Area small towns to share in $2M fund for roads, fire halls, public venues

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Ottawa and Queen’s Park are investing more than $2.2 million for upgrades and repairs at public works across Southwestern Ontario.

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is expected to announce Friday the increases to 12 municipalities, which will bolster projects including fire stations, municipal buildings, washrooms and roads for cycling.

“For small towns, this money makes a world of difference,” said McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.

“A lot of these physical buildings needed upgrading, and for many years, small towns just didn’t receive their fair share of funding for these projects.”

Many of the projects that will benefit from the investments are hubs for small-towns, McNaughton said, citing the local fire station in Newbury, his hometown. “The fire hall, for example, hosts breakfasts for the whole community,” he said.

Closer to London, Middlesex County is set to receive nearly $211,000 to build a new paved shoulder on Medway Road for cyclists. The municipality of Middlesex Centre will get more than $350,000 for projects, including a new play structure at Denfield Park and an accessible washroom at Weldon Park.

A large bulk of the money will also be doled out to Lambton County. The area will receive more than $400,000 for projects involving repairs and upgrades to long-term care homes.

The investments are part of a joint plan by the provincial and federal governments to boost infrastructure for residents across the country.

Middlesex Centre: $354,900

Strathroy-Caradoc: $221,098

Middlesex: $210,879

Lucan Biddulph: $100,000

Lambton: $401,000

Lambton Shores: $365,771

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press

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