FREDERICTON (GNB) – Provincial, federal and municipal officials announced more than $5.6 million in funding today for upgrades to the water supply infrastructure in Haut-Madawaska and Tide Head.

“Investing in green infrastructure in our communities will ensure residents have a safe, reliable source of drinking water,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation. “Creating vibrant communities is one of our government’s key priorities. As our province recovers socially and economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, strong communities will be the foundation of our future growth.”

Funding will be used to improve access to potable water in the Saint-Hilaire section of Haut-Madawaska by drilling three or four exploratory wells, constructing one to three new wells, and excavating land to connect the new wells to an existing pumping station. Once completed, this project will meet the community’s water consumption demands and help remove a boil water advisory.

The project in Tide Head will involve upgrades to hundreds of metres of water, sewer and storm sewer lines and the replacement of the potable water reservoir, which will increase storage capacity by 1.36 million litres.

“Investments in infrastructure are investments in strong and healthy communities,” said Madawaska-Restigouche MP René Arseneault. “These projects will help lift a boil water advisory and prevent them in the future, which will provide residents with peace of mind, knowing that their drinking water is clean and safe. Investing in important local projects like these ensures that families, residents and businesses across New Brunswick have the infrastructure they need to grow and thrive.”

Arseneault participated in the announcement for federal Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

The provincial government is providing $1.9 million for these projects through the Regional Development Corporation while the federal government is providing $2.2 million through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Integrated Bilateral Agreement. The Rural Community of Haut-Madawaska is contributing over $320,000 toward its project and the Village of Tide Head is investing nearly $1.2 million for the work in that community.

“We are very pleased that the other two levels of government have come together to provide funding to improve our water and sewage infrastructure,” said Tide Head Mayor Allan Dickson. “This will open the door to enable many acres of adjacent land to be developed by connecting to this modern, quality infrastructure.”

“First of all, I would like to thank the citizens of Saint-Hilaire and the management of the Madawaska Regional Correctional Centre for their patience and understanding,” said Haut-Madawaska Mayor Jean-Pierre Ouellet. “It is not easy to be without drinking water over such a long period of time. I thank both levels of government for their financial support. With this announcement, we hope to be able to start work as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline set by the community to complete the work by July 2022.”