Gas tax funding a ‘godsend’ - Vrebosch
nipissing-timiskaming will receive $5.3 million in gas tax funding to finance municipal infrastructure projects such as roads, sports and recreation facilities and tourism infrastructure.
this year, 19 municipalities, townships and local service boards in nipissing-timiskaming will each receive a portion of the $5.3 million.
north Bay will receive the largest share, at $3.26 million, followed by temiskaming shores ($632,386) and east Ferris ($289,803).
thorne, on the other hand, will receive $1,066.
the federal gas tax Fund provides “predictable, long-term funding to municipalities to help them build and rehabilitate their infrastructure,” the federal government states.
to date, $15 billion has been invested in municipalities through the fund, with close to $22 billion to flow over the next 10 years.
how the money will be spent is determined at the local level and prioritized according to the infrastructure needs of each community.
“this is a godsend to any municipality that gets nothing,” said east Ferris Mayor Bill Vrebosch.
“It’s the best thing that ever happened to municipalities because it’s guaranteed income every year. For some communities that is all they have to spend on their roads, because they receive nothing from the province,” he said tuesday.
“We haven’t received a provincial infrastructure grant since 2008. We keep applying, but they keep saying to raise taxes. they’re forcing small municipalities into debt.”
Vrebosch said he expects this cash infusion will be spent on roads.
he said what is great about the federal funding is that municipalities can save it over a period of time to fund a larger project.
“If you don’t use it this year, you can stack it and use it later. Communities also can work with neighbouring municipalities on a larger infrastructure project that they otherwise couldn’t do alone.”
he said it would be nice if the province would follow ottawa’s lead.
“I have been fighting with the province for decades on this subject. When I go to a gas station in Corbeil or astorville I pay 15 cents in provincial gas tax,” Vrebosch said.
“however, unless a community has a transit system they don’t get any provincial gas tax funding. My argument is that my roads, culverts and bridges are my transit system and they are equally important,” he said.
“small municipalities can’t survive on residential taxes alone. We need a guaranteed source of income from somewhere.”
north Bay Mayor al Mcdonald said this year the city received $3.26 million, about $50,000 more than last year.
“We will use all of this money toward our asphalt resurfacing program, which we do each year,” he said.
“We have resurfaced 25 per cent of our roads in the past five years. We have 360 kilometres of roads and we could use twice this amount, but we are further ahead on road resurfacing than many municipalities.”