Funding announced for western Newfoundland communities

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Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O’Brien. — Telegram file photo

The provincial government has announced more than $1.1 million from its 2012 Municipal Capital Works Program for municipal infrastructure initiatives in the St. George’s-Stephenville east area.

The total investment, including a contribution by the towns of Stephenville Crossing, Stephenville and the Local Service District of Bay St. George South, is more than $1.3 million.

 Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O’Brien said one of the projects involves the engineering design for a new municipal building and fire hall for Bay St. George South.

“Ensuring our communities have the appropriate municipal infrastructure is of utmost importance so that residents have the best service from their municipal governments,” O’Brien said in a news release.

Stephenville Crossing will receive funding to upgrade a sewage pump station and wells and, as previously announced, the Town of Stephenville will carry out improvements to the Regional Aquatic Centre, including roof replacement and mechanical and ventilation upgrades.  The communities will share the cost of that project based on population, with the province providing 80 per cent of the total cost for the Town of Stephenville and 90 per cent for Stephenville Crossing and Bay St. George South.

 Joan Burke, minister of advanced education and skills and MHA for St. George’s, said she’s pleased with the significant announcements for the St. George’s-Stephenville east area.

“Municipal infrastructure is of utmost importance for our dedicated volunteer firefighters and to all residents of each community. The cost-sharing ratio that was brought forward by our government has benefited communities since 2008 and has enabled the accomplishments of many goals,” Burke said.

Also today, O’Brien announced a new firefighting vehicle for the Port au Port Fire Department on the province’s west coast.

O’Brien was joined by Tony Cornect, MHA for Port au Port, and community leaders for the announcement.

 The four-door pumper truck, valued at approximately $230,000, will assist in providing fire protection services to Port au Port East and Port au Port West-Aguathuna-Felix Cove, as well as other communities in the area.

Based on population, Port au Port will avail of a 90/10 cost-shared arrangement with the provincial government to purchase the vehicle.

“I commend the municipal councils of Port au Port East and Port au Port West-Aguathuna-Felix Cove for coming together to provide the best level of fire protection services possible to residents,” said O’Brien. “Regionalization of fire protection services is, at times, the most effective, efficient means to provide adequate services and my officials stand ready to assist communities in figuring out the best way forward.”

Cornect said the new vehicle will “certainly help the fire department in offering fire and emergency services to both towns and unincorporated areas of the region.”

This firefighting vehicle for Port au Port is one of about eight new vehicles which will be purchased in partnership with communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The province says public tenders for new vehicles will be let in the coming weeks, with delivery anticipated for the summer of 2013. New emergency vehicles announced last year have arrived in Harbour Grace, Pouch Cove, Burgeo and Bonavista, with the remaining vehicles expected throughout the fall.

Organizations: Local Service District, Regional Aquatic Centre, Port au Port Fire Department

Geographic location: Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, Port au Port East Harbour Grace Pouch Cove Bonavista

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