St. Thomas shut out of infrastructure funds

Posted by Ian:
Two levels of government dole out millions in infrastructure funding on Friday and St. Thomas is shut out. So is Central Elgin which was looking for an investment in Port Stanley harbour. Plenty of money to lavish on the rest of Elgin. What happened in St. Thomas? Is it our elected leadership or lack of a CAO to properly administer the corporation or perhaps no concrete business plan for the future? Any money coming to St. Thomas was slated for a new police HQ.
Details of the announcement follow.
Infrastructure funding


4 thoughts on “St. Thomas shut out of infrastructure funds

  1. Ian,

    Do you have access to the list of projects that were submitted for approval under billion dollar infrastructure budget set forth by the federal government?

    It is mind-numbing to think that St. Thomas was given zero dollars.

    Recently a consultant report detailed the millions of dollars required to upgrade the sewer system in St. Thomas which has pumping stations in excess of 40 years old. I wonder this infrastructure project put forward by the City of St. Thomas for consideration? If so, somebody has some explaining to do about Elgin-Middlesex-London allocation of infrastructure dollars slated for the municipalities and the exclusion of St. Thomas from the mix.

    If the City of St. Thomas did not put forward the sewer system project, somebody has some explaining to do; perhaps they were confused between infrastructure (sewers, roads, sidewalks, etc.) and structure (new police building) projects that resulted in our city being shut out.

    The only project mentioned so far in the news media was the new police building; please tell us that this single project is not the full extent of the projects submitted.

    Thank, Bill

  2. Bill:

    The only project submitted under this round of Build Canada funding was the new police headquarters. This decision was reached by council. As I have suggested on several occasions now, we must look at possible reasons as to why the city was overlooked: badgering of upper levels of government on numerous occasions by our mayor, a lack of confidence in our elected officials (this city has a reputation far and wide for its history of dysfunctional councils as witnessed by the 2003 McCarthy Tetrault report), no CAO for a $90 million corporation and no viable long-term business plan for the corporation.

  3. You are likely right Bill! Will we ever hear the truth as to why we were left out? One would suspect St. Thomas did not apply correctly. St. Thomas needs a CAO. Will anyone be applying for a copy of the application or will this be another matter blamed on someone else?

  4. Dawn,

    I received a reply and a copy of Report TR 29-08 from City Clerk, Wendell Graves and the only project submitted and “unanimously supported” was the new Police Headquarters Building.

    Other potential projects discussed were;
    Airport Terminal
    Old Valleyview
    Wellington Street reconstruction
    Greenhouses – Plnafore Park
    Trails System (irnplementation of Trails Master plan)
    Parks (including Joanne Brooks Park)
    Library Renovations
    Talbot Streetscape Strategy/ project
    Courthouse (purchase, renovation)
    Re-establishment of Rail Corridor

    Conspicuous by its absence is the Woodworth Avenue Sewer shed project.

    Stantec Consultants, hired in 2006, reported to council in June 2007 of their key finding which stated that “The capacity of Woodworth Sewer Pumping Station (SPS) is insufficient to meet current flow requirements”. In March 2008 Stantec presented their recommendations to you which is the near term (0-2 years) identified the following actions and associated costs; install third pump at Woodworth SPS, projected cost $150,000; repair/replace Woodworth SPS force main, projected cost $250,000-$1,500,000; extend Burwell SPS forcemain, projected cost $1,700,000. Cost of these three activities range from $2 – $3 million. Additionally mid to long term recommendations totaled another $3 million.

    This sewer project is one example of infrastructure badly needed in our city and the failure to even consider the project is a just another example of incompetence.

    Bill Sandison
    Advocate for a Better Municipal Government
    STR8TALK in St. Thomas

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