Tillsonburg Mayor Stephen Molnar addressed members of the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce virtually on March 24.
Traditionally known as the Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast with the Mayor held at The Carriage Hall, this year participants used the online Zoom platform.
Highlights from Molnar’s 33-minute address included a brief year in review, a Power-Point review of the Town’s 2021 budget and economic forecast and the strategic planning process that is currently underway, followed by a lengthy question and answer session.
“I thank you for your advocacy and continued leadership,” said Molnar in his opening remarks.
“Even during a time of pandemic, there was an aggressive 2020 business plan supported by an appropriate budget,” said Molnar, “and we did realize a great deal of the goals and opportunities that we set out to accomplish.”
2020 in Tillsonburg included a record level of building activity (nearly $72 million in total), up 27 per cent from 2019 and up 266% from 2015. There was a 50-50 split between single family and multi-family dwellings, he said. And there was solid commercial activity.
“We’re extremely pleased with the density, the growth of residential in the downtown, and the opportunity for additional residential units that already have site plan approvals into 2021 is encouraging as well,” said Molnar.
“Even at a time of a pandemic, or transition perhaps, there has been identification of solid commercial activity. And that’s both through leadership of other organizations in the community and, I think, of faith – the faith that Tillsonburg remains a valuable place to invest in. And again, it’s a part of the things that people on this call bring to this opportunity on a daily basis.”
In his economic outlook, Molnar said residential activity is expected to remain at – or above – record levels. Commercial activity is expected to recover and industrial activity is expected to remain strong.
“The Town, along with our economic development group and the county planners, have certainly identified some levels of restriction. We’re pleased with acquisition, the investment, in industrial lands but borders have limits as well, and we will be looking at, and are committed to, investigating any and all opportunity for additional lands that would be required to satisfy the short, mid and long term demands of this community.”
In his closing remarks, Molnar said, “Our goal – and I look forward to continuing to work with the Chamber of Commerce over the coming year, as we deliver on our mandate that Tillsonburg will be, remain, and grow to be connected, enriched and inspired.”