City to receive funding for infrastructure

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The City of Moose Jaw will be receiving money for its infrastructure thanks to the renewal of the Federal Gas Tax Program.

The Government of Saskatchewan renewed their Gas Tax Agreement with the federal government meaning $56.3 million will be provided to municipalities in the province for infrastructure projects in 2014-2015. 

All municipalities in the province are eligible to receive semi-annual payments each year under the program on a per capita basis.

Moose Jaw has participated in the Gas Tax Fund (GTF) since 2005.

"We've dedicated all of our money to water projects," said Deb Higgins, mayor of Moose Jaw. "The money went toward the new water treatment plant and now it will go toward water mains or water pipelines out at the water treatment plant."

The waste water treatment plant and the expansion of the Buffalo Pound Water treatment plant were huge projects during the time the city received money from the GTF, which is why those projects were allocated the money, said Higgins. 

The purpose of the GTF is to provide predictable, long-term, stable funding for Canadian municipalities.

"This is hugely important because it's on-going funding that we can use for infrastructure projects that are important to the community and this is just one more source of funding for us," said Higgins.

"Municipalities receive eight cents of every dollar in taxes and that's nowhere near enough for us on our own to do all the work that we need to. So having the gas tax money come back from the federal government is hugely important."

Throughout the next five years, municipalities across the province will receive over $292 million to go toward infrastructure projects. 

More eligible project categories for infrastructure funding exist under the new agreement, including regional and local airports, disaster mitigation, broadband connectivity and culture, tourism, sport and recreation infrastructure. 

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