Rural communities granted infrastructure boost

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REGINA, Sask. — Rural municipalities in Saskatchewan will receive $10 million in new money for transportation infrastructure in the upcoming Provincial Budget.

Premier Lorne Calvert made the announcement on March 14 at the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) in Saskatoon.

Our government believes rural Saskatchewan deserves to share in and contribute to the strength of Saskatchewans surging economy, Calvert said. With this funding, we will help rural municipalities sustain and improve the infrastructure needed to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities that will bring them growth and prosperity.

The new funding consists of $5 million for the Roads to Resources program funded by the Department of Highways and Transportation, which will provide assistance to rural municipalities in the heavy oil area of the province that face large road maintenance costs due to high volumes of heavy truck traffic; and $5 million for a new Municipal Primary Weight Corridor program funded by the Department of Government Relations to support economic development, increasing to $10 million in 2008-09.

Calvert thanked SARM officials for working with the departments of Government Relations and Highways and Transportation, to ensure compatibility with the provincial transportation strategy, which helped make todays announcement possible.

Rural Saskatchewan is undergoing a change for the better because of the work these community leaders are doing, Calvert said. Like them, the provincial government is focused on ensuring Saskatchewan is the best place to live, work, and build strong futures.

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