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Grant money comes to those who are ready and can deliver

Posted: January 14, 2019

 

Grant money comes to those who are ready and can deliver

 

West St. Paul is a thriving community and all you have to do to confirm that is look around and see the construction going on in our midst.

 

There are housing developments going up in several locations and new businesses are choosing to locate in West St. Paul. A big part of the reason for that is our new sewer and water systems, which give investors confidence to locate in a municipality.

 

The West St. Paul Wastewater Project came about as a government directive that disallowed new septic fields in the Red River Corridor – a swath of land alongside the Red River that cuts through West St. Paul east of McPhillips Street to the Red River.

 

Years of failing fields prompted the move, and West St. Paul, along with other river-adjacent RM’s, like our neighbours to the north, St. Andrews, had to take a look at the problem and come up with a solution.

 

The RM worked with external consultants and experts to determine the best course of action for West St. Paul and connecting to the North Winnipeg Treatment Plant was the option supported by both the provincial and federal governments.

The wastewater and water projects wouldn’t have happened without funding from the two higher levels of government. Projects of that magnitude are simply out of any municipality’s reach.

 

But to be selected to receive a cost-sharing grant, you have to be prepared and ready to roll.

 

The RM was successful in securing $8 million Building Canada grants for several phases of the wastewater project.

 

The Building Canada Fund was established in 2014 and runs until 2024 and supports infrastructure projects of national, regional and local significance that contribute to economic growth, a clean environment and stronger communities.

The fund includes a Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure component, which supports national and regional projects from one fund and projects in communities of less than 100,000 people through the Small Communities Fund.

 

The RM also just secured funding through the Clean Water and Wastewater fund, which had unexpected dollars to invest in infrastructure projects in the province. West St. Paul’s reputation for being ready to proceed with projects and its ability to complete projects on time and on budget put the municipality on the funding body’s radar.

 

The Manitoba Water Services Board selected the Rossmore Avenue sewer project for approval, giving the RM 50/50 cost sharing on the approximately $4 million project. This area includes Rossmore/Addis from Main Street to the CPR tracks. Property owners will be given the opportunity at the public hearing in the first quarter of 2019 to learn specifics on project costs and individual costs, financing options and how the costs will be determined. Under the funding guidelines, the project must be completed by March 31, 2020.

 

Between 2014 and 2017, the municipality made three applications for funding, but did not receive, for Baldock, Nye and Evelyn, as well as Hiawatha, Minnehaha and Kenabeek. These priority areas along or near the river were identified by previous council. The RM will continue to apply for grants for these areas if they are available and forecasts they will be complete before 2022. Council will be working with staff to prioritize future phases and specific streets for wastewater services. We want a plan we can share with our residents to help them prepare for related costs.

 

The money that comes into cities, towns and municipalities through grants is designed to bolster communities. It’s taxpayer money, collected at the provincial or federal level that comes back to communities. But it only comes back when there’s confidence the municipality will deliver on the project.