UXBRIDGE: Councillors are hopeful that a new program offered by the federal government will provide the necessary funds to enable the township to begin work on the downtown flood alleviation project.
At council's meeting on the evening of Monday, Feb. 24, councillors discussed the New Building Canada Fund. The new fund's Small Communities Fund will set aside $1 billion nationally over ten years to fund local projects in communities under 100,000 in population, which councillors are hopeful will enable the municipality to partner with the Region as well as the federal government to begin construction of a new culvert beneath Brock St. as part of the township's flood alleviation plan.
"It mentions disaster mitigation, could we apply to partner with the Region to do work on Brock St.?" asked Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor. "It's beyond our ability to pay, and if we could get this done as one third, one third, one third it would become a lot more feasible."
The downtown flood alleviation project carries a price tag of approximately $12 million, and Public Works Director Ben Kester has previously stated that he expects a detailed design of the project to be completed this year.
The township will have to act fast, as the federal government is targeting this spring as the first time applications for funding will be accepted.
Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger added that a recent meeting he attended with Jim Clapp, Durham Region's Commissioner of Finance shed some light on the tight time lines associated with potential federal funding.
"After the 2014 federal budget was announced, Mr. Clapp held a meeting and said if you have any applications that were turned down, dust them off and get ready to get them in when any new programs are announced," said Councillor Ballinger.
Councillors later voted to contact Durham Region about the possibility of partnering for the project.