DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard

UXBRIDGE: Councillors made a splash recently, announcing that they would be pursuing government grants to assist with funding a new aquatic facility.
At their meeting on Monday, October 28th, councillors voted in favour of a grant application for the estimated $28.5 million project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), which provides funding through the federal and provincial governments.
According to township staff, if the grant application is successful, 40 percent of the funding would come from the federal level, or approximately $11.4 million, and 33 percent or approximately $9.5 million from the province. The remaining 27 percent — or about $7.7 million — would be funded by the township.
“This is very exciting; we’ve been waiting for a grant for a long time and this is an even bigger grant than we thought we’d be able to get,” said Amanda Ferraro, director of community services for the township.
As Ms. Ferraro explained, under the proposal, the township portion would be funded largely through development charges totalling about $4.1 million. There would also be a New Aquatic Centre Levy to be included in the 2020 through 2023 budgets. Other identified sources of money for the project would be: fund raising, proceeds from the sale of township land, and a proposed $1.8 million in debentures.
“We really thought this out and we think it’s respectful to the taxpayers and residents of Uxbridge and to council,” Ferraro continued. “We really think this is a good thing to move forward on. The timeline to completion is 2027, so that’s a very reasonable timeline and really works well with our timelines in the current facility and moving into a new one.”
The facility has been in the works for more than a decade, and would include a six-lane, 25-metre pool, a therapy pool and a multi-purpose space.
Councillors unanimously approved the proposal, adding that, at this time, the project can only proceed if the grant application is successful.
“I think we have to be clear that in the event the other two levels of government don’t come through, this project doesn’t get done until we get enough money to do it ourselves,” said Councillor Bruce Garrod, chair of the finance committee.