By Chris Pickup

No-one should be expecting anything soon from the newly established Growing Communities Reserve Fund (GCRF), mayor Ken Hewitt told council last Tuesday.

“We’re not here to campaign. We’re not spending any money today. We’re just setting up the framework.”

The new GCRF gets its seed money from an annual transfer of $750,000 from the Hydro Legacy Fund’s investment earnings and the remaining uncommitted balance from the 20% unallocated component of the Community Vibrancy Fund, as well as any future green-related monies.

An extra $150,000 from a one time 0.25% increase in the overall tax levy for 2018 had originally been proposed, but council gave that the boot after some reflection.

Hewitt noted that over the past eight years the CVF and Hydro Fund have brought over $100 million into the community. The GCRF is a vehicle to respond to different projects not in the ten year capital budget. “This is for new initiatives. We’re seeing tremendous growth.”

It could be 2020 or even 2021 before any new projects are funded. The new council will not be installed until December this year, the budget process will be upon them shortly thereafter, and there will be have to be a sorting, selection and planning of any project submitted for funding.

“We don’t want to give the wrong impression. Pools have been heard many many times. We’re not committing to any projects.”