Mayor and Council wish to recognize the ongoing community benefits gained from the federal Gas Tax Fund.
The federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) is now in its 17th year of delivering funding to local government infrastructure and capacity building projects in British Columbia. During that time, the fund has transferred over $3.1 billion to B.C. communities. Eligible projects categories include: Local roads, disaster mitigation, drinking water, sports and recreation infrastructure, capacity building and more.
In 2020, the City utilized over $1.11 million in funding from this program for local infrastructure projects.
The most significant GTF project undertaken in 2020 was a comprehensive upgrade of Voght Street. This project was allocated $700,000 from the Federal Gas Tax Fund along with a $750,000 grant from the Provincial Community Emergency Program for Structural Flood Mitigation and City reserves. The project included the elevation of the road to reduce risk of road closure due to flooding, installation of drainage ditches, utility upgrades and construction of multi-use pathways and bus pullouts.
The GTF has also provided over $284,000 for the construction of a chlorine storage building in the Public Works Yard.
Two other smaller projects received Gas Tax funding in 2020: Voght Street Phase II Design ($93,117) and Solar Powered Pedestrian Crosswalk Lights ($35,360).
“Investments in rural infrastructure help grow local economies, improve quality of life, and address pressing community needs,” said Ken Hardie, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood–Port Kells on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “I’m pleased to see the City of Merritt was able to use over $1 million from their federal Gas Tax Fund allocations on several local infrastructure projects that will help the community thrive for years to come. The Government of Canada will continue to support projects like the ones in Merritt, because we know that when our small communities thrive — we all benefit.”
“These community-led projects will improve public safety through flood mitigation, provide needed infrastructure, and construct innovative solar powered pedestrian crosswalk lights – building a safer and greener community for everyone, “said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Together with the federal government, the Province is proud to invest in projects that make life better for people throughout B.C.”
Mayor Linda Brown stated, “City Council wishes to thank the federal government for this ongoing funding stream, and also to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for administering the program in BC on behalf of all local governments. Gas Tax funding allows us to maintain and improve Merritt’s infrastructure without additional impact on taxpayers.”
“As local governments across B.C. continue to adapt to climate change, one of the biggest challenges we face is upgrading current infrastructure to meet the demands of the new reality,” said Councillor Brian Frenkel, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. “By providing long-term predictable funding, the federal Gas Tax Fund is providing much needed support to local governments as we accelerate the renewal of local infrastructure.”
As of June 29, 2021, the Gas Tax Fund has been renamed the Canada Community-Building Fund. This name change better reflects the program’s evolution over time and will not alter or modify the objectives or requirements of the program. For more information on federal infrastructure funding click here.
For More Information Contact:
Sean Smith, CAO
Phone: (250) 378-8613