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ICIP picks shuffled to fit grant criteria

Posted October 7, 2019

Three projects recommended for inclusion on the Investing in Canada Infrastructure grant application either don't fit guidelines, would impact baseball leagues next season in Alliston, and not meet next month's deadline to apply.

Two weeks ago, New Tecumseth councillors in committee agreed to apply for the Beeton Community Centre and Beeton Ice Pad projects under the Multi-Purpose Category.

Under the Rehabilitation and Renovation Category, councillors selected de-humidification of the Alliston Memorial Arena; Alliston tennis court resurfacing; Doner Diamond power and lights replacement; and rehabilitation of the Tottenham Conservation Area upgrades - showers/upper and lower washrooms and stair replacement.

While the Beeton and Tottenham projects check the all boxes, an additional information memorandum on tonight's agenda, suggests the same is not true for the others.

The ICIP is made up of a federal government grant of 40 per cent, provincial contribution of 33 per cent and municiaplities, the remainder. Successful applicants won't be notified until fall 2020 meaning projects wouldn't begin before 2021. And that's a problem for Doner Diamond because the "lights no longer meet Canadian Electrical Standards approval and are on a conditional extension only until the end of the 2019 baseball season. If the Town was to continue to make application for this project, notification of funding will not be received until fall 2020 which would be too late for the necessary lights to be installed for the 2020 baseball season."

Alliston arena dehumidification is deemed ongoing project and costs incurred before federal project approval and all expenditures related to contracts signed prior to federal project approval are ineligible.

The tennis courts are located at GA Wright field which the Town leases from the public school board, which falls under the "capital components must be owned by an eligible entity. Joint projects are eligible if the applicant can provide letter of support including any supporting documents (e.g. lease agreement)."

"The agreement expired September 21, 2017 and the Town is leasing the property on an annual basis. The estimated life of court resurfacing is 8 - 10 years. Staff will begin to negotiate a minimum five-year agreement to support the amortization of the $45K investment. However, it is unlikely a new agreement will be in place by the November 12th application deadline and therefore without supporting documentation of an agreement, the application is not likely to be eligible."

Staff is recommending replacing those with the Boyne River Accessible Pedestrian Trail in Riverdale Park under the Rehabilitation and Renovation category.

"The scope of the project involves the design and construction of an accessible asphalt trail along Boyne River. The project includes improvements such as a 350 metre long trail, 3 metre wide asphalt, pathway lighting, rest areas for benches, and drainage improvements. The cost is approximately $300K-400k. The trail is designed to be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontario with Disabilities Act and reduce barriers to access to the Riverdale Park and its amenities. Staff are supportive of completing the project in 2021 and believe this application would be eligible in accordance with the Grant guidelines."

All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri