Geology a drive for tourism
By Sue Tiffin
Published June 20, 2017
Barrie Martin, experience broker for Yours Outdoors, approached council with a wish list to encourage recreational geology experiences in Highlands East at council’s June 7 meeting.
“I hope we can work together to make the most of the great resources you have here,” said Martin. “In terms of collecting sites, you pretty much have them all.”
Martin said the geology tours he organizes are his biggest sellers in the snow-free months. His wish list included an ask for the municipality to continue to actively develop and manage collecting sites, a training session for mineral guides and partnership to ensure OHTO continues to support geology experiences as it has in the past.
Yours Outdoors is an adventure company operating in the Haliburton Highlands. It offers several geology experiences in Highlands East, including a visit to Greenmantle Farm, rock hounding and a Haliburton Rocks! program designed as an Ontario Signature Experience.
Audit shows municipality in good health
Highlands East has good financial standing according to Richard Steiginga of Collins Barrow.
Steiginga attended council on June 7 to present findings of a 2016 audit.
The municipality has just over $4.3 million in financial assets compared to just over $3.8 million in 2015. Total revenues came in at about $8.4 million in 2016, with just more than $5 million of that being from property taxation, compared to 2015 numbers of $7.7 million, with just about $4.7 million from property taxation.
“If you were a doctor and you were evaluating us as a patient, how would you rate our health?” asked Councillor Cec Ryall.
“The fact that…looking at your reserves and your reserve funds, that’s the money you have set aside that you can use in the future so it was good to see that number remained the same, whereas you did a lot of capital, that to me is a good sign,” said Steigina. “As for reserves, really, it’s always nice to have more so you can do more in the future. It was a good year, you were able to lower your taxes, lower that debt, increase your asset base and you kept your equity the same.”