WELLINGTON – The renewal of the federal Gas Tax Fund agreement between the federal and provincial government is good news for Island communities, says one Island mayor.
North Rustico Mayor Anne Kirk said her community is growing because of the gas tax dollars.
“I want to tell how important the gas money means to out community,” Kirk said. “It was of great importance.”
The federal Gas Tax Fund provides municipalities with the flexibility to choose and plan infrastructure projects based on their specific priorities. The renewed agreements will govern the flow of federal funds to each province and territory over the next 10 years, from 2014-15 until 2023-24.
The mayor said after North Rustico developed a five-year plan for development, they realized their water and our sewer plans were not viable. Kirk said these issues had to be addressed if North Rustico was to grow.
“We wanted to bring people into our community, new homes, new families, and new businesses,” she said. “We decided that that was our priority, that’s what we used our gas tax for.”
On Thursday, North Rustico celebrated 60 years as an incorporated municipality on Prince Edward Island. Kirk said the community gave tours of its new waste treatment facility to show how the town is advancing.
“It is state of the art,” she said. “It’s just phenomenal. We couldn’t have done that without our gas tax.”
“That was a really big thing for us because those are essential things to your municipality, to your town, if you want to grow,” Kirk said. It’s the backbone.”
New roads, new water and sewer lines were put in to service municipal building lots.
“We’re now able to sell off those lots in our community,” she said. “We are a growing, thriving community.”
Egmont MP Gail Shea and P.E.I. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Robert Vessey were in Wellington Friday to sign the 10-year agreement.
P.E.I. will receive $163 million under the federal Gas Tax Fund over the next 10 years.