The Ontario government has announced help for municipalities with their infrastructure needs, and has earmarked $60 million over the next three years for municipalities.
As a cornerstone of its new Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII), however, the province will require municipalities who seek the funding to submit a detailed asset management plan.
Also, recognizing that northern and rural communities struggle to come up with asset management plans, the province is allocating $9 million to help them meet the requirement.
In a letter, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Bob Chiarelli, said: “We have heard loud and clear that some municipalities, particularly small ones, struggle with the task of preparing detailed asset management plans due to a lack of in-house technical capacity or limited financial resources.
“The government will therefore be making funding available on an entitlement basis to approximately 350 communities to assist with the preparation of asset management plans. We are taking an entitlement approach so municipalities can focus on improving their asset management plans rather than on competing for funding.”
By requiring asset management plans, the province hopes to be able to better identify what projects it should be investing in.
The deadline for communities to apply for the funding to help with their asset management planning is October 22. The province also has a guide and online toolkit.
The Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative will include capital funding for roads, bridges, water and wastewater projects beginning in 2013-14.