By Chad Ingram
Published March 7, 2019
Hills councillors heard about a couple of options for financing the
township’s arena renewal project during a Feb. 28 meeting.
a 4-3 vote last month, council approved proceeding with the project,
which will include the construction of a new arena and gymnasium and
carry a price tag of approximately $12.5 million. The plan is for the
township to seek funding or financing for $11.5 million of that, and
undertake a fundraising campaign to assist with the remainder. Mayor
Brent Devolin has said he believes that a million dollars could
potentially be raised.
the Feb. 28 meeting, councillors heard a presentation from Gavin
Maitland of Infrastructure Ontario, which is an agency of the provincial
government, regarding its loan program. Infrastructure Ontario, as
Maitland explained, provides low-risk, low-cost loans for public
infrastructure renewal projects that can run the gamut from replacement
of vehicles to multi-million-dollar facilities. It provides loans not
just to municipalities and municipal corporations but also universities,
housing providers, and a host of non-profit agencies.
terms that we offer are very flexible,” Maitland told councillors,
explaining that terms of loans are often designed to match the useful
life of the asset. Loans are available with up to 30-year terms, with a
fixed rate for the entirety of the term. Most rates are between
approximately 3.2 and 3.6 per cent, depending on the type of loan and
length of term. Infrastructure Ontario does not take security on any
“We’re not here to make a profit, we’re not here to compete with anybody, but we are here as an option,” Maitland said.
Devolin said there would be strong consideration of financing through IO.
“We are likely to put your program to use,” he told Maitland.
also heard a report from community services director Mark Coleman
regarding the Green Municipal Fund, funded by the Federation of Canadian
That program supports municipal capital projects involving energy, transportation or waste and provides grants alongside loans.
it comes to the arena project, examples of aspects that would be
eligible for the program include items such as HVAC systems; building
components such as insulation, walls, and windows; advanced automation
and control systems; any on-site renewable energy generation and storage
systems and so on.
the program, municipalities receive a grant worth 15 per cent of the
loan alongside the loan itself, up to a maximum of $5 million. The grant
on a $5-million loan would be $750,000. Loans are for a maximum term of
20 years, with a fixed interest rate locked in for the entirety of the
term. The current interest rate is 2.65 per cent.
The township will submit an initial review form to the program to see about eligibility.