As the 2019 Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Convention kicks off in Edmonton, municipal leaders from Grande Prairie will be looking for answers on what they believe are the most pressing issues for the city.
Mayor Bill Given says for the last couple of years, the question surrounding the future of Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding has been a constant concern. However, Given believes the time may be right to gain some traction on the discussion.
“It’s also really a key opportunity to start developing relationships with the new provincial government, as it’s very early in their term, and just in advance of the provincial budget.”
The MSI funding, which helps fund the rehabilitation and building of roadways and bridges, runs out for all cities and towns outside of Edmonton and Calgary in 2022.
Another potential talking point, according to Given, surrounds policing costs across the province. He says the current proposal from the province is that municipalities not currently required to pay for policing costs would be asked to pay a portion.
“Many municipalities like Grande Prairie already pay for policing, and we are encouraged about the province’s looking at the opportunity to ensure that all Albertan’s are contributing on an equitable basis to safety in our communities,” he says.
“Ultimately, we want to ensure any new funding goes to new resources that benefit the Grande Prairie region, and that may have the effect of deferring new costs for the city,” he adds.
The AUMA conference runs until September 27th in Edmonton.