Mayor David Anderson believes council must be vigilant to stay in the mind of the federal government if it hopes to get infrastructure funds to help pay for service upgrades in Palmerston and Clifford.
Councillors here recently heard from Perth-Wellington MP Gary Schellenberger after the town wrote a letter May 6 about the status of federal infrastructure funds for local projects.
Schellenberger had been sent a detailed report outlining the town’s spending to date, capital expenditure forecasts, its long term debt repayment schedule, and specifics regarding projects in Clifford and Palmerston.
While he commended the town’s work, he stated the $64-million Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure fund (COMRIF) top-up funding was allocated, and that the next available pool of funding would be through the Building Canada Fund.
Schellenberger considered that great News for Ontario municipalities and he hopes guidelines will be made available after the formal announcement is made.
“I’ve been advocating for the past year that any municipalities that didn’t receive funding from COMRIF should be considered first.”
Schellenberger’s letter then switched to the gas tax funding program which provides municipalities with funds.
He stated that recently that program was extended into perpetuity.
Under the first agreement, Minto is supposed to receive a total $663,220 between 2005 and 2009.
Between 2010 and 2014, the town is slated to receive $1,326,369.
“While I acknowledge that additional federal funding is still needed to assist with infrastructure upgrades, this gas tax funding will help Minto with its current and long term capital expenditures.”
In response to the letter, Anderson stated that perhaps Schellenberger’s office needs to be contacted once again on Minto’s need for the infrastructure funding.
While he said the Canada Build fund seems to indicate some agreement between the federal and provincial government, he is hesitant to offer an opinion until the specifics are known.
“We still have to be on their doorstep” to make the town’s needs acknowledged.”