UXBRIDGE: Recent flooding in Toronto and Western Canada pushed Uxbridge’s downtown flood alleviation project back to the forefront at a recent council meeting.
Included in councillor’s agendas was correspondence delivered jointly from the Ministry of Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation as well as the Ministry of Infrastructure regarding a Ontario budget initiative that will see millions of dollars put towards roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure in the province’s small, rural and northern municipalities.
The Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) is slated to provide up to $9 million to help small and rural municipalities prepare asset management plans, and nearly $90 million to help municipalities address critical infrastructure needs across the province. The province is currently consulting on the design of this new program, and will be looking at options to make it permanent for consideration in the 2014 Provincial Budget.
Since 2010, the township has been working towards a flood alleviation plan that would see changes to the culvert that runs beneath Brock St., allowing the Uxbridge Brook to flow north to the water treatment facility on Main St.
With an estimated price tag of $12 million, funding for the project has been debated amongst councillors numerous times, and the news of this new funding from the province may prove to be beneficial for its timely completion.
According to Public Works Director Ben Kester, a detailed design of the project is expected to be completed in 2014, leading Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor to raise the possibility of the township working in conjunction with the Region to help fund the project through this new provincial infrastructure fund in order to protect area residents in the event of a major storm.
"We should be dialoguing with Durham Region to see if we can’t recoup some of our $12 million cost," opined Mayor O’Connor. "My concern is if there’s one of these rains, where does that leave us?"