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Laurentian Valley applies for Commuter Cycling Program

By Celina Ip

Laurentian Valley is looking to participate in the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program (OMCC) to build better and safer routes for cyclists.

 

On May 29, the Ministry of Transportation announced the launch of the new OMCC – a four year, cost-hared, direct funding program from the Province of Ontario. The program aims to enhance commuter cycling infrastructure to help Ontario achieve its vision for commuter cycling under the Province’s Climate Change Action Plan. The new commuter cycling infrastructure will help to promote safety for cyclists, making cycling more comfortable and appealing for day-to-day travel. By encouraging people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes, there will be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across Ontario.

“Building commuter cycling infrastructure is important in helping us make Ontario a great place to ride a bike. Working together with our partners, the cycling community and local municipalities, I know we will succeed in making Ontario a cycling leader in North America,” said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca in a press release from May 29.

The OMCC will be providing direct, dedicated, annual funding to Ontario municipalities – with $42.5million available in the first year, supported by proceeds from Ontario’s cap and trade program. Funding for future years will be determined based on availability of cap and trade proceeds. All Ontario municipalities are eligible for annual OMCC funding to support up to 80 per cent of costs associated with their implementation of eligible commuter cycling projects.

To receive the OMCC funding, municipalities apply under one of two streams, based on their population size. Applicants must also declare their interest in participating in the program each year, identify their eligible projects annually, and confirm that they will be able to fund at least 20 per cent of each project’s cost.

During a special council meeting on Sept. 5, the Township of Laurentian Valley motioned to move forward with an OMCC funding application for 2017.

As Laurentian Valley has a population of less than 15,000 people, the Township is applying under Stream 2 which provides annual funding of up to $25,000.

“Laurentian Valley is applying for funds to assist in converting portions of the abandoned former CP railway corridor within Laurentian Valley, into a cycling commuter route as part Renfrew County’s Algonquin Trail,” said Lauree Armstrong, economic development officer with the Township of Laurentian Valley. “The deadline for applications is September 8, 2017 and the Township is hopeful that our application will be successful.”

cip@postmedia.com