PICTOU – Local municipalities will receive nearly $4 million in extra, one-time federal gas tax revenues.
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser confirmed the total amount of $3.8 million and what individual municipalities in the riding will receive during an announcement on Friday at the Municipality of Pictou County office.
One-time top up in the federal budget for 2019-20 to be transferred directly to municipalities for infrastructure projects is doubled from the previous fiscal year.
“Municipal infrastructure projects like the new water treatment plant in Pictou and water and sewer upgrades in New Glasgow … make our communities better for everyone,” Fraser said. “With this one-time Gas Tax Fund top up, even more of these vitally important projects will be funded.”
The budget has invested $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short-term infrastructure priorities in more than 3,600 municipalities and first nation communities, including $58.5 million for Nova Scotia.
The total amounts announced include $815,729.85 for New Glasgow, $1,082,977.09 for the rural municipality of Pictou, $229,484.83 for town of Pictou, $344,555.99 for Stellarton, $157,631.92 for Trenton and $234,258.91 for Westville.
“By transferring the funds directly to the municipalities, our local priorities will be front and centre,” Fraser said. “The people who live in our communities will get to have their say on what projects and initiatives are most important to them. Each community has different needs, and now they can address those needs individually.”
Civic leaders said they can find projects that will qualify for the extra funds.
Pictou CAO Dan Troke, who represented the town in Mayor Jim Ryan’s absence, listed a number of places where the funds could be directed, such as water or sewer projects. He also mentioned the waterfront, breakwater and marina.
He said the town could leverage more funds with its own financial contributions.
“We had an opportunity to leverage funds for the water treatment plant and pressure zones,” he said, as an example.
Stellarton Mayor Danny MacGillivray said he welcomed the extra funds. He said making the town hall accessible would be an option.
“We have projects where the funds can go but we haven’t determined which one,” he said.
Trenton Mayor Shannon MacInnis pointed to sewer work on Oak Street as a worthy candidate for the town’s share.
“We did part of it last year,” he said. “We could finish it this spring.”
Pictou CAO Dan Troke, left, chats with Central Nova MP Sean Fraser after his federal gas tax announcement.