Marystown Mayor Sam Synard said he’s pleased to see the provincial government approve funding allocations for municipal capital works projects far earlier than they have in the past.
The Department of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs announced a new three-year $200 million capital works program as part of Budget 2014 earlier this month.
Education Minister and Burin-Placentia West MHA Clyde Jackman acknowledged last week Marystown’s share of the pot is $4 million.
Cost-shared under the 80/20 per cent funding ratio formula, the province will chip in $3.2 million, while the Town of Marystown will contribute $800,000.
Mayor Synard indicated municipalities in the province have been lobbying the province for earlier funding approval for the past several years and said he was elated to see current Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Kent come through.
“It certainly is a welcome change,” he acknowledged.
“Often what would happen is the tenders would go out late in the year, and by then, a lot of the companies would have basically their year’s worked lined up.”
That meant the bids that came in were inflated, he suggested. It also caused delays or lead to work not starting until the early winter months, a time when the weather is not favourable for digging ground or laying asphalt.
Mayor Synard, who said the Town of Marystown has done well with capital funding from the province over the years, indicated council still has to sit down and hammer out the specifics of its project list.
Like other municipal leaders in the province, he said he was hoping a new fiscal framework would be included in the budget. Unfortunately, a new financial arrangement with municipalities wasn’t in the cards this year.
Mayor Synard suggested maintaining infrastructure is a difficult task at the best of times.
“There are so many demands on municipalities. The infrastructure is starting to get old. Even after a winter like this, you’d be surprised when the spring comes how much damage has been done to roads and so on.”