Extra federal gas tax money for Yorkton now official

It’s official, Yorkton will receive an extra $996,000 from the federal government under the Gas Tax Fund for infrastructure priorities like roads, wastewater and recreation.

Saskatchewan has received the first of two $31.2 million installments of the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) for the 2019-20 fiscal year, along with a top-up of $61.9 million, made available through Budget 2019.

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This top-up doubles the amount of money for Saskatchewan communities, based on their allocations for 2018-19.

The federal GTF is a long-term, indexed source of funding that supports a diverse range of local infrastructure projects across the province each year.

Yorkton City Manager Lonnie Kaal said the recent announcement is only confirmation regarding the money they had already been made aware was coming.

“We’ve known it was coming for quite a while,” she said, adding it was about six-months ago the new money was first unveiled.

The dollars for infrastructure is something the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has been lobbying for, said Kaal, adding “it is the type of money we want to get. You don’t have to apply for grants (based on particular projects).”

While the new money is “a one-time doubling,” said Kaal, she said FCM is lobbying for the increase to carry into future years.

Yorkton Administration will now bring a report to the next regular meeting of Yorkton Council on how to best utilize the added dollars, said Kaal.

Nationally, the federal Gas Tax Fund delivers over $2 billion every year to over 3,600 communities across the country.

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