The Village of Clinton is trying to decide what to do with unexpected funding from the provincial COVID-19 Safe Restart Grants for Local Governments program.
Clinton will be receiving $373,000 in joint federal and provincial funding, which has been allocated based on a formula that applies to all municipalities in the province. The funding is intended to help support local governments as they deal with increased operating costs and lower revenues as a result of COVID-19.
The money can be used for everything from revenue shortfalls to facility reopening and operating costs, emergency planning and response costs, bylaw enforcement and protective services, and computer and other technology costs.
“It was a surprise payment,” CAO Murray Daly said. “We knew about an announcement made before UBCM about some grant funding, but we were surprised to get it without applying for it. It just kind of arrived, and it was pretty nice to have this drop in our lap.”
Daly said he will contact the province for specific details on how the money can be spent. The village also has a few ideas, he said.
“It will go to council and we’ll start brainstorming, generate some ideas, see what they want to use it on. Revenue shortfall is mentioned, and computer/electronic costs are covered, so we could improve our connectivity.”
Daly said reopening facilities is another possibility. “The closure of the Chasm mill had a major impact on our economy, and small businesses have been hit. The museum didn’t open this summer, so that’s a major impact,” he said. “It means that tourists don’t stop at restaurants and businesses, and a lot of our businesses are operating at a limited capacity. We want people to stop and spend more time in the area.”