Ron introduced Wes Crown who has 25 years experience in Planning with Tay and Midland and in the private sector.

Wes said planners try to think in the long term and, while the economy is undergoing one of its adjustments, he is positive about what's happening and he went on to describe some of the current activity.

Melchior is building 6,000 sq. ft. in front of Canadian Tire and already has tenants - Royal LePage and Desjardins.  The GBGH expansion has begun the first phase and all approvals are in.  They are waiting for word on funding from the Province before starting the second phase.  Marina Park is being rebuilt by Deneen Const. which is a reputable firm and who are talking about adding sustainable features to the building, including geo thermal heating.  The new Tim Horton's is built and operating but there is a strip along Bay Street to be built on - they are looking at 20,000 sq. ft. on three floors and the Town is encouraging a design that would fit in with downtown features like building to the sidewalk, using brick and using windows to make it attractive from the street.  The Pro-Oil outlet is almost done and redevelops a lot and the Midland Traditions Retirement Home on Pillsbury is under construction and will have 110 apartments to serve a growing seniors population.  The only residential project is the one on Young St. which is mostly towns and semis but that puts them at a different price point that might be more affordable.  Land is cleared for an retail mall across from Boston Pizza of 93,000 sq. ft. to be built in phases.  The builders have done a lot of similar things in Barrie and so have experience but haven't released any info on tenants.

Unimin is up for sale - 3,300 ft. on the water and 40 acres and an opportunity to define Midland as a waterfront community.  A study has been commissioned and is under way and the old plant is being demolished.  There will be public consultation on the 24th and more to follow as the plan is developed.

Wes feels this concentration on commercial is a good sign for the community as it represents not only investments for the community but makes Midland better able to attract visitors and, in the long run, residents.  Cultural developments like the MCC will also help attract both.

The Huronia Economic Alliance is in its early days but represents the strength of a group.  The website is up now and work is being done on developing an incubator concept.

Population forecasts for 2031 are 22,500 for Midland and 11,000 for Penetang.  For 2041 the numbers are 26,881 and 13,142.  Employment numbers are 13,800 and 6,000 for 2031 and 16,487 and 7,168 for 2041.  Again, as a long term effort the town has to have sewer and water systems in place.

In response to a question Wes said the recycling operation is now on track to buy some land on McDonald beside the Beamish pit and public consultation will come.  The tech plans are being reviewed by a third party to eliminate any sense of conflict as Town staff did help on making this application after the one on Highway 12 met with resistance.