Bilton wants to continue serving Dawn-Euphemia


Bill Bilton has been a fixture around the council table since Dawn and Euphemia Township came together.
And the 82 year-old farmer says he’s still feeling good enough to continue working for his community.
Bilton is up for a council position in the community this Oct. 22nd election.
Why did you decide to run again?
“I still feel pretty good and I had some people tell me they appreciate my experience on council. I might have slowed down a little, I might not be as aggressive as I once was about it but I’ve always been interested in the community. I like where I live.”
What do you think the big issue this time around in Dawn-Euphemia?
“I don’t know whether there are any big issues. Things seem to go pretty smooth down here. We have decent tax rates. We get told that we have the best country roads in the area and so there isn’t any big issue.
“There is the issue of the Environmental Assessment in Florence (for sewage treatment) but we’re working away with the Ministry of the Environment on that issue.”
How frustrating is that issue?
“It is quite frustrating. They tell us the plan we have now, we haven’t done enough consultation and a few things like that. But I guess we just work away at it.
Some people are concerned about the shrinking population in Dawn-Euphemia. Is there anything council can do about that?
“I don’t know how you do anything about that in the fact those that are serious in farming, they’re buying land. If there are houses on the land, the houses are rented but usually just for a short time because renters don’t take care of them like owners so they end up being demolished. You just can’t make a living on a small farm.”
Bilton adds when he was growing up, families were larger filling the schools and churches and families could survive on a 100 acre farm plot.
In the next four years is there something you would like to seen happen in Dawn-Euphemia?
“I would like to see the Environmental Assessment done for sewage in Florence. When we do get to the point when we have a plan, I think we will have trouble affording it without the senior levels of government.
“The ratepayers of Florence will have trouble affording it, we’ve said that all along as a council, and there is going to have to be some outside money for the people to afford it.
“Our new provincial government is looking at tightening the purse strings rather than opening them up.”
Are you concerned the new provincial government is going to look the size of Dawn-Euphemia make cuts to the size of council?
“I heard at the time when they were doing Toronto, (the province cut the size of council from 47 to 25) what they were doing in Toronto didn’t necessarily apply to all Ontario.”
Bilton believes the reorganization of Lambton in the 1990s has generally worked well.
You don’t think it needs tweaking?
“It’s election time, so I’m going to say no.”