By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
The seven temporary staffers whose contract at Colborne’s Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre will soon expire should get a renewal for April 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023.
That will be the recommendation to Northumberland County council after the matter came up at this week’s meeting of the Economic Development, Tourism and Planning Standing Committee.
Throughout 2021, this facility has been booked an average of six weeks in advance, according to the staff report. To meet the growing demand, hours have even been extended. Director of Economic Development and Tourism Dan Borowec noted that the positions included enough flexibility and variability to make the most of this valuable human resource, with workweeks varying from 22 to 35 hours. This cost has been allocated in the county’s 2022 budget.
“This type of labour management has gone a long way to improving the fiscal efficiencies related to the centre,” Borowec stated.
“The renewals come up April 1, and we would like to have this in place so there is no disruption to service or work force.”
The staff report also noted other changes introduced at the facility in 2021, such as a new service agreement for all clients and equipment upgrades to improve clients’ processing efficiency.
County council Deputy Warden Mandy Martin – not a committee member but sitting in on the meeting – asked that a copy of Borowec’s report be made available to the county’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.
“I can certain speak to that at their next scheduled meeting,” Borowec said.