Council approves projects under community improvement plan

Minto council has approved utilizing funds from elsewhere in the 2015 economic development budget to fund two projects under the town’s community improvement program.

At its Dec. 15 meeting, council  approved economic development committee minutes containing a recommendation to fund applications totalling $43,265 for façade improvements at South Street Café and the former post office building, and structural improvements at the latter.

At its Dec. 10 meeting, the committee noted requests for 2015 exceeded the $39,000 remaining in the community improvement budget. However the committee felt all the projects are worthy and should be funded.

“There are savings in other areas of the economic development budget that will allow us to cover this overage,” the Dec. 10 meeting minutes note.

South Street Café will receive $2,167 toward a $4,334 façade improvement project.

Funding of $4,826 will be provided for a $9,653 façade improvement project at the post office, and $36,271 will be provided to assist with $72,542 in structural upgrades to the building.

Council also approved facade applications, to be funded from the 2016 budget, from:

– Ron Weber of Ag Business and Crop Inc, for $3,000 on an $8,000 project; and

– Brett Young Seeds Limited for $3,000 on a $14,000 project.

A $810 signage grant to Brett Young Seeds will also be funded out of the 2016 budget.

A report will be brought to the next committee meeting evaluating a structural grant application from Brett Young Seeds for $40,000 toward a $92,000 project at its Harriston facility in view of amended criteria for the community improvement plan. A standard application form for structural grants is in development, the committee minutes state.

The committee also notes the Harriston downtown revitalization committee plans to use its 2016 capital budget to partner with Michael Hendrick, the new owner at The Old Post to create a downtown public space in front of the former post office. Minto treasurer Gordon Duff pointed out donations to “The Old Post” clock tower restoration project can be made through the Minto Arts Council and donors will receive a receipt.