Million dollar disappointment


South Dundas will not get the $1 million federal government funding that municipal officials hoped would help offset some of the costs of the $4 million renovation of the former Morrisburg Collegiate Institute.

Recently, South Dundas received notice that the funding application to the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund was not successful.

“I am deeply disappointed,” South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds told The Leader Monday. “The economic benefits of this project would have far outweighed the million dollar investment.” 

The high school renovation project, and its spin-offs, provide much needed and expanded space for health care, municipal, community, social and library services. 

These expansions would have certainly resulted in job creation, according to the mayor.

Although disappointed that the funding application was not successful, despite its far-reaching economic benefits, Mayor Byvelds said, “We will still find the money for this project.”

The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, through which South Dundas was seeking $1 million,  is part of the government’s economic action plan. In 2012, it was announced that $150 million would be made available nationally, over two years. 

The fund is designed to support the rehabilitation and improvement, including expansion of existing community infrastructure facilities, in order to improve the quality of community facilities and provide economic benefits, including the support of job creation.

The December 12 letter from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario said that many outstanding applications were received and difficult decisions had to be made as the agency was unable to accommodate all applicants.

“We reviewed the project you submitted in great detail, and I regret to inform you that your project was not selected for funding,” said the letter. “All CIIF applications were assessed based on the degree to which they met the program eligibility requirements and selection criteria.” 

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