North Grenville council held two special meetings last week to hear from community members who would like their initiatives to be included in the 2020 budget deliberations.
Council heard from a total of 11 organizations, groups and individuals, all vying for dollars in next year’s budget. Here is a short summary of all their requests and the implications they may have on the budget in 2020.
Kemptville and District Homes Support (KDHS)
KDHS is requesting a total of $12,500 to help sustain their Escorted Transportation Service. Susan Smith of KDHS says that this service is highly utilized in the area to allow seniors and adults with disabilities get to and from medical appointments in Winchester, Ottawa, Kingston and Kemptville. With this service, KDHS facilitated 2,468 drives in its first six months. Susan says that without financial support from the Municipality, this service will not be sustained.
Beth Donovan Hospice
Beth Donovan Hospice is requesting $15,000 to support their bereavement counselling services. The Hospice currently provides about 30 hours of free counseling for people who have lost a loved one. However, Hospice representative Sue Walker says they currently have a long wait list. With council’s support, they are hoping to expand this service and hire their bereavement counselor full time.
The North Grenville Community Youth Engagement working group
This group is looking for a $8,500 commitment from council to support the creation of a one-day Youth Summit in Kemptville in the fall of 2020. The Summit will be youth-led, with support from adult allies in the community. Representative Kathryn Allwright explained in the application for budgetary support that this summit is a direct result of council’s encouragement to enhance opportunities for youth engagement in the community.
Meet Me on Main Street
This request is from a number of different community organizations including the Kemptville District Community Association, the Burritts Rapids Community Association, the Bishops Mills Community Association and the Oxford Mills Community Association. It is for $11,450 to support a community gathering called “Meet Me on Main Street” that would bring local families out of their homes to share a meal and conversation with their community. There will be four events in 2020, one in each of the hamlets, culminating in downtown Kemptville.
Play Structure for Glen Gables Park
This $80,000 ask is for a play structure on the green space already acquired and maintained by the municipality in the Glen Gables subdivision. Resident Andrea Adams outlined in the application that she believes this investment would make better use of the existing green space and give the many families that live in the subdivision a place to gather that isn’t in their own homes.
History of North Grenville Publication
Historian Dr. David Shanahan is requesting a total of $30,000, over three years, to put together a scholarly book about the history of North Grenville. This book would be in recognition of the 230th anniversary of Oxford-on-Rideau Township in 2021, and the 25th anniversary of North Grenville in 2023. David says in his application that the book would be the first of its kind for North Grenville and could be a permanent asset for the Municipality and sold for years to come. In return for funding, the municipality would own all rights and profits from the book.
Crossing guards in North Grenville
Resident Cynthia Davidson is requesting that council commit $25,000 in the 2020 budget to hire crossing guards in the Municipality to enable children to walk to and from school. She says in her application that this is integral to ensuring the safety and well-being of North Grenville’s school-aged children, while also encouraging health and fitness and promoting a carbon-free footprint.
The organizers of the Kemptville Live Music Festival are requesting $16,000 from the Municipality to cover the cost of the license agreement fees paid by Kemptville Live to the Kemptville Campus to host to festival every year. Applicant Karen Bedard noted economic development as the main reasoning behind asking for council support, as Kemptville Live has an overall economic impact of $2.5 million in visitor spending every year.
Crosswalk at Van Buren St. & Raina Way
Resident Jean Hartjes has submitted a request that council consider including the cost of placing a crosswalk at Van Buren St. and Raina Way in the 2020 budget. She does not include a specific dollar amount in her application but says this addition will be important to ensuring the safety of residents in the area as Van Buren St. becomes busier with the potential expansion on County Rd. 43.
Kemptville Youth Centre (KYC)
KYC is requesting relief from the municipal portion of the annual property tax on their building at 5 Oxford Street West. The annual levy from the Municipality for this building is roughly $1,400. The Municipality has been a supporter of KYC over the years and they are asking that they continue this support in the 2020 budget.
Victim Services of Leeds and Grenville (VSLG)
VSLG is requesting a total of $32,000 be included in the Municipality’s 2020 budget to hire a part-time employee to provide front-line assistance, public education and access to resources for North Grenville residents. At present, North Grenville lacks onsite access to key resources centered around domestic abuse, sexual violence/abuse, elder abuse and sexual exploitation. This employee would help bridge the gap in services in the community and be available to support all residents.
Upgrades to Urbandale Arts Centre
Representative Barbara Lacelle from the Kemptville Youth Musical Theatre Company (KYMTC) has submitted a request to council for several upgrades and repairs to the Urbandale Arts Centre which will support their very successful youth musical theatre productions. Barbara is requesting that the Municipality replace the existing speaker system which does not work properly, replace or recover existing non-stationary chairs, move the “Welcome to the Urbandale Arts Centre” sign away from the stage, and repair the battery for the lift that is used to access the light system which no longer holds its charge. The total cost of these projects has not been identified.
All these requests will be on the agenda for the December 3 Committee of the Whole meeting, where council will give direction to staff whether they want each item included in the draft budget.