Town seeking cash under 2013 Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund for Texas Road

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town is on the hunt for grant funding to try and get the Texas Road reconstruction program completed.

Town council is proceeding with an expression of interest to try and obtain funding under the 2013 Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund with the expression of interest being formally approved by council at the Nov. 4 meeting.

If approved, the town could get up to $2 million for the Texas Road project.

Through its motion, council also declared “the information contained in the EOI is factually accurate; the municipality has a comprehensive asset management plan, or will have one in place by Dec. 31, 2013; the asset management plan will be made publicly available, including online on a website, by May 30, 2014; and the project proposed for funding in the EOI will be complete by Dec. 31, 2015.”

“Municipal staff have currently completed the town’s asset management plan and are making final preparations for submission to the province. Further preparations are being made to ensure the asset management plan will be

available publicly on the town website before May 30, 2014,” manager of economic development and strategic assets Tony DeThomasis stated in his written report to council.

The provincial government had set a Nov. 1 deadline for expressions of interest, a deadline that didn’t go unnoticed by Councillor Diane Pouget.

“It was very difficult to understand and very embarrassing the town has a high debt but yet the town of Amherstburg didn’t apply for funding for this until tonight,” Pouget stated at the meeting.

Pouget said administration was instructed to get any and all grants for the Texas Road project but added this applications was “not done in a timely fashion.”

LaSalle held a special meeting the previous week to deal with an application that town had under the program, Pouget stated. She was critical of Mayor Wayne Hurst for not calling a similar special meeting in Amherstburg.

CAO Mike Phipps told the River Town Times Friday that the town did receive an extension to be able to submit its application after the Nov. 1 deadline.

“We did in fact submit an application from the town on Nov. 5, the morning after the council meeting,” Phipps said in an e-mail. “Tony DeThomasis had a key role for the town in securing an extension from the Ministry to allow the town to submit this application.”

Councillor John Sutton thanked administration for its efforts in preparing the report believing the town has to “stay positive and move forward.

“We want to be successful, we want to present a unified front,” said Sutton.

Whether or not the grant application is successful, Sutton said the town is still responsible for Texas Road.

“From heck or high water, we’ll have to find a way to get it done,” said Sutton.

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