LANCASTER – South Glengarry is going to remove a lot of restrictions on its Community Improvement Plan (CIP) in order to spur economic activity during these hard economic times.
Council reached a consensus last week to remove the final four years of the six year community phase in for the program, opening it to all main streets in local communities.
That means main street applications for Glen Norman, North Lancaster, Bainsville and Glen Walter (commercial only) and public art installations will be bumped up. Up until now, only businesses in South Lancaster, Lancaster, Green Valley, Williamstown and Martintown could apply.
Council also agreed to open-ended applications with no cutoff times, instead of the current system where the programs opens for a specific period and then closes.
The cost-sharing program started in 2018 to help businesses improve their properties with signage, paving and landscaping. There have been 19 applications to date granting just over $39,000. With business investment, that’s over $78,000 spent locally in community improvement.
“I think that we need to show our community that we are trying to be pro-active as possible with the legislation that’s coming down the pipeline. I feel that opening it up to the rest of the municipality will help potentially spur some economic development in this hard time. If people have been saving up, they may take advantage of the grants, and it may spur work for our local tradespeople,” said Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden, who sits on the CIP committee.
Council agreed to boost the accessibility grant from a 50 per cent maximum of $5,000 to a 70 per cent maximum of $10,000.
Coun. Sam McDonall, chairman of the CIP committee, likes the proposed changes. He says there are some Lancaster businesses who may have to “significant renovations” to comply with accessibility requirements in the future.
Township staff will amend the Community Improvement Plan.
The changes still have to go through a public meeting and be approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.