Minto council approves two CIP grants

HARRISTON – Minto council has approved two Community Improvement Program (CIP) grants worth a combined $4,000 to enhance downtown buildings here.

At the Nov. 16 meeting, council approved a signage grant for $1,000 for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 296 Harriston and $3,000 for façade improvements at New Orleans Pizza.

Approval of the grants was recommended by the town’s economic development committee.

A report from economic development manager Belinda Wick-Graham notes the façade improvement at New Orleans Pizza is estimated to cost over $7,000 and will involve new siding, as well as new aluminum trim around windows and doors. The business will also be relocating the awning to the left of the building and acquiring new signage. However, as the new signage is back-lit it is not eligible for funding under the town’s signage grant program.

The Legion is planning to replace some fading signage. The project was approved for CIP funding in 2019, but was deferred until this year, the report explains.

The existing signs will be replaced with a perpendicular sign to enhance visibility. The project is estimated to cost $3,284.

With the approval of the two grants, Wick-Graham reported there is $15,648 remaining from the $60,000 budget for the CIP program in 2020.

Digital Service Squad

Wick Graham reported that the town’s Digital Mainstreet program has been assisting local businesses with their online efforts.

“Ashley Noble of our Digital Service Squad is doing an awesome job getting out in our three communities promoting the digital program and making sure businesses can get online that want to sell online and promote themselves that way,” she stated.

The program, which runs in Wellington North, Mapleton and Minto has been helping businesses apply for a $2,500 provincial Digital Transformation Grant. Currently there are 23 businesses in Minto applying, five in Mapleton and 19 from Wellington North. The deadline to submit the application is Nov. 30, after that Noble will be assisting businesses by providing one-on-one support.