Daily News About Aylmer, Ontario and East Elgin

WEDNESDAY, April 15/15





-All Week –Aylmer Brush Collection

-Thu -Bayham Council, 7pm





(From Police Chief Andre Reymer) – Charity Duckworth, 35, began her duties last week as Aylmer’s newest police officer. An opening was created by the retirement of Sgt. Michael McKnight. Charity is a native of St.Thomas and had six years experience working as an auxiliary with London Police and as a civilian guard with the Elgin OPP and Aylmer Police Services. Aylmer’s previous police addition occurred in 2011 with the appointment of Cst. Kevin Coudenys to replace Cst. Gus Lagrandeur.





(Aylmer Police Chief Andre Reymer provides this reply to the information provided by Aylmer Co. Ted McDonald on Aylmer Policing costs in Monday’s TANews) – “In response to Councillor’s McDonald’s claims, Aylmer ranks 15th of 44 police forces which reported on the cost per capita for municipal police services in Ontario (Information was obtained from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs web site and the municipality’s financial information return (FIR) and the Municipal Performance Measurement Program (MPMP) http://csconramp.mah.gov.on.ca/fir/ViewFIR2013.htm#4852 This is 2013 data as 2014 hasn’t been published yet.)

It clearly shows that we have sourced our information (Co. McDonald does not) and that our costs are in the middle of the list. He stated he couldn’t find any police service above Aylmer’s per capita cost- again where did he research this? (Editor: Aylmer’s cost is $344 per capita; the average on the list is $327; for others in the area: Woodstock is $394, Stratford is $329, St.Thomas is $300 and London is $273.)

Comparing Aylmer urban policing to Elgin County rural policing costs is also futile without discussing service delivery options and community expectations. It isn’t fair to either organization to be drawn into this without the proper process (which is currently in a moratorium until September). Co. McDonald also states Aylmer Police have 3 officers on 24 hrs a day (incorrect). We are staffed with platoons of three to maintain a minimum of two officers on 24/7. The third officer allows for vacations, training, court, etc.  Any change to this model would affect our ability to respond with two officers which is unsafe for the police and community. The Police Act is legislation that speaks specifically as to how police services are delivered and managed with specific roles and responsibilities to council and the PSB (Police Services Board). A provincial policing official has attended council on two occasions to educate and answer questions. This resource was not utilized and instead Co. McDonald chooses to read and interpret the Police Act legislation on his own. At PSB this evening (Tuesday) we felt it important to clarify the erroneous information being provided.”

(EDITOR: Aylmer also ranks 42nd of the 52 municipal police forces in Ontario in terms of crime severity occurrence. Commented Chief Reymer:  “The data…marks the Crime Severity Index from Statistics Canada and is often used to compare how safe our communities are. We have a lower crime than the provincial average and can boast we have a safe community. This is also as a result of having the right amount of officers. These statistics don’t happen by accident so to say we should downsize is counterproductive to keeping these statistics as they are ensuring community safety.”





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TUESDAY, April 14/15





-All Week –Aylmer Brush Collection

-Thu -Bayham Council, 7pm





(Contributed) – “The County of Elgin is pleased to welcome Mrs. Laura Molnar to the position of Library Coordinator for the Elgin County Library. She began her duties on April 13 and is replacing Ms. Sandi Burgess who has taken a position as Chief Librarian for the County of Middlesex effective April 20. Ms. Molnar will be responsible for the library’s technical services and will be leading the library’s migration to a new, robust integrated library system called Sierra by the end of 2015. She  possesses a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and has worked previously as a librarian with the London District Catholic School Board and the Dutton branch of the Elgin County Library.”





“(Re-Co. Macdonald’s Report) I agree 100 per cent. It makes my tax blood boil when we see police cars sitting  idle at certain spots quite frequently.”  (John Mackenzie)





(Press Release Monday from Joe Preston, MP) – Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin Middlesex London, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, announced improved access for Canadians with disabilities to programs and services by reporting that the Catfish Creek Conservation Authority will receive $50,000 to build accessible washrooms at the Springwater Conservation Area.





“I welcome Councillor McDonald’s aggressive approach to saving money for the ratepayers in the town of Aylmer. What i don’t understand is how our mayor alone can refuse to submit a written resolution from a councillor. I would think that the resolution should stand and either be defeated or passed by council as a whole. Please do not let this hinder you from continuing to press this council for further reduction of grossly overspending from not just the police dept. but various other dept. as well, namely the EECC.” (Bob Nesbitt)





The Straffordville Community Committee will hold their fourth annual Electronics Recycling depot on Saturday April 25 from 9 am to 1 pm in the parking lot of the Straffordville Community Centre. Spokesperson Rosemary Gardner said her group raised over $1000 last year for the Straffordville Watermelon Fest with this project. The group also organizes an unwanted electronics depot in the fall.






“About 150 persons with some two dozen speakers were present at the EEC Complex Review public meeting in the Imperial Room of the Complex last night. About half the speakers had comments on the proposed relocation of the Aylmer library to the Complex. Among the speakers: Jim Crane of Malahide said a reorganization of the advisory group was needed and they should pay attention to the fact that the report said the EECC was greatly outspending other centres; Greg Currie of Aylmer representing the Aylmer Taxpayers Advisory Council said that the review provided the committee with “the tools you need” and they had to find “measurable results”; Bill Murch of Aylmer said the library needs to be downtown to stimulate economic interest and that the plan to relocate to the Complex was “simplistic, misguided political grandstanding.”; Larry Jeffery of Aylmer said the relocation of the library to the Complex was not convenient, the savings were minimal, those who were so critical of any library plans were not users and Aylmer Council needed to “back off and look at other options”; Toni Shields representing B.A.D. girls hockey said her organization had no plans to leave the Complex although they were always looking for user friendly facilities and they liked using the Hall for their end of season banquet; Mary Ann Vanbommel-Dwyaert of Dorchester, a prominent figure skating coach, said it’s wonderful to have the Complex and summer use was best for figure skating needs; Ron Martens of Aylmer said the complex is not generating enough activity and wondered if it is enough to have cheap taxes if children don’t have adequate facilities such as the Complex has to offer.”





The second annual Canada Film Day, sponsored by Reel Canada, will feature the film ‘The Breakaway’ at the Aylmer Library on Thursday, April 30 at 6 pm.




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MONDAY, April 13/15





-All Week –Aylmer Brush Collection

-Otter Valley Naturalists, 7pm, Vienna Comm. Centre

-Aylmer Council, 6:30 pm





-Ralf, Max of Aylmer passed away on Saturday in his 80th year. Survivors: wife Yvonne Ralf; nine children including Dave Ralf(Kelly Bush) and Darrel Ralf(Lily) of the Aylmer area etc.. He was born in Malahide and was a tractor mechanic. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Monday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 11 am.





(Information from Nancy Robinson of Immanuel Christian School in Aylmer) – “Battle of the Books is an annual competition – this is our 12th year –  run by the Christian schools of our district, involving a total of 7 schools. We are hosting on Thursday from 10:15 to 3 pm. At the end of October, interested students are given the list of 10 books for their division – Junior for Grades 4-6 and Senior for Grades 7-8. Since part of the goal of the program is to encourage children to read a variety of books, the selection often includes a combination of classics, new titles, Canadian authors, various genre, etc. that uphold the values we teach in our Christian schools.


A team consists of up to 6 students playing in a timed, head-to-head game with an opposing school. Students collaborate to come up with the correct answer. There are 2 parts to every “Battle”. Battle Round questions start with “In which book……” and include information about the settings, characters, themes or details. Students must respond with the correct book title and author. Lightning Round questions identify the title of the book and require students to answer as many of the designated fact-oriented details about the book as they can in 3 minutes. Battle Day is an exciting culmination of all their reading and studying.”





(Information from Toni Shields of the B.A.D. Girls hockey program (Belmont, Aylmer, Dorchester) on teams playing in the provincial championships this past weekend:  – “Our Senior B team won Silver and the Atom BB and Senior A made it to quarter finals.”





(At last Tuesday’s Council, Co. Ted McDonald attempted to pass this motion – “That Council make a request to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission for a reduction in the service level provided by the Aylmer Police Service as per the Police Services Act.” The motion was not allowed. He explains his rationale:)

“The following are some of the facts that I have gathered regarding policing costs in Aylmer: The Police Services Budget represents almost 1/2 of the total tax levy for the Town of Aylmer. (We cancelled planned renovations on the Police Station which would have put the cost of policing at over 52% of the Tax Levy). The 2001 census population in Aylmer was 7,158 – the 2011 census population in Aylmer was 7,151, so we have not seen any growth in our community. In the past 10 years the Police Service budget has risen on average over 5% per year or more than double the rate of inflation and remember that this is compound increases (5% on top of 5% on top of 5%, etc.).

We now have 9 officers on the Sunshine List. These nine town employees combined make over $1,000,000 or make up over 20% of the total tax levy (Put another way, 1 of every 5 of your Aylmer tax dollars goes to these nine town employees). With the other 80% if the taxes we have to meet all our other responsibilities. The cost per capita for Policing in Aylmer is $338.00 (338 X 7,151 people = $2,417,038 (Police Services Budget). The cost per capita for Policing in the Township of Malahide is $ 106.42  (106.42 X 9,146 = $973,347 (Police Budget). The premium that residents of Aylmer pay over their Malahide neighbours is 231.58 per capita or $ 1,656,028 or 33.3% of our total tax levy. I cannot find a single municipality in South Western Ontario  that has a higher per capita policing cost and I can find only one municipality in all of Ontario that has a higher per capita policing cost. When we sent the budget back to the Police Services board they responded with a mere $10,000 deduction in their budget ($339 per capita went to $338).

I believe from my research that Aylmer is in the top 1% of highest per capita policing costs in Ontario. When I read the Police Services Act, it specifies that when it comes to methods of providing municipal police services that all changes to police services are the responsibility of the town council. The Mayor believes that changes are the responsibility of the Police Services Board and would not allow my motion to be voted on.  The result was that my motion was not defeated but was not allowed to be voted on. Recently a local town officer commented that the town is dead on Friday and Saturday nights and the biggest reason for this is that Aylmer is practically a “dry” town and a low crime community. Recently Chief Reymer told us that Aylmer operates with a platoon of three officers on duty 24 hours per day, seven days per week. He also mentioned that Elgin County with 6 municipalities and 42,384 residents is policed by 4 officers on duty at all times. The costs of policing in Elgin average $145.00 per capita. The only way that I can see a reduction in the costs of our current police services for Aylmer is to reduce our level of staffing. There does not seem to be enough activity to justify having 3 officers on duty in our community.”





– April 7, 2014, Station #4,  Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– April 11, 2014, Station #2,  Dingle Street, Medical Assist

– April 12, 2014, Station #3, Ron McNeil Line, Medical Assist




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FRIDAY, April 10/15





-Ch 10 – London Knights v. Erie Otters, 7 pm


-Sat –Malahide Fire Dept. Recycling Depot, 9am-4pm (see Mar. 27 report)


*Next Week – Aylmer Brush Collection

*Mon -Otter Valley Naturalists, 7pm, Vienna Comm. Centre

*Mon -Aylmer Council, 6:30 pm





Among decisions made by Malahide Council at their meeting last night:

-“No action be taken at this time to pursue the training of volunteer firefighters and the equipping of fire trucks with ‘Epi Pens’”

-“Agree to the purchase of a 2015 Pierce Pumper (for Malahide #4 Fire Dept.) from Darch Fire, of Ayr, Ontario, in the amount of $321,950.00”

-“Support the hiring of a facilitator to work with the respective Councils to discuss and produce a governance model for the East Elgin Community Complex; the cost to hire such a facilitator would be shared equally between the partner municipalities.”





FULL GOSPEL CHURCH ADDITION   The official sodturning for the four room, single storey addition to the Full Gospel Church at the corner of Albert and Talbot St. east took place Friday afternoon. The 3400 square foot addition will be used for Christian education instruction but it will also house an Early Learning Childhood daycare beginning in the new year.  The church needed the extra space said Paster Peter Barbour as its membership has doubled in the past five years but it also will benefit by the St. Thomas based tenant which has signed a ten year lease. Aylmer has not had a licenced day care institution for some twenty years and the St.Thomas centre has been looking for a large Aylmer site for about ten years said Executive Director Patricia Riddell-Lamers. Some private homes have been licenced in town previously. When open the centre expects to employ 16-20 staff for about 45 children (see June 10 story in TANews). They have had a centre in Pt Burwell operating in a building next to the school for about a year.  Construction, by Baribeau Construction of Dorchester, is expected to start soon and should be complete by the end of the year.

Work is progressing on a four room, single storey addition to the south end of the Full Gospel Church at the corner of Albert and Talbot St. east -the 3400 square foot addition will be used for Christian education instruction and will also house an Early Learning Childhood daycare. (see August 14 story) (kb).





Among decisions made by Aylmer Council at their meeting Tuesday:

-“Established the date of April 20 at 6:30 pm to hold a public participation meeting to receive input from the public about the Proposed 2015 Budget.”

-“Staff be directed to obtain quotations to hire a Facilitator to assist the Councils of Aylmer and Malahide in producing a governance model for the East Elgin Community Complex”





-Frey, Isabel of Terrace Lodge Aylmer passed away on Wednesday, aged 97. Survivors: four children including John Frey and Miriam Helsdon of the Aylmer area etc.. She had lived in Aylmer since 1945 with her husband Herbert Frey (1995), a fruit grower, and was a teacher at Davenport Public School. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home next Friday, April 17, from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. Her memorial service will be at 1 pm on Saturday, April 18, at the Aylmer Evangelical Missionary Church.





Aylmer will hold its annual Brush Collection next Monday to Thursday. Only brush will be picked up at the curb on the day prior to one’s regular garbage day.




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THURSDAY, April 9/15





–Malahide Council, 7 pm

-Channel 10 – Aylmer Library Speakers program; 6 pm


-Fri  -Ch 10 – London Knights v. Erie Otters, 7 pm

-Sat –Malahide Recycling Depot, 9am-4pm (see Mar. 27 report)


*Next Week – Aylmer Brush Collection

*Mon -Otter Valley Naturalists, 7pm, Vienna Comm. Centre

*Mon -Aylmer Council, 6:30 pm





Eastlink has announced it will not televise, on Aylmer community channel 10, tonight’s opening game but will show games two and three in the OHL playoff series between London Knights and Erie Otters this weekend. Game two is tomorrow at 7 pm and game three is Sunday at 7 pm.





-Baertsoen, Angela Joanna of RR3 St. Thomas passed away on Wednesday in her 73rd year. Survivors: husband Carlos “Charlie” Baertsoen; five children etc.. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Friday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, St. Thomas on Saturday at 10 am.





(For East Elgin; From Environment Canada, 4:30 am)- “Periods of rain, at times heavy, are expected today. Over some areas, thunderstorm activity will be associated. Rainfall amounts will be variable, with average amounts in the 20 to 30 mm range. However 40 to 50 mm may be possible in some locales due to very heavy rainfall in thunderstorms.”





Work began this week on the John St. south watermain project (see April 1 story( (kb)

Work began this week on the John St. south watermain replacement project (see April 2 story) ( (kb)




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WEDNESDAY, April 8/15





-Thu –Malahide Council, 7 pm

-Thu -Channel 10 – Aylmer Library Speakers program; 6 pm

-Sat – Malahide Recycling Depot, 9am-4pm (see Mar. 27 report)


*Next Week – Aylmer Brush Collection





Eastlink reports that they will air the Aylmer Library Speakers program from last Tuesday during their regular magazine show this Thursday – at 6 pm on channel 10.





-Sproul, Bernice passed away on Tuesday in her 82nd year. Wife of the late Russell Sproul (2010). Survivors: five children including Ken Sproul (Nancy), Rusty Sproul (Cindy) of the Aylmer area etc.. She was born in Bayham and lived for many years in Aylmer. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where the funeral service will be held on Friday at 11 am.


-Epp, Maria of Aylmer passed away on Monday in her 77th year. Wife of Johan Epp. Survivors: 13 children, 52 grandchildren, 70 great grandchildren, 8 step-grandchildren and 16 step-great grandchildren etc.. She was born in Mexico. Visitation at the Kebbel Funeral Home on Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 pm. The funeral will be held at the Old Colony Mennonite Church, Aylmer, on Friday at 2 pm.






About sixty persons attended the public budget meeting held by Aylmer Council prior to their regular meeting in the Imperial Room of the EEC Complex last night. There were 15 speakers. Among the highlights: Greg Currie representing the Aylmer Taxpayers Coalition said he was concerned about: the timing of the meeting as it was after the budget was all but finalized by Council, the fact that town staffing had doubled in the past ten years, the sizable policing increase, and a need for a business plan; An unidentified man questioned the increase in the policing budget, saying it was not sustainable. Co. Dave Lapointe responded that it was difficult to hold the line – the increase was 4.6% – with the notable OPP raise in Ontario occuring this year and even though it represented 35% of the total budget, they would try again next year; Several citizens spoke on Council’s decision to consider the library in the EEC Complex: Larry Jeffery said the decision is wrong as it’s not convenient and only offers a ten per cent savings for the Complex debt; When asked about a concern that Aylmer’s taxes were much higher than comparable area communities, Mayor Jack Couckuyt replied that taxes here were very high and had been so for a long time but that Council had a plan to reduce the debt and was steadily working in that direction. After the public meeting, Council passed the budget calling for a levy increase of .64%. Last year’s increase was .68%.





Nearly three dozen Aylmer residents experienced frozen water pipes this winter. Observed Bill Berry, Aylmer Manager of Water Operations: “We had 33 homes/ businesses freeze up on us this winter. One or two a winter is considered a lot. During the winter of 1993-94, however, 44 places had to be thawed out. No one area had the majority of frozen services. All but one has thawed.”





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TUESDAY, April 7/15





-Aylmer Council, 6:30 pm


-Thu –Malahide Council, 7 pm

-Sat – Malahide Recycling Depot, 9am-4pm (see Mar. 27 report)





Among agenda items tonight at Aylmer Council are:

-a public meeting to discuss a zoning change to allow a burger stand at the northeast corner of Talbot St. and Dingle St.





The next meeting of the Otter Valley Naturalists will be on Monday at 7 pm at the Vienna Community Centre. The topic is “Freshwater Mussels in Ontario” with guest speaker Dr. Todd Morris, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.





– March 30, 2015, Station #1,  Calton Line, Medical Assist

– April 1, 2015, Station #2 , #1 John Wise Line, MVC

– April 2, 2015, Station #3,  Imperial Road, Medical Assist

– April 2, 2015, Station #2, Springfield Road, Medical Assist

– April 3, 2015, Station #3,  College Line, MVC

– April 4, 2015, Station #1,  John Wise Line, Medical Assist

– April 4, 2015, Station #2,  Glencolin Line, Medical Assist

– April 6, 2014, Station #4,  Wilson Line, Vehicle Fire




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THURSDAY, April 2/15



*THEAYLMERNEWS will not publish Friday, Monday. HAPPY EASTER.




-Bayham Council, 7pm

-Aylmer John St. south Watermain Project Meeting; EEC Complex; 7 pm


-Fri -DadsnDaughters Fish And Chips Open (Contributed)

-Sat -St.Thomas Blood Donor Clinic, 9-12, Timken Centre

-Sat -Aylmer Library Easter Egg Hunt, 1pm, ‘Bear Park’ (ages: 2-10)


-Tue -Aylmer Council, 6:30 pm





(Information from Julie Richards-Bramill, who assists the Aylmer Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program with marketing:) – An Aylmer Amish farm is again sponsoring the Triple Cord CSA’s Summer Organic Community Shared Agriculture program. Last year thirty members had a produce agreement with Mervin Miller’s organic vegetable farm on Glencolin Line. This year the program runs every Thursday from May 14 to October 8th (22 weeks) from 4 to 7 pm. CSA is a partnership with the farmer focusing on producing organic foods using ecologically sound methods of farming. People buy a share of the harvest – a regular share should provide enough fresh produce for a family of two adults and two children at a cost of $550; a smaller share is $360. There are also programs in place in London and Woodstock. More information at Triple Cord CSA’s blog: http://triplecordcsaorganicproduce.wordpress.com





(Contributed) – Elgin County announces that the application process is open for the 2015 International Plowing Match (IPM) Legacy Agricultural Scholarship. Each year $2500 is awarded to one female and one male student who are attending college or university in Canada to study an agriculturally-related program. To be eligible for a scholarship an applicant must be a resident of the County of Elgin or City of St. Thomas; have completed at least the first year of studying at a post secondary institution in Canada with an appropriate accredited curriculum and is studying a discipline related to agriculture. All applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 15. Visit www.elgincounty.ca/ipmscholarship for more information.





The Aylmer Curling Club Mens League 'B' championship team is, left to right,  Tony Haayema (second), Trevor Calhoun (vice), Larry Dawson (skip), Gary Shackleton (lead) (Contributed)

The Aylmer Curling Club Mens League ‘B’ championship team is, left to right, Tony Haayema (second), Trevor Calhoun (vice), Larry Dawson (skip), Gary Shackleton (lead) (Contributed)





A public meeting to provide information about the upcoming John St. south watermain replacement project will be held tonight at 7 pm in the Imperial Hall of the EEC Complex. Bel-Air Excavating & Grading Ltd is doing the work. It is anticipated that construction will commence at the end of next week with a completion date of the end of June. Explains Rod Tapp, Aylmer’s Director of Operations: “The project will replace aged (1966) 100mm and 150mm diameter cast iron watermain with new 200mm to 250mm diameter PVC piping. Beyond returning the infrastructure to a state of good repair, the project is intended to increase safety and emergency response by increasing the pipe diameter to allow sufficient water flows during fire flow conditions. Increased watermain size also will improve the reliability of Aylmer’s water distribution network to meet high demand commercial and industrial users.”







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WEDNESDAY, April 1/15





-Thu -Bayham, Malahide Councils, 7pm

-Thu -Aylmer John St. south Watermain Project Meeting; EEC Complex; 7 pm

-Sat -Aylmer Library Easter Egg Hunt, 1pm, ‘Bear Park’ (ages: 2-10)





-Norman, Vera Gwendolyn (Brinn) of Vienna passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. Predeceased by her husband Robert Norman (2008). Survivors: three children including Gary (Rena) Vienna; Janet Paurys, Springfield etc.. She was a lifelong resident of Bayham and was a member of the former Vienna United Church. A service will be conducted later in the spring. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Verhoeve Funeral Home, Tillsonburg.






(The only motel in Aylmer is closing. Information is from Helen Dyck of the Countryside Inn, on Talbot St. East:) – “We have owned Country Side Inn since 1995. We had bought the craft store in 1991, an existing business uptown, and named it Spare Moments Craft Supplies. We had the store in town for 4 years. We were looking to buy a property for the store instead of renting and so bought the motel, thinking we could nicely run the two businesses together. The motel is a 9 unit motel. The last few years have been slower due to the economy. We are still operating 3 rooms and we will close them as the renovations progress in the spring sometime. On the other hand the store was running out of room and the potential to expand that business is a great opportunity right now. The part that is now store will become part of our residence.”





About 40 people attended last night’s speakers’ event at the Old Town Hall theatre sponsored by the Aylmer Library Expansion Supporters (ALES). Featured speakers were Lindsay Brock on the Strathroy Library renovation, Heather King on the Pt. Dover Library Renovation, and Brian Masschaele, Elgin Direcctor of Community, Cultural Services,  on the needs of the Aylmer Library. The ALES group is trying to encourage Aylmer Council to make expansion of the Aylmer Library a priority.

Among observations by Masschaele on Aylmer’s needs: Aylmer’s cachement area which also includes south Malahide is around 13,000 which justifies a new library  area of over 10,00 square feet, the library needs to be more of a gathering place, it needs an expanded reference section, new accessibility demands will require it to be larger, people are migrating back to traditional books from ebooks so Aylmer needs to enlarge their collection, and technology demands are also increasing.



Elgin Director of Community, Cultural Services Brian Masschaele, at right, was one of the speakers at the event at the OTHall theatre last night in support of expansion plans for the Aylmer Library. (kb) (CLICK)





'A' champions from this year's Aylmer Mens Curling League are, left to right, Calhoun (lead), Mike Hilliker (second), Ron Beringer (vice), Dale Beringer (skip)

‘A’ champions from this year’s Aylmer Mens Curling League are, left to right, Brian Calhoun (lead), Mike Hilliker (second), Ron Beringer (vice), and Dale Beringer (skip) (Contributed)




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TUESDAY, March 31/15





– Aylmer Library: Public Meeting 7 pm; OT Hall Theatre (see Fri story)


-Thu -Bayham, Malahide Councils, 7pm

-Sat -Aylmer Library Easter Egg Hunt, 1pm, ‘Bear Park’





AYLMER – (From Aylmer FD) – Aylmer Fire Deparment responded to a fire just after midnight – early Sunday morning – at 334 John St. South. The tenants had arrived home and discoverer the fire in the garage underneath their unit. They alerted the occupants in the other unit. The fire damage was contained to the rear unit and two car garage, the front unit had smoke damage. There is nothing suspicious about the fire. Malahide Station #2 was called for extra manpower. There were strong winds from the west driving the fire and the firefighters did a great job stopping the advancing fire against the wind and saving the front unit. Firefighters were on scene until about 5 am.”





(Aylmer and Malahide Councils in a joint session recently agreed to discuss the hiring of a consultant to examine how the EEC Complex should be governed. Here is how arenas are run in six other area municipalities:)


Ingersoll does not have a Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. We are governed by our Council and I report directly to the Town’s CAO. The staff structure for our Arena and other facilities is the following: Director of Parks and Recreation, Facility Operations Manager, Arena Lead Hand and 2 Full Time Operators etc”. (Bonnie Ward, Director of Parks and Recreation)

Kincardine does not have a Recreation Committee – we operate under the Committee of the Whole system.  Each department has a Council Policy Chair that we work with.  Reports are then taken to the Committee of the Whole. ” (Karen Kieffer Director of Parks & Recreation Kiincardine)

St. Marys does not currently have a board for our recreation complex.  And it is a hit and miss with how people operate recreation departments now. You used to always see boards but you don’t see that as often anymore…So decisions of the centre do go to council.” (Stephanie Ische, Director of Recreation and Facilities St. Marys)

Thames Centre does not have a committee for governance of the Flight Exec Centre. My title is Recreation and Facilities Manager and I manage all recreation in the Municipality: sport fields, facilities., trails, parks, libraries and staff. I answer to the Director of Operations who answers to the CAO who answers to Council.” (Liz Murray Recreation and Facilities Manager Thames Centre)

“In Tillsonburg, the staff of the Recreation, Culture and Parks Department are accountable to Council through the Town’s CAO.  Council also has a Recreation & Parks Advisory Committee made up of members of the public and one member of Council.  Staff provide support to and work with the Advisory Committee, but do not take direction from the Committee. The Advisory Committee … makes recommendations to Council.” (Rick Cox Director of Recreation, Culture & Parks Tillsonburg)

“In Strathroy, It is run by the municipality – we have a Director of Recreation who does the budgets, oversees staff etc. His recommendations all go through council so they have the final word on everything.” (Leslie Pommer Coordinator of Customer Service Strathroy)





-Berdan, Donald Vincent of St. Thomas passed away on Sunday at the age of 87. Survivors: wife Vivian Joyce (Gorton) Berdan; two children; five stepchildren including Cheryl Ford of Aylmer etc.. Visitation at Williams Funeral Home St. Thomas on Thursday from 1-3 pm with the service at 3 pm.





The swans are finally frequenting the ponds at the Wildlife Centre at the OPC (Photo by Linda Charlton) (CLICK)

The swans are finally frequenting the ponds at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area at the Ontario Police College. (Photo by Linda Charlton) (CLICK)





(From ‘Ontario Farmer’) – Chicken Farmers of Canda named it’s 2015 Executive Committee at its annual meeting recently. The four-member committee has three returnees with the new member being Murray Booy from Aylmer. Booy is a third generation chicken farmer who recently served as Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario for five years. He has worked his farm where he grew up in the Aylmer area for over 20 years. He has been involved with the provincial board since 1999 and has been a member of the CFO Executive Committee since 2004.






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