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.