Community Vibrancy Fund Contributions Exceed $6 Million, Fund Over 100 Community Projects Since 2011

In September 2011, Haldimand County Council passed resolutions to establish a Community Vibrancy Fund (CVF) and agreement with companies pursuing renewable energy projects within the County. To date, $6,351,620 has been contributed to the CVF by these companies, which has funded over 100 community projects.

Under the agreement, renewable energy companies with projects in Haldimand County are required to contribute to the Community Vibrancy Fund annually for 20 years. For solar and wind energy projects, annual company contributions are calculated by the projects’ nameplate capacities, or total power output per year (in megawatts). For transmission projects, annual company contributions are based on kilometres of power line.

By 2031 – at the end of the agreement’s 20-year lifespan – approximately $40 million will have been contributed to the CVF by the following companies:

● Grand Renewable Solar LP
● Grand Renewable Wind LP
● Capital Power Corporation
● Summerhaven Wind LP (Nextera)
● FWRN LP (Niagara Wind)

“When the CVF was first introduced, residents had questions. How is this money going to be allocated? How will it benefit me and my family? Since the fund was established, we’ve seen some amazing community assets developed and infrastructure projects expedited that wouldn’t be feasible otherwise,” noted Mayor Ken Hewitt. “Putting the funds to good use has meant working with councilors, constituents and community partners to determine areas of need and identify opportunities that will make an impact,” he noted.

The distribution of CVF funds to geographic areas of the County are based on the proportion of wind/solar power and transmission infrastructure in each ward. Council approved a number of principles and prioritization criteria to govern the use of CVF funds and ensure they are appropriated to directly benefit residents. As per the CVF principles, funds may be utilized for: land stewardship initiatives, developing/constructing County recreational facilities, enhancing community and protective services, improving roads/public municipal infrastructure and other community-focused activities.

Notable & recent CVF-funded projects include:

● Jarvis Lions Park Trail & Pathway
● Dunnville Farmers Market & Waterfront Park
● Hagersville Splash Pad
● Cayuga Library & Heritage Centre
● Cayuga Grand Vista & Gypsum Mine Tract trails
● Fisherville Lions Park & Hall enhancements
● Road enhancements & rehabilitation work (e.g: expedited gravel road conversions such as
Yaremy Road, shoulder widening on Cheapside Rd., Dunnville bridge noise mitigation project, etc.)
● Cayuga Tourism Booth improvements
● Rural streetscaping in York, Byng, Fisherville & Selkirk

Each year during the Capital Budget process, CVF initiatives and relative rankings/prioritizations are reassessed by Council to ensure funds are used strategically to meet community needs.

Trail Grand Openings Met With Enthusiasm By Residents And Visiting Recreation Seekers

On Saturday, April 27, Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt and members of Council hosted grand opening celebrations at the award-winning Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract trails. Dozens of residents and visitors attended, despite the blustery weather, to explore the new routes and learn about Haldimand’s history.

“Both the Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract are fantastic additions to the community,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “They offer new opportunities to stay active, learn about our history and connect with nature,” he added.

At the Cayuga Grand Vista celebration, attendees were introduced to stories of the late Honourable Madame Justice Helen Kinnear and Honourable Dr. Justice T. David Marshall – both Cayuga-born figures with extraordinary accomplishments – whom the trail’s two scenic lookouts were named after. Justice Kinnear defied early gender stereotypes to become a history-making pioneer in the legal profession, while Dr. Justice Marshall achieved national recognition in the fields of medicine and law. Family members of both Justice Kinnear and Dr. Justice Marshall were present and acknowledged by Council prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

At the Gypsum Mine Tract opening, attendees learned about the history of gypsum mining that played a major role in Caledonia’s development. From 1838 – 2016, 5 mines were established and eventually decommissioned in both Caledonia and York; gypsum was extracted from 65 feet below ground and hauled to the surface by donkeys and horses underneath what is now the trail.

“The community response to both of these new trails has been extremely positive and they will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come,” said Hewitt.

More information on Haldimand County trail routes, parks and recreation activities is available on the Haldimand County website.

Haldimand County Council, staff, Trails Advisory Committee members and family members of Dr. Justice David T. Marshall and the Honourable Madame Justine Helen Kinnear cutting the Cayuga Grand Vista trail ribbon.

From left to right: Janet deVos (Haldimand County Trails Advisory Committee), Sheila Wilson (Haldimand County), Jill Morison, Fred Morison, Mrs. T. David Marshall, Don Boyle (Haldimand County), Brittany Morison, David Morison, Albert Morison, Darline Kinnear, Mayor Ken Hewitt (Haldimand County), (Behind Ken is Murray Kinnear), Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe (Haldimand County), Ward 3 Councillor Dan Lawrence (Haldimand County), and Megan Turner (Haldimand County).

Haldimand County Council Approves 2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget

Haldimand County Council approved the 2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget on March 5, 2019. The Tax Supported Capital Budget outlines $30.7 million of new infrastructure investment in 2019, with a total tax-supported infrastructure investment of $224 million over the next 10 years. In total, 300 new tax-supported capital projects have been scheduled for the 2019 calendar year.

The 2019 Capital Budget is heavily focused on infrastructure renewal with notable expenditures in areas such as roadway improvements, bridge and culvert rehabilitation, municipal drain maintenance and enhancements to corporate, community and recreation facilities.

2019 Capital Budget Highlights:

– $15.7 million towards roadway and active transportation improvements such as paving,
reconstruction, resurfacing, gravel road conversion, pedestrian crosswalk installation,
sidewalk/curb replacements and street lighting

– $3.4 million towards community partnership projects and enhancements to parks, trails,
arenas, museums and libraries

– $2.9 million towards essential equipment like ambulance & fire apparatus, snow
removal vehicles and fleet-related items

– $2 million towards storm sewer and municipal drain enhancements/maintenance

– $1.7 million towards bridge repairs, bridge rehabilitation and other structure-related projects
(such as culvert replacements)

– $550,000 towards tree conservation and forestry management initiatives

In recent years the County has deliberately increased its investment in capital to ensure that existing facilities are updated, new facilities desired by the community are added and that a funding plan is in place to minimize tax impacts. Money is set aside every year to ensure that when assets need repairs or replacing, funding is available.

“We’re at a point where, during budget preparations, there aren’t a lot of surprises. Staff have applied strong financial principles and asset management practices that result in a predictable, flexible and sustainable capital program. By planning for the long-term, we’re in an excellent position to address priorities and respond to community needs,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“The numbers and projects outlined in the 2019 budget and 2019-2028 capital forecast reinforce Council’s commitment to making prudent infrastructure investments that result in safe, reliable services for residents,” he added.

Similar to past years, the capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase by about $640,000, or about 1% of the overall municipal levy. As well, Council approved an additional 0.75% to be added to the levy for further acceleration of the Gravel Road Conversion Program. With the addition of this new funding all granular roads within the County will be converted 3 years earlier – by 2025. This additional contribution to reserves will be considered by Council during review of the Tax Supported Operating Budget.

The total municipal levy for 2019 will be determined in April once the 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget is approved by Council. Council has set the target tax impact, on an average residential property, at 2% as part of the approved budget guidelines for this year.

The 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget will be presented to Council on the following dates:

• April 2, 3* & 4*, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Cayuga Administration Building (*if required)

More information on Haldimand County budgets can be found at

Haldimand County Council Invites Residents To Attend 2019 Community Open Houses

Haldimand County Council is inviting residents to attend 2019 Community Open Houses.

The purpose of the Open Houses is to update residents on successes, projects, issues and challenges that Haldimand County is currently managing and to give residents, community groups and businesses an opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions or discuss any subjects/concerns they may have. The open house format will be very informal and interactive.

2019 Community Open House Schedule:

January 14, 7pm – Caledonia Arena (Remax Room)

January 16, 7pm – Cayuga Memorial Arena (McSorley Room)

January 22, 7pm – Jarvis Community Centre

January 23, 7pm – Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre

Anyone seeking further information about the Open Houses are encouraged to contact Donna Chausse, Executive Assistant to the Mayor & Council via e-mail or by phone at 905-318-5932 ext. 6102.

Haldimand County Council Seeking Public Input On Retail Cannabis Sales

Ontario municipalities have until January 22, 2019 to decide whether to permit or prohibit the sale of recreational cannabis, and Haldimand County Council is seeking community input on this decision.

At the December 11 Council in Committee meeting, staff presented a report outlining the opt-in and opt-out options regarding private cannabis retail stores. Council must decide and submit a formal resolution to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario by the January 22 deadline. Council has 2 options: opting in or opting out. If Council chooses to opt-in, the decision cannot be reversed. If opting out is chosen, Council retains the ability to revisit the matter and opt-in at a future date.

To better understand resident sentiments on retail cannabis sales in the community, feedback will be collected by staff and presented to Council. Residents are encouraged to read the recreational cannabis retail sales facts and provide their input through one of the following avenues:

1) in person at the January 21, 2019 Council meeting or at a scheduled community meeting

2) via online survey (by January 8, 2019)

3) via e-mail or letter to the Municipal Clerk at 45 Munsee St. North, Cayuga, N0A 1A0 (by noon on January 21, 2019)

Feedback and survey results will be presented at the Council in Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Any feedback received after the Council in Committee meeting will be provided to Council for consideration ahead of the Council meeting on Monday, January 21.

Hydro Legacy Fund Policy And By-Law Will Protect & Govern Use Of $72.4 Million From The Sale Of Haldimand County Utilities, Inc.

A formal policy and by-law governing the use of $72.4 million Haldimand County Utilities Inc. (HCUI) net sale proceeds was presented to and ratified by Haldimand County Council in 2018. The policy & by-law regulates the management, uses, controls, transparency and accountability measures related to this significant asset.

When Council approved Hydro One’s proposal to purchase the shares of HCUI, a proviso was that the principal proceeds from the sale be preserved in perpetuity. Staff subsequently prepared a strategy that allowed the $72.4 million principal to be protected, while securely invested and generating significant annual income for ongoing municipal use.

The Policy outlines four types of permissible uses of Hydro Legacy Fund investment earnings, annually estimated at approximately $4 million (based on 5% rate of return), in the following order of priority:

1) Annual inflationary indexing of the principal net sale proceeds;

2) Contributions towards major assets/infrastructure that benefit Haldimand County;

3) Annual contributions to reduce the operating tax levy; and

4) Strategic economic initiatives/opportunities that are anticipated to have County-wide benefits through enhancements to local employment and Haldimand’s assessment base.

As a further safeguard, the By-law requires that the public be notified and consulted if a future Council wishes to amend or override any provision of the Policy. The By-law states that any such decision may only be considered at a public meeting, open to input from the public without the requirement of registering as a delegation, and with public notice given a minimum of four weeks in advance.

“The investment earning potential of the Hydro Legacy Fund is expected to provide a major source of revenue to finance future County initiatives. It’s extremely important that the Fund be protected and used for the continued benefit of taxpayers, and the policy and by-law have been enacted to serve as a safeguard,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Karen General, General Manager of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer noted the importance of accountability and transparency with regard to the Fund’s management. “It’s imperative that the public has access to reports and is aware of how the Fund is being used,” she stated in her presentation to Council. As such, the Hydro Legacy Fund policy outlines a number of requirements related to reporting, including an annual update from the Treasurer containing: a review of the investment performance and earnings, an accounting of all Fund-related transactions and other pertinent information.

Further details about the Hydro Legacy Fund and background information can be found within the Financial Information section of the website.

Haldimand County Continues To Improve Capital Project Process

Over the past four years Haldimand County has substantially increased the number and total dollar value of capital projects designed to meet the growing needs of Haldimand County residents, while at the same time, renew and sustain the County’s existing infrastructure.

During this period, the number of active capital projects has grown from about 500 projects per year to over 600 projects per year and the funding has increased from approximately $100 million to over $120 million. The delivery of the capital project program has largely been accommodated with existing staff.

While the vast majority of these projects – over 97% – are delivered on time and within budget there are always one or two projects that do not meet Council, staff and public expectations related to timing and/or the final product. Following Haldimand County’s philosophy of continuous improvement, Council has directed staff to review the capital project program and seek ways to maximize project successes.

As part of this directive, County staff will be reviewing ways to improve and strengthen the ability to meet these expectations by considering measures such as requiring contractor prequalification for more projects; increased penalties to contractors to enforce start and end dates for construction contracts; and, reviewing holdback types and amounts to ensure contractor performance.

It is anticipated that this review and implementation of appropriate changes to capital project contract management will further reduce the number of projects that are not delivered satisfactorily.

Haldimand County Votes – Advance Polling And Election Day Information

Election Day in Haldimand County is October 22, 2018. Visit the election page to confirm your voting eligibility, view advance polling dates, locations and times and other key details.

Election 2018 Quick Facts

• Residents – especially those who recently moved to Haldimand County – are strongly encouraged to check that they are on the Voters’ List. A Voter Registration Portal is available on the election page.

Advance polling stations are open from October 5 – 13 and are a great way to avoid possible Election Day lineups. Assistive voting devices will be available at the Hagersville Memorial Arena, Grandview Lodge and Caledonia Lions Community Centre advance polling stations.

• Residents can vote at any advance polling station or any Election Day voting location (October 22), regardless of their ward.

• On Election Day, assistive voting devices will be available at the Cayuga Memorial Arena voting location.

• Residents who are unable to make it in person to vote may assign a proxy to vote on their behalf. Instructions and proxy assignment forms are available on the County’s election page.

• In order to cast a ballot, residents must provide 1 piece of identification listing their name and qualifying  address (e.g: driver’s license, utility bill, mortgage statement, etc). A list of acceptable ID is available on the election page. As passports are not issued with addresses, they will not be accepted as ID.

For further information about Haldimand County’s 2018 Municipal Election, visit or contact the Clerks office.

Speed Warning Sign Pilot Program Commences, New Equipment Deployed

On Tuesday, August 28, Mayor Ken Hewitt, Haldimand County Council and Police Services Board members met with local OPP Detachment staff to unveil newly-purchased speed monitoring equipment. The new equipment – including pole-mounted speed warning signs (12), Speed Spy data collectors (3) and a trailer-mounted, portable speed warning sign (1) – will be deployed in the coming weeks.

With input from the Haldimand Police Services Board, Council approved the purchase of this new speed monitoring equipment during the 2018 Capital Budget deliberations with an estimated expenditure of $112,000. The devices will be deployed as part of a community safety pilot program, initiated by Council in response to vehicle speeding concerns expressed by residents. The deployment plan for the new equipment was generated collaboratively with input from Ward Councillors, the Police Services Board and members of the Haldimand County OPP detachment.

Two pole-mounted speed warning signs will be installed in each of the County’s six Wards as part of the pilot project, while the Speed Spy data collectors will be deployed by the OPP based on complaints received and areas of concern. Data collected from the Speed Spy units will be analyzed by the OPP with the reports subsequently posted to the Haldimand County website. The trailer-mounted, portable speed warning sign will be relocated periodically to enhance the travelling public’s awareness of speeding.
“This is a good step forward in addressing longstanding safety concerns of Council and residents. Keeping our roads safe for community members and visitors is imperative,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Belinda Rose, Staff Sergeant of Haldimand County’s OPP Detachment echoed Mayor Hewitt’s comments. “Haldimand County OPP remain committed to protecting both motorists and pedestrians. This proactive approach is a positive step towards enhanced public safety,” Rose stated.
Staff Sergeant Rose also reiterated the consequences motorists may face if they are caught speeding. Under Section 128 of The Highway Traffic Act, the following penalties may be applied:

> 20 km/hr above posted speed limit – fines start at $95.00 + 3 demerit points
> 30 km/hr above posted speed limit – fines start at $220.00 + 4 demerit points
> 40 km/hr above posted speed limit – fines start at $295.00 + 4 demerit points
> 50 km/hr above posted speed limit – automatic drivers license suspension and vehicle impoundment

Information regarding the effectiveness of the speed warning sign pilot program will be brought forward to the Haldimand Police Services Board and Council in 2019.

For further information, please contact Karen General, General Manager of Corporate Services, at 905-318-5932 ext. 6321.