Champlain Township Mayor Normand Riopel broke the tie when council was split over delaying the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) by a few months to allow the Strategic Plan to move ahead first.
The proposal to delay the CIP slightly was put forward by L’Orignal councillor Andre Roy, who explained that in his view, there could be information emerging from the Strategic Plan which would affect the Community Improvement Plan.
Roy said that the CIP project touches only a certain group and that it would be better to wait to see what could emerge as part of the Strategic Plan process.
“I’m not saying to stop, but to postpone,” said Roy, who suggested that ways to spend the $50,000 CIP budget could come up during the consultation process.
“I think we should wait and get this bigger project finished. Once we see the community needs . . . can we wait two months?” asked Roy, who earlier acknowledged the work of Senior Planner Jennifer Laforest.
Laforest replied to Roy by saying that while the two programs were connected in some ways, they were each separate strategies with different outcomes.
Each program would be measured for their independent success, Laforest said.
The CIP is a Main Street revitalization program. Such programs can encourage sustainable development, can manage growth and can enable municipalities to provide grants and loans for targeted projects.
J. L. Richards & Associates Limited is undertaking the CIP for Champlain Township, at a cost of $15,698 excluding HST. In a report last year, Laforest wrote the plan will promote economic development in the community’s settlement areas. “Economic development is required to ensure that Champlain’s historic villages, upon which so much of the community’s collective memory lies, continue to be culturally rich, economically vibrant and appealing to both tourists and residents.”
The project will take place in two phases. The first phase involves the completion of background studies and draft mapping of areas. The second phase will involve public consultation, workshops and an open house. All activities will have to take place in accordance with the COVID-19 restrictions but LaForest has said that the information gathered as part of the plan may be of help to the township for recovery from the pandemic situation.
In the Township of North Glengarry, its 2020 CIP program included fund for: planning and design grants, building improvement and infill grants, commercial signage, civic address signage and commercial awning grants, landscaping and public art grants, building permit fee grants, tax increment grants, and a municipal loan program. In addition, an interest-free CIP Loan Program through Desjardins Caisse Populaire de la Vallée was offered for buildings occupied by a commercial vocation.
In November 2020, Champlain Township approved hiring MDB Insight at a cost of $$65,120 to prepare its strategic plan.
An overarching plan with a vision, values and long-term planning and guidance for economic development, along with a corporate structure for the municipality are the aims of the plan.