Money will not be an is­sue

‘Three Rivers’ would earn dou­ble the gas tax rev­enues

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEVE SHARRATT

If the force awak­ens be­tween seven south­east­ern com­mu­ni­ties con­sid­er­ing the for­ma­tion of a re­gional mu­nic­i­pal­ity it won’t suf­fer from lack of funds.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­cently re­leased Woods study, the in­creased pop­u­la­tion will help bol­ster the war chest for the new com­mu­nity re­ferred to as Three Rivers.

The town of Mon­tague has a pop­u­la­tion of about 1,900 peo­ple. With the ad­di­tional six com­mu­ni­ties of Ge­orge­town, Cardi­gan, Lorne Val­ley, Val­ley­field, Bru­denell and Lower Mon­tague, the pop­u­la­tion would jump to 8,000 — or 75 per cent of the new com­mu­nity.

“It should be quite clear that ru­ral in­ter­ests and ru­ral val­ues should be well en­trenched and well pro­tected in any fu­ture re­gional mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” says the re­port.

But join­ing forces would also see the fed­eral gas tax al­lot­ment al­most dou­ble for the new and much larger mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“The im­pact of the in­creased pop­u­la­tion is clearly ev­i­dent,” the re­port de­tails in a chart.

“Es­sen­tially, the to­tal an­nual Gas Tax Grant for the re­gion would be more than dou­bled, from $320,633 to $654,059.”

And as part of the fed­eral New Deal fund­ing, there has tra­di­tion­ally been a “Ca­pac­ity Build­ing” fund that pro­vided up to 100 per cent fund­ing for prepa­ra­tion of a new of­fi­cial Plan.

The re­port notes the ex­pected bud­get for a full re­gional land use plan for Three Rivers would prob­a­bly be in ex­cess of $100,000 and if ap­proved, would be cost cov­ered by the feds.

The re­port also notes what Judge Ralph Thom­son wrote in his Com­mis­sion on Land and Lo­cal Gov­er­nance re­leased in 2009.

STEVE SHARRATT/THE GUARDIAN

The Mon­tague River, which makes up the town’s wa­ter­front, is part of the three rivers area.

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