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This article was published 5/8/2016 (687 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BRANDON — Manitoba municipalities have the opportunity to tap into $144 million in provincial and federal infrastructure funding — if they apply by Aug. 26.
The difference this time around is the application process. The province announced Thursday it is accepting applications through a "single window" for all four grant programs in an effort to streamline the process.
"This is an important step forward because it will reduce red tape," said provincial Indigenous and Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. "It’s going to allow more efficient access to funding and help the municipalities to advance their infrastructure priorities. It is a first step in our commitment to provide all municipalities with a fair say on how their infrastructure funds are invested in their communities."
The announcement was made at the City of Brandon’s civic services complex in front of two brand-new buses that were to hit the streets Thursday.
"Each of these… cost in excess of $500,000," said Mayor Rick Chrest. "It certainly draws attention to… the cost of running municipalities, for the benefit of our citizens and how difficult it would be if we did not have a partnership with the senior levels of government."
The 2016 Municipal Road and Bridge Program has a total of $16 million in provincial funding. The federal-provincial Small Communities Fund will provide up to $10.26 million in provincial funding. It is cost-shared with the federal government at up to one-third of total eligible costs. This fund supports projects in communities of fewer than 100,000 people.
The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and Public Transit Infrastructure Fund are part of the federal government’s 2016 Infrastructure Phase 1 Plan.
"Up to $47.6 million in provincial funding will support projects that provide communities with clean drinking water or better waste-water treatment," said the province.
Manitoba will provide up to $41.4 million for public transit improvement projects such as new buses or upgrades to transit facilities.
Association of Manitoba Municipalities president Chris Goertzen said the new process, which can be done online, will simplify the intake for municipalities.
"Having campaigned for a fair say for municipalities throughout the last election, it is really gratifying to see the new approach for infrastructure funding coming to fruition," Goertzen said.
— Brandon Sun