Municipality seeks funding for Kincardine lighthouse

Section: 
News

By Barb McKay

 

The municipality is hoping that the historical significance of Kincardine’s lighthouse will lead to a sizeable grant from the federal government.

 

Council took its time deciding which of its eligible projects to select for a funding application under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, when it discussed the grant during its meeting last Wednesday. The federal government announced on May 15 that it would make funding available, including $44.4 million to communities in southern Ontario, but applications had to be submitted by June 9.

 

The program was developed in recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary and to qualify projects must involve existing infrastructure, including recreational facilities, cultural centres, sports fields, parks and trails. Funding is available for up to 50 per cent of a project’s cost, up to $1 million. Projects must be complete by March 31, 2018.

 

The cost to complete the restoration of the Kincardine lighthouse is estimated at $675.000. That would include repairing the roof and lantern, replacing the wood siding and restoring the windows on the lightkeeper’s house and replacing the concrete retaining wall north of the lighthouse.

 

Municipal staff recommended that council select the lighthouse as the project of choice for the federal funding.

“It just seemed to be the best fit for this funding,” said treasurer Roxana Baumann.

 

Councillor Maureen Couture agreed.

 

“I don’t see us ever finding funding anywhere for this lighthouse. It’s an expensive project and I don’t see it becoming a top priority for us otherwise.”

 

The repairs were intended to be carried out through a five-year plan, but Baumann said the scaffolding required to do a lot of the work is a significant part of the cost, so if the municipality receives a grant it should try to complete the project in one year.

 

Councillor Andrew White questioned if the municipality should also submit applications for smaller projects, such as repairs to the tennis courts or improvements to the washrooms at Connaught Park in case the lighthouse isn’t approved.

 

Couture said she would be leery about including smaller projects because the government may overlook the more expensive lighthouse restoration in favour of one of those projects.

 

Council agreed to submit an application for funding for the lighthouse.