Municipalities have a role to play in funding: Noseworthy

Paul
Paul Hutchings
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Dan Noseworthy of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs spoke at Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador's western sessions on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 about the process of applying for funding for municipal infrastructure improvements.

Municipalities looking for funding on infrastructure projects need to be mindful of the application they fill out.

That’s one of the messages from Intergovernmental Affairs director Dan Noseworthy, who spoke to a crowd of municipal representatives at the Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador’s western region session Friday night.

Noseworthy told the crowd that individual towns need to be careful of not leaving out any information when applying for funding for any project. He is part of a committee that is looking at the application process to make improvements in the future.

He said it’s important to maintain good communication, not just with his department, but with financing and the consultants involved, who, he added, work for the municipalities and not his department.

“I get calls, people say to me, ‘that consultant you sent over didn’t do something,’ and I have to stop them,” said Noseworthy. “We didn’t hire them, you did, and it’s important for you to not be afraid to talk to them.”

Noseworthy said the more detail provided in the application process the better it would be for the applicant towns. His department receives about 600 applications with approximately $800 million in funding requests. Hence the necessitity for the selective application process, he said.

“Theres’ no way we can do all that,” he said. “There’s something at play here that I call the 90-10 dilemma.”

The dilemma, he said, is that the 90-10 process of the province kicking 90 per cent of individual project funding, with the municipality ponying up 10 per cent, makes it so attractive for towns across the province to apply that, essentially, everyone does it. That, he said, is why a clear application for funding is so necessary.

“Send us a picture, if you can’t do that, send us a thousand words,” he said. “And provide accurate cost estimates, the more detail we get from you the better the assessment.”

Those in attendance started to ask about how finances were distributed, but that, he said, he could not answer. The Finance department, he explained, doesn’t divulge that information to his department.

Organizations: Intergovernmental Affairs, Finance department

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