Renewed funding for rural municipalities for 2021

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The Ontario Government has announced new funding under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Funding program [OCIF]. Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, and local M.P.P., Steve Clark, released the news that municipalities in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau lakes will be receiving a total of $3.8 million “to support municipalities as they build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure”.

The funding is being distributed between the fourteen municipalities in the riding, with North Grenville getting $299,716.00, the Village of Merrickville-Wolford, $69,742.00, and the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, $1,664,497.00.

In his announcement, Steve Clark said: “I am upholding my commitment to support our local municipalities by creating jobs, attracting economic growth and investment, and making our community the best place to live and grow. This funding will help build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in our community.”

The OCIF provides funding for communities with populations under 100,000, along with all rural and northern communities. Municipalities can, if they wish, accumulate their OCIF funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.

This Fund is really important to smaller and rural municipalities, as it gives them some stability in budgeting, knowing that there will be a predictable source of funding year on year. For some years in the last decade, it seemed that funds like OCIF were going to be phased out, leaving a large hole in municipal finances. But announcements by the province recently have guaranteed continued support, at least in the foreseeable future.

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