Manitoba Government Invests Additional $15 Million for Municipalities to Support Road Repairs
To recognize the impact of recent severe weather on Manitoba’s roads and highway infrastructure, the province is investing $15 million in a one-time grant program that will provide municipalities with financial support for road reconstruction, rehabilitation and preservation projects, Premier Heather Stefanson announced today.
“Manitoba municipalities are facing significant road infrastructure challenges as a result of this year’s extraordinary weather conditions,” said Stefanson. “Above-average precipitation and colder-than-average temperatures have caused a substantial increase in the number and severity of potholes on roads throughout the province, and inflation and supply chain issues have also added to this challenge. In addition to our Budget 2022 investments in highways and municipalities, we are pleased to offer this extra support to reduce the financial burden on the City of Winnipeg and all municipalities during these unique times.”
As part of this grant program, the province will distribute $15 million to Manitoba’s 137 municipalities on a per-capita basis, with the City of Winnipeg to receive nearly $9 million of the total, the premier noted.
“After one of the snowiest winters on record and a freeze/thaw cycle that is finally letting up in May, Winnipeggers are now facing a pothole season like no other,” said Mayor Brian Bowman, City of Winnipeg. “With a forecasted shortfall of over $56 million in the City of Winnipeg budget as a result of pandemic impacts, this is a welcome funding announcement from the Province of Manitoba to help with the pothole issues being felt across the province. This funding would build on another historic road construction season in Winnipeg of $164.7 million.”
Municipalities will be granted the funding for costs related to road infrastructure improvements, including accessing repair materials and addressing workforce shortages, the premier added.
“The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) commends the Province of Manitoba for investing $15 million to help support municipal infrastructure repairs,” said Kam Blight, president, AMM. “As municipal roads connect local communities and support economic growth, these additional dollars help underscore the importance of long-term predictable funding to properly maintain and protect municipal infrastructure within our communities.”
The funding is in addition to any disaster assistance municipalities could receive due to excessive flooding. Full details of this grant will be made available to municipalities in the coming weeks.
“The funds the government of Manitoba is making available immediately are sorely needed by municipalities throughout Manitoba to address the extraordinary issues with roads and streets this spring,” said Chris Lorenc, president, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association. “The Manitoba government’s recognition of this as emergency assistance is a sign a bigger conversation regarding long-term solutions is needed to help municipalities regularly maintain infrastructure.”
The grant is equivalent to a five per cent increase to the comprehensive operating and infrastructure funding support municipalities receive annually through Manitoba’s basket funding model, the Strategic Municipal Investment Fund.
“Our government is committed to working collaboratively with municipalities to build and maintain safe and reliable streets, which contribute to healthy and vibrant communities,” said Stefanson. “This basket funding model reduces red tape and allows municipalities the flexibility to set priorities based on their communities’ needs.”
The premier noted Budget 2022 supports the government’s three-year $1.5-billion commitment to enhance the safety and connectivity of Manitoba’s highway network with more than $578 million allocated to highway projects this year alone. Additionally, Budget 2022 provides $313 million in funding to municipalities to ensure they have the support they need to invest in what matters most to their communities, said Stefanson.
For more information on municipal grant funding, visit manitoba.ca/mr/mfpp