Free money: A call for ap­pli­ca­tions

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - Af­ter three years as pres­i­dent, Mr. Madden is step­ping down

Free money. With that kind of en­tice­ment, there ought to be no short­age of ap­pli­ca­tions for fi­nan­cial help un­der the North Glen­garry Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Plan.

“There are some in­ter­est­ing in­cen­tives,” noted Alexan­dria and District Cham­ber of Com­merce Pres­i­dent Michael Madden. “Sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits” can be de­rived dur­ing the pro­gram’s first phase, de­signed to re­ju­ve­nate the down­town cores of Alexan­dria and Maxville, Mr. Madden told last week’s cham­ber meet­ing.

For phase 1, the town­ship has al­lo­cated $50,000 in grants. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will also pro­vide loans, tax breaks and per­mit fee ex­emp­tions for suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants.

“I hope to see lots of ap­pli­ca­tions,” said Mr. Madden. “I hope the town­ship runs out of money and gives more to the pro­gram,” he re­marked.

To date, two par­ties have ex­pressed in­ter­est in the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance that will help busi­ness oper­a­tors and res­i­dents upgrade their prop­er­ties.

In March, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will be­gin ac­cept­ing fund­ing re­quests un­der the ini­tia­tive that is meant to help busi­nesses, as Mr. Madden put it, “step up our game.”

The first phase (years 1 and 2) of the pro­gram is for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties on Main Street in Alexan­dria and Maxville.

The se­cond phase (year 3) will in­clude com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in ru­ral ham­lets, such as Glen Robert­son and Dalkeith, and the third phase (years 4 and 5) is for other com­mer­cial prop­er­ties, in­dus­trial land, and her­itage build­ings in North Glen­garry.

Fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance is avail­able to cover a wide range of ex­penses, in­clud­ing pro­fes­sional fees, land­scap­ing, pub­lic art and build­ing ren­o­va­tions.

Step­ping down

from the post. A suc­ces­sor is to be elected at the cham­ber’s an­nual gen­eral mee­tiong March 9.

About 30 peo­ple, three times the nor­mal at­ten­dance, showed up for the last reg­u­lar meet­ing. The in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion was partly the re­sult of a con­certed ef­fort by mem­bers to coax the re­luc­tant ma­jor­ity into at­tend­ing a meet­ing. Al­though it has about 125 mem­bers, most of the work is done by a group of about ten vol­un­teers. As vice-pres­i­dent Brent Hill ob­served, “We need new en­ergy.”

New mem­bers are be­ing re­cruited for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s five sub-com­mit­tees.

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