Ayer`s Cliff News
The Village of Ayer’s Cliff will have an interesting year, one that involves change and keeping traditions.
A major project in the town will be the purchase of the Servite beach by the Regie de parc regional Massawippi which represents the five municipalities around the lake. North Hatley has expressed that they cannot participate in an injection of funds and that the project would benefit their town the least. North Hatley is also concerned about future costs associated with the project. The price tag of the eleven acre property is around $1.5 million. “Our goal is to have the five municipalities participating in this project. Other possibilities will be presented to North Hatley, such as bringing something else besides cash to the table,” said Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec van Zuiden.
The former bowling alley on Westmount Street that the town originally purchased for a possible community centre has been sold. It is now a dairy that goes by the name of La Pinte and it will process pure and organic milks, selling it in glass bottles.
Another project in the works but not yet approved is the “Jardins des Pionniers”. This project would tie in with the Coaticook MRC’s Voie des Pionniers, bringing together the historic heritage of both regions. The town will continue to strive to get the Ayer’s Cliff Fairgrounds recog-
nized by the provincial government as a heritage site. This would open up provincial funding avenues for the fairgrounds.
The town’s mill rate has increased by 2%. “But if we compare that to 2010, it is still 5 % lower,” said the town’s General Manager, Kimball Smith, who attributed the healthy financial situation to budget streamlining, a growing tax base, and the town’s “solid mix of industry, business and residences.” An average home, valued at $164,000 will see an overall increase of 2 ½ %. All other services have been frozen at last year’s rates.
Residents will receive a survey about a new cultural policy for the town with their tax bills. “We’ll need to hear from at least two hundred respondents. We want to develop a cultural identity for the town,” said the mayor.
Asked how Mr. van Zuiden’s new town business (Zen Metal Technologies) was doing, he answered enthusiastically: “It`s going `rock and roll`. We have between twelve and fourteen employees and a second laser fiber-optic machine is coming from Italy and will be here by the end of January. It will cut steel up to one inch thick. ”