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Infrastructure funding main concern for Aalbers ahead of federal election

The Lloydminster mayor hopes whoever forms government on Monday can provide easier access to federal funds for infrastructure projects.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers says infrastructure funding is at the top of his wishlist for the federal government.

“We recently received the doubling of the gas tax rebate money that the federal government has shared this past year which we will be putting to infrastructure moving forward. We would like to see the federal government continue that annually.”

The federal government recently provided $24.2 million to the future $81 million wastewater treatment plant through a cost-sharing arrangement. Aalbers hopes this aspect of funding continues but he would like to see some changes in the requirements for funding after federal money was withdrawn from the airport rehabilitation project.

The government would have provided funding for the project if the city had gone with the lowest bidder but because the city went with another contractor, the city had to spend the $45,000 expected to be covered by the federal government.

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“Not just for ourselves but for other communities as well because I think we can discuss the benefits of not always accepting the lowest tender for various reasons. The system that’s presently in place I believe will cost taxpayers more money in the long run.”

Aalbers also hopes to see the government moves forward on building pipelines as he wants products to reach tidewater and marketplaces and believes the pipelines will bring jobs to the community.

“The oil and gas industry affects everyone in our community and surrounding areas be it First Nations, farmers or rural municipalities. It touches us all.”

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