UPDATE: Budget 2009 outlines initiatives for Grand Falls-Windsor area

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The Grand Falls-Windsor area, devastated by the closure of the town's paper mill, will receive more than $40 million for infrastructure and planning, including the construction of a new residential treatment centre for youth in the central Newfoundland town.
The province's Home Heating Rebate Program and Parental Benefits Program will also be located in the town.
"The central region received bad news when AbitibiBowater announced the closure of its operations in Grand Falls-Windsor and the resulting impact on the surrounding communities," Kennedy said. "A collective and collaborative approach is required to strengthen the region."
Kennedy said there is a need for focussed stimulus measures to help the region return to prosperity.
"Throughout Grand Falls-Windsor and the entire central region, ongoing provincial government operations - including everything from health care to education to road maintenance - contribute between $175 million and $200 million a year to the local economy and provide a strong and stable foundation of jobs and spending in local communities," Kennedy said. "This year, we are prepared to do even more."
The initiatives include:
• More than $35 million for infrastructure projects including millions for the Trans-Canada Highway and $5.4 million for municipal multi-year capital works;
• A further $5.3 million will be invested for repairs and renovations of health care facilities, plus $4.6 million to improve the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre.
• About $2.3 million will be spent on forest and agricultural resource road construction, $1.6 million for maintenance and improvements of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing units and $3.4 million to support the construction of an aquaculture facility in St. Albans.
• An expenditure of $500,000 for upgrades to the College of the North Atlantic in Grand Falls-Windsor.
• A further $445,000 will be invested for repairs and renovations of school facilities; and additional funding for recreation grants, wastewater treatment facilities and Crown Lands.
More details in Friday's Telegram.

Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, AbitibiBowater, Trans-Canada Highway Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre Newfoundland and Labrador Housing

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland

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