On October 18, 2016, City Council approved the uses for the Kingston Solar LP Community Benefit fund, with investments to be focused in the vicinity of the Solar project. This is great news, as the benefits will be directly felt by the part of our community most impacted by hosting the many acres of solar development.
Over the summer, staff consulted with the community and Rural Advisory Committee on the use of these funds, and came forward with the following three recommendations:
- Establish a program for the planting of trees in the neighbourhood of the solar project. This program will be administered by Public Works and is scheduled to start in the spring of 2017 as the tree planting program for the fall of 2016 has already been planned.
- Park improvements in the rural area, including school properties that are being utilized as community parks. Staff will consider a contribution to the Elginburg Public School in response to a request for financial assistance to replace the play structure and to plant trees in the play area to provide shade to children.
- Acquisition of natural lands and parkland in the vicinity of the Solar Project.