MOUNT FOREST - The Township of Wellington North is looking to upgrade downtown Mount Forest.
At Monday's meeting, council agreed to apply for provincial funding to revitalize the area in partnership with the Mount Forest BIA.
Proposed work includes the installation of an outdoor gym with equipment like an exercise bike and leg press apparatus, along with the transformation of the vacant space to the south of the Bank of Montreal into a mini park, also known as a parklet, with benches and trees. Plans for downtown wifi, a mural and curb extension to slow down traffic are also part of the funding application.
Economic development officer Dale Small told council the estimated cost of all five initiatives is $250,000 to $270,000. Of that, the Mount Forest BIA would pay half and the township would contribute 20 per cent. The Provincial Rural Economic Development (RED) funding Wellington North is applying for could cover the remaining 30 per cent.
Small noted if the township is successful with the funding application, council will be asked to approve the individual elements of the project after discussing them in more detail at a later date.
Implementation could be spread out over three years, Small suggested. The mural and the parklet could be installed in 2022, with the outdoor gym following in 2023. Finally, the curb extension could be completed in 2024.
Council was supportive of seeing the funding application move forward.
"I think the RED grant application will give the BIA a great opportunity to continue the work that was started with the downtown revitalization committee," Coun. Sherry Burke said. "And build on the fresh ideas that the BIA has for downtown Mount Forest."
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com