Ontario Construction News staff writer
The provincial infrastructure train pulled into the City of Sudbury last week, and by the time it left the station the municipality was banking on having $9.3 million deposited in its coffers.
Last week the province announced infrastructure funding of $200 million for 424 small, rural, and northern Ontario communities, to fix and build roads, bridges, and water and wastewater plants. Sudbury’s share of the pot is $9.3 million.
The money is coming from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF).
“Our government is investing in community-based infrastructure projects that will build healthier and safer communities,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “This funding builds on our ongoing commitment to support small, rural and northern municipalities across Ontario.”
If they want, municipalities are permitted to bank funding for up to five years, to have it available for larger, more expensive projects. Recognizing that municipalities have different infrastructure needs, the provinces uses what it calls a “fair and transparent” formula to distribute funding.
“These investments will help eligible communities attract jobs and investment, as well as build local capacity to grow and thrive,” Queen’s Park says in a release announcing the $200 million investment.
“OCIF is an excellent example of the stable, predictable infrastructure funding small and rural communities need to help sustain and develop local communities and economies. OCIF’s formula-based funding helps build and maintain Ontario’s network of local roads and bridges and critical water, wastewater and stormwater systems. The announcement of 2020 OCIF allocations is timely and much appreciated,” says AMO President Jamie McGarvey.
Quick facts about the fund:
- The OntarioHeadline Community Infrastructure Fund provides stable and predictable funding for communities with populations under 100,000, along with all rural and northern communities
- Approximately $200 million in formula-based funding was allocated to small, rural and northern communities for 2019. Municipalities may accumulate their formula funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.
- Ontario also provides funding to communities through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a $30-billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments. Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent, or $10.2 billion spread across four streams: Rural and Northern, Transit Infrastructure, and Community, Culture and Recreation and Green.