WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local municipalities will receive almost $12 million from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) this year, more than double the collective 2021 allocation of about $5.9 million.
Details of the 2022 allocations to help 424 small, rural and northern communities build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure were announced on Dec. 8.
Combined, Wellington County and its seven member municipalities will receive $11,914,205 to address local infrastructure needs.
The extra funding comes from the addition of $1 billion over the next five years to the OCIF program, states a Dec. 8 press release from the office of Premier Doug Ford.
“With this investment, we are saying ‘yes’ to helping these communities build and repair the vital infrastructure they need to keep their communities working for decades to come,” Ford states in the release.
Overall, the province says it is the largest increase in OCIF since the program was created.
Of the local funding, the County of Wellington will receive $3,759,468, an increase of $1,896,002 over the $1,863,466 2021 allocation.
Lower tier allocations (2021 allocations in brackets) are:
- Centre Wellington, $2,596,074 ($1,271,559);
- Erin, $548,545 ($260,016);
- Guelph-Eramosa, $918,994 ($445,088);
- Puslinch, $331,262 ($168,923);
- Mapleton, $862,237 ($399,840;)
- Minto, $994,250 ($506,543); and
- Wellington North, $1,903,374 ($1,030,120).
“Wellington County and our member municipalities were pleasantly surprised at the announcement that we will be getting significantly more OCIF funding this year,” said Centre Wellington Mayor and Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton.
“Both Wellington County and Centre Wellington have substantial infrastructure gaps and this funding will contribute to addressing these gaps.
“This is too late in the process to change our 2022 budgets, but hopefully it will provide much needed funding to accelerate future infrastructure projects.”
In Wellington North, finance director Adam McNabb said the extra $1 million could factor in to the township’s ongoing budget process.
“As part of the preliminary 2022 draft capital budget we have identified a $900,000 contribution to the rehabilitation of Domville St. in Arthur (between Conestoga and Preston); however, with the recent allocation notice release, contribution levels are subject to change as budget deliberations continue,” said McNabb.
Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece said, “When it comes to local priorities, local municipalities know best.”
He added, “I am so pleased that the province is supporting them in such a significant way. It respects our unique needs in rural and small-town communities.
“For some, the need is in roads and bridges. For others, it may be water and wastewater infrastructure.”
Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma stated, “Communities are the heartbeat of this province and we know they are facing unique infrastructure needs and challenges, especially as we navigate through the pandemic.”
Surma added, “Our government has been with them every step of the way. When we were told more funding supports were needed, we listened and acted in a meaningful way by providing the largest OCIF increase since the start of the program.”