Ottawa, Ontario, August 21, 2013 – The City of Port Colborne’s Vale Health & Wellness Community Centre has won an AMO Gas Tax Award.

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 Robert Heil, Port Colborne’s CAO, at the Association’s annual conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, August 20.

The AMO Gas Tax Awards celebrate excellence in the use of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund. Winning projects help improve local quality of life by producing cleaner water, cleaner air or reduced greenhouse gas emissions and by demonstrating long-term planning for environmental and community sustainability.

"The City of Port Colborne is pleased to be the recipient of the AMO Gas Tax Award. We worked extremely hard alongside our Community Committee and designers to achieve (LEED) Silver certification, ensuring an energy and environmental design that will contribute sustainable efficiencies," stated Mayor Vance Badawey. The construction of the Vale Health & Wellness Centre has inspired a new generation of PORTicipation certifying an energetic, active, vibrant and healthy community."  

Port Colborne invested $1 million from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund into achieving the Centre’s Leading in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The facility was constructed using recycled materials and has components that make it energy and water efficient. The 145-thousand square foot Centre includes two NHL sized ice rinks, a double gymnasium, a lap and therapeutic pool, fitness area, walking track and bocce facility.

Vale Health & Wellness is Port Colborne’s first true community centre and has quickly become a local gathering place for social activities. It has also impacted the local economy by employing about 60 people. The Centre replaces two arenas and an indoor pool that had reached the end of their useful lives.

“Canada’s Gas Tax Fund has had a positive impact on the people, environment and the local economy in Port Colborne through the Vale Health & Wellness Community Centre,” said Russ Powers, AMO President. “The flexibility of the Fund allowed the City to invest in a project that will have a real and lasting impact on Port Colborne’s residents.”

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 Barrie for its Storm Water Facility Asset Management Plan. 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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