GRCA board approves 2019 budget

GRAND RIVER TERRITORY — The Grand River Conservation Authority says it is planning $35 million in programming to improve the health of the Grand River watershed in 2019.

A 26 member board, representing municipalities along the Grand, approved the 2019 budget on Friday.

“Municipalities will contribute about $11.6 million in general municipal levy to the GRCA in 2019, about 33 per cent of the GRCA’s total budget. The municipal levy portion is up 2.5 per cent this year, which works out to approximately $10.84 per watershed resident,” said the GRCA in a statement.

Grants totalling under $4.9 million and another $15.4 million in revenue make up the remainder of the investment.

Activities GRCA has planned for 2019 include completing updates to the Grand River Source Protection Plan, including water quantity risk assessment studies, development of water quantity policies, updating water quality vulnerability assessments, and the development of the first annual progress report for the Grand River Source Protection Plan.

Two reports are underway and expected to be completed in 2019: a technical report on the state of water resources in the Grand River watershed and a summary report on the status of implementation of the agency’s Water Protection Plan.

Major conservation area renovations are expected in 2019, include a new washroom in the day use area at Byng Island, expansion of the Pines seasonal campground at Elora Gorge, a new workshop and trailer storage area at Guelph Lake, playground replacements at Brant Park, installation of automatic entry gates at Pinehurst Lake and Guelph Lake, and the replacement of the existing washroom building at Elora Quarry. Planning will also be undertaken for a new day use area at Elora Gorge, expected to be constructed in 2020.

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