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See inside this week’s Ad Advance for a story on the most recent budget discussions.
Photo by KATHY BOTHAM
GETTING IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT St. John’s United Church held its annual Holly Tea and Bazaar on Saturday. The hall was ﬁlled with all sorts of items to get ready for this Christmas season. A separate area was set up for children to do their shopping. They could get that special gift for someone with
help from the volunteers. Later on, tea and desserts were served. In this photo, volunteers in the children’s secret shoppe – Annika Lakevold, Roslyn Godfrey, Christopher Landry, Cassie Welch and Grace Stephens – are all smiles.
NGAT seeks another $15,000 from council Hay East program continues to pick up steam. – Page 2
UNITED WAY 2012 UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN
Goal: $1,030,000 Raised to date: $748,940.00 69.8% of goal
By ASHLEY KULP firstname.lastname@example.org
EMC News – As operations and fuel costs continue to rise, North Grenville Accessible Transportation (NGAT) heavily relies on donations and grants it receives, including the annual allocation from the Municipality of North Grenville. NGAT chairman Don Gilchrist and board member Barry Peart appeared before council and staff at the Nov. 21 budget meeting at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. According to Gilchrist, 2011-2012 was a busy year for the non-pro¿t organization, which is currently running at full capacity, seven days a week. He said they hope to receive a $15,000 grant from the municipality; the same ¿gure they received last year.
“The operating year 2011-2012 has been a busy one and as we approach 2013 it appears to not let up. Since the new four passenger bus went into service in the fall of 2010, it has been in constant use and has 60,000 kilometres,” he explained, adding that the opening of the Colonnade shopping centre has led to extra trips for NGAT. Presently, 40 individuals with mobility-related needs bene¿t from NGAT on a daily basis, translating into approximately 250 rides per month and 2,500 kilometres a month. In order to increase the ef¿ciency of the organization, which has been in existence for 13 years, Gilchrist noted the board is dedicated to making some big changes over the next two years, including revamping the fare schedule and costs
per ride structure; revising the eligibility policy; keeping taxi cabs abreast of the new accessibility legislation; as well as continuing to seek funding from both the municipality and
“It’s very, very difﬁcult because of the cost of operating the system and the rising fuel costs, obviously.” TIM SUTTON COUNCILLOR, NORTH GRENVILLE
the United Way of Leeds and Grenville. As well, NGAT hopes to seek out the maximum fees for vehicle advertising (and bump it up to $4,000 next year from
the current $2,250), reapply to the Leeds and Grenville Accessibility Advisory Committee for monies, as well as encourage donations from local businesses, service clubs and individuals. Funding is a constant concern for NGAT and Gilchrist said the organization expects a “slight de¿cit” of $750 this year, it’s forecasted that number could reach $4,800 next year. This is primarily due to driver/dispatch service costs, as well as vehicle maintenance and administration services. It is expected to cost $70,000 for NGAT to operate this year and that number will jump to $77,300 in 2013-2014. Councillor and ¿nance and administration committee chair Tim Sutton, who also sits on NGAT’s board, said this year, they were blessed with several
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high pro¿le donations. “We had opportunities to make a little money this year through a barbecue with the Tallman Truck Centre, an OPP Charity Barbecue. Other people came forward as well like Corey Lockwood, who helped us keep a decent bank balance,” he stated. “It’s very, very dif¿cult because of the cost of operating the system and the rising fuel costs, obviously.” “...It’s costing us about $2.60 cents a kilometre to keep our buses on the road,” Gilchrist added, noting that in addition to the 2010 van, there is a 2001 backup the organization also uses. As council works towards ¿nalizing the 2013 budget, members will make a ¿nal decision on the grant allocation next month.
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EMC - Your Community Newspaper Photo by DESMOND DEVOY
From left, Jack Taylor of Lanark Mutual Insurance, presents a cheque for $10,000 to Deborah Pretty Straathof, Gordon Patterson, and Dave Campbell, of the Ontario Farmers Association (OFA), accompanied by farmers Wyatt McWilliams and Harold Bateman, at the rail yards in Smiths Falls on Monday, Nov. 26.
Generous spirit of the west
Hay donations pour in from western Canada to help drought-stricken farms survive winter By DESMOND DEVOY firstname.lastname@example.org
EMC News – Pay it forward and it’ll come back to you. Harold Bateman knows that better than anyone this week. The Tweed, Ont. farmer found himself at the Smiths Falls rail yards on Monday, Nov. 26, the morning of winter’s ¿rst snowfall, about as far removed from this past summer’s drought-inducing heat as one could be. He was waiting to unload a whole load of hay which had been sent in by train from western Canada. Several years ago, the beef farmer had been one of those who had volunteered to send their own hay westward-ho to droughtstricken fellow farmers on the prairies. “We’re hurting,” Bateman said, looking up at the towering yellow bales, set against the cold, blue sky. “I’m lucky to have it. I was ecstatic” with the news. One of Shakespeare’s plays was entitled All’s Well That Ends Well, and while it has ended well for Bateman, it certainly did not start that way
for him. “Everything started wrong,” he said. For many farmers in the area, the ¿rst cut of the season was not good, and as the bales were being wound together, Bateman had that horrible sinking feeling that their best efforts were to be in vain. “The day we made the last bale, the numbers were not there,” said Bateman. “We’re in trouble.” The English poet John Milton once wrote that “they also serve who only stand and wait,” and indeed Bateman too stood at the ready to help the farmers, lo those many years ago. “We offered it but we didn’t send any because they had enough without ours,” said Bateman. Now, with the generosity returned, Bateman hopes that this shipment will last until March. Like a warm Chinook wind blowing from across the prairies here into eastern Ontario, the generosity of fellow Canadians warmed the hearts of other farmers in the area. “It’s tremendous to see hay like this come in and the west supporting us,” said Gordon
Patterson of the Lanark Cattlemen’s Association. “They (loads of hay) are coming in every day…It’s great to see the western farmers supporting the eastern Ontario farmers like this.” In fact, that very morning, Patterson had helped unload hay up in Maberly. “Myself, I’m all right,” said Patterson. “I reduced my herd last year because I’m supposed to retire.” Like Bateman’s predicament, Patterson’s hay yield was only 50 per cent of what it normally is. “There were lots of others that had no hay,” said Patterson. “They were in a desperate situation.” These western grasses, however, will go a long way towards helping farmers continue to feed cities. “The more hay we can get to those animals, the better,” said Patterson. Farmer Wyatt McWilliams of Navan remembered the original Hay West campaign. “Times have changed,” he said. “It’s pretty heart-warming to know that the Canadian spirit is alive and well. The
guys in the west want to help. It’s farmers helping farmers. It’s a rural economy too. Everybody’s yields are down.” But help was not only coming from western farmers, but from the ¿nancial services sector closer to home. On this morning, Jack Taylor of Lanark Mutual Insurance was on hand with a $10,000 cheque. R0011760202-1122
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