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Elgin County Council Highlights - Sept. 26, 2017

County Receives Increased BSO Funding 

Each of Elgin’s three long-term care homes has received $9,047 in additional base funding from the Southwest Local Health Integration Network (SWLHIN) in support of the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) initiative. 

The BSO initiative provides specialized care for older adults who exhibit challenging and complex behaviours as well as behaviours due to cognitive impairments. The SWLHIN has recently broadened the scope of what BSO funding can be used for, allowing long-term care homes to make use of non-medical roles such as Occupational Therapists, Recreational Therapists and other health related professionals.
This social model of care is aimed at complimenting the traditional medical model and enhancing therapies and interventions for challenging and complex behaviours.

Funding Received for Library Hardware Upgrades

The Elgin County Library received a grant of $16,755 from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Improving Library Digital Services Fund.

The use of technology in day-to-day life has become omnipresent and this has elevated the role that public libraries must play as delivery agents for reliable connectivity in rural communities. Helping rural residents stay connected through increased access to digital services and training opportunities is a priority in Elgin County.  

This investment is greatly appreciated as it will, among other things, help Elgin to make upgrades to hardware at its ten library branches.

Name Selected for New Museum Building         

Elgin County Council has chosen to formalized the name ‘Elgin County Heritage Centre’ for the museum exhibit space that is currently under construction on land adjacent to the Elgin County Administration Building. 

Once open, this facility will serve as a highly visible and more accessible location for Museum exhibits and programming as well as a gateway centre for tourism information and promotion of County services. 
Existing space on the fourth floor of the Elgin Administration Building will continue to be used for collection, storage, and processing of museum artifacts and exhibits.  

Projected completion date for this project is December 2017 with the first exhibit opening in January of 2018.  

Vacancy/Excess Land Reduction/Rebate Eliminated 

At its September 26, 2017 meeting, Elgin County Council approved the elimination of the Vacancy/Excess Land Reduction/Rebate program effective in the 2018 taxation year. 

In late 2016, the province gave municipalities greater flexibility in setting the vacancy/excess land ratio. At the recommendation of local treasurers, the rebate program in question will be eliminated and the resulting $80,000 in increased County taxation will be used to provide ongoing annual funding to the County’s Community Improvement Plan (CIP) program. The CIP scoring matrix will be updated to prioritize upgrades to vacant business properties increasing the likelihood that they will become occupied. The County of Elgin believes that reducing the number of vacant business properties will benefit all businesses and keep our rural downtowns vibrant and appealing to consumers. 

Once changes to the CIP are finalized, Elgin County Economic Development will host three education sessions to provide owners of vacant business properties with detailed information about the changes and how to access CIP funding.