Feds, Ontario ante up for city

Two long-awaited projects in St. Thomas got a green light Friday (June 5) with Infrastructure Stimulus dollars from the federal and provincial governments.
But a new home for the St. Thomas Police Service missed out, again.

Both levels of government announced yesterday they were giving $ 1.2 million each toward a $ 3.6 million reconstruction of Wellington Street between Elgin and Princess Streets. St. Thomas will chip in the rest.
” You have saved the frames of thousands of cars,” Mayor Cliff Barwick said to Liberal MPP Steve Peters and Conservative MP Joe Preston.
Meanwhile, a $ 1.5 million project to build a 929-squaremetre ( 10,000 square foot) hangar to handle corporate jet traffic at the St. Thomas Municipal Airport also got the green light, with each level of government contributing $ 500,000.
” It’s been a long time coming,” said Dale Arndt, airport superintendent. He described corporate jet traffic as ” our lifebread.”
To find money for both projects, Treasurer Bill Day said a special budget meeting, delayed from April in case the city got cash from the government, will be held later this month.
But the news wasn’t all bright — for the second time this year, St. Thomas missed out on funding for a new police headquarters.
“It’s not anything that was disappointing. It was a situation that if we got the money, we’d be very pleased. We had the inkling that it would be a very difficult thing to get funded,” said Barwick, adding the submitted cost for a station was $18 million — or $6 million from each level of government.
Treasurer Bill Day said they’ll now be looking at other options for a headquarters building.
“I suggest the pursuit of that as imminent. The police have certainly demonstrated the need and the sense of urgency for it.”

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