Capitalizing on Opportunities
As a Community in Action, economic development has been a priority of the Township who has worked with the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership to secure additional industrial, commercial and related business development opportunities to support employment, residential housing construction and the commercial base of the community.
In support of economic development, a multi-phased program has been launched by the Township. The first phase involved the completion of a Community Economic and Demographic Profile, a consultation program and other initiatives that led to the development of the Township of Warwick Community and Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). A Warwick Strategic Plan Advisory Committee was formed and is focused on economic development and other Strategic Plan elements. The CEDS was completed in 2010 and approved by Council. In the fall of 2010, the Township launched Phase 2 of the CEDS which is an Economic Development Marketing Plan that builds on the Mission, Strategic Directions and Implementation Plan recommendations of the CEDS.
HIGHLIGHTS from the Warwick Economic Development Marketing Plan
Warwick is strongly committed to the development of the community. The following points were summarized as Warwick’s greatest opportunities in the Community and Economic Development Strategy report in 2009. Since 2009, the Township has successfully addressed and capitalized on each one.
- To rebuild Watford’s downtown:
- Downtown revitalization study completed
- Community Improvement Plan established (facades / murals)
- To provide for diversity in housing:
- Developed interest with local entrepreneurs to establish “plans of subdivision” (two projects currently underway)
- To turn the landfill into a community asset/resource:
- Community Commitment Agreement in place
- Future methane gas-to-energy
- Donation of 40 acres to Municipality for future residential growth
- To pursue the generation of jobs directly and indirectly:
- Strong focus on business attraction and retention
- To provide shovel-ready residential and industrial lands:
- Development of the Industrial Park
- Continually working with Sarnia-Lambton Economic Development team to secure additional land
- To enforce property standards bylaws and parking restrictions:
- Ongoing review and updating of pertinent municipal bylaws
HIGHLIGHTS from the Economic Development Marketing Plan
Within the scope of the Economic Development Marketing Plan created in 2010, Warwick has developed and continues to implement a long term vision for the future.
The key principles in support of this long term vision focus significantly on four themes:
- Greening strategies in terms of policies, economic development promotion, community design and land development
- The renewal of downtown Watford
- Connecting with the Twin Creeks Landfill in terms of recycling, gasification and related opportunities within a green context
- Focusing on agriculture, tourism and local community development as primary economic drivers
The following points summarize Warwick’s greatest strengths, based on the consultation input received for the Community and Economic Development Strategy:
- Strong agriculture sector
- Strategic and central location along Hwy 402 with access to the railway
- Low taxes
- The low cost of land within the community to build on, with no Development Charges and limited red tape
- Good access from east, west, north and south, which gives a multi-directional location, as well as proximity to London, Sarnia and the USA border
- The labour costs related to wages and the available strong and stable labour force in the area
- Officials in Warwick are easy to work with and respond on a timely basis
- A lot of land is available
- Main route for tourists
- A sense that things are happening in the community relative to new developments and change
- A strong rural community to attract families, with two schools, good recreation facilities and a strong quality of life, along with a medical centre and pharmacy
- Good service clubs, youth and senior groups and agricultural organizations
- In Eastern Warwick, the potential for boutique shopping opportunities attracting people off the highway
- Landfill energy generation using low cost methane gas
Twin Creeks Landfill (Waste Management of Canada)
The Twin Creeks Landfill is one of the largest initiatives that the Township is capitalizing on. The site serves the dual function of acting as a waste management site, and an energy generation station using low cost fuel (methane gas). The site is Ontario’s second largest landfill site and 750,000 tonnes per year with a life of expectancy of thirty-five years. It represents a unique opportunity for a range of businesses, from local entrepreneurs to international firms.
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