UXBRIDGE: The Township has been refused a funding grant for the construction of a sorely needed culvert for the Uxbridge Brook, beneath Brock St. in downtown Uxbridge.
On Monday, Nov. 17, members of Council were disappointed to find that their request for funding from the province’s Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, or OCIF, was turned down.
According to a rejection letter from the OCIF to Uxbridge CAO Ingrid Svelnis, the much-needed proposal failed to make the acceptance stage due to Uxbridge’s high household income rates, high rate of taxation, and an abundance of user fees and service charges.
“This assessment was based on income and taxes, not on the needs of our Township,” said Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger. “We’ve been denied because of our financial state, it’s unfair to be penalized because we act as stewards of our own accounts.”
Ward 3 Councillor Pat Mikuse expressed bewilderment with the allocation of funds, stating “We’re part of the Greater Toronto Area, just like Scugog Township is - it’s disappointing that we missed funding, while Scugog received it.”
However, The Standard spoke to Scugog CAO Ian Roger and Township Clerk Chris Harris, both of whom denied receipt of OCIF funding, but explained that they had simply not received a formal reply yet.
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy urged the residents of Uxbridge to side with Council, and understand that Councillors are also frustrated with the lack of funding grants - he said “These letters should be published so that the public can see, when people get upset about a lack of funding, it should be directed to the provincial government.”
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor explained plans to meet with Durham MPP Granville Anderson, in order to attain an explanation as to why the funding proposal was halted before it reached Ottawa.
“It’s completely unfair to base needed grants on a person’s income, high or low,” said Mayor O’Connor. “There’s something terribly wrong with penalizing a Township for not having debt, and we will be writing a strongly worded letter.”