All three levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – came together on Jan. 27 in the community centre of the Woolwich Memorial Centre to recognize improvements to township roads and infrastructure. MP Harold Albrecht, MPP for Kitchener Centre John Milloy, and Woolwich Mayor Todd Cowan took turns thanking each other for the joint investment that contributed a total of $6.4 million to the rehabilitation of Snyder Avenue South, Samuel Street, Ann Street and Floradale Road, as well as portions of Riverside Drive West, Herbert Street and William Street in Elmira.
The federal and provincial government each contributed about $2.1 million to the projects, with the Township of Woolwich contributing the balance of the costs.
“I just want to say what a privilege it has been to work on these construction projects across the riding,” said Albrecht to a crowd of about 15 people gathered at the WMC.
“Transportation infrastructure is crucial to our local economy, we all know that. It connects workers with jobs and products with markets. Improvements to transportation infrastructure are also important for the safety of our community.”
The federal government’s support came from the infrastructure stimulus fund, a part of Canada’s economic action plan which officially wrapped up on Oct. 31 of last year. Albrecht said that throughout the action plan the federal government sought to find shovel-ready projects that could readily use the funds, and he said that the Township of Woolwich was always up to the task.
“When those stimulus funds were announced it wasn’t a case of Woolwich scrambling to figure out how they could spend the funds,” Albrecht said.
Milloy not only thanked both Cowan and Albrecht for their cooperation with the funding, he said that it was important to make these types of announcements to maintain credibility and accountability in the public eye.
“I think it’s important that we report back to people about what happened to those funds and those taxpayer dollars that came from this community,” said Milloy, who couldn’t resist taking a shot at the provincial PC party by saying although the word “taxes” had been vilified by some in the last election, they are a useful way of society pooling collective resources to help pay for the things that we all derive a collective benefit from.
Cowan was upfront about the fact that without provincial and federal financial assistance, most of the infrastructure problems in the township would be impossible to deal with due to the small tax base.
“We have over 20 roads and bridges that need to be improved at this point, and we can pay for about two, so the more money the better,” he said.
“Thank you again, we couldn’t have done it without you – well, we could have, but it would have taken a hundred years.”