Aylmer mulls recreation projects after missing first round of funding

·2 min read

Town of Aylmer staff are considering possible projects to submit for the Healthy Communities Initiative, including trail rehabilitation in Balmoral and Kinsmen parks, lighting in Balmoral, Kinsmen and Optimist parks, enhanced audio-visual equipment, and repainting planters.

No Aylmer-based projects were submitted for the federal funding before the first deadline on March 9. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May.

Councillor Jamie Chapman, at a March 15 virtual council meeting, said, “I just wondered if we’ve looked at that grant and made some considerations towards it, and just what ideas we can draw from, and if we’re applying for this grant.”

Chief Administrative Officer Andy Grozelle said staff had reviewied the federal funding, and that he was working with Parks and Recreation Manager Thom Polland to consider nominations for trail rehabilitation in Balmoral and Kinsmen parks.

“This is to address things like buckling asphalt,” explained Mr. Grozelle.

Park lighting is also being considered in Balmoral, as most of the lighting is currently on the water tower. Staff were also considering installing lights in the middle of Kinsmen and Optimist parks.

“The thought is that with COVID, people may want to utilize parks at non-peak times so we are hoping to encourage a brighter park area in the evenings to that end,” said Mr. Grozelle.

He added staff were considering purchasing enhanced audio-visual equipment, or better presentation equipment for council.

The BIA requested repainting of the mounting clips for the flower baskets, so this will likely be another application for funding, said Mr. Grozelle.

Organizations are invited to apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide digital solutions to help their community navigate the pandemic.

Some eligible projects could include adapting crosswalks and access to public transport to allow for safe physical distancing, the creation of community gardens, art installations and free wireless Internet in targeted public spaces. There is $31-million total funding available for the Healthy Communities Initiative.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express