Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Town shut out-- again-- in bid for funding
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 9 Feb 2007, p. 8

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Halton Hills is not getting its fair share of the federal/provincial funding says Mayor Rick Bonnette, after the Town was "shut out" for funding for the third year in a row. COMRIF (Canadian Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Funding) is a combined federal and provincial program distributing $93 million to 72 communities for infrastructure renewal projects involving water and wastewater services, waste management and bridges and roads. In 2006, nearly 300 applications were received for the third year of the project. Bonnette said in first year of the program-- 2004-- $124 million was awarded but only 1.4 per cent to the 22 municipalities in the GTA (about 16 per cent of the nation's population). In the second year, only 1.8 per cent of the funding found its way to the GTA municipalities and they fared even worse in 2006, with only 0.007 per cent of funding. The

Town's projects were: gravel and surface treatment of rural roads in 2004, reconstruction of Main St., Georgetown in 2005 and refurbishment of the 27 Sideroad bridge in 2006. Selection is done through a competitive merit-based process. "The bottom line is that I don't think we ever had a shot at it in the first place, when I read those percentages," said the mayor who pointed out the significant staff time involved in filling out the more than

40-page application form. "It's such a waste to do this by competitive process, and I don't know what the rationale is for it," agreed Wards 3&4 Regional Councillor Jane Fogal. "It's certainly not working... and it makes me angry that they continue on with it." She suggested a letter be sent to the provincial and federal governments, expressing the Town's disappointment and wish that the wealth be shared through a more stable funding process that the Town can count on. Bonnette agreed, saying that the timing couldn't be any better with the approaching provincial election (Oct. 10, 2007). At the Feb. 5 meeting, council approved a resolution from Councillor Dave Kentner to seek reimbursement for the engineering staff time required to fill out the competition forms. The letter will be sent to a myriad of politicos including the federal and provincial representatives

Gamble, Cynthia
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9 Feb 2007
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Bonnette, Rick ; Fogal, Jane
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Town shut out-- again-- in bid for funding