Photo: Sharon Gardiner
Mayor Kim Love announced at the Jan. 29th Finance & Administration Committee meeting that Madawaska Valley Township is eligible to receive up to $39,536 under Ontario’s Main Street Revitalization Initiative. The funding allocation, based on population, was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) last week and will be administered through the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). Municipalities will not be required to provide matching funds.
Finance & Administration Committee members discussed their intention that any funds received could be applied across all three communities. To date, MV Township has not received further details about the funding criteria, suitable projects or what the Township needs to do in order to obtain the money. Committee members said that the Township must be vigilant to observe timelines and comply with the requirements when they are eventually announced.
According to OMAFRA’s press release, the money will help municipalities enhance and revitalize their downtown and main streets through improvements such as the installation of pedestrian crosswalks or landscaping. Municipalities can also direct funding to local businesses to improve the appearance of their storefronts; for example, by installing lighting or new signage.
Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Minister Responsible for Small Business, said:
“Main streets are at the core of small, rural communities and are home to thousands of small businesses across the province. That’s why our government is committed to ensuring they continue to remain vibrant hubs where residents meet, tourists visit and small businesses grow and prosper.”
The Current will report further when more details become available. In the meantime, local businesses can dust off their revitalization ideas and be ready to suggest suitable projects.
About the author: Anya Gansterer has over 16 years’ experience as a cultural worker, having dedicated her career to enlivening space through culture. As Culture and Tourism Coordinator, she managed events and programming at The Railway Station for Madawaska Valley Township from 2003 to 2017. The Current will feature occasional articles by Anya about culture and community growth.