Sunday, June 6, 2010

Haldimand "Sweet Dividend"

Haldimand Hydro dividend

By Jim Knisley

Jun 02, 2010

Albert Marshall, chair of Haldimand Hydro, presented Mayor Marie Trainer with a $691,445 dividend cheque on Monday.

The dividend is up 21 per cent from $515,808 paid last year.

Haldimand Hydro is wholly owned by Haldimand County. In the last 10 years it has paid more than $3 million in dividends to the county.

Haldimand Hydro undertook its largest-ever capital works program in 2009. The utility invested more than $7 million in a variety of projects. These included $2.8 million for the smart meter project, and the conversion to 27,500 volts of line sections on Central Lane,

Dunnville as well as lines near Moulton Sherbrook Townline Road. New line was also constructed along the lakeshore and a new line from the Jarvis transformer station to Hagersville was completed.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Haldimand "A Rumour is a Rumour"

I read with interest an article in the Sachem this week in regards to the ground-breaking ceremony and the fundraising efforts for the new Dunnville Arena.

As reported in the paper, Councillor Boyko stated that Provincial and Federal officials can’t seem to get it together for a date for the ground-breaking ceremony and this in part has started the “rumour mill”. Apparently one of the rumours is that the arena is not going to be built! And the rumours are “undercutting” the fund raising efforts!

Another issue that arose in the article was that if the fundraisers do not meet their goal that this could hurt “future” cost sharing projects! ???

So let’s talk about “Fundraising” in general. I certainly know how challenging this can be. In today’s economy “all” charities are feeling the crunch! In Dunnville alone we have many charities that need our help… name just a few…….The Salvation Army (food bank in particular), the hospital, the 150th committee, Mudcat festivities and the list goes on…..Are rumours “undercutting” the efforts of the new arena fundraiser?

I don’t think so…..a rumour is just that a rumour……

To add to the above, I have been actively campaigning in Dunnville for Ward 6 Councillor and I can tell you without a doubt this is the first I have heard of this “rumour” that the fundraising committee is having problems and the arena may not be built! Everything that we have read in the papers to this date have been positive!

Whenever there is a cost sharing venture between the county and residents, there are never any “guarantees”, period…..and never has been! To make a statement that if the funds are not achieved that this could jeopardize future ventures is absurd to say the least!

The committee raising funds for the new arena (over a million dollars) has a big job ahead of them. To raise this kind of money from a small communtiy is a huge feat! I have heard of no time frames from the county. As with any fundraisers, you plug on until you meet your goal! When I look at raising over a million dollars, I look at what local companies will donate and how much they will give? Then you look at the remainder that will be raised, by say golf tournaments, 50/50 ticket sales, dances etc…and of the course the smaller donations from residents ranging from $5.00 to $25.00 dollars.

Now let’s get to the “rumour mill”! This is not the first or last rumour that will go around in the community! So let's' ask why? Could it be a lack of "“communication”?

Have there been regular meetings from both the committee and the county to let the community know what is going on? Like I have said in the past, in Haldimand County we have a problem with “communications”. We have “weekly papers” and if you miss reading one weeks paper, you can miss it all! If you want to know what the county is doing it is up to you to seek out the information by going to a council meeting or checking out the website.

I have a simple solution to the above problems!

“Town Hall Meetings”!

It is time to stop “blaming” the residents!

Vote for Donna Pitcher, Ward 6 Councillor! Together we can open up the lines of communication!

“Your Voice will be Heard”

Groundbreakings cancellations have been starting rumours

By Jim Knisley

Jun 02, 2010

Councillor Lorne Boyko hopes that representatives of provincial and federal governments will soon be ready for their photo op.

Boyko told council that three dates for an official sod-turning for the new arena have been set and cancelled because a representative was unable to attend.

"Because of the grant money the province and the federal government have to be there for the photo op," he said.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but the cancellations have fired up the rumour machine. This includes rumors that the project may not go forward.

The rumors are groundless. "Both projects (the Cayuga and Dunnville arenas) are going ahead," he said.

Mayor Marie Trainer added her voice and said the arenas will be built.

Chief Administrative Officer Don Boyle said the unfounded rumors are causing real damage.

"This has been hindering fundraising efforts," he said.

The groups trying to raise money for Dunnville's new arena and community hall took on a major challenge. The rumors are undercutting their efforts.

This could also be a problem down the road. If the fundraising efforts for the arena come up short and the county has to cover the shortfall, county council may be hesitant or unwilling to sign on to future cost-shared projects.

As to a second ice pad in Dunnville, the new arena is being built so that a second pad can be added when needed.

Councillor Craig Grice said unfounded, ill-informed rumors aren't just a Dunnville problem.

He said in Caledonia there are all kinds of rumors about DCE.

"I've been hearing for years about traps in DCE. I've walked DCE, there is nothing there," he said.

Currently, there are efforts underway to cleanup DCE and unfounded ill-informed rumors may impede that.

In both Dunnville and Caledonia rumors can really hurt, he said.

The best way to deal with rumors is to contact people who know what is going on. "Contact the right people if you want the right information," he said.