Posted on 11/26/2015, 1:30 pm, by mySteinbach

Growing Communities, the Manitoba government’s new smart, strategic plan to transform rural infrastructure, will see new programs and funding that will spur economic growth, provide better services for families and create good jobs. This announcement was made by Municipal Government Minister Drew Caldwell.

“This new plan for rural Manitoba will expand on the success of our infrastructure investments and bring record investments to small communities across the province,” Minister Caldwell said. “Our strategic investments are what have resulted in Manitoba having the strongest growth and lowest unemployment in Canada. This new plan for rural communities builds on that success.”

The Growing Communities Fund is a five-year, $325-million plan focused on road and bridge renewal, rural recreation, water projects and municipal airports, the minister said. Of the total investment, over $100 million or 33 per cent reflect new infrastructure investments including:

  • $12.5 million for a new five-year recreational fund;
  • $2.5 million for a new five-year community airport program; and
  • $91 million in new strategic allocation for major, larger-scale waste-water treatment plants.

Minister Caldwell noted this is in addition to the $219 million already committed under current infrastructure programs, which includes:

  • $94 million for the renewal of the current $19 million per year municipal road and bridge program for another five years;
  • $84 million for the renewal of the $16.8 million per year water and sewer program delivered through the Manitoba Water Services Board; and
  • $41 million in funding for approved projects under the Small Communities Fund component of the Build Canada Fund.

The decision to increase funding for rural recreation projects and small airports is a direct result of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities requesting those targeted investments during pre-budget consultations.

“The AMM welcomes the Growing Communities Fund, particularly the commitment of new funding for airports, recreation and waste-water infrastructure,” said Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen, president, Association of Manitoba Municipalities. “We are pleased our lobbying has resulted in initiatives that will enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”

Provincial support for the Growing Communities Fund is provided from the Building Manitoba Fund, through which the province provides municipalities with a share of growing provincial tax revenues to address their growing infrastructure renewal needs, the minister added.