Province will spend $200 million on towns over next three years

James
James McLeod
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Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent announced that the government will spend $200 million for municipal infrastructure over the next three years.

Municipal Affairs minister making infrastructure funding announcement at Paradise Community Centre — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The pre-budget announcement is new money that will be allocated in this year's budget.

Kent said by making this announcement early, it'll allow towns to get the paperwork done faster, and get crews to work building stuff earlier in the construction season.

Municipalities NL president Churrence Rogers applauded the move, saying there's major needs across the province for improved infrastructure.

Rogers said that discussions have been underway for a comprehensive new framework for municipal funding. That's something that isn't expected in this year's budget. Hopefully next year, Rogers said.

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    March 15, 2014 - 23:30

    That's good news that tax dollars will be used for something good to improve the roads and bridges. Labrador West having the most harsh cold needs to see some of that to improve the roads. Down the road if possible the Province should try and get some help with funding to make a fully paved road that goes all the way up to Nain for the Aboriginal community which would help lower the cost of their basic needs such as food and clothing. I feel bad for the aboriginal community because the cost of everything is so much higher further north and something should be done to help them and anyone else living up there. Back to further south, I think it's a good idea to make improvements and repairs on infrastructure, at least it's using tax dollars wisely. Hopefully government won't move slow to get that infrastructure done. I never did it but even still I feel bad for people who have had to travel the main road from western Labrador to Happy Valley Goose Bay unpaved. That road should've been fully paved when that road was built, Canadians deserve better than that to have to drive on a road that can damage their car and get them stuck not to mention the cost of car repairs. The important thing now is that government is working on doing what needs to done on infrastructure and that's a good thing.

  • Jack
    March 11, 2014 - 11:57

    The Town of Gillams desperately needs this infrastructure money as some of their streets are in terrible condition, particularly Farm Road. For example, the Farm Road and Second Avenue intersection is littered with potholes and easily flooded during rainstorms or mild winter conditions, making it next to impossible to pass. Too bad Gillams Town Council, particularly Joy Burt whom serves as the Mayor, do nothing about it.

  • LOL
    March 11, 2014 - 11:17

    Steve's all purdied up for his big ldrship bid. lol

  • Richard
    March 11, 2014 - 09:52

    I guess MNL's call for predictable, sustainable funding mechanisms fell on deaf ears. Back to the trough. We'll have $200M worth of ribbon cutting and be back to wondering how to get clean drinking water again in three years' time.

    • Jay
      March 13, 2014 - 07:27

      Who's the spokesperson for MNL, now. I thought it was Churence Rogers. |He applauded these expenditures.

    • Mike
      March 15, 2014 - 23:35

      Actually all Canadians in all of Canada should be able to count on clean, safe drinking water at all times, that is a basic human right. Those who don't have it or can't count on it need to make their voices heard repeatedly until they get results.

  • Don II
    March 11, 2014 - 09:36

    What kind of "stuff" will this expenditure of $200 Million of tax payer money be spent on exactly? Does Minister Kent require that all of the municipal infrastructure grant expenditures be accounted for to the penny? Will the Department of Municipal Affairs require building code inspections, environmental assessments, compliance audits and forensic audits on all of this municipal government infrastructure spending? Is the $200 Million of tax payer money going to be spent on necessary infrastructure projects or on pre-election vote buying on highly questionable and expensive projects? I was recently made aware of a small town in Conception Bay North which obtained a $1.5 Million municipal capital works grant which was approved for municipal infrastructure such as sewer system upgrades and beautification projects. It appears that the Town in question used over $600,000 of the grant money to build a commercial marina on Crown land that the Town did not own, in an area which was not zoned for marina operation, all without the approval and authorization of the Government of Newfoundland! Does the Department of Municipal Affairs require that tax payers money which is provided to municipal councils through municipal infrastructure capital works grants be accounted for pursuant to the Financial Administration Act and departmental policy? It appears that despite complaints from citizens regarding the unauthorized construction and unapproved expenditure from the municipal capital works grant on the commercial marina on Crown land, the Department of Municipal Affairs ignored the citizens complaints, did not investigate the unapproved expenditures and took no remedial or legal action against the Town in question! It appears that the politicians are prepared to close their eyes and ears to abuses of the system in order not to upset the small town movers and shakers and to avoid losing votes! It appears that the municipal funding system is open to abuse and lack of accountability and the current Government of Newfoundland could care less! After all, it is only tax payers money.

  • Crazy
    March 11, 2014 - 09:17

    Using taxpayers money once more to buy vote's.

  • Started
    March 11, 2014 - 08:21

    The campaign has started.

    • Boo Whoo
      March 11, 2014 - 13:36

      Excellent news, so glad to hear that the Carbonear-Harbour Grace district will be getting millions in upgrades. Victoria will get roads not initially covered under cost-sharing covered, Harbour Grace more sewer/road work and Carbonear will have Garlands Bridge spiced up. Good Job, we say there, ah mean. ah we say there Mr. Slade, our bonafide MHA.