The Ville de Montréal 2008 Budget - The Tremblay-Zampino administration forecasts historic investments in infrastructures and mass transportation



    MONTREAL, Nov. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ville de Montréal 2008 budget,
tabled this morning by the Mayor of Montréal, Mr. Gérald Tremblay, and the
Chairman of the Executive Committee responsible for finances, Mr. Frank
Zampino, calls for historic investment levels for drinking water, road
infrastructure and public transit. "These investments meet the expectations of
Montrealers and are in line with the unprecedented process initiated by our
administration in 2002 to recover lost ground in these areas," said Mayor
Tremblay.
    This proactive budget includes eight priorities identified by the
Tremblay-Zampino administration:

    1. Renovating and upgrading city infrastructures
    2. Taking care of our families and ensure their safety
    3. Promoting culture and heritage
    4. Showing a commitment to mass and active transportation
    5. Achieving the Montréal of the future
    6. Protecting the environment and beautifying the city
    7. Developing closer ties to the community
    8. Improving the city's performance

    These priorities are highlighted in the city's operating budget and
Three-Year Capital Works Program - 2008-2010, which provides for investments
of $3.2 billion. In the year 2008, the city forecasts investments of nearly
$1 billion to upgrade infrastructures and facilities.

    Water infrastructure

    In the spring of 2002, the city administration launched one of the
largest projects in its history, to rehabilitate and manage water
infrastructures more efficiently throughout the Island of Montréal. The city
committed to an additional massive investment of $4 billion over 20 years to
replace and upgrade water and sewage systems, as well as to modernize
drinking-water and wastewater treatment facilities. After carrying out major
repairs in 2007, next year the Montréal will invest an unprecedented amount in
this area, $542 million, with $220 million earmarked for water
infrastructures.

    Major investments for 2008 include:

    
    - $42.6 million for a major program to bring drinking-water plants up to
      standard;
    - $85.6 million to follow up on the program to renew secondary water and
      sewer mains in the boroughs;
    - $5.7 million to begin the five-year program to install 30,000 water
      meters in industrial, commercial and institutional buildings, including
      the replacement of 7,000 existing water meters.

    Road infrastructure

    Investments in road infrastructure have increased steadily and
significantly since 2002. Montreal will continue to invest in this area by
injecting nearly $4 billion over the next 10 years in the rehabilitation of
its 5,600-kilometer network of local and arterial roads. In 2008, a budget of
some $280 million is earmarked for road works, an increase of 80% compared to
2005.
    This amount includes $181 million for the rehabilitation of roadways,
overpasses, bridges and tunnels to provide greater security for users and
facilitate the transportation of people and goods. The city is also investing
some $24.3 million to modernize Notre-Dame Street, in the Souligny sector, a
vast project that also will benefit from Québec government funding.
    Investments of $296 million also are earmarked for roadway repairs in 2009
and 2010.

    Mass and active transportation

    The Montréal Transportation Plan, made public last May, clearly reflects
the city's intention to reduce dependency on the automobile. With this in
mind, Montréal is increasing its investments in mass and active transportation
in 2008. An additional amount of $100 million will help to increase service
and upgrade equipment at the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). In
addition, the city is increasing its annual contribution to the STM by 11.5%,
totalling a record $310 million for 2008.
    Also, Montréal plans to double the bicycle path network over the next
seven years by adding 400 kilometres and injecting $33.3 million in the system
between now and 2010. For 2008 alone, 60 new kilometres will be opened up at a
cost of $10 million.

    Promoting culture and major projects

    The realization of major projects is needed if Montréal is to become a
competitive, prosperous metropolis with internationally recognized cultural,
economic, environmental and social achievements. The entertainment district,
Quartier des spectacles, is underway. At the Rendez-vous novembre 2007 -
Montréal métropole culturelle, the city's cultural summit, all three
government levels announced a joint investment of $120 million over five years
to realize this project. In 2008, the city will begin construction on the
Quartier des spectacles, to be completed by June 2009, before the festival
season. Also, the 2008-2010 Three-Year Capital Works Program provides for
total investments of $72.6 million, for all phases of this entertainment
district.
    Several other large projects are in the works or will begin in 2008 such
as the transformation of the Bonaventure autoroute into a modern gateway to
the city, construction of infrastructures to support the development of
universities as well as the two university hospital centres.

    Family and urban environment

    Montréal is constantly working to provide residents of all ages with a
quality living environment. The city will increase its efforts in three areas
of particular interest to families: housing, public safety and sports and
recreation. In addition, city beautification and environmental quality are
important factors in attracting visitors and new residents, while retaining
the existing population. Principal investments in the 2008 budget and
2008-2010 budget include:

    - $20.8 million in 2008 to promote the development of social, community
      and private housing and access to housing;
    - $1 million in 2008 to increase inspections of unclean housing;
    - $2.5 million in additional funding in 2008 to combat street gangs;
    - $10.5 million in 2008 to transfer Métro security operations to the
      police department;
    - $99.3 million over three years to improve road safety, traffic signs
      and lights and lighting;
    - $50 million in 2008 to modernize and improve safety in local parks and
      at sports and recreation facilities in the boroughs;
    - $30 million over three years to acquire and protect natural spaces,
      with $12 million for 2008;
    - $30 million over three years to landscape large parks;
    - $6.3 million to collect and compost green waste;
    - $1.4 million in 2008 to build an écocentre in the LaSalle borough, the
      city's seventh ecology centre;
    - $66 million in 2008 to improve cleanliness, with $2 million earmarked
      for the return of clean-up teams to focus on major arteries and
      $1 million to eradicate graffiti on public property;

    Increased access to services

    Montréal will facilitate access for most residents to the city, by phone,
via the Internet or in person, thanks to investments of:

    - $4.3 million in 2008 to launch the 3-1-1 service providing easier,
      faster access to the Montréal administration, as well as to improve the
      city Web site;
    - $11.1 million in 2008 to set up a first responder service in
      18 additional fire stations across the city, providing improved
      emergency services to citizens;
    - $3.1 million over three years to improve universal access to municipal
      buildings.

    "Thanks to these targeted actions, we will be able to improve the quality
of life for Montrealers and guarantee a better life for future generations.
The city's investments are unprecedented and will have tangible results both
now and for years to come," said Mr. Zampino.
    




For further information:

For further information: Richard Caron, (514) 872-9859; Source: Cabinet
du maire et du comité exécutif


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