Wind farm money application called difficult
At least one business in eastern P.E.I. that received money from a government fund set up in compensation for a wind farm in the area found the process cumbersome.
Seven projects were selected for funding from the Northside Windmill Enhancement Program, which is designed to boost economic development in the area around the new windfarm in Hermanville.
The P.E.I. Energy Corporation has budgeted $125,000 per year for the fund, and the seven projects will share more than $115,000. The Northside Windmill Enhancement Program, which is under the fund, is administered by the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development to access the fund.
Cameron Ross's On the Fly P.E.I., a fishing outfitter and guide business, is one of the beneficiaries.
"I thought it was great. Any extra funding coming into the area is always a good thing," said Ross.
But after putting hours into the application process, Ross questions whether it was worth the effort.
"A little is better than none, but I worked for it," he said.
The fund is late in getting started. Earlier this year the government said the first projects would be awarded April 1. The delay in getting the fund going follows controversy surrounding the $60-million wind farm. A group of local residents was vocal in its opposition to it. The province said most community members were onboard and construction moved quickly.
The St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Cemetery Committee also received funding. Committee chair Anne Kells was among those who was not sure the wind farm was a good idea.
"I have mixed feelings about it to be honest, but now that the turbines are in place and some of the money is going back to the community I think that's a good thing," said Kells.
While the projects have been announced, the beneficiaries are still waiting for their cheques.