Councillor questioning federal, provincial grants
SEAN CHASE/DAILY OBSERVER The council of the Town of Petawawa (front left to right): Councillor Theresa Sabourin, Mayor Bob Sweet, Councillor Treena Lemay, (back left to right) Councillor Gary Serviss, Deputy Mayor Tom Mohns, Councillor Murray Rutz, Councillor James Carmody and Chief Administrative Officer Dan Scissons. The current term of council ends in November 2018.
PETAWAWA – The town continues to be denied provincial and federal grants leaving some on council to question why.
This week, staff informed council that the town was unsuccessful in securing money from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program for lighting between Leeder Lane and the Petawawa Civic Centre. They were also denied a grant from the Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program which would have gone towards this July's Canada Day festivities.
Parks and recreation manager Kelly Williams said he wasn't alarmed about losing either as the town has been successful in gaining a Canada 150 grant from an earlier round. He added the town will have no problems staging their massive July 1 celebration at the Catwalk either.
“We were successful in round one so it was a long shot to get something in round two,” said Williams. “It will not negatively affect Canada Day.”
The Ontario 150 initiative, some $28 million, is to facilitate the creation and delivery of impactful, participatory and inclusive initiatives that celebrate and commemorate Canada and Ontario’s 150th anniversary. Tied in with the country's 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Canada 150 program is to provided an additional $150 million over two years to Canada’s Regional Development Agencies to deliver further community funding across the country.
Petawawa will received $20,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for renovations to the Civic Centre. The town had to match the $20,000 to make the $40,000 project possible. The Trillium Foundation awards $110 million is awarded annually to some 1,000 nonprofit and charitable organizations across the province.
Councillor Gary Serviss questioned whether the town is, once more, losing the opportunity for grants because, as a corporation, it carries no debt and is not cash-strapped like other municipalities.
“We just seems like we're coming up short and that may be due to our good financial situation,” he said later.
He asked Williams if these agencies that handle the grants publish what municipalities receive them and for what project proposals. Williams responded that some are good at making public where the money eventually goes to.
“It would interesting to know who's getting the money, how much are they getting and how their proposals were different from ours,” added Serviss.