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St. Lawrence council turned down for Small Communities funding

St. Lawrence. Cynthia Farrell/Special to The Southern Gazette
St. Lawrence. Cynthia Farrell/Special to The Southern Gazette

ST. LAWRENCE, NL—A recent announcement by the provincial government regarding allocations under the Small Communities Fund is causing concern for members of St. Lawrence council.

“Under our application for a number of capital works projects, we’re turned down,” explained Mayor Paul Pike.

Pike said funding for this allotment of capital works projects did not include projects for St. Lawrence.

According to the release from the provincial government last month, approximately $29.3 million has been allocated for 77 projects under the Small Communities Fund for municipal infrastructure projects. The provincial share of these projects will be $17.4 million and the federal share is $11.9 million.   

Of the 77 projects approved, two are on the Burin Peninsula, with the Town of Marystown receiving $125,332 from the province for road and paving upgrades, and the Town of Burin receiving $180,057 to retrofit the lift station in Port au Bras.

Pike said the town wished to do projects related to street upgrades and paving, and water and sewer upgrades this spring. 

“(We hoped to do) stage two and three of Pollux and street upgrading and paving in other areas of the town,” said Pike. “Our pavement is to a point now where we are consistently needing to repair it, and it’s not lasting anytime. The roads around town aren’t fit to drive on.”

Members of council were scheduled to meet with Burin-Grand Bank MHA Carol Ann Haley on Friday to bring forth their concerns and “to address the funding (issue) and to make a case for government to reconsider, and to give St. Lawrence something,” Pike told the Southern Gazette.    

“We are unable to wait a long period of time before we get anything done.

“It is certainly something we are very disappointed in, the government not recognizing the needs here in St. Lawrence and not recognizing that we are a growth center right now, and we need the necessary infrastructure in place if we are going to attract people to our town.”

Pike said in some areas of town, pavement conditions are to the point where it may be better to strip the pavement and start fresh.

“You’ve got the eastern side, you’ve got parts of Laurentian Avenue that are impacted to the point now where … we won’t be able to repair it soon.”

Pike hoped the meeting with Haley would be successful in making council’s concerns known to government “with a view to setting up further meetings with the ministers involved to ask them to visit the town and look at the various problems we’re having.”

colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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