City looking to infrastructure funds for new fire hall

Mike Carson
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P.E.I. to receive $440 million infrastructure dollars

SUMMERSIDE – With $440 million coming to P.E.I. through Ottawa’s new infrastructure program, the City of Summerside is setting its eyes on a new fire hall.

Summerside Fire Department

 

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart said council lors will be looking at a variety of projects but there is none more important that a new fire hall.

“We’re going through what was announced and what we can get in Summerside to make it fit,” Stewart said. “The fire hall is one. We’re always looking at water and sewer systems and upgrading our streets and sidewalks and storm drainage and those kinds of things. We’re trying to move the Sports Hall of Fame ahead too.”

Fresh of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) meetings earlier this week in Charlottetown, Stewart said he understands that rural areas of the country could be eligible for more funding than urban areas.

“It would appear, but I’m not 100 per cent sure, that rural Canada, which we would be part of, may pay out a little better than some of the larger areas,” he said. “That was the opinion of some.”

Stewart said the money is there and the city needs to find a way to tap into it to get some of the projects that need done.

“There’s no question the fire hall has to be done,” the mayor said. “There is unanimous support among councillors to get it done. There are some things that have to be sorted out first like the location and design. We’re trying to move that ahead too.”

Stewart said the city has been anticipating this new infrastructure program for 2014 and now needs to find out how much they are eligible for and what projects would qualify for the funding.

“If there are federal dollars available for projects that we need we certainly be applying for them,” he said. “And it’s not a wish list, I don’t like that word. It’s what we need. Every municipality needs things. If you don’t go after it, very seldom they’ll come forward and say here’s money for you. You’ve got to have the right paperwork done and the right design.”

Stewart said some preliminary work has been done on the new fire hall. City council has already reviewed a preliminary report on a new facility and is awaiting the final draft.

“Some work has been done on it in terms of discussions,” he said. “The people of the city understand and know that our fire hall is outdated and we’ve got problems in it with the roof and the basement. But we have to make sure that the right package out together. The fire hall is the next priority for the city and that’s the feeling of all councillors.

Every province will receive base funding of $250 million, which is topped off on a per capita basis. Off the $440 million earmarked for P.E.I., $277 million will come from the Building Canada Fund and $163 million from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Building Canada Fund, Federal Gas Tax Fund

Geographic location: Summerside, Charlottetown, Canada

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