Two grassroots groups apply for Vance Funds

WINGHAM – North Huron council received a report from Vicki Luttenburger, director of recreation and community services, regarding this year’s applicants for funding from the Vance Fund.

The late Leland and Thora Vance were residents of the former Town of Wingham. They set aside funds from their estate to support churches, the hospital, education, and recreation in the former Town of Wingham. They established a funding program commonly referred to as the Vance Fund.

The report indicated that the Wingham Trail Committee and the Wingham Tennis and Pickleball Club approached the township with project ideas. Since both groups are grassroots community groups, neither is eligible to apply for funding on their own, so a request was made to the township to complete the application on their behalf.

With the assistance of both groups, staff prepared and submitted two funding applications to the Vance Fund for consideration.

The first application is for improvements to the Wingham Trail. This project is estimated to cost approximated $27,000 plus HST.

The second application is for reconstructing the Wingham Tennis/Pickleball courts. This project will cost approximately $60,000 plus HST.

The improvements to the Wingham Trail will include widening a portion of the trail near the splashpad; installing a more porous surface to reduce water run-off; replacing invasive trees with native trees and plant species; and the addition of bee houses to support pollination and environment. The bee houses will be strategically located.

The reconstruction of the Wingham Tennis and Pickleball Courts involves the removal of the asphalt surface and replacement with a proper court surface; the proper lining of tennis courts and Pickleball courts; replacement of the poles and nets; repairs to court fencing and the purchase of benches.

If approved, both projects must be completed by Oct. 31, 2023.

If unsuccessful, the township will need to pursue other funding opportunities and increase its’ transfer to reserves to save for the projects over multiple budget years. In addition, both projects must be incorporated into the Township’s Asset Management Plan for future replacement.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times