Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County is home to approximately 114,000 people across eight municipalities "growing stronger together" through a two-tiered, partnership-oriented government, the County of Oxford. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Oxford County's vision is one of vibrant communities working well and growing stronger together.
In January 2016, Oxford County officially passed the stewardship role for Oxford's community sustainability work to the community. As the new face of our sustainability work, Future Oxford's inauguration set the tone for a year in which our partners supported- and pushed-- us to take giant steps forward in building a better future.
This year's report speaks to a number of initiatives that stem from the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan. All of these were made possible through partnership, starting with the community and healthcare agencies who steered the Oxford County Community Wellbeing Survey through Community Oxford, to our community's dedicated zero waste advocates who devoted time and expertise to the zero waste strategy, to the energy and municipal sector partners who continue to edge into place the stepping stones that will lead us to 100% renewable energy.
This year was also a year of great progress on the County's strategic direction of becoming "a County that is well connected." This included the release of a regional transportation strategy, an advocacy piece for short line rail, the connection of the Trans Canada Trail in Oxford County, the start of an electric vehicle charging station infrastructure, and working with partners to advance ultra-high speed internet connectivity in rural areas of southwestern Ontario.
In the past, Oxford County has prided itself on the excellent delivery of the municipal services our residents depend on and value. After all, Oxford County is a community made up of eight distinct communities, and the quality of life we enjoy across the County today is an outcome of strong local governments working together.
At the same time, our focus on future-building is becoming a new and important part of our journey. We are working towards a vision of a community that inspires the feeling of living in the best place in the world-this is the ultimate destination on our path towards sustainability.
It is fitting that the visual theme for this year's annual report celebrates Oxford County's roads, rail and trails-all the things that connect us and take us where we want to be
Warden, County of Oxford
Peter Crockett, P. Eng.
Chief Administrative Officer
County of Oxford
Through a total budget of $225.9 million in 2016, the County delivered a range of services that make Oxford a great place to live, work and visit.
In 2016, the County invested in a new Strategic Initiatives Framework to advance Council's commitments to renewable energy and zero waste; made investments in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan; and, invested $71.0 million into new and redeveloped infrastructure. Oxford County's budget is guided by its Strategic Plan.
The 2016 year-end budget surplus was $1.9 million, resulting from unbudgeted funding level increases from senior levels of government, interest income, and delayed hiring in filling job vacancies.
Based on indicators of government financial condition, the Audited Financial Statements and the accompanying Council Report CS 2017-13 demonstrate that Oxford County is managing financial sustainability, flexibility and vulnerability in order to secure its financial position and set the stage for future growth.
Lynn Buchner, CPA, CGA
Director of Corporate Services
Peter M. Crockett, Chief Administrative Officer
(CAO/Clerk's Office, Tourism, Strategic Communication & Engagement)
Lynn Buchner, Director, Corporate Services
(Finance, Information Systems, County Library, County Archives, Provincial Offences Administration, Customer Service, Legislative Services)
Lynn Beath, Director, Public Health & Emergency Services
(Public Health, Land Ambulance, Emergency, 9-1-1, Emergency Planning & Management)
To be Announced, Director, Public Works
(Water Services, Environmental Services, Roads & Facilities, Construction, Administration)
Paul Beaton, Director, Human Services
(Social Assistance, Shelter, Children's Services)
Corrie Fransen, Director, Woodingford Lodge
(Woodstock, Ingersoll & Tillsonburg)
Gordon Hough, Director, Community & Strategic Planning
(Development Planning, Long Range/Strategic Planning, Land Division)
Amy Smith, Director, Human Resources
(Labour Relations, Employee Relations, Recruitment, Health & Safety, Employee Health/Benefits, Job Evaluation)
Oxford County Council is made up of the mayors of each of the eight local area municipalities plus two additional councillors from the City of Woodstock, the largest population centre in the County. To learn more visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/yourcouncil
available licensed day care spaces for children
subsidized public housing units
not-for-profit housing units
affordable housing units
Oxford residents and families aided through financial assistance and employment supports
public health inspections
visits to community dental clinic
paramedic call responses
home visits by public health nurses
long-term care beds
matters scheduled for Provincial Offences Court
bridges and culverts
Municipal water systems
serving 80,000 people
serving 76,000 people
Oxford County works to meet the needs and collective interests of our communities, residents and businesses through customer-focused services that improve quality of life.
In January 2016, "Future Oxford" was introduced as the independent community partnership that would guide progress on the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan. Originally the name of the community engagement campaign that helped shape the Plan, Future Oxford is working to improve quality of life for current and future generations by balancing our collective economic, community, and environmental interests.
Community. In April, Future Oxford launched the Oxford County Community Wellbeing Survey to help set targets for the Plan's "Community" goals. The final survey report released in the fall of 2016 gave insight on key themes such as community engagement, accessibility, quality of work, health behaviors and perceptions, and wellbeing perceptions by geographic location. More
Environment. As part of the Plan's "Environment" goals, Future Oxford, through Reforest Oxford, is facilitating community partnerships that protect and enhance naturalized areas. At present, 260 acres of County-owned floodplain is undergoing a transformation into a wetland that will be home to a new generation of plants, trees and wildlife. More
Economy. To promote the Plan's "Economy" goals, the Future Oxford Legacy Fund was announced in 2016 to give seed funding to entrepreneurs, businesses and partnerships that are developing new and sustainably economic opportunities that align with the Future Oxford vision. The Legacy Fund is administered by Community Futures Oxford. More
In April, Oxford County released "New Directions: Advancing Southwestern Ontario's Public Transportation Opportunities," a tool kit to support southwestern Ontario in advocating for stronger transportation links that contribute to the region's competitiveness and long-term sustainability. Oxford County's Strategic Plan sets out a commitment to being well connected through transportation networks, community access and connectivity.
In the fall of 2016, Oxford County worked with key partners to advocate for the inclusion of short line railways in the federal Transportation 2030 policy, which was released November 2016. Short lines, which carry one-fifth of all rail tonnage in the province, lower costs for industry and provide a more community-based service. A summary of the County's position was released in January 2017 in Empowering Ontario's Short Line Railways.
Construction began in the spring of 2016 on a new recreational trail connecting Tillsonburg with Norfolk County, completing a "missing link" in the Trans Canada Trail system between Tillsonburg through Norwich Township to the Delhi Rail Trail. The project was funded in part by Tillsonburg, Oxford County, and Trans Canada Trail. More
In June 2016, Oxford County received funding from the provincial Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) program to install three electric vehicle chargers at locations in Woodstock and Ingersoll. More
In July 2016, federal and provincial governments announced $180 million dollars in joint funding for the SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project to advance ultra-high speed internet connectivity in rural areas of southwestern Ontario. Oxford has been a key supporter of SWIFT, contributing approximately $700,000 over five years to the project. County Warden David Mayberry serves as a member of the Board of Directors and CAO Peter Cockett supports as Secretary to the SWIFT Board of Directors More
One year after a unanimous decision by County Council to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050, Oxford County released its Draft 100% Renewable Energy Plan in June 2016. The Plan is a guideline for how community, business, government, academic, national and international partners can work together to support Oxford in becoming a "100% RE" community. The plan is modelled on the international Kassel criteria to help local governments move to a 100% RE goal.
Released in September 2016, the Draft Zero Waste Plan set in motion the planning needed to reduce the amount of waste being produced in, and exported out of, Oxford County. This includes greater recovery from our waste stream and extending the lifespan of the Oxford County Waste Management site to 2100, from the current expected lifespan of 2043. The County's Zero Waste aligns to the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and to the provincial Ontario Climate Change Action Plan, the Waste Free Ontario Act, 2016 and the Waste Free Ontario Strategy.
Oxford County Public Health teamed up with recreation facilities in Blandford-Blenheim and Zorra Townships to offer healthier options at arena concession stands. Fresh smoothies, granola bars, hummus with pretzels and yogurt are some of the foods that were offered in promoting healthy fuel for athletes and spectators alike. More
In 2016, County Council approved funding for the first multi-residential affordable housing project in the County to be built to Passive House performance.
Oxford County engaged residents in the budget planning process in 2016 through a new online survey to help gauge the public's service priorities. The survey outlined how property taxes were spent in 2016, and then asked respondents to indicate whether the same services should be enhanced, maintained or reduced. It also asked residents to rate their overall perception of the value received for County tax dollars and how they would like to provide input on future budget consultations. More
In the fall of 2016, Oxford County began a review of its current Woodlands Conservation By-law adopted in 2004. They by-law supports responsible forestry management practices and environmental stewardship of woodland areas within the County. Public input was key to successfully updating the bylaw, with opportunities for feedback including three public meetings and an online comment form through Speak Up, Oxford! More
In November 2016, Oxford County Public Health launched a campaign to increase awareness of its Healthy Babies, Healthy Children home visiting program. The program revitalized its "Instructions not included" campaign to encourage parents and parents-to-be to book a home visit to get help in the comfort of their own home. The program saw a strong increase in call volumes for the program throughout the campaign period. More
In response to feedback and questions about the Princeton Wastewater Servicing Study and maintaining a septic system, Public Health launched its first workshop under the Septic Smart! Oxford banner in Princeton in September 2016. The education program aims to equip residents with information to help them operate and maintain an environmentally responsible septic system. The Princeton workshop was the first of many that will be held across Oxford County More
Woodingford Lodge was selected in 2016 by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) to work towards becoming a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). BPSOs are globally recognized health care organizations selected by the RNAO to implement the highest quality, evidence-based care to residents. More
Final results of air sampling in the Beachville area by Oxford County Public Health and Public Health Ontario were released to the public in April 2016. County Council first approved work on the Beachville air quality assessment in 2014 in response to community concerns about air quality. Further air monitoring, the 2017 Oxford Health Matters survey, and ongoing communication with the public are a part of the County's continuing efforts to provide better information about "dust events" occurring in the Beachville area. More
Oxford County's new low-flow fixture rebate program conserved an estimated 3,000 m3 of water over the course of a year, equivalent to the annual water use of 17-20 homes. The 2016 program provided cash rebates to water customers who replaced old, inefficient toilets or washing machines with new water efficient models. More
With the sale of Woodstock Hydro to Hydro One, water and wastewater billing for Woodstock residents was transitioned to ERTH Solutions last spring. Residents were able to enroll in electronic billing and a pre-authorized payment plan as part of the transition. More
Oxford County's water meter program saw 11,810 installations of new or upgraded water meters and meter reading equipment across the County in 2016. The new equipment allows water meters to be read via radio signal, creating a more efficient system of data collection. New water meters for the smaller water systems will now see the users billed for their water usage, rather than a flat fee, which will reward water conservation. More
Oxford County's Cheese Trail is a slice above the rest after capturing the Ontario Culinary Tourism Leadership Award of Excellence. The award recognizes the significant contribution of the Cheese Trail to the province's culinary tourism industry. More
Oxford County Library unveiled a new lending program in 2016 that gives home cooks access to kitchen tools, gadgets, and small appliances. The program is geared towards people with limited kitchen space or those who would like to try an appliance before buying. Oxford County Library's latest unique collection is helping to foster a love of home cooking through healthy, affordable meals. More
Music can play a powerful role in people's lives. In 2016, Woodingford Lodge looked at the impact of its Music & MemorySM program, which uses music to help improve responsive behaviours and quality of life while reducing medication use. The program, which depends on a high rate of staff participation to be successful, is showing how personalized music can make a difference for those living with Alzheimer's disease, other types of dementia, physical limitations, or depression and anxiety. In November 2016, Woodingford Lodge shared its program results and new program video with peers at a research forum in Toronto. More
Human Resources launched its first ever corporate learning and development program in 2016. "Oxford Grows" offers a wide range of courses and workshops to support personal and professional development, while also contributing to the creation of a workforce that is involved, proud and committed to Oxford County. More
A new Flexible Work Arrangements program for Oxford County employees was announced in October 2016. The program gives employees an opportunity to apply for various arrangements that include compressed schedule, banking hours and flex time, among others. The program supports the County's ability to retain and attract staff as it continues to grow as an organization that employs people who make a positive difference.
Human Resources began "360 assessments" for directors, managers and supervisors last year as a method to guide personal leadership development. Unlike traditional performance reviews, which typically rely on feedback from a single source, 360 assessments gather information from a variety of individuals, providing a more fulsome, rounded pictures of a leader's competencies.
General Revenue $126,868,275
Other Sources $4,934,764
Property Taxes $57,549,635
*excludes households not connected to water and wastewater
**excludes Woodstock households