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Amherst Receives Grant from Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund for Infrastructure Upgrades

On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, representatives from the Town of Amherst, the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities gathered in Victoria Square to share in an important announcement of incoming funding from the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund.

The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is a grant program provided by the Province of Nova Scotia, and administered by the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities. It supports communities in the reduction or removal of greenhouse gasses, or repairing and responding to the impacts of climate change.

In February of 2022, a combination of heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt caused significant flooding throughout the town of Amherst. Two specific portions of Amherst’s stormwater infrastructure were significantly affected by the intense weather event, which identified a need to address deficiencies within the existing storm and sanitary sewer infrastructure.

“Today, I am pleased to announce $349,300 in funding for the Town of Amherst,” said Tom Taggart, MLA for Colchester North. “The Town will use this money to complete a stormwater management study and will then upgrade its stormwater and flood risk mitigation infrastructure. This work will help reduce the risks of flooding, protecting people’s property and infrastructure from damage due to heavy rainfall. These vital upgrades will not only make Amherst more resilient to climate-related flooding, but will also help support a more sustainable future.”

MLA Taggart spoke on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Minister Tim Halman, MLA Dartmouth East.

“I know that the Town of Amherst is extremely grateful for the funding that we’re seeing coming our way,” said David Kogon, mayor of Amherst. “Our climate and weather patterns have changed, and will continue to do so. We are experiencing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as floods, hurricanes, and snowstorms. These changes have significant implications for our built and natural infrastructure. The funding provided by the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund will help the Town of Amherst address immediate infrastructure capacity issues, and create a framework for the Town to continue to work towards a long-term plan to address system capacity issues related to climate change.”

“Through our work at NSFM (Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities), I’ve had the privilege of meeting community leaders who recognize the urgency of taking action against climate change,” said Juanita Spencer, CEO of the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities. “We firmly believe that our communities across the province play a crucial role in driving effective climate action. These improvements will safeguard the Town’s infrastructure, ensuring uninterrupted essential services for residents. The project was selected carefully for its potential to promote adaptation to our ever-evolving climate. On behalf of NSFM, I would like to extend my congratulations to the Town of Amherst.”

With this funding provided by the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund, the Town of Amherst will address immediate capacity issues in storm and sanitary sewer systems, and continue working towards a long-term solution addressing system capacity related to climate change. The total project value is $499,000, with 70% or $349,300 coming from the SCCF and 30% or $149,700 from the Town of Amherst.

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