Fi­nal phase of Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Plan be­gins

The Glengarry News - - News - -- Richard Mahoney

“Beau­ti­ful main streets are good for busi­ness and they are also good for de­vel­op­ing strong com­mu­ni­ties.”

That is the premise be­hind the North Glen­garry Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Plan (CIP), which has en­tered its fi­nal phase.

It was launched in Fe­bru­ary 2016 as part of a con­certed ef­fort to re­vi­tal­ize Main Streets and to strengthen busi­nesses.

The last of three phases of the project started Jan­uary 1 with new el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria.

All com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial prop­erty own­ers can ap­ply. Prop­er­ties that have been iden­ti­fied to be of sig­nif­i­cant her­itage in­ter­est and which have been in­cluded on the Mu­nic­i­pal Her­itage Reg­is­ter, are also el­i­gi­ble, as are prop­er­ties iden­ti­fied in Phase 1 and Phase 2. In its first phase, the CIP ap­plied only to prop­er­ties in des­ig­nated ar­eas of Alexan­dria and Maxville’s Main Streets. Last year the pro­gram ex­tended to in­clude des­ig­nated main street ad­dresses in Ap­ple Hill, Dalkeith, Do­min­ionville, Dun­ve­gan, Glen Robert­son, Glen Sand­field, Green­field and Lochiel.

“I am very proud of CIP ini­tia­tive in the Town­ship of North Glen­garry. In the first three years of the pro­gram we saw dra­matic im­prove­ments in our main streets in both Alexan­dria and Maxville. It is my hope that this en­ergy will also carry over to our ham­lets, com­mer­cial ar­eas and prop­er­ties of her­itage in­ter­est in the town­ship over the next two years,” said Coun­cil­lor Jeff Man­ley, chair of the Arts, Cul­ture and Her­itage Ad­vi­sory Committee, which over­sees the CIP.

More than 30 prop­er­ties have par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gram and the changes im­ple­mented at these lo­ca­tions have dra­mat­i­cally changed our land­scape.

“The Quirky Car­rot restau­rant was one of the very first projects to re­ceive CIP fund­ing for its lo­ca­tion in Alexan­dria. The trans­for­ma­tion of this build­ing in­spired oth­ers, who came for­ward af­ter­wards in ef­forts to strengthen the vis­i­bil­ity and ap­pear­ance of their own busi­nesses and homes, while col­lec­tively trans­form­ing the vi­tal­ity of our down­town cores,” says the town­ship. “Other changes soon fol­lowed. Peo­ple be­gan tak­ing back com­mu­nity spaces and host­ing com­mu­nity events in ar­eas such as the Mill Square, in Alexan­dria. The in­creased ac­tiv­ity in the park led to fur­ther beau­ti­fi­ca­tion ef­forts, in­clud­ing new fur­ni­ture and a Glen­garry Routes In­ter­pre­tive Panel, which was in­stalled there last year. Va­can­cies dropped and rental units are now in higher de­mand, as new busi­nesses have been at­tracted, fill­ing empty build­ings with new en­trepreneur­s.”

Art

At the end of April, more than 60 peo­ple at­tended meet­ings in Maxville and Alexan­dria, where they learned about the CIP and the Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry Re­gional In­cen­tives Pro­gram, which of­fers a sim­i­lar range of grants de­signed to help lo­cal busi­nesses to grow.

El­i­gi­ble work in­cludes fa̧­cade im­prove­ments, sig­nage, com­mer­cial awnings, land­scap­ing and pub­lic art.

The North Glen­garry’s CIP is an award-win­ning project that has gained wide­spread recog­ni­tion. It is also help­ing to in­spire neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties to im­ple­ment sim­i­lar pro­grams.

Award

In 2017, Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor El­iz­a­beth Dowdeswell of­fi­cially pre­sented the North Glen­garry Arts, Cul­ture and Her­itage Committee with the Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor’s On­tario Her­itage Award for Ex­cel­lence in Con­ser­va­tion. This award specif­i­cally rec­og­nized the committee’s sup­port in launch­ing the CIP and the Glen­garry Routes Her­itage Tour.

“Both projects were seen to make a sig­nif­i­cant, pos­i­tive im­pact on the com­mu­nity. Late last year, our neigh­bours in South Glen­garry launched their own CIP pro­gram. All six mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties within the United Coun­ties of Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry now op­er­ate CIP pro­grams, in­clud­ing three which launched within the past year,” says the town­ship.

NEW LOOK: Red brick has be­come a key part of the down­town facelift in Alexan­dria.

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