Back in 2018, the Town of Innisfil was one of 405 small and rural municipalities in Ontario to receive a Modernization Grant from the province.
The money – in Innisfil’s case, a whopping $676,935 – was a one-time grant, designed to support the consolidation and streamlining of services to improve efficiency and municipal operations.
In the words of a report presented to Innisfil Council on Wednesday night, the aim was to help the municipalities find “smarter, more efficient ways to spend money while respecting taxpayers’ dollars.”
There were no strings attached, and Innisfil used the funding on projects that included ‘ECHO’ – a shared services review in support of its new One Town, One Team collaborative approach; the assessment of sharing fire services with the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, and all of the staffing and financial implications; technological and software enhancements; and a Shared Services Task Force.
The town did apply for further funding under Intake 1 but was unsuccessful.
Now, with the deadline for Intake 2 fast approaching, council was asked to authorize another application.
This time, the grant process will require the municipality to also put up a share of the funding, if successful. For a municipality with over 5,000 households, the Modernization Grant would cover 65 percent of the cost of an eligible project while the municipality would be asked to cover 35 percent of costs.
Innisfil intends to ask for funding to support its Shared Services Review, and further build the OTOT (One Town, One Team) model. The model includes efficiencies and collaboration among departments and town boards.
The deadline for the application is March 8.
Council approved the initiative.