Timmins State of the City Address – by Mayor Tom Laughren (October 17, 2011)

Timmins is the second largest hard-rock mining community in Canada. – Stan Sudol

Given to the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, October 17, 2011

Thank you for the kind introduction. Good Afternoon. It is a pleasure to join you for the Timmins Chamber of Commerce’s Annual State of the City Address and kick off to the Annual Small Business Week …. Power up your Business: Invest, Innovate, Grow … a theme that applies equally to municipal government.

A big thank you to the sponsors of this event: Ontario Power Generation and Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, two significant contributors to our City.

I’m happy to see so many people attend the annual State of the City event. It’s very gratifying to so many people take an active interest in the state of our city, our community. All of us chose this city as the place to build our dreams, and raise our families. We believe in it passionately and when we tell people we’re from Timmins, there’s a great pride in our voices for this city… a city with a rich history, an impressive legacy of civic engagement and of defying expectations. My goal is to see our city grow stronger so future generations can look back on our decisions and know we put civic responsibility first.
I want to start my remarks today by introducing members of Council: Michael Doody, Gary Scripnick, John Curley, Pat Bamford, Andrew Marks, Todd Lever, Steve Black and Noella Rinaldo. I want to thank all of you for your hours of meetings, real discussion and difficult decision-making. You have demonstrated how people of diverse opinions can work well together to provide direction for our city.

As Mayor of this great city I am privileged to lead such an impressive team, and I have no doubt in my mind about their desire and their ability to build a greater, better Timmins. I am confident of our ability to work together to address the many issues that face the City and to capitalize from the many opportunities that we are blessed with. Teamwork is essential for this organization to succeed during the tough economic challenges that lie ahead. Brainstorming, hard work, contribution, and vision of all members together will ensure that our community continues to be successful as it has been over the last 100 years.

Andrew Carnegie dubbed “one of the richest men in the world summed it up best when he said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results”

We can achieve great things when we come together with common purpose – and when we share that belief and conviction with others.

Much of our past successes has come as a result of partnerships: within our neighborhoods, with our neighboring cities, with the province, with the federal government and as we go forward with our bold vision, I welcome the opportunity to work with all of the partners, in areas that range from safe neighborhoods, education, health care, First Nation relations to government policy that affects the livelihood of resourced based communities, and everything in between. I will continue to act in your best interest always striving to implement policies that will provide all of you with the best quality of life, from jobs to housing, world class education and healthcare, leisure and recreation and competitive taxation rates. In the end I want all of us to boast of how great a place the City of Timmins is to live, learn and play.

Also with me today is a fairly large contingent of City of Timmins employees led by our CAO, Mr. Joe Torlone. While City Council approves policy … it’s this group of dedicated employees and their teams who work diligently at delivering service excellence to the citizens of Timmins. Thank you!
Also, I say thank you to the hundreds of community volunteers who’ve helped our departments, served on committees and advisory bodies, or stepped up for their neighborhoods or non-profits. You make Timmins a great city to live, learn and play in.

Ladies and gentlemen, on Oct 6 2010 I was humbled and honored to accept the offer from the people of Timmins to serve as Mayor for a second term. One of the key priorities for me was to launch a robust public engagement strategy….a strategy that would engage citizens, staff, and various other key stakeholders to assist us with the task of drafting a Strategic Plan that would guide us in our efforts to diversify our economy, create additional assessment, enhance the economic benefits associated with our vibrant industries, mining, health care and post secondary education and finally, continue to grow our reputation of being a Regional Centre of Excellence for the residents living in North Eastern Ontario and North Western Quebec.

We’re well on our way! After months of public consultations, research, and analysis, the Timmins Community Action Committee reviewed the findings of the Vision 2020 plan with five main areas were identified for action:

– Improve communications
– Rebuild Confidence and civic pride
– Stimulate investments
– Strenghten social and cultural fabric
– Diversify through leveraging of new business

This planning exercise will also allow council to set priorities based on the available financial resources and highlight the “must have” VS the “nice to have” wish list. Simply put, this Statement of Directions and Priorities will be at the forefront of budget and capital expenditures, in the work programs of our Departments, Committees and Boards, in the long range financial, operating and infrastructure plans, in staff reports to Council, in the development of skills among staff and finally, in the focus and organization of Departments.

In the end it is my hope that City Council will place its highest priority on the efforts of the Timmins community to diversify its economic base and develop a more sustainable local economy. The plan will encourage an innovative, coordinated and cohesive approach, building on Timmins’ regional role, and will support a consistent long term focus for the economic development efforts of the City, community organizations and senior governments.

The plan will engage members of our growing Aboriginal population to ensure we are working together. Building bridges between our cultures, and developing mutually beneficial partnerships with the many First Nation agencies that are located here and in the James Bay Lowlands is an important priority of this Council. Just 2 weeks ago, the City signed an historic MOU with the Mushkegowuk Council as a first step towards achieving this objective. According to Grand Chief Stan Loutitt, “the MOU recognizes Timmins as a regional service centre for Northern Ontario and sets the framework for the Mushkegowuk and Timmins communities to initiate economic development opportunities and partnerships for years to come”.

City Council and staff will maintain a prudent and accountable balance between the economic and service needs of the community and the resources available to the City. The balance will be based on forward – looking financial plans which sustain City infrastructure and support the City’s role in the local economy, while adapting to trends in the City’s assessment base and senior government funding.

Council is committed to a sustainable long – term plan for City infrastructure, which maintains the quality of life for our residents, and makes us attractive to investors. Council will consider new infrastructure which support economic development and potential partnerships for infrastructure funding and operation.

City Council will foster teamwork, good customer service for the public, and sound financial practices. Council’s priorities and directions will be used by administration to develop business plans which direct resources accordingly and with measurable outcomes.

Administration will be asked to identify synergies between Departments in an effort to benefit from cost efficiencies. Furthermore, all partnership opportunities and revenue streams will be evaluated and considered.

Timmins has moved forward, even during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We have welcomed many new companies to our City and watched as many others expanded. The confidence of these companies in Timmins is genuine. They see a city with an incredible quality of life and skilled workforce, and a municipal government that lives within its means as it thinks long-term. And they’re right. Despite a challenging economy, Timmins has set the pace while other cities have hit the brakes.

We must continue transforming our economy into a more diverse, more dynamic, and more durable engine of growth.

Mining exploration, production and after market mine related industries will continue to play an important role. The City is currently host to an unprecedented number of active exploration companies currently working on hundreds of projects in the Porcupine Camp. Furthermore, long term plans from companies such as Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, Kidd Creek Mines, Liberty Mines, Lake Shore Gold, De Beers, Kirkland Lake Gold, Northgate’s Mattachewan Mine and Detour Mine are having a huge impact on the state of our city and all re-enforce the fact that Timmins is a City of opportunity with hundreds of employment opportunities available in the community.

Despite the uncertainties still plaguing the forestry sector, our community is blessed with two survivors, Eacom and Little John Enterprises.

Our rich resource based economy continues to be an attractive catalyst for our small business sector which continues to provide significant growth and employment. According to Timmins Square Manager, Brenda McLeish, “there have been many changes at Timmins Square during the last 12 months”. Nationals such as CD Plus have not survived the economic storm and their unfortunate demise has made way for new businesses interested in the Timmins and regional market. Additions such as Campus Crew, Lids and most recently David’s Tea have all been well received. J & B Cycle and Marine is currently constructing a new 2100 sq ft new concept store called Off Road Revolution scheduled to open before Christmas. These developments underscore two important elements: the City’s youth population and their disposal income. According to Brenda, “The shopping centre currently has the lowest vacancy rate of all large enclosed malls in Northern Ontario with many stores leading the pack in their national chain for sales increases.”

On the home front:

Public Safety continues to be an important priority and many pro-active initiatives were introduced and are currently being implemented by the Timmins Police Services :

 The Timmins Police Service and Police Services Board unveiled a three year business plan. The plan outlines the direction and strategies that the Timmins Police Service will follow to achieve continued success.

 The police service remained committed to community patrol with the continuation of the Community Oriented Foot Patrol Unit. The assigned officers can be regularly seen in the downtown core.

 The Timmins Police Service strives to improve relations with First Nations communities. There has been a continued effort with training of staff in the understanding of local issues facing our First Nations community. The officer exchange program with the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service will continue and will be expanded to allow for officers from the Timmins Police Service to deliver a modified DARE program to school aged children in Moose Factory.

 A School Liaison Officer program has been introduced in every elementary and secondary school within the city. The program will see all officers assigned to uniformed patrol, act as liaison officers. Each officer will be assigned to a specific school and some schools will have two officers based on population. The program will establish and foster positive relationships between the police, students and faculty at each school.

Victor M Power Timmins Airport:

 The Airport is operated under a mandate that it shall not use tax dollars for its operation. The Airport has been self-sufficient since the City of Timmins negotiated the transfer from the Federal Government (Transport Canada) on October 8, 1999.

 Air Service is provided by Air Canada Jazz, Air Creebec, Bearskin Airlines, Thunder Airlines, Air Bravo& Wasaya. Currently, there are 6 flights daily from Timmins to Toronto and many flights to various destinations north, east, and west.

 On October 13, Porter Airlines confirmed that effective January 16 2012 they would begin service to and from Timmins with 3 daily return flights to Toronto.

 Two based dedicated Medevac aircraft are now based at the Ornge hanger

 Continued fire survey and suppression from both aircraft and helicopters based at the MNR hanger

 Nav Canada replaced our Instrument Landing System (ILS) this past summer, an investment of over $1.2 million dollars

 Nav Canada and airport working to develop Global Positioning System (GPS) approaches to remaining runways – This will allow aircraft to land with lower weather criteria

 Behind the scene upgrades to protect persons and property with increased video surveillance equipment

 Aircraft movements are on track for a slight increase (perhaps 1000 movements) over 2011..

 Expect passenger numbers to increase as well.

 Requests from both public and private sector with interest in building hangers

 City met with the Canadian Space Agency and their counterpart space agency from France to be considered as a host city for the launch of high altitude balloons. We met with representatives of both agencies followed by a site visit. We are currently competing with Rouyn and Saskatoon.

Tourism Timmins:

– developing a new strategy that will be supported by 4 product pillars: city, tours, attractions & events; outdoor adventures; sports tourism; and convention &conferences

– Industry product teams will be appointed to provide input into strategy and tactics

– released a full colour, bilingual tourism magazine positioning City as one with The Great Outdoors and More

– Supporting the 27th annual Canadian Geographic photo contest grand prize giveaway

– Featured in Horizon Travel Magazine, BackRoads Mapbook, GIS Fishing Map, Festivals & Events Ontario, My Vacation Pages,

– Ontario Wilderness Magazine, Ontario Summer Guide, Summer Fun Guide, Supertrax, TATA Snowmobile Map, and on all TTC subway platforms and Union Station.

– Tourism Timmins exhibited at the International Plowing Match and is getting ready to attend the Bienvenue Quebec and OMCA Motor Coach Marketplaces.

– Leveraged some $200,000 in exposure by participating in the Ontario’s North partnership.
Downtown Timmins:

 2011 saw the establishment of a test project in the Downtown Timmins BIA.

 The Urban Park project was established to attract the 3000 workers in the downtown area to become more engaged with the area they work in every day. It was a venue to allow nonprofit groups a space to educate the general public on their agendas.

 With the street closure came patio areas were the public were encouraged to engage, meet and participate with the merchants in a comfortable pedestrian friendly area.

 It encouraged business in the downtown area to find a more relaxed, larger client base at its doorstep allowing them to market their products in new ways. Merchants reported a 15 %increase to their business throughout the project

 The project was a success, the area was vibrant, and quickly became established as a meeting place for the residents of Timmins.

 The Urban Park Market with a goal of educating residents and visitors on sustainable regional farming was a hit. Local and regional farmers embraced the mid week opportunity with brisk sales all summer long.
 The downtown is starting a year of change. With little to no street vacancies available, new businesses are improving their store fronts..

 As the downtown embraces the location of the bus terminal this year and a new traffic flow it looks forward to an exciting year of challenges and change for the BIA.

The Timmins Economic Development Corporation

The Timmins Economic Development Corporation continues to work towards the creation of a positive business environment for new and existing entrepreneurs. They are working on a variety of different projects that will create and maintain new economic benefits for the City of Timmins.

TEDC continues to work with several hotel developers to bring new properties on stream in the City of Timmins. This will help us attract larger conferences and bring new potential for sports tourism opportunities two key pillars of the City of Timmins Tourism Strategy. We are currently working with four developers and one has committed thus far, the Hampton Inn, which will be a 92 room facility located in Downtown Timmins. This project alone is a 12 million dollar investment that will create approximately 35 new jobs. It will also bring new assessment revenue to the City.

The TEDC and the City have actively worked for the last 1.5 years to attract Cliffs Resources’ Ferrochrome Processing to the City of Timmins. This project represents one of the opportunities Timmins has for Ring of Fire business. We have also helped individual firms with key contacts to promote their services and products to the companies working in that area. Timmins firms should be actively promoting themselves to these firms at this time. The Ferrochrome processing facility would create approximately 500 construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs. Cliffs have visited the community on several occasions and I recently joined a Timmins delegation where we travelled to their Cleveland head office to lobby even further for this development.

Timmins Industrial Park:

The TEDC and City worked together to overcome an infrastructure gap in the community. There is a need to develop and extend a roadway and services along McBride and St. Jean to open up 85 acres of industrial land in the City of Timmins. We have applied for 1.5 million in funding from senior levels of government and we await their response. This work will be done and completed in 2012 should funding be approved.

Business Visits:

The TEDC staff and I are actively working on local Business Visits to determine how they can support local firms. The goal is to help them grow, prosper and tap into funding and services that they may not know exists. This year the TEDC will complete approximately 180 visits.

Since January, the TEDC has undertaken more than 900 client consultations, of which 39% have been existing businesses and 61% are new business start-ups. These entrepreneurs have created more than 80 new businesses, creating almost 50 full time jobs.

To date in 2011, the TEDC has helped more than 22 clients secure almost $1.5 million in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for their business activities, including start-up and expansion costs. The total investment in the community from these projects is more than $3.3 million.

The TEDC continues to ensure that businesses receive the support they need to be successful. In August, the Business Mentor program was launched. This program pairs existing business owners with new entrepreneurs who have been in business 6 months but less than 2 years. Together, our community is coming together to help each other. I would like to thank Steve Symes, Laura Laraman, Joanne Lachance, Julie Laflamme and Jason Perrat for agreeing to be mentors. If others are interested, you can contact Ross Macdonald at the TEDC.

The TEDC and the City are continuously working to find alternate uses for the Xstrata Metallurgical site since the company announced its closure. The background information, as well as, a marketing package for the site, has been completed and this information is available for potential users. Furthermore a study was undertaken for a private company to see if one of the production lines in the concentrator could be used to process other minerals. We continue to promote the site to mining as well as other heavy industrial users.

Timmins mining supply and services companies continue to be leaders in their fields. Working with Ontario North’s Economic Development Corporation, the TEDC is encouraging companies to apply to the mining supply and services exports assistance program. This program provides marketing assistance to companies interested in exporting their product and service outside of Northern Ontario. The TEDC will help companies leverage this funding program to participate in key mining shows like PDAC and MINExpo in Las Vegas in 2012.

Employer’s Council

TEDC received $71,095 in July 2011 for the Employer Ambassador Program to develop an Employers Council to address current and future labour shortages.

Farming Study

The TEDC made application on behalf of North East Community Network (NECN) and received $20,000 from the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC’s) to initiate a farming study to potentially create and maintain sustainable farming businesses with University of Guelph.

Local Immigration Partnership

The Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) received $119,000 from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to move forward with phase 2 of the project. In phase 1 – 18 recommendations were brought forward to work in 2011-2012

University Project

The goal of this project is to develop on-going post secondary educational opportunities to meet and fulfill the needs of the Timmins region and specifically designed for the challenges of program delivery in North Eastern Ontario.

 Algoma University commenced Fall 2011 with new programs in Timmins including Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Community Development + potential for additional courses

 Enhanced opportunities for new programs from additional Universities

Building Permit Summary:

The City’s skyline continues to change with the addition of a number of new residential, commercial, institutional, and industrialbuildings. To date building permit issued for the first 9 months of the year shows significant increases with a total of 432 permits issued compared to 325 for the same period last year. The value of permits for 2011 comes in at $47,688,378 compared to $31,088,939 one year ago.

Some City owned facilities have also been enhanced to better serve our residents and visitors:

– New home for the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre

– Face lift to the Sportsplex Pool change rooms and deck area.

– Addition of an elevator at the McIntyre Arena

– Site and building improvements for Timmins Transit

– The recovery of Bill Barilko/Dr. Hudson’s plane

Bill Barilko It was an emotional day that 14 Timmins residents will never forget. 60 years ago, in August of 1951, Dr. Henry Hudson and NHL Stanley Cup hero Bill Barilko of Timmins were on their way back to Porcupine Lake when their Fairchild plane disappeared. The largest search and rescue mission in Canadian history failed to turn up the missing aircraft. Finally, in 1962 an MNR pilot spotted what he believed to be plane wreckage about 40 miles north of Cochrane.

On Sunday a team of Timmins residents led by retired dentist Dr. John Shaw and project sponsor Bill Hughes pulled off a recovery mission that most people would consider impossible – they retrieved the wreckage and brought it home to Timmins.

The entire project was captured on film by documentary filmmaker Kevin Vincent, including the ceremonial return to Porcupine Lake, where Hudson’s plane, like other floatplanes over the years, was stationed. After several trips by Expedition Helicopters of Cochrane to ferry in the crew to a safe nearby landing spot, the recovery crew began a remarkable GPS-assisted trek through dense forest and often knee-deep, wet muskeg to reach the crash site. Led most of the way by Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren and local hockey booster Mike Mulryan, the group spent nearly two hours with axes and machetes battling their way into the crash site.

Exhausted but running on adrenaline, the group then spent nearly four hours retrieving and netting the wreckage, including the fuselage, the engine, the two floats, and the seat frames that Hudson and Barilko were strapped into that fateful day in 1951. Expedition Helicopters pilot Chad Calaiezzi and two Expedition staff members safely airlifted the wreckage from the site to Island Falls – a 5-minute flight – to a flatbed truck provided by Mike Mitchell of Mitchell Equipment.

The remarkable day included Wayne Bozzer of the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame Committee, local sports historian Richard Buell, former Timmins Daily Press reporter Ken Pagan, Mike Mitchell of Mitchell Equipment, and the recovery project’s sponsor, local businessman Bill Hughes.

But the emotional core of the group was Bill Barilko’s cousin Sandra Cattarello and Dr. Henry Hudson’s good friend Archie Chenier. Chenier was Dr. Hudon’s original fishing partner for the trip but he backed out at the last minute due to a couple of personal matters. Cattarello, accompanied by her longtime friend Art Bonsall, said and emotional prayer at the site after Dr. Shaw consecrated the area in honour of the two men.

Chenier, the 86-year old adventurist who once climbed Mt. Everest, slogged through the muskeg with everyone else and probably could have led the expedition. The return trek back to the landing area – which took considerable time was made significantly easier thanks to the bush flagging efforts of Timmins Economic Development Corporation chairman Dave McGirr.

Mitchell, Mulryan, Hughes and Dr. Shaw paused just before 10 o’clock last night at Porcupine Lake for a brief – and emotional symbolic gesture before transporting the wreckage to a safe undisclosed storage location. It was Mitchell’s idea to take a moment and bring the floats to the boat launch at Porcupine Lake. Dr Shaw and Mike Mulryan used empty Tim Horton’s cups to splash water on the floats to symbolically suggest that the plane finally made it home.

Tim Horton eventually replaced Barilko on the Toronto Maple Leafs defense corps. Barilko’s last goal was an overtime thriller in 1951 against Montreal that won the Leafs the cup. As the famous Tragically Hip song 50 Mission Cap states, they didn’t win another until 1962, the year the plane was discovered. Filmmaker Kevin Vincent will be releasing portions of the extraordinary recovery trip in the coming weeks and months. The wreckage is in safe storage as planning begins to develop a world-class exhibit, focused on the northern spirit that northerners, school children, and hockey fans across the country can enjoy.

Public Works & Engineering:

Roads

 We received from the MTO an allocation of $473,000 to spend on the connecting link in 2011.

 The gas tax funding of $2.6million has allowed the City to make some progress on our infrastructure needs.

 For a third year in a row, the City of Timmins along with the MRCA received a grant from the MOE to improve drainage along the Town Creek. In 2011, the grant will be applied to the re-construction of the culvert at the intersection of Brousseau and Tamarack.

 The City of Timmins 2011 Roads and Infrastructure Program should exceed $7 million in total expenditure (Waterloo/Jubilee, Huot, Maple and Brousseau Culvert)

Water

A new Pressure Reducing Valve Station in South Porcupine ($2.2 million project) is slated to be commissioned in November and will provide excellent safety of supply for those residents. The new station also included upgrades to the Tisdale Reservoir.

 An $800,000 process upgrade is to be commissioned at the Water Filtration Plant in November. This upgrade will replace lime in our post-treatment process with caustic soda. This project will provide better ph control during post-treatment and will also improve some of our health and safety issues associated with the handling of lime.

Sanitary

 The $60M Mattagami Plant upgrade is in its detail design stages. The installation of a new main sewer from EACOM to the plant was completed in October 2011. Tendering for construction to take place in the new year.

 The Utilities Department is focusing most of its engineering work in the East End of the community. An in-depth study is being completed with regards to upgrades to 6 existing lift stations. It is anticipated that significant investments will need to be made between 2012 and 2014 at those facilities.

 Upgrades to the existing communication system of 6 lift stations in the East End will be completed in early parts of 2012. Project value of $300,000.

Waste Collection

 Approximately 24,000 bins will have been delivered to support our new co-collection program. This huge operational shift will enable the City of Timmins to improve its diversion rate of garbage towards the recycling stream. This initiative will extend the life of the Deloro Landfill by many years. There were many challenges in implementing this new program (i.e train the employees, reduce our dependence on contractors, inform residents, review routing, etc.). Important to note that the program is only 2 months old and that the department continues to identify a few areas of improvements. 99% of the bins that were deployed have remained in place and only 1% of the residents have requested for a size change. The August and September tonnages for recycling are shown to be between 20% to 25% greater from previous years. A true measure of the program’s success.

North Eastern Ontario Geographic Information System Centre of Excellence Project:

The City of Timmins continues to lead a regional initiative implementing state-of-the-art municipal GIS projects in northeastern Ontario. The partnership has grown from 4 municipalities to 18 over the last 7 years with other partnership opportunities being explored. To date, the project has received more than $3.9 million of funding from senior government sources.

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service:

Ontario’s first accessibility standard, the Customer Service Standard, came into effect on January 1 2008, with compliance expected by January 1, 2010. Under the Customer Service Standards, the City of Timmins has established policies, practices and procedures for providing goods and services to people with disabilities. We have trained staff, volunteers, and contractors as outlined in the Customer Service Standards. We continue to strive to establish a process for people to provide feedback on how we provide goods and services to people with disabilities and how we will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints.

IT Department:

Website:

 Complete overhaul
 Improved usability and presentation of updates and information
 Improved web accessibility (upcoming AODA standards)
 Use of multimedia (ie. Community Videos) to showcase the City to visitors and potential new residents
 Tools to allow visitors to subscribe to website updates (RFP’s, public notices, service updates, careers, etc)

Free Wireless Internet Access Project:

 Through a partnership with NEOnet, NorthernTel provides coverage at the following sites:
o Mountjoy Arena
o Hollinger Park
o Gillies Lake sports field and beach
o Mattagami waterfront
o Timmins Chamber of Commerce
o Airport
o Regional Athletics & Sorts complex

 The I/T department alone provides coverage at:

o Whitney Arena
o Sportsplex Arena
o Sportsplex pool
o Confederation Multi-Sport facility
o City Hall Meeting Rooms
o Transit Terminal
o McIntyre Community Centre halls
o Timmins Police Community Boardroom

 And, in partnership with NorthernTel we cover the entire McIntyre Community Centre.

Network Growth

 Fibre optic network expansion to include new facilities such as the PRV water system site
 Private wireless radio and wi-fi network implementation has expanded our capability to deliver data services to:

o Put mobile computers in City vehicles, starting with Timmins Police; future expansion to Fire, by-law enforcement, building inspection, or any other field service operations that may require connectivity to our home data

o Plans are in place to use the wireless network for expansion of SCADA system for waste water treatment plants; greater and more timely control and monitoring of remote sites such as pumping and lift stations

o Implementation of an Automatic Vehicle Location system for City vehicles; Starting with Timmins Police vehicles; Expanded use will be able to access detailed and accurate data on vehicle operations in activities such as plowing and salting; allow for simple vehicle locations such as on transit vehicles where more accurate and timely information can be available for dispatchers to better manage operations and communicate with the riding public; Possible implementation of the “Where’s My Bus” application similar to what Sudbury has in place

Finance:

– Tenders, RFP’s, and quotes are available from the City web site.

Finally, and as you no doubt know, the City of Timmins embarked on an ambitious 4 year celebration that began in 2009 recognizing a number of significant centennial milestones including 100 years of mine exploration, 100 years of mining production, 100 years since the Great Porcupine Fire of 1911 and the rebuilkding of Whitney & Tisdale Townships, all leading to 2012, where we celebrate 100 years of Timmins.
The celebration kicks off on January 1 featuring a Symphony on Ice with special guest Elvis Stojko, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra and members of the Timmins Porcupine Figure Skating Club and the Tisdale Skating Club.

I anticipate that both the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival and the Summer Concert Series will be back again this year in the context of our anniversary celebrations. Many other events are planned during the week of August 6th including the unveiling of three, seven foot bronze statues of McIntyre, Hollinger and Wilson, three important icons in the City’s first 100, the unveiling of a hand painted mural of 100 faces of our most prominent citizens who have without a doubt, excelled and inspired the rest of us to reach for new heights, the release of a 100th anniversary musical by the Timmins Symphony Orchestra and a number of special exhibits focusing on our first 100 via the Timmins Museum…. Stay tuned for more!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s no secret that the City of Timmins has matured over the last 100 years and today we are more than just a resource based community and together we can, and we will continue building our new economy.

Council must remain focused on the task ahead, and chart the course to our City’s future. We will lead with a bold vision. We will set clear targets, measure success, and be accountable for our actions and we will allow our senior staff, employee groups and service partners to do the job that they were hired to do.

We are a strong diverse community that continues to grow strong despite the many global challenges. We tread softly but forward. I invite you to celebrate these victories with me every step of the way. Be proud of your City and help us to promote the quality of life that is ours.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we go forward Timmins will be recognized as a growing, innovative, regional hub that is culturally and economically diverse and that offers a unique, northern quality of life. We live in a prosperous, caring, generous community that is blessed with the best of all worlds, a tremendous natural environment and small city charm.

Here we can choose how we want to live… urban, suburban or rural lifestyle. We have the infrastructure and the services needed to provide for the community and most importantly, we have residents that are involved in civic affairs and show their commitment to our community every day.

To achieve the successes we want, we must involve everyone with a stake in the outcome and a shared vision. We cannot go it alone as a municipality. In 2012 we will continue to move our economic plan. We have a lot to build on. We’ll measure our progress and make adjustments as we go. The opportunities here are limited only by your imagination and a will to succeed. Timmins is a great place to live, learn and play.

Thank You

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