| Jun 23, 2005

Feature article, June 23, 2005

Feature article June 23, 2005

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COMRIF Part 2 - more of the same?by Jeff Green

The second intake for the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Program (COMRIF) was announced last week, and it will address the same infrastructure priorities: local bridges and roads, waste management, water and wastewater, as were highlighted in the first round of funding which was allocated earlier this year.

Criteria for project selection will also be the same as the earlier round: health and safety, public policy priorities, and value for money.

None of the projects proposed by townships in Frontenac County received funding from intake one, and Addington Highlands did not receive funding either.

Mayor Bill MacDonald of Central Frontenac, who is also the Warden of Frontenac County this year, says that he has been encouraged to submit an application for the same project Central Frontenac was promoting in round one - repairs to Road 38.


MacDonald, who expressed bitterness at Central Frontenac being passed over for funding in round one, said I have been encouraged to apply for the same project in round 2. This time, there will be support from the Joint COMRIF secretariat at the applications stage so we will be in a stronger position as far as how our case is presented.

MacDonald also pointed out that there were applications for $1.1 billion in funding in round 1, and only $350 million was available, so the Frontenac townships were not alone in losing out.

If Road 38 was our number one priority last time around, there is no reason for that to have changed in the past few months. We need to highlight the health and safety aspects of the project more in order to hopefully be successful this time around. At least thats what Ill recommend to Council.

Central Frontenac Council has applied for provincial funding to complete repairs to Road 38 at least three times since the road was downloaded to the township, the SuperBuild fund, the OSTAR program, and now COMRIF.

Each time the township has come up empty.

Coincidentally, Bill MacDonald also points out that Highway 7, which remains a provincial highway, has been repaired in recent years right to the edge of Central Frontenac from the eastern direction, and from Kaladar west, leaving the part that runs through Central Frontenac in a state of disrepair.

COMRIF applications can be submitted from July 25 until September 30.

Although COMRIF is called a rural infrastructure funding program, communities with as many as 250,000 people are eligible to apply.

According to a media release from the Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal, Green infrastructure is COMRIFs top priority, with 55 per cent of funding for projects involving water quality, sustainable communities, climate change, and innovation.

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