Examining roadwork funding
New formula could require new strategy, Gander councilor
While Gander’s roadwork won’t be affected this year, as it’s in the final year of a three-year multi-funded commitment, deputy mayor Cyril Abbott says there’s still a lot to be figured out on how the town accomplish roadwork projects in the future.
Last week, the provincial government announced changes to the Municipal Capital Works Funding Program.
From now on, all road infrastructure will be cost shared 50-50 between the province and municipalities. Previously it was a 70-30 split, with the province paying 70 percent.
In a scenario involving 10 kms of pavement, a municipality would foot the bill for three kms of pavement.
Under the new formula, it will have to pay for five of the 10 kms.
If the municipality can’t afford to pay for more than three kilometres of pavement, therefore, it means only six kilometers of pavement will be possible.
“What happens then is you can not keep up with your infrastructure, you have to prioritize,” said Abbott.
Road work is not the only thing that could be affected, under the new funding formula.
If Gander hopes to build a fire hall, set up new recreation projects, or purchases fire equipment and vehicles, it will to pay 40 percent of the costs, under a new 60-40 cost shared deal with province. Priority projects, such as wastewater and disaster mitigation will be funded 70-30.
Last weeks’ announcement forced the Town of Gander to pump the brakes on finalizing its five-year capital works projects.
“We had done our planning based on the best projections of where things were, which was the 70-30 model, now it’s 50-50,” said Abbott. “We have to revisit all of that planning to see exactly what we are able to do under this new formula.”
However, there may be some
After recent changes to how municipal capital works projects are being cost shared, Gander deputy mayor Cyril Abbott says the town will have to revisit its five-year capital works plan.