Guelph, Ont., February 12, 2016 –Guelph City Council and administration are working together to prepare for infrastructure funding opportunities expected to be announced by the federal government.
“Details of the funding programs are unknown at this time,” said Scott Stewart, City of Guelph Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise. “So we’re doing what we need to in advance to be ready to meet application deadlines on short notice. We know from experience that it pays to be prepared for these types of rare funding opportunities. We intend to take full advantage to meet the needs of our community while addressing some of the city’s growing infrastructure gap.”
Last night, Council unanimously accepted administration’s recommendations to further explore potential federal infrastructure funding.
Guelph’s Member of Parliament, Lloyd Longfield and Member of Provincial Parliament, Liz Sandals, were in attendance in an ongoing demonstration of Guelph’s three levels of government working in concert.
Almost 60% of Canada’s core public infrastructure is owned and maintained by municipal governments. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has estimated that, if reliant on property taxes alone, closing the $60 billion infrastructure investment gap in Ontario would require an additional annual tax increase of 3.84% through to 2025. Infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial levels of government would offset that increase.
At this time, cities haven’t received details about the design or criteria of a new infrastructure program. The federal government is expected to announce those details after the federal budget is released.
“These federal funding opportunities are rare,” continued Stewart. “We have an opportunity to address some of Guelph’s infrastructure backlog; unlock funds for other pressing projects; and move forward on some major projects that will have lasting benefits for Guelph’s citizens and businesses.”