Ridgetown – The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on February 16 at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. Linda McKinlay was elected as Chair and Hilda MacDonald as Vice-chair for 2017. Mrs. McKinlay is a Municipal Councillor for the Town of Lakeshore and Mrs. MacDonald is Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Leamington.
The 2017 budget of $3,097,028 received approval at the AGM. The budget represents an increase of $71,006 or 2.35% in overall spending in comparison to the 2016 approved budget of $3,026,022. The corresponding increase in the municipal levy is $32,874 or 2.14%. The 10 member municipalities of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority include Chatham-Kent, Dutton Dunwich, Lakeshore, Leamington, London, Middlesex Centre, Southwest Middlesex, Southwold, Strathroy-Caradoc and West Elgin. Chatham-Kent appoints three representatives to the LTVCA Board while the remaining nine municipalities appoint one representative each for up to a three-year term.
Guest Speaker Scott Gillingwater – Species at Risk Biologist with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority provided an informative presentation on Reptiles at Risk in Southwestern Ontario. His presentation was followed by the Greening Partnership Environmental Award for Landowner Stewardship, awarded to Peter and Jacqueline Cameron, and Dan and Chris Peltier.
The 2016 Annual Report emphasized the benefits of the investment in the flood control structures of the lower Thames watershed and the monitoring of watershed conditions over the past year. Additional highlights of the year included the LTVCA undertaking 1,864 regulatory and municipal plan review services, the provision of $922,000 of stewardship grant assistance to 200 landowners, the planting of 128,000 trees, and the natural restoration of 152 hectares. Forty-two hectares of the invasive plant Phragmites Australis were controlled, 22 hectares of wetlands were created and 15 hectares of tallgrass prairie were planted. Eight thousand students engaged in the LTVCA’s education programs and over 14,000 people enjoyed camping at 4 conservation authority campgrounds in 2016.
Also recognized were the more than 700 volunteers who gave 5,500 hours of their time and the 42 funding partners of the Conservation Authority that provided an additional $2.1M for watershed conservation. In the words of Vice-Chair Hilda MacDonald, “The guest list of the annual meeting of the LTVCA is a fine example of how well the Conservation Authority works with its community partners. From municipal leaders, to provincial agencies, to concerned and affected residents, to utility partners, all shared in the support of the LTVCA by attending the event.”
For further information, please contact:
Don Pearson, General-Manager/Secretary-Treasurer
Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Tel: 519-354-7310 (Administration Office)