SCUGOG: Scugog councillors got their first look at the 2018 draft capital budget, at a meeting on Monday, November 6th.
At the meeting, a capital budget of about $5.7 million was presented to council. This includes about $1.8 million in road and sidewalk projects, $1,265,650 in bridge projects, and $798,000 in building and facility maintenance.
One of the expenditures, in the capital budget, councillors discussed was $600,000 in structural and building envelope improvements at the Old Mill.
The breakdown for funding of this project would be $200,000 from grants, $200,000 from the Township’s CEF Heritage fund, and $200,000 from other contributions, such as from a private sector partner.
Ward 5 Councillor, Jennifer Back asked that this project, and a project to construct a public square at the mill be “paused.”
“There’s a lot of concerns, from members of the heritage [committee] and the waterfront steering committee, with regards to just basically starting a project and planning for the whole entire area, which is the mandate of the waterfront steering committee,” she said.
However, Regional Councillor, Bobbie Drew asked why council was just hearing the heritage committee’s concerns then.
“I understand the heritage committee has some concerns about the interior, and I say this with all due respect, but why now? This project has been on the books for six years. I appreciate that they have a concern, but I really wonder why it’s coming forth now,” she said.
She suggested that the Township move ahead with the project and work with the heritage committee.
Mayor Tom Rowett said his concern with delaying the project is that a possible private sector partner could “lose interest” and reassured councillors this project will not move forward if the township does not receive grant funding or funding from a possible partnership.
“I just wouldn’t want this to be delayed, and then [it ends up] that we lose the interest [from a private sector partner] and we have to start all over again with trying to make this attractive, and if we don’t make it attractive it becomes a preserved heritage site, then who’s paying for that?,” Mayor Rowett said. “It will be the taxpayers paying for that.”
However, council later decided just to receive the draft budget.
Scugog residents will have a chance to see and comment on the 2018 draft capital budget at an open house, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, this Wednesday, November 15th, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The capital budget will then be presented to councillors, at a meeting, on Monday, November 27th.