County to receive funding for Main Street revitalization

(Gazette file photo)

The municipality will receive funding through Ontario’s Main Street Revitalization Initiative.

Council approved a motion Tuesday authorizing the mayor and clerk to sign a funding agreement between the municipality and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in order to receive an allocation totalling $59,527.43. The Main Street Revitalization Initiative is a $26-million fund to help municipal governments undertake revitalization activities that support and benefit small businesses. AMO administers the funding on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The province announced in January 2018 that it would be investing $26 million in the program. The funding is part of a $40 million planned investment over three years in the Main Street Enhancement Fund. The initiative builds on the downtown revitalization program that supports main street revitalization in rural areas. The municipality concluded its own downtown revitalization program using the OMAFRA framework and the completed plans are anticipated to come before council in the next few weeks for endorsement.

A staff report presented to council at their July 24th meeting indicates the downtown revitalization work can be identified as a priority through an existing Community Improvement Plan or municipal physical infrastructure priorities identified through other municipal land use planning document that involves construction, renewal, renovation or redevelopment, or material enhancement.

That could be for such things as commercial building facade improvement, preservation and adaptive reuse of heritage and industrial buildings, accessibility enhancements, or provision of affordable housing.

It could also fund municipal physical infrastructure such as signage, whether it be way-finding or gateway signage, streetscaping and landscape improvements such as lighting, benches or banners, or marketing plan implementation such as business attraction and promotion activities.

Municipalities have until March 31, 2020 to spend the funds on an eligible project.