Unanimous vote for NWMO reserve fund

December 16, 2014

Town Council

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The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) launched a study in 2010 to attempt to identify a safe location for the long-term storage of nuclear energy by-products.

Although Saugeen Shores was one of 21 communities that came forward to participate in assessments to be a potential suitable host, it was determined that the area did not meet the site evaluation.

In recognition of significant contributions of all voluntary participant communities in the first phase of exploratory investigations, the NWMO is providing $400,000 to each of the communities ear-marked to establish a 'Community Well-Being Reserve Fund'.

The funds are to be held in a designated 'reserve' and are recommended to be used toward projects that support things such as sustainability and community well-being including youth or seniors, energy efficiency or economic development.

Upon establishing the reserve, the Treasury Department will ensure that the funds will be transferred to an interest bearing fund and that they will be a topic for discussion at the next Town capital budget meeting.

Councilor Cheryl Grace asked that public input be a requirement for possibilities for what the funds could be used for and that a survey could acquire public input.

Councilor Neil Menage asked that a portion of the funds in the amount of $10,000 be used toward a Committee that would look at a 'Centre of Excellence' for the future.  It was decided that it would be brought to the next council meeting as a motion.

Vice-Deputy Mayor Diane Huber reminded Council members that the funds had not yet been received.  "They (funds) will probably be used over time but I am cautious in that we don't have the funds yet and does it have to be spent immediately?  There are many ways we can take advantage of these funds over time and we have budget meetings coming up ."

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Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau said that this will be a topic of discussion but will it be included in the upcoming budget talks.  Mayor Mike Smith pointed out that Council is speculating as to whether the funds will be received.  "I think we have to wait until the reserve fund is set up and we have a capital budget."

Coucilor Mike Myatt requested a 'recorded vote' to the motion presented that ...

 "Council authorize an interest bearing reserve fund to be established and maintained for the purpose of holding funds received from the NWMO and that this reserve only be used to fund future projects, programs or services that benefit community youth or seniors, community sustainability, energy efficiency or economic development initiatives or otherwise deemed to improve 'Community Well-Being'.

The recorded vote was unanimous in support of the motion.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014