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Richmond Hill Council to Decide on Hydro Funds Strategy - 3/25/2003

Contact: Dave Weldon, Chief Administrative Officer, (905) 771-8800, ext. 3834

RICHMOND HILL - The Mayor and Council of the Town of Richmond Hill announced today that they will hold a special Council meeting on Thursday, April 10, 2003 to deliberate a staff report that outlines how the proceeds of the sale of Richmond Hill Hydro should be managed.

The staff report to be considered by Council recommends a strategy for managing the funds and establishing potential funding priorities for the monies from the sale, which took place in December 2001. Recommendations in the staff report arose out of information and analysis gathered from a public consultation process held late last year, along with the results of a public opinion survey. The recommendations coincide with the goals and objectives outlined in the Town's Strategic Plan.

The staff report was developed at the direction of Council after results of the consultation process were made public last December. Council directed staff to report back further with recommendations for management of the funds and potential funding priorities. As well, Council called for this special meeting to consider the issue, one which the public is invited to attend.

In short, the staff report recommends that Council direct the proceeds, $141 million plus interest, to a number of special reserve accounts which will fund projects to benefit the community over time. As revealed by the public opinion polls, issues that are important to the residents include transportation, water quality, the environment, and community and economic vitality. It was also recommended that funds be set aside for the Town's continual infrastructure repair and replacement needs as well as strategic transit initiatives.

Dave Weldon, the Town's Chief Administrative Officer said, "We consulted citizens and special interest groups and accounted for the financial needs of the corporation to devise this strategy. We believe that this is a responsible way to manage the funds and that the community will benefit from this approach." Weldon went on to say, "As Council requested, the funds received from the sale of Richmond Hill Hydro will live on for many years, in a variety of ways, allowing residents to enjoy a sustained quality of life now and in the future."

The special Council meeting will be held in Council Chambers on April 10, 2003 starting at 7:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to address Council at the meeting is asked to review the staff report in advance (available on the Town's Website at www.richmondhill.ca or from the Clerk's Office starting March 26). Any person may attend the meeting and/or make written or verbal representation. Written comments by any person unable to attend should be mailed to the Town Clerk and those wishing to speak to Council must register their intent to be a delegate no later than 12 noon on April 10 by providing their name, address and telephone number in writing to the Town Clerk. As a matter of procedure, all those wishing to speak to Council will be limited to five minutes per speaker.

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