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Ingram served as parks manager, arena attendant, water and sewage worker and environmental property operations manager in Minden Hills until 2019. He said he learned how to balance spending public money with completing new projects. “Council allowed me throughout the years, through my budgets and grants and other initiatives, to go ahead and do those projects. And we’ve done a lot.”
He said some services, such as roads and bylaw, could be combined, but is hesitant about amalgamating governments. “I really don’t like the idea of a County council as I feel the public’s input will be lessened, they won’t be able to speak out as much. It would mean more work for County-level councillors, which means I would say probably with amalgamation you’re going to see increases in councillors’ and mayors’ wages.”
He said he likes the current system of two hospitals. He said Minden Hills has a doctor shortage. “It’s definitely an issue we need to talk about. I know because I’ve hit [the ER] a few times over the years. You wouldn’t believe how many people are coming from Lindsay and further out because our emergency room is so fast…. I know that at a funding level, it puts us at a disadvantage because we’re dealing with people that aren’t actually living here.”
“I’m only one person, but I can certainly bring the thoughts to the table. I like the idea of small homes. They’re affordable. Again, they just need to be regulated.” He said Minden Hills needs provincial help to regulate and increase housing stock. Poverty He said housing and short-term rentals both intersect with discussions about poverty. “We have to bring ideas to the table, like small homes, like encouraging people that have cottages to adapt them for apartments. I know a lot of people in town who have basements that are completely empty.” He said he’d support changing zoning bylaws to encourage secondary suites.
Shoreline preservation bylaw
He said he supports the bylaw as it stands but said there’s room for improvement. “I don’t think it’s done. I think we need to spend a little time on enforcement to get some idea of what we’re looking at and what’s happening.” The bylaw outlines plans for multiple new staff to conduct enforcement operations and process applications.
He acknowledges short-term rentals are important to homeowners but said they could be taking housing from long-term residents. “I’m all for them if they’re regulated. The problem I have is a lot of these short-term rentals are renting them out without the awareness that there are maybe 10 or 15 or 20 people coming to that residence.” He said he’s also concerned about the impact on septic systems.
Vision for the future
He said he sees the town growing more in future years, and sees housing remain a concern. “I want Minden to be a place that people want to come and visit and stay, use the local amenities, support local business.” Ingram said he’d like to see the Minden BIA re-formed and have council representation, and maybe open up online surveys to solicit community wishes for the downtown. He said he’d like to see more sidewalk sales and other special events. “I really don’t know what the single answer is to help these people [downtown]. Again, if you make the downtown more accessible and more inviting, people are going to come there, no matter whether there’s a Dairy Queen out on the bypass and liquor or beer store, they’re still going to come in and want to walk [by the river] and interact with the local people. These businesses depend on them.”
He said multiple projects in Minden Hills need attention, such as the water system. He said he does not support using debentures for capital projects, as Minden Hills did with the arena and multiple ongoing road reconstructions. However, he said the work needs to be done, even if it means a rise in taxes. “I don’t think avoiding it is the answer.” He said he feels like Minden Hills can be “more aggressive” with the province for more funding for projects like waterworks.
Ivan Ingram the candidate
“I think if you talk to anybody I dealt with, in the 31 years I worked [at the township]… they’d be quite happy with what they received from me or what I did for them. I’m not bragging but that’s what I was paid to do… This town has allowed me to buy a home. It’s allowed me to live here. It paid my wages. I want to give back… I want to help the town grow. I want this County on the map again. And we’re just not doing it right now.”