Hay River among communities seeing gas tax funding for fire station infrastructure

The town of Hay River has decisions to make after receiving federal funding from what used to be called the gas tax.

The Government of Canada last week announced $ 17.25 million in funding to strengthen Canadian communities in the Northwest Territories.

The city received $ 1.478 million and is expected to receive another one-time top-up of $ 1.397 million.

Neighboring South Slave communities, including Enterprise and the Katl’odeeche First Nation, each received $ 85,000 in stipend for 2021-2022 and $ 85,000 in one-time top-up money.

The Canada Community Development Fund, formerly known as the Federal Gas Tax, is a regular source of funding that the Government of Canada provides to municipalities through the provinces and territories.

Funds are disbursed on a regular basis to provincial and territorial governments or municipal associations responsible for distributing the funds and this money is then distributed to municipal governments on terms agreed upon in advance.

In the case of Hay River and the other beneficiaries of the Community Development Fund, these municipalities are bound by the bilateral administrative agreement on the Federal Gas Tax Fund, signed by the federal government and the GNWT. It sets out the rules and responsibilities that municipalities must follow when using the money.

“Once received by the municipality, the funds can be used immediately for priority projects, set aside for later use, pooled with other communities for shared infrastructure projects, or used to help fund other infrastructure spending, ”said Zoltan Csepregi, media relations manager at Infrastructure Canada.

Glenn Smith, the town’s senior administrative officer, said the $ 1.478 million has already been budgeted. The city expected the remaining $ 1,397 from the Community Building Fund, but was not included in the 2021 budget.

How this money will be used remains to be determined later this year.

“With an update to our 10-year capital plan, the board will direct dollars to infrastructure projects that require funding,” he said.

“With a recommendation from the city administration and finance committee, the dollars will be used to support projects in the capital plan that require funding to move forward.

At the moment, however, there are no major capital needs associated with the fire hall, Smith said.

Smith said the money for “fire station and fire station infrastructure” is a new focus of the community building fund and can be used for a wide variety of infrastructure projects.

The Hay River Fire Department is expanding its services beyond municipal boundaries as it provides secondary fire, ambulance and rescue services to Katl’odeeche, Enterprise, Kakisa First Nations and along the highway system to the border at Fort Resolution and Fort Providence.

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