“I would like to see some (municipal) infrastructure money,” said Mayor Robert Kirby, during a phone interview.
He noted that small municipalities like East Hawkesbury always need senior government funding support for infrastructure projects like paving roads or rebuilding bridges. But Kirby has two particular local infrastructure needs in mind when he thinks about his wish list for the provincial and federal budgets.
“We need a fire station for St-Eugène,” he said. “It’s not big enough for all the vehicles. There’s no shower facility for the men when they come back from a call. It just doesn’t meet the (current) standards.”
Getting a new fire station for St-Eugène has been an ongoing issue for Mayor Kirby. But he’s had no success yet in convincing any senior government official of the need to support improvements to rural fire stations.
“There never seems to be money for that,” he said. “But it is an essential service.”
The other project Kirby would like to eligible for some kind of financial aid through either the provincial or federal budget is the new community centre now under construction in St-Eugène. The municipality has a fundraiser plan in place for the project and did receive some federal money to include in the municipal budget to help get the project started.
But, Kirby noted, inflation poses a threat to both this year’s municipal budget plan and future budget plans with increasing fuel costs for township vehicles, rising electricity costs for public buildings and other facilities, and other expenses.
The township has less room to allocate funds for the new community centre project and is relying on a public fundraiser to try and avoid having to take out an expensive loan for building the facility.