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Township supports $153,000 application for hall project

by Chris Daponte

BRUCEDALE - Charles Simon says receiving a $153,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) would go a long way to help improve the energy efficiency of the Eden Mills community hall.

“This would give us one fantastic start,” Simon told Guelph-Eramosa council on Monday night.

Simon, who was speaking for the Eden Mills Carbon Neutral initiative on behalf of the Eden Mills Millpond Association, said the grant will help pay for ceiling insulation, wall insulation and siding, and new windows. He was seeking council’s endorsement of the grant application since the township is co-owner of the hall, along with the Eden Mills Community Club.

Simon told council Richard Lay, president of the Millpond Association, completed an audit of the building that resulted in a 30-page report on suggested improvements.

“He said this is an absolute must,” Simon said of the work included in the grant application, which officials expect will cut the building’s energy consumption by 56%.

The initial project would mark the beginning of a prolonged fundraising effort for other energy saving or generating additions, he explained, including a steel roof and solar panels some day - with a total overall cost of over $550,000.

An interview with the OTF went very well and officials there were impressed with over $130,000 raised to date (in cash and in-kind donations) by the Eden Mills groups for the hall upgrades, Simon said. He added the groups hope to get a decision on the grant application by the end of the month.

Councillor Corey Woods expressed concern about the wording of the support letter, which states “the Eden Mills Millpond Association has full access to the community hall building and will manage all aspects of the proposed renovations on behalf of the owners.”

Woods wondered if that means township officials are losing their say on the project, even though the building is co-owned by the municipality.

Simon replied plans will be shared with council, but the financial responsibility is being taken on 100% by the Eden Mills groups. He added there will be detailed tender requirements issued before any company is chosen for the work.

Simon, himself an architect, explained much of the preliminary plans and drawings will be completed by him or Lay or other locals who will be donating their time. Tim Laing will act as project manager, he said.

Mayor Chris White said he understands Woods’ concern, but there is a clause in the resolution being considered by council stating the township has to be consulted on the changes to the hall.

White explained the Eden Mills hall is a great example of a public-private partnership that has worked very well over the years.

Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting the OTF grant application.

 

October 7, 2011

 
 

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