Town pursues multiple grant streams

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

The Town of Hinton requested to transfer $251,143 of federal funding that is available through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) Public Transit Stream to the COVID Resilience Stream. 

Alberta Transportation is allowing municipalities to determine whether they want to use federal infrastructure funding for eligible projects under the Public Transit Stream or for projects under the new COVID-19 Resilience Stream. 

In a letter from Alberta’s Minister of Transportation, Ric McIver, he stated this would provide flexibility for municipal infrastructure and provide a swift response to the impacts of COVID-19.

Under the new Resilience Stream, the federal government will fund up to 80 per cent of eligible costs for projects under $10M that will be completed by December 2021. 

Those projects submitted are larger projects identified in Hinton’s five year Capital Plan, such as the Firehall Chiller, Switzer Drive rehabilitation, and radio upgrades to the Town fleet.

Radio upgrades are necessary as more staff are working alone or remotely throughout the pandemic, explained CAO Emily Olsen.

“Building off of the Municipal Stimulus Program application where the Town requested funds for Beaver Boardwalk maintenance work, an additional inclusion is the Maxwell Lake bridge and surrounding area, which is one of the next [Alberta Environment and Parks] AEP approvals the Town will be seeking,” said Olsen.

The Town submitted a number of options through this intake, to communicate choices for smaller-scale priority projects to the Province who choose what will ultimately be submitted to access the federal funding.

The provincial government will endorse the decisions and projects of municipalities and will work with municipal administration to secure federal funding for those identified projects.

Unused funds may be returned to the Province in order to be used for provincial infrastructure priorities.

The letter from Alberta Transportation stated that the province is not required to provide a matching funding contribution for the COVID-19 Resilience Stream and has fulfilled its contribution to the Public Transit Stream.

Municipalities can refine the scope of previously identified public transit infrastructure under the existing Public Transit Stream or identify new projects that meet the COVID-19 Resilience Stream eligibility criteria.

Under the Transit Stream, the federal government would have funded 40 per cent to 50 per cent of eligible project costs dependent on the criteria outlined in the Canada Alberta Integrated Bilateral Agreement.

Additionally, The Town recently submitted an application to the Province for the Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) to access $1.1M in funding available to Hinton. 

Projects included the Switzer Drive Rehabilitation capital project, and the recently approved Beaver Boardwalk maintenance work.

“Both of these grant intakes had ceilings for the funding that is available to Hinton, so larger projects were not included, as these are opportunities to fund projects included in our capital plan, and emerging projects in the community,” Olsen stated.

Another new grant opportunity the Town is reviewing is Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST).

MOST delivers funding to municipalities as part of the Canada-Alberta Safe Restart Agreement.

For more information about the new ICIP COVID Resilience Stream, visit infrastructure.gc.calplan/covid-19-resilienceeng.html