Township gets grants of nearly $2-million

Centre Well­ing­ton Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj was pleased to talk about provincial grants at a com­mittee of the whole meeting on Monday.

She said that the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Ini­tiative (known as the MIII grant) will provide the town­ship with $580,000 this year.

She said that money will be used to do watermains on­ Water, Clyde, and High Streets when Wellington County does major work on the Metcalfe Street bridge and that street in Elora.

She was also pleased to talk about another grant from the province for $878,000 that will be used to upgrade roads and bridges. She said that grant is particularly pleasing.

“It’s very welcome to re­ceive money that we decide where it’s going to go,” Ross-Zuj said.

In other words, the province is providing the cash, with no strings attached. It can be used for whatever council chooses.

She explained that there is no set program for that grant, and that the province is simply handing out extra cash to the municipalities at its year end (March 31).

The township has been lob­by­ing the provincial govern­ment hard for infra­structure cash, as have all of Ontario’s municipalities. Centre Welling­ton has claimed it is particu­larly in need because it has 104 bridges to go along with over 600km of roads.

Ross-Zuj added that the province is now heading into a new fiscal year, and she and council have no intention of letting up when it comes to lobbying for infrastructure cash.

The surprise of the meeting came when township Director Public Works Ken Eld­er an­nounced that even more money is on the way.

Elder said he had received notice that another $532,000 is coming to Centre Wellington from the Ministry of Trans­portation for connecting link work in Fergus.

“That’s $2-million this week,” he said with a smile.

Elder said the township will use that money to build a left turn lane off Highway 6 at the south end of the town near McQueen Boule­vard.

He added the funding is a 90:10 split with the provincial government, with the province paying 90%.

Councillor Walt Visser joked that Ross-Zuj had “strang­l­ed the minister” to get the extra cash.

Elder did warn that while he had been informed of the mon­ey, it still has to be officially confirmed.