GRAVENHURST - Although no funds have yet been rolled over, the council has laid the groundwork to invest their reserves, including the Terence Haight bequest funds, with the One Investment Program.
For the bulk of this past year public debate has waged on about how the more than $1.3-million Haight bequest should be spent or invested and in turn, along the way the rest of the approximately $9 million in reserves also entered the equation. The agreement will allow the town to now invest those funds as it sees fit through the One Investment Program.
One is a pooled investment program designed specifically for the municipal and broader Ontario public sector and is an allowable vehicle under the Municipal Government Act for investment, which does limit municipalities to lower-risk and GIC-type investments.
With One handling the investments, it does open the door to slightly more risky ventures, but CAO Frank Miele explained council will still have to decide how much money will be invested and at which risk levels.
“There will be an additional report as to the amount and where exactly it’s going to be invested in,” he said. The general reserve funds and Terence Haight funds will be kept separate in order to ensure the bequest’s principal remains intact, at least for the time being, he added.
Some of the general reserves are spoken for, to be used for future capital projects or purchases, but staff will prepare a report that details what would be free to invest.
“Phase two will be to identify which funds (will be invested),” Miele added, saying council will have an opportunity to investigate low-risk, mid-risk and higher-risk investments and allot money into each level if they desire.