Bridge and Infrastructure Studies Underline the Need for Sustainable Municipal Funding



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - Two reports were released today that
emphasize the critical need for sustainable Infrastructure funding for Ontario
Municipalities. The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario
(RCCAO) released Ontario's Bridges: Bridging the Gap and the Federation of
Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released Danger Ahead: the Coming Collapse of
Canada's Municipal Infrastructure. The lack of sufficient funding for
essential infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation is top-of-mind for The
Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) in its continuing advocacy efforts.
"During the recent election campaign, OGRA and its member municipalities
reiterated the ongoing need for long-term funding," says OGRA Executive
Director Joe Tiernay. "Many municipalities do not have the financial capacity
to carry out the required work in their communities and it's a major concern,"
says Tiernay.
    The need for stable, multi-year funding is not the only recommendation in
these reports that OGRA supports. "We agree with the RCCAO about centralizing
Ontario bridge data. However, OGRA, not the Province, should manage the data
through its Municipal DataWorks application," says Tiernay.
    Municipal DataWorks is an infrastructure information database; a central
repository where municipalities can store, analyze, manage and retrieve
information on their infrastructure. Ontario municipalities are accountable
for infrastructure assets worth billions of dollars. Managing these assets
requires regular assessment of condition and performance, and determining the
costs of repair and replacement. "OGRA's Municipal DataWorks is a member
service that helps municipalities to determine and monitor the age and
expectations for their infrastructure assets. It not only helps municipalities
better manage their infrastructure, it provides OGRA and the Province with a
central source of data about the condition of Ontario's infrastructure, and a
clear picture of what funding is needed to maintain it," says Tiernay.
    While both reports comment on Ontario's deteriorating infrastructure,
OGRA asserts that Ontario bridges are safe. "Municipalities are carrying out
their due diligence to ensure public safety and to undertake the bi-annual
inspections required by law," says Tiernay. "Ontario municipalities consider
these inspections as part of their overall risk management program."
    During the election campaign Premier McGuinty affirmed the Liberal
government's commitment to working with Ontario municipalities to address key
concerns and has launched a comprehensive review of provincial-municipal
finances and services to help give municipalities a strong financial
foundation. "We hope that the provincial-municipal review currently underway
leads to improved funding aimed at sustaining our vital infrastructure," says
Tiernay.

    The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) represents the infrastructure
interests of municipalities through advocacy, consultation, training and the
delivery of identified services. OGRA currently serves 416 municipal members
and 21 First Nations communities.





For further information:

For further information: Jayne Patterson, Ontario Good Roads
Association, (905) 795-2555 or jayne@ogra.org

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Ontario Good Roads Association

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