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The Huron Chamber of Commerce recognizes the importance of participating in the municipal affairs of our region.  We endeavour to attend as many council meetings as possible, in addition to our presence at many of the committees and boards of the various councils.  Here we provide an update on some recent council meetings.

Goderich – April 8th, 2024

Town of Goderich LogoJenna Ujiye and Lisa Hood from Goderich Tourism shared that the inaugural “Salt and Harvest Festival” had won a number of prestigious awards including Best New Event at the Festivals & Events Ontario Awards and the Chamber’s Spirit of Success Community Impact Award. It was announced that this year’s festival would incorporate the popular West Coast Blues Festival. Representatives from festival sponsors Royal LePage Heartland Realty and Compass Minerals were in attendance.

BM Ross and the GSP Group unveiled a draft proposal for revitalizing the downtown streetscape. The urgency of this project stems from the fact that much of the underground infrastructure is now over a century old, posing a risk of requiring emergency repairs at any time. The plan aims to strategically schedule construction to minimize disruptions and avoid unnecessary expenditures, thereby supporting local businesses and ensuring decisions benefit future generations. The additional landscaping and streetscaping in this “preferred plan” would cost the town approximately $2 million more than the minimum required to replace the infrastructure and return the Square to its current state. The council has requested that staff develop a financial strategy to advance this critical project. A PDF of the presentation slides is here:

Central Huron – April 15th, 2024

Township of Central Huron LogoVicki Lass and Chris Watson from Huron County Economic Development presented their report to council regarding a feasibility study of the former Bluewater Youth Centre property on Highway 21 south of Goderich. The plan involves the creation of Green Agricultural Closed Loop Industrial Park anchored by a Renewable Natural Gas facility in partnership with the Royal Danish Consulate General.
The study is estimated to cost between $30-50k with funded by the Danish Embassy up to $50k. The report recommended the formation of a Working Group to guide the project as it moves forward.  Council approved the associated motions contained within the report and further asked staff to put recommend composition of the working group.  The Huron County report can be downloaded here: DOCUMENT LINK

Huron County – April 17th, 2024

Huron County LogoCounty Council received a report from Cheryl Patience, Manager of Ontario Works and Children’s Services, regarding the establishment of 85 new child care spaces in Goderich.  The County is supporting the for-profit provider to complete the required licencing process.  Availability of child care is an important consideration for businesses seeking to locate in our municipalities and for existing businesses to attract new employees.  The new spaces may take up to a year to become available, but it is a positive step.

Alecia Anderson, Coordinator Tourism & Local Food, presented a report on the very successful Maple Mania campaign that took place throughout Huron County including several of our members: Coastal Coffee, Part II Bistro, Robinson’s Maple Products, West St Willy’s Eatery.  Over 1100 people participated in the various events and activities.  Alecia’s presentation can be found here: LINK

Brittany Wise, Huron Business Centre Manager, reported that the County’s Small Business Enterprise Centre had extended its agreement with the provincial government which includes increased funding for the Summer Company and Starter Company programs.