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Federal, provincial governments announce $150M for N.L. water, wastewater and transportation projects

Water line break, Grand Falls-Windsor

Crews in Grand Falls-Windsor deal with a water line break, a common occurrence in communities that urgently need to repair aging infrastructure. (Lindsay Bird/CBC)

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The federal and provincial governments announced Thursday an agreement to make more than $150 million available to go towards 142 water, wastewater and public transit projects in more than 100 communities across Newfoundland and Labrador.

The largest chunk of money — $141 million — is coming from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, with the federal government footing about $70 million of that.

It's up to the province and the individual communities involved to cost share the other half of the bill, with the municipal portion making up anywhere from 10 to 30 per cent of the total.

Some $70 million from the total Clean Water and Wastewater Fund has been greenlit to be handed out immediately.

The federal government is giving $9 million in St. John's for multiple projects including sanitary sewer linings and wastewater diversion to the Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Judy Foote and Dwight Ball

Minister Judy Foote and Premier Dwight Ball sign the funding agreement in Bay Roberts on Thursday afternoon. (Peter Cowan/CBC)

Federal funds for big sanitary sewer separation projects are also promised to Corner Brook ($4.5 million), and Mount Pearl ($1.1 million), with Conception Bay South receiving $3.4 million for water and sewer upgrades, while Paradise will get $2.4 million to upgrade its sewage treatment plant.

The money comes on the heels of a 2012 regulations passed by the former federal Conservative government, requiring municipalities across Canada to upgrade its wastewater standards by 2020.

​Premier Dwight Ball, on hand for the announcement in Bay Roberts, said a portion of the projects will help some communities get off boil water advisories, but could not provide specifics.

Hopedale, which has gone under a state of emergency in the past due to recurring water issues, is receiving more than $400,000 for upgrades to both its water supply and sewage systems.

Another $9.8 million — $5 million of which is the federal government's share — is being made available under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, designed to make such services more accessible and efficient. 

Approved projects in that fund are so far split between St. John's and Corner Brook. Several Metrobus routes in St. John's will see improved accessibility, and the Three Bear Mountain Trail in Corner Brook will also be upgraded, among other plans.

Premier Dwight Ball and Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote were on hand in Bay Roberts for the announcement.

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