The South Branch Community Fund, already has $60,000 waiting to be distributed for the benefit of the community surrounding the Brinston-area wind farm.
Next week, South Dundas is expected to officially open the grant process to applications, from qualifying groups and projects.
As part of the approval process for the South Branch Wind Farm, EDP Renewables Canada is required to contribute $30,000 to the fund annually, for a term of 20 years. The 2014 and 2015 amounts have been paid out to the Municipality of South Dundas and are in the bank. The contributions end in 2033.
To qualify for funding, facilities or residents must be from within the boundaries outlined in the agreement. It is intended for community benefit and could help, for example, with community spaces such as the Dixon’s Corners Community Centre, Matilda Hall, Dundela rink and area parks.
South Dundas council opted to form a committee to make recommendations to them regarding the dispersal of funds.
The newly formed committee had its first meeting March 17.
Committee members include; Janice Froats, Marlene Lewis, Cindy Peters, Marcel Smellink, Tracy Yalden, Doreen Henderson, Gerald Whitteker, Jim Adams, South Dundas recreation program coordinator Ben Macpherson and South Dundas mayor Evonne Delegarde.
Macpherson, says that since the program has not been officially announced as open as of yet, no applications have been submitted to the municipality.
“We do know that there are groups who have asked for the applications and others who have expressed interest in it,” he said.
This year, funding application deadlines will be set for May 29 and October 30.
“Once each deadline has passed, the committee will meet to go through the applications and determine which applications will go to council,” explained Macpherson. “Council will then decide whether or not to go forward with the recommended proposals.”
Any single release of funds greater than $5,000 also requires the approval of EDP Renewables Canada.
Through an application process, the funds are meant to help promote and/or benefit;
• Public recreational facilities and programs
• Community gathering facilities, events, and related municipal usage fees
• Educational and job training related to sustainability or renewable energy
• Other community related activities approved by the Municipality of South Dundas.