By Tim Kalinowski on December 5, 2020.
Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf announced Friday, on behalf of Minister of Municipal Affairs Tracy Allard, $11 million in provincial funding for airport upgrades, and $900,000 more for a facelift to Festival Square Market Plaza.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the greatest challenge our province has seen in a generation,” said Neudorf. “And our province has had that pandemic for almost a year now. During this time our government has provided unprecedented support for families and businesses in order to protect lives and livelihoods. The cornerstone of our response is our economic recovery plan: an ambitious strategy to create jobs, and build and diversify right now.”
Neudorf said his government was pleased to support these shovel-ready projects in Lethbridge as part of that recovery plan.
For the airport the City will receive about $5 million for pavement rehabilitation and just over $6 million for lighting upgrades on the airport’s runways.
Mayor Chris Spearman said both airport investments were welcome.
“I would like to thank MLA Neudorf and our Municipal Affairs Minister Allard for their wonderful support for the City of Lethbridge,” said Spearman. “The provincial government’s commitment today ties directly to positive economic development for a post-pandemic world, and it also speaks volumes to the importance of the Lethbridge Airport as a catalyst for other projects and partnerships.”
Spearman also said the Festival Square Market Plaza design would make downtown more vibrant and welcoming for all citizens.
“When we talk about Festival Square we talk about having additional things in the downtown to bring people downtown, and make people feel comfortable in the downtown,” he said.
Spearman said the City would be opening up a competitive bid process for agencies to propose various alterations to Festival Square which should be completed by late spring, in time for the summer market season.
“The idea is to create labour-intensive projects as well,” Spearman added. “So it is going to employ people and, specific to that area, to enhance it and make it more friendly.”
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