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Wellington North community improvement plan moves forward

by Kris Svela

KENILWORTH - Wellington North’s economic development committee and council are moving ahead with their plan for community improvement.

The committee outlined its community improvement plan at a public meeting Sept. 21.

The plan is the result of several public meetings hosted in Arthur and Mount Forest during the summer in a bid to create a community improvement project area  to assist businesses wanting to improve signage and facades.

The plan includes business cores in the two communities.

 In Mount Forest the areas designated to come under the plan run from Highway 6, from North Water Street at the south end of the community, north to Cora Lee Drive.

Also included is the business section west on Queen Street (Highway 89 from just east of Cork Street to Sligo Road).

In Arthur the project area includes the downtown core from County Road 109 to the south, up Highway 6 to Clarke Street, the full main street in the community.

Similarly, Smith Street (Highway 6) north of Preston Street to Wells Street is included as a separate section of the plan.

Also included is a portion of Highway 109 from Catherine Street south to the intersection of Highway 6.

The plan was drafted by consulting firm Stempski Kelly Associates Inc. at an estimated cost of $10,000.

Sean Kelly presented the plan at last week’s public meeting.

He said the plan still has to be approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs which is expected to provide funding to projects within the designated areas. Wellington North is also expected to provide funding.

Mayor Ray Tout said he expects the township will provide $10,000 to $18,000 in initial funding and is hoping the plan will be in place at the beginning of next year.

“It has to be balanced with what a municipality of this size can afford,” Kelly said. “It is about the commercial areas ... to promote community improvement.”

Businesses wishing to take part in the plan have to be located within the designated areas and provide an application indicating the work they want done to the economic development committee for approval. The plan covers vacant land in the designated areas that could be improved by the owners of that land.

Business development manager Dale Small said the committee will assess applications and could seek input from Chambers of Commerce in Arthur and Mount Forest.

“We’ve got to make it affordable,” the mayor said of the plan.

“We want trade and commerce and we want people to invest in the community and stop and shop.”

Essentially, funding can be provided in the form of grants or tax incentives based on individual projects.

Council has already approved the plan, according to Small, who sees it going to the ministry for approval soon.

“We will do that relatively quickly so we can apply for provincial funding,” he said.”The funding is a big piece of it.”

 

September 30, 2011

 
 

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