North Stormont seeks public input on planned Community Improvement Plan

With an image of a transformed shop in Winchester, aided by that township's CIP program, United Counties of SDG CAO Tim Simpson speaks about the planned regional CIP program SDG will roll out this year, augmenting similar programs in place in the townships. That includes North Stormont, which is seeking public opinion on the details of its planned CIP. Simpson was photographed at the final public meeting on the regional strategy in Morrisburg this month. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Plan would dovetail with SDG CIP grant program

BERWICK — Having hopped aboard the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) bandwagon, North Stormont Township is seeking public input on crafting its own version of such a program to enhance local places of business.

CIPs have been implemented in many communities in the province and promoted by the Ontario Municipal Association (AMO).  Neighbouring North Dundas was one of the first local municipalities in SDG to roll out a CIP program, funding hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of commercial renovations and facade improvements over the past half decade — and leveraging many more dollars from the participating business owners.

In a nutshell, a CIP typically improves the looks of downtown cores and enhances assets while aiming to improve certain key areas in order to generate more visitors.

How would such a formula work within North Stormont? “This is where you come in,” that township says in a recent press release highlighting its online public survey.

A CIP offers incentives — funded by budgeted local tax dollars — to help offset some of the cost of beautification work performed on downtown commercial buildings.

The upper tier municipal government — the United Counties of SDG — is also rolling out a counties-wide CIP program this year that’s intended to augment programs in the local townships. The SDG initiative — to which SDG Council has allocated $100,000 in 2018 — has spurred the balance of townships without CIP’s to get into the game.

The improvements seen in Winchester, in particular, have been touted by SDG officials during recent public meetings highlighting the regional CIP strategy.

Meanwhile, North Stormont encourages residents to participate in its March survey on the township’s planned version of the CIP.  It’s available online in English and French.

“North Stormont Township thanks you for perusing through this leaflet and check-marking the financial help which would best help your business enhancement projects. Feel free to contact to Jacques Des Becquets, Economic, Communications and Recreation Agent at 613.984.2821, extension 226, or by e-mail, at jdesbecquets@northstormont.ca, if you would like to further discuss the CIP project,” the township says.

 

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