Centre Wellington bumps up reserves to allow CIP grant for Sweet Distractions in Elora

Centre Wellington is bumping up the reserves of the municipality’s Community Improvement Fund in order to grant/loan funds to improve the façade of a local business.

The item came  up briefly during the Aug. 27 council session as economic development officer Patricia Rutter, Economic Development brought the funding request to council.

In her report to council, Rutter explained the owners of 16 West Mill St. Elora applied for a CIP grant/loan under the façade, building and property improvement incentive.

The business, Sweet Distractions, is known as the candy shop in downtown Elora.

Rutter said the owners would like to repair the woodwork on the building, install new windows, provide updated lighting, soffit and fascia as well as painting the front and back of the building. The CIP committee reviewed and approved the project as it complies with the requirements of the program.

Based on estimated costs, applicants would be eligible for a maximum grant of $6,000 plus a $6,000 loan for a total municipal contribution of $12,000.

However, the CIP reserve balance currently sits at $4,450. Therefore the Committee is asking for an additional $1,550 in funding in order to be able to provide the building owners with the maximum grant amount of $6,000.

Councillor Fred Morris asked if this meant there would be no more CIP grants until the next budget year.

Managing director of planning and development Brett Salmon said there was money set aside for downtown revitalization for the blade signage.

“Otherwise, with Wellington County starting its own CIP program, we will need to amend ours, to implement some of the county programs,” Salmon said.

Morris asked how much funding had been provided through Centre Wellington’s CIP program.

Salmon noted that in 2018, no additional funds were requested because in the prior year not all the funds were used. Originally $100,000 was placed in the program.

Councillor Kirk McElwain asked with the building being repainted “will the apothocary sign which has been there forever, remain?”

The building owners intend to keep the symbol.

Council later agreed to grant the additional $1,550 in Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Level One (1) Façade, Building and Property Improvement Incentive funding to the owners of 16 West Mill Street, Elora in order to provide a full CIP Grant/Loan for a total of $6,000 in grant and $6,000 in loan.