Puslinch to receive up to $1.66 million in funding for park upgrades

PUSLINCH – Two township parks here will receive upgrades thanks to $1.66 million in combined federal and provincial funding received by the municipality.

Puslinch Community Centre Park in Aberfoyle will receive renovations, while Old Morriston Park will benefit from upgraded washrooms and new lights due to the township’s successful application to the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

“Not that we don’t have nice facilities now, but when this is all completed, we’re going to have some very nice parks and baseball diamonds,” Mayor James Seeley said at the Aug. 11 meeting.

“I’m aware of some municipalities that either shot for the moon and asked for large amounts, while for others it just slipped through the cracks and they didn’t apply and got nothing.”

The township had initially applied for ICIP funding in November of 2019.

In its 2021 capital budget, council approved the two projects, with 73 per cent of the project’s total eligible costs to be funded by the ICIP.

Program grants cover up to 73% of the costs, with municipalities covering the remaining portion.

The federal government will contribute a combined total of up to $906,669 (40%) toward the two Puslinch Township projects, while the provincial government will contribute up to $755,506 (33%).

The funding is broken up as follows:

  • Puslinch Community Centre Park, up to $793,449 from the federal government and up to $661,141 from the province; and
  • Old Morriston Park, up to $113,250 from the federal government and up to $94,365 from the province.

A report notes that township staff will “report back on phase 1 and phase 2 of the Parks Master Plan with itemized costing prior to completing the detailed design and request for tender” for the Puslinch Community Centre Park.

Seeley was quick to praise council and township staff for securing the funding.

“We’re in a very fortunate situation and it’s just a reflection of this entire team. Everybody’s working hard and has the community in their mind,” said Seeley.

Councillor Jessica Goyda agreed.

“This is something that should really be celebrated, and I want to take a moment to highlight that,” Goyda said.

“I think having these two projects, which are hugely invaluable to our community, being funded 73 per cent by this program is a huge contribution and it’ll be a huge improvement.”

Goyda continued, “these now have the funding to come to life, and I think that’s just such a huge benefit to our entire community.”

Township staff will report back regarding cash in lieu of parkland and fundraising recommendations.

The township must ensure the two projects are substantially completed no later than March 31, 2027.