The new warden of Bruce County predicts that the growth being experienced across the county will continue for several years to come. Mitch Twolan spoke during his inaugural address about what lies ahead for the county. He said this is a ramp-up year to the start of Bruce Power’s 15-year major component replacement project, set to begin in 2020. Bruce Power will spend $13 billion to refurbish six of the eight nuclear reactors at its generating station near Tiverton. Twolan said with Bruce Power preparing with its refurbishment activities a number of contractors and suppliers will be relocating to the county in the coming year, which will boost economic activity. He noted there are other factors leading to the growth in the county. “We’ve seen unprecedented tourism numbers over the last couple of years, and growth with regards to building in all of our communities, something we have to keep an eye on,” said Twolan. “I believe Bruce County, we’re in a growth spurt, and I see it lasting for several more years.” Twolan said the growth and job opportunities bring the need for additional affordable housing. “That is a priority, because with everything that’s going on in the County of Bruce we need folks to have accommodations and have a roof over their heads.” The county is finalizing a 10-unit social housing project in Kincardine and will be looking at other areas such as Saugeen Shores, where there is growing demand for affordable housing. Twolan noted that with increased growth will come the demand for more services such as ambulances. Also the county road network leading to Bruce Power will need attention as traffic increases in the coming years. “We have to try to find ways of balancing spending with supplying services to the people of Bruce County,” he said. Twolan also called for close cooperation with neighbouring Grey and Huron counties. Bringing natural gas to Huron-Kinloss, Kincardine and Arran- Elderslie continues to be a priority. Among other projects Twolan expects will take the new council’s attention are expansion of the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre. The new warden also made a pitch to have the Nuclear Innovation Institute locate in Saugeen Shores even though South Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson has put in a bid to have the institute located in her community. He said he expects other communities will want to go after that as well. “I’ve had people in my community say we should go after that facility as well … I don’t blame anyone for putting their name forward. I understand it,” said Twolan. In his inaugural address he noted the importance of agriculture as a vital component of the Bruce County economy. “There’s a lot to look forward to. I think Bruce County is going to be growing and I’d love to see our young folks stay in Bruce County. Let them go away and learn a little bit in the city but come back to work and play here. I think that should be an objective of the council as well,” Twolan said. Twolan was acclaimed to the role of warden during an inaugural meeting Thursday morning. This is his fifth term as warden. He’s been a member of county council since 2004. Before Twolan was named warden he and seven other council members were sworn in to office by the county solicitor, Tammy Grove-McLement. They include three new members, Steve Hammell, mayor of Arran-Elderslie; Luke Charbonneau, mayor Saugeen Shores and Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody. Returning to council are Anne Eadie, mayor of Kincardine, Robert Buckle, mayor South Bruce Peninsula, Milt McIver, mayor of Northern Bruce Peninsula and Janice Jackson, mayor of South Bruce Peninsula. Bruce County wardens serve a one-year term that begins with an inaugural meeting in December. Twolan was nominated by McIver and seconded by Eadie. Twolan takes over the county’s top political job from former Arran-Elderslie mayor Paul Eagleson who served the position for one term. Eagleson lost his municipal seat during the Oct. 22 civic election.