Grant money sparks spending spree

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News

The municipality of Kincardine should see a rash of new projects underway thanks to a $721,784 grant from the Ontario Government.

Councillors and senior staff have selected seven projects to fund with the cash – given out through the Investing in Ontario Act Grant Program. At its Oct. 16 meeting, council hammered out a list of suitable projects from a shopping list of capital projects.

The largest chunk of cash – approximately $250,000 - will go to the Huron Terrace Bridge project. Kincardine is on the hook for $1.2-million of its total cost, and the grant will help to soften the blow on the 2009 capital budget.

“We’ve got a good spread of money going throughout the municipality,” said councillor Ken Craig. “This is a big project.”

Councillor Gord Campbell was against giving a large portion of the money to one project, but the rest of council was happy with the way the grant was distributed.

Mahood-Johnston Drive’s roadwork plan was the second public works project approved.  Public works initially removed the $171,000 project from its 2008 capital budget during last winter’s deliberations.

Council also approved a new credit card fuelling system at the Kincardine Airport. The project’s total cost is approximately $30,000. The fuel system will allow pilots to fill up without needing an airport employee on duty.

Council only selected projects that were on a committee’s five-year capital plan.  Staff and councillors gave preference to projects that were part of the 2008 budget deliberations.

“I want to see this used as a catch-up for stuff that (was removed) last year, but is still a good project,” said councillor Ron Hewitt.

The Tiverton Sports Centre received $70,000 to install a heat recovery unit and accessible front doors.   Council approved a new driveway for the Davidson Centre, at a cost of $25,000.

Kincardine’s proposed fire training centre was given $100,000. Approving the projects paves the way for corporate partners to help pay for the structure, which will be located behind the fire hall.

The most expensive item on the list of potential projects was the completion of Kincardine’s signage program. Council decided $414,000 was too much to spend on signs, but did give $75,000 towards the project.

Council also discussed a plan for new washrooms at Connaught Park. It decided to wait until the ongoing recreation study is complete before making upgrades to the facility.