Council reviewed a report from the planning department for plans to spruce up the appearance of the Main Street area of downtown Hawkesbury and encourage more pedestrian traffic in the neighbourhood. The proposal follows up on past planning studies for revitalization of the downtown core.
During the early weeks of the pandemic last year the federal government set up the Health Communities Initiative (HCI). The program goal is to help local municipalities “adapt their public spaces to the health crisis” and offer more opportunities for residents to get out and about for recreation and exercise to counteract the psychological and physical impact of the pandemic restrictions on people’s health.
The $31 million program provides assistance grants ranging from $5000 to $250,000 per approved project. But the applications guidelines demand that projects have “a long-term vision” for the community.
The planning department proposal calls for replacing some of the ornamental trees on Main Street that are either damaged or have outgrown their planting sites and may now be deteriorating, replacing some of the street’s outdoor decorations that are outdated, and a general cleanup of the area. The goal is to make the downtown core, including areas like Place des Pionniers, ready for the summer season when pandemic restrictions may be relaxed and allow larger public gatherings outdoors and the area can serve as a site for special events again that promote pedestrian traffic.
Estimated cost for the project is $87,595. The town must provide the initial money for the project and the HCI grant, if approved, would then reimburse the municipality.
Council voted to authorize the planning department to apply for an HCI grant.