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Woolwich gets funding for $4.2M in new projects

Kitchener-Conestoga MP Tim Louis and his provincial colleague, MPP Mike Harris, joined township Mayor Sandy Shantz in a virtual session Tuesday to announce the new funding.

With funding from the federal and provincial governments, Woolwich will be spending $4.2 million on two projects in Elmira: upgrades at the Woolwich Memorial Centre and improvements to the underground drain that runs under much of the core.

Kitchener-Conestoga MP Tim Louis and his provincial colleague, MPP Mike Harris, joined township Mayor Sandy Shantz in a virtual session Tuesday to announce the new funding.

Improvements to the WMC include replacing the existing refrigeration system and installing a new geothermal system to capture and use reclaimed heat throughout the facility.

Work on the Weigel stormwater management drain includes replacing 11 culverts, as well as a degrading headwall and wingwalls. Installing erosion protection and removing sediment from a stormwater pond is also on the agenda. The upgrades are expected to reduce the potential for flooding and extend the lifecycle and functioning of the drain.

Ottawa  will provide $792,000 towards the WMC projects, and $899,928 for improving the drain. The provincial funding totals more than $1.4 million ($659,934 for WMC and $749,865 for the drain), while the township will be contributing more than $1.1 million ($528,066 for WMC and $600,027 for stormwater management drain).

“I’m so pleased to join the province to announce federal support for improvements to the Woolwich Memorial Centre and rehabilitation to the Weigel stormwater management drain in Woolwich Township,” said Louis during Tuesday’s announcement. “Investing in community, culture and recreation infrastructure as well as green infrastructure is an essential part of our economy and supporting communities and Canadians.

“By investing in community and cultural infrastructure projects, like those announced today, we’re building up in a way that makes our communities more livable, more resilient, and more sustainable places to live, work and raise our families. We’re bringing Canadians together, while also creating jobs. The Government of Canada is working closely with municipalities, provinces and other partners and stakeholders to get these projects built quickly, projects that make a positive difference in the lives of Canadians in these trying times.”

Harris says improving the stormwater management drain right now is key as we move into the spring thaw and rainy season.

“This work is going to reduce the risk of flooding and provide better protection for residents, which is really key as we move into the spring.… This particular piece of infrastructure is really crucial in stormwater management, handling runoff and different things like that. It’s actually a pretty complex system – there are 11 different sort of culverts that feed into this greater stormwater pond. And then there’s a larger portion that’s where the actual collection takes place where it feeds into the pond, and then that is getting pretty much a whole retrofit,” said Harris.

The senior government support was welcomed by Shantz.

“These partnership grants allow the township to adapt to the ever-changing environment and help to provide the residents of Woolwich with safe and manageable infrastructure.”

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