The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Kevin O’Brien, Minister of Municipal Affairs:
Investing in New Municipal Infrastructure Throughout the Province
Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to announce that there will be new municipal infrastructure projects starting in the province in the coming weeks as a result of an investment by our government of $130 million in Budget 2012: People and Prosperity.
Mr. Speaker, our Municipal Capital Works programs provide for the development of cost-shared projects in a wide range of municipal infrastructure. Since 2008, our government has invested over $500 million in municipal capital works projects which has resulted in improved municipal infrastructure across the province. These projects have provided municipalities the opportunity to secure, develop and improve infrastructure for their residents and support the long-term sustainability of growth and development of communities throughout the province.
Mr. Speaker, as of April 1, we had over 500 municipal infrastructure projects ongoing in various municipalities throughout the province. We anticipate a further approximately 200 new projects to start this year.
Some examples of significant Municipal Capital Works projects completed over the past couple of years include: the Lifestyle Centre in Bay Bulls; the second ice surface at the Glacier in Mount Pearl; commissioning of a water treatment project in Belleoram; and commissioning of a potable water dispensing units in Leading Tickles and other communities. Work also continues on significant water and wastewater treatment projects in Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Bishop’s Falls and St. John’s.
Mr. Speaker, in addition to our continued investment in infrastructure projects throughout the province, our government is pleased to also maintain the cost-share ratios established in 2008 which were designed to benefit municipalities. For communities with populations below 3,000, the Provincial Government will continue to invest 90 per cent of the cost of new infrastructure with the municipality providing 10 per cent; 80 per cent of the cost will continue to be covered for populations between 3,000 and 7,000; and 70 per cent of the cost will continue to be covered for municipalities with populations over 7,000. In addition, when calculating our investment, we include the provincial portion of the HST and pay our applicable share of that cost.
Mr. Speaker, projects are funded in every district in the province; from St. John’s to the north coast of Labrador. Projects focus on water and waste water treatment as a priority, with other projects supporting other infrastructure such as local roads and municipal buildings. Further information on specific projects will be announced in the coming weeks.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
2012 06 19 1:55 p.m.