Oxford County applying to CIP 150 program for trail fencing

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Oxford County will be applying to the second intake of Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) with two separate projects.

The first is asking the federal government to cover 33.3 per cent of $250,000 for fencing adjacent to the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and this is being marked as the county’s first priority.

According to the council report, prepared by director of public works Rob Walton, as the landowner of the former railway right of ways, the county has obligations to provide fencing in certain circumstances under the Line Fences Act. The CIP 150 provides the opportunity to obtain partial funding of the cost for this fencing adjacent to the TCT.

The county is also applying for 50 per cent of $100,000 to be funded through the program for energy efficient lighting for county libraries.

The county is working on energy efficiency as part of the County Energy Management Plan, which was approved by council in 2014. The energy efficient lighting for libraries has $25,000 budgeted for 2016 and the remaining $25,000 is available from library reserves.

Municipalities are able to make multiple applications, such as Woodstock, which has submitted five applications to the CIP 150. These applications are for recreational or cultural projects and priority must be identified among the projects. According to the council report, priority can be given to projects that request 33.3 per cent funding instead of the maximum 50 per cent grant rate.

County council will vote on submitting the applications at its meeting Wednesday, but grant applications are due on June 24.

 

County Community Improvement Plan update

 

Oxford County could amend its County Community Improvement Plan (CCIP) at its next meeting to include downtown areas in the Village of Norwich and the Village of Otterville.

The purpose of the amendment, according to the report prepared director of community and strategic planning Gordon Hough, is to extend the existing area covered by the CCIP to include these areas, which would provide tax grant back incentives to facilitate redevelopment and revitalization.

The CCIP focuses on the downtowns, central areas and village cores within the county’s settlement areas.

County council adopted the CCIP in September 2013, and one year later the council for the Township of Norwich adopted a local Community Improvement Plan (CIP) to provide financial incentives to properties in the Village of Norwich’s ‘village core’ and the Village of Otterville’s ‘village zone.’

This local CIP offered many of the same incentive programs as the county’s CCIP, but if the county’s plan is amended the areas in the Township of Norwich will be eligible to receive a 50 per cent grant back from the county tax increase, resulting from the increased assessment value. The council report does note that the property owners must be receiving funding from the township’s local CIP program to benefit from the tax incentive offered by the CCIP.

Oxford County council will review the amendments at its meeting Wednesday and vote on whether or not to accept them.

bchessell@postmedia.com

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