Centre Wellington adopts county CIP

ELORA – Centre Wellington has adopted the Wellington County Community Improvement Plan (CIP).

On May 27 the Wellington County CIP was addressed at a public meeting and council meeting. Centre Wellington adopted its own CIP in 2015.

“Community Improvement Plans are used by this municipality and many municipalities to encourage redevelopment, reuse, restoration and use of what are otherwise lands and buildings that the community has deemed to have value in the local priorities and needs,” said township economic development officer Patricia Rutter.

“The CIP is generally used to focus municipal attention or public attention on municipal priorities and really to stimulate private sector investment through municipal incentive programs.”

Typically CIPs are only adopted by lower tier municipalities, so the county developed its CIP to work in conjunction with the township’s plan, Rutter said.

“The county worked really hard to work in partnership with the member municipalities to create their community improvement program that recognized that all seven municipalities were at different stages when it comes to their [CIP],” Mayor Kelly Linton said.

“They wanted to make sure that they were flexible and they worked with every municipality to make it so the applicant only had one process to go through.”

Wellington County director of economic development Jana Burns said the county plan looks at increasing the availability of rental units throughout the county, redevelopment of properties and revitalizing downtowns.

When a Centre Wellington Township representative talks with the applicant business they will be fully versed on the county CIP and they will evaluate what the applicant qualifies for in both the township and county CIPs.

“Just one application,” Burns said. “Then one checklist whether you meet the objectives that the county is trying to achieve on a county-wide scale.”

The three main programs in the Wellington County CIP are Invest Well, Invest Ready and Invest More.

The CIP can provide:

– a pre-development and design study grant up to $20,000 for up to 100 per cent of the costs of technical studies;

– a tax incremental equivalency grant on a sliding scale for five years; and

– 50%  funding, up to $10,000, for existing Centre Wellington CIP programs.

The county also has a partnership with Community Futures, Burns said, to help loan businesses the start-up capital they need to fully take advantage of the CIP grants and funding.

These county grants will only apply to portions of Centre Wellington where the township’s CIP applies, Rutter said. She defined those areas as, “the central business district, highway commercial areas, industrial areas and the commercial transition areas.”

She said in the future the township will conduct a more comprehensive review of the CIP and propose amendments upon completion.

Council approved the motion to adopt the Wellington County CIP.