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Posts Tagged ‘Smiths Falls’

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 25 – 27

Thursday, November 24, 2016 @ 11:11 PM
posted by Tara McNeil

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 25 – 27

Check out the weekend guide below to find out what is going on in your community.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Ball Hockey and Basketball

12:30pm – 1:30pm
Drop in for a game of supervised ball hockey.
Outdoor Gerry Lowe Rink

Public Swim

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Smiths Falls & District Aquatic Recreation Centre
361 Queen St.
Cost: Regular Drop in prices apply

Shinny Hockey

1:30pm – 3:30pm
Join us at the Youth Arena for Shinny Hockey. $2 person.

A Chillin’ Movie Night for all kids

5:00pm
Join us to watch Zootopia. We’ll have dinner: Chili, bread & butter, milk, apple juice & rice krispie squares. Th movie starts at 6:30. Sponsored by Trinity United Church.
41 Market Street (Downstairs).

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Re-Purposing Craft Workshop

9:30am – 12:30pm
Takes place at the REAL Deal store. Carol Richardson of Heritage Mosaics, Perth will show how to make gifts from glass, tile, china etc. 283.9966 to register

Rideau Ski Club, Ski Swap & Open House

Equipment Drop Off: 9:30am – 12:20pm
Sale and Open House: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Need new ski and snowboard gear? The Rideau Ski Club Open House and Ski Swap and our membership drive kicks off at Sport X – Bikes, Boards & Skis! Become a Rideau Ski Club Member. Purchase a membership to receive great discounts at local hills. Individual: $20; Family: $40.

Merrickville Agricultural Society Christmas Craft Show

10:00am – 4:00pm
The 21st annual Merrickville Agricultural Society Christmas Craft Show will be held on November 26, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Merrickville Community Centre, 106 Read St. Free admission & parking.

Celebration of Lights Opening Night

5:30pm – 7:00pm
Let the Spirit of the Season embrace you as Victoria Park comes alive with illumination! Join us in Victoria Park as we light over 10,000 lights in 40 displays and the trees. Enjoy free wagon rides, popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate, Timbits and a visit from Santa.Build a Mountain of Food will be on site please bring a non-perishable food item for the van. Free Event; Donations are welcome – donation boxes will be on site. Note: After opening ceremony the lights will remain on till 10:00pm for viewing. For more information contact: info@togethersmithsfalls.com or visit www.togethersmithsfalls.com
Victoria Park Campground, 30 Lombard St.

Public Skating

11:30am – 12:30am
Sponsored by Smiths Falls Recreation Department – $2 per person
Smiths Falls Youth Arena

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27

County Fair Mall past and present staff photo this weekend

1:00pm
A past employee at the County Fair Mall in Smiths Falls is organizing a photo in front of the mall, that is slated for demolition.
Tracey Merkley would like all mall employees, past and present, to come out for one final photo before the mall closes in the New Year.
She said the idea was just a random idea that has gotten bigger and bigger, and now the picture is set to be taken Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m.
Any of the mall’s staff members, former or current, are welcome to participate in what they hope will be a photo of the mall’s multi-generational workforce.
Merkley says she worked at many different stores in the mall over nearly two decades, just like her mother who worked at the old Zellers store for more than 25 years. She told the Record News, “We’re trying to encourage people to come out and reminisce and get one last photo before they tear the mall down.”

Lyle Dillabough’s The Last of the Good Years

2:00pm
The Last of the Good Years, Lyle Dillabough’s examination of “life, barrooms and small towns in Canada during the 1960s and ’70s,” will be presented at The Station Theatre in Smiths Falls on Sunday, November 27 at 2pm. Based on recollections that Lyle (also known as the Valley Troubadour) wrote down while in hospital after a near-death experience, it will feature live music by area musicians who performed back in the ’60s and ’70s at The Mariner’s Inn, as well as at hotels such as The Arlington, The Rideau and The Russell. All proceeds after expenses will be donated to the Smiths Falls Community Food Bank, and tickets are only $10 at the door (cash only). Doors open at 1:30.
The Station Theatre
53 Victoria Ave. (corner of Daniel St.), Smiths Falls
smithsfallstheatre.com

Talk: Franklin’s Lost Ships Found

2:00pm
Talk by Jonathan Moore, a member of the Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Team that discovered the first of Franklin’s lost ships, the HMS Erebus.
In support of the Heritage House Museum.
In 1845, explorer Sir John Franklin set sail from England with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, in search of a Northwest Passage across what is now Canada’s Arctic. For over 150 years, groups have been sent to the Canadian Arctic in an attempt to learn the fate of the Franklin expedition. In 2014, there was a breakthrough when an expedition led by Parks Canada found the long-lost wreck of HMS Erebus. On September 12 (2016) the wreck of the HMS Terror was discovered 50km away from the wreck of the HMS Erebus. The extraordinary efforts leading to this discovery have brought together government and public, private and non-profit organizations from 2008 to present. The use of both state-of-the-art technology and 19th-century Inuit oral testimony made this historic find possible.
Tickets are going quickly at only $20 per person and are available at Heritage House Museum (11 Old Sly’s Road in Smiths Falls, 283–6311). The museum is open weekdays 10:30am to 4:30pm, weekends noon to 4:30pm.
Smiths Falls Legion
7 Main St. E., Smiths Falls
office95@cogeco.ca
613-283-2690

Public Skating

3:30pm – 4:30pm
Sponsored by Smiths Falls Recreation Department – $2 per person
Smiths Falls Youth Arena

CP Holiday Train

Finch
Location: Tracks adjacent to James Street between Williams Street & George Street
Arrival: 2:30 PM
Event Time: 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
Merrickville
Location: 103 East Broadway & Count y Road #2. South side of crossing near Bay Street
Arrival: 4:45 PM
Event Time: 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
Smiths Falls
Location: Smith Falls Train Station, 63 Victoria St.
Arrival:6:20 PM
Event Time: 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
Perth
Location: Railway Crossing on South Side of Wilson Street
Arrival: 7:40 PM
Event Time: 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
For more info visit their website:
www.cpr.ca

Cenotaph chosen for planting of Vimy oak

Monday, November 21, 2016 @ 09:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

Smiths Falls’ own “Vimy Oak” will be planted beside the town cenotaph, town councillors have agreed.

Making a presentation to council Monday, Nov. 21, Smiths Falls and District Collegiate Institute (SFDCI) students Jordan Drummond and Ben Seward provided an update on the progress of the project and asked for help in finalizing the preferred site to plant the oak.

After the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917, a Canadian officer gathered some acorns from an oak tree destroyed in the fighting and sent them home to Canada. After the war ended the following November, Miller planted those acorns on his family farm in Scarborough as a way to commemorate the battle.

The acorns later grew into majestic oaks, of which just eight remain today. A volunteer group, the Vimy Oaks Legacy, is working with contacts in France to commemorate the centennial of Vimy Ridge by replanting the oak forest destroyed a century ago. Cuttings were taken from the Vimy Oaks in Scarborough last January. The grafted oaks are growing at Connon Nurseries in Ontario, and 100 will be shipped to France for planting next year, next to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Another 150 saplings will be planted in communities across Canada to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

A small group of SFDCI history students was enlisted to help plan both the planting of the Smiths Falls sapling, and the dedication ceremony and permanent marker. One of the group’s tasks was to recommend a location, and they started with six potential sites. Drummond told councillors the list had been shortened to just two potential sites, the park beside the town hall, and the cenotaph.

Because of the ongoing Town Square project to make improvements to the site next to the town hall, Art Manhire, manager of community services, said town staff were recommending the cenotaph as the “safest” location for a tree planting. He also said the soil at the cenotaph is favourable.

Smiths Falls awards contracts for flowers, meter reader

Monday, November 21, 2016 @ 08:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke
By Chris Must

Gemmell’s Garden Centre has been awarded a $36,000 contract to provide plants next season for hanging baskets and flower beds downtown.
 

Smiths Falls town councillors voted to award the contract, which came in $4,000 less than budgeted, at a regular council meeting Monday, Nov. 21.

 

In other business at the Nov. 21 meeting, council also awarded a $14,000 for a new electronic water meter reader to Evans Utility & Municipal Products Supply Ltd. The town’s existing handheld meter reader needs to be replaced because its software is outdated and it is no longer serviceable.

Smiths Falls councillors balk at proposed tax and water hikes in budget

Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 10:11 AM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
editorial@pdgmedia.ca

The closure of County Fair Mall will probably cost the town of Smiths Falls about $300,000 a year in commercial taxes, town councillor Chris Cummings told colleagues at a special meeting Nov. 16.

Councillors met to review the first draft of the proposed 2017 town budget, and found themselves facing declining revenues and rising costs. The town’s interim treasurer, Janet Koziel, presented an initial budget report recommending a 3.38 per cent tax increase, along with a 7 per cent hike in water rates and an 8 per cent wastewater rate increase.

Key dates

  • Public budget meeting on Nov. 30 at the  Smiths Falls Community Centre
  • Second draft of the budget is to be presented Dec. 12
  • Final budget approval Jan. 23.

Koziel also advised council that Smiths Falls’ share of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, a provincial infrastructure grant, will decrease by $43,500 next year.

Noting that the combined tax and water rate hikes would add an additional $204 a year to an average assessment in town, Councillor Jay Brennan said, “I think that’s onerous on the taxpayer.”

Brennan said it will be impossible for the town to spend sufficiently on capital projects in the future without significant federal and provincial grants. It is up to council, he said, to “show a little discretion and recognition of the difficulty that people are having in living.”

“The number one comment I get around town is our taxes are too high,” said Councillor Joe Gallipeau, adding that high residential and commercial taxes may be driving away both new residents and businesses.

Acknowledging that town staff had prepared the budget in a clear and understandable manner, Cummings said it was obvious that unless taxes increase, services will have to be reduced.

Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said the first draft of the budget presents a “worst-case scenario” because the town has applied for grants and won’t hear if the applications were successful until the end of the year. “We don’t have all the answers,” he said.

Morris said ongoing service reviews by town staff will identify further areas for cost savings.

The draft budget includes a list of capital priorities submitted by the heads of each department, ranging from $40,000 to replace video recording equipment in police cruisers to $137,000 for donations to eligible community groups. Some new items in the 2017 budget include funding for a new water and ice rescue service for the fire department, and $48,000 for the town’s share of funding for Canada 150th events next year. Substantial investment in upgrades to roads and water treatment facilities are also planned.

Council plans to hold a public meeting on the budget at the Smiths Falls Community Centre on Nov. 30. The second draft of the budget is to be presented Dec. 12, and the schedule calls for final approval Jan. 23.

In discussion at the Nov. 16 meeting, councillors agreed that an additional meeting should be scheduled to discuss the input received at the public meeting. Staff also suggested that the need to identify cost savings in order to reduce the need for tax increases might make it necessary to delay passage of the budget.

 

Photo by Chris Must: Interim Treasurer Janet Koziel presented her report on the first draft of Smiths Falls’ 2017 budget at a special meeting Nov. 16.

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 18 – 20

Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 09:11 AM
posted by Tara McNeil

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 18 -20

Check out the weekend guide below to find out what is going on in your community.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Indignation

7:00pm – 10:00pm
STATION THEATRE, Movie Weekend, “Indignation” a Philip Roth adaptation by James Schamus, Tickets $10 at door only, Rating: 14A

Home

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Smiths Falls Hospital Auxiliary Annual Bazaar & Bake Sale

9:00am – 1:00pm
Smiths Falls Royal Canadian Legion Branch 95
7 Main St. E.

Skate Exchange

10:00am – 1:00pm
Modern Thymes Health & Bulk Foods, Smiths Falls
11 Russell Street East, Smiths Falls

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR & LUNCHEON

10:00am – 1:30pm
Turkey stew and bun or chili and tea biscuit for $8.00. Hot dogs for $3.00. Muffin, coffee, tea or hot chocolate for $2.00. Home banking, Deli, Cookies, Crafts, Knitted items Christmas table, Jewelry.
Westminster Presbyterian Church,
11 Church St. W. Smiths Falls

Christmas Tea, Bake Sale & Luncheon

11:00am-2:00pm
Salvation Army Church,
251 Brockville St., Smiths Falls
Hosted by the women’s ministry and everyone is welcome!

Indignation

7:00pm – 10:00pm
STATION THEATRE, Movie Weekend, “Indignation” a Philip Roth adaptation by James Schamus, Tickets $10 at door only, Rating: 14A

Home

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20

SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS THE ANNUAL FAMILY CONCERT

Bethel Pentecostal Church, 301 Hwy 29
Please bring an offering for the Hamper Drive

THE RIDEAU MELLOWDEARS IN SMITHS FALLS

7:00pm
Free Willing Offering
Westminster Presbyterian Church
11 Church St. W., Smiths Falls

Plan to restructure fire command gets green light from council

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 08:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca

Smiths Falls councillors have been assured that a plan to replace a retiring fire captain with three lieutenants won’t result in any significant increase in fire protection costs.

At a regular meeting of town council Monday, Nov. 7, Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp explained that Capt. Richard Laming has retired. Instead of appointing a new captain, Beauchamp said he intends to put three lieutenants in supervisory roles. One lieutenant will be responsible for fire prevention, another for logistics (vehicles, equipment and scheduling), and another for training and health and safety. The position of captain will be eliminated.

Councillors asked for more time to ask questions and think about the plan before amending a town bylaw to allow the restructuring to take place. At a meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole Monday, Nov. 14, which the fire chief was unable to attending, Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said having three lieutenants in addition to the chief would bring the fire department in line with government standards for “span of control” calling for one officer for every seven firefighters. In response to questions, he also stated that the lieutenants must be full-time firefighters rather than volunteers, to ensure they are available at all times.

“It’s management’s right to structure the department as they see fit,” said Morris. “It just requires a bylaw to enshrine this.”

Morris said the restructuring is cost neutral because “We’re not replacing the captain position,” which is higher paid.

The bylaw amendment will be voted on at the next regular council meeting.

Study says no to expanding Smiths Falls police to other townships

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 08:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

A study has concluded that having Smiths Falls police offer their services to five neighbouring townships isn’t worth the effort.

Currently, the municipalities of Merrickville-Wolford, Montague, Drummond-North Elmsley, Rideau Lakes and Westport, which border on Smiths Falls, receive police service from the Ontario Provincial Police, while Smiths Falls has its own municipal force. The town commissioned a study earlier this year to determine if it would be advantageous for Smiths Falls to bid for the right to provide police service to its neighbours, replacing the OPP.

Cliff Strachan, vice president of business development for Investigative Solutions Network Inc., the firm hired to carry out the study, told town councillors at a Nov. 14 meeting that minimal cost savings would result, due to the need to hire more officers, buy more vehicles and replace the current communications system to serve a larger geographic area.  “We do not feel it would be feasible for the Smiths Falls Police Service to service all five of the surrounding municipalities,” he said.

The town police service currently has a chief, a deputy chief, four sergeants, 17 constables and 9.5 full-time equivalent civilian staff. The proposal in the feasibility study was to serve the town and the surrounding municipalities by increasing the number of uniformed officers to 47. If the townships accepted the proposal, it would result in a savings of $385,487 from the combined costs of providing policing for all six municipalities, which Strachan said, is “not a lot of significant dollars,” especially in light of unknown additional capital costs for extra manpower and vehicles.

Councillors agreed to write to the neighbouring municipalities to see if any were interested in sharing police services on an individual basis, provided they were willing to share in the cost of any further studies of the issue.

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 11 – 13

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 10:11 AM
posted by Tara McNeil

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 11 – 13

Check out the weekend guide below to find out what is going on in your community.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11

Remembrance Day Ceremony

11:00am
Join us to honour all Veterans.
Smiths Falls Cenotaph

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12

40 Plus Singles Dinner/Dance

7:00pm
7pm dinner, followed by dance with Blue Thunder at 8pm. Casual dress (no jeans). Cash bar. Call Betty at 613-285-5557, or Wanda or Alice at 613-205-1234. There is music for everyone. You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy this event; just come and enjoy the evening with people who have similar interests to yours. Cost: $10
Smiths Falls Civitan Hall
12468 Hwy 15 N., Smiths Falls
40plussinglesdanceclub@gmail.com
613-285-5557

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13

THE RIDEAU MELLOWDEARS IN SMITHS FALLS

7:00pm
Free Willing Offering
Westminster Presbyterian Church
11 Church St. W., Smiths Falls

Chief plans restructuring of Smiths Falls fire department

Monday, November 7, 2016 @ 09:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

The retirement of a senior officer is prompting plans to alter the command structure of the Smiths Falls Fire Department.

At a regular meeting of town council on Monday, Nov. 7, Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp explained that Capt. Richard Laming has retired. Instead of appointing a new captain, Beauchamp said he intends to put three lieutenants in supervisory roles. One lieutenant will be responsible for fire prevention, another for logistics (vehicles, equipment and scheduling), and another for training and health and safety. The position of captain will be eliminated.

The new structure will be similar to the way the fire department was organized from 1994 to 2003, said Beauchamp. Having a lieutenant responsible for fire safety will allow the department to invest more effort in this area, he said, adding that, “Our main mandate is to provide fire safety in town.”

Because the position of captain was well paid, said Beauchamp, the new structure should cost roughly the same in salaries, said Beauchamp. The existing arrangement, with only two senior officers, “does not comply with the laws and standards of the industry,” he stated in a written report.

Councillor Chris Cummings, noting that council was seeing this report for the first time at the Nov. 7 meeting, stated that he was not prepared to approve a motion to allow the restructuring without taking the time to think it over.

Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said the timing of the report was due to the captain’s retirement taking place “much sooner than anticipated,” and added that the matter will be brought back to council for formal approval as quickly as possible.

Smiths Falls to lose Food Basics as RioCan closes County Fair Mall

Monday, November 7, 2016 @ 09:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca

RioCan Real Estate Trust plans to close County Fair Mall at the end of February and will demolish the property by the middle of next year, Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow informed town councillors at a meeting Monday, Nov. 7.

Tenants of the mall, located on Brockville Street, have been asked to vacate the property. Most will be gone by the end of January.

Although most businesses plan to relocate, Food Basics will be closing with the loss of eight full-time jobs. The future of Dollar Tree is uncertain.

“This news is very disappointing to Smiths Falls and the surrounding area,” said Pankow, reading a prepared news release at the meeting. “Our greatest concern is for those who are most impacted; those who will lose their jobs.”

The mayor said the town hopes to locate a developer willing to buy the property and revive the commercial enterprise. “RioCan has indicated they will proceed with demolition by mid-next year, but they have also indicated that they are open to offers,” Pankow said.

Although the mall struggled with low occupancy rates following the departure of the Target and Staples stores, the property offers high visibility and a great location, said Pankow.

Photo by: Howida Sorour-Roberts

Smiths Falls Waste and Recycling Guide

Read HERE: Smiths Falls Waste Guide ... Read More









Posts Tagged ‘Smiths Falls’

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 25 – 27

Thursday, November 24, 2016 @ 11:11 PM
posted by Tara McNeil

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 25 – 27

Check out the weekend guide below to find out what is going on in your community.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Ball Hockey and Basketball

12:30pm – 1:30pm
Drop in for a game of supervised ball hockey.
Outdoor Gerry Lowe Rink

Public Swim

1:00pm – 3:00pm
Smiths Falls & District Aquatic Recreation Centre
361 Queen St.
Cost: Regular Drop in prices apply

Shinny Hockey

1:30pm – 3:30pm
Join us at the Youth Arena for Shinny Hockey. $2 person.

A Chillin’ Movie Night for all kids

5:00pm
Join us to watch Zootopia. We’ll have dinner: Chili, bread & butter, milk, apple juice & rice krispie squares. Th movie starts at 6:30. Sponsored by Trinity United Church.
41 Market Street (Downstairs).

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Re-Purposing Craft Workshop

9:30am – 12:30pm
Takes place at the REAL Deal store. Carol Richardson of Heritage Mosaics, Perth will show how to make gifts from glass, tile, china etc. 283.9966 to register

Rideau Ski Club, Ski Swap & Open House

Equipment Drop Off: 9:30am – 12:20pm
Sale and Open House: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Need new ski and snowboard gear? The Rideau Ski Club Open House and Ski Swap and our membership drive kicks off at Sport X – Bikes, Boards & Skis! Become a Rideau Ski Club Member. Purchase a membership to receive great discounts at local hills. Individual: $20; Family: $40.

Merrickville Agricultural Society Christmas Craft Show

10:00am – 4:00pm
The 21st annual Merrickville Agricultural Society Christmas Craft Show will be held on November 26, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Merrickville Community Centre, 106 Read St. Free admission & parking.

Celebration of Lights Opening Night

5:30pm – 7:00pm
Let the Spirit of the Season embrace you as Victoria Park comes alive with illumination! Join us in Victoria Park as we light over 10,000 lights in 40 displays and the trees. Enjoy free wagon rides, popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate, Timbits and a visit from Santa.Build a Mountain of Food will be on site please bring a non-perishable food item for the van. Free Event; Donations are welcome – donation boxes will be on site. Note: After opening ceremony the lights will remain on till 10:00pm for viewing. For more information contact: info@togethersmithsfalls.com or visit www.togethersmithsfalls.com
Victoria Park Campground, 30 Lombard St.

Public Skating

11:30am – 12:30am
Sponsored by Smiths Falls Recreation Department – $2 per person
Smiths Falls Youth Arena

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27

County Fair Mall past and present staff photo this weekend

1:00pm
A past employee at the County Fair Mall in Smiths Falls is organizing a photo in front of the mall, that is slated for demolition.
Tracey Merkley would like all mall employees, past and present, to come out for one final photo before the mall closes in the New Year.
She said the idea was just a random idea that has gotten bigger and bigger, and now the picture is set to be taken Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m.
Any of the mall’s staff members, former or current, are welcome to participate in what they hope will be a photo of the mall’s multi-generational workforce.
Merkley says she worked at many different stores in the mall over nearly two decades, just like her mother who worked at the old Zellers store for more than 25 years. She told the Record News, “We’re trying to encourage people to come out and reminisce and get one last photo before they tear the mall down.”

Lyle Dillabough’s The Last of the Good Years

2:00pm
The Last of the Good Years, Lyle Dillabough’s examination of “life, barrooms and small towns in Canada during the 1960s and ’70s,” will be presented at The Station Theatre in Smiths Falls on Sunday, November 27 at 2pm. Based on recollections that Lyle (also known as the Valley Troubadour) wrote down while in hospital after a near-death experience, it will feature live music by area musicians who performed back in the ’60s and ’70s at The Mariner’s Inn, as well as at hotels such as The Arlington, The Rideau and The Russell. All proceeds after expenses will be donated to the Smiths Falls Community Food Bank, and tickets are only $10 at the door (cash only). Doors open at 1:30.
The Station Theatre
53 Victoria Ave. (corner of Daniel St.), Smiths Falls
smithsfallstheatre.com

Talk: Franklin’s Lost Ships Found

2:00pm
Talk by Jonathan Moore, a member of the Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Team that discovered the first of Franklin’s lost ships, the HMS Erebus.
In support of the Heritage House Museum.
In 1845, explorer Sir John Franklin set sail from England with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, in search of a Northwest Passage across what is now Canada’s Arctic. For over 150 years, groups have been sent to the Canadian Arctic in an attempt to learn the fate of the Franklin expedition. In 2014, there was a breakthrough when an expedition led by Parks Canada found the long-lost wreck of HMS Erebus. On September 12 (2016) the wreck of the HMS Terror was discovered 50km away from the wreck of the HMS Erebus. The extraordinary efforts leading to this discovery have brought together government and public, private and non-profit organizations from 2008 to present. The use of both state-of-the-art technology and 19th-century Inuit oral testimony made this historic find possible.
Tickets are going quickly at only $20 per person and are available at Heritage House Museum (11 Old Sly’s Road in Smiths Falls, 283–6311). The museum is open weekdays 10:30am to 4:30pm, weekends noon to 4:30pm.
Smiths Falls Legion
7 Main St. E., Smiths Falls
office95@cogeco.ca
613-283-2690

Public Skating

3:30pm – 4:30pm
Sponsored by Smiths Falls Recreation Department – $2 per person
Smiths Falls Youth Arena

CP Holiday Train

Finch
Location: Tracks adjacent to James Street between Williams Street & George Street
Arrival: 2:30 PM
Event Time: 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
Merrickville
Location: 103 East Broadway & Count y Road #2. South side of crossing near Bay Street
Arrival: 4:45 PM
Event Time: 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
Smiths Falls
Location: Smith Falls Train Station, 63 Victoria St.
Arrival:6:20 PM
Event Time: 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
Perth
Location: Railway Crossing on South Side of Wilson Street
Arrival: 7:40 PM
Event Time: 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Performers: Dallas Smith and Odds
For more info visit their website:
www.cpr.ca

Cenotaph chosen for planting of Vimy oak

Monday, November 21, 2016 @ 09:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

Smiths Falls’ own “Vimy Oak” will be planted beside the town cenotaph, town councillors have agreed.

Making a presentation to council Monday, Nov. 21, Smiths Falls and District Collegiate Institute (SFDCI) students Jordan Drummond and Ben Seward provided an update on the progress of the project and asked for help in finalizing the preferred site to plant the oak.

After the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917, a Canadian officer gathered some acorns from an oak tree destroyed in the fighting and sent them home to Canada. After the war ended the following November, Miller planted those acorns on his family farm in Scarborough as a way to commemorate the battle.

The acorns later grew into majestic oaks, of which just eight remain today. A volunteer group, the Vimy Oaks Legacy, is working with contacts in France to commemorate the centennial of Vimy Ridge by replanting the oak forest destroyed a century ago. Cuttings were taken from the Vimy Oaks in Scarborough last January. The grafted oaks are growing at Connon Nurseries in Ontario, and 100 will be shipped to France for planting next year, next to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Another 150 saplings will be planted in communities across Canada to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

A small group of SFDCI history students was enlisted to help plan both the planting of the Smiths Falls sapling, and the dedication ceremony and permanent marker. One of the group’s tasks was to recommend a location, and they started with six potential sites. Drummond told councillors the list had been shortened to just two potential sites, the park beside the town hall, and the cenotaph.

Because of the ongoing Town Square project to make improvements to the site next to the town hall, Art Manhire, manager of community services, said town staff were recommending the cenotaph as the “safest” location for a tree planting. He also said the soil at the cenotaph is favourable.

Smiths Falls awards contracts for flowers, meter reader

Monday, November 21, 2016 @ 08:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke
By Chris Must

Gemmell’s Garden Centre has been awarded a $36,000 contract to provide plants next season for hanging baskets and flower beds downtown.
 

Smiths Falls town councillors voted to award the contract, which came in $4,000 less than budgeted, at a regular council meeting Monday, Nov. 21.

 

In other business at the Nov. 21 meeting, council also awarded a $14,000 for a new electronic water meter reader to Evans Utility & Municipal Products Supply Ltd. The town’s existing handheld meter reader needs to be replaced because its software is outdated and it is no longer serviceable.

Smiths Falls councillors balk at proposed tax and water hikes in budget

Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 10:11 AM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
editorial@pdgmedia.ca

The closure of County Fair Mall will probably cost the town of Smiths Falls about $300,000 a year in commercial taxes, town councillor Chris Cummings told colleagues at a special meeting Nov. 16.

Councillors met to review the first draft of the proposed 2017 town budget, and found themselves facing declining revenues and rising costs. The town’s interim treasurer, Janet Koziel, presented an initial budget report recommending a 3.38 per cent tax increase, along with a 7 per cent hike in water rates and an 8 per cent wastewater rate increase.

Key dates

  • Public budget meeting on Nov. 30 at the  Smiths Falls Community Centre
  • Second draft of the budget is to be presented Dec. 12
  • Final budget approval Jan. 23.

Koziel also advised council that Smiths Falls’ share of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, a provincial infrastructure grant, will decrease by $43,500 next year.

Noting that the combined tax and water rate hikes would add an additional $204 a year to an average assessment in town, Councillor Jay Brennan said, “I think that’s onerous on the taxpayer.”

Brennan said it will be impossible for the town to spend sufficiently on capital projects in the future without significant federal and provincial grants. It is up to council, he said, to “show a little discretion and recognition of the difficulty that people are having in living.”

“The number one comment I get around town is our taxes are too high,” said Councillor Joe Gallipeau, adding that high residential and commercial taxes may be driving away both new residents and businesses.

Acknowledging that town staff had prepared the budget in a clear and understandable manner, Cummings said it was obvious that unless taxes increase, services will have to be reduced.

Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said the first draft of the budget presents a “worst-case scenario” because the town has applied for grants and won’t hear if the applications were successful until the end of the year. “We don’t have all the answers,” he said.

Morris said ongoing service reviews by town staff will identify further areas for cost savings.

The draft budget includes a list of capital priorities submitted by the heads of each department, ranging from $40,000 to replace video recording equipment in police cruisers to $137,000 for donations to eligible community groups. Some new items in the 2017 budget include funding for a new water and ice rescue service for the fire department, and $48,000 for the town’s share of funding for Canada 150th events next year. Substantial investment in upgrades to roads and water treatment facilities are also planned.

Council plans to hold a public meeting on the budget at the Smiths Falls Community Centre on Nov. 30. The second draft of the budget is to be presented Dec. 12, and the schedule calls for final approval Jan. 23.

In discussion at the Nov. 16 meeting, councillors agreed that an additional meeting should be scheduled to discuss the input received at the public meeting. Staff also suggested that the need to identify cost savings in order to reduce the need for tax increases might make it necessary to delay passage of the budget.

 

Photo by Chris Must: Interim Treasurer Janet Koziel presented her report on the first draft of Smiths Falls’ 2017 budget at a special meeting Nov. 16.

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 18 – 20

Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 09:11 AM
posted by Tara McNeil

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 18 -20

Check out the weekend guide below to find out what is going on in your community.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Indignation

7:00pm – 10:00pm
STATION THEATRE, Movie Weekend, “Indignation” a Philip Roth adaptation by James Schamus, Tickets $10 at door only, Rating: 14A

Home

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Smiths Falls Hospital Auxiliary Annual Bazaar & Bake Sale

9:00am – 1:00pm
Smiths Falls Royal Canadian Legion Branch 95
7 Main St. E.

Skate Exchange

10:00am – 1:00pm
Modern Thymes Health & Bulk Foods, Smiths Falls
11 Russell Street East, Smiths Falls

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR & LUNCHEON

10:00am – 1:30pm
Turkey stew and bun or chili and tea biscuit for $8.00. Hot dogs for $3.00. Muffin, coffee, tea or hot chocolate for $2.00. Home banking, Deli, Cookies, Crafts, Knitted items Christmas table, Jewelry.
Westminster Presbyterian Church,
11 Church St. W. Smiths Falls

Christmas Tea, Bake Sale & Luncheon

11:00am-2:00pm
Salvation Army Church,
251 Brockville St., Smiths Falls
Hosted by the women’s ministry and everyone is welcome!

Indignation

7:00pm – 10:00pm
STATION THEATRE, Movie Weekend, “Indignation” a Philip Roth adaptation by James Schamus, Tickets $10 at door only, Rating: 14A

Home

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20

SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS THE ANNUAL FAMILY CONCERT

Bethel Pentecostal Church, 301 Hwy 29
Please bring an offering for the Hamper Drive

THE RIDEAU MELLOWDEARS IN SMITHS FALLS

7:00pm
Free Willing Offering
Westminster Presbyterian Church
11 Church St. W., Smiths Falls

Plan to restructure fire command gets green light from council

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 08:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca

Smiths Falls councillors have been assured that a plan to replace a retiring fire captain with three lieutenants won’t result in any significant increase in fire protection costs.

At a regular meeting of town council Monday, Nov. 7, Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp explained that Capt. Richard Laming has retired. Instead of appointing a new captain, Beauchamp said he intends to put three lieutenants in supervisory roles. One lieutenant will be responsible for fire prevention, another for logistics (vehicles, equipment and scheduling), and another for training and health and safety. The position of captain will be eliminated.

Councillors asked for more time to ask questions and think about the plan before amending a town bylaw to allow the restructuring to take place. At a meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole Monday, Nov. 14, which the fire chief was unable to attending, Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said having three lieutenants in addition to the chief would bring the fire department in line with government standards for “span of control” calling for one officer for every seven firefighters. In response to questions, he also stated that the lieutenants must be full-time firefighters rather than volunteers, to ensure they are available at all times.

“It’s management’s right to structure the department as they see fit,” said Morris. “It just requires a bylaw to enshrine this.”

Morris said the restructuring is cost neutral because “We’re not replacing the captain position,” which is higher paid.

The bylaw amendment will be voted on at the next regular council meeting.

Study says no to expanding Smiths Falls police to other townships

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 08:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

A study has concluded that having Smiths Falls police offer their services to five neighbouring townships isn’t worth the effort.

Currently, the municipalities of Merrickville-Wolford, Montague, Drummond-North Elmsley, Rideau Lakes and Westport, which border on Smiths Falls, receive police service from the Ontario Provincial Police, while Smiths Falls has its own municipal force. The town commissioned a study earlier this year to determine if it would be advantageous for Smiths Falls to bid for the right to provide police service to its neighbours, replacing the OPP.

Cliff Strachan, vice president of business development for Investigative Solutions Network Inc., the firm hired to carry out the study, told town councillors at a Nov. 14 meeting that minimal cost savings would result, due to the need to hire more officers, buy more vehicles and replace the current communications system to serve a larger geographic area.  “We do not feel it would be feasible for the Smiths Falls Police Service to service all five of the surrounding municipalities,” he said.

The town police service currently has a chief, a deputy chief, four sergeants, 17 constables and 9.5 full-time equivalent civilian staff. The proposal in the feasibility study was to serve the town and the surrounding municipalities by increasing the number of uniformed officers to 47. If the townships accepted the proposal, it would result in a savings of $385,487 from the combined costs of providing policing for all six municipalities, which Strachan said, is “not a lot of significant dollars,” especially in light of unknown additional capital costs for extra manpower and vehicles.

Councillors agreed to write to the neighbouring municipalities to see if any were interested in sharing police services on an individual basis, provided they were willing to share in the cost of any further studies of the issue.

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 11 – 13

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 10:11 AM
posted by Tara McNeil

Smiths Falls weekend guide: November 11 – 13

Check out the weekend guide below to find out what is going on in your community.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11

Remembrance Day Ceremony

11:00am
Join us to honour all Veterans.
Smiths Falls Cenotaph

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12

40 Plus Singles Dinner/Dance

7:00pm
7pm dinner, followed by dance with Blue Thunder at 8pm. Casual dress (no jeans). Cash bar. Call Betty at 613-285-5557, or Wanda or Alice at 613-205-1234. There is music for everyone. You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy this event; just come and enjoy the evening with people who have similar interests to yours. Cost: $10
Smiths Falls Civitan Hall
12468 Hwy 15 N., Smiths Falls
40plussinglesdanceclub@gmail.com
613-285-5557

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13

THE RIDEAU MELLOWDEARS IN SMITHS FALLS

7:00pm
Free Willing Offering
Westminster Presbyterian Church
11 Church St. W., Smiths Falls

Chief plans restructuring of Smiths Falls fire department

Monday, November 7, 2016 @ 09:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

The retirement of a senior officer is prompting plans to alter the command structure of the Smiths Falls Fire Department.

At a regular meeting of town council on Monday, Nov. 7, Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp explained that Capt. Richard Laming has retired. Instead of appointing a new captain, Beauchamp said he intends to put three lieutenants in supervisory roles. One lieutenant will be responsible for fire prevention, another for logistics (vehicles, equipment and scheduling), and another for training and health and safety. The position of captain will be eliminated.

The new structure will be similar to the way the fire department was organized from 1994 to 2003, said Beauchamp. Having a lieutenant responsible for fire safety will allow the department to invest more effort in this area, he said, adding that, “Our main mandate is to provide fire safety in town.”

Because the position of captain was well paid, said Beauchamp, the new structure should cost roughly the same in salaries, said Beauchamp. The existing arrangement, with only two senior officers, “does not comply with the laws and standards of the industry,” he stated in a written report.

Councillor Chris Cummings, noting that council was seeing this report for the first time at the Nov. 7 meeting, stated that he was not prepared to approve a motion to allow the restructuring without taking the time to think it over.

Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said the timing of the report was due to the captain’s retirement taking place “much sooner than anticipated,” and added that the matter will be brought back to council for formal approval as quickly as possible.

Smiths Falls to lose Food Basics as RioCan closes County Fair Mall

Monday, November 7, 2016 @ 09:11 PM
posted by April Scott-Clarke

Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca

RioCan Real Estate Trust plans to close County Fair Mall at the end of February and will demolish the property by the middle of next year, Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow informed town councillors at a meeting Monday, Nov. 7.

Tenants of the mall, located on Brockville Street, have been asked to vacate the property. Most will be gone by the end of January.

Although most businesses plan to relocate, Food Basics will be closing with the loss of eight full-time jobs. The future of Dollar Tree is uncertain.

“This news is very disappointing to Smiths Falls and the surrounding area,” said Pankow, reading a prepared news release at the meeting. “Our greatest concern is for those who are most impacted; those who will lose their jobs.”

The mayor said the town hopes to locate a developer willing to buy the property and revive the commercial enterprise. “RioCan has indicated they will proceed with demolition by mid-next year, but they have also indicated that they are open to offers,” Pankow said.

Although the mall struggled with low occupancy rates following the departure of the Target and Staples stores, the property offers high visibility and a great location, said Pankow.

Photo by: Howida Sorour-Roberts

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