Ex­am­in­ing road­work fund­ing

New for­mula could re­quire new strat­egy, Gan­der coun­cilor

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL

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

FILE PHOTO

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.

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