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April '16

Perth, Smiths Falls, North Frontenac and Loyalist Twp. share $5 Million from province

Local and provincial politicians gathered in Perth for the announcementThe province is taking steps to address infrastructure gaps in Perth, Smiths Falls, North Frontenac Township and Loyalist Township.

Yesterday afternoon in Perth, Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the four municipalities will receive a total of $5 million through Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.

The province will contribute up to $2 million to Perth for wastewater infrastructure improvements.

Mayor John Fenik says that money goes to the SAGR system at the town’s Lagoon. The biological system breaks downs toxins in the effluent in the ponds, and distributes fresh water back into the Tay River. "It keeps water clean, it expands our lagoon system, which means we can build more houses, and we aren’t spending $40 or $50 million on a mechanical plant," said Mayor Fenik. "It’s a win-win situation and we greatly appreciate it."

Smiths Falls receives up to $2 million for critical repairs to its Stone Arch Bridge (that funding had been previously announced). Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow told Lake 88 the money is much needed for the bridge’s rehabilitation. He says that the bridge will see many improvements including the installation of a system that will separate storm water and waste water that’s coming from the north end of the town. "That will put less pressure on our water treatment plant and be better overall for the environment," said Pankow.

North Frontenac gets up to $301,000 to rehabilitate the Head Road Bridge, and Loyalist Township receives up to $1.3 million for repairs and replacement of waterlines.

Leal pointed out a great deal of the province’s infrastructure was built at the end of the Second World War and while it’s stood the test of time, renewal is imperative.

He said he’ll be watching the federal budget details to see how it will work with the provinces on infrastructure.

"As a former municipal politician, I know the challenges you face on assessment, so we want to make sure, governments of all political stripes need to be partners with local municipalities, the province and the government of Canada," said Leal. "We will be looking forward to seeing the recent announcements with the federal budget to see how they are going to work with the provinces and territories to roll out even more infrastructure projects."

Leal says the province is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history – a total of $160 million over 12 years.

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