Pilot project would see St. Thomas Transit buses venture beyond city limits


city_scope_logo-cmykHopping on a bus bound for London may soon be a reality for St. Thomas and Elgin county residents.
The city is about to pitch a pilot project to the province seeking funding support for regional transit connectivity for residents of St. Thomas, Central Elgin, Southwold, Malahide and Aylmer.
The undertaking was a recommendation of the Transit Strategic Plan presented to city council a month ago, although the pilot project would go beyond the one-year test suggested in that report.
As outlined Monday (Dec. 16) by Mayor Joe Preston at the reference committee meeting, the three-year undertaking would see a Monday through Sunday service operating from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The bus would leave St. Thomas on the hour for each trip, although Preston stressed these times and hours of operation could be adjusted.

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St. Thomas Transit strategic plan: ‘Any change is better than what we have now’


city_scope_logo-cmykThe city’s much-maligned transit system may very well become a greatly relied upon people mover if council endorses the recommendations of the soon-to-be-released Strategic Transit Plan.
The proposed changes would involve route and schedule adjustments, the introduction of demand-responsive transit (DRT), the possibility of larger buses and electric bus technology and a pilot project to explore regional bus service.
At Monday’s (Nov. 18) reference committee meeting, Brian Putre of Stantec Consulting and city engineer Justin Lawrence presented an overview of recommendations to members of city council.
The plan, which is 95 per cent complete, drew favourable comments from all of council, including the stark observation from Coun. Joan Rymal that “any change is better than what we have now.”

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Downloadable app would alert and advise St. Thomas residents


city_scope_logo-cmykThe Town of Aylmer is already on board and now St. Thomas has the opportunity to partner with that municipality on the implementation of a community notification/alert system.
Last year Aylmer, in conjunction with a pair of local industries – the Integrated Grain Processors Co-op ethanol plant and Air Liquide – entered into an agreement with ICEsoft Technologies of Calgary to purchase their Voyent Alert system.
The firm’s website notes, “The flexible platform serves the dual purpose of alerting and advising residents during a critical incident as well as providing targeted day-to-day communication services.” Continue reading

2010 Public Sector Salaries, Aylmer and Township of Malahide


Figures released for 2010 salaries (2009 salary in brackets)
Aylmer
GIBSON, WILLIAM Const. first class police constable $106,749 (new)
KNIGHT, MICHAEL Sgt., police $111,082 ($107,517)
LAWRENCE, PAUL Const., first class police constable $106,454 ($103,418)
REYMER, ANDREW Deputy Chief, Police $116,193 ($117,274)
SEGUI, BILARDINO Chief, Police $123,875 ($118,791)

Township of Malahide
WILSON, SUSAN Director of Finance $102,584 ($102,152)

Complete 2010 municipal election results from across Elgin


ST. THOMAS
MAYOR
Heather Jackson-Chapman, 3,666
Cliff Barwick, incumbent, 3,158
Al Riddell, 2,910

ALDERMAN
(seven to be elected)
Lori Baldwin-Sands, incumbent, 5,366
Jeff Kohler, 4,691
Mark Cosens, 4,592
Gord Campbell, 4,415
Dave Warden, 4,037
Sam Yusuf, 3,760
Tom Johnston, 3,681

Linda Stevenson, 3,294
Peter Ostojic, 2,948
Bill Sandison, 2,699
Ryan Dolby, 2,607
Rose Gibson, 2,243
Joe Docherty, 2,114
John Allen, 1,966
Joan Rymal, 1,945
Joseph Fric, 1,708
Wayne Northcott, 810
Shawn Claridge, 631
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2009 Public Sector Salaries, Aylmer and Township of Malahide


Figures released March 31, 2010 for 2009 salaries – 2008 salary in brackets
Aylmer
KNIGHT, MICHAEL Sgt., police $107,517 (new)
LAWRENCE, PAUL Const., police $103,418 (new)
REYMER, ANDREW Deputy Chief, Police $117,274 ($109,815)
SEGUI, BILARDINO Chief, Police $118,791 ($107,236)

Township of Malahide
MILLARD, RANDY Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk $112,226 ($106,792)
WILSON, SUSAN $102,152 (new)

From bridesmaid to bankruptcy, the sad tale of Walker Transport



Posted by Ian: Last fall, MacKinnon Transport of Guelph purchased long-established Elgin trucking firm, Walker Transport. In January of 2010, Walker filed for creditor protection, this after laying off 30 drivers the week before Christmas. Obviously the family-run business, originally based in Aylmer, caught the attention of MacKinnon and so the merger proved attractive. It’s hard to imagine Walker’s value deteriorated so quickly. Or do you pick off the attractive fruit from the tree and leave the rest to rot. Kyle Rea had the following update in the Times-Journal (see below), and more background is available here and a further backgrounder, including an interview with MacKinnon President and CEO Evan MacKinnon can be found here . Here’s Kyle’s story …

A trucking company with long roots in the St. Thomas area, acquired last year by a Guelph-based business, has filed for bankruptcy.
On Dec. 3, the CIBC bank called in its loan for L.E. Walker Transport Ltd., — five days later, the company filed for creditor protection and remained that way until its assets were purchased by MacKinnon Transport Inc., of Guelph, Ont., on Jan. 8.
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