MAYOR CLIFFORD LEE
The City of Charlottetown is waiting for about $14 million in federal money to proceed with some significant projects.
It's Build Canada Fund money, cash that municipalities across the country count on to help pay for pricey work.
In Charlottetown, that money is needed to buy new transit buses, finish off the storm sewer separation project, develop the new water source and turn one of the more confusing intersections in the capital area into a roundabout.
"Honestly, if the infrastructure funding is not available then these projects will not be completed,'' says Mayor Clifford Lee.
The money is coming, billions over 10 years. At least that's what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during last fall's election campaign.
The money will break down the cost of projects into thirds, with the three levels of government paying equal shares.
"I've had informal discussions with the local member of parliament about infrastructure. All indications are positive that they're going to be looking to spend money in this construction season and we will be ready for the partnership.''
Of course, timing is key. The longer it takes for the feds to soliciting applications the longer it takes to get them in, and the longer it takes to get tenders out.
"Honestly, if the infrastructure funding is not available then these projects will not be completed.'' Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee.
Even if the money flows, the 2016 construction season could be lost if things take too long to start rolling.
"The new water supply is not going to be something you can just announce on Friday afternoon and be in the ground the following Monday,'' Lee said. "There is a lot of preparatory work that needs to be done for some of these projects.''
The mayor said he understands the cheques won't be in the mail until after the federal budget.
"The sooner we know what projects will be funded and the sooner we get those approvals the sooner we can have engineers drawing up tender specification packages, get them out there and get them advertised so we can actually award a tender.''
There have been rumours that the next round of Build Canada Fund money will have the feds paying half and splitting the other half equally between municipalities and the provinces. That would mean Ottawa picks up another 17 per cent of the cost while dropping the provincial/municipal portion by eight per cent.
Lee said all anyone can do is sit and wait - and be ready.