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County to apply for funding for Shire Hall upper floor renovation

Council and the public could return to Shire Hall for meetings in an updated, safer space should the second floor of the Main Street Picton building get a $300,000 renovation.

Due to the pandemic and provincial public safety protocols, council and committees have been holding meetings at the Wellington and District Community Centre. However, public access at Shire has not been ideal previous to physical distancing rules, with its narrow rows of public bench seats having just one way to exit. Upgrades are also needed for the wireless set up.

In August, council requested an accommodation plan for council and staff. Use of the Wellington arena space involves set up and take down of technology equipment and the expense of a contracted sound tech to ensure livestreamed meeting sound.

Council reviewed the report from Emily Cowan, Community Programs Supervisor, to apply to a federal COVID-19 Resilience Stream infrastructure program and execute a project level transfer payment agreement with the province. The County would commit up to $100,000 using the Reserve for Administrative Buildings.

Cowan noted the funding program was put in place to help communities address challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The municipality applied for Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program funding in its last call for applications in January, to replace the water tower in Wellington. It has not yet heard if the application was successful.

“For the 2021 program, the federal government will be responsible for cost-sharing 80 per cent of project costs and the remaining 20 per cent will be cost-shared by the province,” said Cowan. “The municipality will not be required to cost-share project costs for the funds we are eligible to receive.

The County was informed it is eligible to apply for up to a pre-determined amount of $199,714. Applications are due Dec. 21, 2020 and decisions expected in the spring of 2021.




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