brought out over 100 enthusiastic kids and parents complete with hot chocolate and hot dogs.

The winter also allowed residents to borrow snowshoes from the municipality thanks to an RBC grant that encourages people to get out and be active. Assiginack Public School also borrowed the snowshoes so that the students could have the opportunity to learn a new activity.
Family Day had the residents at the arena and fairgrounds participating in a fun kids hockey tournament, sliding and snowshoeing with 2 local Special Olympians.  
During March break we ran our second annual craft nights filled with unique crafts and activities for children and parents to participate in. Similar to the year before, we sold out of every single class as kids learned to crochet, knit and build bird houses.
Assiginack is very fortunate to partner with Noojmowin Teg Health Centre that encourages kids to be active, throughout the year sessions including badminton, early morning hockey, karate, and floor hockey were conducted in Manitowaning.

We received a grant from Tree Canada that allowed us to plant edible trees at our waterfront and at the elementary school. We look forward to the edible part to happen in a couple years!
As always the summer brought about your summer recreation program for the kids to participate in which included camping, sports and swimming lessons at our beach.

July 1st we rocked the beach with a big Canada Day party and activities for kids and a fun cardboard boat race!

We were thrilled to receive a grant from Hydro One for playground equipment at our local beach and took the opportunity to expand the beach area and create a nice area for a playground in which more equipment will be added this coming spring. Thanks Public Works for a great job!
Summerfest was once again well attended with so many community members volunteering their time to make it happen.
Our newest addition to the community was the installation of a deer statue up at our Information Booth on highway 6 in an effort of attracting tourists to Assiginack.

Our second annual Whitetail Deer Show was held in August, and the attendance was fantastic and everyone enjoyed themselves. The talks from the guest speakers and the venison cook off were definitely highlights for the attendees! Plans are underway for the next one.
This fall our Public Works has done a major renovation and upgrade to McLean’s Park with a new parking lot, 3 new trails and we are planning to make it year round access by grooming our trails in the winter. Thanks RBC for the donation! 
Our website has undergone an upgrade in hopes of making it more user friendly to the public as well as more informative.  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter found on our website www.assiginack.ca.
Our social media continues to increase in popularity so much so that we were ranked 13th in a recent survey that tabulated all 444 municipalities, in use of social media. Thanks to a twitter comment, one of our residents was mentioned by our M.P.P. Mike Mantha in Provincial Parliament.
Our local staff and residents donated fresh produce to the Manitoulin Food bank grown in their edible gardens throughout town.
Our seniors had the opportunity to take computer classes to keep them updated with all the technology changes and more connected in the community thanks to a provincial government grant. The Township also secured another grant in which allows computer classes to take place for a second year and those are currently underway and will continue into 2016.
We hosted a movie night at the arena for families this fall that brought 100 residents out as well as neighbouring communities.
Our barn quilt tour continues to garner attention from tourists, the map can be located on our website.

For the third year in a row Assiginack has won the Glory Days competition put on by the Manitoulin Expositor.
Our Pumpkin Festival took place October 25th and it was fun to see the kids decorating cupcakes and pumpkins and of course the excitement of the catapult competition is the popular grand finale!
As always, you can find us on facebook, twitter, and Instagram to keep up to speed on everything we are doing!
We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge all the community members that volunteer so much time in organizations around the municipality to make this place as vibrant as it is!  To that end, we need to point out the retirement of our Fire Chief Allan Elliott this fall after more than 40 years of service.  We really have no adequate way to say Thank You for all you have committed to our municipality, but we do appreciate it!


Mayor and Council

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