Thursday, March 26, 2015

Town Council increases funding to water projects to capitalize on grant funding

Toni Lucas

During the regular meeting of Pincher Creek Town Council on Monday evening, March 23, council unanimously agreed to approve increasing funding for water distribution projects in 2016, 2017 and 2018 from $300,000 to $500,000 each year for a total project cost of $1,500,000, increasing an upgrade to the waste water treatment lagoons from $800,000 over 4 years to $1,000,000. The reason for this change is that the Federal 'Build Canada' grant through the Small Communities Fund has announced a deadline for application of April 2, 2015.

Each municipality can make two applications for infrastructure projects for a total of $9,000,000 to be funded 1/3 by the federal government, 1/3 by provincial government, and the final third by local municipal government. Administration for the Town of Pincher Creek believes that they can better utilize this grant by increasing the Town of Pincher Creek's future capital project amounts.

Given the short timeline to apply for this grant, administration indicated that the water line distribution and the waste water lagoon upgrades are the two best projects to apply for in preparing the town's application. Administration indicated that there is another category in the Building Canada Fund for Connectivity and Broadband Infrastructure, but believed that, as a definite decision has not been made for the Town of Pincher Creek to commit to such a project, it has not sufficiently progressed yet to warrant an application for funding in this category.

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