A plowing competition that is expected to bring thousands of people to Cornwall and area will could end up costing taxpayers some up-front money.
Organizers of the 2015 International Plowing Match were before city council Monday night to make a presentation about the popular agriculture-based event, which will be hosted in Finch.
United Counties council has already pledged $100,000 towards the event, and Jeff Waldroff, Stormont’s director to the International Plowmen’s Association with the competition, suggested to councillors Monday night something similar will be requested of Cornwall.
"It would be nice to get some cash," said Waldroff.
Council received his report, and it's expected more communication between the competition and council will be coming forward in the future.
More work is also being done to raise the event's profile in the community.
“We’re working to develop a road upgrade plan and signage plan,” said United Counties CAO Tim Simpson during the council meeting. “We might need the city to help.”
Simpson added the counties will likely return to council during the city’s budget deliberations with a formal request. The city could also invest in the event by participating in the expo component of the event with local artisans and vendors.
Waldroff said there will be economic spinoffs for Cornwall to help offset the added expesne for taxpayers.
“We want people to stay in Cornwall, not Ottawa,” he said, explaining organizers chose the North Stormont area to ensure the city was only a short drive away. “We want to make sure the money stayed in our host area.”
A 2,000-capacity trailer park for visitors is being built to accomodate out-of-town plowing match patrons.
Waldroff said past matches have generated as much as $20 million in economic activity, and created so-called "legacy funds that organizers divided up to community charities and partner agencies.
Councillors have offered tacit support to the event, but it will be some time before specific dollars are ultimately attached to the plowing match.