Government of Canada moves ahead with $64 Million for clean water in Ontario - New Facility In Merrickville To Receive $2 Million



    MERRICKVILLE, ON, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird,
Minister of Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; and Gord Brown, Member of
Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, today announced the Government of Canada
considers the construction of a new sewage treatment plant in Merrickville a
priority for federal infrastructure funding. They were joined by Douglas
Struthers, Mayor of Merrickville.
    "Protecting and preserving our environment is a priority for Canadians
and our Government," said Minister Baird. "Thanks to the hard work of your
Member of Parliament, Gord Brown, our Government proudly supports the
modernization of the Merrickville wastewater treatment plant. By taking real
action with this investment we are building on the Government of Canada's
Action Plan for Clean Water to improve water quality not only in Merrickville,
but in communities along the Rideau River."
    The federal contribution would be up to one-third of total eligible
costs, up to a maximum federal contribution of $2 million. The total estimated
cost of the Merrickville sewage treatment plant project is $6 million.
    "The Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to support
infrastructure investments which protect the environment and improve quality
of life," said MP Brown. "As a member of this community I understand the
construction of a new sewage treatment plant in Merrickville will help the
community to maintain a healthy and clean environment which is also important
to its presence in the region."
    The project includes the replacement of the existing sewage treatment
plant with a new sequencing batch reactor plant, which will improve effluent
quality, provide improved treatment and storage of biosolids, and allow for
treatment of rural septage within the municipality.
    "This is a significant step in our municipality's need to replace our
sewage treatment plant," said Merrickville Mayor Doug Struthers. "Today's
announcement indicates that the federal government is responding to municipal
infrastructure needs, and the presence of the federal Minister of the
Environment indicates a clear understanding of the unique circumstance of
Merrickville requiring immediate financial assistance. This funding will
assist our efforts in pursuing addition financial assistance from the
provincial government."
    "Our Government understands that Ontarians want clean water, safer
streets and healthier communities. Which is why we're here today taking
action," said Minister Baird.
    Funding for this project comes from the $200 million announced in
February 2007, to top up the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund nation-wide.
Ontario's allocation of this additional funding is $64 million.
    Since the announcement of this additional funding, the Government of
Canada has signed agreements with every province and territory except Ontario.
Today, the Government of Canada announced it is proceeding to allocate its
funding of $64 million under this program to unfunded existing applications
for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure from the last round of
applications to the fund (Intake 3).

    Federal financial support for the project is conditional on the
initiative meeting all applicable eligibility requirements and other program
criteria to be approved by Treasury Board, a federal review of the project,
the successful completion of an environmental assessment, assurance by the
municipality that the remaining project costs have been fully financed and
accounted for, and the signing of a contribution agreement for the project
detailing the project elements and any other federal requirements.

    For more information on Building Canada, visit www.buildingcanada.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700;
Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148


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