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County approves BRE funds

by Patrick Raftis

GUELPH - Wellington County council has approved requests for business retention and expansion (BRE)funding totaling $55,000 for three local municipalities.

Economic development director Jana Burns    reported the county received requests for funding from the Township of Centre Wellington, the Township of Wellington North and the Town of Minto.

Centre Wellington requested $25,000 for 100 per cent funding for the creation of a development manual. The manual will outline the engineering and urban design standards for new development, streamlining processes and providing consistent information.

The Township of Wellington North sought $25,000 to fund 35% of two projects. The first project, Saugeen Connect, will use industry experts to assist businesses who are planning or already in the process of succession planning as well as attracting youth and immigrants by encouraging entrepreneurship and transitioning retiring businesses owners. The second project, a Wellington North housing plan, aims to enable the township to determine how best to implement appropriate housing in the community to support and retain existing businesses and to address the challenge of getting workers to move to Wellington North, in some cases for relatively low wage jobs.

Minto requested $5,000 to fund 18% of two development plans. The Northwest Clifford Secondary Plan will guide future development of 115 acres of land currently within the urban boundary. The town is spending $4 million for infrastructure improvements to Elora Street, including $1.2 million to extend sanitary sewer, water and storm water systems to the lands to facilitate future development.

The report explains there are 90 acres of development lands split between several landowners all with development interests once municipal services are available.

The second project, the West Palmerston Secondary Plan, will guide future development of 260 acres of land within and beyond the current urban boundary.

“This area contains the Palmerston Industrial Park which is a major source of employment lands in Minto,” the report notes.

Both secondary plans will ensure local development policies guiding growth and development in the area coincide with the town’s major infrastructure investment. It will promote a desired type and form of physical development in the area, and guide future private investment in development.

The secondary plans will form the basis of potential official plan amendments to be considered by the county in 2019-20 as part of the comprehensive review requirements in new provincial policy.

“County economic development staff are in favour of these applications as they align with our efforts to attract new labour, proactively deal with business succession planning and the identification and servicing of lands in Wellington County,” Burns states in the report.

Council accepted a recommendation from the economic development committee to approve all three requests.

October 13, 2017


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