New federal-provincial funding agreement provides $236.6M for Sask. water and transit projects

New federal-provincial funding agreement provides $236.6M for Sask. water and transit projects
WATCH ABOVE: Infrastructure projects across the province are receiving a welcome boost, thanks to an agreement federal and provincial officials signed today, worth over $200 million. Provincial affairs reporter David Baxter has more on where the money is going.

The federal and provincial governments signed an agreement to collaborate $236.6 million for infrastructure projects across the province.

The money is coming down through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. The federal government is contributing half the money, $118.3 million, and the province and municipalities pay the remainder of the costs.

The initial list of 22 projects, which includes 10 wastewater and 12 transit projects, was announced Friday in Regina.

Regina will have three wastewater projects, including rehabilitation and upgrades to storm and wastewater collection system. The combined projects carry a $27 million price tag.

The Queen City’s transit upgrades include three new buses and the replacement of 17 transit buses and nine paratransit buses. This is in addition to four other projects, all valued at over $17 million.

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For wastewater projects, the federal government pays for 50 per cent, the province pays 25 per cent, and cities also pay 25 per cent. The federal government and municipalities have a 50/50 split on the cost of transit spending.

Regina mayor Michael Fougere said this will relieve some financial pressure on the city. He added that he’s just happy to see federal infrastructure money coming.

“Under the last government, and the last Build Canada fund, the money didn’t flow for constructions season; after construction season, it wasn’t done. Now we see the money will be flowing to us, so we’re extremely pleased,” Fougere said.

Saskatoon’s water projects include water main service and connection replacements in three neighbourhoods: Caswell Hill, Holiday Park, and Buena Vista. The Bridge City will see just over $31 million in clean water project spending.

The biggest single item is $24 million for a Saskatoon transit fleet renewal and upgrade.

“The most important part of this is it will give us the opportunity to in fact have up to an additional 40 buses and access transit vehicles out there,” Saskatoon mayor Don Atchison said.

Saskatoon’s total transit spending is worth over $37 million.

Projects in other municipalities throughout Saskatchewan will be selected over the next six months.

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The provincial commitment to clean water project funding breaks down to $7.9 million for Saskatoon, $6.8 million for Regina, $3.3 million for the north, and $26.7 million for the rest of Saskatchewan.