The grant applications for the 2019 Rideau-Sanders-Prescott Community Improvement Program (CIP) are in. The Community & Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) recommended that council approve all 14 applications. 

The CIP launched in 2014 and offers matching dollars, up to $5,000, to improve facade, landscaping and signage in the downtown core. The pot for the program was $50,000 this year and grant applications totalling $47,137 were received. 

Matt Gilmer, Economic Development Officer, presented the report to Committee of the Whole last night. He went over all the grant applications, ranging from fixing a garage door, installing new siding, replacing old windows, laying new interlock brick and putting in new fencing.  

Gilmer noted one grant was for a new-build, valued at $950,000. He explained the three-storey, mixed use commercial and residential building is going up on vacant land located at 311 Rideau Street. The municipal grant totals $5,000. 

Gilmer says there is a list of eligible expenses through the CIP, but there’s opportunity to go above and beyond. He noted the intent of the program is to revitalize the downtown. Gilmer explained any type of visual improvement you can see from the street would qualify.

He says CEDAC did discuss the grant application for 311 Rideau and came to the conclusion that some would argue a new-build is an improvement. 

Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman, who sits on CEDAC, noted the committee went through the list and sometimes members raised their eyebrows, but that was the way the program was designed. He says he believes the criteria is correct for the applications and CEDAC plans on rewriting the program completely heading into 2020.   

Committee of the Whole recommended the report to council. The final decision is set for next week. Click here to view the full list of projects.