Local looking to rally funding support


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September 15, 2016 12:00 AM

Local man Jonathan Torresan is rallying the federal government for funding on a local project and he wants the help of his fellow citizens.
“Really, what I’m looking to do, is try to convince as many people in the community to go on a specific Government of Canada website to make a post about what our infrastructure needs are in our community, because we have that $80,000,000 wastewater treatment facility we need to pay for and ideally as a community it doesn’t all have to come out of long term debt, which would therefor lead to higher property taxes,” Torresan said.
“So the goal is to get as many people on there to write about why we need this funding, how it’s important to us as a community and how it’s important to our neighbouring communities that are down river from us, so we can get some of it paid for by the federal government.”
The website he’s referring to is called infraconsults.ca, where Canadians can register and tell the government about infrastructure needs in their communities.
The site describes how the federal government is investing $120 billion over the next 10 years into infrastructure across the country and is asking for input from Canadians as to where those funds would be best spent.
The discussions close tomorrow, so it’s Torresan’s hope that as many Border City residents as possible will go onto the site, register, and push for some of that money to go into the wastewater treatment plant. 
“I was looking around to try and find information on the types of funding that are available for the wastewater treatment plant, public transit, for arts and culture and the different things we have on the go and are potentially going to happen in the next few years,” Torresan said.
“I wanted to get an idea of how much is allocated to Alberta and how much is allocated to Saskatchewan and then I found this website and thought, ‘hey, what a great opportunity to get ourselves in the national spotlight, put our hands up and say hey we need funding for this.’”
Torresan, who’s also running for a seat on council next month, has been putting the word out through his private and political Facebook pages, trying to drum up as much interest as possible and drive traffic to the infraconsults.ca website. 
By the time he spoke to the Source, four residents had submitted proposals, several made comments as to why the project is important, several others rated existing proposals to give them higher scores, and the City of Lloydminster submitted its (in)famous Trudeau, It’s Me music video.
All of this will hopefully get Lloydminster in the national spotlight, Torresan said, and show the feds the City has a shovel ready project that it can’t afford to pay for on its own.
“This is important because we need to have an idea of how much funding we’re going to get for this, so that we know how much long term debt we’re going to have to allocate specifically to our wastewater and water treatment, and then we can get an idea of how much we have left over to spend on those other things that you need in a community to make it a great place to live,” he said.
“Wastewater and utilities being a basic need, then there’s the other ‘wants’ that make a community great and those are the things we want to know how much money we have to spend on them.”

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