Christmas is still more than half a year away, but Wellesley Township staff has already prepared its wish list.
Applying for the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program (RInC), Wellesley council this week approved staff’s long list of requests.
The project list, in order of top priority, includes roof refinishing for the St. Clements Arena and Community Centre (approximately $240,000), modifications to the Wellesley Community Centre kitchen and washrooms (approximately $300,000), the construction of a sports pad in Hawkesville (approximately $60,000), resurfacing a portion of the Wellesley Arena and Community Centre parking lot ($300,000), replacing lighting and fencing at the St. Clements ball diamond ($200,000), refurbishing washrooms and the kitchen at the St. Clements Community Centre ($100,000), completion of the Linwood Community Centre parking lot ($50,000) and the installation of lighting at the Linwood ball diamond ($50,000).
“It’s big,” said Brad Voisin, director of recreation, of the township list.
The RInC program – a new infrastructure fund that will invest $500 million in recreational facilities across Canada over a two-year period – is a joint venture between the federal and provincial governments and local municipalities. The national initiative strives to provide a temporary economic stimulus to help reduce the impacts of the economic recession as well as upgrade and expand ailing recreational infrastructure around the country.
Projects approved under RInC can receive up to $1 million in federal funding. Each government agency must contribute a third of the total project cost.
The total price tag of Wellesley’s wish list is $1.3 million. If the township were to receive funding for all the projects it desired, it would have to dip into its reserve accounts, Voisin said.
“It would be close; I’ve got reserves,” said Voisin, noting the township currently has in the area of $360,000 in its recreational reserves account.
“We may have to eliminate maybe a couple of the smaller ones, but it would tap into our recreation reserves very well.”
That said, the township would be happy if just a portion of the projects were approved, he noted.
“I’d be very pleased if we would get six of the eight, even five of the eight projects – that would be a huge help.”
Municipalities are not the only agencies that are eligible for RInC funding. Non-profit and charitable organizations as well as service and community groups, can also make applications. Other local projects that would be eligible for funding in this vein are the tennis courts and splash pad in Wellesley.
Township staff hopes to hear back in June. The deadline for applications was May 29.
“Anything we get is a benefit to the township,” said Voisin.