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HRM Grateful, But Disappointed With Amount of Funding
(Wednesday, June 18/2003)-- Halifax Regional Municipality today welcomed word from the Province that it would contribute $300,000 in matching funds this year towards HRM's paving program for roads outside the urban area, but reminded the Hamm government that it falls far short of the funding the municipality was seeking.
Councillor Reg Rankin (District 22-Hammonds Plains/Timberlea) said the municipality had been expecting $1 million from the Province this year which, when combined with HRM's matching funds, would make $2 million available to tackle the long list of citizen petitions for paved streets in their area.
Councillor Rankin said the total $600,000 available this year would probably pave five or six roads, but would still leave more than 60 streets or roads outside the urban area on the list of outstanding paving projects petitioned by residents.
"Although we are grateful to the Province for its contribution this year, we are somewhat disappointed by the amount. We can only hope that this is the first installment of a much larger contribution earmarked for this year, " he said.
Councillor Rankin said the Province did not provide any funding to HRM in the years 1998, 1999 or 2000 for unpaved roads outside the urban area, and this has caused pent-up demands for the paving in many Districts.
"There has been no offer of catch-up from the Province for the years that it missed. This is contributing to the frustration and anxiety of those citizens who reside on unpaved roads, yet who are willing to pay their fair share towards having them paved, " he said.
Councillor Rankin said he was hopeful the Province would reconsider its level of funding to HRM for unpaved roads this year, and help to clear-up the tremendous backlog that has built up in the past few years.
Councillor Reg Rankin