This week, the Essex Region Conservation introduced a plan for organizational sustainability.
“We have undergone a restructuring to address ongoing budget pressures related to historic and chronic underfunding of levy contributions for operations,” explained Richard Wyma, ERCA’s General Manager. “The Five Year Sustainability Plan: A Way Forward considered budget reports, best practices from other similar agencies and municipalities, program reviews and input collected from Board, Staff and the public during its strategic planning sessions.”
As a result of this plan, departments and their managers have been reduced from seven to four, and while the staff complement remains the same, a significant departmental restructuring has taken place. Most of the reductions were achieved by eliminating recently vacated positions.
“This plan allows us to continue our operations while focusing on some pressing capital issues such as infrastructure and reserves,” Wyma added.
Infrastructure and visitor services will be improved at Holiday Beach Conservation Area, including a new beach washroom, which has been closed for several years. “We are going to transition Holiday Beach and focus on its strengths in the short term: seasonal camping, day use and education. Individual camping nights will be suspended this year until we can improve the park’s facilities for its users.”
“As part of our 40th year of conservation, it seemed like an appropriate time to introduce changes that will help us move forward in strengthening our ability to implement the community’s conservation goals.” Wyma concluded.