By Chad Ingram
Published March 26 2019
Earlier this month the provincial government announced a new $30-billion infrastructure funding program and Haliburton County officials are watching to see how they go about getting a piece of that funding.
County public works director Craig Douglas told councillors during a March 13 roads advisory committee meeting that he’d been looking into details which were not yet available in great abundance.
“It’s $30 billion over 10 years shared between all levels of government broken into a number of streams” Douglas said.
According the province’s website “The funding falls under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program which will unlock up to $30 billion in combined federal provincial and local investments in communities across the province over the next 10 years.”
The first intake period of the program will be for rural and northern municipalities. It begins this week and is open for eight weeks.
Douglas said it was unclear whether the program was replacing the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.
Noting the initial intake period is not very long Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin wondered if next time the committee met (committees meet monthly) they might have some direction from Douglas as to what the county’s priorities might be in terms of applications to the program.
“Absolutely” Douglas said.
“Because I think everybody’s going to be scrambling” Devolin said indicating he thought the first round might be undersubscribed and adding he’d be comfortable taking out loans to cover the county portion of projects if the conditions were favourable.
“If it’s a one-time windfall from my perspective I normally wouldn’t debenture something like that but I would certainly entertain it if the situation was right” he said. “This is a pot of money we might not see like this for another decade.”