The Town of Hay River received some positive news last week that federal funding has been approved for two more of its major infrastructure projects.
Senior administrative officer Glenn Smith told town council at the June 29 regular meeting that two of four road related funding applications through the Infrastructure Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) were approved to go toward planned upgrades of Capital Drive and Industrial Drive.
“This year we have in our (municipal) capital plan that Capital Drive is scheduled to have some design work completed,” Smith said. “Industrial Drive will be (done) in future years but we will be looking at the timing of that. I think we have up to 2027 to spend the funding.”
A contribution agreement was expected to be provided to council at the July 6 regular council meeting which will formalize the town’s approval for work to go ahead. Once approved, it will set in motion for the agreement to take effect on July 18 with the intent of the project to be completed by Sept. 1, 2027.
Smith said there won’t be actual construction work done this year with either route.
The Capital Drive portion of the project will include paving with sidewalks, likely to being next year after the design preparation is completed this summer. This project will also include underground water line replacement work and a total of about 400 metres of new water main, sidewalk and asphalt being installed.
Industrial Drive likely won’t see construction until 2024 with design work likely to begin next year, Smith said.
Both projects amount to about $4 million that will be limited to paving and sidewalks under the federal Community Roads Upgrade Project stream of the ICIP funding.
The infrastructure funding represents the second and third announcements this year as the town received half of the costs for a feasibility study on the potential build of a water treatment plant and the identification of other water treatment options.
The study funding led to the federal government providing $225,000. The town is to provide another $225,000.
Smith said despite the good news, the municipality has two more road related upgrades that did not receive funding support on Woodland Drive and a portion of Water Treatment Plant Road by Saskatoon Drive.
The town has also sought out federal funding through another stream, called the Community Cultural and Recreational Spaces stream to seek help with upgrades to the Porritt Landing marina, Bob McMeekin Park and the development of a Vale Island recreational space.
Updates on this application were expected to be announced at the July 6 regular meeting.
Council also heard that town staff are looking toward a recent national investment from CanNor called the Canada Community Revitalization Fund which became available on June 23. It provides $500 million to non-profit organizations, municipal governments and other community groups including Indigenous governments to go toward new projects related to revitalizing public spaces like downtown central cores and attracting people back to those areas.
Smith said he will be working with senior staff to come with ideas where funding could be useful.
Mayor Kandis Jameson said she has been pleased with the town staff’s ability to secure much needed infrastructure funding in the community, however she said the town had wanted more federal support for its water treatment plant efforts and needs support with plans to construct a new landfill and related reclamation.
The town had applied for a 75 to 25 per cent funding arrangement with the federal government but only received the 50-50 split financial support.
“For funding for water treatment plant we didn’t get what we were looking for and that is an issue,” she said. “With the dump, they say that dogs, ditches and dump make up municipal politics. We are still looking for funding for the dump and resolution to that and hopefully that is coming in our way.”