Millions In Infrastructure Funding Coming At Tight Time For Communities
March 22, 2018 | 9:50 am. Last Updated:March 22, 2018 | 10:00 am
Premier Dwight Ball says yesterday’s municipal infrastructure announcement is helping communities better prepare for the year ahead.
Yesterday, Ball announced more than $10-million in municipal capital works projects for the upcoming 2018 budget.
Ball says the announcement will help contractors plan. He says it’s important to get the announcements out early so people and departments can begin planning for when the tenders come out.
Government is putting up $10.6-million with the municipalities putting up just over $4-million.
As a part of Budget 2017, Premier Ball also announced that $18.8 million in provincial funding is being committed to leverage an additional $12.7 million in federal funding under the multi-year Small Communities Fund of the New Building Canada Fund. The Provincial Government has committed to leverage federal funding, and this funding will result in total project values of approximately $42.9 million.
According to the President of Municipalities NL, it’s going to take some federal leveraging to make sure communities get the money they need to maintain their infrastructure.
Tony Keats says the last two years have been difficult, and communities have been pinching pennies during tough financial times. He says there’s not enough money in the province to go around and that’s why municipalities are prioritizing what needs to be done and not being wasteful with the money that’s available.
During yesterday’s announcement, Keats also highlighted what he called an “emerging crisis” for municipalities, and the need for some $1-billion over the next ten years to fix drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities in the province.
Keats says its a difficult situation. He says the amount is an eye opener because it’s necessary and basic infrastructure that communities need to be sustainable.
Keats says municipalities can no longer afford to leave federal dollars on the table as was done in the past. He is working with the provincial government to make sure every available dollar from Ottawa makes its way to the province.