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Scugog's Mayor discusses a number of topics at recent luncheon event

DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: Township of Scugog Mayor Wilma Wotten provided her input and information on a number of topics at a Mayor’s Luncheon event on Tuesday, March 26th.

The annual event was held at the Scugog Community Recreation Centre in Port Perry by the Scugog Chamber of Commerce.

Unlike past years where the format was a presentation from the Mayor, this year’s event had a “fireside chat” where emcee Jonathan van Bilsen asked the local mayor questions.

One of the questions involved the Township’s waterfront revitalization plan, which includes the upcoming rehabilitation of Port Perry’s Water Street.

“We plan to start that rehabilitation in mid-August or near the end of August. So kind of after most of the summer season and it will go on into late [Autumn]. The road will be closed. It will only be open to local traffic and access to driveways and businesses which are there,” Mayor Wotten explained.

The Mayor also noted there are plans to put a new washroom facility in Palmer Park and the Township will also be focused on the pre-servicing phase for the new splash pad for the park.

Mayor Wotten was also asked what the Township is doing to attract new businesses to the municipality.

The local mayor noted the Business Expansion and Retention Plan the municipality and the Region of Durham collaborated on.

“That data is being analyzed as we speak and we expect a report sometime in April basically telling us what we do well and what we don’t do well at all. From that we will formulate some plans and see where we can go from there.”

There was also a hint of changes to Port Perry’s Queen Street, involving what was referred to as a “pedestrian pod.”

“There is talk of an upgrade to Queen Street and as part of that we are hoping to create a pedestrian pod at the Post Office, which would basically be a pop out in front of the Post Office which would be more seating, possibly an entertainment area,” Mayor Wotten explained. “It may take away a couple of parking spots but in the planning they have addressed how we can accommodate them.”

Local resident Larry Corrigan asked for an update on housing developments and seniors housing specifically.

“There’s quite a few opportunities for our community for housing. There are also quite a few challenges which are going along with that. First and foremost, the Region is still waiting for their Official Plan,” Mayor Wotten responded. “So we’re still waiting for that.”

Mayor Wotten also noted she’s been advocating for more long term care and seniors housing as well over the last three or four years, and the Township is in early discussions with one company for a mixed use development. However, she stated that project so far is only in concept and the Township hasn’t yet received a site plan for it.

“My goal, if I could say what I wanted, is to be able to build attainable housing. One of the other challenges we’ve heard from the medical profession is in order to bring doctors and nurses to our community, we need to find some housing. It’s quite imperative and as you know I’m an advocate to try and make it happen for us.”

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