MPP Steve Clark paid a visit to the Village of Merrickville-Wolford to officially recognize the provincial government’s investment in the municipality’s economic development. The Municipality received a Rural Economic Development (RED) grant of roughly $98,000 earlier this year, which has allowed for the hiring of their first Economic Development Officer, charged with creating an Economic Development Plan for the Village. The grant will also finance new tourism and business development strategies and enhance communication activities.
“Our government is proud to support projects that help to grow jobs and open the doors to economic development in rural and indigenous communities, like Merrickville-Wolford,” Steve said. “Ontario has a first-class agri-food and agriculture sector, and I am pleased to be able to help the municipality identify their economic strengths, and develop strategies that can attract business and investment.”
Merrickville-Wolford Mayor, Doug Struthers, was on hand to thank Steve and offer his thoughts on the benefits of this grant for the community. In his address, he harkened back to the early 1790s when William Mirick received a Crown grant and built a sawmill beside the rapids on the Rideau River. “Entrepreneurism formed the foundation of our municipality,” he said. “Today, this valuable Rural Economic Development grant will contribute greatly toward paying for the implementation of our economic development strategy, allowing us to continue building a progressive, growing economy and further the legacy upon which our Village was founded.”
The Municipality welcomed their Economic Development Officer, Jeff McNamee, to the staff in October of this year. Since then, he has been busy meeting with community stakeholders to get a feel for the municipality. He will be working closely with the Economic Development Committee, businesses, and the agricultural community to outline economic development priorities for the municipality moving forward.