Thursday, February 25, 2021

Council holding strategy session on growth and recovery

Chatham-Kent Council will meet electronically on Monday night, September 28, 2020 for a special strategy session focused on growth and recovery.

A number of items are on the agenda for the evening, including: an update from the Chatham-Kent Economic Recovery Task Force co-chairs, an update and discussion on current trends and investments in growth, along with a discussion on moving forward.

Municipal staff is also presenting a 39-page report on Chatham-Kent’s COVID-19 economic recovery response.

Read the full report, here.

“To understand how Chatham-Kent’s economy has been impacted, Council launched the Chatham-Kent Economic Recovery Task Force,” the staff report indicates.

“The Task Force, comprised of nine sector subcommittees, were tasked with identifying what CK could do to support economic recovery. On May 25, 2020, the Task Force presented Council their final report ‘We are CK’. Council received the report and requested administration review Task Force report recommendation #3 Grow CK’s Economy, #4 Decision Making in Chatham Kent and #5 Review Sector Recommendations and Comments.”

The staff report indicates cross-cutting themes from the Task Force report and sector meetings included the need for investments in critical infrastructure such as high-speed internet, financial supports and lower taxes, plus enhanced communication with the municipality; these were identified as top recovery issues by all groups.

To support these themes, administration is suggesting a number of options to Council:

– To support CK’s growth and recovery through the 2021 Budget process, CK extends the free permitting for fibre facilities across CK for 2021-2022 at an estimated cost of $900,000.

– To support CK’s growth and recovery, Council consider upcoming reports that will increase efficiencies, reduce service levels, close the infrastructure gap and rationalize staffing requirements to reflect the current economic realities and future needs of CK residents.

– That administration investigate a community engagement policy and tool kit to ensure the community voice is reflected in decision-making and report back to Council.

“These items will be provided in the formal reports to Council,” staff said in the report.

Staff said in their report that they looking forward to continue collaborating with the Task Force group during the economic recovery process.

“As illustrated by a common phrase used during this time – “We are in This Together” – The Municipality will ensure that we work together to identify issues and look for solutions,” staff said in their report.

“We are grateful for the time and effort the Task Force has given and for their strength in giving a voice and story to those impacted by COVID-19 in CK.”

The strategy session will be LIVE streamed, starting at 5 p.m., here.

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