Call to Order: Janet Kennedy welcomed everyone.

Board of Directors Present: Janet Kennedy, Linda Easton, Dave McCarthy, Harry Bishop and Gail Lamb

Treasurer’s Report: Harry Bishop reported $6283.24 in funds.


Sheila Pinder, principal of Port Stanley Public School: Mrs. Pinder discussed:

a. work done on the school: new roof, all exterior doors and windows, $20,000 on the library for collaborative multi level learning, wireless upgrade.

b. Teachers are working on coding projects so students learn about computer coding, videos and twitter,

c. In September new grade 7 & 8 French Immersion students were introduced to the town with an Amazing Race Port Stanley and volleyball at GT’s

d. The school population grew from 84 to 100 English and 160 French Immersion students and from use of 5 classrooms to use of 11 classrooms and there are Special Ed, Core French and science rooms.

e. Extracurricular includes cross country, volleyball, basketball and chess tournament. Volunteers are welcome to help with skills.

f. Port Stanley PS leadership crew helps create a positive environment.

g. An accommodation review is in place to decide on the closure of schools. The review began in November and will be completed in May. A meeting will be held at the school on Monday to gather feedback. At this point, Mitchell Hepburn is overcrowded and Port Stanley is underutilized. New Sarum, South Dorchester, Sparta, Springfield, Westminster Centre are cited for closure. It is proposed to expand Port Stanley’s boundary and move Sparta students to Port Stanley. Sparta may be repurposed to French Immersion K to 8.

h. New schools will be built in Belmont and southeast St. Thomas.

i. There are two meetings re the closures: Monday, January 19 and February 8 at Parkside Collegiate Institute.

j. The province seems to want elementary schools to hold about 450 to 500 students.

k. It is important to have supporters of the school present at the meetings.

l. Councilor Dan McNeil commented on the citizens’ groups that met at Central Elgin the night before. He was concerned about the groups attacking one another and felt they needed business and legal advice. He pointed out that Port Stanley and Belmont are growth areas under the CE official plan whereas Sparta is not. PSPS also has town water and sewage unlike Sparta. Thames Valley District School Board has no new school planned for French immersion but rather will repurpose a school. The cost per pupil is significant.

m. Lisa Monroe at the board office will investigate the insurance issue re use of the arena


Dog Park: Ted Halwa on behalf of his committee of Ray Murdoch, Harry Bishop and Janet Dwyer, reported on the possibility of a dog park at the new fire station site. There is no water feature and it is a small area with terrain to the north. Central Elgin and the fire chief need to agree to the proposal and so Ted asked that Janet Kennedy send a letter to council. This would probably be premature because Dan McNeil explained that the committee for the fire department site is set but nothing is confirmed. The site is complicated by the East Rd, Sunset Rd and the county road. The area is 150,000 sq ft and 580 feet long. The fire station, parking for volunteers and training area are all on the site so until that is settled it is not clear how much would be available for the dog park. Work should be started this year.


Dan McNeil Comments:

a. In the spring Edith Cavell Blvd will become a boulevard and iron pipes will be removed. William Street is to be the next street project.

b. Approval has been given for the sewage plant at the lagoons

c. A mechanical pumping station will be built near the DOC building. It will include a public washroom and a regional tourist centre.

d. The “legion” parking lot will be improved. This will benefit parking for the theatre. Heritage Port has been involved In the planning.

e. Lighting installations will extend to Hofhuis Park and the walkway and the public boat launch which is now unlit.

f. The environmental assessment has been submitted to the province. Transport Canada is prepared to start next year if given the okay. Most areas have to be soft and hard capped.. Transport Canada will take the cheapest possible options so Central Elgin is in negotiations with them to add funds to upgrade the work.