MPP Laurie Scott was in Haliburton Feb. 3 to announce more than $260,000 in provincial funding for two local organizations.
The Haliburton Legion will be receiving $104,100 to help cover several facility upgrades, while Dysart et al township is getting $162,000 to renovate two outdoor rinks into multi-purpose courts for hockey, pickleball and basketball.
The money is being filtered into Haliburton through Ontario’s Community Building Fund. In total, the program is supporting 186 municipalities, Indigenous communities and non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations experiencing significant pressures due to COVID-19. Scott noted around $105 million is to be invested through the fund this year.
“This funding will help address much-needed upgrades and repairs so community members can continue to enjoy outdoor sports facilities and the services our local Legion offers,” Scott said.
Legion president Don Pitman said the money would be used to replace windows ($17,000), purchase a new outdoor digital sign ($17,000), upgrade the building’s water filtration system ($2,000) and its heating and air conditioning system ($65,000).
The big-ticket heating and A/C item was “an absolute must” according to Pitman, who received a $6,000 hydro bill in December due to the current system failing and the back-up, electric powered system kicking in.
Dysart CAO Tamara Wilbee said the money Dysart is receiving will be used at the Harcourt and West Guilford outdoor rinks to upgrade the surface, fencing, and lighting at the pads.
Minden, County receive money too
Scott said two projects brought forward by the County of Haliburton and Minden Hills township would receive approximately $180,000 in funding through the Municipal Modernization Program.
The County will receive $101,760 for its paramedic service master plan, while Minden Hills is getting $81,357 for HR information system modernization.
“For some time now, Haliburton has been experiencing substantially increased call volumes, pressures associated with transfers for diagnostics, as well as managing the new community paramedicine program. Given the changing atmosphere we have found the need to carefully study our management structure, assess our existing bases and determine where additional resources will be required,” said County warden Liz Danielsen. “Haliburton has seen considerable growth, and we need to carve out the best path to move forward and continue to offer exemplary service to our residents.”
The Ontario government is distributing $28 million to 322 small and rural municipalities through the first batch of 2022 MMP funding.
Funding for agriculture
Around $1 million will be made available to various agricultural and horticultural societies across Ontario in the coming weeks, as the province looks to assist organizations still impacted by the pandemic.
Base support funding of $1,000 will be issued to all eligible societies to support their continued incorporation and upcoming activities, with new “hardship funding” available to those that have been most impacted. Applications will be assessed based on gate revenues for 2019. Successful applicants will be able to use the money to offset operating losses, liabilities and fixed overhead costs related to land and buildings.
Money will be distributed to eligible societies before March 31, according to Lisa Thompson, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.