New funding for improvements to Rainy River's water and wastewater infrastructure was announced Thursday by Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski.
The Government of Canada is investing $1.1 million in the project through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. This plan aims to ensure that Canada’s small communities are healthy and productive places to live in. The government of Ontario is contributing $945,739. As well, the Town of Rainy River is providing $756, 761.
The upgrades will make for better water distribution, fire protection and more reliable wastewater service for residents of Rainy River.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over the span of 12 years. The plan is set to aide in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
The renovation is set for Second Street and Broadway Avenue and will involve replacing 760 metres of water distribution lines and 570 metres of wastewater collection lines.
The work will also see the installation of three new fire hydrants, a new addition that Powlowski says the dogs of Rainy River will rejoice over. Along with the new fire hydrants, there will also be new sanitary sewer connections and manholes.
Powlowski adds that the project will not only bring necessary improvements to the town, but it will also bring jobs for some of Rainy River’s residents.
“Rainy River is a small town, but I think it’s an important town,” Powlowski said. “It’s an important border town with a lot of crossing going into the United States so I think the government does want to put money into the town and believes that it is going to be a sustainable, essential part of northwestern Ontario.”
Deborah Julie Ewald, Mayor of Rainy River, said the need for this infrastructure is critical as it has become a health and safety issue.
“We have 160-year-old water and sewer lines that are in terribly rough shape so this has been an ongoing project since I came on council many years ago,” Ewald said.
Ewald added that council hopes to have the project done by the end of 2021.