Managing growth most important issue in Plympton-Wyoming: Dekker


Ben Dekker says managing growth in Plympton-Wyoming will be the most important issue in the next four years.
The 51 year old cash crop farmer and livestock nutritionalist is running for deputy mayor in the community
Dekker has served on council – on and off – since 2001.
Why did you decide to run for counci?
“I think a cohesive council is really important…the council has to be able to work together…I think this council works together pretty well…I think I’m part of the glue that sticks things together pretty well.”
What will be different about being deputy mayor as opposed to councillor?
“I think it is one out of seven seats at that table. It’s not more important than any other position.”
Dekker says an elected deputy mayor will provide some stablity in the case the mayor can’t attend a meeting.
What important issues that you would like to advance over the next four years?
“Plympton-Wyoming is growing. The lakeshore are is a well sought after environment to live and we’ve got land out there. We’ve got a lot of pressure from developers to move that agenda forward and allow them to develop out there. We have to allow development where people want it in an orderly fashion utilizing our current infrastructure and ensuring that developers pay for any new services that are going in.”
Developers have come to Plympton-Wyoming in the past saying it is really expensive to develop here, could that hold development back?
“Absolutely not. We have a development charges bylaw…current ratepayers are not expected to pay for development..people complain about development charges and why it cost something to build in Plympton-Wyoming, I can tell you why, because we want to treat our existing ratepayers fairly. We don’t want them to pay for development.
“If new people want to live in our community and it is obvious they do, they will pay their fair share.”
Will the people moving to the community and building start demanding more services, similiar to what is being offered in Petrolia?
“I talked to a young family who lives in Petrolia who used to live in Wyoming who said Wyoming had so much stuff for the kids; they’ve got a swimming pool, there is a trail, there is tot parks, there is places to go for kids and Petrolia doesn’t have that unless you’re a part of the community centre.
I would defend our current level of ammenities for our ratepayers and say actually, we’re a really well serviced municipality…and it is making Plympton-Wyoming a desitination…
“We’ve got some really good infrastructure, will new residents demand more? I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out over time.”
With the province talking abou its deficit, and Plympton-Wyoming being frugal in the past, how is the town going to maintain all of its infrastructure?
“We have to maintain our assets. We have to be reserving money so we can replace roads when the time comes. We’ve got a good track record of doing that when it comes to equipments and roads…
“Certainly lately we’ve been able to capitalize on grant money – look at the ball parks – but we’re not dependent on grant money…but we need to keep putting money in the bank so that when things start going south, we can replace them.”