A new year is bringing new opportunities for change in Bracebridge.

Mayor Graydon Smith says there’s a lot he’s looking forward to this year. He says the hottest topic in town is the proposed arena complex. With an estimated price tag of over $40 million, this is one of the most expensive projects the town is taking on. Smith says he’s hopeful the government is feeling generous this year.

Last year, council agreed to a plan to move the public library from the aging Carnegie building downtown to a new facility built in the complex. Town officials are also considering adding a recreational field house to the build.

Smith says the future of the old Nipissing University campus is another project being closely watched by the public. The property was closed in 2016 after Nipissing University pulled its programming from Muskoka. Smith says the town has been working with the university to find a buyer that would fit well with the community.

As for other town projects, Smith says residents will get all the details when the updated Strategic Plan is released later this year. Throughout 2017, town officials have been meeting with the public to review and update the plan. Smith says this input will help the town build a development roadmap for the next decade.

There is no date scheduled yet for the release of the updated plan.

Smith says the biggest change for Bracebridge will come after the summer. Bracebridge council will end its term in the fall making way for a new body of elected representatives. But, Smith says until the municipal election hits it will be business as usual for him.

Smith says he’s not ready to talk about whether or not he plans to run for Mayor again. But, he says whatever happens this will be one of his most memorable council terms. The Provincial Municipal Elections will run on October 22nd.

If you have any questions or comments for the Mayor you’ll have a chance to bend his ear this weekend. Smith and the rest of council will be meeting with the public at the annual Mayor’s Levee at the Bracebridge Sportsplex on Saturday afternoon at two.