Municipal Affairs
November 12, 2008

Funding Announced for New Central Fire Station in New-Wes-Valley

Today, the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, announced Municipal Capital Works (MCW) funding in the amount of $706,000 for the construction of a new central fire station.

The station, which will be located in the community of Wesleyville, will serve residents of Pool�s Island, Valleyfield, Badger�s Quay, Brookfield, Wesleyville, Pound Cove, Templeman, and Newtown. The new facility will allow for closure of the older stations in Badger�s Quay and Wesleyville, however the garage in Newtown will be maintained.

"This is an excellent example of how co-operation among municipalities can result in improved services for residents," said Minister Whalen. "By coming together, these communities now have the means to construct a new and improved central fire hall that will serve all area residents � an undertaking that may not have been possible separately."

The Municipal Capital Works program fosters the development of cost-shared projects in a wide range of municipal infrastructure, including water and waste water treatment, roads, recreational facilities and fire equipment. Through the 2008-09 MCW program, $61.2 million will be spent on many infrastructure improvement projects province-wide. Under the program, the Provincial Government will contribute $32.4 million; the Federal Government will contribute $12 million and the municipalities will contribute $14.1 million.

The MCW program has been significantly improved by revised cost-share ratios for municipalities. These new changes state that towns with populations under 3,000 now have to contribute only 10 per cent toward the cost of capital infrastructure. Towns with populations between 3,000 and 7,000 contribute 20 per cent and the largest cities and towns with populations over 7,000 contribute 30 per cent.

"I am really pleased to see our government approve the funding required to construct a new fire hall for New-Wes-Valley," said Harry Harding, MHA for Bonavista North. "In addition to upgrading the town's municipal infrastructure, it will also provide employment and support for the local business operators during construction. This is another example of the Provincial Government's new 90/10 municipal cost-shared infrastructure program providing direct benefits to rural communities in our province."

New-Wes-Valley Mayor Grant Burry and Fire Chief Ralph Winter also expressed their pleasure at today�s announcement.

"Although the town amalgamated in 1992, we still have not operated in a centralized fire station as per recommendations from the Fire Commissioner's office," said Mayor Burry. "The new 90/10 funding ratio recently announced by the Provincial Government allowed the town to budget its proportional share in 2008. This centralized station will allow us to better service our residents in future years and I would like to thank our MHA Harry Harding for his continued support in helping us acquire the funding for this important initiative."

"I too am extremely happy with this announcement," said Fire Chief Winter. "Our firefighters certainly look forward to operating from a new and improved central fire hall."

It is anticipated that the tender call will take place spring 2009 with an estimated completion date of November 2009.

I am pleased that we are able provide this funding through the Municipal Capital Works program," said Minister Whalen. "A well-maintained fire hall is critical to a community. In fact, it may be one of the most important pieces of infrastructure a region has."

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Media contact:

Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Municipal Affairs
709-729-1983, 690-2498

2008 11 12                                                  10:50 a.m.

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