City receives $2.1-million gas tax credit
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 10:33 am
Airdrie MP Blake Richards announced on Dec. 7 that Airdrie will receive $2.12 million through Canada’s Gas Tax Fund for 2013.
The money will be used to support infrastructure development in the city; 100 per cent of the funding will be put toward capital projects, Blake explained.
“Our government is proud to invest in important infrastructure projects to build strong and prosperous communities across Canada,” Blake said. “Since becoming an MP in 2008, the fund has provided the City of Airdrie with more that $6 million in significant infrastructure upgrades, and we are proud to be able to continue this support through this year’s installment of the Canada Gas Tax Fund.”
Each municipality’s funding amount is determined based on population according to census data.
The funding must be used before the end of 2014, and Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown says that a project has already been earmarked for the funding, pending council’s approval of the 2014 budget, which will be presented to aldermen on Dec. 16.
“The allocation of this funding is specific and it must be used for roads and transit,” said Brown. “We earmarked a project in 2012 and that was moved forward to this year for a park-and-ride transit hub and some smaller road rehabilitation projects.”
A park and ride transit hub will be designed as a place for transit users to park their vehicles before riding the Inter-city Express (ICE) bus in to Calgary.
Brown is hopeful Sierra Springs will become the location for the transit hub and it will lead to the future connectivity between Airdrie and Calgary.
“I’d love to see a light rail system into Calgary in the future,” said Brown. “I can’t say for sure right now that Sierra Springs will be the location for this transit hub but I’m hopeful that that’s where it will go.”
In Alberta, the Gas Tax Fund has given municipalities close to $1.3 billion for community infrastructure projects. The areas in which the funding can be spent has been recently expanded to include: drinking water, wastewater infrastructure, public transit, community energy systems, solid waste management, local roads, highways, local and regional airports, short-line rail and sport and recreation.
The Canadian Government has made the $2 billion a year in funding under the Gas Tax permanent. From 2014/2015 to 2023/2024, it represents $21.8 billion in flexible, long-term funding for municipal infrastructure.