08/21/2013

Ottawa, Ontario, August 21, 2013 – The City of Barrie’s has earned an AMO Gas Tax Capacity Building Award for its development of a Storm Water Facility Asset Management Plan.

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario and Russ Powers, AMO President, presented the award to Jeff Lehman, Mayor of Barrie, on stage at the Association’s annual conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, August 20.

The AMO Gas Tax Capacity Building Award celebrates investment of the Fund into projects that achieve excellence in long-term planning for environmental and community sustainability. Winning projects have wide ranging benefits to the community and address a local need.

“I’m ecstatic that we have been recognized with this award for our efforts in developing a comprehensive plan that will help us to better serve our residents in the future,” said Jeff Lehman, Mayor of Barrie. “It is important that we promote high standards of environmental sustainability as we manage growth, and continue our work to protect Lake Simcoe for our future generations.”

The City of Barrie invested $100,000 from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund into the development of a Storm Water Facility Asset Management Plan. By collecting information about each asset, and performing condition assessments and risk analysis, City staff use the Plan as a guide to improve decision making and make sure that each asset is used to its full potential. Barrie currently manages 91 storm water management facilities.

Through the Plan, staff have identified that it will cost $33 million to replace the City’s storm water assets and $1.67 million each and every year for maintenance and replacement costs. The Plan has highlighted Barrie’s financial need and allowed the City to make better decisions about which assets to invest in based on risk, community need and desired levels of service.

Effective asset management in Barrie will help reduce the infrastructure deficit and mitigate the impact of urbanization on local creeks and Lake Simcoe.

“Canada’s Gas Tax Fund is helping Ontario municipalities better manage and replace their infrastructure by funding essential asset management work,” said Russ Powers, AMO President. “The City of Barrie is now better able to plan for the long-term through its Storm Water Facility Asset Management Plan. Their investment also highlights the challenges Ontario municipalities face in balancing critical infrastructure needs with required levels of service.”

Canada’s Gas Tax Fund is the only permanent and stable source of funding for municipal infrastructure. It provides Ontario municipalities with $746 million per year. AMO delivers the Fund to all Ontario municipalities, except Toronto, twice a year, on a per capita basis. It is invested in infrastructure that makes our communities safer, more efficient and prosperous. Other 2013 winners include the Town of Richmond Hill for its Oak Ridges Community Centre and the City of Port Colborne for its Vale Health & Wellness Community Centre. You can learn more about the Gas Tax Fund in Ontario by visiting www.gastaxatwork.ca or @GasTaxinOntario on Twitter.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

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