The Ontario government is dishing out over $7 million to help local municipalities build and repair infrastructure in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock in 2022. The multi-year funding is being delivered through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund and will bring the government’s total investment to nearly $2 billion over the next five years.
Laurie Scott, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP, says the money will be well utilized across the eight municipalities in the riding.
“There is a lot of demand in our aging infrastructure and municipalities are having a tough time with the usual roads, bridges, water and waste systems so it gives them that extra money ahead of time.” she says. “We also don’t have the transportation options larger municipalities do so our roads and bridges are the transportation in rural Ontario.”
Scott adds local politicians are pleased with the announcement and the entire province needs to be economically strong, not just urban areas.
“It goes a long way to create jobs, support communities, and stimulate local and provincial economies,” she says. “We need a strong rural Ontario to have a strong Ontario.”
Andy Letham, Kawartha Lakes Mayor, says the money is more than double what he was expecting.
“We budgeted $2 million in the 2022 budget as that has been our infrastructure allocation for the last couple of years. We were very pleased to receive the $4.5 million announcement just after the budget passed. This is very exciting news, and we greatly appreciate the support from the province.” he says.
Letham adds infrastructure upgrades are a never-ending need, and this will help the municipality to address the growing list of capital projects.
“A report will come to council in January with options for council to consider,” he says. “We will not be reopening budget discussions but looking to see if some deferred projects can be added to the work plan for 2022 and beyond.”
** with files from Lee Griffi