Three Rivers area in eastern P.E.I. would earn double gas tax revenues

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on January 4, 2016

Screenshot of the report commissioned to look at amalgamation in eastern P.E.I. Brudenell, Cardigan, Georgetown, Lorne Valley, Lower Montague, Montague and Valleyfield commissioned the report.

MONTAGUE - If the force awakens between seven southeastern communities considering the formation of a regional municipality it won’t suffer from lack of funds.

According to the recently released Woods study, the increased population will help bolster the war chest for the new community referred to as Three Rivers.

Currently, the town of Montague has a population of about 1,900 people.

With the additional six communities of Georgetown, Cardigan, Lorne Valley, Valleyfield, Brudenell and Lower Montague, the population would jump to 8,000 – or 75 per cent of the new community.

“It should be quite clear that rural interests and rural values should be well entrenched and well protected in any future regional municipality,” states the report.

RELATED: Report on eastern P.E.I. amalgamation released

But joining forces would also see the federal gas tax allotment almost double for the new and much larger municipality.

“The impact of the increased population is clearly evident,” the report details in a chart. “Essentially, the total annual Gas Tax Grant for the Region would be more than doubled, from $320,633 to $654,059.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW MUCH THE MUNICIPALITIES GET IN GAS TAX REVENUES

And as part of the federal New Deal funding, there has traditionally been a “Capacity Building” fund that provided up to 100 per cent funding for preparation of a new official Plan.

The report notes that the expected budget for a full regional land use plan for Three Rivers would probably be in excess of $100,000 and if approved, would be cost covered by the feds.

The report also notes what Judge Ralph Thomson wrote in his Commission on Land and Local Governance released in 2009.

“The Three Rivers Area faces significant challenges that will be exacerbated by an aging population, a declining rural population and other factors.”

Current gas tax payments:

- Montague - $169,521

- Georgergetown - $100,000

- Lower Montague - $15,915

- Brudenell - $8,663

- Cardigan - $7,945

- Lorne Valley - $2,537

- Valleyfield - $16,082

Current Total - $320,663

Potential Three Rivers - $654,059