The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it is ending limit of service agreements for municipalities within the province, providing more cost-sharing opportunities for water infrastructure.
The Provincial Government has followed through on its commitment to the practices laid out in The Way Forward: Realizing Our Potential by reviewing municipal and environmental permitting processes. On Saturday, November 4th, Eddie Joyce, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, announced that the department is amending its municipal infrastructure policies to eliminate the requirement for municipalities to enter into Limit of Service Agreements.
“By eliminating Limit of Service Agreements, we are helping to achieve greater efficiency in responding to the needs of communities,” said Joyce. “We are ensuring the highest standards for infrastructure planning and following through on our commitment to create efficiencies and respond to municipalities’ needs and circumstances.”
A Limit of Service Agreement is an agreement between the provincial government and a municipality or an Inuit Community Government that defines the area within which municipal water, sewer and/or road infrastructure projects are eligible for cost-shared provincial funding under all provincial and federal-provincial programs administered by the department. These agreements were previously required in order to be eligible for that cost-shared funding.
By removing Limit of Service Agreements, the department is able to more quickly make a decision on infrastructure funding, as it is one less piece of assessment required. This is in keeping with practices in other jurisdictions.
Building on the initiative to eliminate the agreements, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment will be adjusting the eligibility criteria of the department’s infrastructure programs to consider necessary projects outside the current Limit of Service Agreement. Amendments to the guidelines for the provincial and federal-provincial infrastructure programs will allow for greater flexibility for assessing and responding to municipalities’ needs and circumstances.