By Chad Ingram
Published March 28 2019
Algonquin Highlands is in the money.
The township learned last week that it will be the recipient of a couple of sizeable grants.
One from the Ontario Trillium Foundation is a $150000 capital grant that will help pay for a 960-square foot expansion of the Dorset Heritage Museum. The township applied for the funding last year. The remainder of the project’s $270000 price tag was fundraised for by volunteers.
“We can’t go without mentioning the [Dorset Heritage Museum] committee’s worked very hard to do a lot of fundraising and we’re very thankful for the generous donations that we’ve received” Algonquin Highlands parks rec and trails manager Chris Card said during a March 20 council meeting.
“It’s fabulous news and certainly I would echo your comments and thanks to the volunteers” said Mayor Carol Moffatt.
Council agreed to proceed with the funding agreement during the meeting and the plan is for construction to begin later this year and the addition to be completed by the fall of 2020. It will include additional display meeting and storage space.
“Congratulations to the Township of Algonquin Highlands for receiving a $150000 grant for the Dorset Heritage Museum” said Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott in a release. “I am pleased that this grant will help bring local history to life strengthen community pride and educate future generations.”
The township also learned that along with a number of other small and rural municipalities it will be getting a one-time no-strings-attached injection of cash from the provincial government through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. According to a letter from Minister Steve Clark that was sent to municipal council heads the allocations are based on a formula that takes into account the number of households in a community.
Algonquin Highlands will receive $532292 of more than $2.8 million allocated to the four lower-tier municipalities and the upper-tier county government. Minden Hills will receive $542255 as will Dysart et al. Highlands East gets $534469 and the upper-tier county will receive $725000.
“The announcement is a welcome surprise and while the funds have no strings attached the letter also said the money is ‘intended to help modernize service delivery and reduce future costs through investments in projects such as service delivery reviews development of shared services agreements and capital i nvestments’” Moffatt wrote in a social media post. “We have a looooong list of pent-up capital projects that would enhance service delivery so we look forward to a future discussion about how to make the best use of this windfall.”