A revamped municipal infrastructure program announced earlier this week will ensure no roadwork will be done in many of the province’s towns, says NDP Leader Earle McCurdy.
The Multi-Year Capital Works and Municipal Capital Works programs will save government $10 million over the next three years, but McCurdy says the adjustment in the ratio of costs paid by the provincial government essentially ensure that cash-strapped towns will be unable to afford the usual amount of work they would do.
“We’ve been hearing from mayors and councilors this week that by reducing the ratio of provincial spending, government is ensuring there will be no roadwork undertaken this year,” McCurdy said today.
A councilor in a suburban municipality told the party that the provincial government’s decision means that town will have to raises taxes “significantly” to fix roads, and added that if his relatively prosperous town can’t afford the new regime, he has serious concerns about the many smaller municipalities in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
The mayor of one of those smaller towns had not had time to wade through the entire government document but concurred that changing the funding ratio to 50-50 would ensure there would be no roadwork in his town.
“That mayor says the town’s roads are deteriorating and will eventually become too bad to use,” said McCurdy. “What happens then?
“What’s going to happen to small rural Newfoundland and Labrador communities?”
To contact Earle McCurdy, phone 739-6387 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org